Week 12: Nov. 13 and Nov. 15

Check you have done your assignments by Tue Oct. 29, 6pm.

User login and password for PDFs can be found on the Canvas Home Page

Wed. Nov. 13: Han people under Mongol rule: The Yuan dynasty

  • Textbook: Hansen, Valerie. The Open Empire: A History of China to 1800Chapter 9 (part 2)
  • Primary source 1: Owen, Stephen. An Anthology of Chinese Literature : Beginnings to 1911. 1st Ed. ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 1996.(PDF)
            • Extract from Wen Tingxiang’s Account of the Compass pp. 713-719. (it’s ok to skim the poetry; main passage of interest marked in red brackets; you may read the longer translated section.)
            • Introductory notes from the translator included for your reference. Wen was a loyalist of the Song regime. He had been captured by the Mongols, but escaped. In this passage he is making his way south to what remains of the Song court. Mongol soldiers (northerners) were hunting him down, and southerners did not trust him, thinking he was a spy, only pretending to have escaped.
            • How reliable is this source, from a die-hard loyalist who’s unable to make contact with the authorities on whose behalf he is fighting?
  • Primary source 2: Six Yüan Plays. Translated by Liu Jung-en. London: Penguin Books, 1977 (1973 first edition) (PDF)
            • Excerpt: The “wedge” or prologue of the play “Autumn in Han Palace”. (Marked in red brackets. The full play is included should you wish to read it.)
            • This story is set in the Han dynasty, when the Han emperors maintained peaceful relations with the Xiongnu through marriage of imperial princesses (heqin diplomacy). In this play, the emperor was supposed to pick the most ugly of his concubines to send to the Xiongnu leader (here a Khan, not a chanyu/shanyu). Wang Zhaojun, one of the concubines, refused to bribe the court painter, so out of spite he made sure her portrait did not reveal her true beauty. As a result, she was chosen to marry the “Khan” (“Chanyu” for the historical Xiongnu), and only when it was too late did the emperor realize he had been duped and lost one of the most beautiful and morally upright women in his harem.
            • You can approach this piece in multiple ways, for instance by connecting this preface to what we saw earlier about the Xiongnu during the Han (Chapter 3), or reading this in the context of Han-Chinese relations with the Mongols.
  • Google form for your suggestions to add to the map and timeline points for this class.
  • Slides (Gdrive link)

Fri. Nov. 15: Ming dynasty explorations

  • Textbook: Hansen, Valerie. The Open Empire: A History of China to 1800Chapter 10- part 1: pp. 345-63.
  • Contenxt (please read!):  While reading your section of the primary source, please hold the ideas from this text in mind: National Geographic Editorial (April 2018)
              • This editorial is a mea culpa from the current editor of NG about their past coverage on race. How would Fei Xin’s coverage of the Indian ocean add up against our present-day ideas about fair and accurate reporting? What hidden bias and subjectivity are present in Fei Xin’s text, and what does that tell us about the Ming’s view of the world?
  • Primary source:Fei Xin. Hsing-Chʻa-Sheng-Lan: The Overall Survey of the Star Raft. Translated and edited by J. V. G Mills, and Roderich Ptak. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1996. (PDF)
            • Everybody reads the Preface, but we will split up the readings on Fei Xin’s description of the countries of the Indian Ocean. Your section is indicated in the PDF (keep reading until you bump into the next student’s name), and in the list below. Per state/location, you can write 1 sticky to put on a (rudimentary, basic) map which I will attempt to draw on the board. I will provide stickies in class.
              1. Current location (if possible to identify on a map)
              2. One thing that stood out in your mind for that location (e.g. “they produce a lot of nutmeg”)
              3. Anything else that’s useful, as long as it fits onto a single sticky.
            • Part 1:
              Jonas and Chase: Champa (one sticky per person, please coordinate)
              Erin: Panduranga, Cape Varella
              Lauren: Pulau Condore, Gelam Islet
              Rose: Siam
              Bianca and Zoe: Java (one sticky per person, please coordinate)
              Dylan: Palembang, Malacca
              Amanda: Pulau Sembilan, Samudra, Tattooed Faces
              Sam: Langkasuka, Pulau Rondo, Nicobar Islands
              Florry: Ceylon, Quilon (p. 65)
              Alex: Cochin, Calicut
              Jack: Hormuz, La’sa,
              Ryan: BengalPart 2:
              Corinne: Cambodia, Pulau Aur, Tamiang
              Abby: Singapore Strait, Langawi, Timor,
              Brandin: Pahang, Taiwan, Ryukyu, Three Islands,
              Tristin: Mait Karimata, Janggala,
              Nik: Borneo, Sulu, Quilon (p.97)
              Cundao: Aden, Dhofar, Giumbo
              TDH: Maldive, Laccadive, Brawa, Mecca
  • Google form for your suggestions to add to the map and timeline points for this class.
  • Slide (Gdrive link)