Today is Tuesday
June 22, 2021



HIST 387     Early China
CRN 25927

Prof. Ina Asim
Office location: 317 McKenzie Hall
Office hours: W: 2:00 pm- 3:30 pm

University, department, and course policies

Learning Accommodation
The University of Oregon is working to create inclusive learning environments. If there are aspects of the instruction or design of this course that result in barriers to your participation, please notify me in the first week of class. You may also wish to contact the Accessible Education Center in 164 Oregon Hall at 346-1155.
General Inquiries:    Alternative Testing:
Academic integrity
Presenting someone else’s work as your own is considered plagiarism.  Cases of plagiarism will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. Please read the policies for plagiarism at the University of Oregon:

Grade policies of the History Department

A+: Work of unusual distinction. Rarely awarded. A:   Work that distinguishes itself by the excellence of its grasp of the material and the precision and insight of its argument.Well executed and reasonably free of errors.
B:   Work that satisfies main criteria of the assignment and demonstrates command of the material, but does not achieve the level of excellence that characterizes work of A quality.
C:   Work that demonstrates a rudimentary grasp of the material and satisfies at least some of the assigned criteria reasonably well.
D:   Work that demonstrates a poor grasp of the material and/or is executed with little regard for college standards, but which exhibits some engagement with the material.
F:   Work that is weak in every aspect, demonstrating a basic misunderstanding of the material and/or disregards for the assigned question.

Course Policies

Unexcused absence during more than one class session leads to an automatic reduction of the final grade by one point of a grade.
Examples: An A+ will be converted to an A, a B- will be converted to a C+. Participation is part of your grade, attendance alone is insufficient. If you are very tired one day, bring some food to class to enhance your energy level. Course participants are required to be present at every class session. If you are not able to attend class due to illness or injury, for religious reasons or because of jury duty, please notify me as as soon as you are aware of the necessity of absence. In class you are expected to be prepared, to contribute to discussions and to be respectful to all other participants. Cell phones, ipods, and other electronic devices have to be turned off during class. Laptops can be used for taking notes only. Surfing on the web, writing emails, communicating with your friends on facebook, twitter and other Social Media sites is NOT part of this class.

Email Policy

I’ll answer emails within 48 hours. Emails that request information which can be found on the website will not be answered. Please always first refer to the class news on our website. No emails will be answered on Sundays.

Course Requirements

1. Regular attendance and participation in class discussions. Attendance alone is insufficient! Active participation in class is required instead. 20%
2. Book review of a book related to your choice of paper topic, 2 pages, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt., paper, no emails!, due in class on Thursday, February 12 (Week 6). 10%;
Alternative: report about field trip to Portland Art Museum and Lan Su Yuan), 2 pages, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt., paper, no emails!, due in class on Thursday, March 22 (Week 10).
3. Museum visit report.  2 pages, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt., paper, no emails!, due in class on Thursday, February 19 (Week 7). 10%
Find one object from ‘Early China’ in the Chinese Gallery. Describe the object (category, date, material, size, color, possible damages, and function) and explain the historical context of the object.
4. Midterm exam. 20%.
5. Two quizzes: 20%; 10% each.
6. One paper of 8 pages, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt., paper, no emails!, due in class on Tuesday, March 10 (Week 10). Topic options will be discussed during the first meeting. 20%.


The following course books are available at Black Sun Books (2467 Hilyard Street; at the corner of 24th Street and Hilyard Street):
1. Mark Edward Lewis: The Early Chinese Empires: Qin and Han (History of Imperial China). Belknap Press, 2010.
2. Mark Edward Lewis, China’s Cosmopolitan Empire: The Tang Dynasty (History of Imperial China). Belknap Press, 2012.
Further readings will be available on our course website.

UO campus safety

Get home safely at night. There are call boxes on campus to notify Public Safety in case of an emergency.
You can download the map with the call box locations here: Call boxes for safety on campus at night
Week 1
1/06  Tu  1. Introduction; chronological survey of political and military events
1/08  Th  2. The first written records of Chinese history (Li Feng, “Cracking the the secret bones literacy and society in Late Shang”).
Week 2
1/13 Tu 3. The Zhou conquest of the Shang (Li Feng, “The creation of paradigm: Zhou bureaucracy and social institutions”).
1/15 Th 4.  The first empire (Lewis, 5-50)
Week 3
1/20 Tu 5.  Film on Qin Shi huangdi; The Qin & Han: Power struggles and economic problems;  cities of the Qin and Han (Lewis, 75-101)
1/22 Th 6.  QUIZ 1; The Qin & Han: The countryside (Lewis, 101-127) This assignment is NOT part of the quiz!
Paper topic assignment due 
Week 4
1/27 Tu 7. China’s neighbors (Lewis, 128-154)
1/29 Th 8. Pillars of the state I: The great families and religion (Lewis, 155-226)
Week 5
2/3 Tu 9. Pillars of the state: Literature and Law (Lewis, 206-252)
2/5 Th 10. MIDTERM
Week 6
2/10 Tu 11.  The transmission of Buddhism and its important patrons (see assigned readings);
Short visit to the Chinese collection in the Jordan Schnitzer of Art. (Admission is free for UO students. Please bring your ID!)
2/12 Th 12.  Unification under the Sui-Dynasty and the beginning of the Golden Age of the Tang (Lewis 2, 5-57)
Week 7
2/17 Tu 13.  The decline of the Tang (Lewis 2, 58-84)
2/19 Th 14.  Cosmopolitan Life: The capital Chang’an and the rural economy (Lewis 2, 85-120)
Museum visit report due in class! 
Week 8
2/24 Tu 15.  Networks across borders: the Tang and their neighbors (Lewis, 145-178)
2/26 Th 16.  The significance of the Silkroad and the finds of Dunhuang (see assigned readings)
2/27 FR: Field trip to Portland
Week 9
3/5 Tu 17.  Pillars of the state: The great families and religion (Lewis 2, 179-240)
3/7 Th 18.  Quiz 2  Women during the Tang (see assigned readings)
Week 10
3/10 Tu 19.   Literature of the Tang (Lewis, 241-271)
Paper due in class! 
3/12 Th 20. The Tang-Song transition (see assigned readings)
Field trip to Portland: Friday, February 27

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