The Genius that was China

I am currently teaching a course on Chinese history and culture at Taylor University in Indiana. In my class this morning I had the students watch episode 1 of a fantastic (but old — 1990) TV series called “The Genius that was China.”

Here is the description of the series, from the Hulu Plus site:

China in the 13th century was the richest, most powerful, most technologically advanced civilization on earth. NOVA looks at how China achieved what it did, and what in Chinese politics, culture and economy kept it from doing more. 

The full episode is also available on YouTube:

If you are interested in learning about some of the scientific and technological inventions and innovations of ancient China, I highly recommend this series.

When I teach Chinese history, my focus is on connection points between China’s past and the present. In re-watching this series to prepare for this class, I was reminded of the key role it played in shaping my understanding of China.

The other episodes are:

The Genius that was China, Part II: Clash of Empires (YouTube)

The Genius that was China, Part III: Threat from Japan (YouTube)

The Genius that was China: Will the Dragon Rise Again? (Hulu Plus)

Click on those links and prepare to be educated.