The University of Mississippi
Fall 2011, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00-12:15, 306 Croft Institute
Instructor: Dr. Gang Guo * Office: 128 Deupree Hall * Telephone: (662) 915-5419 * e-mail: gg at olemiss dot edu
Office hours: by appointment
International Studies 203 introduces East Asia, with a special emphasis on the comparison between China and Japan. After a brief look at the geography and cultural heritage of both countries, we compare their historical experiences with Western powers and ideologies such as Fascism and Communism. In the second half of the course we will be looking at the differences and similarities in China and Japan's dramatic transformations in politics, economy, and society after World War Two.
After completing the course, a student should be able to identify some of the key basic historical facts and events in China and Japan, to understand the essential cultural and political traditions in each country, and to apply the conceptual frameworks used in this course to the study of contemporary East Asia.
I will aim to reward effort and improvement on your part, but basically class performance, the mid-term exam, the two papers and the final examination will each count roughly 1/5 of the overall course grade, as will be explained in more detail below.
The relatively smaller size of this class will enable us to conduct focus-group type discussions for most of the class sessions. Therefore, it is essential for students to read the required materials before class and attend all class sessions. Active participation in class is required and accounts for 10% of the course grade.
The required readings for this course will be linked from this web page or through electronic journals at the University of Mississippi libraries.
Each student is also required to make a 10-minute in-class presentation of a most recent news on East Asia. The presentation accounts for 10% of the course grade. In reporting the news, the presenter should synthesize news stories from at least two major mass media outlets. If necessary the presenter should also provide some background information to help the class understand the story better. After each presentation there will be a short period in which the presenter responds to questions or comments from the audience. For the preparation of the presentation, there are many English-language websites that cover news on East Asia. Some of those are linked from the online resources section on this web page.
The presentations for this semester will be in this order: Tuesday, August 30: Charles Woods; Thursday, September 8: Susan Ragsdale; Tuesday, September 20: Gillian Schefer; Tuesday, September 27: Thomas Womble; Tuesday, October 11: Walker Messer; Tuesday, October 18: Blake Schrouf; Thursday, October 27: William Bumpas; Tuesday, November 8: Brad Lanier; Thursday, November 17: Shruti Jaishankar; Tuesday, November 29: James Brumbaugh.
As shown in the schedule below, this course contains two paper assignments. The first paper will count 15% of the grade, and the second paper 20%. Each paper should be about five pages long. The papers will be on some aspect of international comparison related to China and Japan. Details will be discussed in class.
Please note that unexcused late papers will be penalized 5 points every 24 hours. Allow time to proofread. Good writing is essential. Remember that family names come first: Mao Zedong is Chairman Mao, not Chairman Zedong. Similarly, Tojo Hideki is General Tojo. Be sure to recognize all sides of an argument before giving your opinion. One-sided bombasts are not scholarly. Finally, please note that academic honesty is not only a mark of a good scholar, but also a good person. The papers will be submitted through and thus checked by SafeAssignment on BlackBoard.
There will be one or more pop quizzes, a midterm exam, and a final exam for the course. The pop quiz(zes) will be held on randomly chosen dates in class and account for 5% of the course grade. The mid-term exam in class on Thursday, October 6, will account for 20% of the course grade. The final exam starts at noon on Tuesday, December 6 according to the Registrar's Office. It accounts for 20% of the course grade.