History | G587 2783 Contemporary China 1:00-2:15P TR BH242 Wasserstrom
G587 | 2783 | Wasserstrom J
Above section meets with HIST G387
How can looking at events of the last century help us understand what is
happening in the world's most populous country today? What historical
precedents are there for the 1989 protests at Tiananmen Square that almost
toppled the Deng Xiaoping regime from power, and for the efforts at economic
reform that the government is experimenting with right now? How have the
momentous transformations of the post-1949 era changed and left unchanged
the way that ordinary Chinese women and men live and work and see the world?
These and other questions will be addressed in this course, which focuses
primarily on placing the first half-century of Chinese Community Party-rule
in historical and comparative perspective. It will do this through readings
ranging from writing by Sun Yat-sen and Chairman Mao, to a memoir by a woman
who lived through the Cultural Revolution, to essays that look at the
politics of rock music and other forms of contemporary popular culture. The
main writing assignments will take the form of short essays responding to
these weekly readings; there will be several quizzes and a take-home final.
Documentary and feature films, as well as other visual materials, will be
used to help the history of the period come alive. Most class meetings will
be divided between a lecture period and a block of time set aside for
discussion and other forms of interactive learning.