T325 History and Memory of Modern China

Diana Lin
Summer I 2007

Office: #F12, Tamarack Hall
(O)980 6981
Web page: http://www.iun.edu/~hisdcl
Email: dchenlin@iun.edu
Office hours: MW 11-11:30am, 2:30-3:30pm, T by appt.

Purpose of Course

This course includes a survey of 20th century China. It focuses on the selective historical topics in the four following areas:

These four topics cover significant events in 20th century Chinese history, aimed at a better grasp of the complexity of modern Chinese history.


The following two books are required readings that are available at the university bookstore.

Li, Feifei. Nanking 1937. M.E.Sharpe, 2002.

Wang, Ruowang. Hunger Trilogy. M.E.Sharpe, 1992.

Required readings also include online readings, often from JSTOR, which you can access with your IUN email account on campus or at home.

Course Requirements

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: B+; 80-84: B; 75-79: B-; 70-74: C+; 65-69: C; 60-64: C-; 55-59: D+; 50-55: D; 45-49: D-; 44 and below: F.

Grade distribution is as follows:

Essay Homework: 20 per cent
Discussion forum postings: 10 per cent
Presentation of second paper topic on campus: 5 per cent
Book review: 5 per cent
Take-home papers: 30 per cent each

Useful links:

A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilizations
People`s Daily.
yahoo`s China site

Asia Through the Lens: Photography of China and Japan, 1870-1920
Website with Chinese maps: http://www.chinapage.org/map/map.html

Online text: Modern Chinese history

Class schedule

Memories of War

Week 1 (May 14-20):

May 14

1. Introduction: China in the twentieth century and memory of modern China. Notes.

2. Read online text of Modern Chinese history.

May 16. The Sino-Japanese War and the Nanking Massacre: History and Memory. Li, chaps.1, 3. Notes. Online reading: Entangled Memories: Versions of the Past in Germany and Japan.

Week 2. (May 21-27)

May 21 Contrasting Chinese and Japanese views of the massacre.  Li, chaps.4 & 5. Notes

May 23 Japanese memory of the massacre.  Li, chaps. 6 & 7. Notes. Online reading: The Politics of History in Chinese-Japanese Relations Online reading notes.New.

Week 3 (May 28-June 3)

May 28 No class.

May 30  History and memory from a transnational perspective.  Li, chaps. 9 & 11. Notes

Week 4 (June 4-10)

First take-home paper due on June 10 as Oncourse email attachment. Topic: Using in-class readings and an outside source, discuss how the Nanjing Massacre was remembered in China and Japan and the politics, culture, and history implied in these memories. The paper needs to be 8-10 pages, double spaced, with citations, and a bibliography of the outside source.

New: announcement: please note a change in readings for this week and the next two weeks: the following readings were scheduled for week 5, but now are moved up to week 4:

 June 4

1..The Communist takeover (1949) and the changes in women's status.  Online reading: Women in China. Outline

2. The memory of change of women's status. Hershatter, "Gender and Cultural Memory" . Notes.

June 6

1. Online reading: Political campaigns in 1950s China.

2. Realizing economic development through political campaigns, the Great Leap Forward. Online reading: the Great Leap Forward.

3. Online reading: "Trauma and Memory: The Case of the Great Famine in the People's Republic of China" . Notes.

Week 5 (June 11-17) Please reprint for reading adjustments in week 5

June 11. Memory of the Chinese Civil War (1927-36, 1945-49). Wang, Introduction & chap.1. Notes. 2. Memory of the war against Japan. Wang, chap.2. Notes.

June 13

1. The Cultural Revolution: Online reading: The Cultural Revolution. Notes. Further online reading

2. Memories of the CR from the point of view of a Communist member. Wang, Part 3. Notes

3. online reading: Interview with Wang Ruowang.

Memories of Political Movements in Communist China

Week 6 (June 18-24) Please reprint for reading adjustments in week 6

June 18

1. Online reading: Politics and Individuality in Communist Revolutionary Culture;

2. Online reading: Understanding Popular Violence during the Cultural Revolution   Notes

.June 20

1. The end of the CR and the beginning of economic reform.  Online reading.

2. Online reading: Nationalism, History and Memory at the Beijing War Memorial Museum

Week 7  (June 25-July 1)

June 25 Online reading: China's Changing Views Toward World War II in An Age of ReformNotes

June 27 Online reading: Review Essay: Memory, Personal and Cultural Conclusion.

Second take-home paper and book review due June 29. The paper should be 8-10 pages, typed, double-spaced, and on a topic covered in the second half of the semester. Since this is a research paper, you need more than one outside source for it.