This course introduces students to major topics in the history of East Asia. Rather than an century-by-century narrative covering prehistory to the present, the course emphasizes the theme of inter-regional relations. Students learn about traditions such as Confucianism and Buddhism that provided a foundation for the development of centralized, Sinicized states in East Asia, as well as the cultural, economic, and political aspects of the tribute system that structured inter-regional relations throughout the pre-modern period. The second half of the semester picks up the theme of inter-regional relations in the modern period by examing the continuing impact of twentieth-century warfare on the Chinese, the Koreans, and the Japanese. Our sources include a combination of secondary scholarship by leading experts on East Asian history as well as primary historical and literary sources.
(Normally offered every year)