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Courses Not Offered This Year
First Year Courses
HIST1010 An Introduction to European History and Civilization
This course introduces students to the development of European civilization from its
earliest beginnings in the Fertile Crescent through the classical age of Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire, to the Middle Ages,
the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. Selected highlights from these topics will be treated
in the lectures and seminars and coursework assignments will seek to establish linkages between modern western civilization and its
historical foundations. This course is valuable for history students, but should also appeal to others studying literature, art, music
or philosophy. It will be especially useful for European Studies Majors. All students are welcome.
HIST1018 Europe in the Long Nineteenth Century, 1789-1914
This course introduces students to the development of European nation states from the French Revolution to the outbreak of the First World War. It focuses on political, economic and social structures, on important historical events, and on various ideologies and national identities of the European powers. It will also deal with the histories of smaller countries. The course will adopt a comparative approach where possible and will be particularly concerned with presenting similarities and differences in the historical development of European nation states in the long nineteenth century.
Second/Third Year Courses
HIST2008 Meiji Japan
The Meiji leadership centralized Japan after centuries of decentralization.
This course attempts to assess the quality of the
leadership, identify the problems of centralization, analyze the effectiveness of the solutions, and appraise Japan's achievement at the
end of the period especially in terms of its international standing.
HIST2014 Twentieth Century Europe, Part Two, 1945-1990
After the Second World War, Europe was divided into two camps, with Germany itself split
into Western and Communist portions. The survey of the Western camp will focus on British, French and West German politics, social change,
student revolts, and the growth of the consumer society and mass culture. In studying the 'Other Europe', the course will concentrate on the
way Communism evolved and changed in the Soviet Union and its Eastern European empire, concluding with the dramatic popular revolutions that
so suddenly toppled the Communist regimes in Eastern Europe in 1989 and the even more momentous collapse of Communism in the former Soviet
Union in 1991. As the pace of change in the whole of Europe increased so dramatically in 1989, the course ends with a series of questions.
What are the prospects for European unity, economically and politically? What role will the new unified Germany have in Europe? What are the
prospects for Russia and the other republics that have emerged from the ruins of the Soviet Empire?
HIST2016 The United States in the twentieth century
This course continues the survey of United States history begun in HIST2015 The United States before 1900, though it can be taken separately. It traces the United States' response to its adjustment from an agrarian, small-scale society to a large-scale, urban, industrialized nation, characterised by large organizations. Concurrently, it covers the development into a global power with interests throughout the world.
HIST2021 Nineteenth Century Russia, 1800-1905
This course surveys developments within the Russian Empire from the duel between Alexander
I and Napoleon through the Revolution of 1905, the dress rehearsal for the Revolution of 1917 which destroyed Tsarism. This course focuses
on internal developments, rather than on foreign policy; and thus includes topics such as Slavophilism vs. Westernizers, the tsarist reaction
and then reform under Nicholas I and Alexander II, the revolutionary movement from the Decembrists to the Bolsheviks, industrialisation, the
Nationalities Question, and the peasantry before and after Emancipation. This course requires no prior knowledge of European history.
HIST2031 History through film
This course looks at the manner in which film has portrayed events in history, considering the
degree to which film can enhance or be detrimental to our understanding of history.
Students may expect to gain some appreciation, not just of the films themselves, but of the degree to which any movie is the product of a certain
historical period and reflect its values and preoccupations. This course should be particularly enlightening to students who taking other United States
history courses and American Studies majors.
Students are expected to produce one term paper, a comparative study of at least two films, to participate in class discussions, and to make at
least one presentation in class.
HIST2032 Case studies in women's history: Hong Kong and the U.S.
This seminar course will explore themes and issues in women's history/gender history in
the 19th and 20th century. By focusing on Hong Kong and the U.S., students will work within a comparative framework to explore difference and
common ground between societies and selected historical periods. Topics include: varieties of women's reform movements, gender and World War II,
and gender and economic transformation in the late 20th century.
Germany, the largest country in Western Europe, needed a long time to build up a sovereign
national state and to develop a common national identity. After the unification was achieved in 1871, internal and external political struggles
led the country in two devastating wars in 1914 and 1939. Following the Second World War two independent German republics, controlled by their
respective superpowers USA and USSR, developed into a capitalist and communist society. Reunification was finally achieved in 1989/90 by the
collapse of the Soviet power in Central Europe. The course surveys the most important developments within the German Imperial Empire, the Weimar
Republic, Nazi Germany, and the Federal Republic and German Democratic Republic. We will study topics such as conservatism, liberalism,
nationalism, imperialism, and socialism, the two World Wars, and concentrate on the developments and changes of the different political
and economic systems in modern German history.
HIST2046 The Modern European City: Urban Living and Open Spaces
Over the past century and a half, the majority of Europeans have become urban dwellers.
Every aspect of European social life has been influenced by this phenomenon. The study of cities therefore provides a powerful insight into
European history. In this course we will study urbanization, 'the urban variable' and changing views of cities.
The course will address these topics through a number of key themes, ranging from the 'greening' of cities in the nineteenth century to
the impact which ideas about modernism, functionalism and reconstruction had on urban form, and attempts to construct ideal Fascist and
Socialist cities in the early twentieth century. It will also examine regeneration, 'postmodernism' and efforts to create 'sustainable cities.'
By the end of the course students will be more familiar with representations of European cities and how these changed over time, how city
managers struggled to resolve the challenges of modernization and how social, cultural and political changes influenced European urban
development from the eighteenth century to the present day.
HIST2048 The History of Young People in Modern Europe
Responses to and representations of young people provide a valuable insight into the values
of the society and the culture which generated them. The aim of this course will be to compare changing experiences of growing up with evolving
representations of the life-stages used to identify the young (childhood, adolescence and youth) in nineteenth- and twentieth century Europe. It
therefore considers what it has meant to be young in different times and places. Through comparison of experiences and representations the course
will reconsider the validity of terms used to describe the young, highlight the social, political and cultural motives for advancing different
roles and representations young people and generate a broad insight into regional patterns of similarity and difference in the European history
of this demographic group. This course aims to teach students the importance of the historical context in shaping young people's lives by
addressing variables such as class, gender and race. It will also introduce students to a variety of different methodological and theoretical
approaches to the topic.
HIST2062 From Empire to EU: Culture, Politics and Society in Twentieth Century Britain
The course explores British politics, culture and society from the eve of World War I to the dawn of the
third millennium. We will analyze and seek to understand some of the fundamental transformations that have occurred over the last century
examining a number of prominent themes, including party politics, Britain and Europe, empire and decolonisation, and domestic social
transformations. Additionally, we will look closely at how the fortunes of different social groups evolved across the period, focussing
in particular on ethnic minorities, women and young people.
This will be an issues-based course, exploring themes of 20th century British history in relation to the wider European context and exploring
how they have had an impact on the nature of British and European society today. The subject matter of the course will be shaped around the study
of the evolving political system, the effect of industrial (and post-industrial) change on contemporary society, and the relationship of Britain
to its former empire, to Europe, and the rest of the world.
HIST2063 Europe and Modernity: Cultures and Identities
In this course we look at key social and cultural aspects of European 'modernity' in the
nineteenth and twentieth century, exploring in particular the way Europeans from all kinds of backgrounds were defined and defined themselves
in relation to work, leisure, race, gender, regions and cities. We look at the impact of new forms of cultural expression such as advertising,
cinema, sport and leisure, as well as the identities (of age, class, gender, race and ethnicity) which Europeans adopted and rejected in their
pursuit of ways of belonging within the cultural parameters of urban modernity. In relation to this we will consider expressions of enthusiasm
for 'the modern,' as well as outbursts of dissatisfaction or irritation with modern civilization, expressed not just in aesthetic forms but also
in violence against those identified as 'outsiders.'
HIST2068 The Intellectual History of Twentieth-Century China
This course follows the thematic approach, with attention paid to both the intellectual
leaders and the intellectual developments in China during the twentieth century. The leaders include Liang Qichao, Cai Yuanpei, Chen Duxiu, Hu
Shi, Li Dazhao, Lu Xun, Gu Hongming, Lin Shu, Liang Shuming, Tao Xisheng, Chen Yinke, Chen Lifu, Xiong Shili, Zhang Wentian, Qian Mu, etc.
The discussion of the intellectual waves focuses on such themes as traditionalism, cultural conservatism, liberalism, westernization,
modernization, and Marxism.
HIST2072 A history of modern European warfare
This course will survey the evolution of modern warfare through the study of
selected episodes in European (an Europe's two extensions - Russia/Soviet Union and the United States) military, naval, and aerial
history from the dynastic and commercial wars of the eighteenth century, the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, the limited
wars during the nineteenth century, the colonial wars, World War I, World War II, the proxy wars during the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam,
through the war in Iraq earlier this year. While emphasis will be given to the larger conflicts, such as the two World Wars, attention
will be given to less familiar but still important conflicts, such as the Crimean War, the Boer War, the Russian Civil War, the Spanish
Civil War, Algeria and Palestine, and the Afghan Wars. The topics discussed will include causes of wars, technological changes, military
strategies and tactics, social and economic changes, genocides, intelligence and espionage, and the use of ideology and propaganda in the
conduct of warfare.
HIST2073 Prussia in the Age of Absolutism and Reform, 1648-1815
Brandenburg-Prussia and the Hohenzollern Dynasty dominated the period of German history
between the end of the Thirty Years' War and the French Revolution. Under the Great Elector and the Prussian Kings, Prussia became a military
and political power within Europe, demonstrating its strength in many European wars. It also practiced mercantilism, religious toleration and
an enlightened absolutism. The reign of King Frederick the Great (1740-1786) is marked by wars, economic initiative, and promotion of
Enlightenment ideas. Prussia's capital Berlin became a European centre of science and culture in those years. During the Napoleonic period,
the country was able to start a reform movement that paved the way to a modern German nation state.
The course will be organized around such themes as: political rivalries and wars in the 17th and 18th centuries; economic, social and
intellectual changes in early modern Europe and their effects on Brandenburg-Prussia; mercantilism; enlightenment; absolutism and enlightened
absolutism; religious toleration; promotion of sciences by academies; the development of Berlin and Potsdam as royal residences; the defeat of
the Prussian army by Napoleon; the Prussian Reform Movement of Stein and Hardenberg; and the war of liberation.
HIST2076 Germany and the Cold War
During the Cold War period, Germany was divided into two independent states
for more than forty years: The western-oriented Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the eastern-oriented German Democratic Republic (GDR).
Under the auspices of the respective superpowers, USA and USSR, the Bonn and the East Berlin governments developed their own political and
economic systems but also a distinct way of life in society and culture. In the international scene, the FRG was a founding member of the
European Communities and became one of their staunchest supporters, while the GDR found itself reduced to satellite status inside the
Soviet-dominated Eastern Bloc. The 'German Question' remained open until the sudden downfall of the socialist-communist East Berlin regime
in 1989 and the peaceful reunification in 1990, events, which also marked the end of the Cold War in Europe.
The course will not only treat Germany as a case study of the Cold War period but will also deal extensively with important phases,
milestones and persons in the history of the divided country in a comparative approach.
HIST2078 Renaissance Europe 1453-1648
The Intellectual upheavals of the Renaissance and Reformation changed the cultural
and religious outlook of the whole European continent and opened the way for the emergence of the modern European state. This course therefore
begins by considering the classical background to the Renaissance in Europe and seeks to explain how the intellectual changes of the fifteenth
and early-sixteenth centuries contributed to the awakening of religious dissent in the 1520s. These developments are placed in the context of
the general political history of the period and the course traces their impact through to the end of the Thirty Years' War.
HIST2079 Early Modern Europe 1648-1789
This course examines a crucial period of European history in which the
emergence of the modern state, the birth of capitalism, and the expansion of European influence into the American and Asian hemispheres
laid the foundations of the modern world. While the course concentrates primarily on political changes in Europe between the Thirty Years'
War and the French Revolution, considerable attention will also be paid to social, economic and cultural developments in this period. This
course therefore provides a backdrop to the events of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries which have helped to shape modern Europe.
HIST2081 Gender and history: Beauty, fashion and sex
How do societies define what it means to be a man and a woman? Everyone, whatever their
age, sex or social status, has an opinion on this issue, even if this is not always articulated consciously. Often, in fact, ideas about gender -
the relations between the two sexes - are assumed to be 'natural' or 'normal' and timeless. However, by analysing the question of what being a
'man' and being a 'woman' means at different times and in different places this course sets out to illustrate how these identities are socially
constructed. HIST2081 aims to introduce students to the various ways through which scholars have sought to understand gender over time. Beginning
with the earliest efforts to write 'women's history,' selections from the recent deluge of historical writing and new research on gender will be
The topics to be covered will include beauty norms, dress reform, prostitution, women's suffrage, the impact of War on constructions of
manhood and womanhood, permissiveness in the 'swinging' sixties and so on, down to the present day. A comparative geographical focus will be
used, and the course will draw on a wide variety of material from the Early Modern period to the 21st Century, to facilitate the study of
changing gender norms.
HIST2085 The history of modern sexual identity and discourse
This course focuses on two 'new sciences' arising in the late nineteenth century that have shaped the modern understanding of sexual behavior -- sexology and psychoanalysis. It looks at key thinkers who pioneered sexology such as Havelock Ellis, Edward Carpenter, Richard von Krafft-Ebing, and Marie Stopes alongside the acknowledged founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud. It will investigate primary sources in sexual science that have been subject to censorship and not generally available, until recently, for comparative study with Freudian psychosexual discourse. It will consider the historiographical debate (particularly among gay and feminist historians) as to whether these early investigators of sexology and psychoanalysis formulated progressive or repressive definitions of sexuality. It will explore the far-reaching consequences that these thinkers had on attitudes to the body and perceptions of gender and sexual difference.
HIST2086 Bismarck: The Iron Chancellor
Otto von Bismarck, a member of the Prussian nobility, began his political career as a conservative deputy in the Prussian diet, became Minister-President and served as Chancellor of the new German Empire. He was regarded as one of the leading European statesmen in this time. During his life span from 1815 to 1898, dramatic upheavals in political, constitutional, economic and social history took place in Prussia and in other parts of Germany, which had a deep impact on European history in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Therefore, the course will not deal with Bismarck's personality and career stations alone but will study the German Confederation and the German Empire, the Revolutions of 1848-49, the Unification Wars with Denmark, with Austria and with France, German domestic and foreign policies since 1871, and major developments that led into the First World War.
HIST2089 History's Closet: Clothing in Context
What we wear reflects our individual and collective histories as well as our
sense of style. Clothes offer a glimpse into the age and place in which we live. Building on recent work in cultural history and studies
of material culture, this seminar course will consider how bodies have been adorned in diverse historical contexts. We will pay attention
to the way modes of dress and design reflect political ideology, nation, culture, gender, religion, class, and ethnicity. Looking for
continuity across and ruptures within historical periods, students will examine various types and styles of clothing in the social/historical
contexts in which they were made and worn. Adopting a thematic rather than chronological approach, students will participate in weekly
discussions of topics ranging from childhood fashion in the Middle Ages to hip-hop style in 20th century.
HIST2090 The Great Famine (1959-61)
The aim of this course is to introduce students to the history of famine through a
sustained investigation of the Great Famine in China from 1959 to 1961. From a comparative perspective, the student will be introduced to a
series of historical debates on the definition, causation and nature of famines with specific reference to some of the major famines of the
nineteenth and twentieth century, including the Great Irish Famine of 1845-8, the Great Bengal Famine of 1943-4 and the Great Ukrainian Famine
of 1932-22. From a methodological perspective, the student will work with a wide range of primary and secondary sources on the Great Famine in
China (1959-61) in order to develop specific skills of documentary analysis and historical interpretation. While the seminar will look in detail
at the nature of the famine and its political, economic, social and demographic dimensions, we will try to get closer to an understanding of the
famine as it was experienced from the bottom up: how did ordinary people cope with hunger and death on such a large scale? A grassroots approach
will lead us to consider not only a variety of experiences among victims and survivors across the social spectrum, but also a number of
methodological issues on the use of primary sources, the nature of memory and the making of official historiography.
HIST2091 The British Empire
This course examines the history of the British Empire from the late eighteenth century to the end of the twentieth century. The British Empire once spanned so much of the globe that it is impossible to understand the history of the modern world (including Hong Kong) without considering the role of British colonialism and imperialism. Topics include: the cultural and material foundations and the economic, political, and social consequences of empire; the relationship between metropole and periphery; collaboration and resistance; the dynamics of race, gender, and class; the relationship between empire and art; new national and local identities; decolonization, and independence; and the legacies of empire. The goals of the course are to familiarize students with the history of the British Empire; introduce them to the ways in which historians have approached this history; and help them learn to read and write analytically.
HIST2092 The United States and Asia
This course is a survey course covering U.S. relations with Asia, focusing largely
on the twentieth century, but reaching back earlier. Topics covered include: Principles of American foreign policy; the early U.S. China
trade; the U.S. and the opening of Japan; the U.S. acquisition of Hawaii; the Spanish-American War, 1898; the Open Door Notes and the Boxer
Rebellion; U.S. Policy, Asia, and World War I; the Washington Conference System; U.S. Policy in the Philippines; the Coming of World War II;
World War II in Asia; the Occupation of Japan; the U.S. and the Chinese Civil War; the Korean War and U.S. Pacific Strategy; the U.S. and
Decolonization in Asia; the Vietnam War and Its International Context; Japanese and Korean Economic Revival; Richard Nixon's Opening to China;
U.S. Responses to Tiananmen Square; the Impact of the Ending of the Cold War; the Effect of 9/11 and the War on Terror; U.S. Pacific Strategies
in the Late Twentieth and Early Twenty-First Centuries.
HIST2095 The World Wars through Documents
This course focuses upon the two world wars. It aims at helping students to assess and analyze critically different types of documents generated in the process of war, and to enhance thei rability to handle original sources. It is taught as a seminar course, with students required to attend one lecture and one seminar per week. The course focuses upon a variety of documentary materials including officials reports, public statements, speeches, newspaper and media reports, propaganda, letters, diaries, memoirs and oral histories.
HIST2096 The history of European business in China
The termination of the East India Company's monopoly on British trade with China in
1834 provoked a flow of European goods and capital into the Chinese market. Since then foreign enterprises of different forms were operating
in various business sectors of China under the strong influence of political and economic factors that shaped European-Chinese relations from
the 18th century until the beginning of the Communist era in 1949. In Hong Kong, an international merchant community including Chinese,
Europeans, Americans, and Japanese, were active in developing this British colony into a flourishing entrepot facilitating trading with and
investment in China. This course intends to provide a long-term historical perspective and will examine the structure and organisation of
European, particularly British, German, and French business in China including Hong Kong, explore the links between European business and
European diplomacy, and look to the impact of European business on China and the response of China.
The aim of this seminar is to critically examine existing accounts of the life of Mao Zedong, whether he is portrayed as a great revolutionary, a paranoid tyrant or a mass murderer. We will do so by exploring not only a variety of secondary sources, including texts, images and films produced by historians, but also by looking at some of the primary sources which have been used in biographies of Mao Zedong, for instance his own writings, interviews with journalists, reminiscences by contemporaries and key documents from the campaigns he instigated.
HIST2098 A history of modern Taiwan
This seminar course examines the political and economic processes that have shaped Taiwan as a part of China until 1895, as Japan's first colony and as the Republic of China on Taiwan since 1949. In particular, the course surveys the evolution of Taiwanese political and economic development and scrutinises the conditions that allowed the process of democratisation to take place on the island and its geopolitical and social consequences. It examines Taiwan's relations with its two key partners, China and the United States, and accounts for the dynamics in this triangular partnership. Finally, the course looks at Taiwan's place in global economy and international relations.
HIST2099 Themes in the history of the post-Cold War world
This seminar course introduces students to the major developments in the post-Cold War
history of the world. It breaks down the historical period around the Cold War, post-Cold War and post-9/11 eras and considers specific issues,
themes and case studies to broaden students' understanding. The lectures and seminars will present information on the patterns of change in the
major policy domains that have dominated recent history and influenced contemporary decision-makers and societies. The course places an emphasis
on historical events between the first and third worlds, as these events often led to dramatic shifts and changes in contemporary international
relations. Moreover, the course looks at various historiographical debates over the nature of historical interpretation of socio-political trends
and does not treat history as a series of discrete 'facts' but seeks to contextualize the theoretical basis of different historical viewpoints and
how these contribute to our understanding of post-Cold War diplomatic history, war and society. The course covers a broad range of areas that
include the 'causes' of the end of the Cold War, the Middle East and international oil wars, East Asia's economic miracle, the rise of China,
European unification, ethnic strife in post-communist Europe, the third wave of democratization and post-9/11 political and military
HIST2103 Russian state and society in the 20th century
This course will analyse major themes and events shaping Russian history in the 20th
century -- decline of the Russian empire, the October revolution, the Civil War, the rise of the Soviet Union and World War II, the Khrushchev
era and the collapse of the Soviet state in 1991. The course will explore the role of individuals, institutions and trends behind radical
transformation of Russian/Soviet society. Particular attention will be paid to the lives of ordinary people affected by state policies and
HIST2105 The Rise of Modern Japan, 1830s to 1950s
Japan's rapid and remarkable transformation from a semi-feudal, isolated island nation
to that of a centralised nation state, empire, and eventual global power has had a profound impact on its people, its Asian and Pacific
neighbours, and indeed world history. This course explores that extraordinary evolution and in doing so will not only help students understand
Japan's past, but also this nation today. By introducing the history of Japan from the mid 19th century to the mid 20th century, this course
explores what the 'rise of modern Japan' has meant to its own people and that of others in Asia and the Pacific. Throughout, students will use
Japan's modern emergence as a window into its political, social, cultural, environmental, economic, ideological, and military history. This
course will focus considerable attention on how Japan's natural environment and this country's emergence as a nation state during a period of
global industrialisation and military expansion shaped the nature and trajectory of Japan's domestic transformations and its foreign relations.
Finally, this course will help students understand more fully how Japan's modern emergence has changed its people, the nation, and the world in
fundamental and sometimes profound ways.
HIST2106 Imperial Japan: Its Modern Wars and Colonial Empire
In the one hundred years following its birth as a nation state in 1868, Japan became
directly involved in four major wars and countless military skirmishes. It also found itself indirectly involved in larger coalition-based
conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. Between the 1870s and 1945, moreover, Japan amassed one of the largest colonial empires in history. This course
explores both phenomena. Specifically, we will examine the causes behind the wars Japan fought, how these conflicts were waged, and what role
they played in the rise, fall, and rebirth of Japan as a modern nation state. Rather than focus on warfare in a strictly military sense,
however, this course will emphasize the broader political, ideological, diplomatic, economic, social and cultural aspects of Japan's wars.
This course will also explore how and why Japan emerged as a major colonial power, how it ruled over and collaborated with its colonial
subjects, and how it dealt with resistance to its empire from within and from the international community. Finally, this course will help
students understand how and why Japan's military and colonial past has shaped Japan's history and how they continue to influence this country's
relations with virtually every country in the Asia and Pacific region today.
HIST2107 The Second World War in Asia and the Pacific, 1931-1952
Few events in the modern history of Asia and the Pacific have been as important
or as transformative as the Second World War. Our course explores the far-reaching effects that this conflict had on the state, society,
and individuals in, and between Japan, China, the United States, the Soviet Union, and the British and French Empires. Importantly, this
course will examine how this conflict helped change war-conceptually and in real terms-from a narrowly defined engagement between military
forces to one that encompassed a 'total experience' involving the mobilisation of virtually all segments of society. In this course we will
also trace the interconnectedness between the transformation of war and the development of new technology, changed concepts of morality,
'just war,' and altered perceptions concerning the relationship between the state and society, the solider and the civilian. Finally,
this course will help students understand more fully how and why this war, and the numerous acts of barbarism that defined it, still
influence relations today on personal, national, and international levels in Asia and the Pacific.
HIST2108 Empire and the making of modern France
This course examines the history of the French empire and its links with the making of
identity in modern France. It focuses primarily upon modern French history as lived experience rather than on 'high politics' while also
providing students with knowledge of key events, debates, theories and concepts relating to theories of postcolonialism. The starting point for
the course is an understanding of metropolitan France as the centre of an imperial nation-state the 'civilising' cultural influence of which was
understood to radiate out from Paris and large provincial cities to metropolitan France and overseas colonies beyond the hexagone, transforming
the peoples and societies with which it came into contact.
This course examines the multiple interrelationships developed between centre and periphery in the modern era. It foregrounds the dual
influence of metropole and colonies upon imperialism. In doing so it engages with theories of race, identity, governance and culture. It
traces the ways in which European identity was reconceptualised in the colonies and how the European presence contributed to the transformation
of colonised societies. Examining the decolonisation process, the course also takes up the controversial issues of how the history of the French
empire has been written, and the French contribution to the development of postcolonial theory.
HIST2109 Modern France: Society, politics and culture
The course discusses key events in modern French history, from the revolution to the
present day. It examines crucial moments in the evolution of French politics, culture and society, and the actors involved, explaining their
meaning and significance for France, Europe and the World. The course examines the French contribution to modern culture, critical scholarly
debates on the course of French history and the experiences of different sections of French society as they engaged with the dramatic changes
of the modern era.
HIST2112 Technologies of empire: Science, medicine and colonialism
This course explores the emergence of bioscience and Western medicine as modern technologies that
underpinned Europe's colonial expansion from the late eighteenth century to the twentieth century. Employing specific case studies, the course
investigates the changing role of professionals involved in researching, developing, implementing and managing such medical technologies in a
number of colonial contexts from Africa, to the Subcontinent, the Pacific and Southeast Asia, including Hong Kong. A key focus of the course
is on the ways in which such technologies were integral to governmental rationalities and served to legitimate colonial rule.
Students will examine this topic through three overarching themes. First, the course considers the 'colonies' as sites of experimentation,
where 'progressive' scientific and medical knowledge was tested in the field. Second, it examines the role of colonial encounters in the formation
of Western technologies and traces the complex dynamics between indigenous knowledge and colonial authority, and between centre and periphery.
Third, the course investigates the interrelationship between colonising processes and the body, in particular the ways that biomedical
technologies were deployed to regulate populations through specific colonial institutions, namely hospitals, schools, prisons, workplaces
and the military.
HIST2113 New worlds: Exploring the history of Latin America
This course introduces students to the history of Latin America from its earliest settlement to the present day. Stretching from California to Patagonia, this region - which has also been eloquently called 'the first America' - encompasses former Spanish and Portuguese colonies, hundreds of native cultures, and its societies have resulted from an intermingling of Amerindian, European, African, and Asian cultures that began half a millennium ago. We will explore the indigenous civilisations of the Mayas, Incas and Aztecs, Iberian colonisation and the varied responses of indigenous peoples, the emergence of multi-racial societies and hybrid cultures as the region became an early site of 'globalisation', and the economic relations, revolutions, and frustrated dreams that have shaped the region's (under)development over the past century. Drawing on a wide array of media, including primary sources, novels, art, and film, this course will give students the tools to understand how this dynamic region has shaped world history. This course is also valuable to students of Spanish and Portuguese languages, literature, fine arts, and political science.
HIST2114 China and the wider world since 1600
China has experienced remarkable transformation from the seventeenth century to the twentieth-first century. What has happened in China since 1600 has had a profound impact on both its own people and indeed the world. This course explores development of modern China from a perspective of international history and emphasizes the shared experiences the one quarter of mankind (Chinese) have had with the rest of the world.
HIST2115 Sports and Chinese society
This course deals with sports and its impact on Chinese society. Through an in-depth
exploration of the roles of sports in defining the relationship between physical culture and Confucian culture, between men and women, between
physical education and national identity, between gold medals and national pride, between politics and political legitimacy and international
recognition, this course will highlight the roles of sports in Chinese national development, nationalism, and internationalism.
HIST2116 Oceans in History
This seminar explores the historical role of oceans as spaces of human interconnection and global transformation. Oceans have long been studied as linear conduits of exploration, imperialism, piracy, etc. Beneath these currents, historians have also taken new soundings in the depths, revealing stories of voluntary and forced migrations, of resistance and empowerment, of sudden fluctuations and centuries-long patterns, and of loss and gain. Focusing on the 'Age of Exploration' (1450~1800), we will read noteworthy historical scholarship that has made the ocean its unit of analysis, its transformational element. As our point of departure, we begin with Fernand Braudel's vision of the Mediterranean as a coherent region unified by its internal sea. We shall then navigate the new history of the Atlantic, with its emerging stories of transatlantic slavery, radicalism, changing ecologies, and diasporas. We conclude on the latest frontiers of Pacific history, and in humanity's first ocean, the Indian Ocean.
HIST2117 Nanyang: The Chinese experience in Southeast Asia
This course provides a broad survey of Chinese settlement and society in Southeast Asia from
the 15th century until the late 1970s. Through a comparative and transnational approach it introduces key themes of migration, diaspora,
entrepreneurship and network. The social, economic and cultural aspects closely associated with the history of the Chinese overseas, such as
early Chinese migration, dialect organizations, guilds, occupational structure, and Chinese merchant culture will be discussed. Students will
also be encouraged to consider new and important questions still relevant to the Chinese in Southeast today. Was the Chinese story in this
region as much about exploitation as entrepreneurship? Why did postcolonial governments across the region come to regard the Chinese as such a
'problem'? And ultimately, what has it meant to be Chinese in a rapidly changing cultural and political landscape?
HIST2120 International trade and finance in the early-modern world
The modern economic world of international trade and finance is the result of developments which took place in Europe from the early Renaissance through to the Industrial Revolution. This course will examine the foundations of these developments focusing particularly on the pre-modern industrial base of Europe, the change in European trading patterns from a Mediterranean to an Atlantic dominance during the Renaissance, the growth of banking and other financial institutions in the early modern period, and the role of urbanisation as a background to the major economic advances which took place during the Industrial Revolution. This course is open to students from all faculties.
HIST2122 The history of sport in modern Europe
The course will focus on the development of modern sport in Europe (with a strong British
focus), and develop historical themes of class, gender, age, 'race' and locality. Particular emphasis will be given to the history of sport in
relation to themes such as nationalism, empire and public health, in addition to the role of the state, the media and business in shaping and
controlling the nature of contemporary sport. In brief, the course examines how and why sport has been located at the interstices of gender,
race and class and has produced, and been generated by, multiple and contested social identities.
HIST2124 Taishō and Shōwa Japan: Perfecting state, society and nation, 1912 to 1989
This course examines efforts undertaken by elites, institutions and citizen groups to overcome problems-perceived
and real - that many believed modern Japan faced in both the domestic sphere as well as internationally. At home, these problems included:
urbanization and poverty, exploitative industrialization, pollution, and labor unrest, socialism and ideological threats, moral degeneracy,
crime and juvenile delinquency, agrarian decline and economic depression. Abroad, these threats included international diplomatic and economic
isolation, racial inequality and discrimination, and foreign imperialism. Apart from exploring the perceived problems of Japan, this seminar also
examines the various prescriptions advocated by officials and non-governing elites to ameliorate the afflictions that many believed threatened
state, society, and the Japanese nation and empire. In doing so, this course will examine how and why concepts of reform, reconstruction,
restoration, and even radical revolt and warfare influenced politics, economics, society, and Japan's relations with foreign powers during much
of the twentieth century.
HIST2127 Qing China in the World
This course examines Qing China's frontier and foreign relations from the beginning to the end of the dynasty, addressing specific administrative policies, their ideological and ritual background, and their wider political, military, and economic context. Particular attention is paid to local variations on individual Qing frontiers in response to differences in economic and trade conditions, terrain, and prevailing religious and cultural norms.
HIST2128 Germany, 1871-1933: From empire to republic
The course discusses key events in Germany's history, from the founding of the Second German Empire to the end of the Weimar Republic. It examines crucial moments in the evolution of German politics, economy and society, and the actors explaining their meaning and significance for Germany, Europe and the world. We will study figures such as Bismarck, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Hindenburg, Ebert, Stresemann, and Hitler but focus especially on major ideologies such as conservatism, liberalism, nationalism, imperialism, socialism, and fascism, and concentrate on the developments and changes of the different political and economic systems in this period of modern German history.
HIST2129 Living Through War: society, culture and trauma
This course analyses war as a historical, social and cultural phenomenon. It goes beyond political and military dimensions of war to explore its long-term effects on society. The wars caused death, destruction, trauma, suffering and profound social change. War experiences unified and alienated people, fostering unique popular cultures, which will be examined through war narratives by witnesses, war reporters, writers and historians, who exposed the human costs of military conflicts. This course will examine several themes and case studies drawn from the major international wars of the 20th century, including the Russo-Japanese War (1904-5), the Great War (1914-1918), World War Two (1939-1945), the Korean War (1951-3), the Vietnam War (1954-1975), the Afghan War (1979-89), and the Global War on Terror (2001-present).
HIST2132 Nineteenth-Century Europe through documents (1850s-1914)
In this seminar course students learn to assess and analyse critically different types of documents generated in Europe's late nineteenth century from the 1850s to 1914. Students' ability to handle original sources will be enhanced by identifying documents clearly, set them in their historical context, comment on specific points, and sum up the documents' historical significance. A variety of documentary materials is used, including: official reports; public statements; speeches; newspaper and media reports; letters; diaries; and memoirs. Students' presentations in a weekly seminar are combined with one lecture per week.
HIST2133 The Weimar Republic through documents (1918-1933)
In this seminar course students learn to assess and analyse critically different types of documents generated in the period of Germany's Weimar Republic (1918-1933). Students' ability to handle original sources will be enhanced by identifying documents clearly, set them in their historical context, comment on specific points, and sum up the documents' historical significance. A variety of documentary materials is used, including: official reports; public statements; speeches; newspaper and media reports; letters; diaries; and memoirs. Students' presentations in a weekly seminar are combined with one lecture per week.
HIST2135 Cold War Germany through documents (1945-1990)
In this seminar course students learn to assess and analyse critically different types of documents generated in West Germany and East Germany during the Cold War (1945/49-1990). Students' ability to handle original sources will be enhanced by identifying documents clearly, set them in their historical context, comment on specific points, and sum up the documents' historical significance. A variety of documentary materials is used, including: official reports; public statements; speeches; newspaper and media reports; letters; diaries; and memoirs. Students' presentations in a weekly seminar are combined with one lecture per week.
HIST2200 Europe fieldtrip
This course will engage students in a particular historical theme or period of history,
in one or more geographical areas of Europe through a field trip to examine historical sites and historical remains in the field or in museums
and archives. The nature of the field trip will vary from year to year depending upon the expertise of the teacher and the needs of students.
Third Year Courses
HIST3022 History by numbers: Quantitative methods in History
This course seeks to introduce students to the various quantitative approaches used by
historians in research and to provide an opportunity for students to learn to use some of these methodologies in a workshop environment. Its focus
is therefore both theoretical and practical, and students will learn skills which will be readily transferable to the workplace. This course is
available only for History majors in their final year of study.
HIST3024 Writing Hong Kong History
This course looks at various themes, problems, and issues in Hong Kong's history since the 1800s. Rather than focusing on historical events, we will look at the ways in which certain themes have been studied. Thus we will be less concerned with dates and facts than with analysis and interpretation. Topics include: general approaches to Hong Kong history, the Opium War and the British occupation of Hong Kong, colonial education, regulation of prostitution and the mui tsai system, colonial medicine, colonialism and nationalism, WWII and the Japanese occupation, industrialization and economic development, history and identity, legacies and artifices of colonial rule, and history and memory. The goals of the course are to introduce students to the ways in which scholars have approached Hong Kong history, assess how theories based on other historical experiences can be used to understand Hong Kong history, and help students learn to argue effectively in written and oral presentations.
Note: For third year students only.
HIST3025 Hitler and the National Socialist ideology
Adolf Hitler's books Mein Kampf (My Struggle) and Zweites Buch
(Second Book), both written in the 1920s, offer a clear and succinct statement of his views on the world. Preaching a message of hatred,
violence and destruction the books reveal both the presence of a genocidal mentality and the statement of an implicitly genocidal message.
Much of the interpretative challenge lies in appreciating the significance of the simple but extensive sets of synonyms and antonyms that
Hitler uses throughout his writing. However, if we wish to understand how the National Socialist genocide of the Jews occurred it is with
Hitler's books that we must start. In the course we will concentrate on those writings and evaluate their intellectual and philosophical
roots in a 19th and early 20th century tradition, and their background and motivation in Hitler's own biography. Students wishing to enrol
in the course HIST3025 must have successfully completed the course HIST2121 The rise and fall of Adolf Hitler.
HIST3027 Natural disasters in history, 1700 to 2009
Natural disasters have had a destructive and often transformative impact on cities and
rural landscapes, cultures and societies, and nation states for much of history. This course is designed to encourage students to look
differently at natural disasters and their role in shaping the histories of peoples and nations across time and space from 1700 to the present.
Using natural disasters as revealers or windows into the past this course will compel participants to think critically and creatively about
fundamental relationships in society: What makes a natural phenomenon such as an earthquake, a cyclone, or a volcanic eruption a natural
disaster; how have people interpreted disasters and what does this tell us about our relationships with religion, science and technology;
how have disasters been portrayed or represented in art, literature, and the media and for what interpretative ends; and how have disasters and
the reconstruction processes that followed been used by opportunistic leaders or non-governmental agencies to redevelop landscapes and remake
societies? By focusing on case studies from around the globe from 1700 to the present, this course will cross cultures, disciplines, and time,
and demonstrate how disasters and catastrophes are cultural constructions that reflect and reinforce, yet sometimes overturn our understanding
of nature, science, society, and the cosmos.