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Final Exam for 80

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This exam is designed to take about 4 hours. In order to accommodate different time zones, Internet issues, and other potential disruptions, you have 60 hours to complete this exam from the moment it is posted on the Gauchospace course website, and upload it back onto the portal on the Gauchospace course website. There are 2 questions on this exam: pick 2 of the 3 questions.

In your responses, draw from more than one type of material (readings, lectures, documentaries or film clips) to formulate your own analysis. You don’t have to use all types of material for each question; just more than one for each question, and each type at least once for the entire exam. Your responses need to be between 500 and 600 words per question. The total exam should be 4-5 pages double-spaced, 5 pages MAX.

Be concise, analytical, and organized. Read the questions carefully and think deeply. Make sure you cite your sources using either MLA or Chicago style, including both in-text citations and a works cited/bibliography according to the Midterm Paper Citation Guide. When you are finished, please proofread your exam and run a spell-check before uploading.

1. Throughout this entire class, we have been struggling with this issue: What is China? We learned that in different time periods, people used different names to talk about themselves: Hua, Huaxia, Zhongguo [the middle kingdom] were the earliest self-identifications and later, there were terms such as Han appearing in the Song, Jin and Mongol documents to address this particular group of people.

Despite the changes in names, were there something persistent and long-lasting in what we consider as “Chinese culture” today? What were some of the most important features of “Chinese culture?” What were the key institutions and mechanisms that contributed to its longevity? What were the key dynasties and who were the key individuals that helped shape the “Chinese culture”?

At the same time, in this class, we learned that “Chinese culture” was constantly changing and reacting to its interaction with other cultures and people, especially with the people in Inner Asia and the northern steppes. What were some of the time periods that we see “Chinese culture” heavily influenced by other cultures? Can you give some good and concrete examples?

2. Discuss the relationship between China and the West (broadly defined) over the course of modern history (after 1700). How was contact first established? What sorts of people, objects, and ideas moved between the China and the West? How did large-scale Western and Japanese imperialism affect China during the 19th century and how did imperialism and China’s response change its economy, culture, and political systems? How did China interact with the West in the 20th century (the Republican era, the Mao years, and the Deng Xiaoping era) and how does China position itself now?

3. Discuss the evolving roles of women within the family, in society, and in politics throughout Chinese history. Please use at least three periods of Chinese history that we have studied and concentrated on at least two topics. Topics include but are not limited to: the prescribed roles for women in Confucian discourse, female rulers in China, women in the Han gender discourse, women under the Tang Code, women in the Song commercial economy, Cult of Widow chastity, the institutions of marriage and concubinage, individualism and women, women in revolutions, and women under socialism since 1949, and many more.

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