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Dr. Martha Selby, Chair 120 INNER CAMPUS DR STOP G9300 WCH 4.134 78712-1251 • 512-471-5811

Fall 2009

ANS 340M • Modern China

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
31080 MWF
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
UTC 3.134
LI, H.

Course Description

This course is a survey of Chinese history from 1800 to the present. We will start with an examination of Chinese society and civilization under the last imperial dynasty, the Qing. We will then examine China's attempt to transform itself into a republic in 1911 spurred by deep internal social and cultural changes and by pressure from Western imperialism. The 1911 revolution, however, did not end China's search for a new political and cultural identity. China, in fact, emerged from a bloody war with Japan (1937-1945) and a devastating civil war (1945-1949), in a new Communist mode. In October 1949, Mao Zedong, leader of the Chinese Communist Party, announced the establishment of the People's Republic of China, addressing the crowd from the front balcony of the old imperial palace. Today, after the failure of the Maoist experiment, China is once again attempting a new transformation. The post-Mao era has been characterized by extensive economic liberalization and rapid economic development. However, among the new Shanghai billionaires, the mushrooming private enterprises, color TV, flashy Karaoke and discos, there remain many who languish in jail for having openly criticized the Communist leadership. The June 1989 Tiananmen demonstration and its bloody repression by the central authorities have exposed the contradictions and problems that still afflict China under its current Communist regime.

Grading Policy

There will be four in-class quizzes (10% each), a midterm and a final exam (25% each). Students are also required to attend class regularly, do the readings, and actively participate in class discussion (10%).


John K. Fairbank, A New History, Harvard University Press Ba Chin (also know n as Ba Jin), Family, Waveland Press Yuan-Tsung Chen (or Yuan-Tsun Chen), Dragon 'VVillage, Penguin Jung Chang, Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China, Anchor Books Various articles (available as PDF files both on e-reserve and on the Schedule of Classes and Readings web page).


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