ASIA 315
Minorities and the State in Modern East Asia Fall 2022
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed ASIA 315 / HIST 315

Class Details

This course examines the relationships between minority peoples and the institution of the state in East Asia, focusing mostly but not exclusively on the early modern and modern periods (17th-20th centuries). We will explore the histories of the Ainu people of Japan, the “Small Peoples” of Russian Siberia, the Tibetan, Uighur and riverine communities of Mainland China, as well as the Hill Peoples of Southeast Asia. It also examines non-indigenous minority groups, such as conquest elites, mixed-race communities, and others. We will analyze how the transition to modernity, evolving understandings of race, gender, class, nation, the impact of imperialism and globalization all influenced the history of East Asian minority peoples. What, if anything, do all of these groups have in common? What do their histories reveal about the history of East Asia and of the countries in which they live? How are the lives of minority groups in East Asia changing today? What can their experiences reveal to us about the larger world? The class is structured as a reading-intensive seminar. Students will engage in and lead discussions, compose reading reaction papers and a final analytical essay. Students will be expected to use scholarly works in order to construct cogent, relevant arguments, which they will communicate both orally and in writing. Students will evaluate primary sources in order to engage with the people they study as directly as possible. Students will lead discussions on complex topics and develop as leaders and team members in professional settings. This course will present students with an opportunity to hone critical thinking and information literacy skills to a high level. All of you will have to analyze and process complex and often contradictory information, certainly in your personal lives and very likely in your professional lives.
The Class: Format: lecture; This discussion-intensive class requires students to lead several discussion sections during the semester.
Limit: 25
Expected: 15-20
Class#: 2018
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Map assignment, discussion participation, leading discussion (four times), three-page response essays (five times), final six-page research essay or presentation
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: History majors, Asian Studies concentrators, then all others
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ASIA 315 Division II HIST 315 Division II
DPE Notes: The study of East Asia's history is all too often conflated with the study of states, so that many less privileged histories are obscured. Chief among these are the histories of minority groups, who are often excluded from power. For this reason, this course puts the history of East Asia's many minority groups front and center in examining their multifaceted interactions with regional states, as well as the of ethnic, linguistic, religious, and regional identities
Attributes: HIST Group B Electives - Asia

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