Study Abroad and Exchanges

Modules

Modules

HIS2138 : China's Last Empire

Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module is an introduction to early modern China. The focus is on the Qing empire, which ruled China from 1644 to 1911. This was an era of economic, demographic and territorial expansion. The population tripled, leading to serious social, political and environmental problems. Qing conquests brought Xinjiang, Tibet, Taiwan, and Mongolia into the same political domain as China, and the idea of a multi-ethnic polity took shape. New directions emerged in Confucian thought, while attitudes to gender and cultural identity also underwent important changes. In the nineteenth century, civil wars and clashes with the West wrought profound changes and formed the basic context for China’s twentieth century revolutionary movements. The aims of this module are:

1) To introduce students to key aspects of Chinese civilization as they were before the revolutions of the twentieth century. Students will gain an understanding of Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism, and the role they played in Chinese society and politics in the early modern period.
2) For students to assess the impact of Western imperialism on China in relation to changes that were already underway within Chinese society.
3) For students to think about early modern China in relation to other world regions. How was China similar or different from other parts of the world, and how was it connected to them?

Outline Of Syllabus

The following is a guide only. Actual subjects may differ from those listed.


Lecture 1: Introduction to the course and overview of Qing history
Lecture 2: The Ming Empire
Seminar 1: China and the world in 1600

Lecture 3: The Qing conquest
Lecture 4: Manchu apartheid
Seminar 2: Perspectives on the conquerors

Lecture 5: Introduction to the Confucian tradition
Lecture 6: The civil service examinations and the scholar officials
Seminar 3: The Scholars

Lecture 7: Conquest and expansion in Inner Asia
Lecture 8: Worrying about cultural identity
Seminar 4: Qing imperialism
     
Lecture 9: Religion in Chinese history
Lecture 10: City temples and White Lotus rebels
Seminar 5: The soulstealers

Lecture 11: Print culture and popular literature
Lecture 12: Men and women in Qing China
Seminar 6: Cao Xueqin’s Dream of Red Mansions

Lecture 13: Population, food and new land settlement
Lecture 14: Science in the early modern China
Seminar 7: The Great Divergence

Lecture 15: China and global trade
Lecture 16: Opium in China
Seminar 8: Perspectives on the Opium War
Film showing: Xie Jin’s The Opium War

Lecture 17: The Unequal Treaties and the treaty ports
Lecture 18: The Taiping Cataclysm
Seminar 9: Western views of China
           
Lecture 19: Responding to crisis
Lecture 20: The Chinese diaspora
Seminar 10: Did Self-strengthening fail?

Lecture 21: The Boxer Uprising
Lecture 22: Reform to Revolution
Seminar 11: Kang Youwei’s Datong shu

Lecture 23: Exam revision drop in surgery

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion651:0065:001/3 of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading651:0065:001/3 of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery13:003:00Exam revision surgery
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study341:0034:001/3 of guided independent study
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide core information, including context and additional explanation for students’ guided reading, as well as links between different topics within the course. Students are expected to develop listening and note-taking skills.

Small-group teaching provides students with an opportunity to ask questions about the content of lectures and readings, summarize and review content of lectures and readings, and to improve their ability to engage in debate and discussion.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1351A75Unseen exam
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M252000 words (including footnotes but excluding bibliography)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Essays test students’ ability to conduct independent research, ability to formulate an interpretation of evidence in response to a question, and academic writing skills.
Exams test students’ general knowledge, as well as their ability to quickly analyse a problem and formulate a clearly written answer, drawing broadly on the material covered by the course

The form of the resit is no different from the above, i.e. no marks are carried over from the sit to the resit. Students are not allowed to submit for the resit any work that they have previously submitted.

Submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes, develops key skills in research, reading and writing.


All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree.
Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:

Modules assessed by Coursework and Exam:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be one essay in addition to the other coursework assessment (the length of the essay should be adjusted in order to comply with the assessment tariff); to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Exam only:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 2,000 word written exercises; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Coursework only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.

Reading Lists

Timetable