Lecture TimeMonday 6:30pm - 9:15pm
HE Xiaoqing Rowena ((852) 3943 7128 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
Teaching Assistant Claudia Isabelle Violeta MONTERO (email@example.com)
(Images of the Soong’s sisters in their youth and in the movie The Three Soong’s Sisters)
Students who have taken are HIST4180RH Topic Studies in Modern Chinese History: History of Modern China in 2020-21 are NOT eligible to retake this course.
Students who would like to sit in during the add/drop period can contact the course TA. Students who have registered for the course can find course materials on Blackboard.
This course is an intellectual inquiry into the history of Modern from the early nineteenth to the late-twentieth centuries, spanning a period of enormous change from late imperial China to the post-Mao People’s Republic of China. It explores the developmental trajectory of Chinese society, politics, and culture in the rapidly changing domestic and international contexts over two centuries. Employing both chronological and thematic approaches, we will review historical narratives as well as examine different historical interpretations of the forces that have shaped modern China. Using primary and secondary sources, including materials of state-sponsored version of history presented by the Chinese Communist Party as well as that of independent historians, students will learn how to evaluate, to scrutinize, to compare and contrast historical evidence, and to develop skills to think, write, and speak critically and analytically about the past. We will also have the opportunity to engage in scholarly dialogues with authors of some of the books that we read for the course—to learn from their experience to present history within historical contexts, and to identify continuities and changes, and understand how to evaluate critically versions of modern Chinese history. An important feature of this course will be the critical examination of the contemporary relevance of China’s past, the ongoing contest between state presentations of history and the independent pursuit of historical knowledge, and its implications on China’s future and its relationship with rest of the world.
This course is conducted in a three-hour format, integrating lectures and tutorials in each class.
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CLASS PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITIES
This is a student-centered class grounded in the concept of “flipped learning.” Students are expected to be actively engaged in class and to work with other students. Class activities include group discussions, presentations, lectures, documentary/film screenings, and reenactment of historical scenes.
We will work together to create an environment for intellectual dialogues and to cultivate informed, responsible, and engaged citizens. Being empathetic and inclusive does not mean that we avoid core issues; it does not absolve us from our responsibility to engage in critical thinking and honest intellectual debates while treating each other with courtesy and respect. I also recognize that each of us has our own individual differences and preferences in learning styles and strategies. I will keep that in mind and will work with each of you to bring the best out of your potential and talent.
Discussion Teams and Team Leaders
At the beginning of the semester, the class will be divided into discussion teams and team members will take turns to be leaders of their team during the semester. Each student learns to take responsibility as a leader as well as work as a team member under the leadership of another student. We all learn both as individuals and as members of groups to which we belong.
Each class will start with group discussions. We will divide into small groups to discuss major issues relating to the reading materials of the day. In order to participate in group discussions, you will have to finish reading and or watching the required materials before coming to class, know the basic facts, and establish their relations to the larger context. Students will have the chance to work with their own discussion team members as well as other students in the class. By the end of the semester, you will have worked with other classmates in your teamwork. Towards the end of each class, we will vote for the best discussant of the day – one team one vote!
We will watch together films and documentaries related to the historical periods that we cover in the course. We will watch these films/documentaries before we cover that specific period so that students will have a better idea of the people and history in contexts before doing the readings. Please pay attention to the presentation and interpretation of historical episodes. If you have to miss the screening with a good reason, you can write up a two-page response piece to make up.
News Presentation on Current Affairs or on Tutorial Topics
Students are expected to keep abreast of news reporting on current developments in China. The present is shaped by the past. The present also continually shapes and reshapes our understanding of the past. Past and present are not separate, but co-exist, sometimes in harmony, sometimes in tension. Students will present with their groups to the class the background (historical, social, political, and/or cultural) of the topic you are presenting, the core facts of the issue (who/what/how/when), the implications, and your critical response. The main challenge is to try to understand the current developments in light of the broader picture, and to discover the historical undercurrents that continue to shape the present. You are encouraged to conduct more research on the issues you are presenting. Imagine that you were the professor and you were to teach your students what you have learned from the materials. After the presentation, students are encouraged to ask questions and provide feedback to the presenters.
Each week’s reading will focus on one theme/topic that will generally follow the chronological sequence. In addition to reading required texts, we will watch films and documentaries relevant to the period we cover. These visual materials aim to facilitate students’ understanding of history through human experience, and to eventually cultivate students’ personal moral engagement as well as historical consciousness and intellectual understanding of the world. The history that we are exploring is not just about dates, names, and numbers, but timeless questions such as values and choices, conflict and power, love and betrayal.
Reading materials and links to the films and documentaries will be available on Blackboard.
The state-sponsored history materials for foreign Chinese language learners:
How to Succeed in this Course?
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 http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/policy/academichonesty/.
With each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of these policies, regulations, guidelines and procedures.
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.