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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

David Spafford
HIST 494
Seattle Campus

Colloquium in Historiography

Advanced seminar examining central issues in historiography. Emphasizes reading, discussion, and writing.

Class description

Often described as the most populous city of its day, within a century of its founding in 1590 Edo had burgeoned into a metropolis of about one million. On a smaller scale, several urban centers experienced similar spurts of growth in the same period, dramatically reshaping Japan's social, economic, and cultural landscape.

This seminar seeks to understand the role of urbanization in the development of Japan's early modern world. Studies of Edo and other castle towns will provide a lens through which to observe new political and economic tensions, new social and cultural dynamics that shaped early modern life and discourse. Tackling a growing (and wide-ranging) body of research on cities and city life between 1600 and 1850, students will produce a final historiographical paper critically examining the methodology and recent trends of various approaches and themes in the study of Edo-period Japan.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Seminar format

Recommended preparation

This is a capstone course for senior history majors

Class assignments and grading

Class assignments and grading will be outlined in the course syllabus


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by David Spafford
Date: 10/08/2007