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Modern East Asia

A black and white old image of a blurry field

How did the modern states of East Asia emerge? This core seminar course considers the formation of China, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan in historical and regional contexts. Topics include the concepts of “East Asia” and “Confucian civilization,” forms of monarchical rule, integration into regional and global networks of commerce and intellectual exchange, the rise of Imperial Japan, anti-colonial, socialist, and communist movements, and experiences of social and cultural change since the 1970s. Format: Short introductory lectures, seminar discussion, and oral reports. Assignments: Like other seminar courses, HIST 318 is structured to teach critical reading and research skills. Reading assignments include fiction, pioneering scholarly works, and news analysis. The writing assignments are short essays, in-class analytic exercises, a longer essay based on research conducted in stages during the year, and a take-home final exam. In addition, participants will join teams to prepare for and lead class discussion. During two end-of-term class conferences, participants will present brief overviews of their research in progress and take questions from classmates.


Department of History, Queen's University

49 Bader Lane, Watson Hall 212
Kingston ON K7L 3N6




Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.