Making China Modern

Subject HIST20076 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture per week for 12 weeks and eleven 1-hour tutorials scheduled across the semester
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Ms Emily Dunn


Antonia Finnane

Subject Overview:

The history of twentieth century China is explored as a history of cultural change. Changes in political culture, urban and rural life, material culture and views of self and society are traced from the end of the Chinese empire through the Republican era, Liberation and the Cultural Revolution up to the Reform era. Exposure to primary source materials including film and other visual materials, together with readings in contemporary scholarly analysis of Chinese society and history, will help students develop approaches to thinking and writing about change in recent Chinese history. 

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete this subject will:

  • have a knowledge of local historical circumstances that shaped China's engagement with nationalism and modernity;
  • develop an ability to inquire into recent Chinese history through the location and deployment of a variety of sources;
  • have an understanding of differences in historical interpretation of China’s modern era;
  • gain a capacity to conduct an independent research into a given topic in modern Chinese history, and present the outcome in ways informed by historical training;
  • develop a capacity for teamwork, especially in tutorial contexts, and for communication both within the team and between the team and the class;
  • have an understanding of the importance of history in understandings of self in China, both individual and collective;
  • be to relate historical knowledge of China to real-world contemporary problems;
  • have an understanding of how modern Chinese history has been accompanied by the evolution of modern Chinese historiography.

A primary source analysis 500 words, 15% (due 7/8/15), a research essay 2000 words, 40% (due 27/9/15), a take-home exam 1500 words, 35% (due 30/10/15) and tutorial participation 10% (throughout semester)

Hurdle requirement: students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day; after working five days, no late assessment will be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Jonathan Fenby, The Penguin History of Modern China: The Fall and Rise of a Great Power, 1850 to the Present (any addition)

Subject readings will be available on line

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
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Asian Studies
Asian Studies
Asian Studies
Asian Studies Major

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