HIS 382N • US Relations with East Asia
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
This seminar examines America's complex and conflict-ridden relations with the countries of East Asia from the early nineteenth century to the present. Topics include the opening of East Asia to Western commerce; Western imperialism and Japanese imperialism; the Asia-Pacific War; the Cold War and its hot wars; and the economic miracles and crises, cultural fusion, and tensions of the present era. Class participants will write a series of short critical essays and a longer paper on a selected aspect of U.S.-East Asian relations.
To establish a common baseline for all seminar members, we will begin by reading two textbooks with a difference (by Schaller and LaFeber, both strongly argued, both drawing on the authors' own research). This course may be taken either as a reading or as a research seminar.
Readings will include, to begin with, Michael Schaller, The United States and China into the Twenty-First Century; Walter LaFeber, The Clash: U.S.-Japanese Relations throughout History; Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi, Anti-Foreignism and Western Learning; also John Dower, on war, race, and the US occupation of Japan; Bruce Cumings on the origins of the Korean war; Mark Lawrence on the origins of the Vietnam War; Laura Hein on war, remembering, and forgetting; Chalmers Johnson on economics and empire; additional readings to be selected in line with seminar members' interests.