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Centres of Power: Great Cities of Asia (6 points)


Leader: Ian Mabbett

Not offered in 2003.

Synopsis: Through a series of case studies, this unit examines the city as the focus of power in South, East and Southeast Asia. Focusing on the premodern and early modern periods and taking a comparative approach, it addresses such issues as the role of symbolism, as well as cosmology and religion, in the physical expression of power. The ancient Indus Valley city of Mohenjodaro, the imperial cities of Vijayanagara, Shahjahanabad (Delhi), Ch'ang-an, Peking, Kyoto, Edo and Angkor and the colonial cities of Calcutta and Hanoi are studied. Through the use of both written and visual sources, students are introduced to the cultural and physical context of urban life at various stages of Asian history.

Assessment: Class participation: 10% + Two documentary exercises (500 words each): 25% + Long essay (2500 words): 40% + Examination (1 hour): 25%

Contact Hours: 2.5 hours of lectures and tutorials per week

Prerequisites: Any first-year sequence in History

Prohibitions: HSY3115

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