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China in Global History

For discussion:

What is China's place in the contemporary study of global history? (Have a look at Pomeranz and/or some of the reviews for this question).

Is economic history the best approach to understanding China's role in global history? What other methodological approaches are available to study the relationship between China and the wider world?

What were the main (cultural) forces that brought China into contact with Europe between the 16th and the early 19th centuries (i.e. before the Opium Wars)? (Read David Mungello's book for this question, or Joanna Waley-Cohen, Sextants of Beijing)

How did early encounters between China and the West influence their interactions in the 19th and 20th centuries (i.e. after the Opium Wars)? (See Waley-Cohen's chapters on this subject).

Should we focus on China's relationship with Europe/'the West'? What other 'global contexts' are relevant here? What about East Asia?

Readings:

Pomeranz, Ken. The Great Divergence (2000). Look at the chapter entitled 'Europe before Asia?' (Photocopy in the Short Loan Collection.) There are many reviews of this work. See, for example:

Mungello, David. The Great Encounter of China and the West: 1500-1800 (2005, or 2009). DS 754.M8 (some of it is on Google Books)

Waley-Cohen, Sextants of Beijing: Global Currents in Chinese History (2000). DS 721.W2