Syllabus – East Asian History – Spring 2017

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History 2101: East Asian History with Jack Norton

“You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it.” Wendell Berry

“Learning is always rebellion . . . Every bit of new truth discovered is revolutionary to what was believed before.” Margaret Lee Runbeck

Welcome to East Asian History. This course will be distinctive in three ways: 1. You will help build the course based on your interests and needs. 2. We are going to do a fair amount of digital history. That is, we will study the past by using computing technologies (mostly webpages) to create digital projects. I assume you are able to operate a computer (turn it on, open a browser) and no more. 3. We are going to use justice as our theme for the course.

The class will be taught in English, with occasional cheesy jokes and mild vulgarities in Spanish.

I want you to learn about the past, learn new skills about how to analyze and present about the past, and learn new ways of how to learn (called metacongition). The learning goals (or outcomes, fit in these three groups. The goals for this course are below. I may sometimes call these learning outcomes, or the stuff I want you to be able to do by the end of this course.

  1. understand the similarities and differences in the social, cultural,
    and political development of each of these countries.

  2. Place the social, cultural and political development of East Asia as
    a region within a world history context.

  3. Identify specific aspects and historical events which have led to
    the unique character and development of the various countries under
    investigation as well as the region as a whole.

  4. Critically analyze the political, social, and economic structures
    developed by these societies and the impact of these structures on
    world history generally.

  5. Discuss the importance of the cultural achievements of these
    societies and the impact of these achievements on the development of
    world history.

  6. Analyze the historical impact of religious and philosophical beliefs
    and organizations on these societies as well as the impact of these
    beliefs and organizations on the region as a whole.

  7. Articulate, verbally and in writing, their interpretation of the
    historical record using primary and secondary sources.

  8. Improve their critical skills as readers, thinkers, and writers.

  9. Assess the impact of the histories of each country and the region as
    a whole to current events.

  • Write effective historical prose in different genres, such as blogs, historical analyses, and social media.

  • Identify and effectively use primary and secondary historical sources for building digital projects.

  • Analyze historical sources, including websites, videos, and journal articles, for their credibility.

  • Demonstrate the ability to research, evaluate, and present historical material.

  • Develop strategies for advancing your learning skills, such as effective reading, writing, acquiring new digital skills and critically analyzing historical sources.

  • Recognize how to apply skills used in this class outside of the academic setting.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ethics of acquiring, using, and presenting historical sources, as articulated by both professional organizations and historical subjects.

Required Resources

  • Saikakku, Ihari.Comrade Loves of the Samura. Tuttle Publishing, 2007.
  • Sanh Thong, Huynh. The Tale of Kiêu: A bilingual edition of Nguyen Du's Truyên Kiêu Yale University Press, 1987.
  • Min, Anchee. Red Azalea Anchor, 2006. Alternative editions are ok.

  • A computer or access to a computer that has multiple browsers.
    Tablets and smart phones will not work for most work we do in
    this course.

  • High-speed internet connection. You do not need to have home access-
    you can use Normandale’s computers. For a map of public free wifi
    spots, see

  • Critical Mind

Contact Information – Jack Norton

Office Phone: 952-358-8911.

Cell Phone: 612-208-3723 – Please do not send me text messages. No calls
after 7 p.m.

Email is the best way to reach me. I respond to emails and calls
within 24-36 hours Monday-Friday (most of the time much faster). On
weekends I respond by Sunday evening.

Office: Fine Arts Building, F 2204 (In the little hallway connecting
Science and College Services) of this

Office Hours: Monday-Wednesday, 1-2 pm, Tuesday-Thursday, 1:30-2:30. Also, by appointment: we can always set up a time to chat 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. by phone or video (skype google+, facetime).

Course Policies

Attendance- Attendance is required! You need to check in with our
course regularly throughout the week. In my face-to-face courses I take attendance. For online courses, I expect you to read, post, and otherwise contribute to D2L at least five times a week. The course grades are set up to reward students who keep up and penalize students who do not. For example, there are no make-up quizzes or discussions, no exceptions.

As an incentive for regular attendance, online-only students who turn in all
their assignments on-time, and miss no discussions or quizzes, will earn
a bonus of 4% on their final grade. the same bonus is available to face-to-face students who have no absences for the entire semester.

Grades Items Weighted Percentage
Module Assignments 56%
Exhibits 10%
Response Documents (F2F) 16%
Quizzes 16%
Class Citizenship 2%

E-Learning- What you need to knowYou must use your student email
for all emails to me
. Despite the digital methods of this history course, this is NOT a learn at your own pace course. The due dates for assignments are hard (Fridays at 8 p.m.) and discussion boards close at the same time (for online classes). Online-only education allows you to learn without coming to campus, but it is in fact a more demanding form of college. Online-only students need to be a reasonably skilled keyboardists and comfortable with computer technology. If the words upload, download, convert to pdf, or "As Jon mentioned in his post on religion. . . " are foreign to you, an online-only course might not be the course for you. I want you to succeed, which is why I want you to be honest with yourself about your abilities. Face-to-face courses let me offer real-time support and are generally easier (or so report my students).

For all my students, to succeed in this course you will need to:

  • Turn on a computer and open a browser.

  • Watch streaming video from and other websites.

  • Navigate the Normandale Library website successfully.

  • Spell check everything.

If you need technology help, you may call our IT help desk at
952-358-8181. Even better, ask them a question on Normandale's “Ask
” page, which will help
track your request.

Late Work- Assignments are due by the 8 p.m. on Friday for the week
of the assignment listed in the course calendar. Assignments handed in
late are penalized 15 points. Late work may be handed in until the D2L
Assignment Submission Folder for late work closes, the penultimate week of class. Quizzes, in-class responses, and discussions may not be made up.

Reading and Writing- This is a reading and writing-intensive course.
You will read up to 75 pages a week and write at least 16 pages of
typed, doubled-spaced pages of text. Writing guidelines for each
assignment will be discussed in course and included on the assignment.
All work will be written in plain text in the Markdown syntax. When it comes to formatting your own writing, I assume you know how to turn on a computer, and open a web browser. Everything else I will teach you how to do with careful instructions and diligent follow-ups.

Grading- Written work, unless otherwise noted, will be graded
according to a rubric (a grading chart,) which will be posted at the
time of the assignment. If you are struggling with any assignments,
please do not suffer in silence. Make an appointment with me so that we
can address your questions. I succeed when you succeed.

Academic Standards

Students in this course will adhere to the rules of Normandale Community
College’s Code of Conduct. Such rules prohibit plagiarizing other’s work
(taking credit for someone else’s work or stealing work from the web)
and creating a hostile academic environment for students or staff. Refer
to your student handbook for the full Student Code of Conduct or see: . We will work through how to
properly cite material during the semester. Please be aware that the
penalty for plagiarism is failure of the assignment, then possibly the
course, and possibly dismissal from the College.

For a plagiarism tutorial and how to avoid plagiarism, see
here .

Writing Resource- You are encouraged to use Normandale’s Writing
Center as you create and rewrite your assignments. It is located in the
central hallway between College Services and Fine Arts buildings (the
old bookstore) All good writers revise their work. Writing tutors can
help you at any stage of writing.

(Under “Resources on your D2L homepage) also has free, online writing

Automatic bonus points: all writing assignments worth more than 5% of
the grade submitted to Smart Thinking or that have been reviewed by the
Writing Center receive an automatic 2 points bonus.

General Resources-

Normandale provides a broad range of support services for you. I
strongly encourage you to use these resources as past student experience
shows that students who use support services succeed.

  • Counseling- This department, located at the front of the College Services building provides personal counseling and can refer you to community services. For your mental health, they are there, including if you need an emergency mental health session. 952-358-8261.

  • Academic Advising- This department can help you chose classes, an emphasis, plan for your transfer to a four-year college, and offer career advice.

  • Veterans Resource Center- a one-stop shop for information and support. 952-358-8501

  • Tutoring Center- Houses the writing tutors along with math, science, logic, reading and EAP tutors. Free and walk-in hours. 952-358-8830

  • Child Care- Learning Tree
    Development Center offer child care at Normandale. The rates are
    decent and their flexible with schedules. Professors send their kids
    here too. 952-358-8613

  • Office for Students with Disabilities-I welcome all students to this class, regardless of disability. Those students with disabilities or other special needs that require accommodation should talk with me in the first week of course.

    Students should also call the Office for Students with Disabilities
    at 952-487-7035 (952-487-7032 TTY). Students must be registered
    with the Office for Students with Disabilities to receive
    special accommodation. This syllabus is available in
    alternate formats.

  • Success box: I have the following items available to students who
    are facing economic hardship and need a bit of help: snack bars,
    juice, soda, vegetable juice, toothpaste and brush, soap, shampoo,
    and deodorant. The items are in my office and I or the secretary who
    sits outside my door can help you to them, no questions asked.

  • If you have a student in your home who qualifies for free lunches,
    your household qualifies for a low-cost (\$10/month) internet
    connection from Comcast. See here for details.

  • The bathrooms in the lower-level of the Koop Student Center have
    showers, which can be used any time the Student Center is open.

###Why is are my grades on D2L but most of the course material is on

Changes will be announced on our course website.

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I reserve the right to amend this syllabus to better facilitate
students’ learning. Changes to the syllabus (if any) will be announced
in the news section and a new syllabus will be posted on the class

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