Chinese Studies: China and the Dynamics of Globalisation (Period of Specialisation: 16th to 19th Centuries)

Studying a new M.A. programme in English in the heart of Europe
Department of Chinese Studies, University of Tübingen, Germany

The Department of Chinese Studies at the University of Tübingen invites applications for a new M.A. programme in Chinese Studies to be taught through the medium of English. This two-year programme “Chinese Studies: China and the Dynamics of Globalisation (Period of Specialisation: 16th to 19th Centuries)” is one of the two foci of the new Tübingen M.A. degree course. This English programme focuses on the late imperial period with an emphasis on the ways in which China shaped and was shaped by the dynamics of globalisation from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. It will equip students with the competencies and skills to understand the important role of China in the historical process of globalisation both in the past and in the present.

Funded by the ESIT-ICPL programme of the University of Tübingen.

“La Collation,” from the tapestry series “L’histoire de l’empereur de la Chine,” about 1697–1705.
After cartoons by Guy-Louis Vernansal (French, 1648 - 1729). Wool and silk 309.9 × 422.9 cm (122 × 166 1/2 in.), 83.DD.336.

Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.


Programme description

With the “Age of Discovery” (15th to 18th centuries) and the development of new trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific sailing routes, the world entered a new historical phase characterized by a sustained and irreversible process of globalisation. Already influential as the historically dominant political, economic and cultural power in East Asia, China became an even more important part of this global development as European maritime expansion brought about an intensification of cultural exchange, especially via the Jesuit China Mission. Those new international contacts contributed to fundamental transformations of both state and society during the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

The organizing framework of this English M.A. programme focusing on pre-modern China is the Four Ways of Worldmaking which comprises the dimensions of power, wealth, knowledge, and meaning. Originating in historical sociology, this concept aims to provide theoretical and analytical tools for a comprehensive understanding and explanation of what constitutes “civilizations” and “societies,” thereby enabling productive comparisons between them and enhancing our understanding of intercivilisational encounters. This comparative historical perspective is a crucial aspect of the programme in which special courses are dedicated to theories and approaches in the history of globalisation with a focus on China. Moreover, the M.A. aims at enhancing the students’ mastery of modern and pre-modern Chinese, thus enabling them to undertake meaningful and targeted research in Chinese primary sources and secondary literature.

Tuition fees in Germany are relatively low as EU students pay only ca. 150 € per semester, while in the case of non-EU students these are 1500 € per semester.

More details on programme and staff.

Students interested in this programme should consult first with Dr Ulrich Theobald (

Tübingen, 9 April 2019
Prof. Dr. Hans Ulrich Vogel


Regulations and Rules