Reading and Composition in History-War and Revolution in Asia

History R1B.002

Spring 2013
Nicholas Kardahji
Day & Time: 
TuTh 930-11
  • This course does not count for credit toward the History Major but may fulfill other requirements.
  • This is a reading and composition seminar that examines the profound changes in modern Asian societies. We will read primary sources (such as private letters and memoirs), secondary histories and fiction. All of these sources have shaped our understanding of the dramatic and violent twentieth century. Major themes we will explore include the impact of Western imperialism, causes and consequences of violent struggle and the ambiguous legacies of independence. Countries covered include the Philippines, China, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.

    The aim of the seminar is to develop critical thinking, reading and writing skills. The class will be writing intensive and satisfies the second half of the university's reading and composition requirement. In the first half of the semester, students will undertake short writing assignments – responding to the readings or analyzing particular archival sources - to develop their expository and analytic writing skills. In the second half of the semester, students will produce an 8 and a 10 page research paper using several sources and we will critique each others work in class. By the end of the course, students will have learned how to assess source material and use it to construct historical arguments. Through the development of critical reading skills and writing techniques, students will learn to take positions on the broad historical issues addressed in the class.