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Almost all discussions of contemporary Taiwan reference the fierce debate over its sovereignty and international status: is the island of Taiwan an independent nation, or an “inalienable part” of the much larger and more powerful People’s Republic of China? Part of the argument for Taiwan’s separate nationhood derives from its claim to a unique history different from that of the P.R.C.. In this tutorial course, we will look closely at the distinctive aspects of Taiwan’s history that underlie this claim, including its aboriginal populations, maritime history, experience of Japanese colonialism, settlement by mainland Chinese after World War II, role in the Cold War, and the development of a Taiwanese ethnic and political identity in the postwar period. The goal of the course is neither to debate nor resolve the “Taiwan question”, but to explore the history and historical arguments that inform it.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
weekly papers and critiques
History or Asian Studies majors
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
In this tutorial course, students will write bi-weekly 5- to 7-page papers with feedback from both the instructor and tutorial partner. Students will revise one of their tutorial papers as a final assignment. Students will receive from the instructor timely comments on their writing skills, with suggestions for improvement.