Fall 2020

China: Continuity and Change

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-108  |  Political Science, as POSC-108

Moodle site: Course


Kerry E. Ratigan (Section 01)


This is an introductory intensive writing course on China. As such, we will focus on the fundamentals of reading and writing to help students develop clear and persuasive writing styles. We will also pay close attention to understanding and critiquing academic sources. Students will be expected to engage in frequent in-class writing and attend regular writing consultations.

Chinese politics is replete with tensions between opposing forces: modernity and tradition, economic growth and societal protections, central government and local government, top-down mandates and bottom-up pressures, ideology and expertise, state control and market forces, continuity and change. This course examines these tensions and their effects on state-society relations and authoritarian governance during communist party rule in China (1949-present). We will learn how to apply different reading strategies to examine a variety of sources that shed light on these tensions, including speeches, films, government documents, news media, and academic sources. Through frequent short papers, students will incorporate different types of evidence to make compelling arguments regarding the strategies that the Chinese party-state has used to maintain stability amid myriad challenges.

Class meetings will occur on-line. In addition, students will be expected to meet individually and in small groups with the instructor regularly outside of class times. Individual and small-group meetings may occur in person if conditions allow.

Limited to 12 students. Admission with consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Assistant Professor Ratigan.

If Overenrolled: Preference will be given to Political Science majors.


Online Only, Writing Intensive


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020, Fall 2021