China at the Crossroad of Tradition and Modernity
Spring 2018 quarter
This program aims to study China—both as a powerful nation in the global community and as a unique and complex cultural entity constantly wrestling with traditional and modern ideologies and practices at its very core. The long Chinese history and the fast-paced modernization process have put today’s China at a crossroad of confusion and potential, and the constant debates and negotiations between the old and the new permeate every aspect of the current Chinese society. Such tension between tradition and modernity gives us a glimpse of the Chinese national characteristics on the international stage, and sheds light on many domestic social and political issues that have attracted world attention.
Since the quarter is short, we will choose only a few topics—including interrelated elements from the fields of medicine, arts, literature, environment, public media, and religious beliefs—as distinct examples that bring the tension between tradition and modernity into sharp focus. Faculty will select topics and examples with care, and develop lectures, readings, and workshops that illuminate these selective and complex topics. Students will be encouraged to develop their own research projects and look into specific areas of interest under faculty guidance. The purpose of the program is to develop a general understanding of China’s unique role in today’s globalized world as well as an appreciation for China’s complex national identity marked by history, tradition, and unstoppable progress.
Fields of Studycommunication cultural studies literature media studies sociology theater
Chinese studies, cultural studies, social sciences, health, literature, and arts
Location and Schedule