Pacific Wars: Korea and Vietnam [CRN 27354]

Discipline: History
Instructor: Clark
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 0930
End: 1050
Field Work: Day 6 | February 13, 2018 | Vietnam
Prerequisites: Completion of three (3) history credits and no fewer than 45 total credits Download Syllabus

Postwar American policy in the Pacific is rooted in the occupation of Japan and the “loss” of China to communist rule.  Students will learn this background and then study two cases of American intervention in internal conflicts in Korea and Vietnam.  Students will learn to understand the U.S. role in the 1945 division of Korea and 1950-53 Korean War. They will learn to see this war in two dimensions—as a civil war between Koreans and as an international conflict reflecting the US-Soviet Cold War and the American shock over “losing” China. A component of the course will also cover postwar development of South and North Korea as separate states, and the continuing hostilities for decades after the armistice.   Students likewise will learn about the Vietnam War first as a struggle for Vietnamese independence from France and then as an American intervention reflecting circumstances comparable to Korea—the dread of losing more territory to communism (the “Domino Theory”) and ending up as an exercise in avoiding the appearance of an American defeat.  The course will involve lectures and discussions, a term paper assignment, quizzes on readings, and a final exam.

Field Work

Country: Vietnam
Day: 6
Date: February 13, 2018

This Field Class will visit War Remnants Museum and other war sites such as the Cu Chi Tunnels.

Learning Objectives:
1. To understand how the Vietnamese remember the “American War”
2. To grasp details of the tactics used by both sides during the war
3. Through discussions with hosts and guides and reflection on the ship and through writing, to process and express understandings about the Vietnam/American War.