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.

280G.001 Spring 2017 Late Imperial and Modern China: Research Seminar on Historical Documents

This seminar offers an overview of selected types of historical documents foundational to research projects in late imperial and modern Chinese history. It also pays attention to those institutions that produced and archived these materials.

280G/285F Spring 2017 Japan

This course, a joint 280G/285F seminar, will be concerned with the writing of history in Japan, and (mainly) of Japan, from the late Tokugawa era onward.  Most readings will be in Japanese.  They will consist of essays or extracts from longer works that have played a role in setting the course of Japanese historiography in their own time and since, supplemented by important secondary materials. 

280F/285F Spring 2017 China

The graduate seminar (offered at the two levels) discusses the research tools and methods needed to undertake advanced work in primary materials. The seminar is housed in the library, because Web resources, while ever improving, still do not suffice to study China before 1911. Thus the course provides a systematic and hands-on introduction to the available print and electronic resources.


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