Aims/Description: In 2015, citizens in Henan Province erected a 120-foot gold statue of Mao Zedong, which was swiftly torn down on government orders. Why does Mao still provoke such strong feelings? To some he is a monster: history's greatest mass murderer. But recently historians have painted a richer picture of Mao's China, trying to understand its social character, political culture, and role in Cold War rivalries. Focusing on the origins, character, and legacy of Maoist rule, and devoting most of our attention to the period between the declaration of the People's Republic in 1949 and Mao's death in 1976, we will use translated primary sources, a rich visual culture, and a burgeoning scholarly literature to explore Maoist thought and its critics; major upheavals like the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution; and everyday life under 'Communism with Chinese characteristics'.

Restrictions on availability: Students must have taken 20 credits from HST202-HST21999

Staff Contact: MA TEHYUN
Teaching Methods: Seminars, Tutorials, Independent Study
Assessment: Formal Exam, Project/ portfolio

Information on the department responsible for this unit (History):

Departmental Home Page
Teaching timetable


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

URLs used in these pages are subject to year-on-year change. For this reason we recommend that you do not bookmark these pages or set them as favourites.

Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK