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Semester 1

Pre-modern East Asian history and the forces that shaped it (ASST08056)


Asian Studies





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Course Summary

This course looks at the history of the East Asian region, focussing on the events and ideas that shaped the states in what we now call China, Korea and Japan.

Course Description

The course aims to further students' understanding of the most important characteristics of East Asia by providing a survey of the development of China. Korea and Japan. The events and the ideas that shaped the first unified Chinese state in the third century BCE, were pivotal in the development of the region, inasmuch as the philosophies on which early China was based, played a significant role in the relations between what we now term "East Asia" (a descriptor that is kept under scrutiny throughout the course). Ideological strategies developed in these countries throughout the pre-modern period show a fascinating breadth in their permutations of traditional world-views and innovation in the field of political philosophy. This core theme is complemented by selected topics such as ritual and mythology. On successful completion of the course, students will have built upon prior knowledge of modern East Asian history and acquired a deeper appreciation of the region in pre-modern times and the role of traditional ideas and institutions in the modern era. Modules to be covered in the course may include: 1 East Asia: definition, geography, languages 2 The writing of history 3 Confucianism and early Chinese philosophy 4 Forms of government: Chinese models and their adoption in Japan 5 Sino-centric culture in early Japan 6 Cosmos and myth: Making sense of the seen and the unseen 7 Buddhism's role in the state.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

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