Mid Term- Late imperial China
Choose one of the following two questions to furnish an essay of about 1,000 words (3-4 pages, double-spaced). The assessment criteria are the same as the first essay assignment: organization of the material, clarity of presentation, attention to all aspects of the question, use of proper format, and, above all else, your ability to draw on historical evidence to make an argument and sustain an analytical discussion).
The exam covers historical materials and perspectives made available in modules 1-3 in our class.
1. Examine the historical factors behind the collapse of the Ming Dynasty in 1644. Draw a distinction between domestic problems and challenges stemming from the outside, and between long-term causes and immediate precipitating crises.
2. What are some unique features of Shen Fu’s Six Records of a Life Adrift as a literary source for our understanding of Late Imperial Chinese society? How did the perspective and personal experience of the author shed light on the following issues: family and kinship, women and gender, and life of the lower literati?
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