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This subject examines China’s role in global and world history, and the role of the foreign and international in the modern history of the Chinese world. The subject covers the period from the end of the Second World War up until our own era. Its goals are to encourage students to identify and explore the multiple and intricate connections that Chinese states have forged with the wider world throughout recent history, and to help students build on their craft skills of critical reading, thinking, and writing about the past, as well as primary source interpretation.
The subject considers not only the example of the People’s Republic of China but also Taiwan and Hong Kong, aiming to situate greater China in global and regional contexts, contextualising China’s experience in adopting ideas and organisations from without, ranging from nationalism, socialism, capitalism, and democracy. China’s relationship with the foreign is elucidated in its complexity: rejecting stereotypes of a ‘closed’ China needing to be forced open by foreigners, this subject focuses on the agency of Chinese actors in their active engagement with the outside. Students consider how Chinese at different levels of society embraced and resisted influence from outside and showed their ability to make the foreign serve China.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate a strong understanding of Chinese history across the post-1945 period and identify, examine, and summarise the global connections tied to them
- Analyse both primary and secondary sources to interpret China's recent past, organise such sources/interpretations thereof into the production of an essay, and to develop independent thought on China/world history related topics
- Apply a broader understanding of the complex factors behind history and historical research (ie: historiography) to develop a critical analysis of China's global connections in contemporary history
- Demonstrate writing acumen and illustrate skills development through written work
Students who successfully complete this subject should be able to:
- Use reasoning and critical thinking
- Develop communication skills (oral and written)
- Develop library and research skills
- Engage with real world ideas and problems.
Last updated: 1 March 2024