Modern China Syllabus

Hist 184: Modern China
Dr. Daniel Meissner
Coughlin Hall 306  (228-3552)

Course Goals:
    To develop a more comprehensive understanding of Chinese history, society and culture from the 19th century to the present.
    To familiarize students with historical resources.
    To acquire in-depth knowledge of  major political systems, artistic themes, economic trends, and philosophical developments in modern China.
    To acquire specific knowledge of significant  people, places and events in modern Chinese history.
    To integrate this information in rational discussion and analysis from a Chinese perspective.

 Jonathan Spence, The Search for Modern China
 Pearl Buck, The Good Earth
 Lu Hsun (Xun),  Selected Stories of Lu Hsun (on-line)
 Fan Shen, A Gang of One

There will be two examinations for this course: a midterm and a final.  Both examinations will consist of short identifications and essay questions related to the readings, lectures and discussions.  No make-up exams will be given.  No incompletes will be given.

Students are required to write 3 analytical papers (approximately 5-6 typed pages each) based on the course's literary texts.  In addition, students will create a web page on a selected topic related to modern China.

Critical Reports:
Students are required to write a total of three, short (2-3 pages) responses to published articles about contemporary issues in China.

In order to adequately prepare for lectures and discussions, the assigned readings for each week should be completed prior to class.

Regular attendance is required and active participation in class discussions is expected.  Absences will adversely affect your grade.  Course grade will automatically drop for students missing more than six (6) classes.

Critical Reports
Analytical Papers
Midterm Exam
Final Exam

Students are expected to stay current in their readings, complete projects on time, participate in discussions, and abide by Marquette University's academic rules and regulations.

Special Accommodations:
Students who need special accommodations in order to meet any of the requirements of this course should speak to the instructor at the beginning of the semester.


Tentative Class Schedule

Week 1
8/30    Introduction to class goals and requirements.  Distribution of map exercise
9/1      Analysis of Contemporary China
9/3      Workshop (map exercise due)
  Readings: Spence Chs. 1, 2; begin reading Pearl Buck's The Good Earth

Week 2
9/6     Labor Day No Class
9/8     Introduction to late traditional China
9/10   Kangxi expansion and Yongzheng stability
  Readings:  Spence Chs. 3, 4; Pearl Buck

Week 3
9/13     Qianlong and Qing power
9/15     China and the West
9/17     Discussion of The Good Earth (Chapters 1-10)
  Readings:  Spence Chs. 5, 6; Pearl Buck

Week 4
9/20     Opium and western power
9/22     China's mid-19th century crisis: Vortex of Disintegration
9/24     Discussion of The Good Earth (Chapters 11-21)  First Analytical Paper Due
  Readings:  Spence Chs. 7, 8; Pearl Buck

Week 5
9/27     China's late 19th century crisis: Confucian or western reform?
9/29     Self-strengthening and the Sino-Japanese war
10/1     Discussion of The Good Earth (Chapters 22-34)
  Readings:  Spence Chs. 9, 10; Pearl Buck

Week 6
10/4     Industrialization and the Rights Recovery Movement
10/6     Qing collapse
10/8      First Paper Due
   Readings:  Spence Chs. 10, 11; Lu Xun

Week 7
10/11   Yuan Shikai and the failure of Republicanism
10/13   "Catch up" and Review for midterm
10/15   Midterm Exam
   Readings:  Spence Ch. 12; Lu Xun

Week 8
10/18   Sun Yatsen: Policies and Revolution
10/20   Discussion of Lu Xun's "A Madman's Diary" & "Medicine"
10/22   Midterm Break
  Readings: Spence Ch. 12; Lu Xun

Week 9
10/25    New intellectual trends
10/27    Society of madmen
10/29    Discussion of Lu Xun's "Kong Yi-chi" & "Upstairs in a Wine Shop"    Second Analytical Paper Due
  Readings: Spence Ch. 13; Lu Xun

Week 10
11/1      United Front and National Unification
11/3      Communist Repression and the Long March
11/5      Film; Second Paper Due
  Readings:  Spence Chs. 14, 16; begin reading Fan Shen

Week 11
11/8      Civil War and Communist "Liberation"
11/10    Founding of the People's Republic of China
11/12    Discussion of Gang of One (Chapters 1-15)
  Readings:  Spence Chs. 18, 19; Fan Shen

Week 12
11/15    Early economic and political reforms
11/17    Rightists, and the Great Leap Forward
11/19    Discussion of Gang of One (Chapters 16-28)Third Analytical Paper Due
  Readings:  Spence Chs. 20, 21; Fan Shen

Week 13
11/22    Liu Shaoqi, Deng Xiaoping, and "revisionism"
11/24    Thanksgiving Holiday
11/26    Thanksgiving Holiday
  Readings:  Spence Ch. 22

Week 14
11/29    Mao, the Gang of Four, and the Cultural Revolution
12/1      Ping Pong Diplomacy and the Four Modernizations
12/3      Discussion of Gang of One (Chapters 29-36)
  Readings:  Spence Chs. 23, 24; Fan Shen

Week 15
12/6     End of a Maoist era
12/8     Deng, Capitalism and Democracy
12/10   "Catch up" and review for final;  Final Paper Due
  Readings:  Spence Chs. 25, 26

Week 16
12/17     Final Exam   (1:00-3:00 pm)