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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

David Spafford
HIST 388
Seattle Campus

Colloquium: Introduction to History

Introduction to the discipline of history for new or prospective majors. Emphasizes the basic skills of reading, analysis, and communication (both verbal and written) that are central to the historian's craft. Each seminar discusses a different subject or problem.

Class description

In popular imagination, premodern Japan has long been associated with its hereditary warrior class. Countless movies (most recently the appalling Last Samurai) have explored the character and martial prowess of these men. Yet warriors constituted but a tiny portion of the societies they inhabited and ruled, and historians researching the medieval Japan have turned their attentions to a great range of subjects and to other classes (elite and commoner alike). This seminar is designed to acquaint prospective history majors with the challenge of researching the broader world of medieval Japan (ca. 1110-1600). In the course of the quarter, students shall be introduced to some of the central themes in the historiography of "warrior society" and to the peculiarities (both limitations and opportunities) of research in premodern history.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Seminar format

Recommended preparation

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: 11/16/2009