HIS 434 Creating the Orient

For centuries, westerners have created a view of East Asia that corresponds with their own assumptions: that Asia and its people are exotic, that its religious traditions are esoteric and that its cultural systems are inscrutable. In this class we will focus on analyzing Western assumptions and comparing them to historical realities in East Asian society to both better understand East Asian history and the manner in which we allow our own environment to shape how we choose to interpret the past.