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CLS 111 — China, Japan, and the Gunpowder Empires in the 18th Century

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Apr 4—Jun 13
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Apr 17
Units: 2
Tuition: $435
Instructor(s): Edward Steidle
Status: Closed
Please Note: (No class on May 23)
On-campus course
7:00—8:50 pm
Apr 4—Jun 13
10 weeks
Drop By
Apr 17
2 Units
Edward Steidle
Please Note: (No class on May 23)
In this last quarter of the “Making of the Modern World” series, we will examine the major non- Western nations of the 18th century and their endeavors both to deal with the increasingly dominant role of the West militarily and economically, and also to preserve their native cultural values and traditions. We will look at the Qing dynasty, China’s last great imperial power, and at Japan during the middle Edo period in order to study their respective responses to expanding European imperialism. We will examine some of their great literary works—Cao Xueqin’s The Story of the Stone (also called The Dream of the Red Chamber), Takeda Izumo’s Chu-shingura, and Ueda Akinari’s Tales of Moonlight and Rain. We will discuss Chinese and Japanese arts and crafts—paintings, porcelain, metalware, and lacquerware. We will conclude the quarter with a historical overview of the “Gunpowder Empires”—Mughal India, Safavid Persia, and Ottoman Turkey—and their respective dealings with the West. We will discuss the “Persianate” style that united them culturally, the evolution of each nation during the 17th and 18th centuries with emphasis on artistic traditions, and how well prepared each was to compete with Western nations on the brink of the Industrial Revolution.

This is the final course in the four-year course sequence, “Making of the Modern World,” which covers the evolution of Western civilization for four centuries and examines its impact on the larger world. While these courses build upon one another, each course can be taken independently as well.

Edward Steidle, Lecturer in Continuing Studies, Stanford

Edward Steidle has been 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) Cao Xueqin, The Story of the Stone (Volume 1), Penguin (ISBN 978 01 40442939)
(Required) Takeda Izumo et al., Chūshingura, Columbia (ISBN 978 0 231 03531 6)
(Required) Akinari Ueda, Tales of Moonlight and Rain, Columbia (ISBN 978 0 231 13913 7)
(Required) Douglas Streusand, Islamic Gunpowder Empires, Westview Press (ISBN 978 0 8133 1359 7)
(Recommended) Patricia Buckley Ebrey, The Cambridge Illustrated HIsotry of China (ISBN 9780521124331)
(Recommended) Christine Guth, Art of Edo Japan, Yale (ISBN 978 0 300 16413 8)
(Recommended) Norah Titley, Persian Miniature Painting, Texas (ISBN 0 292 76484 7)