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Major Seminar: Approaches to the Study of East Asian Cultures



This course provides an introduction to basic research methods and resources for the study of East Asia. Our source materials include a survey history of East Asia; monographic and article- length studies of cultural interactions among and comparisons between China, Korea, and Japan; and a variety of primary sources on China and Japan in particular, the two regions at the core of our program in East Asian languages and cultures. With respect to content, one important goal of the course is to impart a basic understanding of the grand sweep of East Asian history and its shared culture, especially but not exclusively Confucianism. With respect to methodology, the course highlights the centrality of primary sources to the study of East Asian history and culture, and explores how to balance primary sources with the secondary literature represented by monographs, thematic collections, and journals in the production of new knowledge and interpretations. We will emphasize how scholarship in the humanities involves immersion in primary sources on the one hand, and participation in an ongoing scholarly conversation on the other. By the end of this course, students should be able to use secondary sources to construct arguments about primary texts, cite their sources in correct and accurate academic style, and write in a register appropriate to scholarly work. To this end, students will submit numerous writing exercises, with an emphasis on the process of identifying and deploying primary and secondary\ud sources

Year: 2016
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