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CLS 108 — China, Japan, and European Expansion in the 17th Century

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Tuesdays
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Date(s): Mar 29—May 31
Duration: 10 weeks
Drop By
Drop Deadline: Apr 11
Unit(s): 2 Units
Tuition: $405
Format: On-campus course
Status: Open

Series Overview: The 400 years of the 15th through the 18th centuries were pivotal to the development of Europe and its relationship to the world community. these years witnessed the birth of the renaissance, the flowering of the baroque, the social revolutions of the Enlightenment, and the emergence of a world in which nations and peoples were interconnected by trade, conquest, and colonization. this series of courses will give students an in-depth introduction to this critical period in history. together, we will examine the most significant European historical periods from the renaissance to the Enlightenment—their origins, their ideologies, and their distinct development in italy, the iberian Peninsula, france, England, and the Low Countries. We will also study contemporaneous non-Western civilizations in Africa, india, the Americas, and Asia, and their interaction with European explorers, merchants, conquerors, and settlers. by the end of the series, we will have covered the evolution of Western civilization for four centuries and examined its impact on the larger world—an impact that is still very much with us today.

The series will be comparative and multidisciplinary and will include a large selection of texts in history, art, and literature. We will also study the arts of Western and non-Western traditions. While these courses build upon one another, each course can be taken independently as well.

Spring Course: China, Japan, and European Expansion in the 17th Century

This course will take us to Asia and the impact of the West on the development of the continent’s two major cultural centers, China and Japan. We will focus on the second half of China’s illustrious Ming dynasty (1368–1644) and the first half of Japan’s long-lived Edo period (1603–1868). And all the while, we will examine the historical, literary, and artistic development of these two nations and their growing interaction with European merchants and missionaries, particularly those of Portugal, Spain, and the Dutch Republic. We will read two of Ming China’s literary masterpieces, Journey to the West, attributed to Wu Cheng’en, and a delightful collection of short stories compiled by Feng Menglong. We will also read the works of two of Edo Japan’s great writers, Matsuo Basho’s Narrow Road to the Deep North and some of Ihara Saikaku’s most memorable stories of Japan’s “floating world.” We will combine these readings with an examination of the arts and crafts of both nations, the impact of these crafts on Western markets, and the role of Europe in the evolution of Asia in the 17th century.

The Making of the Modern World
FALL 2013 – SPRING 2014, THE 15TH CENTURY: The Italian Renaissance and the Portuguese journey to the Spice Islands
FALL 2014 – SPRING 2015, THE 16TH CENTURY: The Protestant Reformation, the French Renaissance, and the conquest of New Spain
FALL 2015 – SPRING 2016, THE 17TH CENTURY: Spain during the Siglo de Oro and the race for the markets of Asia
FALL 2016 – SPRING 2017, THE 18TH CENTURY: The global impact of the French and English Enlightenment

Edward Steidle, Lecturer in Continuing Studies, Stanford

Edward Steidle has been a lecturer at Stanford since 1984. His area of specialization is medieval art and literature. He is working on comparative approaches to the study of ancient European, Asian, and Central American cultures. Steidle also leads travel groups to historic sites in Western Europe and the Mediterranean region. He received a PhD from UC Berkeley.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Wu Ch'eng-en, Monkey (ISBN 978-0-8021-3086-0)
(Required) Feng Menglong, Stories Old and New (ISBN 0-295-97844-9)
(Required) Basho, The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches (ISBN 0140441859)
(Required) Ihara Saikaku, Five Women Who Loved Love (ISBN 978-0-8048-0184-3)
(Recommended) Christine Guth, Art of Edo Japan (ISBN 978-0-300-16413-8)
(Recommended) Patricia Ebrey, China, 2nd Edition (ISBN 9780521124331)