Fall 2017 Course Descriptions
Chinese Language and Literature Courses
Chinese 7A is the first semester in a year-long sequence introducing students to the literature and culture of China, from the beginnings of Chinese civilization through the Song dynasty (960-1279). Reading all works in English translation, we will pay particular attention to the rich tradition of thought and debate in China about the function and essential nature of language, writing, and poetry; and we will explore the evolving conceptions of representation that helped shape how literary works were produced, circulated, and interpreted. As students become acquainted with major authors and works of this long, formative period of Chinese history, they will have the opportunity to develop the reading, writing, and speaking skills needed to engage critically and imaginatively with questions raised by those works. Prerequisites: None. No previous knowledge of Chinese literature, culture, or history is expected or assumed. All readings are presented in English translation. Students conversant in Classical Chinese are encouraged to read original texts whenever possible.
This course examines the complex worldviews of China’s Han period, the centuries that follow its unification and the establishment of its empire. The momentous changes of this period shaped traditional and contemporary views of history and society, philosophy, and religion, and as a result are still relevant today. This course will look at Han “thought,” a word chosen for its range, including religion, state ritual, social conventions, moral philosophy, and thinking about the natural world. It covers both elite and popular culture, and pays particular attention to two works of the second century B.C.E.: the Shiji (i.e., Records of the Historian) or the Huainanzi. Prerequisite: None.
This course is the first semester in a year-long sequence that introduces the basic grammatical structures and core vocabulary of literary Chinese, also commonly known as "classical Chinese". During this semester, students will focus on reading excerpts from prose works of the Warring States period (fifth to third centuries BCE). The primary goal of the course is to develop reading skills in classical Chinese texts; at the same time, however, students will develop familiarity with some of the historical and cultural contexts in which these texts took shape. Prerequisites: Chinese 10B is recommended.
Early Chinese biographical traditions established lasting narrative formulas for the commemoration of exceptional figures, and reflect persistent concern with fundamental problems both of human ethics and of the possibility of understanding human character. Gaining familiarity with representative examples from these early traditions provides a perspective for deeper understanding both of later literature and of some of the recurrent features of the biographical imagination in Chinese tradition. The aims of this course include both developing skills in reading various types of biographical prose in the original and developing critical and analytical skills in developing our own interpretive and comparative ideas in dialogue with source texts. Prerequiste: Chinese 110A; or consent of instructor.
Chinese cities are the sites of complicated global/local interconnections as the nation is increasingly incorporated into the world system. Understanding Chinese cities is the key to analyzing the dramatic transformation of Chinese society and culture. This course is designed to teach students to think about Chinese cities in more textured ways. How are urban forms and urban spaces produced through processes of social, political, and ideological conflict? How are cities represented in literary, cinematic, and various popular cultures? How has our imagination of the city been shaped and how are these spatial discourses influencing the making of the cities of tomorrow? Prerequisites: Chinese 100A, Chinese 100XA, Chinese 100YA (may be taken concurrently); or consent of instructor.
This course introduces Chinese film auteurs since the late 1970s across the geopolitical divides between Mainland, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. We will focus on individual film auteurs (Jia Zhangke, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Wong Kar Wai, etc.) situated in distinct “new wave” movements in these three different regions, each in conversation with the global “new wave” cinema while engaging their respective political and cultural history. The class will combine inquiries of film style with pressing political and social issues facing contemporary Mainland, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Introducing major scholarship on contemporary Chinese language cinema, this class will investigate the assumptions and validity of the notion of “film auteur” as well as notions of New Wave cinema based on a European, particularly French model.
This course introduces the history of traditional Chinese drama from the thirteenth to seventeenth centuries, covering important works from a wide range of genres (farcical, religious, detective, martial arts, historical, and romantic). We study Chinese theater in the context of pleasure precincts, ad hoc markets, ritual parades, and printed matter. The underlying questions we ask are: how did different kinds of spatial structure historically define performance? And how did these varied spatial configurations orient the relationship of the audience to the performance differently? And what general implications did the theatrical space have for the constitution of the self and for social formation in medieval and early modern China? Prerequisites: None.
This semester we will be focusing on selections from the first fascicle of the Dasheng yi zhang 大乘義章 (T.1851: 44), an encyclopedic compilation by Jingying Huiyuan 淨影慧遠 (523-592) who is commonly (but somewhat misleadingly) associated with the southern branch of the Dilun 地論 school. Time permitting, we will focus on three sections: (1) the twelve-fold division of the canon, (2) buddha-nature, and (3) the two truths. We will couple our reading of the Dasheng yi zhang with secondary sources bearing on doctrinal controversies in sixth-century Chinese Buddhism.
In this course, we examine Chinese paintings within the collection of the Berkeley Art Museum and read selected texts of the fiction and drama of the late-imperial period to think about the potential structures of relation between interiority and the object. We will engage in private viewing of the paintings of Wen Zhengming, Shen Shi, Chen Guan, Sheng Maoye, Zhang Zheng and others. Our questions might include: How is a sense of interiority created or reinforced? Where is interiority located? What, in fact, are we speaking about when we invoke either “interiority” or the “object”? How might the museum itself be a liminal space that could influence our understanding of such questions? We will examine the “nonhuman turn” of recent posthumanist inquiry as well as the concern in the literature of the Ming and Qing regarding the confines and limitations of the notion of the “I.” With the instructors, students will curate an exhibition at the Berkeley Art Museum to be mounted from February through April 2018. The text of the wall labels and the program guide will be drawn from students' journal entries and papers, and students will make decisions regarding the underlying logic of the exhibition.
In recent years, both area studies and film studies have engaged in self-critical interrogations of what constitutes their field of study. Whereas “nation” as a naturalized category is increasingly challenged to address complex historical dynamic and political institutions that traverse national and regional borders, the notion of “medium” is equally destabilized in consideration of cinema’s historical interactions with a number of media. These critical reflections and efforts of deterroritization place “medium” and “area” in more productive encounter than previously subsuming one under another as a secure body of knowledge.
The dynamic history of cinema's interaction with a number of media (radio, phonograph, architecture, photography, theater, etc) in China can be vividly witnessed when we delve into the rich archive available to us: the virtual archive online, the print reproduction of historical material, the historical films themselves, and the vast Paul Fonoroff Collection Berkeley recently acquired which includes historical film journals, press books, play bills, and other ephemera that we will closely examine. These range of archival material also testifies the multiple dialects and languages involved in the history of Chinese cinema, making the notions of "Chinese Language" or "Sinophone" cinema simultaneously useful and inadequate. The transregional and transnational traffic between Mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia, between Chinese, Hollywood, European, and other Asian Cinemas, between domestic and diasporic filmmaking and reception are equally visible in the materials we will examine. The class will sample a wide range of materials while devoting the discussions to a number of methodological issues concerning the questions of the archive, medium, form, technology in relation to coloniality, nationalism, and transnationality. Each week will organize discussions of these issues through a case study on film stardom, architecture, studio, film aesthetics, film theory and so on. We will participate in the international conference "Shadow History: Archive and Intermediality in Chinese Cinema" in October along with film screenings at PFA and exhibition at the Berkeley Film Archive. Students will be encouraged to develop research projects involving in-depth archival research.
East Asian Languages and Cultures Courses
Introduction to the Study of Buddhism. This course will provide students with a basic understanding of the history, teachings, and practices of the Buddhist tradition. We will begin with a look at the Indian religious culture from which Buddhism emerged, and then move on to consider the life of the Buddha, the early teachings, the founding of the monastic order, and the development of Buddhist doctrinal systems. We will then turn to the rise of Mahāyāna Buddhism, and the transformation of Buddhism as it moved from India to China, Japan, Tibet and the countries of Southeast Asia. We will end with a brief look at contemporary controversies over (1) the tulku (reincarnate lama) system in Tibet; (2) the ordination of Buddhist nuns in Southeast Asia; and (3) the rise and popularity of mindfulness meditation in America. Readings will cover a variety of primary and secondary materials (including two novels), and we will make use of films and videos. Prerequiaites: None.
The course will introduce students to narratives about illness, disease and healing written by patients, physicians, caretakers, and others. These narratives report an experience. They reveal the interactions between the unfolding life of the patient and the shifting social meanings attached to illness. We will study the relationships between illness and society through readings of fiction, memoir, films, essays and graphic novels in order to understand how these varied forms of storytelling organize and give meaning to crucial questions about embodiment, disability and forms of sociality enabled by our bodily vulnerabilities. Prerequisites: None.
Comparative analysis of modern literature from China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan), Korea, and Japan with an emphasis on the short story and the novel. We will think about both the specificities of the literatures of the region as well as shared and interconnected experiences of modernity that broadly connect the cultures of East Asia during the twentieth century. Thematic concerns will include: modernism and modernity; nostalgia and homesickness; empire and its aftermath; and the cultures of globalization. Prerequisites: None.
This course will discuss the historical development of the Pure Land school of East Asian Buddhism, the largest form of Buddhism practiced today in China and Japan. The curriculum is divided into India, China, and Japan sections, with the second half of the course focusing exclusively on Japan where this form of religious culture blossomed most dramatically, covering the ancient, medieval, and modern periods. The curriculum will begin with a reading of the core scriptures that form the basis of the belief system and then move into areas of cultural expression. The course will follow two basic trajectories over the centuries: doctrine/philosophy and culture/society. Prerequisites: None.
This course is an introduction to archaeology of East Asia with emphases on the areas known today as China, Japan and Korea. The time periods covered in this course are from the migration of human ancestors (approximately 1 MYA) to proto- traditions of East Asian countries and that of North America, examine the role of archaeology in contemporary East Asian societies, and discuss how archaeological interpretations have been influenced by contemporary social and political milieu. The topics highlighted in this course include: 1. changes in subsistence, 2. human-environment interactions, 3. origins of food production, 4. the development of social complexity, and 5. formation of states. These topics are discussed in relation to the various scientific analyses employed in contemporary archaeology. Prerequisite: None.
This course investigates the protracted impact and aporia of the Cold War in Japan and Korea through an analytic understanding of a range of visual media works and films. The Cold War period was a time of historical transformation and geopolitical reconfiguration in East Asia. It saw the overthrow of political regimes, unprecedented capitalist expansion, and the emergence of new technologies that affected aesthetic production and consumption. This course explores the multiple aspects of media culture (popular genres and the avant-garde), aesthetics, and politics that defined this period. It will focus on, among other aspects, the colonial legacy, decolonization/de-imperialization, environmental discourse and body, archipelago and territoriality, authoritarian politics and everyday culture, and diaspora and national identity.
Japanese Language and Literature Courses
Japanese 1A is designed to develop basic Japanese language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students will learn the Japanese writing system: hiragana, katakana and approximately 150 kanji. At the end of the course, students should be able to greet, invite, compare, and describe persons and things, activities, intensions, ability, experience, purposes, reasons, and wishes. Grades will be determined on the basis of attendance, quiz scores, homework and class participation. Prerequisite: None.
The goal of this course is for the students to understand the language and culture required to communicate effectively in Japanese. Some of the cultural aspects covered are; geography, speech style, technology, sports, food, and religion. Through the final project, students will learn how to discuss social issues and their potential solutions. In order to achieve these goals, students will learn how to integrate the basic linguistics knowledge they acquired in J1, as well as study new structures and vocabulary. An increasing amount of reading and writing, including approximately 200 new kanji, will also be required. Prerequisite: Japanese 1 or Japanese 1B; or consent of instructor.
This course is designed specifically for heritage learners who possess high fluency in casual spoken Japanese but little reading and writing abilities. It introduces formal speech styles, reinforces grammatical accuracy, and improves reading and writing competencies through materials derived from various textual genres. Students will acquire the amounts of vocabulary, grammar, and kanji equivalent to those of Japan 10A and Japan 10B. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
This course will develop further context-specific skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. It concentrates on students using acquired grammar and vocabulary with more confidence in order to express functional meanings, while increasing overall linguistic competence. Students will learn approximately 200 new Kanji. There will be a group or individual project. Course materials include the textbook supplemented by newspapers, magazine articles, short stories, and video clips which will provide insight into Japanese culture and society. Prerequisie: Japanese 10 or Japanese 10B; or consent of instructor.
Students develop their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills further to think critically, to express their points of view, and to understand Japanese culture and society in depth The readings are mainly articles on current social issues from Japanese newspapers, magazines, and professional books as sources of discussions. Students are required to write short essays on topics related to the reading materials. Prerequisite: Japanese 100B or Japanese 100X.
Japanese 120 is an introduction to classical Japanese, defined as the native literary language of the ninth to the fourteenth centuries. Four texts are read in whole or in part: 1) Hôjôki 2) Heike monogatari 3) Tsurezuregusa, and 4) Taketori monogatari. The emphasis is on grammatical explication and translation of the texts into English. Most class meetings are devoted to the reading of the assigned texts. Students read the text aloud, answer questions regarding grammar, and translate into English. Prerequisites: Japanese 10B or equivalent; or consent of instructor.
This course deals with issues of the structure of the Japanese language and how they have been treated in the field of linguistics. It focuses on phonetics/phonology, morphology, writing systems, dialects, lexicon, and syntax/semantics. Students are required to have advanced knowledge of Japanese. No previous linguistics training is required. Prerequisites: 10B or equivalent.
An overview of the concepts of theoretical and contrastive linguistics which form the basis for translation between Japanese and English. By means of translating selected texts, students will acquire abilities to recognize common problems, apply methods for finding solutions, and evaluate accuracy and communicative effectiveness of translation. . Prerequisites: 100B or equivalent.
This will be a reading course in Chinese language texts written in China and Japan, with a focus tathāgatagarbha thought as expressed in the doctrine of buddha-nature as explained in the Nirvana Sutra (5th century), its impact on the teachings and practices of the Tiantai school in China, and the way in which this evolved into Tendai Pure Land thought and practice in Japan. For the Japanese side we will focus on the Ōjōyōshū (985) of Genshin, one of the few medieval Japanese works also studied in China.
Korean Language and Literature Courses
This course is designed for students who have little or no prior knowledge of the Korean language. Students will learn the Korean alphabet and basic grammar. Prerequisites: None.
This course is designed for students who already have elementary comprehension and speaking skills in Korean and have minimum exposure to reading and/or writing in Korean. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.
This course provides an overview of pre-modern Korean literature and cultural history, from the beginning to the late nineteenth century. Readings include the works of major poets, fiction, narratives from the oral tradition, memoirs, historical documents, and some modern scholarship on pre-modern Korean social history and culture. We will also examine the visual and material culture, performance tradition, as well as modern media representation of premodern culture and tradition. This course does not assume any previous exposure to Korean language, literature, or history. All readings are in English. Prerequisite: None.
With equal attention given to speaking, listening, reading, writing, and cultural aspects of the language, students will further develop their language skills for handling various everyday situations. Prerequisites: Korean 1B; or consent of instructor.
This is an intermediate course for students whose Korean proficiency level is higher in speaking than in reading or writing due to Korean-heritage background. Students will elaborate their language skills for handling various everyday situations. Prerequisites: Korean 1BX; or consent of instructor.
This is a third-year course in modern Korean with emphasis on acquisition of advanced vocabulary and grammatical structure. Equal attention will be given to all four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Prerequisites: Korean 10B; or consent of instructor.
This is a third-year course in modern Korean with emphasis on acquisition of advanced vocabulary and grammatical structure. Prerequisites: Korean 10BX; or consent of instructor.
This is an advanced course of reading and textual literary analysis in Korean. Advanced reading and writing skills and practice in the use of standard reference tools will also be introduced. Prerequisites: Korean 100B or Korean 100BX; or consent of instructor.
This course is designed to increase the students' proficiency to advanced-high (or superior for some students) level in all aspects of Korean. Texts and materials are drawn from authentic sources in various genres. Some will be selected according to student interests. Students will write research papers based on specialized topics of their choice and present them orally in class. Prerequisites: Korean 101 or Korean 102; or consent of instructor.
This course explores the formation and development of Korean Fiction during the colonial period (1910-1945) through key canonical texts and their thematic and stylistics features. Its post-colonial approach is designed to facilitate critical understanding of the relationship between the literary representation and the problems and contradictions of the Japanese colonial rule. Course will be conducted in Korean. Prerequisites: Korean 100A or equivalent (may be taken concurrently).
This course examines the development and transformation of Korean literature since the 1945 liberation to the present. In particular, it explores how Korean literature engaged, represented and thematized the tumultuous historical events and changes, such as literation, nation’s partition, Korean War, industrialization, democratizationetc. The course will be conducted in Korean. Prerequisites: Korean100A or equivalent (may be taken concurrently).
Mongolian Language and Literature Courses
This course introduces students to Literary Mongolian, its phonetics, grammar, vertical writing system and its relation to living spoken language. The course is dedicated to reading texts in the Mongol vertical script. As foundation, students learn the Mongol vertical script writing system and a standard system of transcription and receive a basic introduction to Mongolian phonology and grammar. After a brief period of introduction students immerse in reading texts. Class time is devoted to reading comprehension, translation, and analysis. Although texts may be drawn to suit student interest, the standard course repertoire consists of works of Mongolian Buddhist literature and history. Prerequisites: None.
This course examines the modern history of Mongolia. Beginning with the Mongols' heritage as imperial nomads who uphold a dual custom, the Buddhist religion and the Manchu Qing dynastic state, it discusses how this order came to be threatened by, and ultimately dissolve under, political pressures imposed by governments espousing "modern" thought. The course focuses on how, navigating the political turmoil that ensued from the falls of the Russian Empire and Qing Dynasty, the Mongols were able to found a sovereign government of their own. Readings for the course are of primary sources in translation. Prerequisites: None.
Tibetan Language and Literature Courses
A beginning Tibetan class developing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in modern Tibetan (Lhasa dialect). Prerequisite: None.
This course is an intensive introduction to reading classical Tibetan literature. Following an introduction to basic grammar, the course moves quickly into selected readings from Buddhist texts in Tibetan. It typically builds on basic skills acquired in 1A-1B (elementary Tibetan), though with consent it may be taken independently.
This course is an introduction to the history, institutions, doctrines, and ritual practices of Buddhism in Tibet. The course will progress along two parallel tracks, one chronological and the other thematic, providing on the one hand a sense of the historical development of Tibetan Buddhism, and on the other a general overview of some central themes. Along the historical track, the course proceeds from Buddhism's initial arrival into Tibet through to the present day, with each week addressing another period in this history. At the same time, each week will focus on a given theme that relates to the historical period in question. Themes include tantric myth, 'treasure' (terma) revelation, hidden valleys, the Dalai Lamas, exile, and more. Prerequisites: None.
This semester the course offers the reading of a wide range of topics within Tibetan Buddhist history. Based upon a number of key texts, the intriguing system of incarnation as presented by a number of the most prominent Buddhist schools will be analyzed and discussed. In medieval Tibet prophecies played a huge communicative role as a political and religious strategy, the topics will be addressed through the reading of a number of informative texts; further, the course will look at the some medieval historiographical texts recently traced in Tibet.