The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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HIST2100 今日中國

Semester 1 (2020-2021)

Lecture TimeFriday 6:30pm-8:15pm



Lecturer HE Xiaoqing Rowena ((852) 3943 7128 /

Teaching Assistant LAO Ching Yin

Course Description


This course is an intellectual inquiry into the contemporary Chinese society, politics, and culture. Topics include the relationship between intellectuals and the state, dynamics of social movements, civic education and youth values, social activism and social change, the emergence and roles of civic associations, popular culture, and China’s relationship with the world. In addition to examining the country as a whole, it also considers the particular circumstances of Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. In conjunction with the discussions of reading materials, we will also have the opportunity to speak to scholars and authors of the books we read. An important element of this course will be the critical examination of the contemporary relevance of China’s past, the challenges of the ongoing contest between state-imposed interpretations of history and the independent pursuit of historical knowledge, and its implications for China’s future and its relationship with the rest of the world.


This course aims to help students develop skills to think, write, and speak critically and analytically about the past. In particular, examining evidence with our own critical minds we will scrutinize the state-sponsored version of history presented by the Chinese Communist party. We will work together as historians to evaluate historical evidence in primary and secondary sources, to think within historical contexts, to recognize the historical forces at work, to identify continuities and changes, and to understand the ethical dimension of historical interpretations as world citizens.

Assessment & Assignments

I hope our exam-free approach will free your creativity and imagination, and we can learn and grow together in a safe and fun environment. You will receive one final grade for the course and it will be based on:

  • Class Participation (30%)
  • Group Presentation (10%)
  • Final Project (60%)

Time: 06:30PM – 08:15PM



Each week’s reading will focus on one theme/topic. Readings will include journal articles, scholarly books, and news reports on current affairs. In addition to reading required texts, we will watch documentaries and films relevant to the period we study. These visual materials aim to facilitate students’ understanding of history through human experiences, and to cultivate students’ personal moral engagement as well as historical consciousness and intellectual understanding of the world. Books for the course will be placed on reserve in the library. Reading materials and links to the films and documentaries will be available on course Blackboard.

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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