East Asian Languages and Cultures | East Asia: An Introduction
E100 | 14914 | 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.