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HIST3231 Themes in the History of Modern China: The Mao and Reform Eras (Part 2 - 1949-2000)

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To demonstrate general knowledge and understanding of modern Chinese history between 1800-2000, and also a specific knowledge of major themes including the history of religion, gender, food/famine, and conflict. You will learn to apply a cross-cultural perspective upon major themes in social history, reflecting upon how the course of modern Chinese history was informed by local, regional, and global trends.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Modern Chinese History between 1800-2000.
  • Apply a cross-cultural perspective upon major themes in social history.
  • Major themes including the history of religion, gender, food/famine, and conflict.
  • Non-Western and comparative historiography.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse primary source material in English, and Chinese sources in translation.
  • Understand sources within their particular cultural and historical contexts.
  • Analyse sources produced in a radically different cultural and social environment.
Disciplinary Specific Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Close reading of short primary source extracts.
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Contextualise familiar historical narratives within their specific cultural and social settings.
  • Develop an anthropological approach to the study of modern history.
  • Reflect critically upon the historiography of modern China and the world.

Syllabus

This module introduces four major themes in the social history of modern China - Anger and Violence, Gods and Ghosts, Food and Hunger and Love and Sex. While we will cover many of the more familiar events of modern Chinese history, the module is designed to move the narrative away from elite political actors and demonstrate how the momentous disruptions of this era influenced the everyday lives of Chinese people. In semester 2 we will examine the Mao (1949-1976) and Reform eras (1976-2000). Each period will be allocated five weeks, with the first week consisting of an introductory session on the general history, and the subsequent weeks revisiting each of our major themes.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Two weekly, two-hour seminars Student-led presentations on primary sources Individual essay tutorials

TypeHours
Completion of assessment task50
Independent Study56
Seminar48
Preparation for scheduled sessions96
Revision50
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

Hershatter, Gail, The Gender of Memory: Rural Women and China's Collective Past (Asia Pacific Modern, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011). 

De Bary, Wm Theodore, and Richard John Lufrano, Sources of Chinese Tradition, vol. 2 (2nd ed., 2000). 

Mueggler, Erik, The Age of Wild Ghosts: Memory, Violence and Place in Southwest China (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001). 

Crossley, Pamela Kyle, The Wobbling Pivot, China since 1800: an Interpretive History (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). 

Lim, Louisa, The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014). 

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 50%
Exam  (3 hours) 50%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 50%
Exam  (3 hours) 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: HIST3238 Themes in the History of Modern China: Late Qing - Republican Era (Part 1 - 1800-1949)

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