From Bound Feet to 'Half the Sky': Women and Modern China (HIH1024)
|Staff||Dr Vivienne Xiangwei Guo - Convenor|
|Duration of Module||Term 2: 11 weeks;|
Through finding gender’s engagement in building a modern nation in different social and political contexts, this module aims to introduce students to a broad range of sources such as archival documents, oral history interviews, diaries and memoirs, newspaper reports, magazine articles, novels, photographs, posters, films, operas and songs. Students will be encouraged to compare these sources and think about their utility and limitations in researching modern Chinese history. And we will discuss how the ‘woman question’ and the available sources help us to analyse the social, political and cultural transformation of China in the twentieth century and to understand the shifting relationship between the state and society.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Understand and assess the main developments in the processes of Chinese nation building from a gender perspective.
- 2. Work critically with a range of written and visual sources relating to the topic.
- 3. Assess the sources in relation to the historical debates, purposes for which different contemporary sources were produced, and analyse and evaluate their reliability and usefulness for the study of the social and political history of modern China.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 4. Identify the problems of using historical sources, e.g. utility, limitations, etc, and compare the validity of different types of sources.
- 5. Answer a question briefly and concisely.
- 6. Present work orally, respond to questions orally, and think quickly of questions to ask other students.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 7. Conduct independent study and group work, including the presentation of material for group discussion, developed through the mode of learning.
- 8. Digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment.
- 9. Work with others in a team and to interact effectively with the tutor and the wider group.
- 10. Write to a very tight word-length.
Weekly seminar topics may vary, but can include:
‘The bound feet’ and women’s emancipation, ‘New women’ and the newborn Chinese Republic, Feminism and China’s Pankhursts, Women and the Second World War in Asia, The iron girls and Maoist China, Prostitution, Fashion, China’s birthing stories, Oral history of women.
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||2||2 hour lecture: Introduction to module|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||20||10 x 2 hour seminars. At a meeting of the whole class generally a different group of 3-4 students will give a presentation to the whole class, followed by class discussion and working through the sources for that week carefully. Additional sources may be issued in the class and the lecturer will also use the time to set up issues for the following week.|
|Guided independent study||128||Students prepare for the session through reading and research; writing five source commentaries and an essay and preparing one group presentation in the course of the term.|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Group presentation (3-4 students)||10-15 minutes||1-4, 6-7, 9||Oral|
|Lowest mark from portfolio of 5 source commentaries||500 words||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and Written Comments|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|4 highest marks from portfolio of 5 source commentaries||60||2000 words (500 per commentary)||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments.|
|Essay on Sources||40||1500 words||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments.|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|4 highest marks from portfolio of 5 source commentaries||4 highest marks of portfolio of 5 source commentaries||1-5, 7-8, 10||Referral/deferral period.|
|1500-word essay||1500-word essay||1-5, 7-8, 10||Referral/deferral period.|
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
- Barlow, Tani E. The Question of Women in Chinese Feminism, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004.
- Brownell, Susan and Wasserstrom, Jeffrey N. eds., Chinese Femininities, Chinese Masculinities: A Reader, University of California Press, 2002.
- Croll, Elisabeth J. Feminism and Socialism in China, London: Routledge, 2013.
- Edwards, Louise. Gender, Politics, and Democracy: Women's Suffrage in China, Stanford University Press, 2008.
- Gilmartin, Christina K. ed. Engendering China: Women, Culture, and the State, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1994.
- Hershatter, Gail. Women in China's Long Twentieth Century, University of California Press, 2007.
- Li, Danke. Echoes of Chongqing: Women in Wartime China, Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2010.
- Strand, David. An Unfinished Republic: Leading by Word and Deed in Modern China, University of California Press, 2011.
- Wang, Zheng. Women in the Chinese Enlightenment: Oral & Textual Histories, University of California Press, 1999.
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Last revision date
Key words search
Modern China, Women, Gender, Feminism, Nation Building