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Multiple Histories of Early Modern Japan


Admission requirements

MA Asia Studies students (60 EC; 120 EC; Research MA) ; other MA students.


In this MA seminar students and instructors read and discuss together a range of scholarly writings related to Japanese religion, philosophy, history and literature. The seminar uses the early-modern period in particular as a case study, examining scholarly works on this period in the fields of history, religion and literature to allow students to discover the power of inter-disciplinary research in the area studies fields. By trying to map out a ‘state of the field’ of research on a range of areas of Tokugawa Japanese society, the seminar demonstrates research trends and methodologies which are also highly relevant to studies on other periods of Japanese history. Readings for the course thereby include a mixture of theoretical and scholarly work relating both to the fields of history, literature and religion in general, and to the case of Japan in particular.

Course objectives

Concrete aims of the seminar include to:
introduce students to a range of exemplary scholarly texts in English and (for those who are able) Japanese;
develop an awareness of different historical approaches, methodologies and schools;
develop a knowledge of the multi-disciplinary way in which historical, literary studies and religious studies writings interact in the academic study of early modern (as well as pre-modern) cultures and societies;
give students the capacity to react critically to different approaches and form their own scholarly responses


For more information, check time table.
—> MA Asian Studies timetable

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Participatory Element: participation (including presentation) 35%
Analytical Element: 5 position papers 25%
Research Element: 1 term paper (± 2500 words) 40%.



Reading list



Enrollment via uSis

Contact information

Mr. Dr. K.N. Paramore