How would you write a history of China that emphasized the importance of the foreign, particularly its relations with the nomadic peoples of Inner Asia and the maritime corridors of the South China Sea

Hist 241 Final Exam Questions                                                          Fall 2020

 

Instructions: Choose ONE of the following prompts below and write an essay of at least FIVE and no more than TEN double-spaced pages (in font size Times New Roman 12). You are encouraged but you are not required to cite the readings as this is not a formal research paper. You should create a map to accompany your final essay. The map should have at least TEN locations mentioned in your essay and accurately marked on the map, which you can create via google earth or google maps or other programs.

 

IMPORTANT: Your final essay should have a unifying THESIS/ARGUMENT that frames it. I do not want to be led aimlessly into a hodge-podge of details. I want to know why the details you present support the argument you are making. Please write in the specific and not in the general. Please write in short paragraphs. Each paragraph should only be making one point in relation to your thesis and supported by a few examples taken from your readings and/or my lectures. I do not want to see one entire paragraph filling up one page. Please avoid writing long sentences with convoluted grammatical constructions. The simpler the words and the sentences used, the less likely you are to make mistakes.

 

Submission: Your final essay and map is due by MIDNIGHT of Sunday, November 22, 2020 through Moodle.

 

Essay Prompts:

 

  • How would you write an environmental history of China? Note that environmental includes but does not just mean climate.
  • How would you write a global history of China?
  • How would you write a history of China that conveyed the different meanings of what it meant to be Chinese?
  • There is a lot of emphasis on unity in Chinese history but how would you write a history of China that emphasized its periods of disunity?
  • How would you write a history of China that emphasized the importance of the foreign, particularly its relations with the nomadic peoples of Inner Asia and the maritime corridors of the South China Sea?
  • How would you write a woman’s history of China?
  • How would you write an intellectual history of China that showed how Confucian, Daoist, Legalist, and Buddhist ideas were developed and adapted over time?
  • Wild Card (take-at-your-own-risk question): Based on what you have learned in this semester’s readings and lectures, propose another way you think we could write Chinese history that is not captured in the first seven prompts and tell me why I should have thought of it?

 

Regardless of the prompt you choose it is important that by the end of the essay you are able to convey to me why it is important to know the kind of history you have chosen to tell. These prompts alert you to how there are many ways of viewing and writing history.