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Chinese Cultural Studies:
Course Projects


Your Module Project will count for 50% of your module grade. Note that there will be no incompletes given. For your project you have a choice of four projects:

  1. A course reading based essays (5-6 page paper)
  2. A Museum Project (6-8 or more pages, plus illustrations)
  3. A longer traditional research paper (8-10 or more pages)
  4. Create a Web Page on "China in New York" (must already know HTML)

In general option one requires least effort, and it will be much harder, but not impossible, to earn an A for the module if you choose it; options 2, 3 and 4 require more effort. Naturally it will be easier to gain higher grades for those projects which require more effort!

All projects must conform to the Stylesheet Guidelines in the Course Packet
This means using footnotes/endnote and attaching a properly set out bibliography

OPTION I: Course reading based paper [5-6 pages]

Sect SA: Subject choice, due Feb 22;  paper due March 22 before module exam.
Sect K: Subject choice, due Mar 29;  paper due March May 3.

Choose to do one of the following:

A: Based on your reading of Ida Pruitt, A Daughter of Han, and the other assigned texts on Chinese women [Ban Zhao, Wolf, Ko], critically assess the common idea that women in traditional Chinese society were powerless over their own lives.

B: Based on the readings about Tiananmen Square [not just the film] outline three distinct explanations for the events that took place their in the terms put forward by the writers.

C: Based in the readings about religion, explain how the various ways in which Buddhism was Sinicized. [You will need some outside reading for this.]

OPTION II: Museum project

For all students there will be an optional, but highly recommended, guided tour of the Chinese Collection at Metropolitan Museum of Art [MMA] on Friday 19th Feb (tentative date). If you choose Option II you MUST come on the tour.

Section SA

Section K

Brooklyn College students are fortunate to live in New York with access to what is without doubt the greatest museum in the Americas, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Fifth Avenue at 79th St.). The Museum is perhaps most famous for its collection of European paintings, but it also has world class holdings in many other areas - Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Islamic, and Sub-Saharan African cultures to name just a few.

It also has an extensive collection of Asian art that the Museum has been expanding rapidly and aggressively over the past few years. Recently it has opened magnificent new Asian art galleries

Your exercise here is to visit the MMA Chinese art collection write an illustrated paper [6-8 pages] about some aspect of the art works displayed there. You must reference your discussion with examples of particular objects by MMA object numbers.  The project will require both practical observation of the art, and the use of art   history books!.

[Note: Illustrations can be  photographs, photocopies, or your own drawings. Each "figure" must be on its own page, marked as "fig 1., fig 2. etc., and identified by both an MMA number, and information on its source.]

You could chose as a topic from among the following suggestions:

OPTION III: A traditional research paper

Section SA

Section K

This will require the most work. You need - *quickly*- to develop a project proposal, a bibliography of at least 12 items, a thesis - all of which must be approved by me. You can write on any subject related to China. If you do this project well, and achieve an A grade throughout the course, you may be eligible for an honors designation for the course.

OPTION IV: Research/Create a web page on an aspect of "China in New York"

Section SA

Section K

In recognition that more and more students have acquired computer and HTML skills, a new option this semester is to research an aspect of China in New York, and create a multimedia, multi-page web site [which will be attached to the Class web site]. You can only do this if you already know how to use the HTML markup language.

Possible Subjects

China at the United Nations Flushing Chinatown
Cantonese Immigration to NY Chinatown in the Movies
Fujianese Immigration to NY Buddhism in NY
Chinese Newspapers in NY The Chinese in Brooklyn
Chinese Government Compound (12th Ave.) Chinese Music in New York
China Galleries at the Met. Museum Chinese Christian Churches in NY
China Galleries at the Brooklyn Museum Chinese Bi-Lingual Education in NY Schools


All papers and projects must follow proper term paper form. I have given a Stylesheet summary of this on pages 16-18 of the Course Packet.