GE1107 The City in Chinese History and Culture


Did you know the theme of Shanghai World Expo 2010 is “Better City, Better Life”? Does a (better) city naturally bring out a (better) life? What was the impact of the city on human life in Chinese history? How can we best describe and analyze the interactions involved?

This course seeks answers to these questions through critical examination of a rich array of themes, including art, trade, gender, religions, diasporas, colonialism, popular culture, literary representation etc.It makes use of a variety of primary sources, e.g.historical documents, literary writings, paintings, maps, and movies to illustrate how cities could be comprehended in different forms of texts and to survey the changing ways in which cities have been depicted and represented.


Course Aims

The aims of this course are threefold.It aims to:

  1. explore the changing cultural space of Chinese cities in historical context;
  2. interrogate the generic yet complex relationship between cities and city dwellers in an inter-disciplinary approach; and
  3. equip our students with dynamic cultural awareness in the emerging multi-cultural-and-ethnic global society in the 21st century, with a special reference to China in the past and comparison with other cities in the world.