Asia

103F.002 Fall 2018 Samurai and Soldiers: Violence in Japanese History

This course will survey the changing ideals and diverse realities of soldiers and violence in Japanese history. From the creation of the first national army in 645, to the rise, heyday, and fall of the samurai, the wars and empire of modern Japan, and the constitutional pacifism of the present, Japan has been home to one of the most peaceful societies on earth. Yet it experienced some of the most violent periods in world history. This course tracks the relationship between violence (and its absence) and the state, as well as the role of soldiers and armies in Japanese society.

103F.001 Fall 2018 The Sea in Modern Chinese History

Between the Opium War (1839-1842) and the opening of the 21st century China emerged to become a maritime power out of its historical past as a continental empire. How did this transformation come about? What is the significance of the maritime world in the making and remaking of late imperial and modern China? How does a focus on the sea inspire historians to rethink the nature of modern Chinese transformation?

103F.003 Spring 2018 Hindu/Muslim: Religion, Politics, and Violence in a Millennium of Indian History

This course is concerned broadly with the relationship between the categories of ‘religion’ and ‘politics’; and the practices of violence which lie at their intersection; and in particular with rethinking the terms we use to imagine religious violence in the past and the present. As a case study, we will explore ways of conceptualizing the longue durée history of the relationship between Hinduism and Islam in the Indian subcontinent over the last millennium.

103F.001 Spring 2018 Revolutionary Nationalism and “Terrorism” in India and Abroad: Is Fundamentalism its Inevitable Telos?

In the early years of the twentieth century, British colonial rule in India faced a powerful new threat to its authority. All through the previous century colonial rule had been resisted mainly by peasants and landed gentry whose concerns had to do with the effects of colonial reformulations of land tenure. Colonial efforts in India of the previous fifty years had been aimed at producing the loyal educated, Indian native.

101.003 Spring 2018 The Making of Modern Asia

The Making of Modern Asia seminar 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 Dr. Van Vleet in the Fall semester to discuss their interests, and should enter the seminar having already identified a primary source (in translation, if necessary) from which to begin their investigation.

103F.003 Fall 2017 Hindu/Muslim: Religion, Politics, and Violence in South Asia during the past Millennium

This course is concerned broadly with the relationship between the categories of "religion" and "politics" and the practices of violence which lie at their intersection, and in particular with rethinking the terms we use to imagine religious violence in the past and the present. As a case, we will focus on the longue dur̩e history of the Indian subcontinent, and the relationship between Hinduism and Islam as it has manifested over the last millennium.

103F.001 Fall 2017 Religion, Superstition, and Secularism in Modern China

Narratives of modern Chinese history have often consigned the practice of religion to a fading pre-Communist past. However, the remarkable religious revival in recent decades since the end of the Cultural Revolution has inspired historians to reconsider the fate of religion and its place in the making of modern China. How did modern secularism inform the transition from cosmic empire to nation-state? Why were attempts to reform Chinese society using Western concepts of religion and superstition so problematic?

114A Fall 2017 HIST 114A: Politics, Culture, and Philosophy in India before Modernity

In this course we will develop a panoramic view of the long sweep of the history of the Indian subcontinent until the sometime in the middle of the eighteenth century. We will proceed chronologically, beginning from the earliest traces of human civilization to the development of, and debates between, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism; the coming of Islamic rule; the founding of the Mughal empire; and the arrival of the East India Companies on its shores.
 

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