HIS 418 Asia Rising: China, Japan, the Korean Peninsula
This course will concentrate on the histories of East Asian nations, with an emphasis on China, Japan, and the nations of the Korean Peninsula. We will explore not only what these nations have in common—such as Confucianism and a history of dynastic rule—but also the ways in which their histories have diverged. For example, why did China succumb to Western imperial domination in the late 19th century, while Japan became an imperial power in its own right? Other topics will include the rise of communism in China, Japan’s role in World War II, and the Korean War. The course will conclude with an examination of Asia’s growing importance in the 21st century, in particular China’s expanding economic and military might. At this point, our scope will broaden to include India as well.