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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Description

China and the West: The Myth of the Other

Instructor(s): Mao Chen, Asian Studies

Description: What shapes our images of the Other? How do people perceive the Other in a given historical period or in certain cultural milieus? In this course, we will introduce and examine the experience of the Other from both Chinese and Western standpoints. Students will look at China as an idealized utopia in the eyes of some eighteenth-century Europeans or as the land of ignorance described in some early modern literature. Students will also explore various Chinese responses to the West. In discussing such issues as orientalism vs. occidentalism, and cultural relativism vs. universalism, we will examine the polemics of cultural difference in ethical terms.

Course Offered