Current Courses

Fall 2020

HIST 1623: Modern Japan: Empires and Aftermaths

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:30-2:45pm
Course website

This course examines Japan in the 20th century world, first its rise and fall as an empire, then its integration into an American dominated world order, looking at political, social, economic and cultural aspects of the Japanese experience of modernity from the late 19th century through World War II, then turning to the "rise and fall" of Japan's world beating economy, and the great social and cultural transformations of the postwar decades. This course offers historical context for contemporary issues ranging from economic crisis and inequality to tension with Asian neighbors.

History 2651: Research Seminar in Japanese History

(with Prof. William Tsutsui)
Wednesdays, 3:00-5:45pm
Course website

This course is designed as a paper-writing workshop for students in PhD or MA programs, whose research focuses on Japanese early modern to modern history (or international/regional history with a significant Japanese component). Reading knowledge of Japanese and a significant use of Japanese language sources is required. A major goal of the course is to give students guidance and experience in use of Japanese language sources in historical research.


Spring 2021

HIST 1023: Japan in Asia and the World

(with Prof. David Howell)
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30-11:45am
Course website forthcoming

Japan is a collection of islands, but its past and present unfolds through continuous interaction with wider worlds. This course places Japan in contexts of Asian and global history. It begins with the people, institutions, and ideas of premodern Japan, from the emergence of a court-centered state 1500 years ago to a warrior-dominated society centuries later. We then examine the tumultuous process of change from the 19th century through the present and explore how people in Japan have dealt with the dilemmas of modernity that challenge us all.

HIST 1023 is being offered as part of the Harvard Extension School's Distance Education Program.

HIST 2653: Historiography of Modern Japan: Proseminar

Wednesdays, 3:00-5:45pm
Course website forthcoming

This course is required for PhD students planning to do a field in modern Japanese history on their general exam. Students in the Regional Studies East Asia, MA program are also welcome to take the course, as are students in PhD programs with a strong interest in Japan who may not end up doing an exam field. Some prior knowledge of Japanese history is expected.