In its thematic unit construction, the Pacific Century course is a malleable product. It can be used partially or in its entirety and its content can be expanded and narrowed depending on the student audience and the instructor's interests and specialization. Instead of treating countries or subregions in succession, overarching themes are used to develop multiple lines of inquiry and learning while maintaining an overall chronology.
Faculty Resources are organized here by book chapters, each consisting of: an Overview, Points for Emphasis, Biographies, Essay Questions, True/False Questions, Multiple Choice Questions, and an Answer Key. Student resources are located in the general menu along with extensive video treatments (see below).
Teaching resources are accessed via the chapter numbers below. These pages are password protected. Faculty may request password access.
The Pacific Century videos feature material recorded by each historic period's film makers and photographers. The videos combine authoritative comments by scholars with the voices of those who themselves made history. Click here for a description of the integration of text and video materials. Use of the Pacific Century textbook is not required to gain access to the videos, which are free but restricted to use in courses taught in accredited educational institutions.
The Use of 'Modern'
As a general survey course on modern Pacific Asia, Pacific Century provides thematic treatments, some of which may be be construed to reflect cultural or intellectula bias insofar as the use of the word 'modern' is concerned. The statement by Jonathan Spence, quoted in the book Introduction, is worth repeating here:
I understand a “modern” nation to be one that is both integrated and receptive, fairly sure of its own identity yet able to join others on equal terms in the quest for new markets, new technologies, new ideas. If it is used in this open sense, we should have no difficulty in seeing “modern” as a concept that shifts with the times as human life unfolds, instead of simply relegating the sense of “modern” to our own contemporary world while consigning the past to the “traditional” and the future to the “postmodern.”[i]
[i] Jonathan D. Spence, The Search for Modern China (New York: Norton, 1990) p. xx.