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Cosmopolitan Tang -- A new Harvard-X course just starting

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If you enjoyed the big China-X course by the Harvard team of Prof. Peter Bol and Prof. William Kirby a couple years ago, here's another (smaller) one just starting. It's about the Tang. Lasts 15 weeks. 


Here is the official descriptive blurb:




About this course


By the Tang period, China was divided into northern and southern dynasties with different rulers and political systems. The north was conquered by relatively unsophisticated barbarians, but in the south, the aristocratic families established a refined appreciation of writing and literature.

In this course, the third in a large collection covering all of Chinese history, you’ll learn about the Cosmopolitan Tang and the reemergence of great aristocratic clans. You’ll discover how these clans formed a kind of state aristocracy that dominated Tang government and society. 

This period — a product of the Medieval period, and of the development of Buddhism and Daoism — gave the world a model for modern statehood the great cosmopolitan empire that defined it is among the highest achievements in Medieval culture. Join us to discover those achievements through readings of classical Chinese poetry and a review of the ancient art of calligraphy.




Here's a link for more information or to sign up:




I plan to take it. 


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Started tonight. 


One of the things that distinguishes these Harvard "China-X" courses from most of the other programs that I've studied on line is that they draw on a wide and rich variety of resources. It's not just one (or two) professors talking about this or that, but the two main professors bring in about 20 other distinguished authorities on particular aspects of the subject. 


They sometimes "interview" these authorities, most of whom are Harvard faculty, about their special domains. More often, these other experts give a couple of "guest lectures." When discussing Tang pottery, they bring in an expert from the art department and actually take a "field trip" to the Harvard Asian Art Museum. Similar approach with music and poetry. Inventive and innovative. Never boring. 


I got a taste of Tang during part of the long China overview course a couple years ago. Now look forward to learning more in this short, focused one. 


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Thank you @abcdefg. I have just signed up for this and so far have watched 4 videos. Really interesting and easy to digest. Really cannot wait for the part on poetry and calligraphy. I'm currently reading the biography of Li Bai so really want to know more about Tang poets and poetry.

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