Week 14: Century’s End, Breakthrough? and Wrapping Up

This is it! Final week of the semester, and the final piece of the puzzle where you see how China’s history connects with its present.

There are a myriad different topics, but I decided to keep things simple and give you a basic set, and two options: the textbook, or a documentary on the environment. If you want to dive deeper in any of the other topics mentioned in the basic set or in the headlines, use your final Show and Tell project to investigate the history of something in the present that fascinates you.

Let’s dive straight into the materials for this final week, so you can say you really went from 1600 to the present in this course!

Table of contents

Readings

Basic Set

Textbook alternatives:

  • Moïse Edwin E. Modern China: A History Third ed. Harlow, England: Pearson/Longman, 2008. (ebook Trexler): Chapters 11
  • Dillon, Michael. China: A Modern History. London: I.B. Tauris, 2010. (ebook Trexler): Chapter 18 and Conclusion

Exploration Pack 1: Textbook

The last bit of the textbook: Note to readers in earlier editions: To the best of my knowledge, much of this is not in your edition anymore, so please consider switching to exploration pack 2!

  • Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China. Third ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013.
    • Chapters 27 (Century’s End) and 28 (Breakthrough?)
  • “Dalai Lama and “Ahimsa: for Tibet: The Nobel Peace Prize Lecture, December 10, 1989” In The Search for Modern China: A Documentary Collection. Third ed. Edited by Janet Chen et. al. W. W. Norton & Company, 2014.
    • Tibet has been under Chinese occupation since 1959. Forty years later, the Noble Peace Prize committee awarded the Tibetan community’s leader, the Dalai Lama, its prize. It was a clear gesture against China’s repressive politics, but the Tibetans have had to keep up the fight for attention from the international community ever since. (PDF)
  • “President Clinton Reevaluates Human Rights as element of China Policy, May 27, 1994” In The Search for Modern China: A Documentary Collection. Third ed. Edited by Janet Chen et. al. W. W. Norton & Company, 2014.
    • President Clinton explains why China’s economic status (as Most Favored Nation) and human rights issues should be separated. (PDF)

Exploration Pack 2: The environment

(but everything is connected to the environment, if you start putting it in a diagram…)

  • Marcuse, Gary and Betsy Carson. Waking the Green Tiger. Face to Face Media, 2011.

Check out the Google Slides in the Basic Set to see how this connects to this week’s materials.

Assignments

Feedback on Week 13 post

3 points, due Mon. Nov. 30 by 11.59pm

Ok, you know the drill, and why reading other’s posts is good for you… Below you find links to four blog posts from your fellow students. If one of the websites is your own, or it is twice the same person’s, refresh the page, and you should get new sites.

  • Post 1:
  • Post 2:
  • Post 3:
  • Post 4:

Leave feedback, questions, thoughts, insights about the contents of the posts of your fellow students using Hypothes.is group HST271. You can ask for clarifications, point out similarities and differences with the material you covered, or with your interpretation. This should encourage you to nose around in the other materials you did not read in the first round.

Use the “Architect’s Model” of giving feedback, and engage with concrete issues. Go beyond “Yeah, I agree,” “I like” or “I think the same”, and instead explain why you have that reaction, or if you disagree, you can try to persuade the original poster of your idea or interpretation.

Remember that Hypothes.is allows for hyperlinks, e.g. to materials that support your argument, or you can include pictures (memes! [yes, there she is again]), videos etc. that help the original poster to learn more.

When you’ve commented on four posts, read this declaration carefully, and then fill out the Canvas quiz to collect your points.

Declaration
– I commented on four fellow students’ initial posts on the readings from Week 13, using the group HST271.
– I made sure to leave substantial comments that move the discussion forward and help to create better insights, and go beyond a “nice” or “great”.
– I left comments that I would like to receive myself: thoughtful, helpful, kind, but also pointing out errors so they can be fixed.

Blog post Week 14

5 points, due by Thursday, Dec. 3. 11.59pm.

Write a blog post exploring themes or ideas based on your reading. You do not need to have all the answers. In fact, learning to ask good analytical or research questions is a skill you can develop during the semester.

  • Length: approx. 400 words. excl. list of materials consulted.
  • Add the list of materials consulted at the end of the post, in Chicago notes and bibliography style.
    • TOP TIP: Just copy the bibliography information from the Reading list here.
    • Don’t include the (PDF) or the #hashtags – those are just there to help you
  • Add the words “Week 14” in the title (please use this exact phrase, or it trips up the filter I created to have your posts show up in the blog stream)
  • Include an image, and make sure to add a caption with the source/credit.
  • Post on your website, and add to the category hst271.

When you’re done, read this declaration carefully and then fill out the Canvas quiz to collect your points.

Declaration
– I wrote a post of approximately 400 words in response to the readings.
– I included the bibliographic references for the materials I used for my post.
– I indicated which materials I used
– I included an image, and I provided a caption and credit (source) for the image.
– I use the words Week 14 in the title, and added the post to category hst271

Final Reflection

WHEN:Due Friday Dec. 4, 11.59PM

WHAT: 500-800 words

HOW: Write as a blog post, or as a Word or Google doc file, and submit on Canvas in this assignment. (Note: not a declaration quiz); . You can submit a URL, or upload a document in docx, pdf, rtf, doc, txt format. Assignment will open in week 14

WHY: The end of the semester is a good time to stop and reflect on how far you’ve come, but also on how you can use the knowledge you gathered here (about yourself and about the topic) and apply it outside the confines of this course.

The details

As we come to the end of the semester, and close up to the present in Chinese history, you get a third chance to reflect on your learning. This one is a bit different from previous reflections, because I invite you to think about the course as a whole, and how it makes you see the world around you a bit differently (rather than focusing on how you learn)

Pick one or more of the following prompts, and write a 500-800 word reflection, using concrete illustrations or examples from your work for or engagement with the course, to make those lofty thoughts concrete. In other words: “Show, don’t tell”

  • We have covered a lot of topics that you never heard about in previous history classes, and that many of you feel everybody should know something about. But consider that teachers in middle and high school have only limited amounts of time and resources, how can we solve this problem? What should give way, and why?
  • This course carries a DE General Academic Requirement. Do you think you earned it? Why (not)?
    • To help you answer that question, here’s the description from the Course Catalog: “HDGE courses across the curriculum aim to broaden and deepen students’ understanding of human difference and to develop the intellectual and civic skills students require for participation in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world.”
  • Remember week 2, and the question about modernity? Let’s go back there: Is China modern? But before you answer that question, maybe ponder this question: does the term “modern/modernization” actually mean “Western/Westernization”?
  • Imagine you are interviewed five years from now for your dream job (which likely has nothing to do with Chinese history!); the interviewer sees on your transcript you took HST271: Modern China. “Oh, what did you learn in that course?” What is your answer? Why?

Extra Credit Tasks

Last chance to add some extra points to your weekly “Explorer Tasks!”

EC 14-1: Rewrite a post

3 points, due by Sunday Dec. 6, 11.59pm

Unhappy about a post you wrote? Feeling you can do better now than a few weeks ago? Had a bad week and rushed to get it in but now you’re ready to do something you can be proud of? Now you can rewrite a post and get extra credit for it!

  • Pick a post from a previous week and use the comments you received to rewrite it.
  • Add a brief paragraph at the end explaining how you rewrote the post: which comments did you address, how did you go about the process (new blank page vs. tinkering), and what you learned about the process of rewriting.
  • tag the post with extra, and add the word rewrite to the title

Read the following Declaration carefully, and then head on over to Canvas to collect your points in the Declaration Quiz:

Declaration
I selected a post from a previous week and rewrote it, using feedback and insights I gained since writing it.
I added a brief paragraph at the end explaining what I did to rewrite the post, and what I learned about rewriting
I added the tag extra to the post, and added the word rewrite to the title.
I made sure the post is still in the category hst271.

EC 14-2: “Down the Rabbit Hole”

3 points, due by Sunday, Dec. 6, 11.59pm.

Are you curious? Can you spend hours on internet following one link after another trying to get to the bottom of something? Did you know you can now also get some extra credit for this?

Pick a topic, place name, object, book or person connected to our readings from anytime this semester, and follow your curiosity “down the rabbit hole”, like Alice in Wonderland. Then share in a blog post with us where you went, and what you found. Your post does not have to be very long: 250 words should work; more is fine if you went on a deep dive, of course. Here’s what to include:

  • What in the course materials this week got you inspired to go down the rabbit hole?
  • Include as hyperlinked text the websites you visited, and what you learned there.
  • Include an image, with caption giving credit for the image.
  • You may also critique the sources you find, in particular if you have your doubts about their reliability, or you come across conflicting interpretations. Which one did you side with, and why?
  • Add the post to category hst271, use the title template “Down the rabbit hole: [insert subject]”, and add the tag extra.

Read the following Declaration carefully, and then head on over to Canvas to collect your points in the Declaration Quiz:

Declaration
I wrote a post about additional materials on the internet I found, starting from a topic connected to course materials from anytime this semester.
I included the sites I visited as hyperlinked text, and explained what I learned on these pages.
I included an image, with a caption and credit for the image.
I added the post to the category hst271, used the tag extra, and used the title template “Down the rabbit hole: [insert topic]” for my post.

Assignments due in Final Week

IDEA Course Evaluation

Due by Dec. 7, 11.59PM

This is the official anonymous end of semester evaluation. It is important for me, and for my future here at Muhlenberg: my colleagues in the department and beyond will use this to help determine if I’m doing a good enough job to stay on. (as “tenure track” faculty, I’m essentially on a 6 year probation period, read more about that system in this article in the Weekly.) As a teaching-oriented College, your feedback on my performance really makes a difference! It’s fully anonymous, and I don’t get to see the results until after you get your grades, so there is no influence either way.

If you have not yet filled out the IDEA evaluation for the course, please take 20-25 minutes and do me a BIG favor and give me a review!

Survival Tips

Please add your survival tips for future students of this course on this website. It’s anonymous, and you can have fun with images, links and you can like posts. What do you wish you’d known before you started this course? What do you want every student who starts this course to know? What was fun? Tell them!

Feedback on Week 14 post

Due on Monday, Dec. 7, 11.59PM

Ok, last time! I hope you enjoy reading through your fellow classmates’ work one more time. As always, if one of the websites is your own, or it is twice the same person’s, refresh the page, and you should get new sites.

  • Post 1:
  • Post 2:
  • Post 3:
  • Post 4:

Leave feedback, questions, thoughts, insights about the contents of the posts of your fellow students using Hypothes.is group HST271. You can ask for clarifications, point out similarities and differences with the material you covered, or with your interpretation. This should encourage you to nose around in the other materials you did not read in the first round.

Use the “Architect’s Model” of giving feedback, and engage with concrete issues. Go beyond “Yeah, I agree,” “I like” or “I think the same”, and instead explain why you have that reaction, or if you disagree, you can try to persuade the original poster of your idea or interpretation.

Remember that Hypothes.is allows for hyperlinks, e.g. to materials that support your argument, or you can include pictures (memes! [yes, there she is again]), videos etc. that help the original poster to learn more.

When you’ve commented on four posts, read this declaration carefully, and then fill out the Canvas quiz to collect your points.

Declaration
– I commented on four fellow students’ posts on the readings from Week 14, using the group HST271.
– I made sure to leave substantial comments that move the discussion forward and help to create better insights, and go beyond a “nice” or “great”.
– I left comments that I would like to receive myself: thoughtful, helpful, kind, but also pointing out errors so they can be fixed.

Fifth Show and Tell project

WHEN: due by Wed., Dec. 9, 11.59pm

WHAT: showcase what you learned about Chinese history for the period 1972 all the way up to the present (but with a focus on historical development or connections to the past if you go into current events). Check out the details on the dedicated webpage.

If you haven’t pitched a project yet, you still can! Cloud Lounge by preference so everybody can follow along!

WHY: This gives you a chance to look back and consolidate what you learned so far. You can also use this to draw connections with course materials from further across the semester, to showcase how your understanding of China has developed and become more nuanced, now you know a lot more about its history.

HOW:

  • Create a blog post, and share a link to the project. (If it’s a text-based Show and Tell, you can of course submit it as the blog post.)
  • Use the words “Show and Tell 5:” in the title of the post; you can further customize the title by adding a title that will draw the reader in.
  • Add the post to the category hst271.
  • Submit your link in this assignment.

After December 14:

You will receive your grade shortly after December 14.

From December 15 onwards, you can you can clean up your blog or personal website and either spruce it up, or delete the entire course if you feel like it. You can also delete all the annotations you made in Hypothes.is for this course if you want.

You can always drop in to my tutorials, be they virtual or in-person once I’m brave enough to go back to teaching in person on campus. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know all of you through your weekly blog posts and your projects, and the many interactions through Hypothes.is, email and occasionally through Zoom. I hope you enjoyed the course, despite the strange circumstances we found ourselves in, and it would be nice to see you IRL (“in real life”), once it’s safe to do so.

Thank you for the wonderful experience of making this weird semester work, somehow, and against the odds. I really appreciate how much time, effort, and dedication you gave this course ☺️

Where to ask questions

Remember that it is highly likely that you are not the only one with that question. Save me time, and help your fellow students by asking questions where others can see them. If you know the answer to a question, jump in! I can’t be everywhere all the time.

Missing link? Wrong information? Email me!