CHIN 184

Crime, Law, and Punishment in Traditional China

Description: Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Preventing crime and administering justice are important parts of any society, but these are not straightforward or simple processes. What is crime? Are there crimes so terrible that they merit special kinds of punishment? How is punishment decided and by whom? What happens if justice is not carried out? Consideration of these questions as they apply to premodern China from multiple perspectives: legal codes and casebooks, literary re-imaginings of trials, depictions of postmortem punishment, and tales of supernatural retribution. Discussion of how legal and penal systems of China have been represented in West. Letter grading.

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