HIST 345BFall

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
Course Introduction
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Song Yunwei

Song Yunwei

Ph.D. Beijing University 
  • Reading
  • Teaching
  • Traveling
  • History
  • Surfing the Internet
  • Spending Time with Friends 

Pre-Modern Chinese History

This course is accredited through Loyola University Chicago
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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.