H567: China in Revolution
Office: Arts & Letters 538
Spring 2013 T/Th. 12:30-1:45pm
Room: SSW 2501
Professor: Dr. Kate Edgerton-Tarpley
Office Hrs: M 2:30-3:30pm; Th. 2:15-4:15pm
E-mail: [email protected]
Office Phone: (619) 594-6985
China In Revolution
Course Description:
This course aims to engage students in an intense inquiry into the principal themes and
issues in China’s tumultuous nineteenth and twentieth century history. For more than a
century, Chinese women and men have been asking how much of their “traditional”
culture must be sacrificed to enable China to survive in the “modern” world. This course
explores foundational aspects of late imperial China and traces its collapse under the
pressures of internal revolution and external attack. After exploring the origins and
impact of the Chinese Revolution, the course concludes with an examination of China’s
increasingly predominant role in the twenty-first century world.
Learning Goals -- Both individually and as a class, students will:
1. Familiarize themselves with Chinese geography and pronunciation.
2. Identify foundational aspects of the society and government of late imperial China.
3. Evaluate scholarly perspectives on what factors led to the collapse of imperial China.
4. Compare and contrast the different methods advocated by Chinese elites desperate to
strengthen China and save the country from falling under Western or Japanese rule.
5. Analyze the complex relationship between the “liberation” of Chinese women and the
“liberation” of the Chinese nation itself.
6. Identify, and evaluate the importance of, key internal and external factors that led to
defeat for the Chinese Nationalists and victory for the Chinese Communists by 1949.
7. Analyze how the “Great Chinese Revolution” has influenced the everyday lives of
Chinese women, men, and children in both rural and urban China.
8. Weigh the successes and failures of China’s late twentieth-century “reform and
opening” policies.
9. Examine how China’s rising economic, political, and military clout impacts East Asia,
the United States, and the wider twenty-first-century world.
Skill Objectives:
In addition to addressing these topics, this course seeks to sharpen your skills in critical
thinking, analytical writing, historical research, and historiographical debate by asking
you to lead class discussions, prepare short analytical essays, and research and write a
term paper. Your active participation in class discussions and your writing style and
organization are important factors in determining your success in this course. Moreover,
the ability to organize your thoughts and your writing in order to make thoughtful and
convincing arguments about new information will serve you well for the rest of your
life – both in college and in whatever career you choose to pursue.
H567 Course Requirements (For Undergraduates – Graduate students see
- Attendance and Participation 10%
- Quizzes (Map & Reading)
- Take-Home Paper I
- Take-Home Paper II
- Wild Swans Analysis Paper
- China in the Media Presentation
- Final Exam
1. Class Participation (10% of grade):
- Regular attendance is vital -- you cannot engage in course discussions if you are
not present. I will pass around a written register of attendance at the beginning of
class each day. Your class participation grade will drop by one full grade for every
class that you miss after your third unexcused absence. This means that 4 unexcused
absences will lower your class participation grade to an 80%, 5 to a 70%, and so on.
- Active and informed participation in class discussions and debates: Discussion
and analysis of course readings is a crucial part of this course. We will spend the
second half of one class session per week discussing or debating the non-textbook
readings assigned for that week. To receive credit for participation, you must bring
the assigned reading to class for each discussion and contribute constructively on a
regular basis. I will call on you at random during discussions in order to ensure
that everyone gets a chance to participate, so please come prepared to respond.
- Make-up Activities: You may attend up to 2 out-of-class activities concerning
China or Taiwan in order to make up for 1 missed or failed reading quiz and 1
unexcused absence. These might include China-related lectures or films, a trip to a
Chinese art exhibition, etc. I will announce relevant activities in class as I learn of
them. To receive make-up credit, your write-ups must be typed, must relate the
activity you attended to at least one theme introduced in History 567, and must be
submitted on or before the last day of class.
2. Quizzes (Map & Reading) – (15% of grade):
a. Map Quiz (5%): In order to study the history of China effectively, you need to
know where China’s provinces, key cities, and natural features are in relation to each
other. The map quiz will be given at the beginning of class on Tuesday, February 5th.
A study guide will be given out one week in advance. There will be no make-up for the
Map Quiz unless you contact me before the quiz with a documented reason (illness or
emergency) why you are unable to be present to take it as scheduled.
b. Reading Quizzes (10%): To encourage lively class discussions and help
everyone keep up with the assigned readings, I will often give short unannounced reading
quizzes at the beginning of class on discussion days. No make-ups will be given for
missed reading quizzes. I will, however, drop your lowest score. You can also make up
for one missed or failed reading quiz by submitting a Make-up Activity write-up.
3. Take-Home Paper I (15% of grade):
In this 6-7 page paper you will identify beliefs, institutions, and world views that were
particularly crucial for defining Chinese identity in the late imperial era, and then draw
on evidence from course readings and lectures to analyze how those factors shaped the
daily lives of Chinese women and men. This paper is due at the beginning of class on
Tuesday, February 12th. Late papers will not be accepted without written
documentation of a genuine emergency.
- Your paper should be no less than 6 full pages and no more than 7 full pages in length,
double-spaced and typed in 11 or 12 point font with 1 inch to 1 and ½ inch margins.
- To receive full credit you must make extensive use of several different readings
assigned for this unit of the course.
- Papers will be graded down for poor grammar and spelling, so please proofread.
- This paper must be based entirely on in-class sources. No credit will be given for
papers drawn from outside or internet sources.
- You are required to cite your sources after every direct quote AND after every
paragraph of information. Use full Chicago-style footnotes for all citations.
- *For detailed guidance on how to write a history paper and for specific examples of the
proper use of Chicago style footnotes, please see the Writing Guides listed on the SDSU
History Department’s website, found at: http://www (Click on “Writing Guides” and then “Chicago
Format for Citations”)
- For additional examples of Chicago Style, consult the SDSU Library’s guidelines on
Chicago style.
3. Take-Home Paper II (15% of grade):
In this 6-7 page paper you will draw on course readings, lectures and film clips to tackle
the important question of why the Chinese Nationalists lost and the Chinese Communists
won the bitter struggle to define and control a new China. This paper is due at the
beginning of class on Thursday, March 21st. See the guidelines for the first paper for
details on format, citations, & late papers.
4. Wild Swans Analysis Paper (20% of grade):
This 7-8 page paper asks you to analyze what Jung Chang’s book Wild Swans, as well as
other in-class readings on the topic you select, teaches us about one particular facet of
China’s tumultuous mid-twentieth-century history. I will provide a list of possible topics
you may choose to focus your analysis on. This assignment is due at the beginning of
class on Tuesday, April 16th. It should be 7-8 pages in length, double-spaced and typed.
To receive full credit your analysis must draw relevant examples from several different
sections of the Wild Thorns, as well as from at least 2 other course readings relevant to
your topic. I suggest that you mine the SCH sourcebook for additional primary sources
concerning the topic you selected. See the guidelines for the first paper for information
on format, citations, and late papers.
5. China in the Media Small-Group Presentation (10% of grade):
Early in the semester each of you will join a small group that will be responsible for
collecting newspaper and journal articles on one particular “hot topic” regarding
contemporary China. Be sure to use relevant sections of Shirk, Schoppa, or Atwill &
Atwill for background and context. On 4/30 or 5/2, you and the other classmates in your
group will present your findings to the class. In addition to summarizing and critiquing
recent media discussions of your particular topic, your presentation should analyze how
discussions of that topic might change if examined in light of China’s 19th and 20th
century history. Each presentation must include visual or audio aids.
7. Final Exam (15% of grade): The final will be held on Thursday, May 16th from
10:30am to 12:30pm in our classroom. It will be part short identification and part essay
in format.
PLAGIARISM POLICY: Students who cheat or plagiarize on any paper or exam will
receive a zero on that assignment, and I will formally document the incident in an
Academic Dishonesty Incident Report. Academic integrity is expected of every student.
Students must not plagiarize the work of others. This means that if you quote from any
work (including internet sites), you must put quotation marks around that material, and
you must cite it in a footnote. Plagiarism also includes using someone else’s phrases,
strings of words, special terms, or ideas and interpretations without citing your source,
even if you have not quoted directly from that source. In short, you must give credit
where it is due. If you have doubts, feel free to come and ask me, or check the SDSU
General Catalogue for more information.
Course Readings:
Books to Purchase: The following books have been ordered from KB Books and Aztec.
I urge you to purchase all of these books because they are crucial for class discussions
and assignments. If you are unable to purchase them, you will find one copy of each
book on reserve at the library.
1. R. Keith Schoppa. Revolution and Its Past: Identities and Change in Modern
Chinese History. Prentice Hall, 2002, 2006, or 2010 (1st, 2nd, and 3rd editions are
all acceptable).
2. David Atwill and Yurong Atwill, eds. Sources in Chinese History: Diverse
Perspectives from 1644 to the Present. Prentice Hall, 2010. (SCH)
3. Henrietta Harrison. The Man Awakened from Dreams: One Man’s Life in
A North China Village, 1857-1942. Stanford University Press, 2001.
4. Jung Chang. Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China. Anchor Books, 1992.
5. Susan Shirk. China: Fragile Superpower. Oxford University Press, 2007.
6. Blackboard (BB): Additional required readings will be posted on Blackboard.
Topic & Assignment:
Week 1:
Jan. 17
Introductions; Film As Text: Changing Chinese views of the Chinese past
Week 2: The Lay of the Land
Jan. 22
Discussion: Disparate Understandings of “Revolution/Geming” (Liu)
The Basics: Mapping China; Pinyin pronunciation guide
Reading: Blackboard (BB): Liu Xiaobo, “That Holy Word, Revolution,”
pp. 309-323.
Jan. 24
Government and Empire in Qing China
Reading: Schoppa chap. 1-2; Sources in Chinese History (SCH),
documents 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.5 (Manchu and Han; rise of Qing – pp. 5-11);
SCH, documents 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 (Civil services exams – pp. 123-128).
Week 3: Decline Sets In: 1800-1865
Jan. 29
Family and Gender in Late-Qing China
Discussion (of 1/24 and 1/29 non-textbook readings) – Daily life in lateQing Shanxi: The case of Liu Dapeng as observer, scholar, and filial son
Reading: Harrison, The Man Awakened from Dreams, pp. 1-82;
SCH, docs. 6.8, 6.9, 6.10 (Women’s education & marriage – pp. 134-139)
Jan. 31
Week 4:
*Feb. 5
Feb. 7
The External Crisis: Imperialism and the Opium War
Reading: Schoppa ch. 3; SCH, Visual Sources (pp. 22-23) & docs. 2.3,
2.4, 2.5, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 2.10, 2.12 (Opium & the Opium War -- pp. 28-45).
- Video clip: The Two Coasts of China
Map Quiz at beginning of class.
The Crisis Within: Mid-Century Rebellions
Reading: Schoppa ch. 4; SCH, Visual Source (pp. 46-47), & docs. 3.1,
3.2, 3.3, 3.4 (Taiping Rebellion – pp. 49-58); BB, Zeng Guofan, “A
Proclamation Against Bandits,” pp. 146-149 (Qing responses to Taiping)
Early Impact of Imperialism: The beginning of semi-colonialism in China
Discussion: Why such decline? Weighing internal versus external factors
Reading: Review SCH, BB, & Schoppa readings for discussion.
TO SAVE CHINA, 1865-1911
Week 5: Ti-Yong
*Feb. 12
Take-Home Paper I due at beginning of class
The Self-Strengthening Movement and Its Conservative Opponents
Reading: Schoppa ch. 5; SCH, docs. 3.9, 3.10, 3.11, 3.12 (Three selfstrengtheners and one opponent, pp. 64-69).
Feb. 14
“Confucius as a Reformer?” Elite Responses to the Nightmare Nineties
Reading: Schoppa ch. 6 (up to Boxers); SCH docs. 5.1, 5.2;
BB: Kang Youwei, pp. 260, 266-267; Liang Qichao, pp. 287-291;
Conservative Reactions, pp. 273-280.
Discussion: Conservatives versus Reformers
Week 6: Talking About Revolution
Feb. 19
The Boxer Rebellion: Commoner Responses
Reading: Schoppa ch. 6 (Boxers); SCH, Visual Source (p. 96-97) & docs.
5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8 (Boxers – pp. 104-110); Harrison pp. 83-93.
Feb. 21
Revolutionary Manchus and Anti-Manchu Revolutionaries
Reading: Schoppa ch. 7; SCH docs. 5.11, 5.12, 6.11 (Revolutionaries
Sun ,Wang, & Qiu Jin, pp. 115-119; 140-141); BB, Zou Rong, 197-202.
Debate: How best to save China?
Week 7: Perspectives on the Republican Revolution
Feb. 26
How Revolutionary was the 1911 Revolution?
Reading: Schoppa, ch. 8; Harrison chapters 4, 5, 6 (pp. 93-158).
Feb. 28
May 4th and the New Culture Movement
Reading: Schoppa, ch. 9; SCH docs. 7.9, 7.10, 7.11, 7.12, 7.13 (May 4th
mov., pp. 162-171); BB: Lu Xun, “A Madman’s Diary,” pp. 1-11.
- Film clip: Writers and Revolutionaries (Lu Xun).
Week 8: Competing Visions for Modern China
March 5
The Nationalist vision and the Nanjing Decade
Reading: Schoppa ch. 10 & 11; SCH docs. 8.5, 8.6, 8.8, 9.5, 9.6, 9.7
(GMD in 1920s and 1930s, pp. 183-189; 207-213).
March 7
Mao Zedong and the Communist Vision
Reading: Schoppa ch. 12; SCH docs. 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 9.8, 9.10 (CCP in 1920s
and 30s, pp. 178-182; 213-219).
Discussion: Which vision would you have supported in 1936?
Week 9: War and More War
March 12
Japanese Imperialism and the Road to War
Reading: Schoppa ch.13; Harrison Epilogue (pp. 159-170);
Jung Chang, Wild Swans, ch. 1-2.
March 14
World War II in China: The Root of Sino-Japanese Bitterness and
Nationalist defeat?
Reading: Schoppa ch. 14; Chang, ch. 3-4; SCH doc. 10.1 (Nanjing).
- Video clips: Red Sorghum; Nanjing: City of Life and Death
Week 10: Communist Victory; Nationalist Defeat
March 19
Debate: GMD versus CCP;
The Civil War
Reading: Schoppa, ch. 15; Chang, ch. 5-7 (pp. 94-150), SCH docs. 10.8,
10.9 (GMD road to defeat, pp. 238-242).
*March 21
Take-Home Paper II due at beginning of class;
Introduction to the Mao-era: History Through Film -- To Live
Reading: Chang ch. 8
MAO’S CHINA: 1949-1976
Week 11: Red Versus Expert in New Revolutionary China
March 26
Early Signs of Hope and Trouble in the PRC
Reading: Schoppa, ch. 16; Chang, ch. 9-10 (pp. 170-203); SCH docs. 11.1,
11.3, 11.5 (Victory, U.S. Imperialism, & the new Marriage Law).
March 28
The Great Leap and the Worst Famine in World History
Reading: Schoppa, ch.17; SCH docs. 11.7, 11.8, 11.9, 11.10 (GLF);
Chang, ch. 11-12 (pp. 204-239).
Discussion: The appeal and terror of radical revolution
SPRING BREAK (April 1-5) *Read as much as possible of Wild Swans over the break,
and select a topic for the Wild Swans Analysis paper. At minimum, read Chang ch. 13-14.
Week 12: Revolutionary Excesses
April 9
The Cultural Revolution
Reading: Schoppa, ch. 18; Chang, chapters 15-25 (pp. 273-457)
- Video-clip: Red Guards (China Rising).
*April 11
Graduate student term paper proposals due at beginning of class
Revolutionary Extremism
Reading: Finish Chang; BB: Chen Jo-hsi, Introduction and “Chairman
Mao is a Rotten Egg,” pp. xiii-xiv, 37-66.
Discussion: Making sense of the Cultural Revolution
Week 13: Reform and Opening Under Deng Xiaoping
*April 16
Wild Swans Analysis paper due at beginning of class;
Dealing with Mao’s Unquiet Ghost; Deng’s Reform and Opening Policies
Reading: Schoppa ch. 19 (1st & 2nd editions - up to “Political
Authoritarianism”; 3rd edition – up to pg. 372); Shirk’s China: Fragile
Superpower, chapters 1-2, SCH docs. 13.3, 13.5.
April 18
Social and Economic Consequences of Reform
Reading: Schoppa (1st & 2nd editions – ch. 20 up to “Nationalism &
International Relations OR 3rd edition – ch. 19 pp. 372-388); SCH docs.
14.7,14.8, 15.6, 15.7, 15.8, 15.9, 15.10 (One Child Policy, Three Gorges Dam,
sex and sex ratio imbalance, urban youth, pp. 336-339; 360-367)
- Video-clip: China’s Only Child
Discussion: Impact of reform on Chinese families, workers,
demographics, and environment.
Week 14: Democracy Movements, Human Rights, and International Relations
April 23
Demanding a “5th Modernization:” The 1989 Tiananmen Square
Movement and its Aftermath
Schoppa (1st & 2nd editions, ch. 19, “Political Authoritarianism” to end &
Epilogue; OR 3rd edition, ch. 20 pp. 390-402, and Epilogue); SCH docs.
14.4, 14.5, 14.6 (Tiananmen, pp. 329-336); Shirk ch. 3.
- Video clip: The Gate of Heavenly Peace
April 25
China on the World Stage
Schoppa (2nd & 3rd editions, ch. 20 from “Nationalism & International
Relations to end OR 1st edition, ch. 21); Shirk chapters 4-5 (pp. 79-139)
Discussion: Successes and failures of the Reform Era
Week 15: Current Hotspots
April 30
China in the Media Group Presentations: Topics 1-5
Shirk chapters 6-7; Schoppa ch. 21(2nd & 3rd editions; ch. 23 in 1st edition)
May 2
China in the Media Group Presentations: Topics 6-10
Shirk ch. 8
Week 16: Sharing the World Stage: Sino-U.S. Relations today
*May 7
Graduate student term papers due at beginning of class
Twenty-first century Superpowers?
Reading: Shirk ch. 9; BB: Wasserstrom, China in the 21st Century: What
Everyone Needs to Know, pp. 103-135.
Discussion: How to build better Sino-U.S. relations
* The FINAL EXAM will be held in our classroom on Thursday, May 16th from
10:30am to 12:30pm.
*Graduate students see supplementary assignments below
As graduate students, you are required to complete additional work in order to
receive credit for this course. In addition to all of the assignments required of
undergraduate students, you will also submit a formal paper proposal and a 10-page term
paper based primarily on out-of-class readings.
Course Requirements for Graduate Students (115% total):
- Attendance and Participation 10%
- Wild Swans Analysis Paper
- Quizzes (Map & Reading)
- China in the Media Presentation
- Take-Home Paper I
- Final Exam
- Take-Home Paper II
- Paper Proposal and Term Paper 20%
(5% for proposal; 15% for paper)
Term Paper Guidelines:
Your 9-11 page term paper gives you the opportunity to select a topic in modern Chinese
history (1800-2009) of interest to you and study it in more analytical depth than is
possible in an upper-level survey. Rather than simply reporting facts, your paper should
grapple with an interesting historical problem. Therefore, after selecting a topic that
interests you, you must raise a HISTORICAL QUESTION that will help you narrow
the scope of your research. A historical question should be concerned with cause and
effect, comparison, evidence, interpretation, significance, or bias. Focusing your research
on a good historical question will help you to search, question, and analyze.
1. Topic: Chinese views of the Opium War. Questions: What were the main arguments for
and against the legalization of the opium trade in the 1830s? Why did the Emperor
eventually decide to ban rather than legalize the trade?
2. Topic: Women in the Taiping Rebellion. Question: What role were women given in the
Taiping rebellion, and how did the Taiping view of women impact the conservative
response to Taiping ideology?
3. Topic: Origin of the Boxer uprising. Question: Why did so many Chinese peasants
choose to join the Boxer rebels in 1899 and 1900?
4. Topic: Early labor union organizing. Question: How did communist labor organizers win
the support of so many female factory workers in Chinese cities?
5. Topic: Life in Shanghai, 1920s-1940s. Question: What kinds of difficulties did Shanghai
residents face during this time period, and why did so many Shanghai residents
eventually abandon the GMD?
6. Topic: The experience of Chinese Christians in China from 1900 to 1949, or since 1949.
Questions: Which groups in Chinese society were most likely to become Christian, and
why was that the case? To what extent did the Communist victory in 1949 weaken
Chinese churches, and to what extent did it “liberate” Chinese churches from dependence
on Western churches and missionaries?
7. Topic: Guerrilla warfare under Zhu De, Lin Biao, and Mao. Question: What types of
tactics were used by communist guerrillas, and why were those tactics so effective?
8. Topic: Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. Question: Why did so many Chinese
youths join the Red Guards and attack their parents and teachers during the Cultural
Revolution? How can we explain the destructive behavior of many Red Guards during
the 1960s and 70s? Question 2: To what extent did memories of Red Guard behavior in
the 1960s impact the Chinese government’s response to the student protests of 1989?
9. Topic: The One-child Policy. Question: How has the One-Child policy impacted
Chinese women in rural China? In urban China? Evaluate the positive and negative
impacts of this policy on Chinese families.
10. Topic: Student Movements (May 4th and 1989). Question: To what extent did Chinese
students in 1989 borrow from the experiences of earlier student protestors, and to what
extent was 1989 a new kind of student movement?
The Proposal: (5%) Your 1-2 page typed paper proposal is due in class on Thursday,
April 11th. You are required to meet with me during office hours to discuss your topic
and sources before submitting your proposal. Your proposal should include the following:
1. An introductory paragraph in which you identify your topic AND your particular
historical question (or questions), and explain why you selected that topic and question.
2. A list of at least 2 in-class sources that you plan to use for background. Be sure to cite
the specific chapters, documents, or page numbers in Schoppa, Harrison, Chang, Shirk, or SCH
that you intend to use.
3. A list of at least 6 out-of-class primary and secondary sources you plan to use. Be
sure to list your sources in alphabetical order according to the author’s last name, and to include
full bibliographic information (author’s full name, full title in italics, place of publication,
publisher, and date of publication) for each source. Avoid out-of-date secondary sources.
The Paper: (15%) Your term paper is due at the beginning of class on Tuesday, May 7th
(the last day of class). The body of the paper should be 9-11 pages long, double-spaced,
and typed in 11 or 12 point font with with 1-inch to 1½-inch margins.
- Your title page should include the title of your paper and your historical question.
- Your paper must include a formal bibliography listing all the sources you used in your
paper. Follow Chicago-style for your bibliography.
- Use Chicago-style footnotes to document your sources in the paper itself.
- Please attach your accepted paper proposal to your completed paper when you hand it in.
- Late papers will not be accepted without written documentation of a genuine emergency.
- Papers will be graded down for poor grammar and spelling, so please proofread.
SOURCES: You should base your research on roughly 5 out-of-class books, 7 journal articles, or
a combination of the two. You also must draw on a minimum of 2 in-class sources for
background. You may include one reputable internet source, but the bulk of your sources must
consist of primary sources, scholarly books, or journal articles.
- Useful primary sources in translation include Red Guard memoirs, newspaper articles,
government documents, missionary memoirs, translations of the speeches of Chinese leaders, etc.
- Top journals in the field include: Late Imperial China, Modern China, The China Quarterly, the
Journal of Asian Studies, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, T’ung Pao, and East Asian History.
- To find good scholarly journal articles on your topic, click on “Article Databases” on the SDSU
library website. Browse through issues of a particular journal, or search the BAS Online
(Bibliography of Asian Studies Online) and JSTOR, among other sites, for articles on your topic.
- The North China Herald, an English-language newspaper published by British editors in
Shanghai, is an excellent primary source for those of you interested in events that occurred
between 1850 and 1950 in China. The SDSU library has the Herald on microfilm.
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