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Most introductory courses on Chinese civilization are structured as chronological surveys that trace China’s historical development from the earliest to most recent eras. This course will begin with the introductions of the three systems of thoughts—Confucianism and Daoism—that have crucially shaped and defined the Chinese civilization since more than two thousand years ago. This course then will offer an extreme bird’s-eye view of Chinese history from its beginning to 1850, which inevitably suffers from overgeneralization and excessive abstraction. But there is no ideal way to approach such an enormous historical span in such a short amount of time, especially given students’ unfamiliarity with even the basic concepts of Chinese culture. The last part of the course will involve the team based research projects and the presentations of the group project. The topics for the group projects are any theme in the TV series Serenade of Peaceful Joy (Qing Ping Le 清平乐) that tells the prosperous reign of Emperor Renzong of the Northern Song dynasty. This course is completely conducted in English.

This course adopts Team Based Learning strategy. The students will be assigned to a team and sit together in the assigned team seats. They work as a team on the tests, group discussions and daily forum postings, and the group projects and presentations. Team members will constantly evaluate each other’s performance and participations in the team work. BN, WB.