EAST4510 - Multiple Modernities in East Asia: Approaches to the Study of Culture and History

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

This course focuses on central approaches to the study of East Asian culture and history, in particular the historical interplay between tradition and modernity in Chinese, Japanese, Korean and/or Tibetan cultures.

You specialize in one of the four geographical areas, and base your studies on sources in one of the regional languages, but are encouraged to develop a comparative East Asian perspective.

First and foremost, you will learn how to develop a research project and present academic arguments and findings in oral and written form. Through interactive seminars, you will be trained in identifying, accessing and processing East Asian primary sources and East Asian and English secondary sources, including reference works and digital material.

You will also be introduced to relevant theories and methodologies, including philology, discourse analysis and fieldwork, and you will learn how to develop research questions.

The course includes a 2-day workshop from 9 October to 11 October 2017 with academic staff: The “Academic Survival Kit”. Here students will explore how to combine theoretical-analytical and empirical work, and present their own ideas for later thesis work and collection of data. They will also receive individual feedback and suggestions for planning their further studies.

Learning outcome

  • Methodological and theoretical skills needed to find and analyze primary and secondary sources for the study of East Asian culture and history.
  • Skills in presenting findings and engaging in academic dialogue.
  • Techniques and genres of academic writing, including how to develop a project and write a project description.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Only students enrolled in the programme option East Asian Culture and History may be admitted to this course.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Please see the admission requirements defined by the programme option East Asian Culture and History.


The course is taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops throughout the semester. The teaching includes a total of 30 hours plus an additional obligatory 2 day workshop from 9 October to 11 October 2017. 

Obligatory activity

At least 80 % attendance and active participation in class, team work and discussions are required.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


The exam consists of three equal parts:

  1. One oral presentation in class (around 15 minutes). The topic of the oral presentation may be related to the topic of the written essay, but different from the project description.
  2. One written essay of 8-10 pages (2300 characters per page (excluding spaces), bibliography and appendices) on a subject approved by the teacher. The essay should include analysis of a subject based on both East Asian primary sources and East Asian and English secondary sources.
  3. One project description for the Master's thesis (5 pages, 2300 characters per page, plus bibliography).

The oral presentation and the project description each counts for 25 % of the final grade, while the essay counts for 50 % of the final grade.

The written papers (essay and project description) are to be submitted in Inspera within the given deadline. 

Information about writing and submitting assignments at IKOS.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Periodic evaluation Autumn 2012

Periodic evaluation Autumn 2016

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language