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Additional Asia Studies Courses

Asia

ASIA 290. Modern Chinese Literature Through Films (1 course)

This course studies modern Chinese literature from 1919 to the contemporary through background reading, close reading of literary texts, screening and discussing of films adapted from major literary works, and critical writings.  It has three main objectives:

1)   to introduce to students masterpieces of modern Chinese literatures of all genres (short stories, poetry, drama, films, and essays),

2)   to examine literary concepts, such as realism, romanticism, modernism, and neo-colonialism, in the context of modern Chinese literature, and

3)   to enhance student’s understanding of these works and to sharpen their sense of Chinese culture through studying the film versions of many of the works studied.

Because these films are all adaptations of literary works, we will study the elements of literature in these films, such as theme, plot, character, setting, metaphor, and symbolism.  We will also study how film elements (e.g., music, sound, imagery, framing, and mise-en-scene) tell stories differently than words do.

Although these films are based on literary works, the two versions often reveal different perspectives.  Besides the obvious but often unnecessary question of which one is better, we will explore the factors that engineered these alterations, for example, the political sway, social changes, and personal aspirations that might have affected the directors’ work.  (Note: All films discussed in this class are based on—therefore, made after—the literary works.)

By studying two different media, students will acquire a more sophisticated sense of Chinese culture and aesthetics.  The course is designed for students in general, but those from Film Studies, Asian Studies, English, Modern Languages, and History should find it particularly interesting.  Knowledge of Chinese language, literature, and history is helpful but not necessary.  All readings are in English, and class discussions are also conducted in English.

 

Chinese

CHIN 161-162. Elementary Chinese I-II (1 course)

Coursework 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 the pinyin romanization system; to converse in simple sentences based on the grammatical structures introduced in these courses.  CHIN 161 is open only to beginners in Chinese or those with two years or less of high school Chinese.  Prerequisite for CHIN 162: CHIN 161 or qualifying score on the placement test.

CHIN 261-262. Intermediate Chinese I-II (1 course)

Coursework helps students to develop the four linguistic skills (speaking, writing, listening and reading) in Chinese at a more advanced level.  Coursework 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 the pinyin romanization system; to converse in complex sentences based on the grammatical structures introduced in these courses; and to write essays.  Prerequisite for CHIN 261: CHIN 162 or qualifying score on the placement test.  Prerequisite for CHIN 262: CHIN 261 or qualifying score on the placement test.

CHIN 361. Advanced Chinese (1/2 course)

Reading and discussion of advanced Chinese materials.  Exercise in speaking the language and in writing compositions.  Open to students who have successfully completed CHIN 262 or who are placed into this level by test results.  May be repeated for credit.


JAPANESE

JAPN 151-152. Elementary Japanese I-II (1 course)

The essential of Japanese grammar.  Practice in speaking, listening, reading and writing the language.  JAPN 151 is open only to beginners in Japanese or to those with two years or less of high school Japanese.  Prerequisite for JAPN 152: JAPN 151 or qualifying score on the placement test.

JAPN 251-252. Intermediate Japanese I-II (1 course)

Further study of Japanese language and practice in speaking, listening, reading and writing.  Prerequisite for JAPN 251: JAPN 152 or qualifying score on the placement test.  Prerequisite for JAPN 252: JAPN 251 or qualifying score on the placement test.

JAPN 351-352. Advanced Japanese I-II (1 course)

Reading 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.

JAPN 451. Advanced Readings and Projects in Japanese (1/2-1 course)

Open to advanced students in Japanese with permission of department chair.  May be repeated for credit.


HISTORY

HIST 107. Introduction to China and Japan (1 course)

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.

HIST 108. Modern China and Japan (1 course)

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.

HIST 350. The Samurai in Feudal Japan (1 course)

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.

HIST 351. Women and Family in Modern China (1 course)

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.

HIST 353. Industrial East Asia (1 course) 

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.

HIST 490. Seminar (1 course)

The study of history as a discipline, through research, interpretation and writing a major paper. Students are expected to take the seminar in their major area of concentration. Descriptions of seminar topics offered in a given semester will be made available prior to registration. 

HIST 491. Reading Course (1/2-1 course)

A study of either a geographical area (East Asia, Russia, France, etc.) a period (Europe since 1789, early America, etc.), or a movement, division of history or institution (socialism, military history, feudalism, etc.). Reading and/or research. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit with different topics.

 

POLITICAL SCIENCE

POLS 150. Comparative Politics and Government (1 course)

An examination of major theories of comparative politics and government applicable to modern liberal democratic, communist and developing Third World systems. Theories of modernization and development, functionalism, systems analysis, dependency and underdevelopment, political economy, state-society relations, corporatism and neocorporatism in both Western and non-Western settings. 

POLS 253. Government and Politics in China and India (1 course)

The major political developments in the last four and one-half decades in the two most populous countries in the world are covered. It examines the political systems of China and India in the context of their histories and cultural settings. The course compares the political processes, the institutions and the developmental experiences of the two "Asian Giants." It also deals with China's drive toward modernization in the post-Mao era and India's effort to maintain its fragile democracy under different prime ministers since the 1970s.

POLS 352. Politics of Developing Nations (1 course)

An introduction to the similarities and unifying characteristics of heterogeneous developing nations. Equal emphasis is put on the diversities to be found in different regions of the Third World. The focus is on the issues and problems and not on countries and regions, though case studies are used for illustrative purposes. The course covers theories and approaches to the study of the Third World; changes in the Third World (political, economic, governmental and regime); contemporary issues (hunger and famine, multinationals, foreign debt and the New International Economic Order); and Third World ideologies and movements (nonalignment, developmental socialism, anti-Americanism and Islamic revivalism).

 

RELIGIOUS STUDIES

REL 130. Introduction to Religions (1 course)

A basic cross-cultural survey course of major religious traditions, usually Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Chinese and Japanese religions with comparative references to major Western religions. Particular attention is paid to the thought, scriptures, practices and institutions of these traditions. 

REL 130E. Introduction to Religions (1 course)

This course always includes sections on Chinese and Japanese religions and may be counted toward either the Religion or East Asian Studies majors.

REL 253. Religions of India (1 course)

A study of Hinduism, early Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Islam and Syrian Christianity, with emphasis on how each tradition has changed, or has been changed by, the others with which it has come into contact.

REL 257. Hinduism (1 course)

A survey of the history of Hinduism, beginning with the Vedic tradition and ending with modern movements that focus on the guru, or religious teacher. Includes readings from the epics, puranas and devotional hymns.

REL 258. Buddhism (1 course)

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

REL 352. Religion in Modern Japanese Society (1 course)

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.

REL 491. Independent Study in Religion (1/4-1 course)

Directed studies in a selected field or fields of religion. May be repeated for credit with different topics