1. Dynasties and Empires
(print-only unit) A brief overview of Asian history reviewing the major political, economic and cultural forces shaping the region over the two millenniums before the era of European exploration.
2. Seaborne Barbarians
Treats the collision between East and West in the 19th century. Aggressive Western traders and colonizers, supported by powerful gunboats and new technology, sought to "open" Asia, challenging the viability of ancient Pacific Asian regimes.
3. Meiji: Japan & Imperialism
Explores Japan's rapid modernization and its neighbors' responses to its imperial ambitions alongside those of the Western powers. China, beset by internal divisions, external challenges, an corrupt rulers, was unable to change as quickly and thus declined in power and influence.
4. Nationalism & Communism
Addresses the period from 1919 to 1930 as Asian nationalists searched for solutions to problems arising from colonialism, modernization, and corrupt regimes. In video segments, the important themes of the age are embodied in the lives of four men: Chinese writer Lu Xun, Indonesian leader Sukarno, Vietnamese revolutionary Ho Chi Minh, and Japanese Philosopher Kitta Ikki.
5. The Pacific War & Aftermath
Describes the massive upheaval caused by World War II in Pacific Asia and continues the story of nationalism in China, Japan, and newly emergent, post colonial countries like Indonesia. During this time nationalist ideals were fundamentally changed amid struggles for power in the new post-war political order.
6. The Post-War Japan Miracle
Examines the utter transformation of Japan and Pacific Asia in the re-building of Japan after World War II, in particular through the expanding -- and sometimes explosive -- American and Japanese relationship, and the ambiguous roles of conqueror and conquered.
7. The New Asian Capitalists
Explains how newly industrializing economies like Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore moved rapidly to the forefront of the world economy. Their rapid development raises fundamental questions about the role of the state in economic growth and the way rulers and the ruled alike have invoked traditional values in their efforts to "catch up."
8. Power, Authority, Democracy
Considers how rising expectations among peoples in the region for greater political freedom and self determination drove major changes in leadership and the distribution of power. In countries like South Korea, the gap between economic prosperity and political freedoms fostered popular challenges to autocratic power.
9. Sentimental Imperialists
American involvement with China and the Philippines is used to examine U.S. attitudes towards Asia from the 19th century to the present: the missionaries, merchants and Marines who -- however well-intentioned -- often saw in Asia and Asians what they wanted to see rather than the realities of the different cultures and peoples.
11. Indonesia and Vietnam
(print-only unit) These two Southeast Asian countries, having emerged initially through armed revolution against colonial occupiers, have 're-emerged' in the region in different ways. With Indonesia now moving to shed its authoritarian past in favor of more representative government, Vietnam struggles to adapt its revolutionary communist ideology to the realities of a global system driven by hypercompetitive capitalism.
10. China's Long March
(print-only unit) explores the contemporary reflection of an age old Chinese problem: how to unify, modernize and administer a very large, diverse country without resorting to brutal political repression. From Mao's mid-century revolution to China's explosive growth in the 21st century, this unit describes the tumultuous political, economic and cultural changes shaping the new China.
12. Russia in Pacific Asia
(print-only unit) describes Russia's continuing fascination with Asia beginning with the early czarist explorations of Siberia to the modern era settlements, gulags and resource exploitation of the Russian Far East, reflecting eternal differences between the periphery and the political center, Moscow.
13. Asia's Resurgence
In the context of global trade reforms and financial liberalization in the late 20th century, this unit covers Asia-Pacific regional integration as it accelerates under the rapid growth of China. Efforts to manage tensions arising from interdependence are examined, including the formation of regional institutions. Similarly, as Asia's ascendance has relied on the global system, its impact on that system becomes a growing concern.
The Pacific Century explores the emergence of modern Pacific Asia, its interactions with the United States and the world, in a one-semester, 13 unit course, including 10 one-hour video programs and a textbook.
(click images to enlarge.)