East Asian Languages and Cultures | East Asia: An Introduction
E100 | 0200 | Andrews


This course surveys broadly the recent history of East Asia.  We
will study political and cultural developments in that region over
the last two centuries in order to understand why China, Japan, and
Korea matter so much to us now.  Why, for example, are we now deeply
engaged with China in trade and security issues when only a few
years ago we spurned that country for its repressive government?  We
see Toyota and Honda cars everywhere; computer games and anime
occupy shelves in the video store, so why do we hear that the
Japanese economy is failing and could pull us into worldwide
depression?  South Korea grabs our attention as an emerging vibrant
democracy supplying us with high-tech products, but what of its
volatile authoritarian neighbor North Korea?

We will use lectures, textbook readings, cultural materials such as
literature in translation and film, and discussion to gain a basic
knowledge of the geography, peoples, beliefs, and customs of these
countries.  We will use this base to examine how China, Korea, and
Japan have influenced each other, how contact with American and
Europe over the past 200 years or so has changed the dynamic (or
not, as the case may be), and what the global implications may be as
we enter what some have called the “Pacific century.”  Grading will
be based on weekly quizzes, two exams, daily attendance, and in-
class participation projects.  This course is designed for students
with little or no knowledge of East Asia.
* * *
EALC E100 fulfills a wide variety of requirements, depending on
your  School, and is especially useful for COAS and Business
students.  For students whose major is in COAS, the course fulfills
AH distribution as well as culture studies A; for students in the
business school, it applies to various “international”
and “humanities” requirements.  See your academic advisor for
details.