May Term 2013 — China: Past, Present, Future

HIS3880-01  Travel/Study: China: Past, Present, Future
4 semester hours

Have we entered the “Chinese century”? Is China posed, as one recent book provocatively puts it, to “take over the world”? Can our planet sustain a China that consumes resources as voraciously as Western nations? As these questions suggest, thinking about China means thinking about fundamental forces of change in the modern world. The rise of China—a country of 1.3 billion people—cannot but have a momentous impact. But what is China? And who are the Chinese? This course will help you answer such questions by providing an introduction to the past and present of this populous and increasingly powerful country. We will examine China with an eye on the future—and we will do so in China. After a week of meetings on campus, we will travel to China for ten days. While there we will visit historic Beijing, explore the Forbidden City, climb the Great Wall, contemplate the 2,200-year old Terra Cotta Army at the ancient capital of Xi’an, ponder the hypermodern cityscape of Shanghai, eat amazing food, and much more. In doing so, we will not only have a great time, but we will also gain perspective on what is arguably the most pivotal country in today’s world and sharpen our critical thinking, reading, and expression skills while doing so.


Consent of instructor. This course can be used to fulfill the General Education Knowing Ourselves and Others B requirement as well as the non-Western course requirement for history majors.


Dr. Mark Soderstrom, Assistant Professor of History

Special considerations

There will be a substantial amount of walking (historical sites, museums, etc.)

Course dates/times

May 7–10; from 8:00–11:45 a.m.

Trip dates

May 13–23

Trip costs

$2,700 to include airfare, board and lodging, ground transportation and fees in addition to tuition of $1,960