Published: July 2, 2012

Twelve CU students from a variety of backgrounds and with diverse academic interests recently completed a two-week Global Seminar in Beijing entitled, "Beijing: Window on Modern China" (History 4698). The upper division course was taught by Tim Weston, Associate Professor in the Department of History and Associate Director of the Center for Asian Studies. The course was made possible by the very generous financial support of the Tang Foundation, which a few years ago established an endowment to enable CU students to study in China. CU's Center for Asian Studies administers the endowment, which paid the vast majority of the costs for the twelve students who enrolled in the course. Only three of the students had been to Asia, let alone China, prior to this.

The course used the city of Beijing as a backdrop against which to study modern Chinese history. Classes were held on the beautiful grounds of the Qing Dynasty Ancestral Temple next door to the Forbidden City. Each day the group visited different sites around the city that corresponded to subjects being discussed in class and assigned readings. Those sites included Tiananmen Square, the Mao Mausoleum, the Confucian Temple, Beijing University, and the Temple of Heaven. There were also excursions to the Great Wall and the nearby booming port city of Tianjin. Each day was a new adventure that demonstrated the value of studying historical subject matter on location. In addition to the formal aspects of the Global Seminar, the students gained a sense of Beijing as a vibrant, complex, and multi-tiered city. Each of them expressed a strong desire to go back to China and all said that the trip was a life-changing experience. Professor Weston could not have been happier with the group or that the students reacted with such enthusiasm.

For information on previous courses in Asia, see our list of previous Faculty-Led Global Seminars.

Posting authored by Associate Director of CAS Timothy Weston.