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History of Modern East Asia (China and Japan)

by Professor Maureen Melvin Sowa

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This course is a survey of 19th and 20th century Asian history with a special emphasis on China and Japan. The course focuses on the political, social, economic, and cultural development of China since the Qing dynasty with an emphasis on the development of modern Chinese nationalism and the theory and practice of Maoism; the background and significance of the Meiji Restoration and Japanese modernization; the fall of the Japanese empire, and the emergence of Japan as an "economic superpower." Students develop the ability to think, read, and write critically and analytically and to understand the various forms of human interaction through a study of the unique culture of East Asia during the modern period. The course aids students in their efforts to understand the principles of group behavior and social organizations and how power is wielded in society.