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Courses

To see the schedule of classes, go to the Schedule of Classes within Ask Banner, and select "ASIA Asian Studies" in the "Select a Department" menu.

The following information is from the 2017-18 Vassar College Catalogue.

Asian Studies: I. Introductory

101 Approaching Asia 1

This is a test to see what will happen when an AA makes a change to course data

Remember to delete this data later

Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods.

107b. Inner Paths: Religion and Contemplative Consciousness 1

(Same as RELI 107) The academic study of religion spends a lot of time examining religion as a social and cultural phenomenon. This course takes a different approach. Instead of looking at religion extrinsically (through history, philosophy, sociology, scriptural study, etc.) "Inner Paths" looks at the religious experience itself, as seen through the eyes of saints and mystics from a variety of the world's religious traditions. By listening to and reflecting upon "mystic" and contemplative narratives from adepts of Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Daoist and other traditions we learn to appreciate the commonalities, differences, and nuances of various "inner paths." Readings include John of the Cross, Theresa of Avila, Rabbi Akiba, Rumi, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ramakrishna, and Mirabai. Rick Jarow.

Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods.

111a. Social Change in South Korea Through Film 1

(Same as SOCI 111) This course explores cultural consequences of the dramatic transformation of South Korea, in four decades, from a war-torn agrarian society to a major industrial and post-industrial society with dynamic urban centers. Despite its small territory (equivalent to the size of the state of Indiana) and relatively small population (50 million people), South Korea became one of the major economic powerhouses in the world. Such rapid economic change has been followed by its rise to a major center of the global popular cultural production. Using the medium of film, this course examines multifaceted meanings of social change, generated by the Korean War, industrialization, urbanization, and the recent process of democratization, for lives of ordinary men and women. Seungsook Moon.

Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods.

122a and b. Encounters in Modern East Asia 1

(Same as HIST 122) This course introduces the modern history of East Asia (China, Japan, and Korea) through various "encounters," not only with each other but also with the world beyond. Employing regional and global perspectives, we explore how East Asia entered a historical phase generally known as "modern" by examining topics such as inter-state relations, trade network, the Jesuit missionary, philosophical inquiries, science and technology, colonialism, imperialism and nationalism. The course begins in the seventeenth-century with challenges against the dynastic regime of each country, traces how modern East Asia emerges through war, commerce, cultural exchange, and imperial expansion and considers some global issues facing the region today. Wayne Soon.

Two 75-minute periods.

136 Introduction to World Music 1

(Same as MUSI 136) This course examines the development and practices of musical styles in diverse locales around the world from an ethnomusicological perspective. We study the intersection of musical communities and social identity/values, political movements (especially nationalism), spirituality, economy, and globalization. We explore these general issues through case studies from Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Justin Patch.

Two 75-minute periods.

152b. Religions of Asia 1

(Same as RELI 152) This course is an introduction to the religions of Asia (Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Zen, Shinto, etc.) through a study of practices, sites, sensibilities, and doctrines. The focus is comparative as the course explores numerous themes, including creation (cosmology), myth, ritual, action, fate and destiny, human freedom, and ultimate values. Rick Jarow.

Open to all students except seniors.

Two 75-minute periods.

Asian Studies: II. Intermediate

202 Business and the State in East Asia 1

(Same as HIST 202) This course examines the relationship between business, culture, and society in twentieth-century East Asia, with a focus on the ways in which the state has shaped business practices and ideas. We investigate the varying role of governments in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Manchuria in enabling and restricting the growth of enterprises in the region, mediated by colonialism, imperialism, Western competition, and globalization. We examine how the development of new business practices changed the interaction between labor and employers in the region. Case studies are drawn from the medical, education, electronics, retail sectors, etc. This class uses historical sources such as memoirs, oral histories, case studies, and newspaper reports to understand the nature of contingencies in doing business in the region. In so doing, students gain the tools to critically examine the notions of the "Developmental State," and "Confucian Capitalism" in explaining the rise and fall of businesses in East Asia.  Wayne Soon.

Two 75-minute periods.

213 The Experience of Freedom 0.5

(Same as RELI 213) This six week course looks at the four paths of freedom that have emerged from Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian thought. Concepts and practices we will consider include: karma (the yoga of action), jnana, (the yoga of knowledge), bhakti, (the yoga of love) and tantra, (the yoga of imminent awareness). The focus of this course is on practice in a contemporary context. Rick Jarow.

Prerequisite(s): RELI 152.

Not offered in 2017/18.

214 The Tumultuous Century: Twentieth Century Chinese Literature 1

(Same as CHIN 214) This is a survey/introduction to the literature of China from the late Qing Dynasty through the present day. Texts are arranged according to trends and schools as well as to their chronological order. Authors include Wu Jianren, Lu Xun, Zhang Ailing, Ding Ling, Mo Yan and Gao Xingjian. All major genres are covered but the focus is on fiction. A few feature films are also included in association with some of the literary works and movements. No knowledge of the Chinese language, Chinese history, or culture is required for taking the course. All readings and class discussions are in English. Haoming Liu.

Prerequisite(s): one course in language, literature, culture or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor.

216 Food, Culture, and Globalization 1

(Same as SOCI 216) This course focuses on the political economy and the cultural politics of transnational production, distribution, and consumption of food in the world to understand the complex nature of cultural globalization and its effects on the national, ethnic, and class identities of women and men. Approaching food as material cultural commodities moving across national boundaries, this course examines the following questions. How has food in routine diet been invested with a broad range of meanings and thereby served to define and maintain collective identities of people and social relationships linked to the consumption of food? In what ways and to what extent does eating food satisfy not only basic appetite and epicurean desire, but also social needs for status and belonging? How have powerful corporate interests shaped the health and well being of a large number of people across national boundaries? What roles do symbols and social values play in the public and corporate discourse of health, nutrition, and cultural identities. Seungsook Moon.

Not offered in 2017/18.

222b. Narratives of Japan: Fiction and Film 1

(Same as JAPA 222) This course examines the characteristics of Japanese narratives in written and cinematic forms. Through selected novels and films that are based on the literary works or related to them thematically, the course explores the different ways in which Japanese fiction and film tell a story and how each work interacts with the time and culture that produced it. While appreciating the aesthetic pursuit of each author or film director, attention is also given to the interplay of tradition and modernity in the cinematic representation of the literary masterpieces and themes. No previous knowledge of Japanese language is required. Peipei Qiu.

Prerequisite(s): one course in language, literature, culture, film or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2017/18.

223 The Gothic and the Supernatural in Japanese Literature 1

(Same as JAPA 223) This course introduces students to Japanese supernatural stories. We interpret the hidden psyche of the Japanese people and culture that create such bizarre tales. We see not only to what extent the supernatural creatures - demons, vampires, and mountain witches - in these stories represent the "hysteria" of Japanese commoners resulting from social and cultural oppression, but also to what extent these supernatural motifs have been adopted and modified by writers of various literary periods. This course consists of four parts; female ghosts, master authors of ghost stories, Gothic fantasy and dark urban psyche. Hiromi Dollase.

Prerequisite(s): one course in language, literature, culture or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

224 Japanese Popular Culture and Literature 1

(Same as JAPA 224) This course examines Japanese popular culture as seen through popular fiction. Works by such writers as Murakami Haruki, Yoshimoto Banana, Murakami Ryu, Yamada Eimi, etc. who emerged in the late 1980s to the early 1990s, are discussed. Literary works are compared with various popular media such as film, music, manga, and animation to see how popular youth culture is constructed and reflects young people's views on social conditions. Theoretical readings are assigned. This course emphasizes discussion and requires research presentations. Hiromi Dollase.

Prerequisite(s): one course in Japanese language, literature, culture or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor.

This course is conducted in English.

Not offered in 2017/18.

231 Hindu Traditions 1

(Same as RELI 231) An introduction to the history, practices, myths, ideas and core values that inform Hindu traditions. This year's course focuses on the major systems of Indian philosophy and the spiritual disciplines that accompany them. Among topics examined are yoga, upanishadic monism and dualism, the paths of liberative action (karma), self realization (jnana), divine love (bhakti), and awakened immanence (tantra). Philosophical understandings of the worship of gods and goddesses will be discussed, along with issues of gender, caste, and ethnicity and post modern reinterpretations of the classical tradition. Rick Jarow.

Prerequisite(s): 100-level course in Religion, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

233 The Buddha in the World 1

(Same as RELI 233) An introduction to Buddhist traditions, beginning with the major themes that emerged in the first centuries after the historical Buddha and tracing the development of Buddhist thought and practice throughout Asia. The course examines how Buddhist sensibilities have expressed themselves through culturally diverse societies, and how specific Buddhist ideas about human attainment have been (and continue to be) expressed through meditation, the arts, political engagement, and social relations. Various schools of Buddhist thought and practice are examined including Theravada, Mahayana, Tantra, Tibetan, East Asian, and Zen. Michael Walsh.

Two 75-minute periods.

235 Religion in China 1

(Same as RELI 235) An exploration of Chinese religiosity within historical context. We study the seen and unseen worlds of Buddhists, Daoists, and literati, and encounter ghosts, ancestors, ancient oracle bones, gods, demons, buddhas, dragons, imperial politics, the social, and more, all entwined in what became the cultures of China. Some of the questions we will try to answer include: how was the universe imagined in traditional and modern China? What did it mean to be human in China? What is the relationship between religion and culture? What do we mean by 'Chinese religions'? How should Chinese culture be represented? Michael Walsh.

Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods.

236 The Making of Modern East Asia: Empires and Transnational Interactions 1

(Same as GEOG 236) East Asia--the homeland of the oldest continuous civilization of the world--is now the most dynamic center in the world economy and an emerging power in global politics. Central to the global expansion of trade, production, and cultural exchange through the span of several millennia, the East Asian region provides a critical lens for us to understand the origin, transformation and future development of the global system. This course provides a multidisciplinary understanding of the common and contrasting experiences of East Asian countries as each struggled to come to terms with the western dominated expansion of global capitalism and the modernization process. The course incorporates a significant amount of visual imagery such as traditional painting and contemporary film, in addition to literature. Professors from Art History, Film, Chinese and Japanese literature and history will give guest lecture in the course, on special topics such as ancient Chinese and Japanese arts, East Asia intellectual history, Japanese war literature, post war American hegemony, and vampire films in Southeast Asia. Together, they illustrate the diverse and complex struggles of different parts of East Asia to construct their own modernities. Yu Zhou.

Prerequisite(s): at least one 100-level course in Geography or Asian Studies.

Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods.

238 Environmental China: Nature, Culture, and Development 1

(Same as GEOG 238 and INTL 238) China is commonly seen in the West as a sad example, even the culprit, of global environmental ills. Besides surpassing the United States to be the world's largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, China also experiences widespread pollution of its air, soil and water--arguably among the worst in the world. Yet, few will dispute the fact that China holds the key for the future global environment as it emerges as the largest economy on earth. This course examines China's environments as created by and mediated through historical, cultural, political, economic and social forces both internal and external to the country. Moving away from prevailing caricatures of a "toxic" China, the course studies Chinese humanistic traditions, which offer rich and deep lessons on how the environment has shaped human activities and vice versa. We examine China's long-lasting intellectual traditions on human/environmental interactions; diversity of environmental practices rooted in its ecological diversity; environmental tensions resulting from rapid regional development and globalization in the contemporary era; and most recently, the social activism and innovation of green technology in China. Yu Zhou.

Two 75-minute periods.

240 Cultural Localities 1

(Same as ANTH 240) Detailed study of the cultures of people living in a particular area of the world, including their politics, economy, worldview, religion, expressive practices, and historical transformations. Included is a critical assessment of different approaches to the study of culture. Areas covered vary from year to year and may include Europe, Africa, North America, India and the Pacific.

May be repeated for credit if the topic has changed.

Topic for 2017/18a: China, Now: Perspectives on Post-Socialist Life. Since the end of the Maoist era and the beginning of "Reform and Opening Up" (beginning in 1978), China has experienced staggering social changes, from transitioning to a market economy to re-entering the global political theater as an increasingly influential superpower. This course surveys how anthropological and sociological scholarship has taken stock of this dynamic time. How has China's rapid economic and political development been represented in contemporary scholarship? To what extent is the present-day People's Republic seen as a "post-Socialist" state, and in what ways do socialist and revolutionary legacies of the Maoist era still resonate? Incorporating scholarly monographs and articles, films, and fiction, we examine topics including the history and politics of "Reform and Opening Up"; urbanization, migration, and the division of labor in cities and countryside; shifts in mass consumption and mediated desire; the social reproduction of traditional concepts like "guanxi" and "face"; religion and ethics; and media landscapes in 21st-century China. Students develop a final research paper on a topic of their own choice. Knowledge of Chinese not required.  Xiaobo Yuan. 

Two 75-minute periods.

245 Medicine, Health and Diseases in East Asia 1

(Same as HIST 245 and STS 245) From the globalization of acupuncture to the proliferation of biobanks to the fight against the deadly SARS virus, the history of East Asian medicine and society has been marked by promises and perils. Through examining the ways in which East Asians conceptualized medicine and the body in their fight against diseases from a myriad of sources, this course critically examines the persistence, transformation, and globalization of both "traditional medicine" and biomedicine in East Asia. Topics covered include the knowledge of nature as embedded in the changing categorization of pharmaceuticals, the contestation over vaccination and the definition of diseases, the construction of gender and sexuality in medicine, the importance of religion in healing, the legacies of colonialism in biopolitics and biotechnology, the development of healthcare systems, and the imaginations of Asian medicine in the West. Wayne Soon.

Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods.

246 World War II in East Asia 1

(Same as HIST 246) The Second World War was transformative for Japan and China. At the height of its conquest, the Japanese Empire ruled over more than 130 million people, even as it struggled to deal with controversies and scarcity. China became one of the Big Four Allied Powers as state building and resistance persisted in unoccupied areas. This class examines how the Second World War shaped the everyday lives of East Asians and foreigners through speeches, memoirs, fiction, oral histories, documents, and films. In addition, this course explores the contexts, contingencies, and legacies of wartime events and issues. This includes the Nanjing massacre, the Chinese, Koreans, and Taiwanese resistance to and collaboration with the Japanese, Japan's wartime mobilization, the internment of Japanese-Americans in the United States, the role of wartime science and technology, the gendered and racial underpinnings of wartime labor, the rise of the Chinese Communist Party, and the U.S. government's decision to release atomic bombs in Japan. Wayne Soon.

Two 75-minute periods.

250b. Across Religious Boundaries: Understanding Differences 1

Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods.

254a. Chinese Politics and Economy 1

(Same as POLI 254) This course offers a historical and thematic survey of Chinese politics, with an emphasis on the patterns and dynamics of political development and reforms since the Communist takeover in 1949. In the historical segment, we examine major political events leading up to the reform era, including China's imperial political system, the collapse of dynasties, the civil war, the Communist Party's rise to power, the land reform, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and the initiation of the reform. The thematic part deals with some general issues of governance, economic reform, democratization, globalization and China's relations with Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United States. This course is designed to help students understand China's contemporary issues from a historical perspective. For students who are interested in other regions of the world, China offers a rich comparative case on some important topics such as modernization, democratization, social movement, economic development, reform and rule of law. Fubing Su.

Two 75-minute periods.

255 Subaltern Politics 1

(Same as POLI 255) What does it mean to understand issues of governance and politics from the perspective of non-elite, or subaltern, groups? How do subalterns respond to, participate in, and/or resist the historically powerful forces of modernity, nationalism, religious mobilization, and politico-economic development in postcolonial spaces? What are the theoretical frameworks most appropriate for analyzing politics from the perspective of the subaltern? This course engages such questions by drawing on the flourishing field of subaltern studies in South Asia. While its primary focus is on materials from South Asia, particularly India, it also seeks to relate the findings from this area to broadly comparable issues in Latin America and Africa. Himadeep Muppidi.

Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods.

256a. The Arts of China 1

(Same as ART 256) This course offers a survey of art in China from prehistory to the present. The remarkable range of works to be studied includes archeological discoveries, imperial tombs, palace and temple architecture, Buddhist and Taoist sculpture, ceramics, calligraphy, painting, and experimental art in recent decades. We examine the visual and material features of objects for insight into how these works were crafted, and ask what made these works meaningful to artists and audiences. Readings in primary sources and secondary scholarship allow for deeper investigation of the diverse contexts in which the arts of China have evolved. Among the issues we confront are art's relationship to politics, ethics, gender, religion, cultural interaction, and to social, technological, and environmental change. Jin Xu.

Prerequisite(s): ART 105 or ART 106, one Asian Studies course, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

257b. Reorienting America: Asians in American History and Society 1

(Same as AMST 257 and SOCI 257) Based on sociological theory of class, gender, race/ethnicity, this course examines complexities of historical, economic, political, and cultural positions of Asian Americans beyond the popular image of "model minorities." Topics include the global economy and Asian immigration, politics of ethnicity and pan-ethnicity, educational achievement and social mobility, affirmative action, and representation in mass media. Seungsook Moon.

Not offered in 2017/18.

258 The Art of Zen in Japan 1

(Same as ART 258) This course surveys the arts of Japanese Buddhism, ranging from sculpture, painting, architecture, gardens, ceramics, and woodblock prints. We will consider various socioeconomic, political and religious circumstances that led monks, warriors, artists, and women of diverse social ranks to collectively foster an aesthetic that would, in turn, influence modern artists of Europe and North America.

Prerequisite(s): ART 105 or ART 106, or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods.

259 Art, Politics and Cultural Identity in East Asia 1

(Same as ART 259) This course surveys East Asian art in a broad range of media, including ceramics, sculpture, calligraphy, painting, architecture, and woodblock prints. Particular attention is paid to the ways in which China, Korea, and Japan have negotiated a shared "East Asian" cultural experience. The works to be examined invite discussions about appropriation, reception, and inflection of images and concepts as they traversed East Asia. Jin Xu.

 

            

Prerequisite(s): ART 105 or ART 106 or one 100-level Asian Studies course, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

262 India, China, and the State of Post-coloniality 1

(Same as POLI 262) As India and China integrate themselves deeply into the global economy, they raise issues of crucial importance to international politics. As nation-states that were shaped by an historical struggle against colonialism, how do they see their re-insertion into an international system still dominated by the West? What understandings of the nation and economy, of power and purpose, of politics and sovereignty, shape their efforts to join the global order? How should we re-think the nature of the state in the context? Are there radical and significant differences between colonial states, capitalist states and postcolonial ones? What are some of the implications for international politics of these differences? Drawing on contemporary debates in the fields of international relations and postcolonial theory, this course explores some of the changes underway in India and China and the implications of these changes for our current understandings of the international system. Himadeep Muppidi.

Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods.

263 Critical International Relations 1

(Same as POLI 263) The study of world politics is marked by a rich debate between rationalist and critical approaches. While rationalist approaches typically encompass realist/neo-realist and liberal/neo-liberal theories, critical approaches include social constructivist, historical materialist, post-structural and post-colonial theories of world politics. This course is a focused examination of some of the more prominent critical theories of international relations. It aims to a) familiarize students with the core concepts and conceptual relations implicit in these theories and b) acquaint them with the ways in which these theories can be applied to generate fresh insights into the traditional concerns, such as war, anarchy, nationalism, sovereignty, global order, economic integration, and security dilemmas of world politics. Himadeep Muppidi.

Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods.

266 Genre: Asian Horror 1

(Same as FILM 266) This course examines contemporary Asian horror. Using a variety of critical perspectives, we will deconstruct the pantheon of vampires, monsters, ghosts, and vampire ghosts inhabiting such diverse regions as Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and the Philippines to explore constructions of national/cultural identity, gender, race, class, and sexuality. We will ground these observations within a discussion of the nature of horror and the implications of horror as a trans/national genre. Sophia Harvey.

Prerequisite(s): FILM 175 or FILM 210, and permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods, plus outside screenings.

274 Political Ideology 1

(Same as POLI 274) This course examines the insights and limits of an ideological orientation to political life. Various understandings of ideology are discussed, selected contemporary ideologies are studied (e.g., liberalism, conservatism, Marxism, fascism, Nazism, corporatism, Islamism), and the limits of ideology are explored in relation to other forms of political expression and understanding. Selected ideologies and contexts for consideration are drawn from sites of contemporary global political significance. Andrew Davison.

Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods.

275b. International and Comparative Education 1

(Same as EDUC 275 and INTL 275) This course provides an overview of comparative education theory, practice, and research methodology. We examine educational issues and systems in a variety of cultural contexts. Particular attention is paid to educational practices in Asia and Europe, as compared to the United States. The course focuses on educational concerns that transcend national boundaries. Among the topics explored are international development, democratization, social stratification, the cultural transmission of knowledge, and the place of education in the global economy. These issues are examined from multiple disciplinary vantage points. Christopher Bjork.

Prerequisite(s): EDUC 235 or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods.

276b. Experiencing the Other: Representation of China and the West 1

(Same as CHIN 276) This course examines representation of China in Western Literature and the West in Chinese Literature from the end of the 17th Century. Through such an examination, issues such as identity, perceptions of the other, self-consciousness, exoticism, and aesthetic diversity are discussed. Readings include Defoe, Goldsmith, Voltaire, Twain, Kafka, Malraux, Sax Rohmer, Pearl Buck, Brecht, and Duras on the Western side as well as Cao Xueqin, Shen Fu, Lao She, and Wang Shuo on the Chinese side. Some feature films are also included. Haoming Liu.

Prerequisite(s): one course on Asia or one literature course.

All readings are in English or English translation, foreign films are subtitled.

Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods.

290a or b. Field Work 0.5 to 1

Prerequisite(s): two units of Asian Studies Program or approved coursework and permission of the program director.

298a or b. Independent Study 0.5 to 1

Prerequisite(s): two units of Asian Studies Program or approved coursework and permission of the program director.

Asian Studies: III. Advanced

300a. Senior Thesis 0.5 to 1

A 1-unit thesis written over two semesters.

Full year course 300-ASIA 301.

301b. Senior Thesis 0.5 to 1

A 1-unit thesis written over two semesters.

Full year course ASIA 300-301.

302a or b. Senior Thesis 1

A 1-unit thesis written in the fall or spring semester. Students may elect this option only in exceptional circumstances and by special permission of the program director.

310 Mao's China in the World: War, Science and Legitimacy 1

(Same as HIST 310) This class examines the history of China's recent past from 1949 to the present, with an emphasis on the relationship between China and the world. We explore the strategies of Mao Zedong and his comrades in winning and consolidating power, the efforts of the Chinese Communist Party in gaining global legitimacy for the People's Republic of China vis-à-vis the Republic of China in Taiwan, the critical role of science, medicine, and technology in the Chinese economy and society, and the ways in which gender, class, and race underpinned the revolutionary experiences of the Chinese. This class also pays particular attention to Mao's legacies on China and the world. Upon completion of the course, students gain the tools to critically examine the growth of contemporary China in the context of its dynamic past. Wayne Soon.

Not offered in 2017/18.

One 2-hour period.

320 Studies in Sacred Texts 1

(Same as RELI 320) Examination of selected themes and texts in sacred literature.

May be taken more than once when content changes.

Topic for 2017/18a: Great Understanding is Broad and Unhurried: Sage Voices from China's Past and Rethinking the Good Life. The beginning of this course title comes from the 4th century BCE philosopher, Zhuangzi. In this class we read some of China's greatest teachers and among other things, question their relevance in today's world. Without domesticating their ideas we explore a range of primary text readings including Zhuangzi, Laozi, Confucius, Du Fu, Huineng, Mencius and more. Michael Walsh



 

Open to Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors only.

One 2-hour period.

332 Tantra Seminar 1

(Same as RELI 332)

Prerequisite(s): one 100-level course in Asian Studies or Religion.

Not offered in 2017/18.

One 2-hour period.

337b. Indian National Cinema 1

(Same as FILM 337) This course is designed to introduce students to the dynamic and diverse film traditions of India. It examines how these texts imagine and image the Indian nation and problematizes the "national" through an engagement with regional cinemas within India as well as those produced within the Indian diaspora. Readings are drawn from contemporary film theory, post-colonial theory, and Indian cultural studies. Screenings may include Meghe Dhaka Tara / The Cloud-Capped Star (Ritwik Ghatak, 1960), Mother India (Mehboob Khan, 1957), Shatranj Ke Khilari / The Chess Players (Satyajit Ray, 1977), Sholay (Ramesh Sippy, 1975), Bombay (Mani Ratnam, 1995), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham/ Happiness and Tears (Karan Johar, 2001), Bride and Prejudice (Gurinder Chadha, 2004), and Mission Kashmir (Vidhu Vinod Chopra, 2000). Sophia Harvey.

Prerequisite(s): FILM 175 or FILM 210 and permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods plus outside screenings.

339 Contemporary Southeast Asian Cinemas 1

(Same as FILM 339) This survey course is designed to introduce students to the dynamic and diverse film texts emerging from and about Southeast Asia. It examines how these texts imagine and image Southeast Asia and/or particular nations within the region. More specifically, the course focuses on the themes of urban spaces and memory/trauma as they operate within texts about Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Timor-Leste. The course reading material is designed to provide (1) theoretical insights, (2) general socio-cultural and/or political overviews, and (3) more specific analyses of film texts and/or filmmakers. Sophia Harvey.

Prerequisite(s): FILM 175 or FILM 210 and permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods plus outside screenings.

341 The Goddess Traditions of India, China and Tibet 1

(Same as RELI 341) Beginning with a study of the Great Mother Goddess tradition of India and its branching out into China and Tibet, this course considers the history, myths and practices associated with the various goddess traditions in Hinduism and Buddhism. The relationship of the goddess and her worship to issues of gender, caste, and ethics, and spiritual practice are also considered. Rick Jarow.

Not offered in 2017/18.

One 2-hour period.

345 Violent Frontiers: Colonialism and Religion in the Nineteenth Century 1

(Same as RELI 345) What is the relationship between religion and colonialism and how has this relationship shaped the contemporary world? During the nineteenth century the category of religion was imagined and applied in different ways around the globe. When colonialists undertook to 'civilize' a people, specific understandings of religion were at the core of their undertakings. By the mid-nineteenth century, Europe's territorial energy was focused on Asia and Africa. Themes for discussion include various nineteenth-century interpretations of religion, the relationship between empire and culture, the notion of frontier religion, and the imagination and production of society. Michael Walsh.

Not offered in 2017/18.

351 Special Topics in Chinese and Japanese Literature and Culture 1

(Same as CHJA 351) Topics vary each year. Can be repeated for credit when a new topic is offered.

Topic for 2017/18a: Chinese Linguistics. This course offers a systematic and comprehensive introduction to the whole set of terminology of the general linguistics in connection to Chinese phonology, morphology and syntax. It examines the structure of Chinese words, sentences and discourse in terms of their pronunciation, formation and function in comparison with and in contrast to similar aspects of English. It also highlights the construction and evolution of Chinese characters and explores social dimensions of the language. Topics such as language planning and standardization, relations of Mandarin with the dialects, and interactions between Chinese and other minority languages are discussed. Classes are conducted and readings done in English. Students with background in Chinese can choose to do projects in Chinese at their appropriate level. Wenwei Du.

 

Prerequisite(s): two courses in a combination of language, linguistics, literature, culture, or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

358a. Seminar in Asian Art 1

(Same as ART 358) Topics vary each year.

Topic for 2017/18a: Art in China from 1900 to Today: Vision, Politics, and Globalism. This seminar offers an in-depth investigation of art in China from the early twentieth century to the present. We discuss a vast array of artistic media, from painting, printmaking, and sculpture, to popular imagery, photography, film, fashion, architecture and urban space. The course emphasizes careful visual analysis, supplemented by readings that examine the evolving circumstances in which artists in modern China have created their works. Issues we confront in the seminar include art's role as an instrument of political authority, opposition, and subversion; artists' experiments with technology and new media; and the rise of Chinese art as a global phenomenon, with attention to the complex and divergent realities of today's China as envisioned by artists in the twenty-first century.

Contact the department for permission to register for the class. 

Prerequisite(s): permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

362 Senior Seminar: Women in Japanese and Chinese Literature 1

(Same as CHJA 362 and WMST 362) An intercultural examination of the images of women presented in Japanese and Chinese narrative, drama, and poetry from their early emergence to the modern period. While giving critical attention to aesthetic issues and the gendered voices in representative works, the course also provides a comparative view of the dynamic changes in women's roles in Japan and China. Peipei Qiu.

Prerequisite(s): one 200-level course in language, literature, culture or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor.

All selections are in English translation.

One 2-hour period.

363 Decolonizing International Relations 1

(Same as POLI 363) Colonial frameworks are deeply constitutive of mainstream international relations. Issues of global security, economy, and politics continue to be analyzed through perspectives that either silence or are impervious to the voices and agencies of global majorities. This seminar challenges students to enter into, reconstruct, and critically evaluate the differently imagined worlds of ordinary, subaltern peoples and political groups. We draw upon postcolonial theories to explore alternatives to the historically dominant explanations of international relations. Himadeep Muppidi.

Prerequisite(s): permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2017/18.

One 2-hour period.

364 The West in Japanese Literature since the Nineteenth Century 1

(Same as JAPA 364) This course examines the influence of the West on Japanese literature after the nineteenth century and follows the process of the construction of modern Japanese identity. Authors may include: Natsume Sôseki, Akuagawa Ryûnosuke, Tanizaki Junichirô, Kojima Nobuo, Murakami Ryû and Yamada Amy. Translated Japanese literary works are closely read, and various theoretical readings are assigned. This course emphasizes discussion and requires research presentations. Hiromi Dollase.

Prerequisite(s): one 200-level course in language, literature, culture or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor.

This course is conducted in English.

Not offered in 2017/18.

365 Imagining Asia and the Island Pacific 1

(Same as ANTH 365) Does "the Orient" exist? Is the Pacific really a Paradise? On the other hand, does the "West" exist? If it does, is it the opposite of Paradise? Asia is often imagined as an ancient, complex challenger and the Pacific is often imagined as a simple, idyllic paradise. This course explores Western scholarly images of Asia (East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia) and of the island Pacific. It also traces the impact of Asian and Pacific ideas and institutions on the West. Each time offered, the seminar has at least three foci, on topics such as: Asia, the Pacific and capitalism; Asia, the Pacific and the concept of culture; Asia, the Pacific and the nation-state; Asia, the Pacific and feminism; Asia, the Pacific and knowledge. Martha Kaplan.

Prerequisite(s): previous coursework in Asian Studies/Anthropology or permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

366b. Seminar in Transcending the Limit: Literary Theory in the East-West Context 1

(Same as CHJA 366) This course examines various traditional and contemporary literary theories with a distinct Asianist---particularly East Asianist---perspective. At least since the eighteenth century, Western theoretical discourse often took into serious consideration East Asian literature, language and civilization in their construction of "universal" theoretical discourses. The comparative approach to literary theory becomes imperative in contemporary theoretical discourse as we move toward ever greater global integration. Selected theoretical texts from the I Ching, Hegel, Genette, Barthes, Derrida, Todorov, and Heidegger as well as some primary literary texts are among the required readings. Haoming Liu.

Prerequisite(s): one literature course or permission of the instructor.

All readings are in English.

Not offered in 2017/18.

368 The Court, Consorts, and Courtesans 1

(Same as CHIN 368) The course is designed to serve the increasing needs among students with very high or near native Chinese proficiency who want to read more sophisticated literary texts in the original and thereby to benefit their Chinese literary reading and writing as well as their knowledge of traditional Chinese literature and culture. The course chooses primary texts mainly from the Three Kingdoms, Six Dynasties and the Tang times in medieval China and frames them in historical and literary continuum. These texts include Cao Zhi, Xie Lingyun, Liu Yiqing, Gan Bao, Du Fu, Li Shangyin and Tang romances. Some relevant modern texts and criticisms such as Lu Xun, Chen Yinke, and Qian Zhongshu are also incorporated to make up such continuum. Students are required to submit a series of writing exercises in Chinese that analyse, discuss and rewrite the original texts. Students gain great familiarity with how meanings were generated in medieval Chinese poetry and fiction, acquire insights into more personal and intimate perspectives of historical events and social mores, and improve their own Chinese reading and writing. Haoming Liu.

Prerequisite(s): advanced Chinese or its equivalent, or permission of the instructor.

Most of the readings are in Chinese.

Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods.

369 Masculinities: Global Perspectives 1

(Same as SOCI 369) From a sociological perspective, gender is not only an individual identity, but also a social structure of inequality (or stratification) that shapes the workings of major institutions in society as well as personal experiences. This seminar examines meanings, rituals, and quotidian experiences of masculinities in various societies in order to illuminate their normative making and remaking as a binary and hierarchical category of gender and explore alternatives to this construction of gender. Drawing upon cross-cultural and comparative case studies, this course focuses on the following institutional sites critical to the politics of masculinities: marriage and the family, the military, business corporations, popular culture and sexuality, medicine and the body, and religion. Seungsook Moon.

Prerequisite(s): previous coursework in Sociology or permission of the instructor.

One 3-hour period.

375 The I-Ching: China's Great Text of Divinatory Wisdom 1

(Same as RELI 375) One of the great texts of Classical China, The I-Ching (Fu Xi 伏羲, c. 2800 BCE), has emerged as a global phenomenon; connecting to fields of science, architecture, psychology, and to a "situational spirituality" based on the Daoist notion that all things incorporate the wisdom of the Way.

This course offers an intensive study of the text (in translation) along with its corollary subjects of Daoist cosmology, divination, ethics, and "finding the right path" through any situation. The eight archetypal trigrams, sixty-four divinatory modalities, understanding of the nature of change through the permutations of yin and yang are examined, as are the I-Ching's prominent values of modesty and wu-wei or "effortless effort." Every student learns how to work with the text, so that its study becomes more than a theoretical exercise. In this spirit of the I-Ching we "Approach with small steps/quantities (小過)", and "be flexible to constant change in order to be sustainable (易窮則變,變則通,通則久). Rick Jarow.

Prerequisite(s): any 100-level Asian Studies, Chinese/Japanese, or Religion course, or permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

385a. Asian Healing Traditions 1

(Same as RELI 385) This seminar offers a comprehensive view of the traditional medical systems and healing modalities of India and China and examines the cultural values they participate in and propound. It also includes a "laboratory" in which hands-on disciplines (such as yoga and qi-gong) are practiced and understood within their traditional contexts. From a study of classical Ayur Vedic texts, Daoist alchemical manuals, shamanic processes and their diverse structural systems, the seminar explores the relationship between healing systems, religious teachings, and social realities. It looks at ways in which the value and practices of traditional medical and healing systems continue in Asia and the West. Rick Jarow.

Prerequisite(s): RELI 231 or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2017/18.

387b. Modern China: Wealth, Power and Revolution 1

(Same as HIST 387)  The search for wealth and power in China has been profoundly shaped by the country's twentieth-century revolutionary experiences. In contextualizing China's ambitions from its history from the eighteenth century to the present, this seminar critically explores the rise and fall of an expansive Qing Empire, debates the vibrancy of Republican-era Chinese society, and investigates the contingencies and legacies of the communist revolution.  In addition, we explore the multifaceted experiences of intellectuals, cadres, diplomats,politicians, businessmen, scientists, artists, students, workers, and peasants living in the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China on Taiwan through the lens of gender, ethnicity, work, diaspora, and ideology. Students understand the rise of China today within the context of its dynamic recent past.  Wayne Soon.

One 2-hour period.

399a or b. Senior Independent Study 0.5 to 1

Prerequisite(s): two units of Asian Studies Program or approved coursework and permission of the program director.