About this Course

This course explores the history of China from the disintegration of the Tang empire at the turn of the tenth century to the eve of the country’s modern transformation. Its goals are to help students develop the language and tools to understand the political, socio-economic, and cultural changes in later imperial China and to initiate them to the art and techniques of historical analysis. This course challenges the stereotype of a monolithic and static China and encourages students to develop a critical understanding of the internal and external forces integrating and dividing this geo-cultural unit.

By the end of the term, students should be able to:

  • identify some of the organizing themes in the history of later imperial China
  • discuss the unity and diversity, changes and continuities, of Chinese society
  • come to an understanding of the nature of historical knowledge


To see details about each assignment, please go to Requirements

Participation 15%
Reading Responses 25%
Mid-term Conversation 15%
Library Assignment 20%
Museum Assignment 5%
Take-home Examination 20%
Research Paper (optional: in lieu of Library Assignment and Take-home Examination) 40%

Students are expected to have completed the assigned readings before our class meeting each week. Grading is based on the student's ability to synthesize and analyze the materials presented. In general, this course follows the grading practices outlined in the Academic Calendar:

Grade Percent
A+ 90-100
A 85-89
A- 80-84
B+ 76-79
B  72-75
B- 68-71
C+ 64-70
C 60-63
C- 55-59
D 50-54
F 0-49

Important Dates

Sep. 10 First session
Sep. 17 Last day to withdraw without the "W" standing
Oct. 1 Proposal due (for the research paper option)
Oct. 11 Last day to withdraw
Oct. 14 Draft library assignment due
Oct. 15– Mid-term conversation
Nov. 12 Library assignment due
Nov. 26 Last session
Nov. 29 Museum assignment due
Dec. 10 Take-home examination/research paper due