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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

EAST1110 Modern China: History and Culture

20 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Professor Frances Weightman

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Module replaces

EAST1070 and EAST1080

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

In order to understand contemporary Chinese society and culture it is vital to be familiar with its recent history. The aim of this module is to give students an overview of the major events and trends in the political, social, and economic history of modern China, and of how these have been reflected in literature, cinema and other cultural forms. The history lectures will provide an introduction to the history of China from the start of the 20th century, including the Republican Period, civil war, Mao’s China and the Cultural Revolution, and the modernisation and reform period. The culture lectures will build on this knowledge to examine the ways in which these political and social changes in China have been reflected in literature, film and other art forms.


This module will:
- Introduce events and trends in the political, social and economic history of modern China, and examine how they have shaped China today.
- Introduce how these trends influenced the main developments of modern Chinese culture in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this module, students should:
- Know the key figures, events and trends in 20th and 21st century Chinese history, and have a basic understanding of the political, social and economic significance of this period.
- Have a basic understanding and appreciation of some of the key cultural forms in modern China, and be able to link their development with the political and social changes of the period.
- Have developed the basic skills for analyzing and discussing aspects of modern Chinese history and culture.


The module will be taught through twice-weekly lectures and regular seminars. The history lectures will provide a chronological overview, beginning from the establishment of the Chinese Republic, the rise of the CCP and the KMT, the Second World War, the revolution of 1949, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and the achievements and problems of the reform era and contemporary China.
The culture lectures will build on this historical background, and explore the introduction of European thought (including Marxism) into China, the development of modern literature and film, and orthodoxy and dissent in intellectual and cultural life in the People's Republic of China today.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours172.00
Total Contact hours28.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Background reading 72 hrs
Preparation for seminars 16 hrs
Preparation for exam 24 hrs
Preparation for and writing essay 60 hrs

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Ongoing monitoring of comprehension and background reading in seminars.
Discussion of essay outline at essay clinics in week 9.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 26/08/2022


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