The course explores the relationship between China and the United State since the late 18th century. Starting as an encounter between a young trading state and an ageless empire on the two side of the Pacific Ocean, the Chinese-American relationship has gone through stages characterized by the two countries’ changing identities, such as civilizational, national, ideological, strategic, or global. By using both recent scholarly works and written records from the past, the course considers the historical contacts between China and the United States broadly and seeks to understand this intricate and profoundly important relationship by learning from insights at individual, communal, societal, state, and international levels.
The course consists of lectures, occasional in-class discussions, and documentary films. The student’s grade is based on participation, two in-class exams (midterm and final), a brief research-paper proposal, and a 12- to 15-page (double spaced) research paper.