TBC 1121Spring 2020

Modern Chinese History

Gain understanding of how the Chinese Empire, with a bright and advanced civilization in ancient times, became a semi-colony of the western powers, and how the Chinese people pushed forward the modernization of China.
Brent Haas 何必
Course Introduction
Brent Haas 何必
Brent Haas 何必Ph.D., UC San Diego

A native of Charlotte, North Carolina USA, Dr. Haas began his study of China as an undergraduate student, when a freshman survey of Chinese history changed the course of his studies and career. He made his first trip to Beijing as a student at an intensive language program in the summer of 1999. After graduating from Georgetown University with a major in History and a minor in Chinese, he returned to Beijing to continue his language study at the Inter-University Program (IUP) for Chinese Language Studies during the 2002-2003 academic year. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied Modern Chinese History under the guidance of Joseph W. Esherick and Paul G. Pickowicz. He has taught courses on East Asian civilization, modern Chinese history, Sino-American relations, Chinese images of the “West”, at Duke Study in China, Duke University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, the University of California Education Abroad Program, and Peking University. Dr. Haas has managed study abroad programs in China for Duke University and the University of California Education Abroad program (UCEAP), UC’s system-wide study abroad organization serving all ten campuses. He has been the Resident Director of IUP for the last three years.

  • History

Modern Chinese History

Course accreditation by UIBE
Download Syllabus

Course Description

We will start the “Modern History” of China with the Opium Wars of 1840 as this is a crucial period of change, and trace the historical development up to the present day. The lectures will address both chronological and thematic considerations so that it will be easier for students to follow. We will study the China situation in the developing world from 17th century to 19th century. We also will talk about the political reformation, democracy movement, economic development and social problems in the 20th century. The course is specifically designed for foreign students studying in TBC with the objective of enabling them to understand ongoing social, economic and political trends which have their roots in history.

We will basically have two hours of lectures each week, and then 45 minutes either for discussion or movies. (Excerpts from the three-part documentary “China: A century of Revolution” will be shown in the classroom.). When we have a seminar, you will be divided into several groups, and then you need to present your group’s conclusions. All the topics that will be discussed in the classes are listed in this syllabus. Students are encouraged to become actively involved in class discussions and to present your own understandings on historical issues.

Courses Outcomes

Lectures, readings, written assignments and discussions are designed to help you develop the
skills to:
• Think historically, read critically, and write and speak persuasively.
• Connect and integrate historical understandings of Modern China. Have a better understanding of present day China.
• Investigate and appreciate the complex, multi-causal origins of the events and outcomes of this period.
• Critically evaluate the validity of historical evidence from a variety of sources and come up with your own interpretations of source materials.
• Use primary and secondary sources to construct original, complex, and logical interpretations of the events and processes of this decade.