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HIST1111 An Introduction to East Asian History - Ravagnoli

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    The Museum of Fine Arts "collection of Asian art covers the creative achievement of more than half the world's population since 4,000 BC. The collection encompasses Japanese, Chinese, and Indian painting and sculpture; Japanese prints and metalwork; Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese ceramics; and the arts of the Islamic world."
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Assignment Details
Creative Presentation and Paper Directions
  • Each student will be assigned one historical figure (your historical BFF).
  • You will have to do research on your person (reading Wikipedia’s results does not count as research).
  • You need to find at least two books or journal articles (academic sources; we will work on these with librarians) published by a scholarly press, that discusses the person.
  • You will use one publication of your BFF (declaration, decree, law, poem, short story, novel, newspaper article, public speech) to present on your author.
  • You will use an event of your choice in the life of your BFF that will allow you to discuss the time period your he/she lived in (passing of a law, signing of a decree, foundation of a party or secret society, creation of a specific piece of art or literature).
  • You should also pick one specific event in the life of this person and use it to narrate his/her life.
  • You will have to place the event/s you picked in historical context and elaborate on the historical background developing a narration around the life of the person assigned to you.
  • You will write down the biography of the author assigned to you, describing his/her life, works and the poignant event you picked to discuss the author’s life and his mark left in East Asian history (this section of the assignment must be at least 5 pages long, 12 font, times new roman, double spaced). 
  • You will have a bibliography (after the 5 pages of Bio) and you will use Chicago style for citation and bibliography.
  • Part of your grade will be based on the research you have done to discover info and secrets about the person; part on the formally written paper with citations and footnotes (Chicago style, repeat, Chicago style); and part on the creativity of the presentation of your writer. 
  • You MUST attend the Library session
  • You MUST come to see me once during the semester to discuss the research
  • You MUST go and see the librarian during the research period before the papers and presentations are due.
List of Historical BFFs
  1. Ito Hirobumi
  2. Jiang Qing
  3. Madame Chiang
  4. Bing Xin
  5. Zhang Ailing
  6. Queen Min
  7. Mao Zedong
  8. Yuan Shikai
  9. Tokugawa Ieyasu
  10. Oda Nobunaga
  11. Zeng Guofan
  12. Li Hongzhang
  13. Liang Qichao
  14. Sun Yat-sen
  15. Phan Chu Trinh
  16. Phan Boi Chau
  17. Ho Chi Minh
  18. Bao Dai
  19. Hong Xiuquan
  20. Ch’oe Che-u
  21. Lu Xun
  22. Chiang Kai-shek
  23. Chen Duxiu
  24. Deng Xiaoping
  25. Shinzo Abe
  26. Jiang Zemin
  27. Syngman Rhee
  28. Kim Jong-Il
  29. Park Yeomi
  30. Park Jung-Hee
  31. Hirohito
  32. Peng Dehuai
  33. Kim Phuc
  34. Nguyen Thi Dinh
  35. Yu Gwansun
Researching Paul Bert
Each group must find a scholary article or book and present their findings to the class. Each group should:

1. Explain how they found the resource
2. How they identified it as an academic resource
3. Why it is suitable for the assignment


1. Historical Context / Event:
  • Commune de Paris (Bert was a Deputy in the French government from 1872 - 86)

2. Historical Context:
  • Leon Gambetta (Bert was a supporter of this French Political figure)

3. Biography:
  • Education (Explore the influnce of zoologist Louis Pierre Gratiolet or physiologist Claude Bernard)

4. Work:
  • Aviation Medicine  or Aerospace Medicine (La Pression Barometrique or "The Paul Bert Effect")

5. Connection to East Asian History:
  • French Indochina 

Evaluation of Resources
This RUBRIC will assist each group in evaluating an appropriate source to present to the class.
Emmanuel College Library Contact
  • When papers are due students are required to meet with librarians as individuals or in groups. Please follow the "you can book me" links to schedule an appointment.

Diane Zydlewski
Associate Librarian for Reference, Instruction, and Outreach
zydlewsd@emmanuel.edu | 617-735-9927

Dominique Couturier
Reference / Instructional Librarian
couturierd@emmanuel.edu | 617-732-1669
Chicago Style of Citations
Citation Management Tool

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