Spring 2021

Modern China: Traumatic Revolutions and Transformative Reforms

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-172  |  History, as HIST-172

Formerly listed as: ASLC-46  |  HIST-16


George Qiao (Sections 01 and 02)


(Offered as HIST 172 [AS/TC/TE] and ASLC 172) This survey of Chinese history examines the matrix of the internal and external forces and movements that have shaped modern China from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. During this period, the Chinese people dispensed with a form of government that had been used for three thousand years to form, despite various complications, a modern nation-state. We will explore major events in modern China beginning with the Opium War, the Taiping Rebellion, the collapse of the Qing dynasty and the establishment of a new Republic, the Republican revolution, the “New Culture” movement, Communist revolution, war against Japan, the Chinese Civil War, the founding of the People’s Republic of China, China’s role in the Korean War, Mao’s Cultural Revolution, and the post-Mao economic reforms and social transformations, all with comparative references to current events. Readings, which include a wide variety of documents such as religious and revolutionary tracts, eye-witness accounts, memoirs, and letters, will be supplemented by interpretive essays and videos. Two class meetings per week.

If conditions permit, the class will meet in person. Two sections offered in spring semester 2020-21. Each section is capped at 18 students. Professor Qiao.

If Overenrolled: Priority will be given to history and ASLC seniors and juniors.


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Social Justice, Attention to Writing, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2021