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Early Contacts Between East/Southeast Asia and the United States

Compared with ancient Asian states like China and Japan, the United States was the new kid on the block.  But as soon as the U.S. came into existence, its officials and entrepreneurs set their sights on engaging with East Asian civilizations.  This online 5-week seminar began with America’s first interactions with China and Japan, and the consequences of those contacts.  From there, we spent the bulk of our course discovering how Filipinos fared under American colonial rule from 1898 to 1932.  This oft-forgotten Philippine-US history is so fascinating that it is a shame that it is unfamiliar to our students. But it will be well-known to us after this program together.

Take a look at the video below, made by Professor Shelton Woods, to learn more about the program content:


Participants were expected to watch (at their convenience) and send in comments on a series of online lectures each week beginning January 29 through February 26, 2024 . The lectures consisted of three YouTube presentations of over thirty minutes each week, for a total about 100 minutes per week. There were also two live online events:

February 12, 2024, 6:00-7:00 pm MT (5:00-6:00 pm PT)

February 26, 2024, 6:00-7:00 pm MT (5:00-6:00 pm PT)

Program Leader

Dr. Shelton Woods lead this program. Dr. Woods is a Professor of East/Southeast Asian History at Boise State University.

Programs Benefits

  • Numerous books and classroom materials.
  • Access to 15 online lectures.
  • $100 check for additional classroom resources.
  • 20 free WA OSPI clock hours.
  • Two continued professional education credits from Boise State University.

The seminar was offered to K-12 educators free of charge thanks to a generous grant from the Freeman Foundation to the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA), and it was sponsored by the University of Washington’s East Asia Resource Center in partnership with Boise State University.