The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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HIST1000B History for Today

Semester 2 (2020-2021)

Lecture TimeThursday 8:30am-10:15am

VenueZoom class (Meeting ID: 996 1636 9322)


Lecturer PUK Wing Kin ((852) 3943 7062 /

Teaching Assistant CHEUNG Ka Lok, Alex (

Course Description

The study of history is at once a science, an art and a craft. Why? In what sense? This course answers this question with concrete case studies. Different types of historical archives will be selected, and ways with which these archives are interpreted will be demonstrated. Major themes of historical study will also be introduced. 

Learning Outcomes

 By the end of the course, students will:
*   Have enhanced awareness and curiosity of professional historical knowledge and its relevance to today’s major issues or personal concerns;
*   Have enhanced judgment to distinguish narratives from facts;
*   Have enhanced ability to practice the craft, science and art of historical research;
*   Have enhanced reading, writing, and oral expression skills.

Two Important Websites

*   CUHK Blackboard in which all course materials are uploaded:

*   CUHK History Department Course Website:


Lecture 01 (14 Jan): Introduction and Methodology: History in Three Keys
*Paul Cohen, History in Three Keys: the Boxers as Event, Experience, and Myth (New York: Columbia University Press., 1997).


Lecture 02 (21 Jan): Material Civilization
*Fernand Braudel, Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century (New York: Harper & Row, 1981), Vol. 1, The Structure of Everyday Life.


Lecture 03 (28 Jan): Socio-economic History
*Natalie Zemon Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press 1983).


Lecture 04 (04 Feb): Social and cultural History
*Robert Darnton, The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History (New York, NY: Basic Books, 1999).
*James Watson, “Standardizing the gods: the promotion of T’ien Hou (‘Empress of Heaven’) along the South China Coast”, in Popular Culture in Late Imperial China eds. David Johnson, Andrew Nathan and Evelyn Rawski (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985), pp. 292-324.


NO CLASS on 11 Feb: Public holiday – Lunar New Year


Lecture 05 (18 Feb): Hygienic Modernity
*Sun Yat-sen, trans. Pashal M. D’Elia, The Triple Demism of Sun Yat-sen (Wuchang: The Franciscan Press, 1931), 195-199.


 Lecture 06 (25 Feb): Work and Discipline
*E.P. Thompson, “Time, work-discipline, and Industrial Capitalism”, Past and Present, No. 38 (Dec., 1967), pp. 56-97.
*Xu Guoqi, Strangers on the Western Front: Chinese Workers in the Great War (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2011).


Lecture 07 (04 Mar): Globalization, Capitalism, Imperialism
Hans van de Ven, Breaking with the Past: the Maritime Customs Service and the Global Origins of Modernity in China (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014).


Lecture 08 (11 Mar): Semester Paper Workshop (I)
*Anthony Grafton, The Footnote: a Curious History (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1997).


Lecture 09 (18 Mar): Semester Paper Workshop (II)


Lecture 10 (25 Mar): Semester Paper Workshop (III)


NO CLASS on 01 Apr: Public holiday – Easter


Lecture 11 (08 Apr): Semester Paper Workshop (IV)


Lecture 12 (15 Apr): Semester Paper Workshop (V)


Lecture 13 (22 Apr): Semester Paper Workshop (VI) and Conclusion


Assessment & Assignments

Semester Paper: 90%
Tutorial: 10%

Semester Paper
* Minimum 5,000 English words including footnotes.
* No bibliography is needed.
* To be submitted to Veriguide on or before 29 April, 2021 (one week after the last lecture). 
* Delay of submission by one day leads to deduction of 10 marks, for instance, from 90 to 80, and so forth.
* Topic of the semester paper: The Diary of Thomas Turner (1729-1793): a Study


* There will be SIX to Eight zoom tutorial sessions beginning in the evening on 2021.02.01 (1 February 2021 Monday). Students are expected to attend all of them and make one oral presentation of about 10 minutes. In every tutorial about 6 students shall be presenting.


* The material for oral presentation is: Thomas Turner, selected by R.W. Blencowe and M.A. Lower, The Diary of a Georgian Shopkeeper (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979). Every student takes turn to present assigned pages of the diary.


* This diary is exactly the crucial historical document for the semester paper. So there is synergy between tutorial and semester paper. Tutorial counts for 10% of the total mark (100). Ten percent might mean little, but is vital to the writing of the semester paper. So do please make an effort to attend all the tutorial sessions.


* In the past, tutorials are held on a weekly basis. Tutorial grouping, tutorial room booking, and oral presentation schedule combine together to create a lot of troubles for all parties concerned.


*Now, zoom gives us a better solution. There will be only one tutorial group, and tutorials are held for six to eight consecutive nights so as to minimize schedule conflict with other courses and to finish the tutorials as soon as possible.


Tutorial Schedule:
Tutorial 1: 2021.02.01 Monday 1830-2015
Tutorial 2: 2021.02.02 Tuesday 1830-2015
Tutorial 3: 2021.02.03 Wednesday 1830-2015
Tutorial 4: 2021.02.04 Thursday 1830-2015
Tutorial 5: 2021.02.06 Saturday 1830-2015
Tutorial 6: 2021.02.08 Monday 1830-2015
*Tutorial 7: 2021.02.09 Tuesday 1830-2015 (depending on the actual enrollment number)
*Tutorial 8: 2021.02.10 Wednesday 1830-2015 (depending on the actual enrollment number)

Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at

With each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of these policies, regulations, guidelines and procedures.

  • In the case of group projects, all members of the group should be asked to sign the declaration, each of whom is responsible and liable to disciplinary actions, irrespective of whether he/she has signed the declaration and whether he/she has contributed, directly or indirectly, to the problematic contents.
  • For assignments in the form of a computer-generated document that is principally text-based and submitted via VeriGuide, the statement, in the form of a receipt, will be issued by the system upon students’ uploading of the soft copy of the assignment.

Assignments without the properly signed declaration will not be graded by teachers.

Only the final version of the assignment should be submitted via VeriGuide.

The submission of a piece of work, or a part of a piece of work, for more than one purpose (e.g. to satisfy the requirements in two different courses) without declaration to this effect shall be regarded as having committed undeclared multiple submissions. It is common and acceptable to reuse a turn of phrase or a sentence or two from one’s own work; but wholesale reuse is problematic. In any case, agreement from the course teacher(s) concerned should be obtained prior to the submission of the piece of work.

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