Trang X. Ta
History of modern China since the beginning of the Qing dynasty, 1644 to the present. Focuses on the major social, political, and economic developments, and on the relationships between ideas and institutions. Topics include the impact of the West and changes resulting from internal causes.
BIS 402 Modern China Spring 2010
A myriad of representations of China as an impoverished developing country, a socialist nation with an authoritarian government, and the next superpower circulates in the global imaginary. Set against this backdrop of discordant imaginaries, we will examine the political, social, and economic transformation of modern China from the founding of the People’s Republic of China by the Chinese Communist Party to the market reforms of the new millennium. Modern China’s turbulent history will be understood through the everyday lives of Chinese citizens by exploring the issues of urbanization, migration and labor, family life, the health care system, gender and sexuality, and market reform through ethnographies and films. Readings will be drawn from several disciplines such as anthropology, cultural studies, economics, geography, history, and political science. Students will be asked to apply the methodologies from these disciplinary approaches to complete their own original research assignments. China’s prominence is growing on the international stage from joining the World Trade Organization to hosting the Olympic Games in 2008. The objective in this course is to understand the dynamic changes underway in the world’s most populous society.
Student learning goals
Gain an understanding of the complex history and social changes in contemporary China beyond the simplified stereotypical representations.
Learn how to cooperate as members of a research group to compile an annotated bibliography and project on a global issue concerning China.
Develop critical thinking skills and employ those skills to leading class discussions and synthesizing theoretical arguments for analytical papers.
Practice how to closely read a variety of texts that include academic papers, newspaper articles, films, documentaries, images, transcripts of speeches, and personal narratives.
General method of instruction
Seminar and discussion based course.
Class assignments and grading
Weekly short answer written responses, quizzes, research project, class presentation.
The quality of participation and assignments.