1120Fall 2020
3 Credits

Pre-Modern Chinese History

Dive into thousands of years of dynastic history to understand both changes and continuities in Chinese history up to the country that you see today
Song Yunwei 宋云伟
Course Introduction
Song Yunwei 宋云伟
Song Yunwei 宋云伟Ph.D. Beijing University 

Yunwei Song is an Associate Professor at History School of Renmin University of China in Beijing. She earned a PhD degree in history at Beijing University and has been a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan in the USA. Her research has focused on constitutional history. In her doctoral dissertation and first book (The Period of Dual Federalism in the US), she studied the relationship between federal government and state governments before the American Civil War. Her current academic interests are on the history of natural resources policy. Her second book The History of Natural Resources Policy in US was published in 2011. The author of many scholarly papers, Dr. Song has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in history in many countries, often approaching history comparatively with China as major focus.

  • Reading
  • Teaching
  • Traveling
  • History
  • Surfing the Internet
  • Spending Time with Friends 

Pre-Modern Chinese History

UIBE serves as our School of Record
3 Credits
Download Syllabus

Course Description

The traditional model of Chinese history demarks the past into dynasties and their cycles of emperors. But across dynastic timelines, various long-term forces and patterns repeatedly crop up in Chinese society, which over many thousands of years has been shaped by social groups and cultural encounters, some unique and others recurrent. This course will help you better understand both changes and continuities in Chinese history, up to the country that you see today, by looking at China’s multi-layered and dynamic past. We will follow dynastic periods to cover the political, economic, cultural, and social patterns of pre-modern China. We will also try to compare Chinese history and European history so that we can understand different civilizations better. This course begins with the origins of Chinese civilization and ends with the Opium War.

Courses Outcomes

Lectures, readings, excursions, assignments, discussions, and presentations are designed to help you develop the skills to:

  • Think historically, read critically, and write and speak persuasively;
  • Situate major historical events in China’s early history in their proper geographical, chronological, and thematic contexts;
  • Connect and integrate historical understandings, and grasp their ethical and moral dimensions;
  • Appreciate the greatness and complexity of Chinese cultural and religious traditions; – seek better understanding of the origins of the present development of China;
  • Evaluate and critically assess the validity of historical evidence and interpretations;
  • Use primary and secondary sources to construct sophisticated, persuasive, and logical interpretations of historical problems and events.