Week 06: Mar. 15 – Mar. 21

Check you have completed the assignments for Week 5

This week we span two Big Modules (or parts in the Spence Textbook): we jump from the end of the Empire to the beginning of the Republic, and thus from the end of Big Module 2 (“Fragmentation and Reform”) to Big Module 3 (“Envisioning State and Society”) This also means you’re looking at a new Show and Tell project (no. 2) for next week Friday (March 26), covering the period 1800-1911.

Background notes and thoughts on this week’s history

Too little too late: reform

After the Opium Wars, and during the Taiping Rebellion, some scholar-officials began to push for change. Qing China had the capacity for turning around and learning from the western powers about new technologies, but the debate always required balancing with the question how to prevent the state from becoming a copy of the West and how to preserve the essence of being Chinese. But in itself, that was a difficult question: remember how in week 2 you learned that the Manchu, of a different ethnicity, had taken over Ming China, at times in bloody fashion? Turns out that was not entirely forgotten, and modernization and western ideas of “self-determination” of course raised the question for some that perhaps the ethnic Han people should not be ruled by the Manchu. So should reformers strengthen the Qing in that case? And if not, why would the Qing emperors help them reform?

Thoughts on Module 3: Envisioning State and Society

The Empire is dead, long live the Republic! Or maybe not that long, because even though in 1912 the last emperor Puyi formally abdicated, and it looked like China joined many other states in becoming a republic, by 1915, a new strongman named Yuan Shikai (briefly) tried to reinstate a monarchy.

The period between 1911 and 1949 is complex, because it is one of the many times when there is no clear single center of power and authority in “China”. The slide deck gives you a few visuals, including a reminder of Chinese dynastic history, to give you a sense that political fragmentation into multi-state units was not unheard of in Chinese history.

Why does it matter? Multi-state fragmentation is one of China’s worst fears and nightmares, including the CCP/PRC’s. Whether it was the empire in the past, or the modern state now, the common wisdom is that it is easy to break it apart but very difficult to bring it together and even more difficult to maintain its unity over the decades. In the eleventh century, the great statesman and historian Sima Guang summarized the preceding history for the emperor of the Song dynasty (960-1279) in the eleventh century: “In this period spanning over one thousand and seven hundred years, there had been only just over five hundred years during which All Under Heaven had been unified. Within these five hundred years, there were countless occurrences of minor perils and chaos.” As with almost everything in China: there is a long history, and a connection to the present.

This means that the Timeline (Part 3) and Map (layer 3) are more important than ever for big Module 3 “Envisioning State and Society” (Chapters 12-16 of the third edition Search for Modern China Textbook). You may want to suggest improvements for the Timeline and Map as your Show and Tell Module 3 project, too.

Table of Contents

Background

Readings

As always: Basic Set, and then pick one of the exploration packs of your choice

Basic Set

  • Chapter 11 summary
  • Chapter 12 summary
  • OPTIONAL:
    • Moïse Edwin E. Modern China: A History Third ed. Harlow, England: Pearson/Longman, 2008. (ebook Trexler)
      • pp. 47-51 give you a basic overview of the events.
    •  Dillon, Michael. China: A Modern History. London: I.B. Tauris, 2010. (ebook Trexler)
      • Chapters 5 and 6 cover roughly the same period.
    • Videos from Prof. Mullaney:
      • Videos 19-24 in the playlist “The Qing Empire” (“Tongzhi Restoration” to “The Qing Dynasty is Overthrown” (Note that some of these are on the longer side: up to 20 mins. Pick and mix as you need more info on a particular issue)
      • Videos 1-4 in the playlist “Republican China” (Again: some of these are on the longer side, but they have nice visuals now too!)

Exploration Pack 1: Plain textbook

  • Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China. Third ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013.
    • Chapters 11 and 12 and 13 (“The New Republic”)
  • 11.5: “Press Coverage of the Wuchang Uprising, 1911”, and 11.6: “The Manchu Abdication Edict,” in The Search for Modern China: A Documentary Collection. Third ed. Edited by Janet Chen et. al. W. W. Norton & Company, 2014.
    • (Sorry, no PDF: textbook with orange cover) #revolution, #politics, #violence, #rebellion, #dissident
  • 12.3: “Japan’s 21 Demands”  in The Search for Modern China: A Documentary Collection. Third ed. Edited by Janet Chen et. al. W. W. Norton & Company, 2014.
    • Japan: PDF; Chen Duxiu: PDF #foreignrelations #japan #activism #politics
    • How do the Twenty-one demands with with what we have seen already about Chinese-Japanese interactions since Japan started to modernize in 1868 (the so-called Meiji Restoration)? What kind of resistance can China offer against it’s aggressive neighbor?

Exploration Pack 2: Feminist, revolutionary, woman

Qiu Jin was a female revolutionary who put her male counterparts to shame! You also learn from her story a lot about what ailed the Qing, and the revolutionaries in general. (Mentioned in textbook chapter 10, but worth a little detour this week)

  • Autumn Gem. Produced by Adam Tow. Directed by Kanopy (Firm). Adam Tow, 2009.
    •  Online Video, 53 mins #feminism, #gender #politics #nationalism #revolution
    • Click on “show more”, note at the bottom of the summary the link to “supplementary materials” which has a handy “study guide”, full of useful background information.
  • “The Beheaded Feminist: Qiu Jin”. In The Red Brush: Writing Women of Imperial China. Edited by Wilt Idema and Beata Grant, 767-808. Harvard East Asian Monographs, 231. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2004.
    • PDF #feminism, #gender #politics #nationalism #revolution
    • Note: I marked off 3 sections with red brackets to focus on (starting on p. 780, 786, 796) but I gave you the entire chapter to provide background, in case you want the additional info. 
    • Should we describe Qiu Jin as a feminist, or as a revolutionary? What in her writings points you to one or the other of these labels?

Exploration Pack 3: The Chinese labor force at the European front

  • Xu, Guoqi. Strangers on the Western Front: Chinese Workers in the Great War. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2011. (ebook Trexler) #migration #foreignrelations #europe
    • Read chapter 4 “Strangers in a Strange World: Chinese Lives in Europe”
    • How does this compare with the experience of the Chinese laborers in the US (where the Chinese Exclusion Act was still in operation; remember, it was not rescinded until 1943)
  • Photo gallery (slides) (Gdrive link): cemetery in Noyelles-Sur-Mer (France). #foreignrelations #war
    • Note that most of the Chinese laborers buried here died after the armistice of Nov. 11, 1918, due to the Spanish flu.

Assignments

Peer feedback on post Week 5

3 points, due Monday March 15 by 11.59pm. (Date adjusted due to Yom Kippur)

Ok, you know the drill, and why reading other’s posts is good for you… Below you find links to four blog posts from your fellow students. If one of the websites is your own, or it is twice the same person’s, refresh the page, and you should get new sites.

  • Post 1:
  • Post 2:
  • Post 3:
  • Post 4:

Leave feedback, questions, thoughts, insights about the contents of the posts of your fellow students using Hypothes.is group HST271. You can ask for clarifications, point out similarities and differences with the material you covered, or with your interpretation. This should encourage you to nose around in the other materials you did not read in the first round.

Use the “Architect’s Model” of giving feedback, and engage with concrete issues. Go beyond “Yeah, I agree,” “I like” or “I think the same”, and instead explain why you have that reaction, or if you disagree, you can try to persuade the original poster of your idea or interpretation.

Use tags in Hypothes.is: question: If you have a question (obvious); answered: if you gave an answer to a question; info: if you provide more information, looking up additional facts, drawing on knowledge from other classes; and other tags you can think of. This will help us to navigate more quickly to the questions that still need answering.

Remember that Hypothes.is allows for hyperlinks, e.g. to materials that support your argument, or you can include pictures (memes! [yes, there she is again]), videos etc. that help the original poster to learn more.

When you’ve commented on four posts, read this declaration carefully, and then fill out the Canvas quiz to collect your points.

Declaration
– I commented on four fellow students’ initial posts on the readings from Week 5, using the group HST271.
– I made sure to leave substantial comments that move the discussion forward and help to create better insights, and go beyond a “nice” or “great”.
– I left comments that I would like to receive myself: thoughtful, helpful, kind, but also pointing out errors so they can be fixed.

Feedback on Show and Tell projects

  • Not graded, but part of the “Participation in the Learning commons/Professionalism”
  • Please aim to complete by Monday March 22

Below you’ll find links to two Show and Tell projects from fellow students. Please share your feedback with them, for instance:

  • what do you like about the format?
  • what did or did not quite work?
  • what helped you understand this particular period of Chinese history better?
  • what suggestions do you have for a make-over/redo?
    • you can re-submit your Show and Tell project anytime before the close of the semester for a better grade; think of the kind of advice you’d like to get to help you achieve that!
  • do you think the project can help future students, and should I use it next time I run the course?

Leave your comments on the blog-post either as a page note in the Hypothes.is group HST271 or if you can annotate the text itself, highlight and mark up with Hypothes.is.

If one of the websites is your own, or it is twice the same person’s, refresh the page, and you should get new sites.

  • Project 1:
  • Project 2:

Blog post

5 points, due by Thursday, March 18, 11.59pm.

Write a blog post exploring themes or ideas based on your reading. You do not need to have all the answers. In fact, learning to ask good analytical or research questions is a skill you can develop during the semester.

  • Length: approx. 400 words. excl. list of materials consulted.
  • Add the list of materials consulted at the end of the post, in Chicago notes and bibliography style.
    • TOP TIP: Just copy the bibliography information from the Reading list here.
  • Add the words “Week 6” in the title (please use this exact phrase, or it trips up the filter I created to have your posts show up in the blog stream)
  • Indicate in your post which Exploration Pack you chose.
  • Including an image, and make sure to add a caption with the source/credit.
  • Post on your website, and add to the category hst271.

When you’re done, read this declaration carefully and then fill out the Canvas quiz to collect your points.

Declaration
– I wrote a post of approximately 400 words in response to the readings.
– I included the bibliographic references for the materials I used for my post.
– I indicated which Exploration Pack I chose.
– I included an image, and I provided a caption and credit (source) for the image.
– I use the words Week 6 in the title, and added the post to category hst271

Peer feedback on post Week 6

3 points, due Monday March 22 by 11.59pm.

Ok, you know the drill, and why reading other’s posts is good for you… Below you find links to four blog posts from your fellow students. If one of the websites is your own, or it is twice the same person’s, refresh the page, and you should get new sites. Please give feedback on all four posts:

  • Post 1:
  • Post 2:
  • Post 3:
  • Post 4:

Leave feedback, questions, thoughts, insights about the contents of the posts of your fellow students using Hypothes.is group HST271. You can ask for clarifications, point out similarities and differences with the material you covered, or with your interpretation. This should encourage you to nose around in the other materials you did not read in the first round.

Use the “Architect’s Model” of giving feedback, and engage with concrete issues. Go beyond “Yeah, I agree,” “I like” or “I think the same”, and instead explain why you have that reaction, or if you disagree, you can try to persuade the original poster of your idea or interpretation.

Use tags in Hypothes.is: question: If you have a question (obvious); answered: if you gave an answer to a question; info: if you provide more information, looking up additional facts, drawing on knowledge from other classes; and other tags you can think of. This will help us to navigate more quickly to the questions that still need answering.

Remember that Hypothes.is allows for hyperlinks, e.g. to materials that support your argument, or you can include pictures (memes! [yes, there she is again]), videos etc. that help the original poster to learn more.

When you’ve commented on four posts, read this declaration carefully, and then fill out the Canvas quiz to collect your points.

Declaration
– I commented on four fellow students’ initial posts on the readings from Week 6, using the group HST271.
– I made sure to leave substantial comments that move the discussion forward and help to create better insights, and go beyond a “nice” or “great”.
– I left comments that I would like to receive myself: thoughtful, helpful, kind, but also pointing out errors so they can be fixed.

Show and Tell project for Module 2 (Fragmentation and Reform – weeks 4-5-6 (and a half))

  • Brainstorm/project pitch on Google chat room due by Tuesday, March 23, 11.59pm.
  • Project itself: due on Friday March 26., 11.59pm

Find all the details, suggestions for formats, and suggestions for additional materials on this dedicated webpage, as well as information on how and where to submit. (You submit a link on Canvas in this assignment)

Meeting with instructor:

as described in the syllabus: First of two mandatory meetings with instructor (video or voice-only), either individually or in a group of maximum three students: pass/fail

This is a chance for you to check in with me individually or in a small group of maximum three students total, so I get to know you a little bit better and what motivates you in this course.

This is a brief conversation, no need to over-prepare. Topics we can touch on include
– how the course is going so far, what you are learning (but maybe did not expect to)
– what you find a bit more difficult
– what you would like to do differently
– what your goals are for the rest of the semester, or intermediate goals for the course

It is really up to you to guide the conversation. Count on 15 min. max. Make an appointment using the Google calendar, or drop by during Get Stuff Done Club (Wed. and Thu 2-3 PM)

This assignment will be available in the weekly modules until week seven (March 26). Complete well before then.

Extra Credit Tasks

EC 6-1:Rewrite a post

3 points, due by Sunday March 21d, 11.59pm

Unhappy about a post you wrote? Feeling you can do better now than a few weeks ago? Had a bad week and rushed to get it in but now you’re ready to do something you can be proud of? Now you can rewrite a post and get extra credit for it!

  • Pick a post from a previous week and use the comments you received to rewrite it.
  • Add a brief paragraph at the end explaining how you rewrote the post: which comments did you address, how did you go about the process (new blank page vs. tinkering), and what you learned about the process of rewriting.
  • tag the post with extra, and add the word rewrite to the title

Read the following Declaration carefully, and then head on over to Canvas to collect your points in the Declaration Quiz:

Declaration
I selected a post from a previous week and rewrote it, using feedback and insights I gained since writing it.
I added a brief paragraph at the end explaining what I did to rewrite the post, and what I learned about rewriting
I added the tag extra to the post, and added the word rewrite to the title.
I made sure the post is still in the category hst271.

EC 6-2: Creative Commons image search

2 points, due by Sunday, March 21, 11.59pm

Check out all the details on this dedicated webpage: where to look for images that are free from worries about copy-right issues! Link to the Declaration Quiz is there as well.

Where to ask questions

Remember that it is highly likely that you are not the only one with that question. Save me time, and help your fellow students by asking questions where others can see them. If you know the answer to a question, jump in! I can’t be everywhere all the time.

Missing link? Wrong information? Email me!

On to week 7: Coming soon!