Fall 2015 - HIST 367 D100

History of the People's Republic of China (4)

Class Number: 6706

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 8 – Dec 7, 2015: Wed, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 16, 2015
    Wed, 12:00–3:00 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history.



Analyzes the history of the PRC from 1949 to present. Special emphasis on ideology, inequality, diversity, the Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, and economic reforms. Students with credit for HIST 256 may not take this course for further credit.


   Mao Zedong initiated revolutionary changes when he led the Chinese Communist Party to power in 1949. Mao wanted to get rid of inequality and exploitation, and also wanted to make China strong and modern. More than sixty years after the revolution, the Communist Party still rules China, but the history of the People’s Republic did not unfold as Mao had hoped. How do we explain what happened?
   We will approach this question from multiple perspectives, from elite politics to everyday life at the grassroots. We will master the chronological narrative from 1949 to the present and will also explore such historical themes as humor and satire, marriage, and the one-child policy. These themes, presented through readings and films, will serve as “windows” into how people in China have experienced the past sixty-six years. Each student will also share and interpret a primary source.


By the end of the term, students will have:
(1) gained a deeper understanding of key problems in contempoary Chinese history;
(2) developed critical approaches toward primary and secondary sources;
(3) improved their ability to interpret, explain, and form arguments about social, political, economic, and cultural change.


  • Tutorial participation 10%
  • Primary source project: each student will locate, interpret, and explain a primary source, and will then share the source with the class via a short essay and a brief oral presentation 15%
  • Quizzes: Two unannounced in-class essays will allow students to show that they read and thought about the week’s assigned reading. 20%
  • Midterm exam consisting of essay questions 25%
  • Final exam consisting of essay questions 30%



Chen Huiqin, Daughter of Good Fortune: A Twentieth-Century Chinese Peasant Memoir (University of Washington Press, 2015).

Sang Ye, China Candid: The People on the People’s Republic (University Of California Press, 2006).

Andrew Walder, China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed (Harvard University Press, 2015).

Other readings will be provided electronically.

Registrar Notes:

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