[HIST 210] China, East Asia, and the Pacific World
This course examines Chinese history and culture in the context of the wider East Asian and Pacific Ocean worlds. We begin with early Chinese history and the formulation of institutions that would persist for millennia. In an even broader perspective, we consider China’s (and East Asia’s) role in a complex Pacific world, and how that region has shaped the world at large—from cultural and military forces to environmental issues, trade, and development. We then examine the development of China’s imperial tradition, from the first empire (the Qin) through the last (the Qing).
The second half of the course will deal with modern Chinese history and culture, paying equal attention to historical and ethnographic materials, and taking a careful look at the complex interplay between regional and national forces in Chinese history. Throughout the course we use examples from the Chinese language—spoken phrases, written puzzles, and more—to analyze Chinese history and culture in linguistic context.