Modern East Asia

Instructor: James Yao

Day & Time:
Online | 2nd Half

KU Core Goal 4.2
Category Fulfillment: I
an image of three flags: South Korean, Chinese and Japanese


HIST 119: Modern East Asia


This 8-week online course will be taught as a survey of modern East Asian history with a focus on the major political events, and cultural, social, economic, and political transformations of China, Japan, and Korea over the course of the past two to three centuries. It will give you a basic framework for understanding the complex and interrelated histories of the nations that comprise modern East Asia and for considering ways in which East Asia has been connected to the world. The course will examine China, Japan, and Korea comparatively and it will be organized around a set of chronological themes such as empire and imperialism, modernization, and war. This thematic structure will allow students to consider both continuity and change in political, social, and economic processes from the early modern period to the end of the Cold War.

Each week, students will read from a textbook and analyze short primary source documents that illuminate how Chinese, Japanese, and Korea people were thinking about issues related to the course themes. Online discussion questions and several short papers will provide opportunities for students to hone their skills of analysis and evidence-based argumentation and develop their writing skills.