Xiurong Zhao is professor in History School in Renmin University of China now. She studies social history of medicine in early modern England. She has published several essays in this field in World History, Historiography Quarterly and Journal of Historical Science. She has published two books: A Study of Business and Merchants of England, 1500-1700, Social Science and Documentation Publishing House, 2004; The Studies of the Relationship between the Individual and the State in Western Political ideas, China Social Sciences Press, 2012. She has translated one book: Transformations of the Earth: How Nature Matters in the Making & Unmaking of the Modern World, Commercial Press, 2015. She was visiting scholar in the University of Harvard in the US and the University of Warwick in England. She has worked in the University of Geneva for four years.
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.
Lectures, readings, written assignments and discussions are designed to help you develop the
• 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.