Sino-American Relations

3559-501:
Discipline: East Asian Studies
Instructor: Wang/Rhoads
Credits: 3



Field Class: Day 1 - Sunday, 31 January | China Download Syllabus

Why are U.S.-China relations so difficult to manage? What do both countries really want from each other? This course provides an interdisciplinary survey of American and Chinese interpretations of their evolving relationship from the late 18th century to the present, on both governmental and non-governmental levels, and in regional and international contexts. Part I will be devoted to historical interactions between the United States and China. In Part II we will explore in chronological order the issue of Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Burma, India, South Africa, Ghana and Morocco pertinent to U.S.-China encounters. Lectures are combined with discussions, film screening, field trips, and individual research projects. Topics include the political, economic, military, social, and cultural dimensions of the Pacific frontier and Qing China (1784-1912), the United States and China in the era of World Wars and revolutions (1912-1970), and rapprochement, the default superpower and China resurgent (1970-present).

Field Class

Country: China
Day: 1 - Sunday, 31 January

Shanghai is one of the key points of contact in the history of Sino-American relations where important events such as the announcement of the 1972 Shanghai Joint Communiqué took place. This is also the stomping grounds of Carl Crow (1883-1945), an American advertising agent, whose humorously incisive observations about the Chinese way of living, business and culture are recorded in his book, 400 Million Customers (first published in 1937)—one of the core texts for this course. On this field lab, we will spend the day on the Bund, in Lujiazui (new financial district) and in Tianzifang (the former French concession area). Ms. LIANG Shan, a Ph.D. candidate in the history of U.S.-Chinese relations and a Fulbright Scholarship winner for 2016-17, will be speaking with us about youth consumerism in China. Besides this meeting, students are also invited to apply the knowledge about the China market acquired from classroom (whether in the 18th-early 19th century or the 1920s-30s through the Crow book) to the real situation on the ground. How much has the China market changed or unchanged?

Assignment for students: Assignment I (20% of the final grade): Following the field lab, students are expected to write a 5-6-page essay. This essay should include two parts. Part One (2-3 pages) will be a report of Carl Crow’s 1937 book, 400 Million Customers. Part Two of your paper (3 pages or so) should address the following questions. In his 1937 book, Crow (b. 1883-1945) viewed the Chinese as potential lovable customers. He concluded that the world was getting smaller, which “makes you a neighbor of the 400 millions of China.” What did Crow mean? Imagine yourself as being Crow in today’s China, how would you advertise and sell the American product/s of your choice to Chinese customers? Your essay will be graded on its thoroughness, originality, and creativity.

Academic Objectives:
1. Past and current strategies of American marketers in China’s largest metropolis:
Imagine yourself as being Carl Crow in today’s China, what and how would you advertise and sell the American product/s of your choice to Chinese customers? Why?
2. Current Chinese consumer trends and brand communications:
Apply your knowledge about the China market acquired from classroom (whether in the 18th-early 19th century or the 1920s-30s through the Crow book) to the real situation on the ground. How much has the China market changed or unchanged?
3. Socio-cultural analysis of the contemporary China market:
In his 1937 book, Crow (1883-1945) viewed the Chinese as potential lovable customers. He concluded that the world was getting smaller, which “makes you a neighbor of the 400 millions of China.” What did Crow mean? How would you assess contemporary Chinese customers from a socio-cultural perspective?