Site Accessibility Statement
Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
July 4, 2015
Canadian Excellence

HI399: Cities in History - China

Spring 2015 

Travel Course: HI 399 Cities in History: China

In this travel course we will be examining China’s rich historical and contemporary urban culture, through the examination of architecture, spaces and their cultural, social, economic and political meanings, and monuments and memorialization. Although these buildings and spaces will be seen through the discipline of history the course is created with an eye to examining Chinese urbanism through political science, cultural studies and global studies.

For 3 weeks students will have a series of lectures at WLU concentrating on the urban history of late imperial and contemporary China. We will be studying Beijing- the political city, Chongqing-WWII capital and symbol of the new reformist China, Nanjing – the Republican capital and the scene of Asia’s best known war crime, and Shanghai, the meeting of east and west.

All course materials will be provided through the MyLS course site. In the first three weeks students will chose a building, a monument or a space in one of our 4 cities from a prepared list, and will write an essay on the site. Once in China they will maintain a journal of their experience with the course. The last marked component will be an oral presentation. As a class we will go to your site and you become our guide, demonstrating to us the rich history of your ‘place’, its political, social, cultural and economic context, perhaps its contested legacy and links to China’s past and future. Students will be marked on these 3 components and the mark submitted by June 15.

A sample of some of the choices. Beijing: The City Walls and gates, the traditional hutong neighbourhood and the courtyard home, the former foreign legation quarters, District 798 (former suburban arms factories converted into world famous modern art district), the Tibetan Lama Temple, Wang Fujing Street (Beijing’s 1000 yr old main shopping street), the North Cathedral – Beijing’s oldest Catholic Church, the Jesuit cemetery, the Ming Tombs, the CBD (Central Business District home to Beijing’s most innovative modern architecture, Sanlituan (embassy district under the communists and now the club district) and more.

Chongqing: Chiang Kai Shek’s WWII HQ, the city bomb shelters, the old terraced city (now reprocessed and rebuilt as a tourist site), the US WWII HQ and accompanying post 1949 museum to anti-imperialism, the Confucian temple, and Chongqing’s CBD.

Nanjing: Sun Yat-sen’s tomb and memorial park, the government buildings of the former GMD government, Zhou Enlai’s house and museum, the city walls, John Rabe’s (hero of the WWII Nanjing Safety Zone) house and museum, Nanjing University Campus, the Nanjing Massacre Museum, the Yangze River Gorge Bridge, Zheng He’s dry docks and museum

Shanghai: The Bund, the Chinese walled city, the racetrack now the People’s Park, the Peace Hotel, St John the Wonderworker Russian Orthodox Church, the synagogue and Jewish neighbourhood, Chabei (scene of the most vicious fighting in WWII), Pudong- the New Shanghai across the river.

The cost is 3750 all flights, internal travel, accommodations, most meals and tuition. Students are responsible for getting their visa (cost 100 dollars), and getting to Pearson airport. They will have to attend at least 2 require sessions put on by Laurier International. While in China they will be guided by several mandarin speakers, including Dr. Chiasson and Nikita Zhu, head of Laurier’s office in Chongqing. Interested students will have to fill out an application form and give a 500 dollar deposit by January 30th. There are 15 spaces.

Dates: May 4-June 24 2015

May 4- 22 Lecture WLU MWF 10-11:50

May 25-26 Fly to Beijing from Pearson International Airport, Toronto

May 27-31 Beijing- Accommodations at Minzu Nationalities University, International Residence in the heart of Old Beijing

June 1-7 Chongqing, Sichuan Province- Accommodations at Chongqing University International Residence

June 8-12 Nanjing, Jiangsu Province- Accommodations at Nanjing University International Residence

June 13-15 Shanghai –Accommodations at Shanghai Jiaotong University, French Quarter

June 15 Return to Pearson International Airport, Toronto