Chinese Studies Modules 2017-18

The School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics is pleased to announce the following undergraduate modules for the academic year 2017-18:

Encountering China examines the history of European encounters with China, from the Silk Road to the present day. It’s an epic story, marked at times by war, greed, and suspicion, but also by curiosity, friendship, compassion, and openness to new forms of learning. Topics covered include: the Silk Road; the travels of Marco Polo; the Opium Wars; the Chinese diaspora in Europe; the sharing of ideas such as Christianity, Confucianism and Marxism; and economic and cultural encounters in the 21st century.

The Politics of China investigates the forces, structures, and individuals shaping contemporary China. We go beyond the sensationalist headlines to explore questions such as: How communist is the Chinese Communist Party? How does it maintain its legitimacy in the eyes of the public? What effect has China’s ‘One Child Policy’ had upon its society and politics? How do the politics of Hong Kong and Taiwan differ from those of the mainland?

Politics, Culture and Religion analyses how our most deeply held beliefs about the world shape political reality. It examines thorny questions such as: Do religious and cultural differences cause wars? Is Islam compatible with democracy? What values (if any?!) unite the people of Europe? Are human rights universally applicable, or are they merely a western imposition on the rest of the world? And to what extent are our different cultures becoming homogenised by globalisation?

EU-China Relations investigates contemporary relations between the EU and China. Both are economic powerhouses and indispensable trading partners; yet both are wracked by economic problems, security challenges, concerns about political legitimacy, and the temptations of populist nationalism. The module will cover China's economic and strategic relations with the EU, as well as grassroots interaction such as migration. We will also assess the impact of Brexit, and whether it’s good or bad news for China.

The modules can be chosen as electives in Stage 2, 3 and 4 and will be taught by Phil Entwistle, Lecturer in Chinese Studies.