The Asian Worldviews section is intended primarily for thesis writers studying Modern China, but is open to students working on any time or place in Asia. Our approach will be methodological, rather than topical, developing historical papers through close reading and exposition of a key text. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with Professor Cook in the Fall semester to discuss their interests, and ideally should enter the seminar having already identified a primary source (in translation, if necessary) from which to begin their investigation. The chosen text could be most any sort: political, religious, philosophical, commercial, literary; or even, through prior arrangement with the instructor, visual, musical, architectural, physical/material, etc. In any case, the “text” must originate from the historical time and place under investigation, and must be sufficiently rich in content to support our main objective: to make an argument about the ideology or worldview embodied in the text.
Alex Cook is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History.