East Asian Languages and Cultures | East Asia: An Introduction
E100 | 11959 | Robinson, Michael


3 credits

This class carries culture studies credit
Students must register for both the lecture and a discussion section

It is clear that the East  Asian region will continue to increase in
political, economic, and cultural power during the twenty-first
century. This course will introduce students to major themes and
events in the early modern and modern histories of China, Taiwan,
Japan, North Korea, and South Korea and link these to such present-
day topics as the North Korean nuclear crisis, commemorations in
2005 of the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War,
and the world-wide cultural presence of Japanese manga,
anime, “superflat” art styles, and electronic gaming.

The course is divided into four module sections, each examining in
historical perspective a separate topic of political or cultural
interest: 1) the early history of East Asian societies and the long-
run historical connections that linked them to one another
culturally and politically before the modern period; 2) the ways in
which East Asians have been both objects and subjects of the many
historical forms of empire; 3) the ways in which East Asians
expressed the idea of modern nationalism; and finally 4) a
contemporary political and cultural module that touches on the rise
of modern consumption societies; the shifting place of mainline
religious traditions of Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and
Shintoism; the post-WW II global rise of East Asian film and visual
arts; and the political situation in each of the modern East Asian
countries today.