Tackling Popular Misconceptions about Chinese History and Civilization

Course Code Offering Department(s) Units & Hours
GCHC1036 HIST (3,2,1)
Download the course syllabus

What is the course about?

GCHC1036 adopts a query-based approach and will guide students to tackle a number of existing influential misconceptions about Chinese history and civilization. Common misunderstandings on traditional Chinese manners and customs, political practices and institutions, agricultural and commercial activities, and religions and philosophy will be chosen for discussions. Some examples of these misconceptions are:

  • China has 5,000 years of history;
  • “Feudalism” existed within Chinese despotism;
  • Women had no place in Chinese political history;
  • Eunuchs were all wicked and notorious;
  • Traditional Chinese civil examination system was destructive and sinful;
  • There were very few commercial activities in pre-modern China;
  • The family size was usually big in traditional China;
  • Chinese women were merely victims in traditional society;
  • Children were neglected in traditional Chinese society;
  • Chinese history could be isolated from the world’s history;
  • China has always been a monoracial nation;
  • Foreign invaders had to become Sinicised to rule China;
  • Confucianism dominated Chinese thoughts since the Han dynasty;
  • Buddhism was the most popular religion in traditional China.


Notes for all GE courses

  • You can take a maximum of 6 additional units of GE courses from any categories as electives.