The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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UGEA2230B Introduction to Transformation in Chinese History

Semester 2 (2021-2022)

Lecture TimeTuesday 10:30am - 12:15pm

VenueLee Shau Kee Building (LSK) LT4


Lecturer SIU Kam Wah Joseph ((852)39437274 /

Course Description

From a historical perspective, the course explores the origin and evolution characteristics of Chinese culture. Its contents analyze and describe the historical traditions and changes in Chinese politics, economy, society, religion, culture and education, as well as the relationship between Chinese tradition and modernization. 


Learning Outcomes 

  1. Students can learn the evolution process and development characteristics of the different Chinese dynasties as well as the different interpretations of historians. This will strengthen their abilities to understand, appreciate and evaluate Chinese history and cultures.
  2. The course requirements enable students to learn basic research skills such as data collection,verificationand analysis in writing research reports.  Students can apply such skills to their field of study, lives and careers. 
  3. The demonstration and critique of multi-dimensional interpretations of history will enhance students’ critical thinking ability. Using an objective analytical approach, they will be abletosolve problems in life and in their future work. 

Teacher explained the Chinese folk religion in field trip 

Recent Interactive Teaching through TV/Radio/News Media Interviews 


References Used in the Course 


A. Introduction

Week 1  What is the Work of Historiography ? Multi-dimensional Interpretations of the Historical Narrative for Understanding Changes (11 Jan) 

B. Multi-dimensional Interpretations of Chinese History

Week 2  Economic Perspective: Materialist Conception of Chinese History of Shang Yue in Mainland China (18 Jan) 

Week 3  Chinese Culture Perspective: Historical Conception of Chinese Cultural Wave of Naitō Konan in the Kyoto School (25 Jan) 

Week 4  National Spirit Perspective: Historical Conception of National Culture of Qian Mu in New Asia College (8 Feb) 

C. Topics on Political, Economic,Social, Religious, Educational and Cultural History of China

Week 5  Towards Democracy: From Absolute Monarchy to Republican Constitution (15 Feb) 

Week 6  Gods, Buddhas and Prophets: Christianity, Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Islam and Folk Religions (Include Watching Topical Documentary) (22 Feb) 

Week 7  Commercial Cities and Customs: Urban Food Culture and Arts of Storytelling and Singing (Include Watching Traditional Chinese Opera) (1 Mar) 

Week 8  From Self-sufficiency to Opening Up: Development from Rural Smallholder Economy to Socialist Planned Economy and Capitalist Market Economy (8 Mar) 

Week 9  Learn to be Official and Merchant: Transformations from Political-oriented Education to Academic-oriented, and Commerce and Science-oriented Education (15 Mar) 

Week 10  From Four-class Society to Urban-rural Society: Features and Transformations in Social Structure under Urbanization (22 Mar) 

Week 11  Consultation on Take-home Essay Examination and Book Report (29 Mar) 

D. Topics on Modernization of China and World Trends

Week 12  From Traditional to Modernity: Tradition and Modernization in China in the Perspective of John King Fairbank, the U.S. Sinologist (12 Apr) 

Week 13  China towards the World: Democratization from Chinese Subjects to Chinese Citizens (19 Apr) 

Assessment & Assignments

Take-home Essay Examination                                             60% 

(Include 2 essays, each essay is about 1800 words) 


Book Report                                                                              30% 

(The report is about 2000 words) 


Lecture Participation                                                              10% 


Grade Descriptors 

Grade A  

Outstanding performance on all learning outcomes.  

Grade A- 

Generally outstanding performance on all (or almost all) learning outcomes.  

Grade B  

Substantial performance on all learning outcomes, OR high performance on some learning outcomes which compensates for less satisfactory performance on others, resulting in overall substantial performance. 

Grade C 

Satisfactory performance on the majority of learning outcomes, possibly with a few weaknesses.  

Grade D  

Barely satisfactory performance on a number of learning outcomes.  

Grade F 

Unsatisfactory performance on a number of learning outcomes, OR failure to meet specified assessment requirements. 



No tutorial.  

  1. 黃仁宇。《中國大歷史》。臺北:聯經出版事業公司,1993。

     或 Huang, Ray. China, A Macro History. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1989. 

  1. 黃仁宇。《大歷史不會萎縮》。桂林市:廣西師範大學出版社,2004。
  1. ()內藤湖南著,夏應元選編並監譯。《中國史通論-內藤湖南博士中國史學著作選譯》上下冊。北京:社會科學文獻出版社,2004。
  1. 尚鉞。《尚氏中國古代通史》北京:高等教育出版社,1991。
  2. 錢穆:《國史大綱》。香港:商務印書館,1995。
  1. Gallie, W. B. “Narrative and Historical Understanding.” In The History and Narrative Reader, edited by Geoffrey Roberts. London; New York: Routledge, 2001.
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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