Welcome to the "Dragon Lords and Sacred Warriors" class page (Semester 1, 2013 @ Hawker College, Canberra with Christopher Kenna).

Week 1 (4-8 Feb 2013)
This week we started to gain some background information about imperial China. For out of class reading, students read from J. M. Roberts, The New Penguin History of the World (4th edn., London: Penguin, 2002) 444-453. We also began looking at a video of the opening of the Beijing Olympics.

Week 2 (11-15 Feb 2013)
We will start to look in particular at the T'ang Dynasty. To begin, please see this interactive timeline and other information via the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) site. Please also explore some magnificent examples of ceramics in China (also via the MIA site).

Weeks 3-5 (18 Feb-8 Mar 2013)
We have started to look in more detail at some of the important philosophical and political ideas that have been so important for the practice of governance in classical China.

First and foremost, our class has begun reading The Analects (Lun yu) by Confucius (K'ung Ch'iu, 552 or 551 BCE - 479 BCE) trans. D.C Lau. (London [and other cities]: Penguin, 1979). By the end of Week 5, we should have finished reading at least up to Book 5 of The Analects and preferably more. To revise by key topics, please see this selection available from the City University of New York (CUNY) via the Fordham University sourcebooks site.

For a critical view of Confucius from a 1970s Chinese Marxism perspective, see the photocopy from the book by Yang Jung-Kuo, Confucius: "Sage" of the Reactionary Classes (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1974), which was handed out in class. Does the title of this book indicate the perspective of this author?

It is important to recognise that other thinkers contributed to the development of Confucianism. Most importantly, we looked at an excerpt from Mencius (Meng Tzu, 372-289 BCE?): dates provided by Wm. Theodore de Bary (ed.), Sources of Chinese Tradition, Volume I (New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1960), 86. See also this excerpt via CUNY and Fordham. Were notions of "duty" and "filial piety" (de Bary, op. cit., 87, 97) important in Mencius' thinking?

Week 6 (11-15 Mar 2013)
We will look at another important thinker in the Confucian tradition, namely Hsun Tzu (active 298-238 BCE); these dates are from de Bary, op. cit., 100. See the photocopy handed out in class and also this excerpt via CUNY and Fordham. What were Hsun Tsu's views about heaven and human nature?

Week 7 (18-22 Mar 2013)
Please remember that we will have the first assessment, an in-class document study on Confucius and Confucianism, in the Line 2 double on Tue 19 Mar. After all the hard work in the in-class assignment, we borrowed the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, and began to consider Daoism (Taoism). By Monday 25 March, please read the Lao Tzu text pp. 8-17.

Week 8 (25-29 Mar 2013)
This week we will return also to look at more aspects of the T'ang dynasty (618-906 CE). Check the contrast between the map for the T'ang and the map for the Sui dynasty (581-618 CE).

Please see again this resourcefrom the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Check the video clip and the resources via the timeline. By Thursday, please read Lao Tzu pp. 18-23. What are some of the key concepts in these selections? It is requested that by Thursday you read this useful overview via the Asia for Educators site at Columbia University. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is another useful source on Doaism. Is it possible to see how Daoism and Confucianism could both have an influence on the conduct of government in China?

Week 9 (1-5 Apr 2013)
We will continue for part of this week looking at the T'ang. Please check this resource from Princeton University.

Week 10 (8-12 Apr 2013)
This week, we will start to look at our next major topic, early and medieval Japan.

We will also start preparing for the essay which is due in Week 12, after the break. Please use this template from Teachit for essay planning. Consider your main argument, and whether there is evidence for any "counter-arguments" which may cause you to modify your hypothesis (main idea you are putting forward) .