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A survey of the major civilizations of "monsoon Asia," ranging from the Indian Subcontinent, through Indochina and Indonesia, to China and Japan. Focus will be on the key political, social and cultural developments of the major peoples from their beginnings to the present Of special interest will be how they influenced each other, and how they interacted with Western Civilization in the modern period.
This is a History Major course.
Objectives for the student:
- To identify the major events, persons and ideas of the history of Asia.
- To develop concepts and methods which give an understanding of what influenced the attitudes and behavior of major participants in political situations.
- To read modern editions of primary sources and explain their significance to relevant historical problems.
- To practice critical and analytical skills on historical problems.
- To identify and analyze significant problems and situations as they relate to the current issues and the investigation of history.
Goals for the student:
- To develop a wider perspective which recognizes the political, economic and cultural interdependence of differing societies and people, and which encourages a more inclusive view of the human experience.
- To heighten awareness of the specific contributions and perspectives of diverse members of society.
- To appreciate the social, economic, cultural and religious developments of Asian civilizations to our present culture and World History.
- To understand the influence of the past on contemporary events and problems, or, in other words, to develop "Historical Mindedness."
General Learning Outcomes for the student:
In addition to the more content related objectives described above, this course has some general liberal learning goals. Successful completion of this course is expected to help improve your ability
- To manage information, which involves such things as sorting data, ranking data for significance, and synthesizing facts, concepts and principles.
- To understand and use organizing principles or key concepts against which miscellaneous data can be evaluated.
- To differentiate between facts, opinions and inferences.
- To frame questions so as to more clearly clarify a problem topic or issue.
- To compare and contrast the relative merits of opposing arguments and interpretations, moving between the main points of each position.
- To organize your thoughts and communicate them clearly and concisely in a written form and oral presentations.
- To obtain practice in selecting and presenting information and arguments within a restricted environment, especially the limitations of time in exams.
III. General Requirements
The Rhoads book is intended both to provide you with important factual and background information before class and to be used as a review and reference work afterwards. Before class, you will read in this textbook the chapters or pages according to the class schedule. Not all topics in this textbook will be covered in class, but you are responsible for them on the exam and in class discussion.
The instructor may give quizzes and/or assign questions and brief writing assignments to test your reading and comprehension.
- Rhoads, Murphey. A History of Asia. 2nd Edition (New York: HarperCollins, 1996).
2. Class Participation & Attendance:
Participation and attendance are necessary because lecture and discussion provide the essentials for achieving class goals and objectives. Thus a portion of your grade (about 20%) will depend on your in-class performance. You are required to attend each class, arrive on time, remain attentive, respond to questions, ask questions and participate in any in-class projects.
Absences due to college activities, emergency or extended illness may be excused by the appropriate director or dean. Other absences are unexcused and will lower the class participation portion of your grade. After any absence, you are responsible for making up missed work, requesting hand-outs, picking up already returned assignments, and/or borrowing notes from other students. Whether absences are excused or not, you cannot get a higher grade than the percentage of classes attended.
All students who have a learning disability, physical handicap and/or any other possible impediment to class participation and requirements should schedule an appointment with the instructor during the first week of class to discuss available accommodations.
For general information about expected academic honesy, click here.
You will take one midterm exam and a final exam, which is comprehensive, as assigned during finals week.
Both exams will consist of short identifications quizzing knowledge of detail and significance, and essays testing your understanding of the course material through logical presentation of facts and explanation of historical trends.
You may take a missed exam, which may be an oral exam, at the discretion of the instructor.
4. Written Assignments:
You will have two written assignments of 4-6 pages of text each.
Papers should be handed in, in person, at the beginning of class on the due dates assigned.
The grade of any paper you turn in late will lose at least 10% after the beginning of the first class, 20% after the second, and 35% after the third.
No late papers will be accepted after the last day of class.
For general information about presentation and writing of papers click here.
For general grading policy, click here.
Your final grade will be based on a percentage (above 91%=A, 89%=B+, 81%=B, etc.) of the sum of the points: 10-20 for each quiz or in-class project; 100 for the midterm exam, 150 for the final exam; and 200 for your overall class performance and attendance, and other assignments to be determined.
Some General Topics:
- The Geography of Asia
- China and India
- Southeast Asia: Burma, Siam, Laos, Cambodia, Viet-Nam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Phillipines
- Prehistoric Asia
- Early Civilization in India
- Early Civilization in China
- Medieval India and Southeast Asia
- Medieval China
- Medieval Korea and Japan
- Pre-Modern Societies of Asia
- The West Arrives in Asia
- Manchu China
- Tokugawa Japan
- India and Britain
- The Triumph of Imperialism
- Nationalisms and Revolutions
- The Struggle for Asia
- Origins of World War II
- World War II
- Red China and the Cold War
- Decolonization of East and Southeast Asia
- Vietnam and Indochina
- India vs. Pakistan
- Asia and the 21st century
Last Revision: 1998 October 26