Course Code


Course Name

Chinese Studies Field Trip






Dr. YAO Wuyutong

Teaching Assistant

Huang Xiaotong

Course Description

This iconic Chinese Studies Field Trip course offers an immersive experience into the vibrant cultures and histories of Chengdu and Chongqing, two cities of great economic and political importance in western China. Through a combination of classroom lectures, site visits, and cultural activities, students will gain a deeper understanding of China’s contemporary economic development strategies.

Course Outline

Pre-trip Lectures

Session 1: Introduction about the Field Trip
Time TBD

Session 2: Historical Background of Developing China’s West

Session 3: Briefing Session before the Trip


Field Trip

Day 1 and Day 7 will be mostly on the road. Day 1, 2, 3, 4 will be in Chengdu. Then we will take high speed trains to Chongqing.



Itinerary will be confirmed at the beginning of Term 1.


Readings for Book Reports

1. Food and Regional Culture

  • Dunlop, Fuchsia. Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China. Ebury Press, 2011.
  • Swislocki, Mark. Culinary Nostalgia: Regional Food Culture and the Urban Experience in Shanghai. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008.
  • Wang, Di. The Teahouse: Small Business, Everyday Culture, and Public Politics in Chengdu, 1900-1950. Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press, 2008.
  • Wang, Di. Violence and Order on the Chengdu Plain: The Story of a Secret Brotherhood in Rural China, 1939-1949. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2018.
  • Chabrowski, Igor Iwo. Singing on the River: Sichuan Boatmen and TheirWork Songs, 1880s – 1930s. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2015.
  • May Bo Ching. Regional Culture and National Identity : The Formation of the notion of ”Guangdong Culture” since the late Qing. Hong Kong: Sanlian, 2018.

2. Infrastructure, One Belt One Road, Globalization and Green Development

  • Lindtner, Silvia M. Prototype Nation: China and the Contested Promise of Innovation.
    Princeton Studies in Culture and Technology. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020.
  • Summers, Tim. China’s Regions in an Era of Globalization. Contemporary China. London;
    New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2018.
  • Zhan, Jing Vivian.China’s Contained Resource Curse: How Minerals Shape State-Capital-Labor Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022.


  • David Chang, Ugly Delicious, season 1 & 2.

Assessment & Assignments

1. Participation in the field trip activities 20%.
2. Book Report 30%. A 1000-word book report from the listed readings. Due by Nov 30th.
3. Final Report 50%. A final report on what students learned through the field trip activities and their wider reading and research. This can be a paper of at least 3,000-words or be presented in multi-media or hybrid format after discussion with the lecturer. The report can be broad in scope or can focus on one or more specific course themes. Due by December 24th.

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 VeriGuide declaration that they are aware of the policies, regulations and procedures.