East Asia Before 1800: Tradition and Change in China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam

Course InstructorP. Richard Bohr is Professor of History and Chair of Asian Studies at the College of Saint Benedict/St. John’s University in Collegeville and Adjunct Program Professor at Saint Mary’s University in Minneapolis.  He is also the former Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Trade and Economic Development/Executive Director of the Minnesota Trade Office and has also been President/Executive Director of the non-profit Midwest China Center.

Course Information:  Thursdays, April 4-May 9, 2013, 9:30-11:30 a.m., O'Shaughnessy Educational Center Auditorium, UST St. Paul Campus

Course Description:  Through lectures, discussions, short readings, websites, and audio-visual materials, this course surveys the history of East Asia (China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam) from ancient times to 1800.  It analyzes the values and institutions underlying the East Asian world order; compares and contrasts the distinctive characteristics of each country; and explores the impact of East Asia’s interdependence and early interaction with the West on the region’s subsequent “modernization” after 1800.

Registration fee for the series:  $80.00 per person

To register on-line with a credit card, click on this linkhttps://webapp.stthomas.edu/eventregistration/UST/register.jsp?eventcrn=A5786

To register by check or cash through the mail or in-person, click on this link for the registration formSpring 2013 Registration Form

Link to campus map:  St. Paul Campus Map

Detailed Course Syllabus (subject to change):

April 4

China:  Fountainhead of East Asia's Traditions

A discovery of the roots of China's imperial model - from the perspective of sage-kings, picture words, and bronze technology to "warring states" feudalism and the search for harmony and order through Legalism, especially as revealed in the recent "Terracotta Warriors" exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

April 11

"Three Ways of Thought" in East Asia:  Confucianism, Daoism/Shinto, and Buddhism

An exploration of the philosophical, religious, and artistic underpinnings of the Chinese political, social, and cultural ideals and institutions which forged East Asian identity and ways of life.

April 18

Exporting the Chinese Model to Korea, Japan, and Vietnam

An analysis of the reasons for and profound consequences of the borrowing of China's national model by its East Asian neighbors.

April 25

Korea, Japan, and Vietnam Transform the Chinese Model

A study of the ways in which China's neighbors modified and reshaped Chinese elements to develop individualized, distinctive, and enduring cultures of their own - from Korean and Vietnamese bureaucratic government to samurai Japan's feudal fragmentation. 

May 2

Creating the East Asian Order

An appreciation of the development and contribution of an increasingly integrated East Asian region on the eve of "modernization" brought by the West's push into East Asia. 

May 9

 The Coming of the West and the Challenge of "Modernity"

An appraisal of the ways in which East Asia was transformed by the region's efforts to respond to the challenges posed by the advent of Western economic, political, and cultural imperialism by 1800.