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History 190: Foundations of East Asian Civilizations
pdf of this syllabus

Fall 2006
Prof. Ina Asim
CRN 14346
317 McKenzie Hall
MW 10 AM – 11:20 AM
[Phone: 346-6161]

Office Hours:
317 McKenzie Hall: M 2:00-3:30 PM
218 PLC: W 1.30-3.00 PM

GTFs: Abby Drivdahl, Casey Pallister

The following course book is available at the UO Bookstore:
Rhoads Murphey, East Asia. A New History. New York: Pearson, Longman 2004/2006.

• Reading of assigned materials
• Regular attendance of lectures and participation in discussions
• Quizzes, midterm and final exams
• One term paper

• Attendance, discussion participation: 20%
• Midterm (October 26, 10.00) and final exam (Thursday, December 7, 10.15): each 20% (total 40 %)
• 4 short quizzes on readings / films presented in the lecture or discussion sections: each 5% (total 20%)
• 1 short paper (ca. 4 pages, typed double spaced) on handout with proverbs concerning Chinese history: 20%

Material for your term paper
Please use the selection of Chinese proverbs with historical content from Adeline Yen Mah, A Thousand Pieces of Gold. A Memoir of China’s Past Through Its Proverbs. New York: Haper Collins 2002, as the basis for your term paper. The document will be available online on electronic reserve in week 2.
The paper has to be handed in by week 9. Start to read the material and write your paper as soon as possible to avoid work congestion at the end of the term. You can comment on one or several of the proverbs. You may either find an expression/ expressions in your mother tongue, find a proverb that expresses the opposite idea of the selected proverb, or comment creatively by describing a situation (political, economic, personal experience etc.) in which you think that the proverb is applicable today or could have been used in history.
If you would like to read / select more or other proverbs you can check out the book which is on traditional reserve in the library.
In case you would like to write a paper in correlation with your interest in Asian religions or if you wish to choose a topic relating the historical materials introduced in this course with a topic discussed in your journalism class, please consult your GTF before you start to work on your paper.

The paper is due in week 9 in order to avoid delays and collisions with preparations for the finals. Papers handed in late will only be accepted with documented medical justification. All quotations and paraphrases must be documented properly. This includes websites you might plan to consult. The complete URL web address of any webpage used is mandatory. For correct citations please follow the guidelines provided on

Fall term possibilities to improve writing skills:
1. The Writing Lab in the Center for Academic Learning Services is located in 68 PLC (Prince Lucien Campbell Hall). The Writing Lab offers assistance in the process of writing term papers etc. You can drop in, usually it is not necessary to make an appointment (346-3226).

For international students there is the option of courses offered by the program “Academic English for International Students” in 112C Pacific Hall (346-0513).

2. The American English Institute offers writing classes for students who want to improve their writing skills. The AEI is located in 107 Pacific Hall. Leonard Terrible (346-1090) in 109 Pacific Hall is head of the Intensive English Program.

Course Outline

Week 1
09/25    M    1. Introduction: The Physical and Intellectual Maps of East Asia – China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam.
Reading: Murphey 1-19 (2004 edition) /1-18 (2006 edition)

09/27    W    2. The Material Culture of Prehistoric East Asia
Reading: Murphey 20-40 / 19-37
Week 2
10/02     M    3. The Age of the Philosophers in China: Confucius, Xunzi, Mencius, Mozi
Reading: Murphey 40-46 /37- 43

10/04    W    4. The Age of the Philosophers in China: Mozi, the Daoists, and Legalism
Reading: Murphey 46-55 / 43-53
Film: Tu Wei-Ming: A Confucian Life in America (30 min) Videotape 3635
Week 3
10/09    M    5. The Beginnings of the Chinese Empire: Qin and Han Politics and Warfare
Reading: Murphey 56-75/ 54-73

10/11    W    6. The Origins of Buddhism and its Impact on China
Reading: Murphey 76-98 /74- 97
Film: Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism (18 min.); Buddhism (28 min.)
Week 4
10/16    M    7. Statecraft and Technology under the Song Bureaucracy
Reading: Murphey 99-115 / 98-115 Film: Buddha in the Land of the Kami (54 min.)

10/18    W    8. Yuan Domination in China
Reading: Murphey 116-122 / 115-121
Film: Storm from the East (31 min.)
Week 5
10/23    M    9. Conservatism and Prosperity in Late Imperial China
Reading: Murphey 127-135, 145-146, 148-169 / 122-169

10/25    W    10. MIDTERM (covers lectures, sections, and readings of weeks 1-5)
Week 6
10/30    M    11.  China’s Neighbors: Cultural Influences on Vietnam and Korea
Reading: Murphey 170-189 / 170-202

11/01    W     12. Japan’s Links to China and Korea
Reading: Murphey 190-202 / 203-212
Film: Buddha in the Land of the Kami (54 min.)
Week 7
11/06    M    13. The Heian and Kamakura Periods in Japan
Reading: Murphey 203-219 / 213-225

11/08 W 14. Muromachi Culture
Reading: Murphey 219-229 /226-244
Film: The Age of the Shoguns (52 min.)
Week 8
11/13    M    15. Missionaries and Merchants: The Advent of the West
Reading: Murphey 230-249 / 245-264

11/15    W    16. Tokugawa Japan
Reading: Murphey 250-269 /265- 285
Week 9
11/20    M    17. Imperialism I: China
Reading: Murphey 270-289 /286-305

11/22    W 18. ‘The Dragon Ascends’ (Documentary)
Week 10
11/27M     19. Japan’s Response to Political and Economic Challenges
Reading: Murphey 290-308 / 306-324

11/29    W    20. Imperialism II: Korea and Vietnam, Burma, Malaya, and Siam
Reading: Murphey 309-327 / 325-345
Week 11
12/07 Th 10.15 Final Exam   (covers weeks 6-10)
The final examination classroom ha been moved by the Registrar’s office from Chiles 128 to Gerlinger 302
for the same time and date.