East Asia and the World 1850-1950 - Module Handbook
Instructor: Konrad M. Lawson
This seminar on modern East Asian begins with an examination of the evolving societies of the Qing dynasty, the Tokugawa regime, and the Chosŏn dynasty on the Korean peninsula. Significant focus in the course will be given to the challenge of East Asian interactions with the West and western imperialism, including the domestic cultural and intellectual developments and responses to new challenges in the Japanese empire, including colonial Korea, and in the Chinese republic. Whenever possible the course will integrate and explore the parallels and contrasts in the experiences of Japan, Korea, and China and highlight some of the important transnational connections between them.
This is an honours seminar that, while not assuming any background in the study of modern East Asian history, will expect students to read widely and deeply in the topics it covers between each of our meetings. It is not a lecture course, and the success of the seminar discussions will depend very much on the time and preparation that you dedicate to the course. In addition to an assessed presentation, students will often be asked to give small presentation to classmates on a reading or particular topic. Small group work within the seminar will also be a common approach taken during the course. Class may begin with 10-20 minutes of introductory comments and opening questions by myself, or directly with a presentation by a student offering a summary and critique of some of the read material or a theme to be covered. A seminar provides an excellent opportunity for us to engage with history not as a body of facts and knowledge about the past that is passively consumed, but as a field of problems and historical questions to analyse and discuss.
Notes: This course if offered to the Evening Degree Programme under the remit of the Lifelong & Flexible Learning offerings at the University of St Andrews. The course meets once for two hours every other week throughout a single academic year.