Fall 2003 Course Descriptions

Chinese Language and Literature Courses

Elementary Chinese. A beginning (Mandarin) Chinese class developing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in modern standard Chinese, using pinyin and simplified characters. Five hours in class, two hours in the language laboratory, and one-half hour tutorial meeting every week. Requirements: weekly quizzes and take-home exercises, daily participation in class, attendance in class, language lab and tutorial, and in-class examination during last week of classes.

Please note: Chinese 1A is not open to native speakers of Mandarin

Elementary Chinese for Mandarin Speakers. An elementary-level course designed for those who speak Mandarin but who do not read or write in Chinese. The course teaches both pinyin and traditional characters, introduces functional vocabulary, and provides a systematic review of grammar. The class meets three times a week, one hour a day, and two weekly language lab hours are required. Requirements: weekly quizzes, oral quizzes, in-class examination during last week classes.

Readings in pre-Han and early Han-dynasty texts, introducing the basic grammatical structures and core vocabulary of literary Chinese. Emphasis is on grammatical analysis and careful explication of classical usage. Requirements: Class participation, including careful preparation of all assigned readings and exercises, in-class quizzes, midterm, and final examination. Prerequisites: Some training in vernacular Chinese, Japanese or Korean.

An introduction to Chinese literature in translation in a two-semester sequence. In addition to literary sources, a wide range of philosophical and historical texts will be covered, as well as aspects of visual and material culture. Chinese 7A covers early and pre-modern Chinese up to and including the Yuan Dynasty (14th century). Prerequisites: None.

Intermediate Chinese. This course is designed to develop the student’s reading, writing, listening and speaking abilities in (Mandarin) Chinese, and teaches both simplified and traditional characters. Five one-hour meetings in class and two one-hour periods in the language or computer lab per week. Prerequisites: Chinese 1A/B, or consent of instructor.

Intermediate Chinese for Mandarin Speakers. Students who have completed Chinese 1AX/1BX may enroll in Chinese 10AX, an intermediate level course for Mandarin speakers. The course teaches both pinyin, simplified and traditional characters, develops a functional vocabulary, and provides a systematic review of grammar. Prerequisites: Chinese 1BX or consent of instructor.

This course will examine war, empire, and memory through an eclectic group of literary, graphic, and cinematic texts from China, Japan, Europe, and the US. We will begin by examining crucial issues of imperial power, violence, and historical representation through the lens of the Han dynasty historian Sima Qian’s classic accounts of armed conflict and ‘terrorism’ in the Warring States period. With these earlier examples in mind, we will turn our focus to two crucial conflicts in modern history — the Boxer Uprising of 1899-1900, and the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-1945 — and their diverse representations in a number of different times, places, and media.

Through these texts, we will explore the question of how imperial violence becomes 'history' and what 'history' can tell us about imperial violence. What exactly is an empire? How is war distinct from other sorts of violence? What are the politics of writing about war and violence? How and why do different texts and different media 'remember' the same events in profoundly different ways? What exactly do questions of narrative structure or literary/cinematic style have to tell us about the often explosive and sometimes deeply disturbing ethical implications of these stories?

The goal of the course is to introduce modern Chinese culture while developing competence in reading, speaking and writing standard modern Chinese. The readings and conversation include stories, essays, and plays, mostly by leading writers of recent decades. Prerequisites: Chinese 10B; consent of instructor.

Students who have completed Chinese 10AX/10BX may enroll in Chinese 100AX, an advanced level course for Mandarin speakers who have intermediate-level knowledge of reading and writing in Chinese. The goal of the course is to introduce modern Chinese society through reading materials and discussion. The readings and conversation materials include stories, essays, and plays, mostly by leading writers of recent decades. Prerequisites: Chinese 10BX; consent of instructor.

The goal of the course is to assist students in attaining high levels of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing. The primary instructional tool will be comparative studies of contemporary works of Chinese literature in conjunction with the movies that are based upon them. Prerequisites: Chinese 100B; consent of instructor.

Reading of well-known examples of pre-Han and early Han historical narrative and philosophical argument. This semester, the course will focus on tales of the supernatural in the Mozi and the Zuo zhuan. Prerequisites: Chinese 2A and 2B or a comparable college-level introduction to Classical Chinese. Courses in literary Chinese at the primary or secondary school level are not considered adequate preparation. Consent of instructor.

An introduction to early Chinese drama through readings in primary and secondary sources in Chinese and English. The course will cover the period from 1100-1450 and will cover three major genres: zaju, zhugong diao, and xiwen. Prerequisites: One writing-emphasis course in any humanities department. Chinese 2B or equivalent.

The class will read a selection of Buddhist texts representing material translated from the Sanskrit. The content of the passages will cover both sutra and commentary types as well as Chinese treatises, making use of the full range of research and reference works available for Buddhist vocabulary and canonic collections. Prerequisites: One year of classical Chinese; consent of instructor.

This course explores Chinese fiction and prose of recent decades through two broad and intertwined concerns: the struggles of memory and forgetting, and the politics of representing gender, geographical, and cultural identities. These concerns have driven many of the thematic and formal experiments through which writers have engaged with the cultural dislocations of modernity, as experienced through colonialism and capitalism, revolution and globalization. We will examine elite and popular, realist and avant-garde fiction from mainland China and Taiwan.

This course engages in a reading of the late-sixteenth century novel Jin Ping Mei, taking it as a point of departure in investigating the literary and material culture of the late-sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The course forms an introduction to not only the study of late-imperial fiction and fiction commentary but to the study of material culture as well. Questions to be considered include: What can this novel tell us about the rise of the mercantile stratum and the disaggregation of the literati elite during this period? How does the meticulous attention to the furniture and objects of daily use foster the novel’s social voyeurism? How does the representation of material culture in the novel contribute to the emerging seventeenth-century discourse on fictionality? Similarly, how might the novel’s incorporation of heterogeneous source materials point to its meta-fictional concerns? Finally, how has late-imperial commentary influenced the readings of contemporary critics? Prerequisites: Reading knowledge of classical and modern Chinese.

The epochal impact of evolutionary thought on modern Chinese cultural and literary history is widely acknowledged, but the nature and repercussions of that impact seldom thoroughly questioned or explored. In this seminar, we will ask how and why developmental thinking, biological discourse, and biocentric modes of seeing culture (as embodied by the work of Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer, and T.H. Huxley, as well as figures such as Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud) underwrote the epistemic transformations of early 20th century China. What do various appropriations of biocentric thinking by figures such as Yan Fu, Lu Xun, Zhou Zuoren and others tell us about the construction of modern Chinese nationalism? What are the implications of this mode of writing for Republican discourses on childhood, femininity, sexuality, and cultural reproduction? What are some of the (sometimes covert or unlikely) ways in which these ideas come to shape modern Chinese narrative structures and delimit literary/historiographical horizons? Finally, how and why is the May 4th reconstitution of a modern Chinese subject dogged by the figure of the animal?

We will attempt to consider these and other questions through an examination of late Qing translations of evolutionary theory, and the engagement of May 4th writers with the modes of thinking about self, culture, and history that this evolutionary discourse enabled. We will also read a wide variety of both canonical and non-canonical modern Chinese literary, critical, and (pseudo)scientific writings, alongside selected philosophical and theoretical texts.

East Asian Languages and Cultures Courses

Open to graduate students in Chinese, Japanese, History, Comparative Literature, History of Art, Linguistics, Anthropology, and related fields. Topics of discussion include literary theory, cultural analysis, the state of the field, and methods of textual and historical research. This course introduces theoretical approaches to East Asian studies with an emphasis on China and Japan. The course is also intended as a preliminary introduction to the state of the field in East Asian studies. This course is required of first-year graduate students in EALC. Requirements: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Japanese Language and Literature Courses

Elementary Japanese. Japanese 1A is designed to develop basic speaking skills and to learn hiragana, katakana, and approximately 150 kanji. At the end of the course, the students should be able to describe themselves, their family and friends, and to talk about everyday events with basic vocabulary and structures. They also should be able to read and write short, simple compositions in Japanese. Prerequisites: None.

This course designed to be taken concurrently with Japan 1A to help students improve overall kanji performance. The course will make the kanji learning process easier by providing exercises and background information about the relationships between characters and how they function.

The field of Japanese literature is extraordinarily rich; it covers over twelve centuries of texts, including the thousand-page classic, The Tale of Genji, often described as the world’s oldest novel, and the seventeen-syllable haiku, one of the shortest poetic forms and still one of the most popular. Like all her eleventh-century aristocratic contemporaries, the author of Genji believed in spirit possession, dream prophecy, and reincarnation. And yet her depiction of the subtle workings of male competition and female jealousy is as psychologically subtle and perceptive as any passage in Proust, to whom she is often compared. J7A will begin with a look at Japan's early myth-history, Kojiki, and first extant poetry anthology, Man'yôshû, which show the transition from preliterate, communal society to a highly developed courtly culture. Examples of the rich Japanese female diary tradition follow, and then two weeks on Genji, the high-point of Heian prose. The second half of the course, examines medieval literature, including religious and aesthetic essays by cultured monks and violent yet intensely moving war stories, sung by priests to the accompaniment of lutes. We will conclude by reading the poetry and travel literature of Bashô, often called Japan's last medieval poet.

Intermediate Japanese. In this course, students will learn how to integrate the basic structures and vocabulary which they learned in Japanese 1A/B in order to express a wider range of ideas and will study the new structures and vocabulary necessary to express such ideas in a manner appropriate for many social situations. Students are expected to participate fully in classroom activities and discussions. Although the main emphasis will be aural/oral skills, an increasing amount of reading and writing will also be required. Prerequisites: Japanese 1A/B or equivalent; consent of instructor.

This supplementary course is designed for students who are concurrently enrolled in Japan 10A to acquire a better understanding of kanji writing system and to improve overall kanji performance.

Natsume Sôseki (1867-1916) is one of the central and most compelling writers in the canon of modern Japanese literature. Yet the full range and critical complexity of his work is frequently overlooked in its canonical reception. In this course, we will embark on a fresh reading of some of Sôseki's important writings, from early works like I am a Cat (Wagahai wa neko de aru) and Botchan to some of his important later works (Kokoro, and then, Grass on the Wayside, Ten Nights' Dream, Mon [The Gate], The Miner, Three-Cornered World, Light and Darkness) and his critical and theoretical essays about literature. We will consider the ways his work has been received, and some aspects of it that have been neglected. Central to our work will be a comparative literary perspective, engaging questions of modernity and temporality, identity and subjectivity, and reflections on the act of artistic creation and the role of the artist. Prerequisites: None. All readings will be available in translation. Some knowledge of Japanese will be useful but is not required.

This course will examine responses to the events of World War II. Our focus will be on Japan, but we will make frequent comparisons to the Jewish case. We will pay close attention to how catastrophic events are mourned and memorialized through narratives. After being grounded in the historical context, we will analyze eyewitness accounts of the events, memoirs, fiction, feature films and filmed testimonies, museum exhibits and historical debates. We will discuss questions such as, the nature of mourning and the process of mourning through art and culture; the memorialization of tragedy; the ethics of the representation of tragedy, revenge and survivor guilt. Throughout, we will be asking about the possibilities, and the difficulties, of comparing responses by different cultures to different types of atrocity. This will require accounting for differences in religious belief, notions of psychology, and literary and artistic form. Larger questions we will ask include, Is the process of mourning universal? Are the responses to atrocity? Is comparing the Japanese and Jewish cases ethically suspect?

Advanced Japanese. This course aims to develop further communicative skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing in a manner appropriate to the context. It concentrates on enabling students to use acquired grammar and vocabulary with more confidence in order to express functional meanings, while increasing linguistic competence. Course materials include the textbook, supplemented by newspaper and magazine articles and short stories to provide insight into Japanese culture and society. Prerequisites: Japanese 10B or equivalent; consent of instructor.

This course is designed for students who have studied Japanese for three years or more (450 hours or more) at college level. It aims to improve their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills through activities such as: reading newspaper articles, essays, poems (e.g.haiku), short stories, etc. participating in group discussions on issues related to the materials read, in class and on-line writing short essays, etc. on topics related to the reading materials, giving a short oral presentation. In this course, students will practice various techniques to read Japanese newspaper articles efficiently. Furthermore, they will become familiar with and learn to appreciate various kinds of Japanese writing, as well as learning more advanced Japanese grammar and increasing their vocabulary. Prerequisites: Japanese 100B or equivalent; consent of instructor.

This course provides focused, high-level language training for those students who possess fourth-year level ability or equivalent in the modern Japanese language. Students will improve their ability in reading, writing, speaking and listening in their areas of specialty and in fields of particular interest to them. The course has a dual-track approach, requiring the completion of both class-wide and individually designed projects. The balance of the course will focus on the development of reading and writing skills. With the instructor’s assistance, students will conduct their own projects based on in-depth reading of materials drawn from their areas of specialization. These projects will be presented orally to the class. Further, when possible, visiting scholars from Japan will be invited to the classroom to speak, their topics to be discussed afterwards. This will provide an additional opportunity for the student to practice listening and speaking of high-level, educated Japanese.

This course is an introduction to Classical Japanese, with emphasis on the Heian and medieval periods. Class will be devoted primarily to Classical Japanese grammar and to reading and discussion of four literary works: Hojoki, Heike monogatari, Tsurezuregusa, and Taketori monogatari. Prerequisites: Japanese 10B or equivalent; consent of instructor. Not open to graduates of Japanese high schools.

An examination of the modern Japanese short story with a focus on the narrative intertwining of personal experience, emotional affects, on the one hand, and of the impersonal structures of allusion and citation, on the other. Note: Authors to be announced. Possibilities include works by Shiga Naoya (1883-1971), Naka Kansuke (1885-1965), Akutagawa Ryûnosuke (1892-1927), Satô Haruo (1892-1964), Hori Tatsuo (1904-1953), and Kajii Motojirô (1901-1932). Through close readings of specific works, we will explore how writers experimented with the resources of literary language during the formative years of Taishô Japan. An emphasis of the course will be the comprehension of literary works read in the original. Prerequisites: Japanese 100B or consent of instructor.

This course will deal with the issues of the structure of Japanese and how they have been treated by the field of linguistics. We will investigate phonetics and phonology, writing systems, lexicon, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, speech varieties (politeness, gender, dialects), topic management, historical changes, genetic origins, etc. Students are required to have advanced knowledge of Japanese and to have taken an introductory linguistics course.

This course introduces students to the four major premodern Japanese theatrical genres, as well as plays of two famous post-war writers. In addition to introducing the actual plays, other issues that we will examine include intertextuality, the nature of “translation,” characteristics of premodern dramatic/performance genres, the power relationship between practitioners and their audience, and the relationship between modern and premodern works. Prerequisites: None, all works will be read in English translation.

Students will read and discuss passages in the original language from four major memoirs (nikki) written by women of the Heian and later periods (beginning with Kagero nikki and ending with Towazugatari), with emphasis on thematic and expressive differences among them.Prerequisites: J140 or equivalent (3rd or 4th-year level reading skills in modern Japanese; basic to intermediate reading skills in classical Japanese).

Readings and critical evaluation of selected texts in prewar (1868-1940) Japanese fiction, drama, or poetry.

Korean Language and Literature Courses

Elementary Korean. Five classroom hours per week and one hour of language laboratory are required. This course introduces students to beginning level Korean, including the basic structures and hangul (Korean script). Emphasis is on listening, speaking, reading and writing. This class is for students with minimal or no knowledge of Korean.Prerequisites: No background or very minimal background in Korean language; Consent of instructor.

This course provides an overview of Korean literature and cultural history, from the seventh century to the late nineteenth century. We will examine the development of oral tradition from the ritual songs recorded in Remnants of Three Kingdoms to p'ansori in late Chosôn period; the major vernacular verse forms such as sijo and kasa; autobiographical prose; and vernacular as well as classical narratives, talks, and parables. We will focus on the interplay of literary texts and performance tradition by exploring such topics as: various aspects of literati culture of Koryô and Chosôn; literary articulations of gender relations; and representations of humor and material culture. We will also consider the suppleness of traditional vernacular culture forms as they have been rearticulated throughout history. Prerequisites: None.

A second-year course in modern Korean with about equal attention given to listening, speaking, reading and writing with the cultural emphasis. This course meets five classroom hours per week and requires one hour of language lab per week. Prerequisites: Korean 1A/B; consent of instructor.

Three 1-hour meetings per week. Readings and discussions in Korean, of modern writings. A variety of texts such as essays, literary works, magazines and newspapers will be introduced. Emphasis is on advanced-level vocabulary, including approximately 100 Sino-Korean characters. Prerequisites: Korean 10A/10B; consent of instructor.

An advanced course in the reading and analysis of literary texts in modern Korean. Advanced conversation, writing skills, and practice in the use of standard reference tools will also be emphasized, with the goal of preparing students to do independent research in Korean. Prerequisites: Korean 100B or equivalent.