Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Ideas of the East: A Global History

Ideas of the East: A Global History 

TUESDAYS 3:30-6:30
MES 385 (40760)

Course Description:

Building upon scholarship on European Orientalism, this seminar will examine how Easterners/Asians asserted their Eastern/Asian identities since the late nineteenth century. In the face of increasing European domination, intellectuals in vast areas from the Ottoman Empire, Central Asia, Qajar Iran, India, the Qing Empire, and Japan began to reimagine themselves as Easterners/Asians with shared civilizational characteristics. Starting from the genesis of this new civilizational identity, we will trace its transformations in the contexts of imperialism, nationalism, decolonization, and globalization. Throughout the semester, we will pay attention to local, regional, and global perspectives to understand heterogeneous expressions of regional identities and their relationships with nationalisms. Topics include: self-orientalism; pan-Asianism; pan-Islamism; Afro-Asian solidarity; Asian values; regional economic cooperation. In addition to secondary literature, students will read primary sources by prominent intellectuals and statesmen, including Okakura Tenshin, Sun Yat Sen, Rabindranath Tagore, Abdurresid Ibrahim, Jalal Al-e Ahmad, Sukarno, Mahathir Mohammad, and Lee Kuan Yew.


Meet the Professor

Mikiya Koyagi received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Texas at Austin in 2015. He studies social and cultural history of modern Iran as well as the history of intra-Asian connections since the nineteenth century, with a focus on the interactions between Japan and the Muslim world. His first book, Iran in Motion: Experiences of the Trans-Iranian Railway (in progress), examines how a state infrastructural project in early twentieth-century Iran redistributed mobilities on local, national, and transnational levels. His publications have appeared in several journals, including The International Journal of Middle East StudiesThe Journal of World History, and The International Journal of the History of Sport. He teaches courses on modern Iranian history, infrastructure, technology, and pan-Asianism. Before joining UT Austin in 2018, he taught at New York University.

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