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The Chinese Port of Canton in Global-Historical Time (HI3K9-30)

This module explores the history of China’s interaction with maritime empires, with a focus on the Chinese port of Canton from the sixteenth to the mid nineteenth century. Topics include: how trade was conducted, how port workers played their crucial role in enabling the trade to move smoothly, how Western traders lived their luxurious lives in the foreign land, how invitations to chopstick dinners and fork dinners came to symbolise the intercultural relations, and what happened when a young lively white woman secretly arrived in the trading quarters that was full of eligible bachelors. It also deals with topics that had implications on inter-state relations, such as how the issue of a Chinese local man being killed by an Italian sailor was handled, how the Qing officials, Western merchants, and Chinese merchants worked together to create a framework of trade and interaction, and how this led to clashes.

Module Convenor: Dr Song-Chuan Chen

Method of Delivery for 2020/21: Alternate face-to-face and online synchronous seminars. (Online seminar to be shorter and supported by asynchronous activities on forums)

Reading materials: Warwick Reading Lists for Term 1.

The Thirteen Factories of Canton, c1805, Peabody Essex Museum