Choosing a type of product or artifact in one of the categories
that we've been discussing and explain the ways in which studying it can contribute
to our understanding of Asia in the preindustrial period (c. 800-1800).
You may choose to focus on the product or artifact whose role in Asian history
you are planning to trace in your first formal paper. In addition, you
may choose to limit yourself to a shorter period of time than the thousand years
that Chaudhuri has chosen for his study. Be careful to think about the
sorts of information that the product or artifact can reveal about the past,
which you can think of on two levels. First, what aspects of life in the
past does the product or artifact tell us about: economics, social relations,
or politics. Second, what level of history does the product allow us to
reach, those levels of which people are conscious, those of which they are not
so aware, or both. This paper should be on the order of two pages, double-spaced
and you may use books beyond Chaudhuri in order to do it. Approach this
paper as a preparation for the formal paper.