What you'll learn

  • Enduring issues of modern China, focusing on the creation of the modern Chinese state on the ruins of the Empire during the Republican era; investigate four broad themes across the history of the Republic and People’s Republic, from the 1911 revolution to the present; learn in detail China’s war against Japan and long-term patterns of U.S.-China Relations.
  • Different ways to study and understand history as we explore this period thematically rather than chronologically.
  • A better understanding of how the political context in which a period or event is studied influences our interpretation of the period or event.
  • Develop skills to analyze and understand primary sources.
  • Examine the role of individual leaders (Sun Yat-sen, Chiang Kai-shek, Mao Zedong) versus broader historical circumstances.
  • To develop your own approaches to history and gain a critical appreciation of China’s literary, philosophical, political and cultural resources.

Course description

China (Part 8): Creating Modern China: The Birth of a Nation is the eighth 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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  • Portrait of Peter K. Bol
    Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University
  • T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies

Associated Schools

  • Harvard Faculty of Arts & Sciences

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