Spring 2017 – MERCHANTS, PIRATES, & THE STATE IN MARITIME ASIA – HI 482 – Professor Menegon

Join this exciting seminar in Spring 2017, meeting on Wednesdays, 2:30-5:15 pm! Oceans connected the peoples of coastal Asia, Africa, and Oceania long before the arrival of Europeans in the 1500s. This course examines how commerce, piracy, religious contact, and imperialisms shaped maritime Asia, and how oceans facilitated our own era’s global connections.

The seminar is conducted through in-class discussions, films, and field trips to maritime sites in the Boston area (including the USS Constitution Museum in Charlestown, the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, and the Peabody Essex Museum’s maritime collections). The course provides an overview of crucial themes in the history of maritime Asia, tracing the history of peoples and nations through the prism of the oceans and seas of Asia (Indian Ocean; South China Sea; Pacific Ocean), with more in-depth coverage for the period 1500 to the present. Asian merchants and governments became involved in an ever-growing network of commerce and cultural exchanges spanning from Japan to India and the Arabian peninsula. After 1500, a series of new phenomena further connected the oceanic world of maritime Asia: European and American presence in Asian waters, coastal piracy, the establishment of overseas Chinese colonies in South-East Asia, new Asian and Western state policies, and ultimately, the contemporary state tensions over sea lanes and energy, and the rise of new kinds of piracy.  For more information and a copy of a sample syllabus, feel free to write to the instructor, Prof. Eugenio Menegon at: emenegon@bu.edu  

Merchants Pirates Flyer 2016