History | Contemporary China
G587 | 2683 | Wasserstrom


TR 1:00P-2:15P BH242

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 Communist Party-rule in historical and comparative perspective.
It will do this through readings ranging from writings 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.