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Note: For descriptions of classes each term, see the LSA Course Guide
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Courses in LSA Asian Languages & Cultures
The department offers instruction in the languages, literatures, linguistics, and cultures of China, Japan, Korea, Tibet, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, including courses in traditional and modern Chinese and Japanese literature, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean civilization, Chinese philosophy, courses in the literatures and cultures of South and Southeast Asia, and a sequence of courses on the religions of China, Japan, Korea, Tibet, South and Southeast Asia.

The department’s core courses in the modern languages of East, South and Southeast Asia are designed to develop proficiency in the basic skills of speaking, aural comprehension, reading, and writing. To speed students’ progress toward a working knowledge of language, intensive work in Chinese and Japanese is usually offered during the summer (students must apply for admission to the summer program).

The faculty and staff in the department reserve the right to require students with previous background in an Asian language to take a placement test. Students will be placed in language classes according to the department’s best assessment of the student’s language skill and previous training. The department’s first-year language courses are designed for students with minimal or no previous exposure to the language in question. Students having previous experience with a language may be required to begin study at a higher level of instruction.

Please Note: Undergraduates with native or near native ability in an Asian language taught in the department (e.g., Chinese or Japanese) should not use that language to fulfill the language requirements for their sub-concentration if they decide to concentrate in Asian Studies.

Asian Studies (ASIAN)
ASIAN 200 / HISTORY 203. Introduction to Japanese Civilization
(4). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course is an overall survey of Japan's past and present designed primarily for first and second year students.

ASIAN 201. Society and Culture in Contemporary Japan
(4; 3 in the half-term). (SS). May not be repeated for credit.

This course is a general introduction to the forms and patterns of modern Japanese culture. Engaging common American perceptions and misperceptions of Japanese people and culture, we explore major social trends including the education system, family organization, styles of intimacy, and patterns of work.

ASIAN 204 / HISTORY 204. East Asia: Early Transformations
(4; 3 in the half-term). (HU). (R&E). May not be repeated for credit.

The course introduces the histories, cultures, and societies of East Asia, including China, Japan and Korea from the archaeological phases through early modern times, ca 1700. It emphasizes social transformation that was made possible through international exchanges of knowledge and goods, technological innovations and adaptations, literacy and thoughts.

ASIAN 205 / HISTORY 205. Modern East Asia
(4; 3 in the half-term). (SS). (R&E). May not be repeated for credit.

An interdisciplinary analysis of the impact of the modern world on the traditional cultures of China, Japan, Korea, and related areas, and the subsequent transformation of the societies of these countries, with an examination of the differing responses of China and Japan to the modern challenge.

ASIAN 206 / HISTORY 206. Indian Civilization
(4; 3 in the half-term). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

A lecture survey of the civilizations of India from earliest times to the present.

ASIAN 207 / HISTORY 207. Southeast Asian Civilization
(4; 3 in the half-term). (SS). (R&E). May not be repeated for credit.

A lecture survey of the civilization of Southeast Asia -- both the Indo-China peninsula and the islands from Indonesia to the Philippines -- from earliest times to the present.

ASIAN 210 / HISTORY 219. The Philippines: Culture and History
(3). (HU). (R&E). May not be repeated for credit.

This course is an introduction to the historical formation and cultural complexity of the Philippines. It surveys major periods in Philippine history, paying particular attention to the cultural effects of processes and events such as: religious conversion; revolution and nationalism; U.S. Imperialism; modernity, globalization, and migration.

ASIAN 220 / RELIGION 202. Introduction to the Study of Asian Religions
(4). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course is an introduction to the study of Asian religions. We will consider representative material drawn from some of the major Asian traditions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, etc.), from ancient times down to the present day.

ASIAN 222. Great Books of Japan
A knowledge of Japanese is not required. (4). (HU). May not be repeated for credit. Taught in English. W (in odd years).

An introduction to the great works of literature that have exerted a determining influence on the lives and culture of the Japanese from ancient times to the present.

ASIAN 223 / RELIGION 223. Krishna Speaks: Bhagavad-Gita
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This class introduces Hinduism to students through an intensive study of this single most important scriptural text, the Bhagavad-Gita. We spend half the time going over the text-in-translation, chapter by chapter. The other half of the class time is devoted to critical issues relating to the text, i.e., history of the text, its transmission, its location within the history of Hinduism, its connections with political/cultural history, its ancient and modern interpretations.

ASIAN 225 / RELIGION 225. Introduction to Hinduism: Origins and Development of Classical Hinduism
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

Hinduism is a major world religion practiced by over a billion people, primarily in South Asia, but it also was the precursor of Buddhism, and along with Buddhism it had a major impact on the civilizations in East and Southeast Asia. This class will cover its origins and development, its literature, its belief and practices, its unique social structures and doctrines, its interactions with other religions, and finally its confrontation with and accommodation of "modernity."

ASIAN 230 / PHIL 230 / RELIGION 230. Introduction to Buddhism
(4). (HU). May not be repeated for credit. May not be included in a concentration plan in Philosophy.

ASIAN 231 / RELIGION 231. Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism
(4). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course surveys the development of Buddhism in Tibet. It begins with an introduction to those doctrines and practices of Indian Buddhism that would come to hold an important place in the Tibetan tradition and goes on to examine the process of transmission of Buddhism from India to Tibet.

ASIAN 232 / AMCULT 234. Zen Masters, Dharma Bums, and Drag Queens: Buddhism in America
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

In this course we will consider the various ways Buddhism was and is transmitted to this country and how Buddhist traditions have taken shape within the contexts of colonialism, globalization, and distinctly American philosophical and cultural values. We will be looking at a wide range of sources, including novels, Buddhist teachings, popular culture, contemporary scholarship, and films. All are welcome. No previous experience necessary.

ASIAN 234 / RELIGION 234. Buddhism and Death
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course investigates a wide range of Buddhist doctrines and practices centered on dying, death, and the afterlife. These topics are explored to gain a more nuanced understanding of traditional and modern religious phenomenon as expressed in distinctly Buddhist contexts.

ASIAN 235. Introduction to Asian Studies
(4). (HU). May not be repeated for credit. Taught in English.

This introductory course forms an interdisciplinary gateway to the study of Asian cultures. Exploring topics and approaches that cross the national and disciplinary boundaries that have conventionally divided the study of Asia, the course invites students to think thematically and critically across cultural differences and through historical connections.

ASIAN 241 / HISTORY 251. The Chinese Renaissance: Cultural Transformations in Eleventh-Century China
(3). (ID). May not be repeated for credit.

This course examines the profound economic, political, social, philosophical, religious, artistic, and technological developments in the Song Empire (960-1279). Readings in scholarly articles and translated primary documents reveal a flourishing culture of subtle perception and startling achievement that resembles the European Renaissance both in many of its particulars and in its general significance for human civilization.

ASIAN 243 / HISTART 243. Introduction to South Asian Art
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course surveys the arts of South Asia, from the earliest remains of Indus Valley civilization through the contemporary period.

ASIAN 244. Seeds of Conflict: Intercultural Encounters in Japan from 745-1945
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

Why are Japan's relations with its neighbors so complicated? We make use of materials from the 8th century through WWII - history, literature, art, and film - to explore the origins and development of Japan's complicated relationship with its neighbors in order to better understand its conflicted place in East Asia today.

ASIAN 248 / HISTORY 248 / RELIGION 248. Jesus Comes to Asia: Conversion and its Consequences in Asia
(4). (HU). (R&E). May not be repeated for credit.

This course provides a broad introduction to the study of Christian conversion and its legacy in the regions now known as South, East, and Southeast Asia.

ASIAN 250. Undergraduate Seminar in Buddhist Studies
No knowledge of an Asian language required. (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This undergraduate seminar offers lower division LSA students a small group learning experience. Students will explore a subject of particular interest in collaboration with a faculty member in the area of Buddhist Studies.

ASIAN 251. Undergraduate Seminar in Chinese Culture
No knowledge of Chinese language is required. (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

ASIAN 252. Undergraduate Seminar in Japanese Culture
No knowledge of Japanese language is required. (3). (HU). May be elected twice for credit.

ASIAN 254. Undergraduate Seminar in Korean Culture
No knowledge of Korean language is required. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.

This topics course is in the same mold as the other 250 courses in ALC. This course allows us to offer varying course to introduce aspects of Korean Culture to underclassmen. Topics will be in the area of Humanities, that our faculty specialize in: religion and literature.

ASIAN 255. Undergraduate Seminar in Asian Studies
(3). (HU). May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.

This undergraduate seminar offers lower division LSA students a small group learning experience. Students will explore a subject of particular interest in collaboration with a faculty member in the area of Asian studies.

ASIAN 257. Great Cities in Asia
(4). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course serves as an introduction to four great cities in Asia: Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, and Mumbai. It focuses on a number of key issues that are critical to making sense of these cities.

ASIAN 258. Food and Drink of Asia
(4). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course uses food and drink as a window into the culture and history of East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

ASIAN 259 / HISTORY 255. The History of Modern South Asia
(4; 3 in the half-term). (HU). (R&E). May not be repeated for credit.

This is an introductory level course on the history of India as it relates to the life and times of Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948), one of the great political philosophers of the 20th century. The course will focus on British colonial rule, India's independence, and Gandhi's legacy in postcolonial India.

ASIAN 260 / HISTORY 252. Introduction to Chinese Civilization
(4). (HU). (R&E). May not be repeated for credit. No assumed knowledge of Chinese history, culture, or language required.

This course introduces students to major problems and controversies in pre-modern Chinese cultural studies. It covers the political, cultural, social, and material history from the Neolithic period to the Mongol conquest in the 13th century.

ASIAN 261. Introduction to Modern Chinese Culture
No knowledge of Chinese required. (4). (HU). May not be repeated for credit. Taught in English.

By following modern Chinese cultural history from the late 19th century to the 21st century, we study how various cultural forms (such as literature, visuals arts, and cinema) rose in response to historical exigencies and at the same time had significant impact on the course of history. Our goal is to gain a deeper understanding of the complex experience of modernity in China.

ASIAN 262. Twenty-five Ways that China Changed the World
(4). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

The media makes much of China's rising stature, predicting that the world will soon look to China for leadership. Yet long before the present moment, Chinese products and institutions shaped the experience of daily life around the globe. This class investigates the ways that Chinese "things" have changed the world.

ASIAN 263 / PHIL 263. Introduction to Chinese Philosophy
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course focuses on the major philosophical schools of Classical China from the Warring States period (453-221 BCE) to the end of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911 CE). Special consideration is given to the ethical, religious and political thought of Confucian, Mohist, Daoist schools in early China, and the Neo-Confucian developments in later imperial periods.

ASIAN 264. Looking at Traditional China Through its Most Famous Novel, The Story of the Stone
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

The Story of the Stone (Honglou meng) is arguably the most influential work of traditional Chinese literature. It charts the difficult growth into adulthood of a number of adolescent cousins fortunate enough to be living together. This course allows students to explore the many different facets of this complex novel.

ASIAN 272 / RELIGION 272. Introduction to the Study of Korean Religions
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course serves as a broad survey of the major themes and developments in the history of religion in Korea. It begins with traces of religious life from the Neolithic period and ends with the rise of new religious movements in contemporary Korea.

ASIAN 273 / RCHUMS 273. North Korea: Real and Imagined
(4). (ID). May not be repeated for credit.

This course acts as an introduction to North Korea, examining this controversial state from the perspective of history, international relations, and contemporary society.

ASIAN 274 / HISTORY 249. Introduction to Korean Civilization
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course serves as a general introduction to Korean history and culture from earliest times to the present. Topics to be covered include foundation myths, religion, ancient literature, modernization, colonialism, civil war, authoritarianism, rapid industrialization, and democratization in Korea.

ASIAN 275 / HISTORY 288. India Calling: Culture and Society in Contemporary India
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course proposes to examine modern Indian culture and society. It will focus on three interrelated themes of Indian culture, tracing their transformations from the pre-modern to the modern: religion, gender, and caste. It will pay particular attention to the manner in which various components of Indian culture were constituted in the colonial and postcolonial periods.

ASIAN 276 / AMCULT 276. India as Imaginary Homeland: an Introduction to Cultural Constructions of National Identity
(3). (HU). (R&E). May not be repeated for credit.

What is India? This course surveys novels, short stories, essays and films that ask what South Asian identity is in colonial and postcolonial India, including in diaspora. There is a midterm and final open-book examination, four short reaction papers, as well as reading note cards due every class. This course assumes no prior knowledge of South Asia.

ASIAN 280. Topics in Asian Studies
(3). (HU). May be elected twice for credit.

Provides an opportunity for non-specialists to explore a particular area of Asian culture. It aims to give beginning students a background for the study of Asian topics, as well as special insights into the (literary) traditions, philosophies, and beliefs of different peoples within Asia.

ASIAN 283. The Martial Arts in East Asia: Sport, Nationalism, and the Invention of Tradition
(4). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This class examines the history and culture of modern East Asian martial arts such as judo, aikido, taekwondo, and wushu.

ASIAN 285 / WOMENSTD 285. Love and Intimacy in Asia
(3). (SS). May not be repeated for credit.

This course offers an introduction to recent scholarship on romance and intimacy in Asia to examine how intimate relationships shape human experiences.

ASIAN 292 / HISTART 292. Introduction to Japanese Art and Culture
(4). (HU). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in HISTART 495.

This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the history of Japanese visual culture, introducing the art of the archipelago from ancient times through the present day. Although primarily a chronological examination of key artistic monuments, it also discusses thematic issues in Japanese art history, such as nature, gender, and modernity.

ASIAN 297. Mini Course in Asian Studies
(1 - 3). (HU). May be elected three times for credit.

This course is aimed at undergraduate students with an interest in Asian studies. Topics will vary, focusing on aspects of culture, linguistics, literature, performance/theater, religion, film, history, etc. All material will be taught in English.

ASIAN 300. Love and Death in Japanese Culture
A knowledge of Japanese is not required. (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

A critical study of major works of Japanese literature from the eighth through the nineteenth century, with a view to illuminating cultural attitudes towards love and death within the sociopolitical, religious and philosophical contexts.

ASIAN 302. Rewriting Identities in Modern Japan
Knowledge of Japanese is not required. (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

Readings in modern Japanese fiction aiming to examine the shifts in the concept of self and identity under the impact of modernization and Western influence, and in tension with traditional Japanese philosophy.

ASIAN 303 / RELIGION 303. Religious Military Orders of the World
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course explores the figure of the "Warrior Saint" as it is depicted in some of the better known religious-military orders of the world such as the Khalsa in India, the Japanese Samurai, the Shaolin monks of China, Christian Crusaders and Muslim jihadists in the medieval period.

ASIAN 304 / HISTART 304. The Art of Yoga
(3). (ID). May not be repeated for credit.

As yoga becomes increasingly popular it is important to query its early development, transformation over the centuries, and the possibilities and perils that it holds forth to its practitioners. Graphing milestones in the history of yoga, this course is also an introduction to South Asian visual, literary, and religious culture.

ASIAN 305 / RELIGION 305. Religion and Violence in the Secular World
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

How do we think about religion and violence in a secular world? Through a series of case studies focusing on the world's major religious traditions including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism and Buddhism, this course reflects on a variety of contemporary themes including the War on Terror, religious pluralism, the fate of liberal democracy etc.

ASIAN 306 / RELIGION 306. What is Religion?
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course examines: 1) the genesis and evolution of the modern concept of religion through the writings of key thinkers; and 2) its relevance to themes as diverse as politics, belief, love, capitalism, imperialism, mysticism and spirituality, secularization, and pluralism.

ASIAN 307 / HISTORY 308 / RELIGION 307. Eat, Pray, Love: Devotional Traditions in South Asia
ASIAN 220 or 225. (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course explores the meaning and location of devotion within Indian religions. Over the semester, the course grapples with the centrality of practice, beyond the world of scripture and sacred texts, in understanding Religion. Focusing primarily on Hindu, Sikh, and Islamic devotional traditions, this course guides students to a deeper and nuanced understanding of the practice of popular religion in the Indian subcontinent today, as well as in the past.

ASIAN 308 / RCHUMS 308. Arts and Ideas of Modern South and Southeast Asia
(3). (HU). (R&E). May not be repeated for credit.

How have the countries of South and Southeast Asia re-conceptualized their cultures, accommodating to or rejecting Western views in the 20th century? Focusing primarily on India, Thailand and Indonesia, this course examines the aesthetic responses of twentieth century writers, musicians, and dancers as they come into contact with Western ideas.

ASIAN 310 / WOMENSTD 311. Family in Japan
(3). (SS). May not be repeated for credit.

What is the importance of family in contemporary Japan? This course begins to answer this central question by exploring both families as lived experience and Family as a powerful symbol for national unity. Focusing on the ways in which families have been imagined, legislated, lived, and refused, we will examine legal structures and social norms that shape these very personal groups. Including social scientific theory about kinship, the course traces the centrality of family in contemporary life while analyzing debates about family change, social conflict, and personal preferences. Topics include the household registry system, parent-child relationships, family-owned businesses, queer families, divorce, and domestic violence. Course materials include readings and required films, two short papers, and a final paper.

ASIAN 311. The Image of the Samurai
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

Representations of the samurai in literature, drama, art, film, and other forms from the twelfth to twenty-first century; how the samurai became a global icon.

ASIAN 312. After Defeat: The Cultural History of Postwar Japan
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course explores the relation of art and politics in Japan from the Occupation era to the 1970s, starting with criticism of the Asia-Pacific War and ending with reassessments of the postwar period itself. Materials include literature, film, visual arts, theater, and philosophy. Attendance at evening film screenings is required.