Advanced seminar examining central issues in historiography. Emphasizes reading, discussion, and writing.
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
This is a capstone course for senior history majors
Class assignments and grading
Class assignments and grading will be outlined in the course syllabus