H297 Modern China
- Course Code:
- Unit value:
- Year of study:
- Year 2 or Year 3
- Taught in:
- Full Year
This course covers China’s history roughly from the 1700s to 2000. It proceeds chronologically within a thematic framework highlighting the different cultural, historical, political and social dimensions surrounding our understanding of modern China, such as imperialism and state-building, reforms and revolts, labour and migration, and the rise of the CCP. The aim of the course is to provide a solid foundation for further understanding China’s recent historical developments and its place in the modern world.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the course
At the end of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate…
- an understanding of the internal and external forces that shaped China’s modern history,
- familiarity with the key concepts and approaches scholars use to understand and analyze Chinese history and the ability to evaluate these critically in their respective contexts,
- research skills that enable them to identify and explore a historical question and to find and evaluate relevant evidence, skills in sharing and presenting the results of their research in a coherent and convincing way that invites discussion and cooperation.
One hour lecture and tutorial for 22 weeks.
Scope and syllabus
1. Introduction: Understanding modern China
2. Ming-Qing Transition
3. Intellectuals and the development of the public sphere
4. Qing expansion and Empire-building
5. Threats within and without
6. Rebels and revolts
7. Foreigners and treaty ports
8. Labour and migration
9. Women in Qing society
10. Reform and self-strengthening
12. The Xinhai Revolution
14. The Sino-Japanese War
15. The “making” and rise of Mao
16. Cold War
17. Great Leap Forward
18. The Cultural Revolution
20. The rise of a new economy
Method of assessment
- one 3 hour exam worth 40%
- 2 2500 word essay worth 20% each
- 1 composition of 1 blog page on the BLE due in the second term as an exercise in reading a biography and analysing relevant information, valued at 10%
- 1 presentation on a specific primary source to be held during tutorials as an exercise in finding and evaluating evidence and to present them in a coherent manner.
- Antony, Robert J., ed. Elusive Pirates, Pervasive Smugglers: Violence and Clandestine Trade in the Greater China Seas. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2010.
- Cheek, Timothy, ed. A Critical Introduction to Mao. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
- Crossley, Pamela K. The Wobbling Pivot: China since 1800. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.
- Gray, Jack. Rebellions and Revolutions: China from the 1800s to 2000, 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, 2002.
- Harrison, Henrietta. The Making of the Republican Citizen: Political Ceremonies and Symbols in China, 1911-1929. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
- Kuo, Huei-Ying, Networks beyond Empires: Chinese Business and Nationalism in the Hong Kong-Singapore Corridor, 1914. Leiden: Brill, 2014.
- Rowe, William. China’s Last Empire: the Great Qing. Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009
- Spence, Jonathan. The Gate of Heavenly Peace: The Chinese and their Revolution, 1895-1980. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1983.