ANS 372.32 / RS 352.10 / CTI 375

Spring 2016

Course unique nos: 30890 (ANS) & 42815 (RS) & 33170 (CTI)
Meetings: Tue & Thu, 12:30-2 pm in MEZ 2.124
Course website:
For the updated version of this syllabus, consult the course website.

David Sena
Assistant Professor, Department of Asian Studies
Tel: (512) 471-7965
Mailbox: WCH 4.120
Office: WCH 5.104C
Office hours: Tue & Thu, 11 am - 12:30 pm

Course Description
In this course we examine beliefs and practices associated with Confucianism in China. Focusing on the translated writings of seminal Confucian thinkers, this course explores not only the philosophy of Confucianism, but also the historical contexts in which it arose and developed. In addition to discussing the history of Confucian ideas, we will also pay close attention to the social, cultural, and political contexts in which Confucian texts were written and consumed in premodern China. The first half of the course focuses on the classical period (sixth through third centuries B.C.E.) and the writings of Confucius, Mencius, and Xunzi. In the second half of the semester we consider the legacy of Confucian thought and institutions in the imperial period and beyond through a wide range of primary sources.

Course Goals
The primary goal of this course is to develop your ability to read closely and understand seminal texts from the Confucian tradition. A fundamental principle in this course is that we cannot fully understand Confucian texts without considering the social, intellectual, and cultural milieu within which these texts were generated. Therefore the second goal will be to learn how to use social and cultural history as a method for enhancing one's understanding of texts. Third, in focusing on Confucian thinkers and texts, we aim to understand the philosophical content of this important tradition, to demonstrate how these ideas fit within the larger social and intellectual context of premodern China, and to assess their historical legacy in the region as well as their relevance to our own lives.

This course carries the Writing Flag. Writing Flag courses are designed to give students experience with writing in an academic discipline. In this class, you can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from your instructor to help you improve your writing. You will also have the opportunity to revise one or more assignments, and you may be asked to read and discuss your peers' work. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your written work.

This course carries the Global Cultures Flag. Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present.


Submission of written work
All assignments are to be submitted via upload to Canvas. Hardcopies are additionally required for the short paper assignment, first draft, and final paper, as noted above. Late papers (short or final) will be penalized 1/3 of a full letter grade for each full day or portion thereof beyond the scheduled due date.

Final grades will be calculated according to the criteria below. Grades of plus/minus will be assigned as appropriate.

Course website
A website for this course has been established at It is essential that you establish some means of accessing the site because the updated syllabus, course schedule, assignments, handouts, readings, and important announcements will all be distributed through the website. Canvas will be used for submission of student work, for instructor feedback on assignments, and for posting student grades. If you have any trouble accessing these tools, please consult the instructor.

The following three books are required and available at the University Co-op Bookstore:

Online Course Materials
Additional required readings for the class will be distributed electronically via UT Box, UT's file sharing application. All students will receive an e-mailed invitation from the instructor to a collaborative folder in UT Box. After accepting the invitation, students may access course material via direct links embedded into the course schedule, using your regular UT eid and password to sign into UT Box when prompted. Contact the instructor immediately should you have any difficulty accessing this material.

Undergraduate Writing Center (UWC)
Students are strongly encouraged to make use of the Undergraduate Writing Center, which offers free, individualized, expert help with writing for any UT undergraduate. UWC consultants help students develop strategies to improve their writing in ways that foster independence and preserve the integrity of student work. The UWC is located in the UT Learning Commons at Perry-Castañeda Library (PCL 2.330). Schedule an appointment online or over the telephone (512-471-6222).

Policy on Scholastic Dishonesty
Students who violate University rules on academic integrity are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and/or dismissal from the University. Since such dishonesty harms the individual, all students, and the integrity of the University, policies on scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced. For further information please visit the Student Judicial Services website:

Students should be aware that all required writing assignments may be submitted to a plagiarism-detection tool such as Turnitin is a software resource intended to address plagiarism and improper citation. The software works by cross-referencing submitted materials with an archived database of journals, essay, newspaper articles, books, and other published work. In addition, other methods may be used to determine the originality of the paper.

Students with Disabilities
Any student with a documented disability who requires academic accommodations should contact Services for Students with Disabilities (tel. 512-471-6259 [voice] or 1-866-329-3986 [Video Phone], e-mail as soon as possible to request an official letter outlining authorized accommodations.