Week 6: A New Republic, and a Road is Made

Sept. 28- Oct. 4

Check you have completed the assignments for Week 5

First week of 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”. I’m including this week a slide deck to give you a few visuals, including a rough overview 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? It 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 and Map 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), and to give us some time I have created a buffer in Week 8 with “just” one chapter on the menu (check the Weekly schedule for a look ahead). You may want to suggest improvements for the Timeline and Map as your Show and Tell Module 3 project, too.

Table of Contents

Background

  • Slide Deck (Google Drive)
    • Please check the Presenter View, so you can see the notes with additional information on some slides.
  • Timeline Part 3
  • Map layer Part 3
  • Note on “Communism”: To understand the future trajectory of Chinese history, we need to understand what communism really means, not the caricature its opponents have made of it; and we need to know how leading figures in China understood (and still understand) the dynamics of history. Unfortunately those are very complex sets of ideas, and we could dedicate an entire semester to those topics alone, so we have to make do with the basics of the basics. Chinese thinkers based their views on history on Marx and Engels’ interpretations. The rigid adherence to Marxist framework of history creates all sorts of problems, so I suggest we don’t follow it per se. We can engage with the broader conceptual questions (e.g. who has power? does it change how power is defined, e.g. from holding land to holding money? does that group change? What influence does that have on economy, foreign relations, society, culture or how do these areas influence ideas and sources of power?), but let’s not try to break our head over the moment when China moved from “feudal” to “bourgeois” society, because those models constrict rather than help. Keep this in mind for future weeks, it will come back – like the specter that haunted Europe!

Readings

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

Basic Set

In addition to the summaries made by your predecessors, we now also have two additional text books in the library as e-books, and I will provide them as optional extras from now on. (Please poke me if I forget to add them!)

  • Chapter 12 summary
  • Chapter 13 summary
  • Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels. The Communist Manifesto: The sesquicentennial edition with an introduction by Martin Malia. Signet Classic. Penguin, New York, 1998. (PDF) #communism #ideology #government
    • I’ve given you the whole thing, but check for the sections I indicated with red brackets that (I think) are useful to understand what made communism attractive to early twentieth-century Chinese intellectuals.
  • OPTIONAL: RSA Animate. “David Harvey: Crises of Capitalism – A Cognitive Whiteboard Animation”, Youtube video. URL: https://youtu.be/p8xEVjRiIeM #communism #ideology
    • 11 mins, explaining the 2008 crisis, but for a Marxist view of the economy, the underlying principles also work for earlier periods, including the early twentieth century. Can you see what made it attractive to certain Chinese intellectuals
  • OPTIONAL: Moïse Edwin E. Modern China: A History Third ed. Harlow, England: Pearson/Longman, 2008. (ebook Trexler)
    • pp. 47-53 give you a basic overview of the events.
  • OPTIONAL: Dillon, Michael. China: A Modern History. London: I.B. Tauris, 2010. (ebook Trexler)
    • Chapters 6 and 7 cover roughly the same period

Exploration Pack 1: Plain textbook

  • Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China. Third ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013.
    • Chapters 12 and 13 (“The New Republic” and “A Road is Made”)
  • 12.3: “Japan’s 21 Demands” and 13.1: Chen Duxiu: “Call to Youth” 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 neighbour?
    • Chen Duxiu’s PDF coming on Sunday morning! Questions: How does this text feel dfferent from earlier materials we read? Does it still speak to you, a young person from the twenty-first century, or is its overall message too specific? How does Chen try to move the Chinese people to action?

Exploration Pack 2: 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; in fact, it was not rescinded until 1943)
  • Photo – slide deck (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.

Exploration Pack 3: May Fourth Movement and beginnings of Communism in China

  • Sun Yatsen. “The Three People’s Principles” in Sources of Chinese Tradition: From 1600 through the Twentieth Century, Vol. 2, 202-205. Edited by Wm. Th. de Bary and R. Lufrano. Columbia Univ. Press, 2001. (PDF) #ideology #politics
    • Sun’s legacy is claimed by both the Nationalist (Guomindang or GMD /Kuomintang or KMT) party and the Communist Party (CCP)
  • Lu Xun, “Diary of a madman”. Translated by William A. Lyell. In Diary of a Madman and Other Stories. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, 1990. (PDF) #literature #modernism #art

Assignments

Peer feedback on post Week 5

3 points, due Tuesday Sept. 29 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.

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 Sept. 30.

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, Oct. 1. 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 Oct. 5 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.

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.

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

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)

Extra Credit Tasks

EC 6-1:Rewrite a post

3 points, due by Sunday Oct 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.

EC 6-2: Creative Commons image search

2 points, due by Sunday, Oct. 4, 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! (Hey, I’m disappointed, nobody told me there was a dead link for a Canvas quiz on the page for week 5!)

On to week 7: Coming soon!