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150135 VU History of East Asia (2021S)

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 15 - Ostasienwissenschaften
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 50 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Monday 01.03. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 08.03. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 15.03. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 22.03. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 12.04. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 19.04. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 26.04. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 03.05. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 10.05. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 17.05. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 31.05. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 07.06. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 14.06. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 21.06. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital
Monday 28.06. 15:00 - 17:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

In order to provide students with the highest possible degree of planning security, this course is taking place under the expectation that normal and unrestricted access to the university will not be possible during the whole semester. In other words, it will be taught 100% online. Physical presence will not be required.
You must, however, ensure that you have the necessary hardware, software, and internet access to be able to participate. If, for whatever reason, you are not sure whether you can guarantee this, then you should not register for this course.

The goal of this course is to provide a concise overview of the history of East Asia (mainly China, Japan, and Korea) from its beginnings until present time. A focus will be on the period from the 19th century onward. Students understand the major trajectories of East Asia’s history, the foundations of the region’s culture and society, and the various forms of interaction and interdependence that emerged over time and form the background for current events in economics, politics, and society in general. Please be aware that most events will only be touched superficially. The focus is on providing a broad overview, the “big picture”, connections between the histories of the said East Asian countries, and suggestions for deepening your knowledge through further reading.

Assessment and permitted materials

This is a text-based course. Accordingly, in preparation of each unit, students will be asked to read related book chapters (all from the same book, which is available in three copies in our library) to be prepared for active listening and discussion. In his recorded video-presentations, the instructor will outline the main components of the related texts and provide additional information. Expect reading about 40 pages per week on average.
Occasionally, we will have live sessions via Moodle to answer questions and discuss topics related to this course; see the class schedule (separate document).

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Students are required to write two multiple-choice tests (for dates see class schedule). These tests will take place online. Make sure you have a stable internet connection. More details will be provided on Moodle.
The final grade for the course will be calculated as follows:
Mid-term test: 50%
Final test: 50%
Rounding will always take place in students’ favor, i.e. grades 1 and 2 will result in final grade 1, grades 4 and 5 will result in a final grade of 4, etc.
Please note: This is not a lecture course (“Vorlesung”). Tests will thus not be repeated. They will also not be substituted by other contributions. Please make sure that you can participate. If you already know that this will not be possible, you should not register for this course. If you miss a test, for whatever reason, you will be graded “5” for that test. Please consider this when enrolling for this course.

Examination topics

All tests will be based on the lectures and the required chapters in the Holcombe (2017) book.

Reading list

Holcombe, Charles (2017): A History of East Asia – From the Origins of Civilization to the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge University Press: New York.

Association in the course directory

WM4a, JMA M9, KMA M2

Last modified: Mo 22.02.2021 16:48