Week 08: Mar. 29 – Apr. 4

Check you have completed the assignments for Week 7!

Table of Contents

Background

As pointed out in the opening remarks for week 7, a Chinese politician’s highest goal is to unify the state under one single political leader, yet it is not abnormal to see a lack of political or territorial unity.

Sun Yatsen’s dream of a Chinese Republic became ever harder to find, after his successor Chiang Kaishek had in 1927 turned against the Communists. But before long, he would be urged in no uncertain terms to unite with them against the Japanese troops who had begun to encroach on Chinese territory. At the same time, the Communists tried to survive in the northern part of the country, in Yan’an, the Nationalist government was trying to stabilize its rule and the economy, but with little success.

Why does this matter? This week wraps up the third big module or part of the course, where we saw a new kind of China emerge from the ruins of the Qing dynasty. The young CCP nearly did not make it, but it did. And the legends that were created out of its survival against the odds (“The Battle of the Luding Bridge”, the Long March in general, the reforms of all kinds in Yan’an) still serve the CCP nowadays. The mismanagement of the political and economic situation in comparison by the Nationalists can be rolled out to discredit the alternative paths for China’s future development: “look at how well that worked out for our country”…

To understand a bit more about the Japanese presence in China, check out this newsreel (accessible through Trexler Library)

Readings

Basic Set

  • Slide deck (Gdrive link)
  • Summary chapter 15
  • Summary of chapter 16
  • “Emergency Laws.” In The Search for Modern China: A Documentary Collection. Third ed. Edited by Janet Chen et. al. W. W. Norton & Company, 2014.
    • PDF; #government #authoritarianism
    • Is a state which introduces these kinds of emergency laws “in power”?
  • “The Tale of the Luding Bridge.” In The Search for Modern China: A Documentary Collection, Third ed. Edited by Janet Chen et. al., W. W. Norton & Company, 2014.
    • PDF #military #propaganda #PLA (People’s Liberation Army)
    • This is a good example of a heroic action (undoubtedly), that became the stuff of legend in later decades.
  • OPTIONAL EXTRAS:
    • Crossely, Pamela. The Wobbling Pivot: China since 1800. Wiley-Blackwell.
      • Chapter 13: “War”, up to p. 198.
      • This helps to place WWII in the wider context of decades of violence and war in China.
    • Moïse Edwin E. Modern China: A History Third ed. Harlow, England: Pearson/Longman, 2008.
    • Dillon, Michael. China: A Modern History. London: I.B. Tauris, 2010.
      • ebook Trexler, pp. 188-227.
      • Note that both authors of these two optional textbooks try to follow the chronological sequence of events, Spence does not. I’m not sure which is the better way.
    • Hergé. Tintin: The Blue Lotus.
      • PDF; #Japan, #colonialism
      • These extracts from the Blue Lotus shows how Hergé wove current affairs (in red brackets) into his adventures of Tintin. He collaborated closely with Zhang Chongren, a Chinese sculptor and personal friend of Hergé.
      • Compare with the Japanese description of the incident in The Search for Modern China: A Documentary Collection. Third ed. Edited by Janet Chen et. al. W. W. Norton & Company, 2014. (PDF)
    • Hershatter, Gail. The Gender of Memory: Rural Women and China’s Collective Past. Asia Pacific Modern, 8. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011.
      • ebook Trexler; #women
      • Chapter 2: “No One is Home”: the sections in italic are based on interviews with women; the researchers then place these stories in the broader context, and in particular look at how these women make sense of these stories within the new framework of the language and worldview they learned from the communists. But the core of their experiences gives you a very good idea of what life was like in northern rural China before 1949.
      • The whole book is fascinating and worth a read.
    • NEWSREEL: “China’s Dictator Kidnapped”. Narrated by Westbrook Van Voorhis, In March of Time, Volume 3, Episode 5 (New York, NY: HBO, 1936), 10 minutes. https://video-alexanderstreet-com.muhlenberg.idm.oclc.org/watch/china-s-dictator-kidnapped.
    • This newsreel from 1936 provides background on the early encroachment of the Japanese on Chinese territory, the development of the Chinese economy (in particular Shanghai) and concludes with the Xi’an incident.

Exploration Pack 1: Plain Textbook

  • Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China. Third ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013.
    • Chapters 15 and 16 (“The Guomindang in Power” and “Communist Survival”)

Exploration Pack 2: Western Journalists and the CCP

  • Snow, Edgar. Red Star Over China. 1st rev. and enl. ed. New York: Grove Press, 1968, First published 1938 by Random House.
    • PDF Part 2 – section 2: “The Insurrectionist” (portrait of Zhou Enlai [Chou Enlai]); Part 3 – section 1: “Soviet Strong Man” (interview with Mao Zedong [Mao Tse-tung])
    • #journalism, #communism
    • Edgar Snow’s Red Star Over China was the first comprehensive account of the communist occupied areas in northern China, after the Long March. Without other reliable information available, this book became a must-read for anybody who wanted to know what was going on inside “Red China” at the time. Note that at this time the CCP was not yet in Yan’an but in the nearby Bao’an.
  • Smedley, Agnes, J. F Horrabin, and Victor Gollancz Ltd. China Fights Back: An American Woman with the Eighth Route Army. Left Book Club Edition. London: V. Gollancz, 1938.
    • PDF, #journalism, #communism, #war
    • Note: The Eighth Route Army was the name for the Communist Army.
    • Agnes Smedley was not shy about her sympathies for the communist cause, and as a journalist had already earlier reported on their travails during the Long March, but never was she as close to the action as during the late 1930s. This is a small section when she tagged along with Lin Biao (Lin Piao in her transcription), who will rise to become Mao’s designated successor until his sudden fall from power in 1971.
  • OPTIONAL EXTRA:
    • Spence, Jonathan D. To Change China: Western Advisers in China, 1620-1960. New York: Penguin Books, 1980. First published 1969 by Little, Brown, and Co.
      • Chapter 8: “Todd and Bethune: Overcome All Terrors” (PDF, second part only) #development #communism #humanitarian-aid
      • Norman Bethune was a Canadian surgeon who helped the CCP in Yan’an, as a front-line surgeon. His work would now be seen as humanitarian aid but his actions were clearly motivated by something akin to a religious calling, except it was to advance the communist cause. His words are humbling, and yet somewhat naïve about human nature.

Exploration Pack 3: Life in Shanghai

  • Carter, James. Champions Day : The End of Old Shanghai. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2020.
    • (PDF) #shanghai, #entertainment #international-community
    • Chapters 5 and 6 give you a good insight in the complex international patchwork of Shanghai: it had multiple international concessions. The book takes place against the background of WWII (a few weeks into the future in our semester), but focus instead on the question of “cosmopolitan” life in Shanghai: what made Shanghai an international city? A desirable place to be? What were the relations between Westerners and Chinese people like?
  • OPTIONAL EXTRAS:
    • “The Seven Great Singing Stars of Shanghai” on The China History Podcast (3 episodes).
    • Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
    • There are multiple books on Shanghai night life and the jazz scene, and 1920s-40s Shanghai is the backdrop for many films. Let me know if you want to explore more!

Assignments

Peer feedback on post Week 7 (reminder)

3 points, due Monday March 29, 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. You may find a few older posts that don’t have comments yet: please leave some feedback, so your fellow students can ponder the possibility of a rewrite still!

  • 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’ posts on the readings from Week 7, 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.

Blog post week 8

5 points, due by Thursday, April 1, 11.59pm. (Yeah, really. Not an April Fool’s joke)

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 8” 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. No #, no seven, no nothing. Just exactly Week 8. Thanks!)
  • 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 8 in the title, and added the post to category hst271

Peer feedback on post Week 8

3 points, due Tuesday, April 6 by 11.59pm [allowing for Easter Monday]

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’ posts on the readings from Week 8, 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.

Extra Credit Tasks

EC 8-1: Extra commenting

2 points, due by Sunday April 4, 11.59pm.

Do you like reading your colleagues’ work? Do you like helping them out by identifying ways to make their posts better? Now you can earn extra credit by doing extra commenting! This assignment will be available regularly throughout the semester.

  • Go to the Blog Stream of the Class under Student Posts on the website
  • Pick a post that piques your curiosity and that you have not yet commented on
  • Use Hypothes.is group HST271, and leave feedback as we practiced with the Architects’s model
  • Pick 2 additional posts (a total of 3 for this task): they can come from other students in the blog stream, or if you like the writer, you can stay with them and comment more.
  • The only conditions are:
    • that you do not comment on blog posts you already commented on before, as part of your regular weekly “Exploration” tasks.
    • that the post is actually written for HST271, and not some other class. Check the category, and the content :upside down smiley:
  • Add the tag extra to the comment (this helps me to keep track of how many people use this option.)

When you’re done, please read this declaration carefully and collect your points with the Canvas Declaration Quiz.

Declaration
I selected three blogs I have not yet commented on before, from our class’ blog stream, and I used the Hypothes.is group HST271 to comment.
I made sure to leave substantial comments that help the writer to improve the post, or to identify their strengths.
I added the tag extra to my Hypothes.is comments.
I left comments that I would like to receive myself: thoughtful, helpful, kind, but also pointing out errors so they can be fixed.

EC 8-2: Rewrite a post

3 points, due by Sunday April 4, 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.

Get Ready! Show and Tell project for Module 3 (Envisioning State and Society – weeks 6 (and a half), 7 and 8)

“Wait what?? We only just finished that project for Module 2?!?!” Yes, I know! They go at fast clip! Have a browse through the materials from the past weeks, and see what piqued your curiosity. And have a look through the different suggestions for response papers: some movies now available too, in addition to books!

  • Brainstorm/project pitch on Google chat room due by Tuesday, April 6, 11.59pm.
  • Project itself: due on Friday April 9., 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)

And check out the Show and Tell projects from Module 2 and give feedback: here are three random ones:

  • Random project 1:
  • Random project 2:
  • Randome project 3:

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!