02.158DH Kings, monks, and merchants: A history of Asia before 1750

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This course is a connected and comparative history of Asia before 1750 that introduces students to the region’s major political, economic, and intellectual contours prior to British colonisation.

The course focuses, in particular, on tracing the history of premodern Asia through three types of transregional cultural formation: large empires, trading zones, and religious ecumene. We will explore and discuss how these formations unfolded across Central and Eastern Asia and South and Southeast Asia, and use them as a lens for thinking critically about the scope of ‘Asia’ as a geographical, political, economic, and cultural category in premodern history.

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Instructor
Alastair Gornall