Reading associated with lectures

First, an apology on behalf of my field. As you will know, Chinese is written in characters. The pronunciation of each character can be roughly represented in our alphabet, but there are two systems of romanisation in common use in the academic literature. (This does not include a small minority of works that employ less common systems, or the bastardised romanisation used in the media, or the more or less mangled romanisations of their own names by Chinese authors!) The system found in older works (and occasionally in new writing) is Wade-Giles. The second system is pinyin, which is the official romanisation used by the People's Republic of China. You will find pinyin used in most recent books; even the Americans switched a few years ago, perhaps because this system is no longer considered politically incorrect in Taiwan

So you will find both Wade-Giles and pinyin in different readings for this module. I will give you a sheet that converts between the two systems, and I aim to provide names in both forms, but you will need to be on the ball so that you spot when you're reading about the same person in a different romanisation. In your own writing, you should make every effort to use one system consistently, which will mean converting anything you take from readings that use the other romanisation. I don't care which system you use, but the chief advantage of pinyin is that it dispenses with the endless and confusing apostrophes of Wade-Giles, and that does make things easier if you don't happen to know Chinese pronunciation.

And now, to some suggested reading to supplement the lectures. No, I don’t expect you to read everything here all by yourself, although if you share it around a work-group you should manage it all easily. Note also that workshop readings/references will be provided to you on handouts in advance of each workshop class.

Introduction - Week 2
Han - Week 3-4
Song - Week 5-7
Ming - Week 8-9
Qing - Week 10-12

There are atlases in the reference section of the library; and this is a good gateway website:


Women and men in Chinese history
(A chronology of Chinese dynasties)
The Hundred Schools

HAN DYNASTY (c. 2nd cent. BCE to 2nd cent. CE) -- Early Imperial

 The advent of Confucianism

TANG (T'ang) DYNASTY (7th to 10th cents) -- Medieval

Alien influences: The Buddhist age between Han and  Song

SONG (Sung)
DYNASTY (10th to 13th cents) -- Middle Period

 Economic change and its effects

The new virtues of neo-Confucianism
(Additional information on chronology and neo-Confucian ideas)

Property and influence
(Additional information on the New Policies and dowry/bride-price)

Financial and bodily restrictions

MING DYNASTY (14th to 17th cents) -- Late Imperial I

Turning inward, pushing outward

Money and virtue

Sex and anxiety

Literature in translation

QING (Ch'ing) DYNASTY (17th to 18th cents) – Late Imperial II

Alien rule and the oppression of women

Defending virtue


Abbreviations of journal titles
Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
CLEAR Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews
HJAS Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies
JAS Journal of Asian Studies
JAOS Journal of the American Oriental Society
JESHO Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
PFEH Papers on Far Eastern History

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