History of China
History of China
Credit Hours: (3)
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level
Survey of Chinese culture and history. Covers diplomatic, economic, intellectual, political and social aspects of China.
Detailed Description of Content of Course
1. China: Classical and Traditional Ages
• Introduction; pronunciation; geography
• Legends and early history
• The Shang state (dynasty)
• The Zhou (Chou) dynasty: China's classical age
• Qin (Ch'in)-Han, the "First Empire"
• Sui-Tang, the "Second Empire"
2. China: Beginning Modernity
• The Song (Sung) Dynasty
• The Yuan Dynasty
• Ming-Quin (Ch'ing) transition
3. Twentieth Century China
• End of the Qing dynasty and the Nationalist period
• The Communist revolution and policies
• The Cultural Revolution
• Post Mao China
4. Understanding Chinese culture
• Science and technology in China
• Popular culture and religion
• Chinese civilization in Western eyes
Detailed Description of Conduct of Course
The class meets three hours a week. A textbook is required by the instructor, and additional readings are required.
Teaching methods involve a mix of lecture and discussion. Visual aids such as maps, films, and slides are used to
supplement the lectures and discussions.
Goals and Objectives of the Course
a. Students will gain a familiarity with Chinese history from its earliest Shang dynasty through the twentieth century and be able to identify and discuss types of governments, the different philosophies and religions, and the cultural and social phenomena which shape China and its changes throughout the centuries.
b. Students will practice thinking critically and analytically about historical issues, acquire a broader knowledge and deeper understanding of pertinent historical events and processes, and cultivate a familiarity with the concepts of historical argument and interpretation.
c. Students will develop disciplinary research skills by designing strategies to locate and analyze primary and secondary source evidence, processing and organizing the resultant data, and composing proper citation and bibliographical entries.
d. Students will apply their critical thinking, research, and compositional skills to the creation and presentation of thesis driven essays that discuss, for example, historical social, economic, political, and/or cultural developments and that address issues such as the causes and consequences of historical change and continuity.
e. Students will also gain an appreciation of the problems of cross-cultural historical interpretation.
Knowledge and understanding of the material covered in this course will be measured using an array of assessment tools that may include, among other things, class attendance and participation, written examinations, formal writing assignments of various types, and informal writing assignments. All exercises are designed to expand the student's ability to evaluate historical events and to develop his or her ability to compose persuasive arguments.
Review and Approval
Date Action Reviewed by
October 2010 Reviewed and Approved by Sharon Roger Hepburn