Welcome! This course will examine the history of one quarter of the human race for the last 350 years: modern China from the beginning of the Qing dynasty (1644) to the present. China's history in this period, especially in the 20th century, is the history of one of the world's oldest, most sophisticated civilizations grappling with its inability to repel the intrusion of another civilization, the upstart West. We will study the fascinating history of China's identity-crisis and self-reinvention, compelling not least because China has not finished its self-reinvention. China is still changing dramatically, and changes there increasingly affect the rest of the planet. China will figure in your future, and so its past is more important for you than you might think.
First the good news: in this course, you will not be memorizing battles and birthdays. Insightful history does not consist of the unproductive recital of great events and great statesmen. This course focuses on how and why things happened as they did as much as on what happened. You will learn a lot about processes and relationships (which are more interesting than battlefields, anyhow). From this, you should gain a much better idea of how the Chinese adjusted to a world changing around them: valuable and useful knowledge for a changing world!
The objectives of the course thus are are a bit more complicated than that. The student will have to understand recent Chinese history and understand it in terms of two underlying themes, which we will use as analytical scalpels on facts and trends in this course. These are:
* China’s “dynastic cycle” - in short, China’s internal structure and culture, and how they contributed to long-term trends in China’s development.
* China’s encounter with the West - in short, how the arrival (and sometimes imposition) of Western politics and culture upon China likewise contributed to China’s development.
Thus the bad news: in this course, you will not be memorizing battles and birthdays. You will not get far by simply spitting back facts, in college or in “real life“! To do well in this course, you will have to consider how what you are reading relates to previous readings: spot trends, analyze patterns. Reciting historical data without trying to understand them is as useful as memorizing a poem in a language you don‘t speak. This will be especially true of the documentary collections, where you will read first-hands accounts of the times.
The goal in all of this is to be able to use a model or an idea (like the “dynastic cycle”) and apply it to the data presented to you regarding China. This should encourage not only an intimate knowledge of the material, but also assist with your critical thinking skills. I will assign two papers, key-term summaries, and (perhaps) the occasional map quiz in this course. However, I also reserve the right to give surprise quizzes. Except for unusual circumstances, I will expect you to hand in all written assignments via Blackboard. I reserve the right to decide what constitute an unusual circumstance.
Key Term Summaries: For each session’s reading, you will find a list of key terms or questions, based on that session’s readings. Every week, there will be an online quiz. For each term or question, you will be responsible for a two-paragraph summary. The first paragraph should detail the basic informational content of the term: what person, idea, or thing; where, when. The second paragraph, also short, should tell how this term relates to two of the following: (1) previous key terms, OR
(2) to the theme of the section, OR
(3) to overall themes of the course ("encounter with the West" or "dynastic cycle").
Each term can get up to ten points. The first paragraph gets you six - if you get the term's information correct. I will deduct points for incorrect information, overly vague answers (answers so general that they could apply to any time or place, for example), or for mere paraphrasing. (If you are giving me an answer as long as the book, with just a few words changed, you are showing me that you can look something up, but NOT that you are thinking about the material.) Outright copying from the texts is plagiarism, and will get you a zero score. Repeated plagiarism is assumed to be non-accidental, and will result in disciplinary measures. The second paragraph gets you four points - if you can write convincingly about the term’s context. The terms will constitute 40% of your course grade.
As we approach the 20th century in this course, once a week, I will post an online quiz. One of the terms of the week will randomly be given to you. Within 30 minutes, you will upload your paragraphs for that term. I will evaluate your responses as quickly as I can.
These quizzes will be worth 25% of your total grade.
The two papers will be worth 25% each.
I will assign topics for two five-page papers, analyzing the course materials. I will give these to you roughly three weeks before the due date.
PAPER #1: TBA
PAPER #2: TBA
Plagiarism on papers will constitute grounds for failure for the course. I define plagiarism as the use of someone else's work without attribution, thus claiming the work as one's own. (Massive paraphrasing - using someone else's essay but changing one word in each sentence, for example - still constitutes plagiarism.)
A couple of weeks into the semester, I will assign each student a randomly chosen “character”. Each of these characters will represent a different facet of modern Chinese history: a peasant, a grain merchant, or the concubine of a warlord general, for example. All of them share a common birthdate of October 10, 1911 (the founding date of the Republic of China).
Your task will be to create (first) some more extensive background for your character, based on your understanding of Chinese history. As we reach the late 1920s and early 1930s in this course - and the characters become 20 years old - you will decide what the character will think and how he or she will act, and you will have to justify that choice, based on your understanding of how the trends in Chinese history affect that person. (In short, you will have to make reference to the Spence book, as well as to the documents text.) Does he or she ever run into Japanese invaders? Does he or she join the Communist party or the Nationalists? When does he or she marry, and whom? Be careful: every decision your character makes shapes subsequent decisions, opening some possible lifelines and closing others!
(PARAMETERS: Your character may not emigrate, though he or she might end up dying, if you make consistently bad decisions for him or her, in my judgement. No “miracle” plot twists are allowed - the discovery of gold on your land, you save Chairman Mao’s life and he rewards you with a lifetime pension, aliens place you in an alternate universe - none of that, please! ) Your character hopefully will live at least through June 4, 1989 (for reasons which also will become clear).
Each student will make weekly entries into a blog on his/her character, telling what happens to the character AND WHY (based on readings of the course, and other research), and to comment on other people’s blogs. You will choose when and if your character marries, has children, when your character fights or flees... but remember, there’s NO “reset”. If you post it, it’s permanent, and subsequent choices available will be based on your decisions, unless I veto your posting as something unlikely. (A woman choosing to give birth at age 55, for example. … and I *always* have the right to throw a monkey-wrench in your plans, just the way the world would do to you in real life. AT THE END OF THE SEMESTER… you will turn in a biography of your character.
This blog will also be worth 25%.
I do not grade based on in-class participation (some people are just quiet, after all), except in borderline cases. But you should participate, anyway, particularly in any online discussions using Blackboard: the more you participate, the better you learn... and the more you are demonstrating to me that you are learning.
I don‘t grade on attendance. If you don‘t attend, it will reflect on your grade, anyhow. HOWEVER, attending and contributing can never hurt, since it gives me one more way to judge your knowledge and analytical skills. So:
IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND SOMETHING, SAY SO.
(Very likely you are not alone in not understanding it.)
Jonathan Spence. The Search for Modern China (3rd ed.)
Pei-Kai Cheng and Michael Lestz. The Search for Modern China. A Documentary Collection. (2nd ed.)
He Liyi. Mr. China‘s Son: A Villager‘s Life (2nd ed.)
Jung Chang. Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China
While I have not required it, I strongly recommend that you buy and use Strunk‘s and White‘s The Elements of Style. Few books will help you with writing as much as this book will. Kate Turabian‘s A Manual for Writers likewise will help you with style, but with proper formatting of your essays. Any decent bookstore will have these in stock; otherwise, you can order them online.
At my request, the UTPB bookstore also regularly carries copies of Mortimer Adler’s classic How to Read a Book, which is the single best guide on how to read efficiently. Buy it; it could be the single best investment you make in your education.
Accomodation for Students with Disabilities: Americans with Disabilities Act: Students with disabilities that are admitted to The University of Texas of the Permian Basin may request reasonable accommodations and classroom modifications as addressed under Section 504/ADA regulations. Students needing assistance because of a disability must contact Dr. Efren D. Castro, Director, Programs Assisting Student Study (PASS) Office, 552-2630, no later than 30 days prior to the start of the semester.
The definition of a disability for purposes of ADA is that she or he (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantively limits a major life activity, (2) has a record of such an impairment or, (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.
Students who have provided all documentation and are eligible for services will be advised of their rights regarding academic accommodations and responsibilities. The University is not obligated to pay for diagnosis or evaluations nor is it obligated to pay for personal services or auxiliary aids.
If you need accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information to share with the instructor, or if you need special arrangements in the case the building must be evacuated, please inform the instructor immediately. It is best to contact the instructor after class or during his/her office hours.
All students are required to complete the course within the semester they are signed up. Incomplete grades for the course are rarely given and will only be granted if the student has complete at least half/75% of the course with a grade of ‘C’ or better and provides a valid, documented excuse for not being able to complete the course on time and has contacted prior to the scheduled last class to request an extension. The student will sign a contract that includes the incomplete course activities and the new due dates.
For grade appeal process go to http://ss.utpb.edu/dean-of-students/student-grievances/
Submission and Naming Convention of Course Activities: Keep in mind the following standards/practices for naming and submission of assignments:
All course activity files that will be submitted to the instructor should bear the name as follows:
First initial +last name + the name of the assignment
Example: Jane Doe Assignment 3orJane Doe Article Review
Be sure to put your name at the top of each page header
Always keep a copy of all the work you submit so that you won’t need to re-do it if it should get lost in cyberspace.
SCHEDULE OF READINGS NOTE: the schedule given here is still for Spring 2014. The dates are wrong, and use a Tuesday-Thursday schedule. My course for Spring 2015 will use a MWF schedule, and obviously the dates will differ. The readings will be roughly the same, but not necessarily in these same combinations or in the same order. Look to download a finalized syllabus in January.
Spence 14: “The Clash“
Cheng/Lestz 14.4-14.6: “Purging the CCP: Three Documents“
Cheng/Lestz 14.9: “Madame Sun Yat-Sen Defends the Left, August 1927“
THINK ABOUT BOTH OF THESE DOCUMENTS IN TERMS OF EACH GROUPS PERCEPTION OF THE OTHER, AND OF CHINA’S NEEDS.
Chang 1: “‘Three-Inch Golden Lilies‘ ... (1909-1933)“
QUESTIONS FOR JUNG CHANG ("Wild Swans") OR FOR HE LIYI ("Mr. China's Son") ARE TO BE CONSIDERED THE EQUIVALENT OF KEY TERMS.
Chang: Describe Jung Chang‘s grandmother‘s relationship with her in-laws. How traditional? How modern?
Nationalist Purge of CCP Members
Your peronalities are all teenagers in the 1920s. What are their family backgrounds, family plans? What are they doing or thinking? What are their hopes for themselves and for China?
QUIZ 5 DUE ON TERMS FOR 2/18 AND 2/20
2.2 - The Civil War and the War with Japan
Spence 15: “Experiments in Government“
Cheng/Lestz 15.1 and 15.2: “Law in the Nanjing Decade“
Cheng/Lestz 15.7: “General von Falkenhausen‘s Advice to Chiang Kai-shek, 1936“
Chang 2: “‘Even Plain Cold Water is Sweet‘ ... (1933-1938)“
Spence 16: “The Drift to War“
Cheng/Lestz 16.2-16.4: “Three Accounts of the New Life Movement“
Cheng/Lestz 16.6 and 16.7: “Xi‘an 1936“
Guomindang “Experiments in Government“
CCP rural political activity
New Life Movement
Your personalities are all in their 20s now. Do they have families? What are their thoughts and feelings about a China on the verge of Civil War? What choices are they facing?
Spence 17: “World War II“
Cheng/Lestz 17.4 and 17.5: “The Rape of Nanjing“
Cheng/Lestz 17.8: “Liu Shaoqi: How to Be a Good Communist, 1939“
He 3: “I Wave Goodbye to My Homeland”
Chang 3: “‘They All Say What a Happy Place Manchukuo Is‘ ... (1938-1945)“
“How to Be a Good Communist”
He: How much contact does He Liyi have with “the West“ in this chapter?
Your personalities are all in their 30s, and experiencing World War II. What is happening to them? What choices are they facing? What are they thinking?
QUIZ 6 DUE ON TERMS FOR 2/25 AND 2/27
2.3 - The Collapse of the Republic, and the Birth of the People's Republic
Spence 18: “The Fall of the Guomindang State“
Cheng/Lestz 18.6: “Democratic Dictatorship“
Chang 4: “‘Slaves Who Have No Country of Your Own‘ ... (1945-1947)“
Chang 5: “‘Daughter for Sale for 10 Kilos of Rice‘ ... (1947-1948)“
Chang 6: “‘Talking About Love‘ ... (1948-1949)“
CCP land reforms
Chang: Discuss Jung Chang‘s mother‘s political awakening.
They are in their late 30s now, and facing a very different China from even five years earlier. Possibly some important decisions coming here...
Film: A Century of Revolution, pt.2 (1930s-1949)
Spence 19: “The Birth of the People‘s Republic“
Cheng/Lestz 19.2: “New Laws: Marriage and Divorce, May 1950“
Cheng/Lestz 19.3: “Ding Ling‘s Fiction“
Cheng/Lestz 19.5: “Chiang Kai-shek: Back to the Mainland“
CCP urban consolidation mass campaigns, 1950 (Ding Ling’s fiction)
Marriage Laws, 1950 Chiang Kai-shek on Taiwan
QUIZ 7 DUE ON TERMS FOR 3/4 AND 3/7
PART 3 - THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC (1) - THE RED EMPEROR MAO
3.1 - Consolidating the People's Republic
Film: To Live , part 1: “The 1940‘s“
Spence 20: “Planning the New Society“
He 4: “An Execution and an Eyeless Village Girl“
Chang 7: “‘Going Through the Five Mountain Passes‘ ... (1949-1950)“
Chang 8: “‘Returning Home Robed in Embroidered Silk‘ ... (1949-1951)“
Chang 9: “‘When a Man Gets Power, Even His Chickens and Dogs Rise to Heaven‘ ... (1951-1953)“
First Five-Year Plan
Chang: Discuss why Jung Chang‘s father was so inflexible on his principles.
He Liyi: Describe the relationship between the author and Guihua.
Your personality is 40 now - half a lifetime or more. How are they viewing and experiencing the turbulence of these times? Is (s)he safe, is the family safe? WHat prospects for the future? What accomodations made?
3.2 - The Great Leap Forward
Cheng/Lestz 20.3: “Lu Dingyi: The Hundred Flowers Campaign, May 1956“
Cheng/Lestz 20.4: “Professors Speak Out, June 10, 1957“
Chang 10: “‘Suffering Will Make You a Better Communist‘ ... (1953-1956)“
Chang 11: “‘After the Anti-Rightist Campaign No One Opens Their Mouth‘ ... (1956-1958)“
Hundred Flowers movement
He Liyi: Discuss why and how the Anti-Rightist campaign affects He Liyi.
Chang: Note what is happening to Jung Chang‘s father‘s idealism, and why.
QUIZ 8 DUE ON TERMS FOR 3/18 AND 3/20
Film: The Mao Years, pt.1 (1949-1960)
Parts of Spence 21: "The Great Leap Forward" and "The Sino Soviet Rift"
Cheng/Lestz 21.2: “Yin Zeming: “The Strength of the Masses is Limitless‘“, 1958
Cheng/Lestz 21.4: “Heroine of the Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward “red and expert“
people‘s communes Sino-Soviet relations
Your personalities are approaching their 50th birthdays, having experienced 50 years of drama. How are they and their families experiencing the events of 1958-1961? What are their feelings about China, the Party, themselves? Are they safe?
Film: To Live, part 2: “The 1950‘s“
Chang 12: “‘Capable Women Can Make a Meal Without Food‘ ... (1958-1962)“
Chang 13: “‘Thousand-Gold Little Precious‘ ... (1958-1965)“
He 1: “An Anti-Party Rightist Cap for Me“
He 2: “A “General Buffalo‘ among the Rightists“
He 5: “The Political Typhoon Continues“
He 6: “A Big Meeting for Taking Off Rightist Caps“
Chang: Why does Jung Chang‘s mother fall under suspicion?
Chang: Contrast the experience of Jung Chang‘s family in the Great Leap Forward with non-elite families.
QUIZ 9 DUE FOR TERMS FOR 3/25 and 3/27
3.3 - The "Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution" (1)
Spence 21: “Deepening the Revolution“: “Political Investigation and “Socialist Education‘“
He 7: “A Broken Mirror Goes Unrepaired“
He 8: “Unconquerable Problems Lead to Marriage“
He 9: “A Joyful Torch Festival“
He 10: “I Become a Nation‘s Worker“
Chang 14: “‘Father is Close, Mother is Close, But Neither Is as Close as Chairman Mao‘ ... (1964-1965)“
Chang 15: “‘Destroy First, and Construction Will Look After Itself‘ ... (1965-1966)“
He: Why does He Liyi not remarry Guihua?
He: Why does Cuilian marry He Liyi?
He: Note how activities surrounding the first son‘s birth reflects changes (and lack thereof) in rural life.
“Quotations from Chairman Mao“
Your character is now 55. What are his/her thoughts on the Cultural Revolution? How is the Revolution affecting the family, friends?
Spence 22: “Cultural Revolution“: “The Cult of Mao and the Critics“, and "Launching the Cultural Revolution"
Cheng/Lestz 22.1: “Life and Death of Lei Feng“
Cheng/Lestz 22.2: “Lin Biao: “Long Live the Victory of People‘s War!“
Cheng/Lestz 22.4: “The Sixteen-Point Decision“
Chang 16: “‘Soar to Heaven, and Pierce the Earth‘ ... (June-August 1966)“
Chang 17: “‘Do You Want Our Children to Become “Blacks‘?‘ ... (August-October 1966)“
Chang 18: “‘More Than Gigantic Wonderful News‘ ... (October-December 1966)“
Lei Feng Lin Biao Red Guards Sixteen-Point Decision
QUIZ 10 DUE FOR TERMS FOR 4/1 AND 4/3
3.4 - The "Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution" (2) and Reopening Doors
Part of Spence 22: “Cultural Revolution“: “Party Retrenchment and the Death of Lin Biao“
Cheng/Lestz: 22.6/7: “I Saw Chairman Mao!”
Chang 19: “‘Where There I a Will to Condemn, There Is Evidence‘ (December 1966-1967)“
Chang 20: “‘I Will Not Sell My Soul‘ ... (1967-1968)“
Chang 21: “‘Giving Charcoal in Snow‘ ... (1967-1968)
Chang 22: “‘Thought Reform through Labor‘ ... (January-June 1969)“
Chang 23: “‘The More Books You Read, the More Stupid You Become‘ ... (June 1969-1971)“
Chang 24: “‘Please Accept My Apologies That Come a Lifetime Too Late‘ ... (1969-1972)“
Film: To Live, part 3: “The 1960‘s“
Key Terms (change some of these to next session)
Chang: Describe Jung Chang‘s pilgrimage to Beijing. How does her thinking change?
Chang: Describe Jung Chang‘s father‘s experiences, and the significance of his saying “I do oppose it“.
Chang: Describe Jung Chang‘s encounters with peasants.
Chang: Describe common people‘s attitudes toward ousted officials.
Chang: “If I die like this, don‘t believe in the Communist party any more.“ Why does Dad say this?
Nixon‘s Visit to China
Gang of Four
You are 60 years old now, and the Cultural Revolution has changed things. How have things changed for you and your family? Where are they all now? How do you see what is happening to China, both internally, and its relationship with the world?
Spence 23: “Reopening the Doors“
Cheng/Lestz 23.1: “Shanghai Communique“
Cheng/Lestz 23.3: “Lost Generation”
He 11: “A Two-Member Family Meeting“
He 12: “Stealing Other People‘s Shit“
He 13: “Two Misfortunes and a “Public Parade‘“
He 14: “An Unforgettable Host“
Chang 25: “‘The Fragrance of Sweet Wind‘ ... (1972-1973)“
Chang 26: “‘Sniffing after Foreigners‘ Farts and Calling Them Sweet‘ ... (1972-1974)“
Chang 27: “‘If This Is Paradise, What Then Is Hell?‘ ... (1974-1976)“
Film: The Mao Years, pt.2 (1960-1976)
He: What do He Liyi and He Cuilian decide at their “family meeting“?
He: Why is “shit“ so valuable to He Liyi? How does it fit into his family‘s strategy?
He: Consider He Liyi‘s relationship with Mr. Zhao. How does it differ from similar relationships in pre-Communist times?
Chang: How does Jung Chang get into university?
Chang: Why do people now join the Party?
Chang: Describe Jung Chang‘s changing attitudes regarding the West.
QUIZ 11 DUE FOR TERMS FOR 4/8 AND 4/10
PART 4 - THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC (2): POST-MAO INTERREGNUM?
4.1 - Dismantling Maoism April 15
Spence 24: “Redefining Revolution“
Cheng/Lestz 24.1: “Deng Xiaoping; “Emancipate the Mind, Seek Truth from Facts...‘““
Cheng/Lestz 24.4: “He Shiguang: “On a Village Market Street“
He 15: “I Lay Down My Hoe“
He 16: “And I Take Up My Chalk“
He 17: “A Ninth Dish of Eggs“
Chang 28: “‘Fighting to Take Wing‘ ... (1976-1978)“
Four Modernizations “Fifth Modernization“
Special Economic Zones “Seek Truth from Facts“
He: Why is He Liyi rehabilitated?
He: Describe attitudes regarding He Liyi‘s sons‘ marriage. How traditional? How modern?
BLOG: You are around 65 now, and China continues to change. How has this affected you, your family, your community? What are your thoughts?
4.2 - Growth April 17
Spence 25: “Levels of Power“
Cheng/Lestz 25.6-25.8: “Fang Lizhi and the Party“
rise of corruption, 1980‘s one child per couple
Chinese governing networks rural privatization
legal reform Fang Lizhi’s case as a reflection of political changes
QUIZ 12 DUE FOR TERMS 4/15 AND 4/17
4.3 - Tiananmen: Symptoms of...? April 22
Film: Born under the Red Flag, pt.1 (1976-1989)
Spence 26: “Testing the Limits“
Cheng/Lestz 26.1: “People‘s Daily, April 26, 1989“
Cheng/Lestz 26.2: “China News Agency: Report on the Peking Student Demonstration“
Cheng/Lestz 26.3: ““Open Declaration of a Hunger Strike“
Cheng/Lestz 26.4: “Li Peng‘s Announcement of Martial Law, May 20, 1989“
He 18: “Our Firecrackers Announce Big News“
He 19: “Mrs. He Goes to Kunming“
Students at Tiananmen - Motives for Protest
Students at Tiananmen - Means of Protest
Govt. Response to Tiananmen He: Give an example of Mrs. He‘s discomfort in Kunming. Why is she so uncomfortable?
He: What happens to the TV set that He Liyi buys on returning from Britain? Why?
Chang: Why does Jung Chang close with a comment about Yao-han?
You are almost 70 now, and this new China is experiencing even more change. How does it affect you? Do you like it?
4.4 - Post-Tiananmen: More Growth, More Strain April 24
Film: Born under the Red Flag, pt.2 (1989-present)
Spence 27: “Century‘s End“
Cheng/Lestz 27.2: “Wei Jingsheng: The Wolf and the Lamb‘“
Cheng/Lestz 27.3: “President Clinton Evaluates Human Rights as Element of China Policy“
He 19: “To Sweep Chicken Droppings”
He 20: “A Meeting of Two Brothers and Four Sisters”
He 21: “Jumping into the Sea”
Wei Jingsheng Hong Kong -- 7/1/1997
Deng Xiaoping‘s Legacy American Human Rights Policy He: What is the cause of the tension between He Liyi and his wife after his retirement?
He: What does “Jumping into the Sea” mean? Why does it happen now?
QUIZ 13 DUE FOR TERMS 4/22 AND 4/24
Spence 28: “Breakthrough?”
Cheng/Lestz 28.1: “CHina Can Say No”
Cheng/Lestz 28.5: “Charter 08”
Chinese Economic Challenges
China’s International Presence
China’s Cultural Changes
(No readings, but I will show an excerpt from the recent documentary China Rising. Possibly I will bring in a guest speaker. This will be the only time in the course when I ask you to post your thoughts AFTER class, as part of discussion, to include thoughts on all of Chapter 28 and readings. I may include some current-events downloads from quality newspapers as part of the assignment here.)
Your last entry - looking back on an 80-year life in China. Possibly you even have seen a great-grandchild born. What are you thoughts looking back, and looking forward to the lives of the children of China in the 21st century?
(No final exam.
However, I will show an optional film during our exam time.)