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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

Spring Semester information

Andra Alvis

290A: Tps:Japanese Horror Films: The Classics

Ghosts and demons and psychopaths--Oh my! Welcome to the world of classic Japanese horror... Each unit of the course focuses in depth on 1-2 seminal Japanese horror films from the last 60 years, films ranging from the cult classic Godzilla to the art house classic Onibaba. Taking these extraordinary and enjoyable films as our focus, we'll delve into crucial issues for the history, conventions, and production of Japanese horror cinema: for example, "Where did the ghosts typical of J-Horror originate?" and "How did WW II affect representations of demons, hell and insanity?" At the same time, however, we won't neglect to explore the many intriguingly quirky byways of horror film in Japan. (Think: "What special effects technology works best when creating a 100-year-old-umbrella monster?") Class work will involve: 1) regular quizzes on films/readings; 2) a midterm; and 3) your final group projects--a 2-3 minute Japanese-style horror video.


Fall Semester information

Sherry Mou

290A: Tps:Chinese Game of Thrones

More than eighteen centuries before the namesake television series started, the game of thrones was played out in China's Han dynasty (202 BCE-220CE). The warlords, the military strategists, the princes, and the persuaders were stirring things up socially, politically, and militarily in the 70-some years between the second and the third centuries. Their endeavors have featured in numerous literary, historical, and military texts throughout ages. In fact, in our own time, they are coming back with sound and fury in films, television series, and, to the delight of gamers, in video games.

Through close reading of and writing about one of the most celebrated classic Chinese novels, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and then through a Reacting to the Past game centered on one event in the novel, this course will take you back to both the fictional and historical era of the Three Kingdoms. Along the way, we will learn about the elements of Chinese fiction, ways of reading a Chinese novel, Confucian and Taoist ethics, military strategies, and the tremendous influence the Romance of the Three Kingdoms has on the minds of the Chinese people and beyond. You will gain insights into Chinese culture and understand certain cultural icons, values, and customs that are directly related to the stories of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms and even the politics of today's world.

No knowledge of Chinese is necessary.


Spring Semester information

Andra Alvis

290A: Tps: Japanese Horror Films