History | Modern China
G385 | 24727 | Wasserstrom

Above section carries culture studies credit
A portion of the above section reserved for majors
Above section open to undergraduates only

How did the world's largest country make the transition from an
empire to a republic?  Why is the "Boxer Rebellion" of 1900 called
that, when the participants didn't really engage in boxing and
weren't really rebels? How did arguments over opium lead to a war
between Britain and China in 1839?  What factors take us furthest in
explaining why Mao and the Communist Party he led defeated Chiang Kai-
shek's Nationalist Party in 1949?  And how did ordinary people
experience the dramatic transformations that changed Chinese society
in so many ways between the early 1800s and the mid-1900s and
beyond?  These and other questions will be explored in this course,
via lectures, whole class and small group discussions, excerpts from
many documentary and feature films, and readings that include various
kinds of documents by Chinese authors, a memoir by a Chinese women
whose long life lasted from the days of imperial rule through the
first decades of the Republic of China, a novella, and a textbook.
Two themes of particular concern in the class will be the historical
roots and continued manifestations of the complex love-hate
relationship between China and the United States, and the ways that
looking back to the late 1800s and early 1900s and other periods can
help us make sense of contemporary Chinese politics,
culture and society.