Topics in History: Japan, East Asia, and the Pacific World
This course will examine Chinese history and culture in the context of the wider East Asian and Pacific Ocean worlds. We will begin with early Japanese history and the influence of both Korea and China on early Japanese institutions. We will then examine the development of Japan’s indigenous traditions during the Heian [794-1185], Kamakura [1185-1333], and Ashikaga [1336-1568] periods. The second half of the course will deal with modern Japanese history and culture, paying equal attention to historical and ethnographic materials, and taking a careful look at the development of the Kanto and Kansai regions in modern Japanese history and culture. Throughout the course, we will use examples from the Japanese language—spoken phrases, the two major syllabaries [hiragana and katakana], and kanji, or Chinese characters—to analyze Japanese history and culture in linguistic context. Open to first-year students. No prerequisites.
Course Format Description
Synchronous online course meeting twice each week (Monday and Wednesday). Attendance at synchronous activities is required. Occasional asynchronous activities will include recorded lectures, videos, and observations, as well as reading and writing assignments. Students may also meet in small student groups that they schedule themselves, as well as in individual appointments with the professor before some assignments.