East Asian & South Asian History

HIST 15200  Introduction to East Asian Civilization II  (J. Ketelaar)  This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This is a three-quarter sequence on the civilizations of China, Japan, and Korea, with emphasis on major transformation in these cultures and societies from the Middle Ages to the present. Taking these courses in sequence is not required.

HIST 14303  Modern Korean History  (J. Jeon, Teaching Fellow)  This course focuses on the modern history of a country that is well known for shifting its course at dizzying speed. Beginning with the last monarchic dynasty's "opening" to the world in the late nineteenth century, the course will move on to deal with radical transformations such as Japanese colonization and Korea's subsequent liberation in 1945; the civil war, national division, and dictatorship in the two Koreas; and the economic miracle and democratization in the South and nuclear development in the North. How do we understand recent events, such as the South Korean president's impeachment in 2017 and the North Korean leader's high-profile diplomatic détentes in 2018? Do they come out of nowhere, or can we find an underlying consistency based on an understanding of the long twentieth century? Through a careful study of Korea's modern history, this course is designed to reveal the longer trajectories of Korea's historical development, showing how the study of this contentious peninsula becomes a study of modern world history.

HIST 24508  Human Rights in Japanese History  (K. Pan, Von Holst Prize Lecturer)  This course examines how the modern concept of "rights" and "human rights" localized in Japan and how different parties in Japan have used the language of human rights in attempts to remake Japan's social, cultural, and legal landscape. We will explore a wide range of topics including the translation of Eurocentric rights talk in East Asia, colonization and decolonization, statelessness and migration, transitional justice and reconciliation, biopolitical rights and bio-citizenship, indigenous rights, and women and gender-specific rights. Throughout the course we pay special attention to the ways in which rights talk and human-rights politics in Japan intertwine with the country's efforts to modernize and build the "nation within the empire" and, after its defeat in WWII, to close off its "long postwar" and reconcile with its neighbors. This is an introductory course, and no previous knowledge of Japanese history or the international history of human rights is required. However, you should be prepared to read (and watch, browse, and listen to) a wide array of primary and secondary sources that destabilize the most common vocabulary and concepts we take for granted in contemporary human-rights talk such as race, state responsibility, and the very notion of universalism so central to the idea of human rights.

HIST 24806  History of Japanese Philosophy  (J. Ketelaar)  What is philosophy and why does looking at Japanese philosophy make a difference? By examining Buddhist, Confucian, Shinto, and modern academic philosophical traditions, this course will provide a history of ideas found in Japan and central to thinking about being/nonbeing, government, ethics, aesthetics, economics, faith, and practice.

HIST 56706  Colloquium: Modern Korean History II  (B. Cumings)  To the extent possible, research papers should be based in primary materials; ideally this means Korean, Japanese, or Chinese materials, but some students cannot use Korean or another East Asian language for research until they embark on dissertations. An abundance of English-language research materials are available on twentieth-century Korea: American, Korean, and Japanese official reports, the Foreign Relations of the United States series, newspapers, paper collections, microfilms, dissertations based in primary materials, etc.

HIST 59000  Colloquium: Persian Historical Texts  (J. Woods)  This course will focus on the study and utilization of narrative, normative, and archival sources in Persian. Texts of the major Iranian historians and biographers will be subjected to close reading and analysis. The scripts, protocols, and formula used by Irano-Islamic chancelleries will also be introduced and the form and content of published and unpublished archival documents will be transcribed and examined in their institutional context. Knowledge of Persian required.