Will count toward elective credits for the majors and minors in Asian Studies, Chinese, and East Asian Languages and Area Studies
This course will examine capitals in Chinese history and their relationship to the ebb and flow of historical events and cultural changes. We will consider the impact of dynastic change and population movement on the nature of language and culture. Since at least the Táng Dynasty (618-907), China has had a diverse set of languages and dialects as well as a common koiné language spoken broadly across China by officials and merchants. That koiné language has often, but not always, been associated with the dialects of capital cities. Since the various capitals of China have always been based in the north, or have had populations with northern origins, the koiné has always been a Mandarin based language. Though China’s classical written language was independent of any specific spoken dialect, the common spoken koiné did have influence on the language of literature and literary expression. Thus literary innovation has usually flowed from north to south throughout Chinese history. This course will explore the history of a set of five historical capitals of China and consider the evolution of Chinese culture and literature as it was affected by dynastic change and the evolution of the spoken Mandarin koiné from the Táng through the Qīng (1644-1911). We will discover the many ways that wars, dynastic change, and population upheaval affect cultural development and influence cultural and linguistic norms. The Seminar will include a 10-day, one-credit study abroad experience in China in May 2017.
For more information, please visit: http://www.sashonors.rutgers.edu/student-life/global-experience/430-current-programs/2667-spring-2017-china-s-capitals-across-time-and-their-linguistic-and-cultural-impacts
RICHARD V. SIMMONS is Professor of Chinese in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. His specialties are Chinese dialects and the history of Chinese. He has taught at Rutgers since 1993, and has also taught at Middlebury College. He has lectured at universities in China, including Tsinghua University and Minzu University in Beijing, and Fudan University in Shanghai. Since Summer 2002 Simmons has directed the Rutgers Summer Intensive Mandarin study abroad language program in China, a program he developed and initiated. In Spring 2015 he was the Starr Foundation East Asian Studies Endowment Fund Member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. His current research project is to compile a comprehensive history of Mandarin.