What is the course about?
This course approaches Chinese history from two angles: the first examines the historical processes within China that led to the development of modern China; the second explores Britain’s engagement with the country to consider the lasting impact transformations in China had on the global community.
The course will be taught be Amy Matthewson, who received her doctorate in History from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her research explores race relations through visual and material culture, specifically China’s relationship with the global community in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
As a lecturer, Amy creates interactive and engaging learning environments to support students in their learning by using PowerPoint presentations with various graphics such as maps, images of key politicians and events as well as political cartoons, paintings, and photographs for greater stimulation and engagement.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
The course opens with a brief overview of the founding of the Qing dynasty, the last major dynasty in Chinese history. It then explores extraordinary occurrences such as imperialism, massive rebellion, and revolution in China, all of which had powerful influences on China’s international interactions. These remarkable events affected the ways in which the so-called “West” perceived and engaged with China. Representations of ‘Chineseness’ in British society weaves through the sessions in order to reflect upon the ways politics are intricately entwined with socio-cultural frameworks of understanding in a global context.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Identify key factors in the formation of ‘modern’ China through the late nineteenth century,
• Understand China within a global context,
• Engage and interpret various kinds of source material and information that are used in historical research.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The module is introductory and assumes no prior knowledge of China or its language.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Each session uses an array of primary material such as treaties and media reports as well as a selection of images and material culture. This combination not only provides students with a variety of perspectives, it also considers visual and material culture of equal significance as textual sources in understanding historical interpretations and developments.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
A pen and paper may be useful to make notes.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Explore our range of History courses to find what you might be interested in. We have a course on contemporary China in our 'Rising Powers' series that you may find particularly interesting.