HIST 4242

HIST 4242

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2015-2016.

This course explores the processes and paradoxes of China's engagement with the modern world, focusing in particular on the Republican era, which lasted from 1912 to 1949. This period witnessed epochal changes in Chinese society and culture, ranging from the adoption of republican government and expansion of print culture to the promotion of women's rights and explosion of nationalism. Taken together, these and other changes can be said to signify the emergence of Chinese modernity. Yet what exactly do we mean by the term "modernity"? And what makes modern China "modern"? This class will seek to answer these questions by examining in detail the concrete developments that were occurring in different spheres of Chinese society in the early twentieth century and how these developments impacted the lives of individual Chinese, while also critically engaging the rich variety of ways that scholars have utilized the concept of modernity to understand and analyze them. In the process, we will learn to be alert to such issues as the potentially hegemonic aspects of "modernity" as a conceptual category, the ways in which modernity both integrates and transforms previously existing sociocultural patterns, and the inherent tension between the universalizing pretensions of modernity and the persistence of cultural particularism.

When Offered Spring.

Breadth Requirement (GB)
Distribution Category (HA-AS)

Comments Co-meets with HIST 6242.

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Enrollment Information
Syllabi: none
  • 17810HIST 4242  SEM 101