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GEA2000 Modern Chinese History & Culture: Home

Course Description

Understanding China has become an important world-wide subject matter in the 21th century, and the most crucial part lies in the understanding of modern Chinese history, for its dramatic change not only re-determined the bilateral relationship between China and the West, but also shaped contemporary China. This course sheds light on the process of China’s modernization. Through the investigation of the long journey from Opium War to the Period of Reform and Opening, students will construct a comparative and comprehensive framework of China’s past and present.

Recommended Books

A Dictionary of Official Titles in Imperial China

This dictionary identifies, defines, and places in their temporal and institutional contexts the official titles and agency names. This dictionary is written principally in Literary or Classical Chinese with Wade-Giles romanizations. The introduction part offers descriptions of governmental organization dynasty by dynasty from Chou to Ch’ing, including simple organizational charts for most dynasties. The main body of the Dictionary consists of 8,291 individual entries for titles, agency names, and related terminology. The Reference part consists of a finding-list of suggested English renderings, another for Chinese characters and compounds, and a conversion table from Pinyin romanizations to the Wade-Giles romanizations.

Historical Dictionary of Modern China, 1800-1949

This dictionary examines the political, military, economic, social, and cultural development of China during the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. It presents of chronology that charts events from year to year. The chronology part records not only political and military events but also personal experiences of the Chinese people. The introduction part establishes the background and describes major trends and prominent forces. The core dictionary collects nearly 700 entries on a variety of significant people, historical concepts, cultural and educational institutions, and economic activities. The bibliography stresses current literature about China’s drive toward modernization. The appendixes provide detailed information on the country’s cultural and economic transformation.

Chinese History: A New Manual

This book introduces students to the different types of transmitted, excavated, and artifactual sources from prehistory to the twentieth century. It examines the context in which the sources were produced, preserved, and received, as well as the problems of research and interpretation associated with them, and includes a selection of secondary works. This book comprises 14 parts. Book 1-9 present the sources by subject- language; people; geography and the environment; governing and educating; ideas and beliefs, literature, and the fine arts; agriculture, food and drink; technology and science; trade; historiography. Books 10-12 present pre-history and the sources by dynasty or group of dynasties. Book 14 is on historical bibliography.





毛澤東的中國及其後: 中華人民共和國史




The Man Awakened from Dreams: One Man’s Life in a North China Village, 1857-1942

This book presents everyday life in the countryside in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries China based on nearly 400 volumes of Liu Dapeng’s diary and other writings. Liu was a provincial degree-holder who never held government office. The book illustrates what it was like to study in an academy and to be a schoolteacher, the pressures of changing family relationships, the daily grind of work in industry and agriculture, people's experience with government, and life under the Japanese occupation, representing the decline of the countryside in relation to the cities as a result of modernization and the transformation of Confucian ideology as a result of these changes.



Fu Ssu-Nien: A Life in Chinese History and Politics

Fu Ssu-nien was a Chinese scholar, educator, and political and social critic in twentieth-century China. This book offers a scholarly account of Fu’s intellectual life and that of the academic community he helped to shape in the 1930s and 1940s. This book offers in-depth examination and serious recognition of his role in the intellectual and educational development in modern China, including his efforts to establish a modern historical discipline with an emphasis on objective analysis of primary sources, and to support and to repudiate the Movement of Doubting Chinese Antiquity, etc. This book also tells the story of Fu’s struggles with political foes and his involvement in wartime politics.

Fu Ssu-Nien: A Life in Chinese History and Politics (E-books of a Different Edition)

Fu Ssu-nien was a Chinese scholar, educator, and political and social critic in twentieth-century China. This book offers a scholarly account of Fu’s intellectual life and that of the academic community he helped to shape in the 1930s and 1940s. This book offers in-depth examination and serious recognition of his role in the intellectual and educational development in modern China, including his efforts to establish a modern historical discipline with an emphasis on objective analysis of primary sources, and to support and to repudiate the Movement of Doubting Chinese Antiquity, etc. This book also tells the story of Fu’s struggles with political foes and his involvement in wartime politics.



The Qing Empire and the Opium War: The Collapse of the Heavenly Dynasty

This book is an English translation of the original work scripted in Chinese by the well-known historian Mao Haijian. Mao examines the Qing participants in terms of the moral standards and intellectual norms of their own time, demonstrating that actions which have struck later observers as ridiculous can be understood as reasonable within these individuals' own context. This book offers a comprehensive response to the question of why the Qing Empire was so badly defeated by the British in the first Opium War by examining the various aspects that the Qing Empire has lagged behind the world from the socio-historical perspective.



Shanghai on Strike: The Politics of Chinese Labor

This book focuses on the origins and political proclivities of the Shanghai work force. It places the politics of Chinese workers in comparative perspectives- basically it studies working-class action from three different vantage points. Part One adopts the social history method, focusing on popular culture defined by native-place origin. Part Two adopts the political science method, examining the strategies of party organizers and the pattern of inter- and intraparty competition. Part three adopts the industrial sociology method, focusing on the workplace. This book draws on abundant sources and studies which have appeared in the People's Republic of China since the early 1980s.



Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, the West, and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War

This book reviews the Taiping Civil War. It analyzes the foreign powers, especially key figures from the UK and the US, the reason why they intervened this civil war, and the effect on the end of it. These figures include the UK military officer who attacked the Taiping army, the US soldiers who were tempted by the high commissions, and the Western preachers who embraced the ideal to save the world. The impact from Zeng Guofan and his Xiang army is comparatively weakened to the orthodox view in Chinese history. Platt thinks that foreign powers and Zeng intervened this civil war because they believed it was more beneficial if China was under the reign of the Qing dynasty, though it turned out they did not obtain the preconceived benefits after the civil war.



再造文明之梦: 胡适传














On China

This book mainly covers the interaction between the political leaders in China and the United States from 1949 onwards. Kissinger thinks that it is important to have a basic knowledge of Chinese traditions so as to understand China’s twentieth-century diplomacy or its twenty-first-century world role, and thus this book begins with an examination of Chinese traditional thoughts. Kissinger also traces the history of the Opium War, Domestic upheavals, Mao’s earlier revolution. The discussion of the relations between China and the United States since 1949 does not begin until the 5th chapter. The major focus of Chinese political leaders lies on Mao, Deng, and Jiang Zemin in the following chapters.

After the Imperial Turn: Thinking with and through the Nation

This book collects 20 essays focused on imperialism and postcolonialism. While most of the contributors discuss British imperialism and its repercussions, the volume also includes essays on the history and historiography of France, Germany, Spain, and the United States. Part 1 engages the question of how to think, teach, and work postnationally in all manner of geopolitical locations and from different disciplinary vantage points. Part 2 opens up the discussion of empire, nation, and colony beyond the boundaries of British imperial history and scholarship. Part 3 features new directions in research that test the practicality and methodological limits of the imperial turn.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung

This four-volume edition includes important articles Mao wrote in the different period of the Chinese revolution. The contents are arranged in chronological order and according the main periods in the history of the Communist Party of China since its foundation in 1921. The first volume covers the periods of the First Revolutionary Civil War (1921-1927) and of the Second Revolutionary Civil War (1927-1937). The second and third volumes cover the period of the War of Resistance against Japan (1937-1945). The fourth volume covers that of the Third Revolutionary Civil War (1945-1949).

Manifesto of the Communist Party

Manifesto of the Communist Party, often referred to as The Communist Menafesto, was first published on February 21, 1848 in German as Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei. Commissioned by the Communist League and co-authoered by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, it laid out the League’s purposes and program on the instruction of its Second Congress (London, November 29-December 8, 1847). The Manifesto suggested a course of action for a proletarian revolution to overthrow the bourgeois social order and to eventually bring about a classless and stateless society and the abolition of private property.

The Permanent Revolution and Results and Prospects

Two major works by Leon Trotsky are collected in this book- Results and Prospects, first published in St. Petersburg in 1906, and The Permanent Revolution, first published in Berlin in 1930. In both works, Trotsky showed that developing countries must achieve worker’s rule in order to defeat tyranny and foreign domination. He explained that socialism must expand beyond national borders and transform every aspect of political, economic and human relations if it is to succeed. This new edition is corrected and revised based on the translations by John G. Wright and Brian Pearce, and it features an index and a glossary of historical and biographical references and unfamiliar terms.

The Appropriation of Cultural Capital: China’s May Fourth Project

This book collects 8 papers originally presented at the conference “The Burdens of the May Fourth Movement”, held at Charles University in Prague in 1994. The papers are centered on the intellectual and cultural/historical motivations and practices behind May Fourth discourse, and highlight issues such as strategies of discourse formation, scholarly methodologies, rhetorical dispositions, manipulation of historical resources, and construction of modernity by means of the reification of China’s literary past, aimed at challenging the dominating view of the historiography of the May Fourth Movement and disclosing elements of Chinese literature and culture long hidden from view by the canonical interpretation of modern China.

民族主義與近代中日關係 : 「民族國家」、「邊疆」與歷史認識


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