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Course Detail

Student Movements & Revolution in China


This course explores the fascinating dynamics, causes, and pathways of student movements and revolutions in China. The course is divided into four units, each of which covers a different period of student activism in twentieth- and twenty-first-century China: student involvement in the May Fourth Movement (1919), Red Guard activism during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1968), the Tian'anmen Square protest and its aftermath (1989), and student involvement in the Hong Kong democracy protests (2014). We will examine not only how each of these movements affected individual Chinese citizens, but also how these movements shaped the way the Chinese government explained, re-evaluated, condemned, celebrated, or silenced previous revolutions. Students in this course will analyze primary source documents from each of these periods and critically engage with a variety of other less conventional texts, such as films, memoirs, literature, propaganda posters, song lyrics, and blogs. Key themes of the course include nationalism, anti-imperialism, communism, capitalism, youthful rebellion, and democracy.

Satisfies the 200-level methods course requirement in the History major and minor.
Satisfies the research methods course requirement in the East Asian Studies major.
Counts as an elective in the Chinese Studies minor
Counts as an elective in the East Asian Studies interdisciplinary minor.
Counts as an elective in the International Studies interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies an Historical Thought requirement.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.