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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

Fall Semester information

Sherry Mou

290A: Tps:Game of Thrones & the 3 Kingdoms

More than eighteen centuries before the namesake television series started, the game of thrones was played out in China's Three-Kingdom period (roughly 189-260 CE). In Westeros and across the Narrow Sea, the Houses of Baratheon, Lannister, and the Targaryen are vying for the throne, while Stark, Arryn, and many others are dragged into the power struggles. Similarly, in the realm of the Three Kingdoms, the warlords, military strategists, princes, and persuaders were stirring things up socially, politically, and militarily.

This course will study three works. First is Sun Tzu's Art of War, an ancient Chinese strategy manual, which is widely read in military academies and by corporate executives around the world today. We will use this short work as a guide to examine human relations, court intrigues, and the nature of war--not just on the battlefield, but in the court, at home, and among allies--as depicted in the other two works: Three Kingdoms, one of the most celebrated classic Chinese novels, and the first season of A Game of Thrones, the television series based on the first of George R.R. Martin's multi-tome novel. Attention will also be paid on the narrative strategies, characterization, and other literary devices of the two monumental works.

No knowledge of Chinese is required.


Spring Semester information

Andra Alvis

290A: Tps:Japanese Horror Films

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.