Week 1: Aug. 24-30

Welcome to week 1 of the course “HST271: Modern China”!

This week, there is something to do for you every day to set everything up for the rest of the semester. This week is NOT representative of the amount of time you will spend on this course: budget for about 6 to 8 hours per week from week 2 onward.

For most tasks, you will also fill out a Declaration Quiz on Canvas. These are linked below each task, and also in this weekly schedule. You can also find them in the Module for Week 1 on Canvas. This week, the quizzes have no points, and count as practice runs. They also stay open for the entire week. Next week, that changes: there will be a 12hr automatic extension period, and extra credit assignments to buffer any missed deadlines, but I expect you to work within the course rhythm. They are simple true/false quizzes. You can go back and adjust your answer, and there is no time limit, and from next week, you’ll start to build points for the “Exploration” tasks.

If something about the process is not clear, let me know! Remember that for technical stuff the Digital Learning Assistants (DLAs) are availabe to help

Monday Aug. 24

  • Time estimate: 30 mins
  • Watch the videos in the orientation module
    • These videos help you understand what the course is about, why I made certain choices, and how it’s all supposed to work as an asynchronous course (that means: Zoom is optional!)

Tuesday Aug. 25

  • Time estimate: 20 mins
  • Sign up for your account in the Cloud Lounge, and write a brief introduction.
  • When you’re done, go to Canvas and fill out the Declaration Quiz

Wednesday Aug. 26

  • Time estimate: 45 mins
  • Set up or reactivate your Hypothes.is account, and join the group HST271
  • Annotate the course syllabus – ask questions or leave comments at specific points. If everything is clear, please just leave a page note indicating you read and agree with the syllabus.
  • Full Instructions here
  • When you’re done, go to Canvas and fill out the Declaration Quiz

Thursday Aug. 27

  • Time estimate: 60 mins
  • Set up or re-activate your own Bergbuilds Domain, install WordPress, and write your first blog post for this semester.
  • When you’re done, go to Canvas and fill out the Declaration Quiz

Friday Aug. 28

Check you have completed all assingments, and filled out all the Declaration Quizzes.

On to week 2


  • Tuchman, Barbara W. Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-45. New York: Macmillan, 1971. (excerpt from chapter 2: pp. 26-37, marked with red brackets) (PDF <– click on link. Login name and password can be found on the SECRETS PAGE)
    • Note: the machine-read PDF text on this book scan may not be perfect, but you can highlight sections. If you open the file in Chrome, you can use Hypothes.is for social annotation (see this video). Use group HST271, of course.
    • This brief section gives you a whirlwind tour of the events between 1793 (the Macartney mission to the Qianlong emperor) and the revolution of 1911. We will see these in more detail, but they give you a good idea of the massive change that China underwent in the scope of about a century. By the end of the semester, you will be able to critique this passage in quite some detail. For now, just take note of what you find interesting, remarkable or strange, and use that as a jumping off point into Chinese history next week.