20th-Century China: Post- Cold War Readings of Chinese Lives and Times

History 116D

Fall 2016
2 LeConte
Day & Time: 
TuTh 1230-2P

This course offers an overview of Chinese history from the first Sino-Japanese War (1894) to the Beijing Olympics (2008).  It tells the story of a series of wars, revolutions, reforms, and reorganizations across major political divides.  It examines, in that context, the lives of eminent individuals, heroes as well as villains, against the constraints and possibilities of their times.  Tentatively four or five lectures may center on Taiwan and Hong Kong.  A central theme of the course is to explore ways to approach China’s modern history beyond the conventions developed during the Cold War. Students are required to attend lectures and sections and complete the required readings (about two hundred pages each week) on schedule.  Course assignments consist of an hour-long mid-term, three response papers based on the assigned readings, and a final examination. Final course grade will be assigned according to the following formula:  20% for the mid-term, 15% for each paper (3-5 pages) and 35% for the final examination.

Course Books

Taiwan's Imagined Geography by Emma Teng Asia Center, Harvard University Press. ISBN: 0-6740-1451-0 Required
The Intellectual in Modern Chinese History by Timothy Cheek Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-1-107-64319-2 Required
Provincial Passages by Wen-hisn Yeh University of California Press. ISBN: 0-520-20068-3 Required
The Search for Modern China, Third Edition by Jonathan D. Spence Norton. ISBN: 978-0-393-93451-9 Required
A Continuious Revolution by Barbara Mittler Asia Center, Harvard University Press. ISBN: 978-0-674-06581-9 Optional
The Columbia Companion to Modern Chinese Literature by Kirk A. Denton Columbia University Press. ISBN: 978-0-231-17009-3 Optional