Asian Studies 080, History 080 MODERN EAST ASIA Fall Semester, 2007 INSTRUCTOR: Paul S. Ropp OFFICE: 309 JEFFERSON
OFFICE PHONE: 793-7213 OFFICE HOURS: MW 11:00-12:00 or by
EMAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org appointment
This introductory course will survey modern historical developments and contemporary societies, cultures, economies and polities in China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. We will compare the distinctive historical traditions of these countries, their respective experiences with Western colonialism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and their emerging independence from the end of World War II to the present. We will look at two themes in particular: the dynamics of political leadership and Asian reactions to Western imperialism, and the social and cultural dynamics of Asian societies since World War II.
As this course meets the Historical Perspective, our goal is to understand the historical forces shaping contemporary Asia, the common experiences which the nations of Asia have shared in the modern era, and the distinctive features which serve to give each Asian nation its own clear sense of identity. In the process of our study, we should gain an appreciation of the rich historical and cultural diversity of Asia, and the importance of Asia in the world today. We will also have occasion to reflect on our own relationship to Asian and Western cultural traditions, and the implications of Asian and Western interactions, values, and stages of development for ourselves and for the future.
We will use A Short History of Asia, by Colin Mason, for historical background and as a reference work. Our main reading will be journalistic and historical accounts of, and works of fiction from, China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. There will be one short (4-page) paper on This Earth of Mankind, one short (4-page) paper on Kokoro or Virgin Widows (students may choose which to write on), one in-class mid-term (on Southeast Asia), and a two-hour final exam, two-thirds on China, Japan and Korea, and one-third on an overview of the course.
There will be occasional films in class or outside of class, and weekly class discussions of lectures, readings and films. Regular class attendance is expected, and class participation is important. If you cannot attend a class, you should notify me in advance and specify why you will be unable to attend.
Final grades for the course will be calculated approximately as follows:
Reaction Papers and Class participation 20%
Paper on This Earth of Mankind 10%
In-Class Exam on Southeast Asia 20%
Paper on Kokoro or Virgin Widows 20%
Two-hour Final Exam 30%
Brief reaction papers will be required weekly (normally on Mondays). In a few paragraphs, you should give me your own reaction to the week's readings (or the previous week's classes): What are the most important themes in the readings? What questions are raised by the readings? What do you find most interesting in the readings? In your reaction papers, you may jot down any questions that have not been addressed in class, make suggestions for the use of class time that week, or raise discussion topics that you would like to see us take up in class. Reaction papers are to be brief and they may be hand written, but they should be thoughtful and relevant to the main topics covered by the course. What questions are raised (or left unanswered) by the author? How does the story or journalistic account illuminate the culture portrayed in it? What do you think is the point or the main message of the story or journalistic report? I will not grade reaction papers, but will record whether or not you have handed one in each week. If you hand in fewer than 10 reaction papers for the course, your class participation grade will suffer.
BOOKS REQUIRED FOR PURCHASE Colin Mason, A Short History of Asia
Pramoedya Ananta Toer, This Earth of Mankind
Ross Marlay and Clark Neher, Patriots and Tyrants: Ten Asian Leaders
Louise Williams, Wives, Mistresses and Matriarchs: Asian Women Today
Gu Hua, Virgin Widows.
Natsume Soseki, Kokoro.
Stan Sesser, The Lands of Charm and Cruelty.
T. R. Reid, Confucius Lives Next Door
WEEKLY TOPICS AND READING ASSIGNMENTS Aug. 27, 30 Intro to the Course; Geography of Asia
Mason, Introduction and chs. 1, 11; This Earth of Mankind, chs. 1-5.
Sept. 3 Labor Day
Sept. 6 The West Arrives in Asia
Mason, ch. 12; This Earth, chs. 6-12.
Sept. 10, 13 The Triumph of Imperialism in Asia
Mason, chs. 13-14; This Earth, chs. 13-19 & Afterword.
*** Sept. 17 Paper Due on Pramoedya, This Earth of Mankind***
Sept. 17, 20 20th-Century Indonesia
Mason, ch. 22; short stories “Shadow Play” and “Holy Communion”; Patriots and Tyrants, Part. IV; Sesser, chapter on Borneo; Williams, pp, 1-19, 268-300.
Sept. 24, 27 Communist Revolutions in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia
Mason, ch. 28; Patriots and Tyrants, Parts II & III; Sesser, chapters on Laos and Cambodia; short story “In the Footsteps of the Water Buffalo” (Vietnam); Williams, pp. 95-114, 243-252.
Oct. 1, 4 Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand,
Mason, chs. 23, 25; Sesser, chapter on Singapore; short stories “The English Teacher’s Secret” (Singapore), “In the Mirror” (Thailand), “Mr. Tang’s Girls” (Malaysia), “Mala” (Malaysia); Williams, pp. 115-165, 235-242.
Oct. 8-9 Mid-Term Break
Oct. 11 Burma and the Philippines since WWII
Mason, chs. 26, 29; Sesser, chapter on Burma; Williams, pp. 20-60; short story “Progress” (Philippines).
Williams, pp. 166-193.
*** Oct. 18 In-Class Exam on 20th-Century Southeast Asia (covering Mason, Marlay & Neher, Sesser, Williams, and short stories) *** Oct. 22, 25 Japan: The Meiji Restoration and Modernization
Mason, pp. 244-48; Kokoro (entire book)
Oct. 29, Nov. 1 Japan, China, Korea and World War II.
Mason, chs. 20, 27; Patriots and Tyrants, Part I, chs. 1 & 2.
Nov. 5, 8 Communist Revolution in China
Mason, ch. 20; Patriots & Tyrants, Part. I, chs. 1 & 2; Virgin Widows, chs. 1-8; Williams, pp. 61-77.
Nov. 12, 15 China in the Post-Mao Era
Mason, ch. 21; Patriots and Tyrants, Part I, ch. 3; Virgin Widows, chs. 9-20; Williams, pp. 78-87.
Nov. 19 The Korean War
Short story “The Nonrevolutionaries” (Korea)
Nov. 21-23 Thanksgiving Vacation Nov. 26, 29 Post-War Korea and Japan
Mason, pp. 248-53; short story “Chinatown” (Korea); Reid, chs. 1-5.
Dec. 3, 6 Contemporary Japan
Reid, chs. 6-9; short stories “Doubt” and Snow Flurry” (Japan).
Dec. 10 The "Asian Economic Miracle"
Mason, ch. 30; Reid, ch. 10.
*** Tues.Dec. 18, 10:30 - 12:30, Final Examination (two-thirds covering China, Japan and Korea, and one third on the entire course) ***