Teaching

To teach is to encourage one to experience and to explore. In my teaching, it is my goal to convey to students two related beliefs: first, historical inquiries are not only about the past but are keys to understand the present; second, a critical reflection on the past must take into account as wide an array of experiences as possible. To get across these ideas, I seek whenever possible to acquaint students with the historian's craft: close reading of primary and secondary sources, formulation of meaningful historical questions and persuasive arguments, as well as the abilities to conduct research (increasingly with the aid of technology) and to communicate one's findings in clear and concise prose. Ultimately, what I hope to accomplish in and out of the classroom is to emulate the best of my own teachers: to encourage students to imagine and to help them discover the excitement of scholarship.

2017 Winter

Courses Offered

  • HIST 102 (formerly HIST 150): World History Since 1500

    This course explores the history of the world since the time of the Mongol Empire. It is not intended to "cover" all of world history since that time (for that is neither possible nor useful) but is designed instead to emphasize several key themes. This course challenges students to think critically about the interconnectedness—the exchange of ideas, peoples, goods, diseases, etc.—of past worlds and the forces that shaped such connections. Its goals are to help students develop the language and tools to understand the structures and transformations of past societies and to initiate them into the art and techniques of historical analysis.

    Offered: 02W | 05W

  • ASIA/HIST 270: China in the World

    This course explores the history of China from the earliest times to the most recent past. It goals are to help students develop the language and tools to understand the evolution and transformation of Chinese society as well as to assist them in cultivating their techniques of historical analysis. This course is about China, but—just as important—it is about how we should make sense of the Chinese experience in the broader context of world history.

    Offered: 13W

  • ASIA 320/HIST 378: History of Early China

    This course explores the history of China from the earliest times to the disintegration of the Tang empire (618-907). Its goals are to help students develop the language and tools to understand the origins and foundations of Chinese society and to initiate them to the art and techniques of historical analysis. This course challenges the stereotype of a monolithic and static China and encourages students to develop a critical understanding of the internal and external forces integrating and dividing this geo-cultural unit.

    Offered: 01W | 02W | 03W | 05W | 06W | 07W | 08W | 09W | 11W | 12W | 13W | 14W | 16W | 17W

  • ASIA 340/HIST 379: History of Later Imperial China

    This course explores the history of China from the disintegration of the Tang empire at the turn of the tenth century to the eve of the country's modern transformation. Its goals are to help students develop the language and tools to understand the political, socio-economic, and cultural changes in later imperial China and to initiate them to the art and techniques of historical analysis. This course challenges the stereotype of a monolithic and static China and encourages students to develop a critical understanding of the internal and external forces integrating and dividing this geo-cultural unit.

    Offered: 01W | 04W | 05W | 06W | 07W | 08W | 09W | 11W | 12W | 14W | 16W

  • ASIA/HIST 373: History of Hong Kong

    This course explores the history, culture, and identities of Hong Kong from the port's pre-colonial settings in the early nineteenth century to its post-colonial contexts. Its goals are to help students develop the language and tools to understand the metamorphoses of this most unusual metropolis as well as to further their skills in historical analysis. This course encourages students to critically consider Hong Kong's multifaceted identities as well as to take into account the local, national, and transnational (not to mention international) contexts of its spectacular transformations.

    Offered: 16W | 17W

  • ASIA 440/HIST 479: Cultural History of Imperial China

    The goal of this course is to help student understand and explore the dynamics of Chinese society in the late imperial period (esp. the Ming and Qing dynasties) through a close examination of how beliefs and practices—the stuff of culture—were created and transmitted. Among the topics to be discussed are the civil service examination system, foot-binding, garden culture, vernacular literature, popular religion, village life, etc. Students are expected to participate actively in class discussion and to carry out a major research assignment using (translated) primary sources. This course encourages students to think critically about the nature of "Chinese culture" and invites them to locate the Chinese historical experiences in a wider context.

    Offered: 05W | 06W | 07W | 08W | 09W | 11W | 12W | 13W | 14W | 17W

  • HIST 490: History, Memory, and Cultural Identity

    In this seminar, we will explore the relationship between history, memory, and cultural identity. Why have certain stories about the past been told in certain ways? How have monuments and museums, for example, shaped our understanding of the past? And how has our imagination of the past shaped our cultural identities? Readings for this seminar will include both theoretical works as well as specific case studies that are drawn from a variety of geographical and temporal settings. For their research papers, students are encouraged to make use of a wide range of sources, including both traditional textual materials as well as other non-traditional sources.

    Offered: 11W

  • History Honours tutorial: Culture and Society in Imperial China

    The goal of this course is to help students understand and explore the dynamics of later imperial China through a close examination of how beliefs and practices -- the stuff of culture—were created and transmitted. This seminar is designed for students who may be unfamiliar with Chinese history but who are committed to an in-depth exploration. Our focus is on the later imperial period (ca. 1000–1800), but the questions we pose clearly have broader implications. Reading assignments will include both primary texts (in translation) and secondary studies. This course encourages students to think critically about "China" and "Chinese culture" and invites them to locate the Chinese historical experiences in a wider context.

    Offered: 01W | 03W | 04W

Resources

Guide to Research | History Writing Centre | Academic English Support | Academic Integrity

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