East Asian Languages and Cultures | Semiar in East Asian Studies: Maverick Modernities/Model Modernities: Germany & Japan 1900-1960
E600 | 26245 | O'Bryan, S

Maverick Modernities/Model Modernities:  Germany & Japan 1900-1960

Graduate students only
4 credits
This class meets with HIST-H 675

This course examines the trajectories of (West) Germany and Japan
from nation-building to dictatorship and expansionist war, and their
reshaping in the postwar period into perceived models of postwar
prosperity and stability.  It asks whether these trajectories
reflected merely the geopolitical realities of a US dominated
century, or whether alternative versions of modernity were being
tried and tested – and whether some aspects of those alternative
modernities have endured.  The course also poses questions about the
possibilities and limits of comparative history, and about whether
nations with such different pre-histories as Germany and Japan
really can be considered as following a similar pattern.  Taking C.
A. Bayly’s Birth of the Modern World as its starting text, the
course will alternate between explicitly comparative studies and new
examples of the historiography of the two countries, allowing
comparison not just of national trajectories, about also about
national and international ways of writing the history of two
comparable but different nations.  The course will be assessed by
short weekly response papers, a comparative literature review, and
research paper.