- "For the last two hundred years of the modern world, nationalism has been the angel of unity
and the devil of despair." Examine how this statement applies to East Asia.
- Study Sun Yat-sen's "Three Principles of the People" in detail, noting possible influences on
- Numerous first-person accounts have been produced in English of life in Mao's China
(particularly during the Cultural Revolution). Read and compare two or more of these accounts,
and analyze the differences in background, outlook, and experience of the authors. What
circumstances affected the way in which the events of the Cultural Revolution affected the
- It has been suggested that Mao was "a good leader who lived too long." What might be meant
by such a statement? Do you agree or disagree?
- Assess the ongoing efforts in the People's Republic of China to come to terms with the legacy
of Mao Zedong. How have changing conditions since Mao's death led to the need for the ruling
party to reinterpret his contribution? What aspects of his legacy seem more open to revision than
others, and why?
- Compare the May Fourth Movement of 1919 with the Tiananmen Square demonstrations of
1989, noting both similarities and differences.
- Read, in English translation, Lu Xun's "The True Story of Ah Q," and analyze it as a work
condemning problems in the China of Lu Xun's time. What is the focus of the author's critique?
- Examine the policies and dynamics of the American occupation in Japan. In particular, analyze
ways in which American forces worked with Japanese individuals and institutions.
- Study the role of the Japanese emperor in the war, surrender, occupation, and beyond.
- Investigate any of the following:
--The life and work of Sun Yat-sen
--The career of Chiang Kai-shek
--Mao Zedong's philosophy of revolution
--Sino-Soviet relations, 1923 to the present
--Industrial development in the PRC
--Educational changes in China
--The "Cultural Revolution" in China
--The changing role of women in Japan
--Changing U.S.-Chinese relations since 1949
--The rise of militant nationalism in Japan
--Liberal and antiwar sentiment in Japan during the period 1919-1941
--Industrial and technological developments in postwar Japan
--The character and role of political parties in Japan
--Japanese-American relations since the Occupation
--Taiwan under Chinese Nationalist rule