HIST 218
From Crises to Cool: Modern Japan, 1850s-Present Fall 2021
Division II
Cross-listed ASIA 218
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

Stunning revolutions, the construction and collapse of an empire, the waging of wars, devastating defeat and occupation by a foreign power, and postwar economic ups and downs have marked Japan’s modern experience. This course will explore how various Japanese people from factory workers and farmers to politicians and intellectuals have understood, shaped, and lived the upheavals from the 1850s through the present day. And it will examine how the country of Japan as well as individual Japanese people have defined the identities and meanings of “modern Japan.” We will ask why a modernizing revolution emerged out of the ashes of the early modern order; what democracy and its failures wrought; how world war was experienced and what legacies it left in its wake; and how postwar Japan has struggled with the successes and costs of affluence. Materials will include anthropological studies, government documents, intellectual treatises, fiction, films, and oral histories.
The Class: Format: lecture; lecture and discussion
Limit: 40
Expected: 30
Class#: 1616
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, response papers, two short papers (5 pages), and a self-scheduled final exam or research paper
Prerequisites: none; open to all
Enrollment Preferences: History majors/prospective majors or Asian Studies concentrators/prospective concentrators
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
HIST 218 Division II ASIA 218 Division II
Attributes: GBST East Asian Studies
HIST Group B Electives - Asia

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