Fall 2020 - GA 400 D100

Selected Topics in Global Asia (3)

Race & Nation in East Asia

Class Number: 4187

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 14, 2020
    12:30 PM – 12:30 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



Content will vary according to interests of faculty and students but will involve Global-Asia-related study within one or more of the social science or humanities disciplines. This course may be repeated for credit only when a different topic is taught.


Race and Nation in East Asia

In this seminar, students will examine the concepts of race, nation, and ethnicity in East Asian (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) contexts through historical lenses. They will accomplish this by analyzing how the categories of ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity,’ as well as related concepts such as ‘nation’ and ‘nationality,’  originated and developed in the history of China, Japan, and Korea as well as in East Asian diasporic communities. Important themes will include identity formation in the Chinese (Qing) and Japanese multi-ethnic empires; the relationship between race and nationality; grappling with assimilation; and the role of race-based immigration laws. Using historical and theoretical frameworks, we will be able to better understand issues related to race and ethnicity not only in East Asia, but elsewhere in the world, including Canada.


  • Seminar Participation 20%
  • Seminar Presenttion 10%
  • Preliminary bibliography and research essay outline 10%
  • Research Essay 40%
  • Final Exam 20%


Please note:

  1. This course will be delivered live online with multiple opportunities for students to interact and ask questions. Since this is a seminar, there will be a greater expectation of in-class participation.

  2. In recognition of the extra burdens posed by emergency remote learning during a global pandemic, the week of November 9–13 will be designated as a reading week. There will be no lectures or tutorials that week.

  3. I deeply regret that the global pandemic requires that this course be offered remotely instead of in-person. I prefer in-person classes because I believe that the human connections and spontaneous reactions between me the instructor and you the students, as well as between your classmates, promotes better learning. But in order to stay safe during the pandemic, we are required to sacrifice the many benefits of in-person classes and will strive to do our best using online tools.



Coursepack will be provided

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).