By CRYSTAL HUGHES
East Asian History is a new and interesting course being taught by Dr. Randall Doyle at Mid-Michigan Community College during the current Winter term.
Professor Doyle began teaching East Asian History and a course on the Asia-Pacific Region,in 2003 at Grand Valley State University. In 2005, he was hired by Central Michigan University to re-establish East Asian History within their history curriculum. Upon his departure from CMU in 2011, Doyle had accomplished his primary goal — making East Asian History relevant again at CMU.
Doyle explained that teaching East Asian History is important to him. “I believe the teaching of East Asian History is extremely important because presently there is an ongoing historic global shift of economic, military, and political power,” he explained. “In the 21st century, specifically, global power is moving from the West to the East. Most Americans remain anxious and baffled about this historic geopolitical development.”
This fact is true for many Americans. Many U.S. jobs have moved overseas and, yet, very few people know anything about East Asia. Without this knowledge, how are our future leaders or business people going to work together and create a successful partnership with these countries? If Americans remain clueless about East Asia, we will not be able to understand their belief systems or cultures, or how they run their countries. This is why classes like East Asian History are important in this changing world.
Doyle agrees stating, “I am absolutely convinced that East Asia, and the rest of Asia, will have a profound effect upon America during the upcoming decades. Thus, I strongly believe students need to know how their futures are going to be influenced and shaped by a part of the world that they know so little about. I have learned that knowledge is a great equalizer in life.”
Doyle, who clearly enjoys teaching this class and makes it fun for students, also stated that the rise of Asia will be a critical part of history. “Simply put,” he said, “the world is changing so quickly, therefore, willful ignorance can be very dangerous for the American people and our nation’s future.”