This course offers an introduction to Asian American studies centered on the issues of “race,” “privilege,” and “power” from the premise that multiple racial projects—including Orientalism, Islamophobia, anti-Black racism, and settler colonialism—contribute to Asian racial formation, and that warfare plays a central role in these projects. With a focus on militarism in the US, Asia, and the Pacific region, the class explores the intersections of race, Indigeneity, and class as well as possibilities for making connections across variegated groups. Exploring Asian Americanism through archives, personal narratives, and other texts, the course focuses on the role of history in producing current conditions and our understandings of them.
The East Asian Studies department’s East Asian Humanities course expands upon a model developed four years ago. In collaboration with staff from the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, faculty members in the department continue to develop an online space that not only presents course materials but also allows students augment course readings with multimedia annotations of their own. Teams of students also developed digital projects such as timelines, interactive narratives, and digital maps.
A six-week summer program at the University of Tokyo (UT) is designed specifically for rising juniors and seniors who are preparing to begin their research for their junior papers and senior theses. The program includes: weekly seminars with UT students by guest lecturers on topics and methods related to the theme of “Nature and the Environment;” weekly meetings with the instructor on individual research; and field trips to sites associated with nature and environment in and around Tokyo. Students may also audit courses offered in English at UT. During the final week of the program, the group will take a trip to the Tohoku region, traditionally known for its rich landscape, as represented in the works of the haiku poet Matsuo Basho, writer Miyazawa Kenji, and folklorist Yanagita Kunio. We will also visit sites and local organizations to study the environmental, social, and economic repercussions of the massive earthquake/tsunami of 2011 and the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The site was created for Professor Haruko Wakabayashi, Researcher and visiting faculty member, Department of East Asian Studies.
This website introduces four document collections in interactive formats for teaching and study. The first, Not So Secret Secrets, explores the elaborate safeguards for ensuring that Uesugi Kenshin could know that a gunpowder recipe that he received was in fact from the shogun. These documents also reveal the rapidity of transmission of Portuguese knowledge, and show the subtle social distinctions that are evident in these records. The second, The Emperor’s Clothes, provides four generations of documents relating to a particular incident where Awazu Kiyonori rescued the imperial wardrobe. Originally a low ranking noble, this act of valor allowed his great grandson to enter the lowest echelon of the court nobility. The third, The Better Part of Valor, reproduces six documents in the Migita collection that reveals how they were called to battle and fought for both sides in a civil war in the fourth and fifth months of 1333. A fourth section, The Shogun’s Mother, reproduces a 1338 letter by Uesugi Kiyoko (Seishi), the mother of the first Ashikaga shogun, who witnessed a decisive battle. Such letters rarely survive, and the condition of this record makes it challenging to read. The site was created by Thomas Conlan, Professor of East Asian Studies and History, and is used as a teaching tool for students, who translated and annotated the document collections.
WAR, MEMORY, AND IDENTITY documents a six-week summer program, in partnership with the University of Tokyo, and particularly the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia. With resources and scholars covering the region, and often focusing on different perspectives and questions than those that animate American discussions, the University of Tokyo provides a superb environment for research and study that can contribute to the many junior papers and senior theses each year that deal with these complex issues.
While in Tokyo, students will be in a program led by Dr. Haruko Wakabayashi of Princeton’s East Asian Studies Department, which include weekly seminars held with University of Tokyo students inviting guest lecturers who will discuss their research topics and methods related to the theme of “War, Memory, and Identity.” These seminars are designed to help students build perspectives from a variety of disciplines and develop research questions. Each student will also have the opportunity to meet with and receive feedback from scholars in the field. In addition, the weekly research meetings will tailor discussion to the questions and concerns of individual students. Students will also go on field trips to sites associated with war and memory in Tokyo and in Hiroshima.
Visit: War, Memory and Identity
Flourishing roughly contemporaneously between the 3rd century BC and the 3rd century AD, Rome and the Han controlled much of the Eurasian landmass. By focusing on common themes (including kingship, administration, society, and material culture), this course draws upon a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to introduce both empires and a core problem in historical enquiry. Unlike most comparative histories, this course also pays close attention to how ancient participants in empire perceived, portrayed, and theorized their worlds, and the ways these ideas shaped the different imperial projects.
This website provides a place for reflection, group work, and analysis of key topics of the course.
Instructor: Tineke D’Haeseleer, East Asian Studies