Fall 2024

The Frontier Regions in Chinese History

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-368  |  History, as HIST-368


George Qiao (Section 01)


(Offered as HIST 368 [AS/TE/TC] and ASLC 368.) This seminar examines the role of various frontier regions and borderlands in the long span of Chinese history. Ever since ancient times, the development of agricultural communities, dynastic states, and Sinitic cultures in China was deeply intertwined with the fate of the societies on its borders, such as Mongolia, Manchuria, Xinjiang, Tibet, Taiwan, and the mountainous southwestern regions. In this course, we will read both classic and cutting-edge scholarship on China’s frontier regions and critically engage a number of major historiographical issues in Chinese history, such as empire building, frontier expansion, borderland society, cross-cultural trade, environmental changes, the construction of ethnicity, and Chinese nationalism. At the end of the course, students will learn about the history of China’s frontier regions and gain deep insights into China’s persistent problems in its borderland areas. Some knowledge of Chinese history and culture is helpful but not necessary to do well in this course.

Some knowledge of Chinese history and culture is helpful but not necessary to do well in this course. Fall semester. Professor Qiao.

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Close analysis of historical evidence, which may include written documents, images, music, films, or statistics from the historical period under study. Exploration of scholarly, methodological, and theoretical debates about historical topics. Extensive reading, varying forms of written work, and intensive in-class discussions.

Course Materials


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Spring 2023, Fall 2024