Fall 2022

Writing about China

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-108  |  Political Science, as POSC-108


Kerry E. Ratigan (Section 01)


(Offered as POSC 108 and ASLC 108) This is an introductory intensive writing course on China. As such, we will focus on the fundamentals of reading and writing to help students develop clear and persuasive writing styles. We will also pay close attention to understanding and critiquing academic sources. Students will be expected to engage in frequent in-class writing and attend regular writing consultations.

Chinese politics is replete with tensions between opposing forces: modernity and tradition, economic growth and societal protections, central government and local government, top-down mandates and bottom-up pressures, ideology and expertise, state control and market forces, continuity and change. This course examines these tensions and their effects on state-society relations and authoritarian governance during communist party rule in China (1949-present). We will learn how to apply different reading strategies to examine a variety of sources that shed light on these tensions, including speeches, films, government documents, news media, and academic sources. Through frequent short papers, students will incorporate different types of evidence to make compelling arguments regarding the strategies that the Chinese party-state has used to maintain stability amid myriad challenges.

Limited to 12 students. Admission with consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Associate Professor Ratigan.

How to handle overenrollment: Preference will be given to Political Science majors.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Students should expect to encounter an emphasis on written work, readings, group work, independent research, and oral presentations.

POSC 108 - LEC

Section 01
Tu 10:00 AM - 11:20 AM WEBS 220
Th 10:00 AM - 11:20 AM WEBS 220

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
Wild swans : three daughters of China Prentice Hall Press Jung Chang Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


2024-25: Not offered