Week 4 (Feb 7, 9):

Tuesday ArcGIS Skills Development and Review

Study Guide:

  • Given our progress in the last two weeks, the schedule of class for this week is revised. We will not introduce new GIS skills on Tuesday. Instead, we will use the Tuesday class to a) help you practice your ArcGIS skills; b) help those who missed classes to catch up; and c) discuss the readings assigned for last week and today. Please a) use the posted links to tutorials (below and in last week’s study guides) to review the GIS skills you have learned before class and b) finish/review all the assigned readings from last week and for today.
  • Read Chapter 3 in Daily Life in Traditional China: The Tang Dynasty first and then “The Attractions of the Capital” (which is a 13th-century depiction of the Song capital Hangzhou).
    • What impressions do these texts give you of the two cities and the daily life of their residents?
    • What is the relationship between government and business in these cities?

Digital Skills Review:


Thursday Think Spatially: Why Does Space Matter?

Study Guide:

  • Over the course of the semester, you will regularly be asked to take turns and give a short 10-15 minute presentation on an article assigned to you. In the presentation, you should pretend to be the author of the article who is delivering a talk at an academic conference, sharing your findings (reported in the assigned article) with fellow historians. You should speak in the first-person voice during the presentation. When preparing these presentations, always ask yourself:
    • What are my findings? (What do I want to convince my audience in?)
    • And how should I argue for it? (My data/evidence? How do I build up my argument in 10-15 minutes?)

Usually, you need to prepare a PowerPoint with a few slides for your presentation. Submit your slides to Moodle before class (click here for the drop box).

The presenters for today’s class are: Jake (on “The Structure of Chinese History“) and Hunter (on “What is a Geographic Perspective on China’s History?“).

  • Consider the following general questions while doing your readings and preparing your presentations:
    • What are the messages G. William Skinner and Peter Bol want historians to take to heart in their analyses of Chinese history?
    • What does it mean to “think spatially” or adopt a “geographic perspective”? Why should historians care?

End-of-Week Assignment:

The assignment for this week: Write a short reflection paper discussing why and how space matters in historical analysis. Draw from the ideas of Skinner and Bol in your discussion. The paper should be 1 to 2 pages long, double-spaced. Submit it to the dropbox on Moodle (click here) by 5 p.m. Sunday.