HIST 12
The East is Red? Socialism in Asia Winter 2020

Cross-listed PSCI 11 / HIST 12 / ASST 12
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

This course provides a historical and political overview of socialism in Asia from the 1910s to the present. It examines the spread and influence of Marxism in Asia, the polices of socialist states and movements in relation to decolonization, the Cold War, and the Sino-Soviet split, and the marriage between market reforms and ostensibly socialist governments in the present day. In addition to looking at the socialist governments of China, North Korea, Vietnam, and Cambodia, we will examine cases of “unsuccessful” socialist parties in Japan, Indonesia, and India. Class materials include memoirs of survival by non-state actors, the writings of socialist leaders (Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh, M.N. Roy, etc), and cultural constructions such as revolutionary theatre, songs, and contemporary films. Questions that will be addressed include: Why did Marxism, a Eurocentric theory of revolution intended for advanced capitalist societies, find such resonance in Asia? How was Marxism adapted for an Asian environment? Twenty-five years after the fall of communism, why have Asian socialist states remained in power? And in the scales of history, how should we judge the effects of socialism in Asia? Evaluation will be based on two in-class presentations and a final research paper. Attendance and participation will also be taken into account. We will meet three times a week for two-hour sessions. Adjunct Bio: John Knight has a Ph.D in East Asian History with a focus on Modern China. He graduated in 2017 from The Ohio State University. He has previously taught East Asian and World History at the Rhode Island School of Design, Ohio State University, Capital University, and Seton Hall.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 20
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: 10-page paper
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: preference will be given to students majoring in Asian Studies, History, or Political Science
Materials/Lab Fee: $15
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
PSCI 11 HIST 12 ASST 12

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