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This subject involves the study of urbanisation and urban phenomena in history from a comparative perspective, with a focus on similarities and contrasts between China and the West, and attention to changing urban-rural relations and contrasts over time. The subject will be taught over a period of three weeks at Nanjing University, with the possible exception of three to four days spent at other urban sites. Lectures and discussion informed by reading will be accompanied by visits to historical sites, museums, and theme parks, allowing students to develop a first-hand acquaintance with Chinese history in practice, particularly in respect of the attention paid to town and country, past and present. The subject will be team-taught by staff from the University of Melbourne, with involvement where feasible by staff at Nanjing University.
Intended learning outcomes
Students who successfully complete this subject should be able to:
- describe the patterns and trends in urban development, Chinese and Western, historically and in contemporary times;
- demonstrate an ability to identify and analyse primary and secondary materials, textual and visual, in reflecting on historical change in urban contexts;
- reflect critically on spatial, political, social and economic aspects of urban life in different hisotrical contexts;
- through oral and written work, in collaborative class presentations and individual projects, demonstrate familiarity with urban forms in China and the West and describe how they have changed over time;
- inquire into, analyse and evaluate accounts of urban history with reference in particular to conventional differentiation of Eastern and Western patterns of economic and political change;
- evaluate meanings attributed to town and country in different cultural-historical contexts, and how these have changed over time;
- demonstrate a capacity for recognising and conceptualising a problem in Chinese urban history, especially in comparative perspective; and
- demonstrate competence in identifying ways and means of researching that problem, and effectively communicating the research process and results.
Last updated: 26 May 2022