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This course focuses on interactions among China, Korea, and Japan; their relations with the West; and the issue of culture and civilization in the post-nation-state era. The course is organized thematically. It starts by framing East Asia in terms of its history of globalization through cultural and religious interaction. The course then turns to fundamental cultural commonalities centring on statecraft, institutions, education and notions of civilization that united and divided the region. Cross cultural comparisons among China, Japan, and Korea highlight the global and regional dimensions of cultural change in East Asia. These frame cultural similarities and differences that influenced the varying approaches to modernity taken by Chinese, Japanese and Korean activists when East Asia came under increasing pressure from the West. The formation of nation-state ideologies along Western lines led to evolving conceptions of their place in the world, the meaning of culture, the role of commerce, and the relationship of the individual to the state. But in the era of globalization, these issues are situated in a post-nation-state framework.

The course thus concludes with East Asia's contributions to globalization.This course is taught in English and with readings in English.


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 1



Delivery Mode

Fully on-site

Indicative contact hours


Conditions for Enrolment

Course Outline

To access course outline, please visit:


Additional Information

This course is offered as General Education.

Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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