Modern China presents a dual image: a society transforming itself through economic development and social revolution; and the world’s largest and oldest bureaucratic state, coping with longstanding problems of economic and political management.
Both images bear the indelible imprint of China’s historical experience, of its patterns of philosophy and religion, and of its social and political thought.
In this free Chinese studies online course, these themes are discussed to understand China in the modern world and as a great world civilization that developed along lines different from those of the Mediterranean.
The Chinese studies lecture videos
The recorded lectures are from the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences course Historical Study A-13, which was offered as HIST E-1825, an online course at Harvard Extension School.
Watch the lectures as streaming video or audio. Each lecture is 50 minutes.
Introduction: Traditions and Transformations
Bronzes, Oracle Bones, and the Legitimation of Power
Confucius and Confucianism
Competing Schools and Warring States
Forging a Unified Empire: The Qin Dynasty
Making Empire Last: Western Han
State and Society in Western and Eastern Han
The Literary Enterprise (Owen)
The Universal Empire: Cosmopolitan Tang
Rebellion and the Transformation of the Chinese World
Transforming Society through Government
The Neo-Confucian Movement
The Civil Service Examination System and Society
The World Empire of the Mongols
Social Policy and Social Practice in Ming and Qing
Silver and Social Change in Late Ming
The Defining Issues of Modern Chinese History
Achievements and Limits of Manchu Rule
Art and Local Society in Later Imperial China
Opium and the Opium Wars
Christianity and Chinese Salvation
The End of Imperial Rule
Foreign Models for a Chinese Republic
The Military Persuasion
Culture and Revolution
The United States and China in War and Revolution
The Origins of the Taiwan Question
China’s Leap Forward to Communism
China’s Rebirth in the 1970s
Two Chinese Companies
China’s Future in the Light of Its Past
If you enjoyed this free online Chinese studies course, the Harvard Extension School offers a wide variety of courses in numerous fields. Search for classes and enroll for credit during the fall and spring registration periods.