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HIS 141 — The History of Modern China

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jan 12—Mar 16
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jan 14
Units: 2
Tuition: $485
Instructor(s): Thomas S. Mullaney
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Registration opens Nov 29, 8:30 am (PT)
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Jan 12—Mar 16
10 weeks
Refund Date
Jan 14
2 Units
Thomas S. Mullaney
Registration opens Nov 29, 8:30 am (PT)
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
China has undergone epic changes over the past five hundred years. At the midpoint of the last millennium, Ming dynasty China was one of the engines of the world economy and a dynamic center of cultural, literary, and artistic production. Since then, China has witnessed a brutal and transformative conquest by a non-Chinese dynasty; a doubling of the empire’s size; a period of unprecedented economic and demographic growth during the 18th century; the most destructive rebellions in human history; colonial incursions by multiple Western nations; the demise of an imperial system over two millennia old; a period of widespread political and social experimentation and uncertainty; a tragic and debilitating war against Asia’s new preeminent power, Imperial Japan; a Communist revolution that dwarfed in size its Russian counterpart; a tumultuous period of Communist rule that has fluctuated between periods of unprecedented economic growth and chaos; and most recently, the country’s return to the center of the global stage.

This course charts China’s major transformations over the past five centuries. Our exploration will begin “midstream,” in the year 1500, regarded by many as the beginning of the modern age of global integration. From there we will move into the present day, tackling issues of politics, society, economy, culture, gender, ethnicity, environmental history, and international relations.

Professor of History, Stanford

Thomas S. Mullaney is the author of The Chinese Typewriter: A History, which examines China’s development of a modern, nonalphabetic information infrastructure encompassing telegraphy, typewriting, word processing, and computing. He has received the 2013 Abbott Payson Usher Prize, a three-year National Science Foundation Science, Technology, and Society award, a Hellman Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He received a PhD from Columbia.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Jonathan Spence, The Search for Modern China: A Documentary Collection, 3rd ed. (ISBN 978-0393920857)
(Required) Rae Yang, Spider Eaters: A Memoir (ISBN 978-0520276024)
(Required) Lu Xun, The Real Story of Ah-Q and Other Tales of China: The Complete Fiction of Lu Xun (ISBN 978-0140455489)
(Required) Cixin Liu, The Three Body Problem (ISBN 978-0765382030)