WOST 392C/ WOMEN in CHINA Monday and Wednesday 3:35-4:50
Bartlett 127

Eileen Walsh
Office: Bartlett 229
Phone: 545-2433
Email: ewalsh@wost.umass.edu
Office Hours: Monday, 1:00-2:30 and Wednesday 11:00-12:30 or by appointment

WOMEN in CHINA - Holding up Half the Sky

The People's Republic of China has experienced decades of social engineering projects and political movements. From its inception, the PRC has seen modernizing women as intrinsic to creating a modern Chinese state. This course looks at Chinese women through the prism of the project of creating a modern China. While the course assumes no prior knowledge of the PRC, readings will move quickly through ethnographies and historical discussions of the Maoist project, the era of reform, issues of identity and nationalism, as well as a discussion of current social issues. Some of the questions we will consider include - How have Chinese women been represented by the state? How does gender play into the relationship between culture and politics? What does a "modern" China mean to its citizenry? For its female citizenry? How has China returned to "tradition", and how is China using forms of traditions in new ways? How do different Chinese imagine themselves as becoming modern? Why have some gender relations persisted "despite" state attempts to change them?

Readings will include:

Pruitt, Ida - Daughter of Han
Croll, Elizabeth - Changing Identities of Chinese Women
Potter, Sulamith and Jack Potter - China's Peasants: The Anthropology of a Revolution
Honig, Emily and Gail Hershatter - Personal Voices: Chinese Women in the 1980's
Wolf, Margery - Women and the Family in Taiwan OPTIONAL MIDTERM
[Books are available at Food for Thought Bookshop, North Pleasant St., Amherst.] As well as a Coursepack (available at Collective Copies).

Grades will be calculated in the following way:

Attendance and Participation
Daily Journals (discussed below)
Midterm Exam or Paper
Final Exam or Presentation

DAILY JOURNALS - This class relies on you to be able to discuss the readings. To encourage you to do the readings on time, and think about them before class, reading journals are a component of the grade for this course. A one-page, typed journal entry is due at the beginning of every class on the readings for the day. Journal entries are graded with a check for submission, a zero for lack of submission. Journal entries should show that you have done the reading, but do not require rewrites, or the structure that a paper would. You may summarize the readings, or discuss a particular point in the readings. Make the journals work for you as a valuable study tool. On those days without readings, no journal is due. There are approximately 20 journal entries due this semester. If you submit all of them, you will receive 100% for that portion (nearly one-third) of your grade.


Week 1 - Course Introduction
Wed 1/30 -- Hand out selections, discussion of syllabus and course goals

Week 2 - Women in Pre-Revolution China
Mon 2/4 -- *Croll, Elizabeth - Changing Identities of Chinese Women, 11-68 (1-10 Recommended)
Wed 2/6 -- *Pruitt, Ida - Daughter of Han: The Autobiography of a Chinese Working Woman, 11-114

Recommended reading - Jonathon Spence, The Gate of Heavenly Peace.

Week 3 -
Mon 2/11 -- * Pruitt, Ida - Daughter of Han: The Autobiography of a Chinese Working Woman, 115-217
Wed 2/13 -- Film: Family

Recommended Film: Raise the Red Lantern

Week 4 - Creating a Revolution
Mon 2/18 -- HOLIDAY
Tues 2/19 -- CP (Coursepack ) Gilmartin, Christina - Engendering the Chinese Revolution
Wed 2/20 -- *Croll, Elizabeth - Changing Identities of Chinese Women, 69-101

Week 5 - Revolution Comes to the Villages
Mon 2/25 -- *Potter, Sulamith and Jack Potter - China's Peasants: The Anthropology of a Revolution, 1-58
Wed 2/27 -- Film: The Mao Years

Week 6 - How the Revolution Played Out, or Didn't for Women
Mon 3/4 -- * Potter and Potter - China's Peasants: The Anthropology of a Revolution, 59-157
Film: Zeng Bu After Mao

Week 7 - Woman Citizen
Mon 3/11 -- *Potter and Potter - China's Peasants: The Anthropology of a Revolution, 158-225 Film: Small Happiness

Recommended Reading - Barlow, Tani - "The Politics and Protocols of Funu: (Un) Making National Woman" in Engendering China: Women, Culture and the State, Gilmartin, Christina and Gail Hershatter, Lisa Rofel, Tyrene White eds. - 1994. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 339-359

Week 8 - SPRING BREAK Midterm (Exam or Wolf Paper) Due at end of break.

Week 9 and 10 - China in Transition and Birth Planning for National Salvation

Mon 3/25 -- MIDTERM DUE
Wed 3/27 -- *Potter and Potter - China's Peasants: The Anthropology of a Revolution, 225-250

Mon 4/1 and Wed 4/3 CP Croll, Elizabeth - Endangered Daughters Excerpts

Recommended Reading :
White, Tyrene - "The Origins of China's Birth Planning Policy" in Engendering China, 250-278 Anagnost, Ann - "A Surfeit of Bodies: Population and the Rationality of the State in Post-Mao China" in Conceiving the New World Order, Ginsburg, Faye and Rayna Rapp, eds., 1995. Berkeley: University of California Press. 22-41

Week 11 - Reform and Reaction - Educating Young Women
Mon 4/8 Honig and Hershatter - Personal Voices, 13-80
Wed 4/10 Film: TheLake of Dead Souls

Week 12 - Women Workers Experience the Reform - Generational Differences
Mon 4/15 ( HOLIDAY)
Wed 4/17 CP Rofel, Lisa - Other Modernities: Gendered Yearnings in China After Socialism, 41-127

Recommended Film: Tian An Men

Week 13 - Dislocations and Discontents at Home -
Mon 4/22 -- CP Gao Xiaoxian- "China's Modernization and Changes in the Social Status of Rural Women"

Wed 4/24 -- (Handout) Women in the Floating Population
Recommended Film: Ermo
Recommended Reading: Jacka, Tamara - Women's Work in Rural China, Solinger, Dorothy - Contesting Citizenship in Urban China

Week 14 - Seeking Alternatives
Mon 4/29 *Honig and Hershatter - Personal Voices, 241-307
Wed 5/1 CP Clark, Constance - "Foreign Marriage, 'Tradition', and the Politics of Border Crossing" in China Urban, Chen, Nancy and Constance Clark, Suzanne Gottschang, and Lyn Jeffreys, eds., 2001, Duke Univ Press. Pg 104-122
CP Hyde, Sandra - "Sex Tourism Practice on the Periphery: Eroticizing Ethnicity and Pathologizing Sex on the Lancang" in China Urban
Begin Presentations
Recommended Reading: *Rofel, Lisa - Other Modernities: Gendered Yearnings in China After Socialism

Week 14 - Ethnic Others Within China's Borders - Feminizing and Controlling the Minorities
Mon 5/6 CP Harrell, Stevan - Introduction to Cultural Encounters on China's Ethnic Frontiers, Harrell, Stevan ed., 1995. Seattle: University of Washington Press. 3- 36 Wed 5/8 CP Schein, Louisa - "Gender and Internal Orientalism" in Modern China, 23(1): 60-98 Film: Sacrificed Youth Recommended: Schein, Louisa - Minority Rules, Walsh, Eileen - "Living with the Myth of Matriarchy"

Week 15 - Discourses of Modernity - Which Modern Woman?
CP Schein, Louisa- "The Color of Consumption is White" in Gender and Sexuality Reader, Lancaster, Roger N. and Miceala di Leonardo, eds., New York: Routledge. 473-486
CP Li Xiaojiang - "Economic Reform and the Awakening of Chinese Women's Consciousness" in Engendering China, 360-384.

Week 16 - Presentations - Review and Discussion