China and the Modern World
William C. Kirby
T.M. Chang Professor of China Studies
Modern China presents a dual image: a society transforming itself through economic development and infrastructure investment that aspires to global leadership; and the world's largest and oldest bureaucratic state, with multiple traditions in its cultural, economic, and political life. The modern society and state that is emerging in China bears the indelible imprint of China's historical experience, of its patterns of philosophy and religion, and of its social and political thought. These themes are discussed in order to understand China in the twenty-first century and as a great world civilization that developed along lines different from those of the Mediterranean.
ChinaX makes the riches of Harvard's collections and the expertise of its faculty accessible to learners worldwide. We will engage intellectual and religious trends, material and political culture, the local diversity and the national unity, art and literature, and China’s economic and political transformation— past, present and future.
In China and the Modern World explores the development of this great civilization from the Neolithic to the last dynasty. We see the formation of political structures and social practices that have lasted into the present; we learn to appreciate artistic and literary traditions of sophistication and refinement; we inquire into its philosophical and religious legacies and their significance for our own lives; and we trace the creation of the largest economy in world history.
In China and the Modern World, you will learn to develop your own approaches to history and gain a critical appreciation of China’s literary, philosophical, political and cultural resources. You will also learn to express ideas more clearly and confidently; to think more analytically and critically through the study of primary and secondary sources.
Parts 6-10 span over 6,000 years of history. Each part consists of 4-8 sections, each with videos, readings, interactive engagements, assessments, and discussion forums.
China: Civilization and Empire consists of the following five parts, a total of 25 sections:
- ChinaX (Part 6): Modern China’s Foundations: The Manchus and the Qing
- ChinaX (Part 7): Invasions, Rebellions, and the Fall of Imperial China
- ChinaX (Part 8): Creating Modern China: The Republican Period to the Present
- ChinaX (Part 9): China and Communism
- ChinaX (Part 10): Contemporary China: The People's Republic, Taiwan, and Hong Kong
ChinaX (Part 6): Modern China’s Foundations: The Manchus and the Qing
Use the case study method to study China from the rise of Deng Xiaoping to the present.
This course, the sixth in a comprehensive series on China, introduces you to the history, geography, and culture of the country.
You’ll examine the period from Deng Xiaoping’s rise in 1978 to the present, using the lenses of sociology, political science, and economics. You’ll learn how China has maintained one-party rule in an era of reform and internationalization, and how contemporary developments — like the current conception of the “Chinese Dream” — are influenced by the legacies of China’s past. You’ll also examine Greater China with a focus on the Taiwan model and Taiwan’s relationship with the People’s Republic of China.
What you'll learn in ChinaX (Part 6)
- The political and economic world of Post-Mao China.
No books are required for the course. Many readings from the course are contained in Wm. Theodore de Bary and Irene Bloom, eds., Sources of Chinese Tradition, 2nd ed., volume 1 and 2 (Columbia UP, 2000 and 2001). If you want to supplement your study, Patricia Buckley Ebrey, The Cambridge Illustrated History of China, 2nd ed. (Cambridge UP, 2010), is a text that accompanies the sections and discussions by providing essential chronological survey information.
Performance in the course will be evaluated based on the following:
- Section 1 Assessments (15%)
- Section 2: Assessments (15%)
- Section 3: Assessments (15%)
- Section 5: Assessments (15%)
- Section 6: Assessments (15%)
- Discussion (10%)
- Final Assessments: (15% for only certificate learners)
EdX offers an optional fee-based ($90 USD) verified certificate to those who have passed the course. If you achieve a passing grade of 65% in this course, you are eligible to receive a verified certificate. Your certificate will indicate you have successfully completed the course, but will not include a specific grade. You can find your current score on the Progress page. Your score is based on the assessments in each section.
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- passed the course by January 26, 2020
- verified their identity
- paid the certificate fee
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