Did China foster or resist the early wave of globalization? How should we situate China within the global context prior to the First Opium War? Compared to the Dutch and the British, in what ways did the Chinese interact with the world that had been created by global trade? Had China already become the world factory in the eighteenth century? Using both primary and secondary sources, this seminar examines these questions by looking at the production, circulation, and consumption of a variety of commodities that were exported from and imported to China. If we agree that a commodity has its own social life and history, then we can also examine its story in order to complicate our understanding of China‚Äôs role and significance in the global market throughout the long eighteenth century.