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Course Catalog

Asian Studies

The University offers a broad range of courses dealing with Indian, Chinese and Japanese cultures. The Asian Studies Committee, headed by the director of Asian Studies, oversees both a major in East Asian Studies and a minor in Asian Studies. Students with a special interest in Asia are urged to take advantage of opportunities to study, either for a term or a full academic year, in India, China or Japan. Graduates of the Asian studies program typically go on to employment in business and education or enter professional and graduate schools. In addition to a major in East Asian Studies and a minor in Asian Studies, a minor in Japanese language is offered. Consult the Modern Languages section of the catalog. The Asian Studies Committee periodically reviews the list of courses that may be applied to both the East Asian Studies major and the Asian Studies minor.


Requirements for a major

East Asian Studies

Total courses required Nine to eleven
Core courses Two to four semesters of Chinese or Japanese language beyond the 100 level, including: JAPN 251, JAPN 252, CHIN 261, CHIN 262, JAPN 351, JAPN 352, CHIN 361, JAPN 451

Two of the following introductory courses: HIST 107, HIST 108, REL 130E (a course that always includes sections on China and Japan)

ASIA 480

Other required courses Four courses from the following (two of the four courses must be at the 300-400 level): CHIN 361, ASIA 140, ASIA 250, ASIA 281, ASIA 282, ASIA 290 (when an East Asian topic), ASIA 390, ASIA 470, ANTH 277, HIST 252, HIST 290 (when an East Asian topic), HIST 350, HIST 351, HIST 353, HIST 490 (Seminar: East Asia), HIST 491, JAPN 351, JAPN 352, JAPN 451, PHIL 218, POLS 253, REL 258, REL 352, REL 491. (A number of other courses apply toward the Asian Studies program. See the Schedule of Classes each semester for a complete listing.)
Number 300 and 400 level courses Three
Senior requirement and capstone experience A student usually takes ASIA 480 in the fall semester of the senior year; in it, the student will complete a substantial essay, including an oral examination.
Additional information A maximum of two non-language courses per term may be counted toward the major from off-campus programs.
Writing in the Major The writing in the major requirement for East Asian Studies includes three components: 1. the evaluation of a student-writing portfolio; 2. the assessment of a major's self-reflective statement to be carried out in the summer before a student undertakes work in the senior seminar; and 3. the evaluation of a student's senior thesis and defense. Declared majors are required to submit a portfolio of written work in Asian Studies courses before being admitted to the Senior Seminar. Before taking the seminar, students select three papers from three different courses that count toward the Asian Studies major and that demonstrate the student's intellectual trajectory in the field. The portfolios are reviewed by at least two members of the Asian Studies steering committee. The portfolio papers form the basis of a discussion between the student and advisors regarding writing strengths and weaknesses to be addressed as the student undertakes his/her senior-writing project. During the portfolio review students are given an opportunity to identify their authorial voice and to reflect upon how their written work coheres within the major and sets the stage for work in the Senior Seminar. This process is designed to assist students in the identification of an intellectual project for the senior thesis.

Subsequent to conversations during the portfolio review and before undertaking their senior seminar projects students are required to submit personal reflections, ranging from 750 to 1200 words, that bridge their portfolios to the topics of their senior theses. In their reflections, students discuss their academic interests and address issues raised in conversations about papers selected for their portfolios. Like the portfolios, the reflections are read by at least two faculty members in Asian Studies. The faculty members provide written comments on the reflections before the students embark upon their senior thesis projects.

The Asian Studies Senior Seminar is designed to develop and assess the overall writing skills of our majors. It is the capstone course of the Asian Studies program. The seminar utilizes brainstorming, in-class and out-of-class writing, outlining, drafting, peer-review, instructor consultation, and final presentations to accomplish the developmental and assessment goals of the course. The initial proposals and final drafts of senior theses are read by two readers: the faculty member who guides the seminar and another faculty member whose special field is related to the thesis topic. Final papers range between 30-40 pages.


Requirements for a minor

Asian Studies

Total courses required Five
Core courses Approved courses chosen from those listed for the major, drawn from at least two disciplines
Other required courses In addition to the courses listed under the East Asian Studies major, the following courses may be applied toward the minor: ANTH 290 (when an appropriate topic), ANTH 277, JAPN 151, JAPN 152, CHIN 161, CHIN 162, REL 130, REL 253, REL 257, POLS 150. No more than two courses in Asian language and no more than two courses from an off-campus program may be included in the minor. The 300-400 level course must be taken on campus and may not be an independent study course.
Number 300 and 400 level courses One

Courses in Art History

ARTH 133

East Asian Art Survey I

The first half of a 2-semester survey of East Asian Art (from 1500 B.C.E. to the 14th century) analyzing the major developments in the art and architecture of China, Japan, and Korea over a range of media. We will study some of the various methodologies that can be applied to East Asian Art as well as key themes in the chronological and historical development of visual cultures against the background of political, social, and cultural contexts. Cross-listed with Asian Studies.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

ARTH 135

East Asian Art Survey II

The second half of a 2-semester survey of East Asian Art (from the 14th century to the present) analyzing the major developments in the art and architecture of China, Japan, and Korea over a range of media. We will study some of the various methodologies that can be applied to East Asian Art as well as key themes in the chronological and historical development of visual cultures against the background of political, social, and cultural contexts. Cross-listed with Asian Studies.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

ARTH 231

Urban Art of Early Modern Japan

This course explores the spectacle and complexity of Japanese urban life in the early modern period through a study of the era's visual arts, particularly woodblock prints and paintings or ukiyo-e. Investigation of ukiyo-e yields a rich tapestry of issues and topics relevant to "early modernity." We will consider the economic currents of the time, the wealth of the commoner class as well as the concomitant blurring of social boundaries, government attempts at control, the powerful entertainment industries of theatre & sex, the visualization of urban literature, concepts of beauty, the "burden" of history, and the supernatural. Our interdisciplinary approach will allow us to engage with not only art-historical issues, but also literary, sociological, historical, and religious concerns.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

ARTH 232

Warrior Art of Japan: Shoguns & Daimyo

This course explores the arts produced for and by the warrior elite of Japan from 1185 until 1868. From the tragic tale of Minamoto Yoshitsune to the dog-loving Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, the class will concentrate on the arts produced for the men who led the nation through both treacherous and prosperous times. We will study arms & armor, castles & retreat pavilions, the tea ceremony, paintings, Noh theatre and film. Through a careful consideration of translated documents, slide reproductions of art objects, movies, and selected treasures from the DePauw University Art Collection, students will learn about what motivated these powerful men to produce art, how they embraced the arts to better themselves culturally, and what these monuments and artworks conveyed about the culture of Japan's medieval and early modern eras.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

ARTH 233

Monumental Art of Japan, 1550-1900: Splendor & Angst

This course explores large-scale art and architecture produced in Japan from 1550 to 1900. These years encompass the last turbulent decades of warfare and the first two centuries of an era of peace, witnessing the construction (and destruction) of resplendent castles, villas, religious complexes, and their accompanying interior decoration. Powerful and pervasive artistic ateliers, which were responsible for the decoration of these structures, also left an indelible artistic stamp on the nation during this period. What role did such resplendent monuments play in the struggle for power, both politically and culturally? For whose eyes was such splendor intended and what hidden, underlying angst pervades these efforts? What aesthetic values are expressed and did they extend beyond the elite, ruling class? Students will consider these questions and more, ultimately investigating the larger role of "art" in society.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

ARTH 234

East West Encounters

This course examines cross-cultural artistic encounters between the Western world (Europe and the United States) and Asia (India, China, and Japan) from ca. 1500 to the mid-twentieth century, concentrating on the role of art objects and visual culture, broadly speaking, in the cultural exchange between East and West over the past five hundred years. Topics include the impact of Western realism on traditional Asian art forms; the role of commodities and empire in artistic production; Japonisme and Chinoiserie in 19th century Europe and America; early photography; collections of Asian art objects in the West; issues of cultural identity in Asian modernism; and post-World War II abstract art.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities None 1 course

ARTH 331

Kyoto: A Cultural Metropolis

This course examines the rich visual culture of Kyoto, the imperial capital of Japan from 794 until 1868. During its long history, the city witnessed astounding growth, cultural flowering first under the emperors and then under various warlords, devastation by wars, fires, and famine, and multiple rebirths. Kyoto presided over some of the nation's greatest artistic achievements including the construction of sumptuous palaces, get-away villas, grand temples, and the production of the paintings and decorative flourishes within these structures. In the early modern period, Kyoto silk weavers, lacquer-ware specialists, book illustrators, calligraphers, and especially, painters commanded the respect of consumers throughout Japan, spreading Kyoto's artistic "style" to other urban centers and to the villages at the peripheries of power. The class will proceed chronologically, beginning with the founding of the city in 794 and ending with the city's role in the restoration of imperial power in 1868. Each week we will focus on specific case studies, monuments, art objects, illustrated works of literature, and maps, as well as translated primary sources and pertinent studies by art historians of Japan. Besides gaining a familiarity with Kyoto's pre-modern visual culture, the class aims to impart an awareness of Kyoto's role in the formation of Japanese 'nationhood' and national identity.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

ARTH 332

Representation in Japanese Visual Culture

This course examines the concept of "representation" in Japanese visual culture, engaging with subject matter from contemporary times, as well as from Japan's modern and pre-modern periods (12th through the early 20th centuries). We will proceed along thematic lines. Balancing theoretical readings with scholarly articles and a sprinkling of translated primary sources, the class will address issues relating to the representation (or re-presentation) of landscape and the environment, the body and gender roles, canonical narratives as performance, and national identity at three crucial periods in Japan's history. At times we will reference Japanese monuments and works of art produced prior to the early modern era, as well as the Chinese sources that influenced some of the Japanese topics at the locus of our investigation. What lies at the heart of representation--subjectivity, political aims, societal concerns, emotional responses--and the complexity this question reveals are the central concerns of this course.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

ARTH 333

The Supernatural in Japanese Art

This course explores the theme of the supernatural in Japanese visual culture from the 12th century to the present. With origins in religion, folklore, and literature, otherworldly creatures and their powers have captured the imagination of the Japanese and consequently inspired creative visualizations of them. Students will not only analyze works ranging from traditional painting mediums to contemporary manga, as well as anime, but also will engage with texts that have supernatural worlds and beings as a central element. Moreover, this course will ask students to place these exhilarating and cautionary tales in context: what do these narratives say about the societies that created them, believed in them, and produced visualizations of the supernatural creatures featured within them?

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

ARTH 334

Women and East Asian Art

This course examines the role of women in the arts in pre-modern East Asia and the negotiation of women's concerns, by female artists, in modern and contemporary East Asian art. Did women have no sense of empowerment at all in pre-modern China, Korea, and Japan? What about Chinese, Korean, and Japanese women artists today? What are their interests and agendas? Students will engage with historical works of art and artists, while concurrently gaining an understanding of gendered female roles as determined by religious, philosophical, and societal conceptualizations of the past. Then, students will study feminist discourses originating from the West in their analysis of modern and contemporary East Asian art by and about women. Ultimately, the aim of this course is to demystify and to complicate understandings about women as the subject of art, as well as women as the producers of art, in East Asia.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

Courses in Asian Studies

ASIA 140

Introduction to Chinese Culture

This course introduces the elements of contemporary and traditional Chinese culture. It provides students with a fundamental yet diverse knowledge of China and its culture through examination of its manifestations: political, religious, social, cultural, and economic. Topics include history, traditional belief systems, society, languages, arts and literature, performance traditions, daily life and customs, ethnicity and gender issues, science and technology, business and government.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

ASIA 197

First-Year Seminar in Asian Studies

A seminar focused on a theme related to the study of Asia. Open only to first-year students.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

ASIA 250

China on Screen

Through viewing and discussing cinematic films, students will learn to appreciate how China has been presented as a nation and a culture by generations of Chinese directors from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other cultural enclaves and by current film critics, both Chinese and western. Topics include the history of the Chinese film industry, major genres in Chinese cinema, the issues of cultural hegemony, as well as cinematic constructions of "so-called" Chinese gender, nationhood and individuality.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

ASIA 281

Traditional Japanese Literature

A survey of Japanese literature, in English translation, from the eighth to the 18th century. Works from a variety of genres (poetry, plays, novels, diaries) are examined.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

ASIA 282

Modern Japanese Novelists

A study, in translation, of major Japanese novelists of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Natsume Soseki (Kokoro), the Nobel Prize winner Kawabata Jasunari (Snow Country), Murakami Haruki (Sputnik Sweetheart) and Hoshimoto Banana (Kitchen).

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

ASIA 290

Topics in Asian Studies

Usually a course on aspects of one of the societies and cultures studied in the Asian Studies program (India, China and Japan) or a comparative treatment of aspects of these cultures.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

ASIA 390

Topics in East Asian Studies

Examines selected themes, genres or periods in Chinese and Japanese literature, or explores, in an interdisciplinary manner, issues and/or periods in Chinese and Japanese cultural and intellectual history. Prerequisite: HIST 107, HIST 108, or REL 130E .

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
HIST 107, HIST 108, or REL 130E 1 course

ASIA 470

Directed Readings in East Asian Studies

Independent study for majors or, by permission of the instructor, for students with significant coursework in an aspect of East Asian Studies.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

ASIA 480

East Asian Studies Senior Seminar

Required of majors in East Asian Studies. Normally taken in the fall semester of the senior year.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

Courses in History

HIST 107

Introduction to China and Japan

An interdisciplinary introduction to Chinese and Japanese civilizations from their beginning through the mid-19th century, stressing cultural ideals and the social relations of families and classes, including peasants and townsmen, bureaucrats, beggars and bandits, warlords and women.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

HIST 108

Modern China and Japan

An introductory examination of East Asia in the modern world, beginning with the Western impact in the mid-19th century and focusing on Japanese industrialization and empire, Chinese revolution, World War II in Asia and trends to the present.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

HIST 252

U.S. - East Asian Relations

This course will examine the interactions between the United States and the major countries in East Asia - China, Japan, and Korea - from the 19th century to the present. The topics that will be explored include cultural interactions and changing mutual images, the impact of imperialism, Asian nationalisms, the Pacific War, communism in Asia, the Japanese developmental state, and, more recently, China's rise as a capitalist state with Chinese characteristics.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Social Sciences 1 course

HIST 350

The Samurai in Feudal Japan

An exploration of feudal Japanese society (1185-1800) through an in-depth study of its major actors - the samurai. The topics that are explored in this course include the mores, ethos and valor of the samurai, on the one hand, and the changing as well as enduring social, economic and political structure of this period on the other hand.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

HIST 351

Women and Family in Modern China

The role and status of women and the evolution of the Chinese family from the late imperial period to the present. It draws on materials from novels and biographical case studies.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

HIST 353

Industrial East Asia

An examination of the emergence of East Asia from a pre-industrialized backwater in the 19th century to a vibrant economic region by the 1980s.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

Courses in Chinese

CHIN 161

Elementary Chinese I

The goals for this course are for students to master the pinyin Romanization system and to acquire basic communication skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing Mandarin Chinese. CHIN 161 is open only to beginners in Chinese or those with two years or less of high school Chinese.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

CHIN 162

Elementary Chinese II

This course is a continuation of Elementary Chinese I. Students will continue to develop the language skills they acquired in Elementary Chinese I. Prerequisite: CHIN 161 or qualifying score on the placement test.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Language CHIN 161 or qualifying score on the placement test 1 course

CHIN 261

Intermediate Chinese I

Course work helps students to develop four linguistic skills (speaking, writing, listening and reading) in Chinese at a more advanced level. Course work emphasizes drills, conversation and grammar. The goals are for students to acquire the following skills: to pronounce modern standard Chinese, to write words using both characters and pinyin Romanization system, to converse in more complicated sentences based on grammatical structures introduced in this course and to write essays. Prerequisite: CHIN 162 or qualifying score on the placement test.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Language CHIN 162 or qualifying score on the placement test 1 course

CHIN 262

Intermediate Chinese II

A continuation of CHIN 216. Prerequisite: CHIN 261 or qualifying score on the placement test.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Language CHIN 261 or qualifying score on the placement test 1 course

CHIN 361

Advanced Chinese I

Reading and discussion of advanced Chinese materials. Exercise in speaking the language and in writing compositions. Prerequisite: CHIN 261 or qualifying score on the placement test.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Language CHIN 261 or qualifying score on the placement test 1 course

CHIN 362

Advanced Chinese II

A continuation of CHIN 361. Prerequisite: CHIN 361 or qualifying score on the placement test.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Language CHIN 361 or qualifying score on the placement test 1 course

Courses in Japanese

JAPN 151

Elementary Japanese I

Introduction to the Japanese language with emphasis on development of proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. JAPN 151 is open only to beginners in Japanese or those with two years or less of high school Japanese.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

JAPN 152

Elementary Japanese II

A continuation of the study of JAPN 151. Open to students who have successfully completed Japanese I or who are placed into this level by test results. Prerequisite: JAPN 151 or qualifying score on the placement test.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Language JAPN 151 or qualifying score on the placement test 1 course

JAPN 251

Intermediate Japanese I

Further study of Japanese language and practice in speaking, listening, reading and writing. Prerequisite: JAPN 152 or qualifying score on the placement test.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Language JAPN 152 or qualifying score on the placement test 1 course

JAPN 252

Intermediate Japanese II

A continuation of JAPN 251. Prerequisite: JAPN 251 or qualifying score on the placement test.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Language JAPN 251 or qualifying score on the placement test 1 course

JAPN 351

Advanced Japanese I

Readings and discussion of advanced Japanese materials. Exercise in speaking the language and in writing compositions. Prerequisite: JAPN 252 or qualifying score on the placement test.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Language JAPN 252 or qualifying score on the placement test 1 course

JAPN 352

Advanced Japanese II

Further study of the Japanese language. Prerequisite: JAPN 252 or qualifying score on the placement test.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Language JAPN 252 or qualifying score on the placement test 1 course

JAPN 451

Advanced Readings and Projects in Japanese

Open to advanced students in Japanese. May be repeated for credit.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1/2-1 course

Courses in Philosophy

PHIL 210

History of Philosophy: Chinese Philosophy

Major philosophers and schools in Classical China. Readings are selected from the writings of Confucius, Mencius, Laozi, Xunzi, Mozi, Zhuangzi, Hanfeizi. The main focus will be on Chinese philosophy, but some comparisons with Western thought will be made. Not open to first-year students.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

Courses in Political Science

POLS 253

China and India in the 21st Century

Why do the two Asian giants, India and China, with more than 38 percent of the population of the world, matter to the rest of the world at the beginning of the 21st century? What are China's superpower prospects? Will nuclear India attain great power status? What is the future of communism and the prospect of political freedom and democracy in China? Is Indian democracy stable? What are the sources of instability of Indian government? What does a weak central government mean to Indian federalism? The dynamics of ethnic minorities in China? The future of secularism in India? The nuclear dynamics in Sino-Indian relations? These questions and many others will be explored in this course.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Social Sciences 1 course

Courses in Religious Studies

REL 258

Buddhism

Examines the development of Buddhist thought, scriptures, practices and institutions in India and the religion's spread to China and Japan.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

REL 359

Religion in Modern Japanese Society

Examines religion within the context of Japanese society from the 17th to the 20th century. Attention given to the rise of Confucianism in the 17th century, the Shinto revival of the 18th century, Buddhism in early modern Japan, the appearance of the new religions, and the relationship of religion to modernization and nationalism. Prerequisite: an introductory course in the department, East Asian history or permission of the instructor.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities An introductory course in the department, East Asian history or permission of the instructor 1 course