The University of Oklahoma
School of International and Area Studies
Fall 2008 IAS 3003-001:
The Politics of Mao’s China
Prof. Peter Hays Gries
Monday, Wednesday 3-4:15 pm, Burton Hall Rm. 205
Office Hours: Tues., Thurs. 3-4pm in 120 Hester Hall
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to Chinese politics under the leadership of Chairman Mao Zedong, from “Liberation” and the establishment of the People’s Republic in 1949, to Mao’s death in 1976. It will focus on Marxism, Maoism, and two of the most astounding political campaigns of the 20th century, the “Great Leap Forward” of the late 1950s, and the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” of the late 1960s.
The purpose of the class is twofold. First, to truly understand today’s China, it is necessary to first engage Mao’s China and the legacy it has left for 21st century China and the world. Thus, this class seeks to introduce students to an important period in China’s recent past that can help them to better understand China today. Second, one of the primary goals of this course is to develop critical thinking skills. Therefore, you will not just passively learn about Chinese politics, but will also actively do research and writing on Chinese politics.