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HIST 4242 China's Encounter with Modernity


HIST 4242 China's Encounter with Modernity (GB) (HA-AS) (non-US)

Tuesday: 10:10-12:05

John Barwick

This course explores the processes and paradoxes of China’s engagement with the modern world from the late Qing dynasty to the early years of Communist rule. This period witnessed epochal changes in Chinese society and culture, ranging from the adoption of republican government and expansion of print culture to the promotion of women’s rights and explosion of nationalism. Taken together, these and other changes can be said to signify the emergence of Chinese modernity. Yet what exactly do we mean by the term “modernity”? And what makes modern China “modern”? This class will seek to answer these questions by examining in detail the concrete developments that were occurring in different spheres of Chinese society during the early twentieth century, while also considering the multiplicity of ways that scholars have utilized the concept of modernity to understand and analyze them.

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