G385 Modern China  (internet section)
Diana Lin

Fall 2011

Office: Hawthorn Hall 206A
(O)219 980 6981
Web page: http://www.iun.edu/~hisdcl
Email: dchenlin@iun.edu
Office hours: MW 9:00-10am, 11:30am-1pm or by appointment

Bibliography for outside reading


Purpose of Course

This course is a survey of modern China, from around 1840 to 1949. While its very definition is a product of colonialism, modern China developed with a distinct blend of traditional and modern Western elements. The readings primarily deal with four important themes in modern Chinese history, gender, education, commerce, and politics. Additional lectures provide perspectives on the Chinese countryside and the origins of the contemporary regime in historical perspective. This course provides a good starting point for understanding many of the changes taking place in China today.

G385 meets the requirements for:


The following two books are required readings available at the IUN campus Barnes and Noble bookstore.

Cheng, Pei-kai. The Search for Modern China: A Documentary History. Norton, 1999.

Roderick, John. Covering China. Chicago, IL.: Imprint, 1993.

Other required readings are JSTOR articles downloadable from links on the online syllabus.  Off-campus access requires your IUN or IUK email account.

Learning Materials Available via Oncourse:

Course Requirements

I. Weekly writing assignments: There are usually two batches of reading assignments a week, and there is usually one essay question with each batch of reading assignment, with occasional exceptions, as the online section follows the pace of the on campus section and holiday class cancellations on campus also affect the online syllabus. Forum questions are under the weekly reading assignments on the syllabus, and answers to these questions are to be posted on Oncourse Forums. They are due on the Saturday of each week, for instance, the question for week 1 is due by midnight Saturday, Sept.3. Forum questions are submitted via Forums on Oncourse.

How to answer forum questions: Each forum question should be answered in TWO ways: by posting your answer and posting a critique/commentary on someone else's posting. Your grade for each question is based on both your posting and your comments.

II. Two take-home papers, each 8-10 pages, typed, double spaced. The papers need citations.

You will use the built-in paper topic in the syllabus for the first paper, under the schedule for the 8th week. You are required to use both in-class readings and one or two outside sources for your first paper. You need to come up with a paper topic on your own for the second paper. And discuss with me what you plan to write, including a written paper proposal that counts 2% in the final grade. The papers are to be submitted via Oncourse Assignments 2. The due dates are as indicated on the syllabus.

III. Three online Connect meetings through the semester via Oncourse, or two campus visits.

IV. Posting and answering ten questions respectively in Oncourse Chatroom.

All homework and correspondence with the instructor are to be conducted via Oncourse. However, if you have questions about Oncourse, you can email me at my regular email address at dchenlin@iun.edu until the problems are resolved. Correspondence through Oncourse guarantees your homework will be securely transmitted and preserved. Consequently, I expect you to check your Oncourse email also for any course announcements and correspondence from me and possibly other classmates.

Method of grading: all grades are assigned in percentages, which will be tabulated at the end of the semester and converted to letter grades. The averages of your take-home papers and of your weekly writing assignments will be taken to represent the grades for your take-home paper and weekly writing assignment. The conversion is as follows: 93-100: A; 90-93: A-; 85-89.9: B+; 80-84.9: B; 75-79.9: B-; 70-74.9: C+; 65-69.9: C; 60-64.9: C-; 55-59.9: D+; 50-54.9: D; 45-49.9: D-; 44 and below: F.

Grade distribution is as follows:

Forum Homework: 30 per cent
Take-home papers: 25 per cent each
Three Oncourse online meetings or two campus visits: 10 per cent
Posting and answering 10 questions in chatroom: 8 per cent
Second take-home paper proposal and outline: 2 per cent

Useful links:

A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilizations
People`s Daily.

yahoo`s China site

Collection of photographs of Madame Soong Mei-ling
China and Europe, 1500-2000 and beyond.
MIT Visualizing Cultures
John Thompson's Images of China 1873-4

Website with Chinese maps: http://www.chinapage.com/map/map.html; Imperialism in China

Class schedule

Week 1 (Aug.29-Sept.4)

1. Introduction.  Notes Online reading: Modern Chinese history (There is no homework associated with this online reading for week 1; but please read through it briskly once. You will need to refer back to this text later on, including as background for the second reading assignment for week 1.)

2. China in the Qing Dynasty. Cheng, pp.58-81. Notes.

Forum essay #1: How did the Emperor Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty run his government? How does that differ from how you think government should be run?

Week 2 (Sept.5-11)

1. China's relationship with the West in the 18th century. Cheng, chap.6. Online reading: Rise and Fall of the Canton Trade System I. Rise and Fall of the Canton Trade System II. Rise and Fall of the Canton Trade System III. Rise and Fall of the Canton Trade System IV. Notes.

Forum essay #2: Based on emperor Qianlong's two letters to King George, what was China’s attitude toward relations with other countries during the 18th-19th centuries?

Week 3 (Sept.12-18)

1. Chinese society and educational system: Benjamin Elman, "Political, Social and Cultural Reproduction via Civil Service Examinations in Late Imperial China" (under Oncourse Resources). Notes.

Forum essay #3: How did the imperial examination system sustain the imperial social and political structures in pre-1905 China?

2. The Opium War. Cheng, chap.7. Online reading: The First Opium War. Images of Treaty Ports. Notes.

Forum essay #4: How did Britain and China go to war over opium?

Week 4 (Sept.19-25)

1. Introduction of new ideas: religion. Cheng, chap.8. Notes.

Forum essay #5: Give examples of how Liang Fa (8.2) and the Taipings (8.4 & 8.5) approached and interpreted Christianity.

2. The Qing Dynasty in reform. Cheng, chap.9. Discussion of "essential" and "peripheral" cultures--the beginning of cultural borrowing. Notes.

Forum essay #6: Describe some characteristics of the approaches to reform by intellectual reformers (Yan Fu and Feng Guifen, and Liang Qichao and Sun Yatsen), and reform-minded government officials (Zhang Zhidong, Zen Guofan, Prince Gong).

Week 5 (Sept.26-Oct.2)

1. The downfall of the Qing Dynasty. Cheng, chaps.10 & 11. Notes.

Forum essay #7: What were some main justifications for the 1911 revolution? Do you think the revolution was inevitable?

2. The beginning of the republic. Modern Chinese history: pp.9-13. Cheng, chap.12. Notes.

Forum essay #8:  Describe politics in the early years of the Chinese republic: do you think the republic had a solid basis?

Week 6 (Oct.3-9)

1. China in disintegration. Edward McCord, "Cries That Shake the Earth: Military Atrocities and Popular Protests in Warlord China" (under Oncourse Resources). Notes.

Forum essay #9: Did Chinese politics get worse after the republican revolution? Why or why not?

2. The New Culture Movement and changes in Chinese values. Readings: Selected Stories, Lu Hsun (1918-1926); required readings: Note and preface, True Story of Ah Q, and New Year's Sacrifice. Cheng, 13,2, 13.3, 13.4, 13.5. Notes.

Forum essay #10: What kind of changes did the Chinese try to make to their cultures? How do you explain their radicalism to tradition?

Week 7 (Oct.10-16)

1. Science as tool for national salvation. Zuoyue Wang, "Saving China Through Science" (under Oncourse Resources). Notes.

Forum essay #11: Do you think that, in the pursuit of science, the Chinese appropriately seized the right instrument to strengthen their nation?

2. Modern educational reform. Barry Keenan, "Educational Reform and Politics in Early Republican China" (under Oncourse Resources). Notes.

Forum essay #12: How would modern educational reform transform China from the social and political structures under the imperial examination system?

Week 8 (Oct.17-23) First take-home examination due via Oncourse Assignments email attachment on Sunday Oct.23. Paper topic: Pick your point of observation and explore one or two aspects of change in modern China. Take into consideration the following: to what extent did the change take place; how ready the Chinese society/individual were for the change, and how long lasting did the changes promise. The paper needs to be 8-10 pages, typed, double-spaced. You need to use our required readings and one external source. Citations are required in the paper, e.g. (Cheng, p.123). or link to the online articles. A bibliography is needed at the end.

1. Doing business in modern China. Wellington Chan, "Personal styles, cultural values and management: The sincere and wing on companies in Shanghai and Hong Kong 1900-41" (in Oncourse Resources)

Forum essay #13: How did the traditional and modern practices get blended in China's first modern department stores? What contributed to their success or failure?

2. Sports and Chinese modernity. Andrew Morris, "'To Make the Four Hundred Million Move,' The Late Qing Dynasty Origins of Modern Chinese Sport and Physical Culture." (in Oncourse Resources)

Forum essay #14: How did sports develop out of a blend of Chinese traditions and Western practices?

Week 9 (Oct.24-30)

1.The limits to the freedom of the new woman. Louise Edwards, "Policing the Modern Woman in Republican China" (under Oncourse Resources) Notes.

Forum essay #15: What were the limitations to the new woman in Chinese cities?

2. Modern political parties: the Nationalists and Communists. Cheng, chap.14. Notes.

Forum essay #16: What made possible the development of these two political parties? Why could they not get along?

Week 10 (Oct.31-Nov.6)

1. The Nationalist Party and Chinese capitalists. Parks Coble, "The Kuomintang Regime and the Shanghai Capitalists, 1927-29." (on Oncourse Resources)

Forum essay #17: Do you think that, as a ruling regime, the Nationalist Party's policies toward the Shanghai capitalists were good? Why or why not?

2. The rise of Chinese Communism. Robert Scalapino, Mao Zedong 1919-1921. Online reading Mao Zedong: The Early Years. Farmers and the Chinese Revolution. Cheng, 16.6 &16.7.Notes

Forum essay #18: What was Mao Zedong's background and how did he transform from a New Culture youth to a Communist?

Week 11 (Nov.7-13)

1. The fate of democratic politics in modern China. Edmund Fung, Social Democracy in China's Modern Transformation. Notes.

Forum essay #19: Do you think China could have developed into a viable democratic party system based on the Communist and Nationalist parties? Why or why not?

2. The Nationalist government and Japanese invasions. Cheng, chaps.15 & 16 (to 16.5) Notes.

Forum essay #20:  How do you assess the effectiveness of the Nationalist administration?

Week 12 (Nov.14-20)

1.World War II in China. Cheng, 17.1-17.6 Notes.

Forum essay #21: Why did the Nanjing Massacre take place?

2. Communists in Yanan. Roderick, chap.2. Cheng, 17.7.Mao: Mao: The Tasks of the Chinese Communist Party in the Period of Resistance to Japan. Notes.

Forum essay #22: How did the Chinese Communist Party build its rationale and status during the war against Japan?

Week 13 (Nov.21-27) Because of Thanksgiving, Week 14's forum homework is due at midnight on Monday Nov.28.

1. The last days of the Nationalist rule. Roderick, chap.3. Cheng, 18.1-18.3 Notes.

Forum essay #23: Why did the Nationalist and Communist negotiations break down and the two resort to civil war again?

Online viewing: China in revolution 1911-49, part 1; China in revolution part 2; China in revolution part 3; China in revolution part 4; China in revolution part 5; China in revolution part 6; China in revolution part 7; China in revolution part 8; China in revolution part 9; China in revolution part 10.

Week 14 (Nov.28-Dec.4)

1. Mao's vision of the future. Cheng, 18.4-18.5. Notes.

Forum essay #24: How do you think Mao's "democratic dictatorship" compared with democracy?

12. Communist victory. Roderick, chaps.4 & 5.

Forum essay #25: Why do you think the Communists won against the Nationalists in the end? Could America have intervened and brought about a different outcome? Do you think Communist rule was a better alternative than Nationalist rule?

Week 15 (Dec.5-11)

1. The Chinese civil war from an American perspective. John K. Fairbank, "Can We Compete in China?" "Toward a Dynamic Far Eastern Policy," and "China's Prospects and U.S. Policy." (All available in Oncourse resources)

Forum essay #26: What were Fairbank's major points? Based on what we have covered so far, did Fairbank make any sense?

Completion of second paper proposal by Dec.5 and beginning of second paper writing. External sources for the second take-home paper may come from IU library resources including JSTOR, Project Muse, and other online electronic journals from IUN and IUK libraries.

Week 16 (Dec.12-18)

Second paper due by email attachment through Oncourse Assignments on Dec.14. Second paper should be a research paper based on multiple external sources, on a topic approved of by the instructor , and be 8-10 pages, with a bibliography and citations.