This course surveys the history of the East Asian civilizations from the medieval up to the premodern period (14th-17th century). It aims to offer an overview of the preindustrial East Asian countries or regions including Yuan and Ming China, Korean Koryǒ and Chosŏn, medieval Japan, the Ryu-kyu islands and Tsushima, and address their broader political dynamics, maritime trade networks and the exchange of knowledge and technology. In 5 thematic modules (13 lectures) it will introduce the region after the fall of the Mongol empire, the political and economic consequences of its downfall, and its dynamics. Moreover, it will introduce the maritime realm of the Ming period (1368-1644); Ming’s naval policy and foreign trade with Chosŏn and Japan; maritime piracy; transfer of knowledge and technology; war conflicts and contacts with the Occident. The course is intended primarily for Erasmus students, but other students are welcome as well.
It is designed as an introduction for undergraduate students in Asian studies majors or with no general specialization. Therefore, no prior training in East Asian languages is required.
The classes will be taught in English. Maximum capacity of students for this course is 15. Course requirements and assessment criteria Participation in the class (max. 3 absences) and discussion on selected readings. Two articles will be assigned for each week. Assessment will be written essay (min 3-5p) and discussion about the essay.