East Asian Languages and Cultures | East Asia: An Introduction
E100 | 1475 | Kennedy


East Asia: Traditional, crowded, poor, authoritarian, dirty, and rural.
These adjectives of China, Japan, and Korea are still used by some, but
more often we now hear others: Modern, (almost) democratic, dynamic,
high-tech, and urban. To what extent did East Asia used to fit the first
group of adjectives, and to what extent does it now fit the latter? This
course provides a broad overview of East Asia from its earliest recorded
history up to the early 21st century. Areas covered include these
countries' social structures, arts, economies, and politics. In addition to
looking at their internal developments, we also consider the affect that
East Asia and the rest of the world have had on each other. Readings are
from a textbook, literature, a short autobiography, and the popular media.
Assignments include two short papers, a midterm, and a final. The course is
designed for students with little to no background or knowledge of East
Asia. Others are urged to begin with a 200-level survey course in their
area of interest.