History | Contemporary China
G387 | 2852 | Wasserstrom

Above section carries culture studies credit
Above section open to undergraduates only

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 protest at Tiananmen
Square that almost toppled the Deng Xioping 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
Communist Party-rule in historical and comparative perspective.  The
main writing assignments will take the form of short essays
responding to weekly readings; there will be several quizzes and a
take-home final.  Documentary 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.