Course Code


Course Name

China under Mao


Monday 8:30-11:15am


ELB 306


WANG Xiaoxuan

Teaching Assistant


Course Description

This course introduces the early history of the People’s Republic of China, which is inextricably linked to Mao Zedong, its infamous leader and the most important figure in twentieth century China. Although the Mao era only lasted for about three decades, it left an indelible imprint that is still present on the political, social and family life in China today. The era’s ambitious action to profoundly restructure the economy, politics and culture of Chinese society, along with its human and environmental costs, have always been the subject of study and debate. So are the violent political and social campaigns that brought tragedy and trauma to individuals and the society as a whole. This upper-level course invites students to join the exploration of diverse revolutionary experiences from high politics in Beijing to village life in the countryside and from mass campaigns to individual experience.

Course Outline

Detailed Course Outline is available on Blackboard.

Week 1: Introduction: The Maoist Era in Modern Chinese History

Week 2: Chinese Civil War and the Birth of the People’s Republic of China

Week 3: New Democracy and the Making of New China

Week 4: The Transition to State Socialism

Week 5: The Great Leap into Famine and Its Afermath

Week 6: Origins and Onset of the Cultural Revolution

Week 7: The Cultural Revolution Expanded

Week 8: The End of the Mao Era: Discontent, Disillusionment and Dissolution

Week 9: Oral History Video Reports

Week 10: Oral History Video Reports & Research Paper Presentations

Week 11: Research Paper Presentations

Week 12: The Maoist Legacies

Assessment & Assignments

Essays (10%)

Essay Test or Exam (30%)

Presentation (20%)

Short answer test or exam (20%)

Selected response test or exam (20%)

Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at

With each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of these policies, regulations, guidelines and procedures.

  • In the case of group projects, all members of the group should be asked to sign the declaration, each of whom is responsible and liable to disciplinary actions, irrespective of whether he/she has signed the declaration and whether he/she has contributed, directly or indirectly, to the problematic contents.
  • For assignments in the form of a computer-generated document that is principally text-based and submitted via VeriGuide, the statement, in the form of a receipt, will be issued by the system upon students’ uploading of the soft copy of the assignment.

Assignments without the properly signed declaration will not be graded by teachers.

Only the final version of the assignment should be submitted via VeriGuide.

The submission of a piece of work, or a part of a piece of work, for more than one purpose (e.g. to satisfy the requirements in two different courses) without declaration to this effect shall be regarded as having committed undeclared multiple submissions. It is common and acceptable to reuse a turn of phrase or a sentence or two from one’s own work; but wholesale reuse is problematic. In any case, agreement from the course teacher(s) concerned should be obtained prior to the submission of the piece of work.