In the second decade of the 21st century, China boasts the world's fastest growing economy and has abandoned its revolutionary communist moorings, though not its authoritarian political structures. Some writers claim that China is the last of the early modern empires. Many Chinese are intent on recovering the pride and prestige that their civilization commanded in Asia and Europe until the 19th century. Many others wonder about China's likely future direction. Any reasonable assessment must begin with the past, with the last great imperial government. This course explores the nature of state and society under the Qing dynasty (1644-1912), and the collision between two empires, the Manchu Qing and the British, which ultimately transformed Asia. It addresses the legacies of both Manchu, Western and Japanese imperialism, and the transformation of Chinese society through the turbulent 20th century to the present. Sources used include memoirs, political documents, fiction, visual art and film. This counts toward the modern requirement for the major and minor. No prerequisite. Offered every two or three years.