Week 11: Mountains

In week 11 we look at the mountains, where many strange creatures hide – in particular in the southern mountains of what is now modern China. The schedule for tasks/discussions etc is the same as last week. I need your feedback to know if this works for you, if it is too much, or if you have suggestions for improvements. You can email me or leave anonymous comments on the Pad.

  • Monday: (anytime before midnight): reflection on the course materials from week 10: this is a chance to show how you have consolidated your knowledge of the topic of foxes. How have your ideas changed through repeated interactions with peers and the course materials during the past week? What connections do you see with other course materials? What are the big lessons you learned, to carry forward through the rest of the semester?
        • Post on your blog, in category HST107
        • Include the words “Week 10” in the title
  • Tuesday Zoom session 4pm Important editorial meeting for the textbook!:
        • (Zoom link under the pink header on Canvas Homepage)
        • What do you like and dislike about textbooks? Prepare for this meeting by jotting down ideas in response to the questions in this google doc, and during the Zoom we will discuss “the textbook from hell” and “the heavenly textbook”.
        • If you cannot be there due to circumstances beyond your control, you can contribute in the shared google doc we will create during that meeting. (Gdrive link)
        • Slides for Tuesday’s session (Gdrive link)
        • Zoom session (Canvas page link)
  • Tuesday (anytime before midnight): Initial post on the Canvas discussion board due.
  • Wednesday (anytime before midnight):
        • Two responses to other students’ posts due, on the Canvas discussion board.
        • Final project bite: A description of your chapter/section’s contents. Use these bullet points as a guideline:
          • Topic: now firmly settled
          • Main ideas you want to highlight: argument, thesis, or research question
          • What you hope the reader will learn from the chapter
          • Length: 200-400 words
          • Post on your site as a blog post, category HST107
  • Thursday Zoom session 4pm (link under the pink header on Canvas Homepage): “regular class”: we will go into more detail about the course materials for the week, based on the Canvas discussion board.
Readings/Course Contents

Strange creatures hide in the mountains! We focus on the “where to find them” part of the course, and journey into the dangerous territories of the mountains. What kind of creatures can you meet there? How can you protect yourself? What are possible logical/reasonable explanations for the origin of these creatures, in our twenty-first century worldview?

  • Textbook:
  • Primary source: Picture scroll
        • Searching the Mountains for Demons“: Metropolitan Museum, NY, scroll painting. (page includes an audioclip)
          • (Link to folder on Gdrive with pictures)
          • This is one long scroll, and you should read it from right to left. Some of the pictures overlap. In the good old days of in-person teaching, I would bring in big laminated printouts of the pictures and let you put them together, and identify the different scenes. Can you find them?
        • OPTIONAL EXTRA Searching for Demons on Mount Guankou“: Princeton University Art Museum, scroll painting
          • (Link to folder on Gdrive with pictures)
          • This is a black-and-white scroll of the same topic.
  • Secondary sources: Choose one
      • Kleeman, Terry. “Mountain Deities in China: The Domestication of the Mountain God and the Subjugation of the Margins”. Journal of the American Oriental Society 114: 2 (Apr. – Jun., 1994): 226-238. (PDF)
              • Not only are there all sorts of demons hiding in the mountains, the mountains themselves are associated with powerful deities. Challenge: can you do a three-sentence summary of this article?
      • “Shanxiao: Mountain Goblins”. Chapter from Von Glahn, Richard. The Sinister Way: The Divine and the Demonic in Chinese Religious Culture. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 2004.(PDF)
              • What are commonly held beliefs about mountain creatures? Who/what are they? How did this view evolve over time?