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HIST1111 - An Introduction to East Asian History - Ravagnoli: Historical Figure Assignment

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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 (see tutorials on this course guide) 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 come to see me once during the semester to discuss the research
  • You MUST consult watch the tutorials on the course guide and consult with a librarian during the research period before the papers and presentations are due.


Research Tutorial

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
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