East Asia

History 121: History and Ethnobiology of the Silk Roads

This interdisciplinary and interdivisional course will provide an integrative exploration into the history and ethnobiology of peoples along various branches of the trading routes across Asia known as the silk roads, with an emphasis on China prior to 1400. Topics will include why certain goods and technologies were traded; agricultural, social and religious impacts of trading; biological features of items traded or moved along the silk roads, such as foods, beverages, fibers, animals, and diseases. Corequisite: Biology 121.

Prof. Dott, 2 credits, TuWThF 10:00-10:50

-Open to first-year students.
-Counts toward the College's Cultural Pluralism and Alternative Voices Requirements


History 490: Senior Seminar: Modernization and Conflict in East Asia

This seminar explores the interconnections, similarities, and differences between China and Japan around the turn of the Twentieth Century. We will examine in depth, through primary and secondary sources, key events such as the development of the Meiji Constitution, the Sino-Japanese War, the Scramble for Concessions, the 100 Days Reforms, the creation of political parties, the Boxer Uprising, the Russo-Japanese War, the collapse of the Chinese dynastic system and the death of the Meiji Emperor. In addition we will explore various cultural and social movements which arose during this twenty year period, such as shifting identities due to increased focus on nationalism,imperialism, women’s rights, concepts imported from the West, as well as the tensions between “tradition” and “modern.” 

Prof. Dott, 4 Credits, W 7:30-10:00pm

-This course is intended for senior majors. Other interested students should consult the instructor.