Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Mahlon D. Meyer
HSTAS 211
Seattle Campus

History of Chinese Civilization

Intensive survey of Chinese civilization from earliest times to today. Introduces all students, including East Asian history majors, to the general sweep of Chinese history. Social, cultural, and intellectual developments.

Class description

The course will cover the history of Chinese civilization from the origin myths and archaeological finds to recent events including the economic integration of Taiwan and China, China's sustained economic growth, and continued internal problems of corruption and migrant workers. Now is a key time to study Chinese history because the paradigm that governs how we understand Chinese history is changing. Students can play a role in forming a new paradigm particularly in evaluating and narrating the past one hundred and fifty years.

Student learning goals

To understand and know the basic events in Chinese history, to master both broader continuous themes and how they differ from particular and unique phenomena in disparate time periods, how to read historical texts and build them into a thesis or claim, how to understand the categories that underly academic interpretations of history, how to respond to and evaluate non-academic forms of Chinese history (such as wikipedia or legends), how to write a strong history paper, how to understand different time periods as incommensurable (unique) from our own.

General method of instruction

Lecture using story telling with analysis, emphasis on sources from sourcebook, 2 papers, some in-class activities.

Recommended preparation

None. An open mind to different styles of teaching.

Class assignments and grading

Two medium-length papers, one final, pop quizzes. Reading in a textbook and in a sourcebook, reading a memoir and a book on an important film.

Papers evaluated according to use of sources, how they fit into historical context, creativity and form of writing -- using thesis and topic sentences (covered in class).


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Mahlon D. Meyer
Date: 04/17/2012