This one-semester Asian survey course provides an introduction to major
issues in the historical development of China and Japan from antiquity
to the present. Lecture and readings emphasize the political, intellectual
and religious heritage of these cultures — a heritage which today defines
and influences Chinese and Japanese societies throughout the world.
Films, projects, and discussions during weekly "workshops" enable students
to examine specific themes in greater detail, and to participate in informed
and reasoned discourse on relevant, topical issues. This course
offers the opportunity for students to engage in cross-cultural study
of countries with long and rich historical records; extraordinary, enduring
cultural achievements; and increasingly important roles in contemporary
This course examines the unique, complex and compelling issues facing
China from the First Opium War (1840) through the death of Mao (1976).
The first half of the course will explore the theme "Reform or Revolution":
Changing Realities in China." We will investigate the internal
and external forces which generated and directed political, economic and
social change in China between 1840 and 1911. The final half of
the course will focus on the theme: "Right or Left?: China's New Polity."
We will trace the intricate route of China's search for stable government
after the collapse of the Qing. The goals of this course are to
develop a comprehensive understanding of China's modern historical development,
and to encourage students to analyze events from a China-centered viewpoint:
that is, to "see" modern China and the world through Chinese — not Western
The history of China in the 20th century can be defined by one word:
revolution. In its search for sovereignty, wealth and power in a
modern world, China has negotiated a turbulent course through monarchy
and free markets, republicanism and bureaucratic capitalism, communism
and planned economy, and now socialism with "Chinese characteristics."
Constant upheaval over the last century has ravaged nearly every aspect
of the nation's political, social and economic systems, and forged entirely
new structures. Through a number of historical and literary texts,
"Revolution in China" will explore the varied forces which have shaped
those structures and directed the nation's modern revolutionary history.
This course will not only provide students a comprehensive historical
background to China's recent development, but also provide insight into
the memories and motivations of its people, who are still coming to terms
with this revolutionary past as they attempt to build a modern China.
China today: A dynamic nation on firm foundation, or a system on the verge
of disaster? A people subjugated to communism, or edging inexorably
toward democracy? An unprecedented economic success, or an unimaginable
environmental calamity? A threat to American hegemony, or potential
ally in the pursuit of global peace and cooperation? This course
examines major issues and dominant trends in China today that bear directly
on the political, social and economic development of the nation.
A variety of readings will provide insight into New China's successes
and failures and the aspirations of its people. Expanding on this
foundation, students will conduct research based on primary and secondary
sources, and prepare a formal seminar paper that will be presented in class.
Since the first U.S.-flagged ship, the Empress of China,
set sail for the Orient on February 22, 1784, Americans and Chinese have
been engaged in a extended, circumspect process of mutual discovery.
Missionary, merchant and travelogue accounts forged an American image
of the Chinese and their culture as inscrutable, mysterious, devious,
and seductive. Businessmen, coolie, and student reports created
a Chinese image of Americans and their culture as industrious, wanton,
brash and racist. Historical circumstances influenced these respective
images, as the roller coaster relationship of the two nations fluctuated
between friendship and hostility. These two courses explore the
evolution of this relationship from the late 18th century to the present,
providing insight into the cultural formation of the Orient and the Occident.
Hist 255: Beyond the Western Frontier:
American Interests in China, 1800-2000
Through a varied and extensive sampling of published articles, this
course examines the development of a unique relationship between the
United States and China over the past two centures. Although slower
than the major European nations in awakening to the "startling possibilities
of the Orient," the United States ultimately is drawn into Chinese affairs
by diverse special interest groups. Ranging from missionaries to
merchants, and marines to diplomats, these groups prodded an often reluctant
Amerian government into playing a more active and influential role in
China and the Far East. This course traces that development of American
political, economic, social and military involvement in China from early
18th century tea traders to post-war policies of containment.
Hist 197: Medieval
East Asia Inquiry into Tang, Song, Heian and Kamakura Life
we define "medieval" in East Asian history? What separated this historical
period from ancient or modern eras? What political, social and economic
developments characterize this period? Are these developments unique
to Chinese or Japanese cultures? How does life in East Asia during
this period compare to that in medieval Europe? This course addresses
these and others compelling questions through a variety of historical
and literary readings in medieval China and Japan. It provides students
with a "cross-sectional slice" of life – religious beliefs, political
intrigues, commercial innovations, aesthetic conventions, social developments
and military exploits – that offers insight into the remarkable peoples
and times of the Tang and Song dynasties (618-1279) and the Heian and Kamakura
Japan and the Four Dragons – Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South
Korea – have driven Asia's dramatic economic development for most of
the second half of the 20th century. Today, Sony, Nikon, and Hyundai
are familiar names in households from Anchorage to Zambia. How did
these five relatively small, politically disparate states develop into
such economic giants? What common factors – if any – have contributed
to their phenomenal growth? Are they the vanguard of a new Asia,
destined to dominate the 21st century? Will they be overwhelmed
politically and economically by China's dominating influence in the region?
Is a new "Asian Bloc" emerging to challenge NAFTA and the European Community?
What role will these nations play in maintaining Asian stability in the
face of regional brinkmanship, terrorism, and separatist movements?
These are only a few of the questions to be explored in this historical
examination of modern Japan and the Four Dragons
The Growth of Western Civilization I provides
an introduction to the development of Western Civilization from prehistory
to the Age of Discovery (16th century). Lectures and readings explore
the political, intellectual, economic and religious heritage of Western
nations, which have shaped and continue to define European and New World
societies. In particular, this course identifies and examines specific
contributions of various "European" peoples to the historical and cultural
development of western civilization. Films, projects and discussions
during Friday "workshops" enable students to examine specific themes in
greater detail, and to participate in informed and reasoned discourse
on relevant issues. The goal of this course is for students will
develop a broad understanding of the early evolution of modern Western
civilization, which will enable them to more critically analyze the past
and its relation to current world events.
The Growth of Western Civilization II provides
an introduction to the development of Western Civilization from 1700 to
the present. Lectures and readings explore the political, intellectual,
economic and religious heritage of Western nations, which have shaped
and continue to define European and New World societies. In particular,
this course traces the intricate course of modern state building from
absolute monarchism to liberal democracy and Communism. Emphasis
is placed on identification and analysis of unique historical factors
which influenced the specific development of modern states in Europe
and the United States. Films, projects and discussions during Friday
"workshops" enable students to examine specific themes in greater detail,
and to participate in informed and reasoned discourse on relevant issues.
The goal of this course is for students to develop a broad understanding
of the evolution of modern Western civilization, which will enable them
to more critically analyze the past and its relation to current world