Summer 2015 - HIST 254 D100

China to 1800 (3)

Class Number: 4725

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 11 – Aug 10, 2015: Fri, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 12, 2015
    Wed, 8:30–11:30 a.m.



This course offers a broad survey of the history of China from antiquity to the eve of its modern transformations at the turn of the nineteenth century. It aims to challenge the perception of an unchanging China and to encourage students to develop a critical understanding of the forces integrating and dividing this geo-cultural unit. Breadth-Humanities.


In this course students will examine the history of China from earliest recorded times to the mid-Qing dynasty (approximately 1500 BCE – 1800 CE). They will examine the importance of key personalities, events, and philosophical concepts from China's past, as well as the major schools of interpretation of Chinese history. Major topics include the contending philosophies of the Warring States period, the creation of the Chinese imperial system, the introduction and development of Buddhism, China’s interactions with its Asian neighbors, the commercial revolution during the Song, the Mongol conquest, Ming society, and Manchu rule under the Qing. 
In addition to the material presented in the lectures and the textbook, this course will also introduce students to the techniques of historical analysis through the critical study of translated primary documents taken from Chinese sources. These documents will be our window into the lives of Chinese people from all walks of life as they struggled to deal with the challenges facing China in their own time.

Course Requirements and Assessment  

  • Tutorial participation (10%): this mark will be based on attendance and active participation in the discussions of weekly assigned readings.
  • Three short in-class document analyses (30%): each document analysis will be based on selected tutorial readings.
  • Take-Home Mid-Term Exam (30%): this open-book exam will consist of essay questions.
  • Final Exam (30%): this exam will be held during the regular examination period at the end of the semester. The exam will consist of a combination of short answers and longer essay questions. The essay questions will be provided in advance.


  • Tutorial participation 10%
  • Three short in-class document analyses 30%
  • Take-Home Mid-Term Exam 30%
  • Final Exam 30%



Harold M. Tanner. China: A History, Volume I. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2010.

In addition to the textbook there will be weekly tutorial readings posted on the course website.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.