China in the World, 1500-1840 (HIH2185A)

30 credits

This module offers an opportunity to explore China and its place in the world from 1500 to the outbreak of the Opium War. China’s engagement with the outside world has traditionally been described as hostile to interaction and innovation, xenophobic and isolationist. This module encourages you to challenge these stereotypes. It shows that, well before the British ‘opened up’ China in the 1840s, China had encountered the wider world both within and beyond its borders. Since the sixteenth century, economic, technological, and military expansion brought China increasingly into a wide-ranging network of commercial, intellectual and cultural contacts that linked it with the outside world. You do not need prior knowledge of Chinese history to complete this module.