East Asian Studies Courses
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Fall, 2014 | East Asian Studies
A comprehensive introduction to the study of Korea. Following a historical survey, the course will examine key cultural themes and social institutions and explore aspects of Korea's relationship with its East Asian neighbors. Attention will also be paid to contemporary issues, social problems, and cultural trends.
The development of Japanese culture from antiquity to the present: an overview of Japanese cultural history, focusing on the interplay of crucial aspects of contemporary Japanese society and Japanese social psychology.
Drawing upon an interdisciplinary approach, this course addresses several major themes with a focus on the dynamics of China's unprecedented healthcare transformations. Topical issues covered will include: Biocultural Contexts of Disease; the Challenge of Aging in a Gray China; Health Inequalities and Social Stratification; and Values and the Medical Humanities in Public Health.**Students are encouraged to conduct ethnographic field research in a variety of settings including: community health centers, drug stores, city and district hospitals, clinics, public parks, clubs, temples and shrines, tea houses, cafes, restaurants, and school playgrounds and other places of interest. MUST BE ENROLLED IN THE STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM AT FUDAN UNIVERSITY IN SHANGHAI, CHINA.
This course examines political, socio-economic, and intellectual-cultural developments in Chinese society from the middle of the fourteenth century to 1800. This chronological focus largely corresponds to the last two imperial dynasties, the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911). Thematically, the course emphasizes such early modern indigenous developments as increasing commercialization, social mobility, and questioning of received cultural values. Pre-modern, East Asia. PREREQUISITE: SEE DEPARTMENT INFO.
Tales of heroism, crime, revolt, and political intrigue. Bloody battles, betrayal, madness, and flashing swords. This is the world of jidaigeki eiga, the Japanese period film. In this course, we will analyze the complex (and often flamboyant) narrative, visual, and thematic structures of films about the age of the samurai. We will discuss jidaigeki representations of violence and masculinity, self-sacrifice and rebellion, and the invention of tradition as well as critical uses of history. In addition to the historical content of the films, we will study the historical contexts that shaped jidaigeki film production and discuss relevant transformations in Japanese cinema and society. Period films have been shaped by and exert strong influences on Japanese theater, oral storytelling, popular literature, comics, and international film culture, all of which are helpful for understanding the films. As we track changes in jidaigeki style and subject matter, the course will introduce theories for interpreting narrative structure, genre repetition and innovation, intertextuality, and representations of "the past." All readings will be in English. No knowledge of Japanese required. No prerequisites. Required Screenings: Tuesdays @ 7 pm.
This survey of Japanese literature covers antiquity to the 17th century. Emphasis on the ideological and cultural contexts for the emergence of a variety of traditions, including poetry, diaries, narrative, and theater. Required of all Japanese majors and recommended for all Chinese majors. No knowledge of Japanese language is required. Sophomore standing and above recommended.
An introduction to important genres and themes of Chinese literature through the study of major writers. Brief lectures on the writers' personal, social, intellectual, and historical contexts; most class time will be devoted to student discussions of their masterworks as an avenue for understanding Chinese culture during selected historical periods. Required for all Chinese majors, and recommended for all Japanese majors. No prerequisites; all readings will be in English translation.
In this course we will explore various ways East Asian religious traditions deal with the death and the dead. We will examine how the Daoist, Buddhist, and folk traditions of East Asia historically and currently address the question of "What happens when we die?" We will look at different ritual practices surrounding death, dying, and the dead in their ongoing relationships with the living. We will also explore various descriptions of the terrain of the afterlife or postmortem world by critically engaging a variety of textual and visual records of China, Korea, and Japan. Some of the topics that will be discussed in the course include the nature of the self, the function of funerary rites, the geography of the afterlife, communication with the dead, and religious notions of salvation/liberation. By exploring a variety of narratives and practices regarding death and the afterlife, students will develop a rich and detailed picture of the relationship between the living and the dead in the East Asian religious landscape. Prerequisite: at least one course in East Asian civilization and/or religion or permission of instructor.
An introduction to how historians and anthropologists incorporate theoretical insights into their work, this course first "reverse engineers" the main arguments in several insightful books and articles on empire in Asia, all of which are informed by the work of Michel Foucault. Retaining our theoretical knowledge, we then focus on the more empirical aspects of the Japanese empire in Korea, including settler colonialism, the colonial economy, representations of colonialism and the long-term ramifications of empire. We conclude with a general assessment of the history of empire. In these ways, this course seeks to equip students with a knowledge of empire in East Asia in the late 19th and 20th centuries while simultaneously investigating the nature of that knowledge.
Widely acknowledged as the greatest modern Japanese fiction writer, Tanizaki Junichiro (1886-1965) was a storyteller of extraordinary range and creative genius. His work, which spans the first half of the 20th century, mixes historical and contemporary settings in its exploration of the sensual and sensuous side of human nature. The course will focus on a selection of his short stories as well as his most celebrated novels, including Some Prefer Nettles, Naomi, and The Key. All readings will be in English translation. Knowledge of Japanese language or literature is not required, although some familiarity will naturally prove helpful. Prerequisites: Junior standing and 6 units of literature.
Woodblock prints of the 18th and 19th centuries and their relationship to literature and popular culture. Topics include the life of the pleasure quarters, sexuality and the "erotic," parody, kabuki theater, and the representation of women. Prerequisite: 3 units in Japanese painting, or permission of instructor.
This course introduces the advanced student of Japanese to a variety of prose narratives in the modern language. Readings, which will include literary texts and topical essays on aspects of Japanese society and culture, will reflect the needs and interests of the enrolled students. Focus will be on close reading and syntactic analysis of the selected texts. Regular translation exercises will gauge the mastery of grammar, syntax, and idiomatic usages. All readings will be in Japanese, with class discussion conducted predominantly in English. A final translation project, to be chosen by the student in consultation with the instructor, will be required. Prerequisite: Japan 458, or instructor's permission.
In the class, we will explore some of the ways in which the Chinese traditionally sought to answer fundamental religious questions regarding the ultimate meaning and significance of human life and death. However, we will do so not by studying canonical religious scriptures or philosophical treatises, but rather by looking at the expression of religious and philosophical ideas in texts designed as much for entertainment as for instruction: tales, stories, ballads, songs and plays. It is in this more popular religious literature that we can find valuable clues as to how ordinary people (including quite educated ordinary people) interpreted, understood - and sometimes ridiculed--what could sometimes seem like very abstruse religious and philosophical doctrines. In this course, we will explore a range of different sorts of texts, some primarily Buddhist, Daoist or Confucian, others representing a creative mix of all three. We will also read a certain amount of secondary scholarship both about individual texts as well as the larger theoretical questions regarding the use of literature to convey religious ideas. All assigned articles and primary readings will be in English or (good) English translation, although those able to do so will be encouraged to read the original Chinese versions as well, and to make use of primary sources for their final papers. Prerequisite: This course is intended primarily for upper-level undergraduates (PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR REQUIRED) as well as graduate students. Some background in Chinese religions/literature highly recommended.
Students intending to write a Senior Honors Thesis register for this course in the fall of their senior year, provided they have the permission of their primary advisor and the program director. Prerequisite: Senior standing.
In this course, we will situate major Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Singapore in the global context to gain new perspectives on the ways we look at Chinese culture. We will examine issues such as alienation, decadence, and cosmopolitanism that are closely associated with urban culture. We will also focus on the global circulation of cultures and discuss the possibilities of conceiving a new cultural geography that will allow us to view the world in a new kind of global spatial order, instead of looking at the world as composed of a body of nations. This new inter- and cross-cultural map will show that a global urban culture has been in the making within the proposed Chinese global cities, and that in fact they share more in common with each other than with the cultures of the state where these cities exist. Literary texts, films, videos and multi-media art works will be examined. All readings are available in English. All films are subtitled. Regular reading assignments and a major research project will be required. Prerequisites: This course is designed primarily for upper-level undergraduate students and for graduate students.
A comparative exploration of colonial modernities in Taiwan and mainland China from late 19th century to early 20th century, by reading literary texts by elite and popular writers. Primary materials addressed will include writings in poetry and prose as well as dramatic literature and cinema, and will be discussed both in their cultural context and in conjunction with related trends in critical scholarship. Topics will include major schools and movements, negotiations between traditional and foreign ideologies, questions of nation, class and personal identity, as well as the far-reaching impact of colonialism in East Asia. Regular reading reports and a final research paper required. Prerequisite: Designed for graduate students but also open to seniors with instructor's permission.
Prerequisite: Permission of the Committee on East Asian Studies.
Normally taken after successful completion of Chi 461. May be repeated once or taken as a double course. PREREQUISITES: GRADUATE STANDING, AND PERMISSION OF THE INSTRUCTOR AND THE GRADUATE ADVISOR.
PREREQUISITES: Senior standing and permission of the Instructor and the Department Chair. This course will normally be taken after the successful completion of Japan 459. May be repeated once.
PREREQUISITE: At least senior standing and instructor's permission. May be repeated.
Directed research in Asian Studies. Prerequisite: Permission of the Director of Graduate Studies required.
A supervised experience in the practical application of East Asian Studies designed to fit a student's individual needs and background. Prerequisite, by designation of the director of graduate studies.
Prerequisite: Admission to graduate program.