Courses by semester

Courses for Spring 2024

Complete Cornell University course descriptions are in the Courses of Study .

Course ID Title Offered
CAPS2230 Introduction to China: Outsiders in History
This is an introduction of Chinese civilization from ancient times up to the end of the Chinese empire in 1911. It is intended to familiarize students with the major concepts of Chinese history, society, and culture, focusing on the stories of people that have been often neglected in canonical histories, such as the merchants, women, travelers, and ethnic minorities from the thirteenth to the nineteenth century.

Full details for CAPS 2230 - Introduction to China: Outsiders in History

CAPS2435 Global Maoism: History and Present
Maoism and Chinese Communism are not history after Mao's death in 1976. In China, Maoism holds the key to the enduring success of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), one of the most remarkable organizations of the 20th and 21st centuries that has survived the collapse of communism in Europe and the USSR. With the beneficial transformation brought by capitalism and globalization in China, the end of the Cold War and the narrative of the "end of history" cannot explain the resurgence of Maoism.

Full details for CAPS 2435 - Global Maoism: History and Present

CAPS2575 Tyranny and Dignity: Chinese Women from the Cultural Revolution to the White Paper Revolution
This course focuses on the human condition of Chinese women after 1949. In the name of the Women's liberation movement since the early 1900s, do Chinese women eventually hold up the half sky? From the cradle to the grave, what was most challenging in women's life? How did political, economic, and cultural forces frame women's professional careers and private life? No judgments nor imaginations. Using multi-media, such as Chinese independent documentary films, music, and photographs, students will discover the hidden stories behind the mainstream narratives. Workshops with film directors, pop music singers, and photographers offer students an unusual way of accessing all backstage field experiences.

Full details for CAPS 2575 - Tyranny and Dignity: Chinese Women from the Cultural Revolution to the White Paper Revolution

CAPS2931 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

Full details for CAPS 2931 - Making of an Empire in China

CAPS3049 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.

Full details for CAPS 3049 - China's Next Economy

CAPS3307 Readings in Classical Chinese Literature
A guided reading in the original language designed to introduce students to a variety of genres and styles of classical Chinese literature while at the same time helping students achieve competence in reading classical Chinese at an advanced level. The syllabus, with a rotating thematic focus, normally includes philosophical works, historical texts, poetry and prose, anecdotes and fiction. Please consult the Department of Asian Studies course offerings for each year's thematic focus.

Full details for CAPS 3307 - Readings in Classical Chinese Literature

CAPS3329 Literature of Leaving China
Ever since the creation of the concept of a culturally and geographically stable center in China, people have been intentionally excluded from that center. Disgraced officials are sent to far-flung provinces, loyalists to past regimes hide out across China's borders, and dissidents have their entry visas revoked, making it impossible for them to return home. The experiences of these people, and the poems and stories they write, tell us a great deal about what it means and how it feels to be included and excluded. What is the difference between the way China looks from the inside and the way it looks from the outside? Who has the power to decide who gets to live in China, and how and why do they use it? What is the relationship between our identities and our homes? Texts studied will range from 300 BCE to the present; all will be read and discussed in English. 

Full details for CAPS 3329 - Literature of Leaving China

CAPS4002 Chinese Perspectives on International and Global Affairs
This course, offered by faculty members of Peking University's School of International Studies, provides Chinese perspectives on contemporary China's international relations.

Full details for CAPS 4002 - Chinese Perspectives on International and Global Affairs

Fall, Spring.
CAPS4003 Experiencing Global China
This seminar course aims to examine how contemporary China has been seeking meaningful values and effective institutions which could realistically link past, present, and future in its modernization drive. It is offered for students who participate in the CAPS study abroad semester in Beijing, and organized under the five topics – historical China, developmental China, digital China, environmental China, and governing China – from an interdisciplinary and Global China perspective.

Full details for CAPS 4003 - Experiencing Global China

CAPS4010 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.

Full details for CAPS 4010 - Honors Thesis Tutorial I

Fall, Spring.
CAPS4020 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.

Full details for CAPS 4020 - Honors Thesis Tutorial II

Fall, Spring.
CAPS4127 The Body Politic in Asia
Visions of bodily corruption preoccupy ruler and ruled alike and prompt campaigns for moral, medical, and legal reform in periods of both stability and revolution. This seminar explores the links between political, sexual, and scientific revolutions in early modern and modern Asia. The focus is on China and Japan, with secondary attention to South Asia and Korea. Interaction with the West is a major theme. Topics include disease control, birth control and population control, body modification, the history of masculinity, honorific violence and sexual violence, the science of sex, normative and stigmatized sexualities, fashion, disability, and eugenics. The course begins with an exploration of regimes of the body in "traditional" Asian cultures. The course then turns to the medicalization and modernization of the body under the major rival political movements in Asia: feminism, imperialism, nationalism, and communism.

Full details for CAPS 4127 - The Body Politic in Asia

CAPS4418 Stories of Love and Romance in Stories from Tang Dynasty
Through guided reading in Chinese, this course explores topics, themes and techniques that define a type of narrative work known as chuanqi (stories of the marvelous), which were written by Tang dynasty literati on the subject of love, romance, and betrayal. The aim of the course is to help students achieve an appreciation for the early development of Chinese fiction in the context of Tang literary and popular culture.

Full details for CAPS 4418 - Stories of Love and Romance in Stories from Tang Dynasty

CAPS4502 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.

Full details for CAPS 4502 - Becoming a China Hand

CAPS4773 Twice A Stranger: Transnational Figures and Their Stories
What does it mean to travel across political and cultural boundaries? How are people's thought, behavior, and identity shaped by such experiences and vice versa? How do historians explore and represent transnational and transcultural figures and their stories? Is it possible for historians to help the audience not only understand but also "experience" transnationality through narrative? The relationship between analytical history and history as narrative is complex and everchanging. We build on this relationship not by theorizing it but by examining history works and practicing writing history, in the context of lives and stories of transnational figures, that integrates analysis and narrative. Students read analytical works and narratives about people who operated, willingly or not, in multiple geographical, political, cultural, and religious worlds. While reflecting on the pros and cons of approaching history writing in different ways, students also develop skills in working on primary sources and develop projects on transnational figures of their own choice from any areas or historical times, from proposal to full-fledged papers.

Full details for CAPS 4773 - Twice A Stranger: Transnational Figures and Their Stories

CAPS4888 Directed Study - Beijing
This directed study course allows CAPS students to enroll at Beida (Peking University) in courses offered to international students by the Peking University School of International Studies.

Full details for CAPS 4888 - Directed Study - Beijing

Fall, Spring.
CAPS4999 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.

Full details for CAPS 4999 - CAPS Independent Study

Fall, Spring.