'Dragon Ladies'? Society, Politics and Gender in Modern China
Value: one unit
Dr. Weipin Tsai
Taught through weekly two-hour seminars
3-hour exam (50%), best two of three essays (40%), oral presentation (10%)
This course will look at Modern Chinese political and social history from the second half of the 19th century to the contemporary period, through the stories of three powerful and well-known public figures: the Empress Dowager Cixi; Soong Mei-ling (the wife of Chiang Kai-shek); and Jiang Qing (Madam Mao). The core object of this course is to explore the connections between events and historical figures through, but it will also introduce a thematic approach to learning modern Chinese history. The first part of the course will focus on these three women in chronological and historical biographical dimensions; the second will look at various important political, social and cultural themes related to these prominent female figures. The course will use English-language sources, including documents, films, newspapers, documentaries, secondary literature, and biographies.