After seeing only one open class on Asian history (so broadly titled, “Asia: Early China, India & Japan”) I decided to shoot an email to the administrative assistant of Columbia’s Department of Humanities, History, & Social Sciences.
This Fall will be my final semester at Columbia. I was hoping to find a class that explores some topic concerning modern/contemporary history in Asia, as I have been reading a good deal of Asian literature lately, but have very little context to place it in historically. I noticed that the course on Vietnam is currently closed, and there is very little else on Asian history listed in the Fall 2010 catalog on OASIS.
Will there be anything of this nature in the “Topics in History” or possibly the “Art of the Interview” course? If not, are there any professors I might talk to about doing an independent study?
The reply (sent by somebody other than who I sent the email to) was as follows:
There is a section of Asian History scheduled for the Fall. The number is 49-1101(01) and it should be open for enrolment when registration for the fall commences.
[I’m omitting the name for privacy’s sake, though I’m tempted to include it]
Did my email get read all the way through? This is really frustrating. This administrator doesn’t want to hook me up with any of their awesome profs, at least one of which I am sure must be into Asian history. Also, no answer on the courses I asked about. I’m at a super awesome giant college that apparently only has ONE course on Asian history–and a superficial one at that. What gives?!
It’s so frustrating. I’m frustrated that my email was hardly attended to, but I’m also frustrated that HH&SS sees no need to offer more courses on Eastern history. I know we’re in the West, but I seem to recall a “Global Awareness” requirement. How can I be globally aware if HH&SS wants to pretend that all of Asia (“China, India & Japan”) hasn’t been important since before 1800.