With comics, video games, robotics, and stunning cityscapes, Asian cities are often presented as paragons of the achievements of modern technoscience. Yet, this was not always the case. Early colonial explorers, thinkers, and administrators justified expansion by claiming that Asia lacked scientific and civilizational advancement. In this course, we will analyze the myriad of ways in which Asian people and Asian nations grappled with the issue of science. Focusing largely on India, Korea, China, and Japan, we will ask how people in these countries tried to contest or rearticulate their own relationships to science and development. These investigations will also allow us to rethink the relationship between scientific practices and changing understandings of important concepts such as gender, nature, mobility, and labor as these places developed into modern nation-states. Finally, we will rethink the implications of these histories for our present and future through an examination of the 2011 Triple Disaster at Fukushima and an examination of how science fiction articulates visions of Asia as a technoscientific force moving into an uncertain future.
For a complete list of Spring 2019 History courses, visit the class schedule.