Introduction

China (Part 9): China and Communism is the ninth of ten parts of ChinaX, that collectively span over 6,000 years of history. Each part consists of 4 to 8 weekly "modules," each with videos, readings, interactive engagements, assessments, and discussion forums. There are a total of 52 modules in ChinaX.

Parts 6-10 make up China and the Modern World, taught by Professor William C. Kirby. Parts 1-5 make up China: Civilization and Empire, taught by Professor Peter K. Bol.  

For more information about ChinaX, please visit the ChinaX page.

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What you'll learn:

  • The rise of the Chinese Communist Party, the People’s Republic under Mao Zedong, and the beginning of China’s reopening and reform in the 1970s.
  • The questions: “How did the Communists conquer China?” “What constitutes liberation?” What are the successes and failures of the Chinese Communist Party after seizing power in 1949?"
  • The profound cultural, intellectual, political and economic changes within this period.
  • To consider the question “What role does culture play?” – China in this period within a socialist world order; how historical interpretations of this period reinforce or challenge the official narrative in China today.
  • To develop your own approaches to history and gain a critical appreciation of China’s literary, philosophical, political and cultural resources.
  • To express ideas more clearly and confidently; to think more analytically and critically through the study of primary and secondary sources.

 

Meet The Author

Peter K. Bol

Peter K. Bol

Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations

Peter K. Bol is the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning, the Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the founding director of the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis. He holds degrees from the University of Leiden and Princeton University. He began teaching at Harvard in 1985 and was named a Harvard College Professor for excellence in teaching. Bol and Kirby have been teaching the history of China together since 1992.

William C. Kirby

William C. Kirby

T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies

William C. Kirby is T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies at Harvard University and Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. He is a Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor. He serves as chairman of the Harvard China Fund and served as director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies from 2006 to 2013.

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