Course: Inventing Confucius

HC 434H/431H

Professor: Roxann Prazniak

Graduation Requirement: This class fulfills the following requirement: a Social Science Colloquium (431H) and an International Cultures (IC) Multicultural class. If the student has already taken a Social Science Colloquium, this class will fulfill both of the following requirements: an Elective Colloquium and an IC Multicultural class. 

When did Confucius become Chinese? Everywhere we turn, from business reports to political analysis, Confucianism is used to convey a set of family and social values presumed to be the core of Chinese civilization, and hence China’s recent economic success.  This course introduces recent scholarship that challenges us to think critically about the uses and misuses of a term that has entered into global discourse.  Beyond deconstructing the history of Confucianism, our goal is to ask if any aspects of the political philosophy associated with Confucianism offer a meaningful critique of our contemporary global problems.  To conduct our inquiry, we will examine a variety of sources and topics including business literature, scientific debates, art, and social development issues.  

Each student will select a research topic related to the themes of the course and present this work to the seminar.