Modern China (HIST*3320) | College of Arts

Modern China (HIST*3320)

Code and section: HIST*3320*01

Term: Fall 2017

Instructor: Jianda Yuan


Course Synopsis:

This course is an introduction to China’s path to modernity between the Opium War of 1839-42 and the Tiananmen Square Incident of 1989. In general, China’s national status in these 150 years changed from a respected empire in the “Orient” to the “sickman of Asia,” and then a major communist power. The purpose of this course is to analyze the factors that led to these radical changes. We focus on exploring the impact of Western and Japanese imperialism on Chinese society, questioning the assertion that the West and Japan caused endless disasters for contemporary China. Major topics include the Boxer Rebellion of 1900; Warlords and the Nationalist government’s northern expeditions in the 1920s; the Chinese Anti-Japanese War of Resistance between 1937 and 1945; the Anti-landlord Campaign of 1949-53; the Great Leap Forward of 1958; the Great Famine of 1959-61; the Cultural Revolution of 1966-76; and Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms after 1978.

Methods of Evaluation and Weights:

1. Research Paper (35%)
2. Critical Evaluation Assignment (15%)
3. Final Exam (35%)
4. Participation (15%)

Texts and/or Resources Required:

Cheng, Pei-kai, Michael Lestz, and Jonathan D. Spence. The Search for Modern China: A Documentary Collection. New York & London: W. W. Norton & Company, 1999.

Supplementary journal articles and book chapters may be assigned when relevant.

*Please note: This is a preliminary web course description only. The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description. The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.