If the 20th century is referred to as the American Century, how will historians refer to the 21st? Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will move the world.” Does China’s stirring on the world stage - economically, politically, culturally, and militarily - constitute a threat to the Western hegemon or does it represent an opportunity for new alliances and prosperity? This seminar will focus on China’s startling growth since the reforms of Deng Xiaoping, and in particular on the past three decades of rapid transformation within China and how these internal changes have impacted the rest of the world. Topics will include socialism & post-socialism, economics, current events, the Beijing 2008 Olympics, militarization, transnational workers, Africa, urbanization, cultural shifts, gender relations, Yao Ming, income inequality, social media, faith, and tourism. The course materials will be drawn from current articles, books, documentaries, movie clips, social media and comic books.
Instructor - Mr. Scott Willson