7AAH5017 On Contradictions: Themes in the Study of the Early People's Republic of China
Credit value: 20
Module convenor/tutor 2019/20: Dr Rebecca ScottTeaching pattern: 10 x 2-hour seminars (weekly)Availability: Please see module list for relevant year
Assessment: 1 x 4,000-word essay Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt. The modules offered in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand: there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary between years.
How has new historiography challenged our understanding of China’s recent past? This module introduces students to the historiography of the ‘Mao Era’ (1949-1976). Based on different weekly themes, the module offers an overview of key issues in the study of PRC history. It encourages students to evaluate how access to new primary sources has changed what we know about mainland China’s contemporary history. Over the ten weeks, we will examine the formation of the rural-urban divide, the history of science, technology, and propaganda, the development of a planned economy and industrialisation, the role of law under socialism, the reconfiguration of China’s ethnic frontiers, and the international links of PRC state and society. An examination of recent historiography on the PRC will invite students to consider the ways in which historical methodology and analytical frameworks can contribute to understanding China today.
Provisional teaching plan
Week 1: What is ‘PRC History’?
Week 2: Politics and Party
Week 3: Reconfiguring the City
Week 4: Reconfiguring the Countryside
Week 5: Internationalisation and Internationalism
Week 6: Science and Engineering
Week 7: Propaganda and Public Opinion
Week 8: Frontiers and Ethnic Minorities
Week 9: Law and Constitutionalism
Week 10: Mao the Man, Mao the Icon, and Mao the Memory