Town and Country in China and the West

Subject HIST20073 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 25
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

November, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Nov-2016 to 17-Dec-2016
Assessment Period End 11-Feb-2017
Last date to Self-Enrol 29-Nov-2016
Census Date 16-Dec-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 13-Jan-2017

Taught on site in Nanjing, China

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 92 hours - 12 x 3 hour seminars; 8 x 3 hour site visits and 4 x 8 hour excursions
Total Time Commitment:

340 hours


Subject coordinator approval is required for enrolment in this subject.

NOTE: There are a limited number of places available in this subject, and students will be selected through an application process. To apply, please send a short letter of application (250 words), together with a recent statement of results, via email, to the subject coordinator. Financial support may be available for students taking this subject. Itinerary and travel arrangements will be available from the subject coordinator in the March preceding the subject dates.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

General historical knowledge of China will be an advantage.

Non Allowed Subjects:
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Prof Antonia Finnane



Subject Overview:

This subject involves the study of urbanisation and urban phenomena in history from a comparative perspective, with a focus on similarities and contrasts between China and the West, and attention to changing urban-rural relations and contrasts over time. The subject will be taught over a period of three weeks at Nanjing University, with the possible exception of three to four days spent at other urban sites. Lectures and discussion informed by reading will be accompanied by visits to historical sites, museums, and theme parks, allowing students to develop a first-hand acquaintance with Chinese history in practice, particularly in respect of the attention paid to town and country, past and present. The subject will be team-taught by staff from the University of Melbourne, with involvement where feasible by staff at Nanjing University.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject should be able to:

  • describe the patterns and trends in urban development, Chinese and Western, historically and in contemporary times;
  • demonstrate an ability to identify and analyse primary and secondary materials, textual and visual, in reflecting on historical change in urban contexts;
  • reflect critically on spatial, political, social and economic aspects of urban life in different historical contexts;
  • through oral and written work, in collaborative class presentations and individual projects, demonstrate familiarity with urban forms in China and the West and describe how they have changed over time;
  • inquire into, analyse and evaluate accounts of urban history with reference in particular to conventional differentiation of Eastern and Western patterns of economic and political change; and
  • evaluate meanings attributed to town and country in different cultural-historical contexts, with particular reference to sites of commemoration and the built heritage.
  • A comparative urban histories book review 1000 words, due one week after the commencement of teaching (10%)
  • Site reports equivalent to 2000 words, due 12th December 2016 (25%)
  • A site-centred essay, historicising and analyzing a specific site visited as a part of the subject, 2000 words, due 14th January 2017 (30%)
  • A comparative history reflective essay 3000 words, due 19th February 2017 (35%)

Hurdle requirement:

  • Students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject.
  • All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. After five days late assessment will not be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

Subject readings will be available online.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Graduate Certificate in Arts - History
Graduate Diploma in Arts - History

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