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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Material Histories of Asian Societies in the Early Modern Period (online) (PGHC11484)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course combines the fields of global history and material culture studies to undertake a study of Asian societies in the early modern period when they came into increasing contact with other parts of the world, notably Europe. The roughly three-hundred-and-fifty-year period that is covered is significant because in this time we see the dominance of Asian countries in global trade as well as their eventual demise beginning in the 19th century.
Course description The course is organized both chronologically and thematically and emphasizes the use of material and visual sources for historical inquiry. We will begin with a look at how Asian societies were interacting with each other prior to the arrival of Europeans at the end of the fifteenth century. Then we will spend several weeks looking at specific encounters between Asian societies and people from other parts of the world, including people from the Americas and Africa. The subsequent classes will focus on the movement of goods and people in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the European expansion into and eventual dominance of Asian trade. Themes to be covered include: trade, globalization, religion, migration and diasporas.
Students will read secondary sources as well as work with primary sources. In addition to studying textual sources, such as letters, treaties, merchant logs, students will learn how to use material and visual sources. In every lecture we will look closely at a particular object or painting pertaining to the topic and consider how it might be analyzed. In the discussion forum students will be asked questions about these sources. By the end of the semester students will be expected to use their knowledge of visual and material sources to create a virtual exhibit on a particular theme of Asian history (i.e., the Indian Ocean World in the 16th century or the introduction of Christianity in Japan). This exhibit will consist of a collection of 8-10 images, which will be accompanied by captions that help create a narrative and discuss what the visual and material sources tell us about the particular theme.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Global Asia: Contact, Exchange and Colonialism in the Early Modern World (HIST10491)
Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a detailed and critical command of the history of Asia and its connections in the early modern world;
  2. Analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship concerning the history of Asian connections in the early modern world, primary source materials that show the encounters between different actors in Asia and the outside world, as well as conceptual discussions about global history in general;
  3. Understand and apply specialised research or professional skills, techniques and practices considered in the course, including the ability to use and analyse visual and material sources for historical research;
  4. Develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral and written form by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course;
  5. Demonstrate originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers; and a considerable degree of autonomy
Reading List
Janet Abu-Lughod, Before European Hegemony: The World-System, 1250-1350

C.A. Bayly, 'Archaic' and 'Modern' Globalization in the Eurasian and African Arena, c. 1750-1850

Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Connected Histories: Notes towards a Reconfiguration of Early Modern Eurasia

Richard Grassby, Material Culture and Cultural History

Anne Gerritsen and Giorgio Riello, eds. Writing Material Culture History

Timothy Brook, Vermeer's Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World

David Kang, East Asia before the West: Five Centuries of Trade and Tribute

Craig Clunas, Superfluous Things: Material Culture and Social Status in Early Modern China

Annemarie Schimmel, The Empire of the Great Mughals: History, Art and Culture

Marcia Yonemoto, Mapping Early Modern Japan: Space, Place, and Culture in the Tokugawa Period, 1603 - 1868.

Tara Alberts and D.R. M. Irving, eds. Intercultural Exchange in Southeast Asia: History and Society in the Early Modern World.

Ryan Crewe, Connecting the Indies: The Hispano-Asian Pacific World in Early Modern Global History
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Meha Priyadarshini
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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