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Traditional China: Eco-civilization and Its Discontents

HIST 223
Fall 2021
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: CEAS 223, ENVS 223, WLIT 224
Course Cluster and Certificates: Sustainability and Environmental Justice

This course introduces students to the history of China from ancient times to the middle of the Ming Dynasty circa 1450. This is a period when China invented and reshaped its cultural identity by moving into new frontiers and creatively incorporating foreign ideas with indigenous practices. It is also a period when the natural environment was drastically transformed by agrarian civilizations and nomadic neighbors.

The course places concepts of sustainability in the center of the history of traditional China. We will draw on translations of Chinese literary texts including poetry, classical prose, and novels to explore the relationship between power and social inequities as we explore the everyday politics of agrarian civilizations through China's transformation from feudal ages to the imperial period. Did competing regimes/dynasties create a sustainable political and economic system? Did bureaucrats improve the well-being of the population and maintain the balance of the ecosystem? Or did they deplete natural resources to meet their short-term needs? How did Confucian, Legalist, Buddhist, and Daoist teachings alter the dynamics of production and consumption? To what extent did traditional Chinese philosophies promote the ethos of ecojustice?
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS HIST
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode:
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CEAS-MN)(CEAS)(CEAS-Arcp/Hist)(CGST-MN)(ENVS-MN)(ENVS)(HIST-MN)(HIST)(MDST-MN)(SISP)(SISP-Hist Conc)(SISP-ScieDblMjr)
Past Enrollment Probability: 50% - 74%

Last Updated on SEP-25-2023
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