Intellectual interests of mine that might work particularly well for Senior Project proposals include: (1) The biographical and political background of any Chinese or Japanese writer; (2) Any aspect of the Cold War in East Asia 1945-1975, from the Occupation of Japan through America’s war in Vietnam; (3) Neo-Confucian thought and education in China, Japan, or Korea, or The New Confucianism that is reviving today in China, and has proponents around the world; (4) American-trained students from China who returned to China in the twentieth century to assume often frustrating positions as leaders in fields such as political and educational reform; (5) The May Fourth Movement; (6) The history of Chinese education, from Confucius and Confucian academies to Mao's educational policies; (7) The political side of reformers such as the “Deathsong of the River” reformers of the late 1980's in the People's Republic of China.
Barry Keenan teaches advanced courses on: Post-WWII East Asian history, The Confucian Classics, a 200-level course on Classical China, as well as comprehensive surveys of the sweep of ideas and institutions in: (1) East 141 which covers traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Civilization with attention to the connections of the Khitan, Jurchen, and Mongol states to all three, and (2) East 142 which covers modern Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese Civilization from 1600 to the present.
Professor Keenan is a specialist on Chinese cultural and social history. His first book was The Dewey Experiment in China: Educational Reform and Political Power in the Early Republic. Cambridge, Ma.: Harvard University East Asian Research Center, 1977. His second book was Imperial China's Last Classical Academies: Social Change in the Lower Yangzi, 1864-1911. Berkeley: University of California East Asian Institute, 1994. And his third book was Neo-Confucian Self-Cultivation. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2011.
Keenan’s undergraduate training was in Philosophy at Yale University, and his Ph.D. is from Claremont Graduate University in History. Among twenty articles and encyclopedia entries he has published was, "Academies (shuyuan) [1800-present]. The Encyclopedia of Modern China. David Pong, Editor in Chief. Detroit: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2009; and, he presented a panel paper on, “Economic Markets and Higher Education: Ethical Issues in the United States and China,” at The First Frontiers of Education in China Seminar at East China Normal University in September 2012 held in Shanghai.