Name Multi-Genre Project Assignment Description

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8th Humanities


Multi-Genre Project Assignment Description

Debate topic: “Mao Zedong’s legacy: lasting or lost?”

Essential question: “What does it mean to be the other?”
We want your project to reflect on the essential question, “What does it mean to be the other?” Here are suggestions for research topics you may choose from so you can create a thoughtful project (we suggest researching MORE than one!)

  1. The history of the invasion, occupation, and eventual absorption of Tibet as an “autonomous region” of the People’s Republic. Read what the Dalai Lama thinks about it and what the Chinese government feels about it.

  2. Review the experience of those who were suppressed during the Cultural Revolution and the effect of the period’s excesses did in encouraging more moderate ideas to affect China after 1978.

  3. Research China’s suspicion of “the other” as pictured as “the West” and why the history of the imperialism and World War II may have created a sense of distrust. Indeed some Chinese historians refer to the period as a “century of humiliation.” Look up the meaning of the words; “nationalism” and “ xenophobia.” Look at current events to see if China’s actions demonstrate either of those terms. Read about the concept of “peaceful rise” in the materials we will give you.

  4. Look at the pages we will give you on “Ethnic Minorities” in China. How are they treated? What power do they have currently? What power may they have in the future?

Remember with each bit of research you do, you should have conversation with each other and with teachers about how the data you find relate to your assigned essential question. Once you’ve done that, then your partnership can best decide which genres that will most powerfully tie the content of your research to the essential question and communicate powerfully to your viewers.


You find out that China’s version of Google doesn’t have any mention of the Tiananmen Square uprising of 1989.

After discussion you decide that this is a clear example of the same kind of control of message that Mao came to after the “disasters” of the 100 Flowers Campaign and the “Great Leap Forward.” So you decide that this is a clear example of Mao’s legacy lasting of government control of the “other” because the “others” were those who criticized the government.

In fact you think back and tie this to the philosophy of legalism.

Then you discuss how to show this…

You could do a report,

A dialogue between a student at an American and Chinese University,

Or a poem in eulogy of the ghosts of the victims that keeps asking “Mao, why?” and that describes the reason they died

You could do a montage of all the various protests and frame it with question marks, exclamation marks, and quotes that show the irony of the goal of welfare of the nation and the violence

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