China Past and Present (2 & 3 Credits) 中国的过去与现状

China Past and Present (2 & 3 Credits)
Instructor David SENA ([email protected]), Dept of Asian Studies, University of Texas at Austin, Texas USA
Synopsis This course introduces the study of Chinese society and culture through an examination of the cultural
unities and diversities, continuities and discontinuities that comprise the historical development of
Chinese civilization. The course begins with an overview of the land, language, and people of China.
The second unit of the course leads students through a sketch of Chinese history from the
prehistorical through the modern period, with an emphasis on the development of fundamental
cultural features of Chinese civilization. The third unit of the course focuses on contemporary China,
examining recent developments in society and culture, the evolving Chinese economy, and China's
changing role in an increasingly intertwined global environment. The final week includes a field trip to
historical sites in Xi'an and Luoyang.
Offering 2015 Julmester
Audience Undergraduate and Graduate Students (all majors and all levels) with no prerequisites
Classroom Room xxx, Teaching Bldg. No. XX, Peking University
Class: 2:00-4:30 AM: Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri
Final Exam: 2-4:30 PM
July 6–24, 3 Credits: Field Trip B
Wed: No Class
July 25, 2015
2 Credits: No Field Trip
July 26-30: Xian and Luoyang
Field Trip B
Cost of Field Trip: USD 600 (accommodation, meals, high-speed trains + local coach, entrance tickets)
Objective The primary learning goal for this course is to acquire a broad understanding of the historical
development of civilization in China and its influence on contemporary China. This course adopts a
"hands on" approach by asking students to consider primary historical evidence of both a textual
and visual nature. Therefore, a second goal of this course is to develop one's ability to interpret texts
and images as historical evidence by considering such material within its particular cultural, social,
and political context.
Topics Unit 1: Chinese Land, Language, and People
1.1. Land and climate
1.2. Languages and writing
1.3. People and ethnicity in a diverse China
Unit 2: Historical Overview
2.1 Origins of Chinese Civilization
2.2 Foundations of the Imperial State
2.3 China's Commercial Revolution
2.4 Imperialism and War in early Modern China
2.5 China in Revolution
2.6 China in the post-Mao period
Unit 3: Contemporary China
3.1 Chinese society today
3.2 Chinese economy
3.3 China in the global environment
References 1. Patricia Buckley Ebrey, Cambridge Illustrated History of China, 2nd edition (Cambridge; New York:
Cambridge University Press, 2010).
2. Other articles provided by instructor.
Attendance and Participation
Short essay
Midterm exam
Final Exam