Block One: Rise of the Middle Kingdom


The first block, Rise of the Middle Kingdom, gives you a broad overview of China’s history and how it went from being an Imperial power to a Communist state.
You will approach this by studying the history of Beijing (北京), China’s capital city. Beijing has been at the centre of major turning points in China’s development including invasion, coups, revolutions and protests. We will bring things up to date with a look at the recent destruction of Beijing’s historic centre and its “rebirth” as a modern capital.
The block will also introduce you to aspects of Chinese innovation such as paper-making, silk production, writing and porcelain. During this part of the block you will be encouraged to investigate aspects of Chinese activity within your own discipline such as illustration, animation and typography.


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