Fall 2020

Japan's Empire in Asia, 1868–1945

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-370  |  History, as HIST-370

Moodle site: Course


Trent E. Maxey (Section 01)


(Offered as HIST 370 [AS/TE] and ASLC 370) Japan, the only non-Western colonial empire to emerge during the second half of the nineteenth century, shaped itself and East Asia through imperialism. This course engages that history by paying attention to shifts in scholarly approaches to empire. We will consider, for example, how theories of imperialism and post-colonialism apply to Japan and East Asia. Then tracing the chronological rise and collapse of Japan’s empire, we will consider how the complex circulation of people, goods, ideas, and practices shaped Japan, as well as the colonial modernities of Taiwan, Korea, and Manchuria. 

This is an upper-level history course that explores interpretive approaches to Japanese imperialism. It will be offered both in-person on campus and online for those studying remotely. Assignments focus on historiographic analysis and comparison in the form of short papers and discussion presentations, culminating in a researched essay and a digital presentation on a topic of your choosing. Two class meetings per week.

Enrollment limite to 15 students. Fall semester. Professor Maxey.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to HIST/ASLC majors.


Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Spring 2019, Fall 2020