HISTORY 392 - Topics in Asian History
Winter 2022, Section 001 - Gender in Premodern Japan and East Asia
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
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Waitlist Capacity:
May be elected twice for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/5/22 - 4/19/22 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


"Japan's poor ranking in the 2021 gender gap index, published by the World Economic Forum, has caused embarrassment," reports one newspaper, pointing to the "appalling" rank of 121 among the 156 nations! In premodern times, things were different. Initially, women were emperors as often as men; elite women had the economic securities alongside men and were the dominant culture-makers, authoring novels still considered the world's greatest. What happened since then? We consider critical factors that influenced the society's gender relations in the long premodern times by investigating gender-specific structural empowerment and impediments, such as the imperial bureaucracy and military violence, and consider the changing norms of male and female behavior toward the body, sexuality, blood, spirituality, militarism, political participation, and economic prerogatives. While the primary target of examination is changing gender relations in Japan, we integrate comparative materials from China and Korea. The three countries shared, for example, the fundamental bureaucratic system of ancient China, yet the value of Confucianism in social practices differed vastly.

Course Requirements:

Active participation and three analytical papers that respond to specific questions; graduate students write an additional thematic paper.

Intended Audience:

Undergraduate and graduate students of any major with an interest in East Asia and gender.

Class Format:

50% lecture, 50% seminar


HISTORY 392 - Topics in Asian History
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
1/5/22 - 4/19/22

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