East Asian Languages and Cultures | Modern East Asian Civilizations
E252 | 24919 | O'Bryan


This course will introduce students to major themes and events in
the 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 will be designed in a series of modules that each examine
in historical perspective a separate topic of political and cultural
interest. Modules topics will include the ways in which East Asians
have been both objects and subjects of modern forms of empire; the
ways in which the idea of modern nationalism was expressed among
East Asians; the rise of modern consumption societies; the shifting
place of mainline religious traditions of Buddhism, Confucianism,
Daoism, and Shintoism; the role of modern war in East Asian history;
and the post-WW II global rise of East Asian film and visual arts.
Each module will feature work in primary-source written material,
images and film. Taken together, they should give students a good
foundation in the histories and dynamic modern cultures of East
Asia.

Although the temporal focus will be on the modern past, the class
will continually draw attention to the contemporary relevance of our
subjects, and though the geographical focus will be on East Asia, a
recurring theme will be the interactions between East Asia and the
United States.

Credit given for only one of EALC E252 and HIST H207.