Courses - Spring 2021

CAPS 2212 Introduction to China

Interdisciplinary introduction to Chinese culture especially designed for students not majoring in Asian Studies. Explores literature, history, religion, and art, and other aspects of China's rich and diverse heritage, from earliest times to the present.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Suyoung Son (ss994)
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CAPS 2931 Making of an Empire in China

The Great Qing (1644-1911), a multi-ethnic empire that conquered China proper from the northeastern borderlands, expanded into central Asia, Mongolia, and Tibet, and consolidated the China-based empire's control over its southwestern frontiers. An heir to both Chinese and Inner Asian traditions, the Qing empire laid the foundation for the modern Chinese nation-state. In this course, students will focus on the political, legal, social, cultural, and intellectual aspects of China's long eighteenth century. Students will also locate the early modern Chinese empire in a regional and global context, examining its power influence in Korea and Southeast Asia, and its encounters and interactions with Western and Japanese imperialist powers. These encounters and interactions contributed to the domestic turmoil and foreign invasions that eventually led to the demise of China's imperial tradition. But they also gave rise to new forces that would shape the fate of modern China in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. From Spring 2021 onward, this course fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for History Major

Distribution: (HA-AS, GLC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Yue Du (yd367)
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CAPS 2985 Transformations in Twentieth Century China

The twentieth century was a time of unprecedented change in China as the country's ancient imperial system collapsed and a new modern order began to emerge. This course will explore the myriad transformations that occurred during this remarkable century of revolution and renewal. Among the major changes that we will focus on are the fall of the Qing dynasty, the intellectual awakening of May Fourth, the rise of the Nationalist party-state, and key events of the Communist era, such as the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution under Mao Zedong and the capitalist reforms of Deng Xiaoping. The class will encourage historical reflection on China's engagement with the modern world in order to better understand the complex reality of China today.

Distribution: (HA-AS, GLC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: John Barwick (jsb435)
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CAPS 3049 China's Next Economy

This course provides students with an analytical framework to understand China's ongoing economic transformation. The courses goals include: 1) to familiarize students with different perspectives on China's economic development and future prospects; 2) to provide a close working knowledge of the evolving current situation, with a focus on internal variation within China—telling different Chinese stories, not one "China story"—and particularly emphasizing urbanization and the goal of shifting from manufacturing and export-led to services and domestic-led economy; and 3) to give students hands-on experience using Chinese economic data in the context of a brief research note. Each week will connect to current events and debates, with students writing three blog posts over the course of the semester to bring academic research and social scientific analysis to bear upon policy-relevant questions and developments.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, GLC-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jeremy Wallace (jlw397)
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CAPS 3395 Empire of the Migrants

The Chinese diaspora can be found in nearly every corner of the globe today. Although Chinese emigration accelerated under what came to be known as "globalization" in the late 20th century, in fact the global movement of Chinese people is not a new phenomenon. This course will use both internal migration and global immigration as a lens for understanding China's development, politics, and society more broadly. In focusing on the period from the mid-19th century to the present, we will see that the movement of Chinese people has both shaped, and been shaped by, colonialism, the global economy, and international politics. 

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Eli Friedman (edf48)
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CAPS 4010 Honors Thesis Tutorial I

Honors students conduct research to prepare a thesis on a topic of their own choosing under the direction of a faculty member. The application must be successfully submitted and an Honors Committee formed by the end of applicant's junior year in order for the student to be an honors candidate. Permission to enroll in CAPS 4020 is contingent upon the advisor's judgment of the viability of the student's honors thesis by the end of the semester.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jeremy Wallace (jlw397)
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CAPS 4020 Honors Thesis Tutorial II

Honors students complete research and finish a thesis on a topic of their own choosing under the direction of a faculty member.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Allen Carlson (arc26)
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CAPS 4030 Making Sense of China: The Capstone Seminar

This course serves as a survey of major issues within Chinese politics and foreign policy and constitutes the capstone seminar for CAPS students.  is intended to give students an opportunity to explore aspects related to Chinese politics, economics, and society that they may have touched upon in other China-focused courses at Cornell, but have not been able to examine as fully, and with the degree of care, that they would like.  In this regard, the substance of the course will be developed through an iterative process between the instructor and the seminar participants.  We will spend the first part of the course doing a series of recent influential readings on contemporary China and developing initial research projects.  The second half of the class will be organized around student led presentations of research projects (accompanied by relevant academic, media, and policy readings).

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS, GLC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Allen Carlson (arc26)
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CAPS 4049 The Rise of China and Change in World Politics

The rise of China is one of the most important and defining themes in changing world politics. This seminar course is intended for students to examine major issues and topics concerning the rise of China against the backdrop of paradigmatic change in world politics from a historical and theoretical perspective, and to engage in the academic discourse and policy debate about dynamics of China's rise and its implications for world politics, and vice versa, how evolving world politics inform and influence the process of China's rise – namely, mutual constitution of rising China and the changing world.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, GLC-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Xu Xin (xx12)
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CAPS 4502 Becoming a China Hand

China's prominence in the news cycle and policy discourse reflects the immense and growing tension in China's relations with the United States and other countries around the world. Substantively, there is hardly a profession or sector where what happens inside China does not touch upon or impact what happens outside China. Throughout this course, we will grapple with ongoing debates over China's rise and whether policies of engagement with China have succeeded or failed. These debates are unfolding in many different communities and idea marketplaces, across many different modes and styles of analysis and writing. Each of the reading and writing assignments are aimed at developing literacy and proficiency in three different modes of analysis and writing about China: academic, policy, and journalistic. While many courses provide introductions to different aspects of China, and many seminars examine more specialized questions at even deeper levels, there are few that directly invite students to examine and explore the different ways in which scholars and professionals have written about and come to understand China.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, GLC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jessica Weiss (jcw335)
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CAPS 4772 China Imagined: The Historical and Global Origins of the Chinese Nation

As China, with its "China Dream," rises in power on the global stage, what "China" means to its inhabitants and outsiders has become an issue increasingly relevant to business, international relations, and cultural exchange, and a topic that draws intensive attention from historians and social scientists. This course brings together undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in shifting meanings embedded in the concept of "China," either as part of their research agenda, or as a useful lens for comparative analysis. Focus will be on how China as an Empire/ a Nation was conceptualized by different people in different periods and in different contexts, and on the reality and representation of China as political, cultural, racial, and geographical entities.

Distribution: (HA-AS, GLC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Yue Du (yd367)
Full details for CAPS 4772 : China Imagined: The Historical and Global Origins of the Chinese Nation
CAPS 4870 China and Asian Security

This course focuses primarily on China's evolving role in both Asia and world politics. While China may not necessarily be the sole determinant of the type of security order that will prevail in Asia, it has a profound influence on the region and potentially on the global order as well. To gain an understanding of security issues in Asia today, the seminar attempts to come to terms with the evolving nature of China's foreign policy and national security strategies. The course then concentrates on the most influential academic work on China's foreign relations and national security policies that has been published since the end of the Cold War.  

Distribution: (SBA-AS, GLC-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jessica Weiss (jcw335)
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CAPS 4999 CAPS Independent Study

Independent study course in topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course work.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Xu Xin (xx12)
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