Teaching Module

Ancient China


  1. Hsiung, Ping-chen. A Tender Voyage: Children and Childhood in Late Imperial China. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2005, 103-27.
    This reading helps contextualize Primary Source No. 6 (early education). Since my module focuses on early China, Hsiung's book is an excellent introduction to the history of childhood in mid- and late imperial China
  2. Kinney, Anne. Representations of Childhood and Youth in Early China. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004, 53-96.
    This reading provides further discussion of the parents' right of life and death over their offspring and may be used to supplement primary Source No. 3. The entire book also provides copious materials to contextualize all of the primary sources in this module.
  3. Waltner, Ann. “Infanticide and Dowry in Ming and Early Qing China.” In Chinese Views of Childhood, edited by Anne Kinney, 193-218. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1995.
    While this book is useful for providing background for this module, Waltner's article that discusses the link between the practice of female infanticide and girls' prospects for marriage can help contextualize Primary Source no. 3 (infanticide) as well as Primary Source No. 4 (A Girl prodigy).
  4. Waltner, Ann. “Representations of Children in Three Stories from Biographies of Exemplary Women.” In Children in Chinese Art, edited by Ann Barrott Wicks, 84-107. Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2002.
    This article, one of many useful resources in the book in which it appears, discusses several different depictions of the story relayed in Primary Source no. 1—the childhood of the philosopher Mencius (Mengzi)—and the cultural connotations of each individual representation. An additional illustration of this story appears in Hsiung's book (cited above), on p. 138.

How to Cite This Source

Anne Kinney, "Ancient China," in Children and Youth in History, Item #187, https://cyh.rrchnm.org/items/show/187 (accessed August 10, 2021).