Courses - Spring 2020

CAPS 1622 The World of Modern Japan

In 1868, samurai revolutionaries and their allies seized the reins of power and established a new capital they called Tokyo.  Against all odds, this fragile regime survived and made Tokyo a center of power that would transform both Japan and the world.  This survey of Japanese history explores the rise and fall of Japan as a modern imperial power; its foreign relations; its economic and scientific development from "feudalism" to futuristic technologies; and Japan's many modern revolutions, from the rule of the samurai to Westernization and democracy, from democratic collapse to fascism and World War II, and from Japan's postwar rebirth to the present.  We will examine not only big events but also everyday life, including gender and sexuality, family and schools, and art and popular culture.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kristin Roebuck (kar79)
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CAPS 2133 Social Debates in China

In this sophomore seminar, we will explore cultural, political, and social debates in China's transition from an early modern empire to a republic, and then from a vanguard of world revolution to a post-communist party-state. Through examining primary sources in various forms (treatise, speech, and film), we will focus on issues such as Confucianism, Western-inspired cultural and legal concepts, nationalism, communism, feminism, liberalism, as well as indigenous understandings and appropriations of imported -isms. The course is organized around four debates: those between constitutional reformers and revolutionaries at turn of the 20th century; between New Culture radicals and statist reformers in the 1920s and 1930s; between politicians who resorted to social and political revolutions to "save China" and writers who believed in the transformative power of "culture;" and between liberals and "leftist" intellectuals in post-1989 China; with an interlude addressing the 1960s and the 1970s, when dissenting voices were encouraged in some ways and brutally suppressed in others. Students will participate in four debates organized at the end of each 3-week section. Each student will submit four short response papers on the four social debates the course covers. In consultation with the instructor, each student will choose a social debate from modern China that is NOT addressed in the classroom, developing a historiographical paper as his/her final essay. There is no prerequisite, but pre-acquired knowledge in Chinese history and civilization is helpful.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Yue Du (yd367)
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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)
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 last empire. 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 would eventually led to the decline and demise of the Chinese empire, but they also gave rise to new forces that would shape the fate of modern China in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Yue Du (yd367)
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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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jeremy Wallace (jlw397)
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CAPS 3352 Getting Rich in Modern China

People outside China often talk about "China's rise," the changes in world economics and politics that come from the increase of the power of the People's Republic. From a domestic perspective, though, China's rise represents a promise to regular people that they will lead richer lives, both literally and figuratively. This course will examine the nature and history of that promise as it is experienced through literature, film, and other cultural texts. Why and how do PRC citizens want to get rich, and what happens when they don't? How does economic class shape identity in contemporary China? Can parts of the population be happy outside of the pursuit of material wealth? All texts in the course will be available in English, and most primary texts will be available in Chinese; writing assignments will be submitted in English.

Distribution: (LA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Nick Admussen (na347)
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CAPS 3370 Nature Imagined and Experienced: Ancient Chinese Travel Literature

This course traces the development of travel writing from the Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 221) to the Song dynasty (960–1279). Special attention is paid to the ways in which Chinese writers have ceaselessly negotiated humankind's relationship with the natural world in their accounts of travel—both imagined and actual. Readings selected for investigation are assigned in English translation.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Ding Xiang Warner (dxw2)
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CAPS 3387 The Asian Century: The Rise of China and India

The course will be thoroughly comparative in order to highlight both the specificity of each country as well as more generalizable dynamics of 21st century development. It will be divided into a number of inter-related modules. After a framing lecture, we will briefly cover the two countries' distinct experiences with colonialism and centralized planning. Then we will move on to dynamics of growth, which will seek to explain the relative success of China in the era of market reforms. In analyzing political consequences, we will assess how new forms of cooperation and conflict have emerged. This will involve attention to both internal dynamics as well as how rapid development has seen an increasing accumulation of political power in the East. It goes without saying that accelerating growth has led to huge social change, resulting in profound reorganizations of Chinese and Indian society. Finally, the course will conclude by returning to our original question – is this indeed The Asian Century? What does the rise of China and India mean for the rest of the world, and how are these two giant nations likely to develop in the future?

Distribution: (LA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Eli Friedman (edf48)
Sarosh Kuruvilla (sck4)
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CAPS 4001 China in Transition

Using resources specifically available in China, this course combines lectures, guest lectures, field trips, and faculty-directed research projects to help students achieve an in-depth understanding of China's changing politics, economy, society, and culture.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Xu Xin (xx12)
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CAPS 4002 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.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Full details for CAPS 4002 : Chinese Perspectives on International and Global Affairs
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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Allen Carlson (arc26)
Full details for CAPS 4030 : Making Sense of China: The Capstone Seminar
CAPS 4127 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.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kristin Roebuck (kar79)
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CAPS 4502 Becoming a China Hand
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jessica Weiss (jcw335)
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CAPS 4888 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.

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CAPS 4963 China's Early Modern

Theories of modernization have inspired, informed, and plagued histories of middle and late imperial China.  For the Song-Qing eras (roughly 10th-19th centuries), comparative studies have variously found and sought to explain modernization emerging earlier than in Europe, an absence of modernization, or alternative paths of modernization.  Regional models have argued for pan-East Asian systems and patterns of modernization.  Global models have argued that China had a vital role in European development as a provenance of modernizing institutions and ideas, as a source of exploited resources, or otherwise as an integral part of global systems.  In this course we explore these historiographical debates and develop critical perspectives, including approaches to escaping Eurocentric and teleological frameworks.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Tj Hinrichs (th289)
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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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