Spring 2020 Course Descriptions

Chinese Language and Literature Courses

The course is designed for students who are of non-Chinese origin and were not raised in a Chinese-speaking environment; or who are of Chinese origin but do not speak Chinese and whose parents do not speak Chinese. The course develops beginning learners’ functional language ability—the ability to use Mandarin Chinese in linguistically and culturally appropriate ways at the beginning level. It helps students acquire communicative competence in Chinese while sensitizing them to the links between language and culture.

The course is designed for students who are of non-Chinese origin and were not raised in a Chinese-speaking environment, or who are of Chinese origin but do not speak Chinese and whose parents do not speak Chinese. The course continues to focus on training students in the four language skills--speaking, listening, reading, and writing with a gradually increasing emphasis on basic cultural readings and developing intercultural competence. Prerequisites: Chinese 1A.

This course is designed specifically for Mandarin heritage students who possess speaking skill but little or no reading and writing skills in Chinese. The course utilizes students’ prior knowledge of listening and speaking skills to advance them to the intermediate Chinese proficiency level in one semester. Close attention is paid to meeting Mandarin heritage students’ literacy needs inmeaningful contexts while introducing a functional vocabulary and a systematic review of structures through culturally related topics. The Hanyu Pinyin (a Chinese Romanization system) and traditional/simplified characters are introduced. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.

Elementary Cantonese 3B is designed for non-Chinese heritage learners with no prior knowledge of Cantonese, a regional variety of Chinese, introducing students to its use through oral, written and visual texts related to daily life. Topics include meeting people, shopping, leisure activities, telling the time, discussing daily routines, describing people and family members, and transportation, and students will compose texts in Cantonese that show the relationship between language and culture. Finally, the course develops students’ awareness of socio-culturally situated language use and their ability to compare and negotiate similarities and differences between the target culture and their own culture.

The second of a two-semester sequence introducing students to Chinese literature in translation. 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. 7B focuses on late imperial, modern, and contemporary China. The course will focus on the development of sound writing skills.

The course is designed for students who are of non-Chinese origin and were not raised in a Chinese-speaking environment, or who are of Chinese origin but do not speak Chinese and whose parents do not speak Chinese. The course deals with lengthy conversations as well as narrative and descriptive texts in both simplified and traditional characters. It helps students to express themselves in speaking and writing on a range of topics and raises their awareness of the connection between language and culture to foster the development of communicative competence. Prerequisites: Chinese 1 or Chinese 1B; or consent of instructor.

The course further develops students’ linguistic and cultural competence. In dealing with texts, students are guided to interpret, narrate, describe, and discuss topics ranging from real-life experience and personal memoir to historic events. Intercultural competence is promoted through linguistic and cultural awareness and language use in culturally appropriate contexts. Prerequisites: Chinese 10A; or consent of instructor.

Intermediate Chinese 10RB is designed for non-heritage graduate students and motivated undergraduate students who have completed 10RA and who wish to continue to develop their technical reading competence but also go on to look for meaning in modern Chinese texts. The course promotes cross-cultural understanding by presenting a series of stories portraying young people from diverse cultural backgrounds in an American academic community, and as students read these stories in Chinese and analyze textual features, they construct meanings from the vocabulary, grammatical patterns, conventions, and culture. Prerequisites: Chinese 10RA.

The course continues to develop students’ literacy and communicative competence through vocabulary and structure expansion dealing with topics related to Chinese heritage students’ personal experiences. Students are guided to express themselves on complex issues and to connect their language knowledge with real world experiences. Prerequisites: Chinese 1X; or consent of instructor.

This course helps students further develop their linguistic and cultural competence in Mandarin Chinese. It trains students to use Mandarin more appropriately and confidently in speaking, reading, and writing. With the expanded repertoire of Chinese language use and the increased awareness of the differences between cultures and subcultures, students are equipped to negotiate their way in an intercultural environment.  If you have not taken Chinese 1Y, to enroll in this class you must first take the online Chinese Language Placement Exam and be interviewed. Students are responsible for following the instructions at ealc.berkeley.edu to complete the placement process. They must also accurately inform instructors about their language proficiency level. Any student who enrolls in a class below his/her level will be dropped from the class. All Chinese 10Y students are required to attend a weekly half hour tutorial. The required tutorial sections will be scheduled once classes begin. Prerequisite: Chinese 1Y.

This course continues the development of critical awareness by emphasizing the link between socio-cultural literacy and a higher level of language competence. While continuing to expand their critical literacy skills, students interpret texts related to Chinese popular culture, social change, cultural traditions, politics and history. Through linguistic and cultural comparisons, students understand more about people in the target society and themselves as well as about the power of language in language use to enhance their competence in operating between languages and associated cultures. Prerequisite: Chinese 100A.

This course is designed for Chinese heritage language learners who have taken Chinese 100XA or an equivalent course. It guides learners to use their Chinese language knowledge and skills to survey portions of Chinese history and society and to comprehend Chinese cultural heritage in economic and socio-political contexts. Students read and analyze texts discussing cross-strait relations, Chinese people’s basic living necessities, and their changing lifestyles and mindsets since the economic reforms in mainland China. They are also introduced to several important historical figures in modern Chinese history and to modern literary works. In addition to the continuous development of reading techniques for communicative purposes, critical reading skills in the heritage language are also developed in order to interpret subtle meanings in texts. Different styles and genres of Chinese discourses in speaking and writing are further explored along with an increasingly sophisticated vocabulary, phrases, and structures. Moreover, students are required to be able to read both simplified and traditional versions of Chinese characters. The development of critical reading and writing skills enables students to understand more about people in the target culture and themselves, about what determines values and actions, and about the power of language. Prerequisite: Chinese 100XA. If you have not taken Chinese 100XA, to enroll in this class you must first take the online Chinese Language Placement Exam and be interviewed. Students are responsible for following the instructions at ealc.berkeley.edu to complete the placement process. They must also accurately inform instructors about their language proficiency level. Any student who enrolls in a class below his/her level will be dropped from the class.

This course is designed to assist students to reach the advanced-mid level on language skills and to enhance their intercultural competence. Students read the works of famous Chinese writers. Movie adaptations of these writings are also used. In addition to reading and seeking out information, students experience readings by interpreting and constructing meanings and evaluate the effect of the language form choice. Prerequisites: Chinese 100B, 100XB, or 100YB. If you have not taken Chinese 100B, 100XB, or 100YB, to enroll in this class you must first take the online Chinese Language Placement Exam and be interviewed. Students are responsible for following the instructions at ealc.berkeley.edu to complete the placement process. They must also accurately inform instructors about their language proficiency level. Any student who enrolls in a class below his/her level will be dropped from the class.

The second half of a one-year introductory course in literary Chinese, continuing the topics from the first semester, and giving basic coverage of relevant issues in the history of the language and writing system. This course examines the canonical texts of the late-imperial period, placing them in the context of literary culture of the Ming-Qing. The course focuses on a different set of texts each time it is taught; the aim is to introduce students to the primary issues in scholarship of late-imperial fiction and drama over a period of several years. Prerequisite: Chinese 110A.

Modern Chinese Buddhism emerged from a variety of reactions to the challenges posed by modernity. The course aims at introducing students to the ways in which Buddhists in China have engaged and continue to engage with a modern society and a globalized world. The course will follow the trends of Chinese Buddhism from the early twentieth century down to the most recent developments in the present. In exploring modern constructions of Buddhism in China, we will distinguish between modernism and modernity, and investigate how Chinese Buddhists introduced reforms and innovations, while also attempting to maintain continuity with traditional ideals and modes of practice.

This course discusses Taiwan’s social and cultural transformation throughout its history of colonization, economic development, and democratization. Students are expected to gain a better understanding of Taiwanese history, literature, and culture, new skills in the reading and analysis of textual and cultural artifacts, and the ability to rethink colonialism, nationalism, and resistance in the era of globalization. Prerequisites: Chinese 100A/100XA (may be taken concurrently); or consent of instructor.

Ideals of good governance are a core concern of many brands of traditional Chinese thought. The image of the ruler whose authority is exercised in harmony with the desires and interests of the society at large plays a key role not only in theories of governance but also in thought about ethics and psychology. There is also a fascination with the bad ruler. In addition to serving as negative examples just as good rulers serve as positive examples, bad rulers also provide an imaginative space for thinking about extremes of human will, offering an outlet for fantasy and vicarious gratification of desires that normally remain taboo.

This course centers around intensive reading and analysis of Cao Xueqin’s 18th-century masterpiece of Chinese fiction (also known as the Dream of the Red Chamber). Students will be introduced to the literary, cultural, philosophical, and material world from which this work emerged, as well as various approaches to the world within the text.

Course description coming soon

Course decription coming soon

East Asian Languages and Cultures Courses

In this course we compare the cultural traditions of tea in China and Japan. In addition, using tea as the case study, we analyze the mechanics of the flow of culture across both national boundaries and social practices (such as between poetry and the tea ceremony). Understanding the tea culture of these countries informs students of important and enduring aspects of both cultures, provides an opportunity to discuss the role of religion and art in social practice, provides a forum for cultural comparison, and provides as well an example of the relationship between the two countries and Japanese methods of importing and naturalizing another country's social practice. Korean tea traditions are also briefly considered. 

This course will explore some of the most difficult bioethical issues confronting the world today from the perspective of traditional values embedded in the cultural history of India, China, and Japan as evidenced in their religions, legal codes, and political history. Possible topics include population control, abortion, sex-selection, euthanasia, suicide, genetic manipulation, brain-death, and organ transplants.

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 emergent forms of sociality enabled by our bodily vulnerabilities.

A study of the Buddhist tradition as it is found today in Asia. The course will focus on specific living traditions of East, South, and/or Southeast Asia. Themes to be addressed may include contemporary Buddhist ritual practices; funerary and mortuary customs; the relationship between Buddhism and other local religious traditions; the relationship between Buddhist institutions and the state; Buddhist monasticism and its relationship to the laity; Buddhist ethics; Buddhist "modernism," and so on.

This course offers a cultural history of encounters between Russia and Asia in literature, film and visual art. The lenses of Orientalism, Eurasianism and Internationalism will be used to analyze Russian interactions with three spaces: the Caucasus, Central Asia, and East Asia. We will discuss works by classic Russian writers and artists (including Tolstoy, Blok and Platonov) that address the question of Russia’s engagement with Asia and consider Russia’s ambiguous spatial identity between Europe and Asia. We will also examine responses to Russian culture and the Russian/Soviet state in the literature and culture of China (Lu Xun, Xiao Hong), Japan (Kurosawa), Central Asia (Aitmatov) and the Caucasus (Sadulaev). All readings in English.

This course is a capstone experience that centers on the philosophies and religions of East Asia examined from multiple theoretical perspectives. It comprises several thematic units within which a short set of readings about theory are followed by chronologically arranged readings about East Asia. Themes will alternate from year to year but may include: ritual and performance studies; religion and evolution; definitions of religion and theories of its origins; and the role of sacrifice.

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.

Japanese 1B is designed to develop basic skills acquired in Japanese 1A further. Students will learn approximately 150 new kanji. At the end of the course students should be able to express regret, positive and negative requirements, chronological order of events, conditions, giving and receiving of objects and favors, and to ask and give advice. Grades will be determined on the basis of attendance, quiz scores, homework and class participation. Prerequisites: Japan 1A.

An introduction to Japanese literature in translation in a two-semester sequence. 7B provides a survey of important works of 19th- and 20th-century Japanese fiction, poetry, and cultural criticism. The course will explore the manner in which writers responded to the challenges of industrialization, internationalization, and war. Topics include the shifting notions of tradition and modernity, the impact of Westernization on the constructions of the self and gender, writers and the wartime state, literature of the atomic bomb, and postmodern fantasies and aesthetics. All readings are in English translation. Techniques of critical reading and writing will be introduced as an integral part of the course.

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 willlearn 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. Prerequisites: Japan 1 or Japan 1B.

The goal of this course is for the students to understand the more advanced language and culture required to communicate effectively in Japanese. Some of the cultural aspects covered are; pop-culture, traditional arts, education, convenient stores, haiku, and history. Through the final project, students will learn how to introduce their own cultures and their influences. In order to achieve these goals, students will learn how to integrate the basic structures and vocabulary they acquired in the previous semesters, as well as study new linguistic expressions. An increasing amount of more advanced reading and writing, including approximately 200 new kanji, will also be required. Prerequisites: Japan 10A; or consent of instructor.

Introduction to Japanese culture from its origins to the present: premodern historical, literary, artistic, and religious developments, modern economic growth, and the nature of contemporary society, education, and business. Class conducted in English.

This course aims to 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, essays, and video clips which will provide insight into Japanese culture and society. Prerequisites: Japan 100A; or consent of instructor.

Students will be trained to read, analyze, and translate modern Japanese scholarship on Chinese subjects. A major purpose of the course is to prepare students to take reading examinations in Japanese. The areas of scholarship to be covered are: politics, popular culture, religion, sociology and history as well as areas suggested by students who are actively engaged in research projects. Two readings in selected areas will be assigned, one by the instructor and the second by a student participant.

This course helps heritage learners of Japanese who have completed 10X to develop further their linguistic and cultural competencies. More sophisticated linguistic forms are introduced and reinforced while dealing with various socio-cultural topics. Close reading knowledge and skills, formal and informal registers, and different genres of Japanese reading and writing are practiced. The materials covered are equivalent to those of 100A-100B. Prerequisites: Japan 10X; or consent of instructor

This course provides students an opportunity to develop their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills in order to express their opinions in argumentative discourse. Students read and discuss a variety of Japanese texts to deepen their understanding of Japanese society and people and to improve their intercultural communicative competence. Prerequisites: Japan 100, Japan 100B, or Japan 100X; or consent of instructor.

An introduction to the critical analysis and translation of traditional Japanese poetry, a genre that reaches from early declarative work redolent of an even earlier oral tradition to medieval and Early Modern verses evoking exquisitely differentiated emotional states via complex rhetoric and literary allusion. Topics may include examples of Japan's earliest poetry in Man'yoshu, Heian courtly verse in Kokinshu, lines from Shinkokinshu with its medieval mystery and depth, linked verse (renga), and the haikai of Basho and his circle. Prerequisites: Japanese 120 or consent of instructor.

This course is an introduction to Japanese modernism through the reading and discussion of representative short stories, poetry, and criticism of the Taisho and early Showa periods. We will examine the aesthetic bases of modernist writing and confront the challenge posed by their use of poetic language. The question of literary form and the relationship between poetry and prose in the works will receive special attention. Prerequisites: Japanese 100A (may be taken concurrently).

This course deals with issues of the usage of the Japanese language and how they have been treated in the field of linguistics. It concentrates on pragmatics, modality/evidentiality, deixis, speech varieties (politeness, gender, written vs. spoken), conversation management, and rhetorical structure. Students are required to have intermediate knowledge of Japanese. No previous linguistics training is required. Prerequisites: Japan 10, Japan 10B, or Japan 10X; or consent of instructor.

This course surveys modern Japanese fiction and poetry in the first half of the 20th century. Topics will vary.

Urami (rancor, resentment) has an enduring presence in Japanese literature. Figures overburdened with urami become demons, vengeful ghosts, or other transformed, dangerous, scheming characters. They appear in many different genre and eras. The course's topic enables discussion on concepts important for understanding Japanese literary works such as hyper-attentiveness to shifting social status, the role of groupness in targeting victims, the imperatives of shame, secrets, the circumscribed agency of women, and the reach of Buddhist teachings into behavioral norms. For those interested in comparative literature, the course offers an opportunity to take a measure of what Japanese narratives offer as legitimate causes of rancor and revenge.

Topics run from Japan's earliest extant poetic anthologies in Chinese (Kaifuso) or Japanese (Man'yoshu) to medieval linked verse (renga) and Edo haikai.

Reading and critical evaluation of selected texts in postwar (roughly the 1940s through the present) Japanese literature and literary and cultural criticism. Texts change with each offering of the course.

Korean Language and Literature Courses

This course is designed for non-heritage students who have absolutely no prior knowledge of the Korean language. Students will learn written and spoken Korean on self-related and day-to-day topics, and present information both in oral and written forms using formulaic and memorized expressions. They will also engage in simple conversational exchanges on a variety of daily topics. Prerequisites: None.

This is a continuing course for non-heritage students who have completed K1A or demonstrated an equivalent proficiency level. Students will enhance and broaden their linguistic and cultural competence by learning more essential grammatical structures, daily life expressions and speech acts. The course is also intended to introduce certain cultural aspects through media sources and various activities. Prerequisites: Korean 1A; or consent of instructor.

This is a continuing course for Korean-American heritage students who have completed K1AX or demonstrated an equivalent proficiency level. More emphasis will be paid on reading and writing in order to establish their balanced four language skills. Students will enhance their linguistic competence by mastering essential grammatical structures and more elaborated daily expressions, as well as accompanying cultures. Prerequisites: Korean 1AX; or consent of instructor.

A survey of modern Korean literature and culture in the 20th century, focusing on the development of nationalist aesthetics in both North and South Korea. Topics include class and gender, urban culture, colonial modernity, war and trauma, and modernization. Texts to be examined include works of fiction, art, and film. All readings are in English.

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 non-heritage students who have completed K10A or demonstrated an equivalent proficiency level. Students will continue to improve their linguistic skills with the goal of becoming more proficient and fluent in daily and extended communication needs, with a special emphasis on listening and speaking. The course will introduce expressions, vocabularies, and complicated sentence structure and students are expected to carry on more sophisticated conversations on various topics beyond daily life. Prerequisites: Korean 10A; or consent of instructor.

This is an intermediate course for Korean-American heritage students who have completed K10AX or demonstrated an equivalent proficiency level. It will emphasize reading and writing so that students can reach a comparable proficiency with their already high speaking and listening skills. More cultural aspects and social phenomena will be covered and students will be able to convey and write more than a paragraph level on various topics. Prerequisites: Korean 10AX; or consent of instructor.

This course is a continuation of K100A for non-heritage speakers. It will place more emphasis on listening and speaking through various authentic materials. Students will conduct individual projects on aspects where they intend to improve on. Various cultural aspects in addition to four-letter idiomatic expressions will be also covered. Prerequisites: Korean 100A; or consent of instructor.

This course aims to help students acquire strong proficiency in reading and writing in Korean at the advanced level and deepen students’ knowledge of Korean culture and society through readings, film and discussion. The focus will be on understanding the society and history of Korea as well as acquiring advanced-level vocabulary and expressions. Through discussions and writing exercises students will be trained to speak and write clearly in a formal manner. Prerequisites: Korean 100B/BX; or consent of instructor.

This course is for students wanting to acquire high-advanced and superior level Korean proficiency in Korean business settings through the nuances of job-related communication and cultural expectations. Students master appropriate workplace terminology, expressions, and professional style spoken and written form. They complete job a search, plan a new product, present and negotiate the product status, and finally present the product externally. In addition, this course will cover Korean job culture topics such as work ethics and relationships. Upon completion, students can expect to be able to more confidently navigate a job search, application process, interview, job acceptance, and common situations in a professional Korean setting. Prerequisites: Korean 100B or Korean 100BX; or consent of instructor.

This course aims to help students acquire strong language proficiency in spoken and written Korean at the advanced-high (or superior) level required for academic research and in business or other professional fields. The focus will be on building advanced-level vocabulary that is useful in understanding and expressing their opinions on topics, such as social studies, politics, business, policy, and history. Students will gain knowledge in four-letter words, complex idiomatic expressions and proverbs that often appear on editorials, news discourse, and academic writings. Students will also learn skills in formal oral presentations and writing. Prerequisites: Korean 101/102; or consent of instructor.

This course will examine the works of major poets in the first half of the 20th century and will consider the formation of modern Korean poetry. Particular attention will be given to the ideas of lyricism, modernism, and the identity of a poet in the context of the colonial occupation of Korea. Prerequisites: 100B or equivalent.

This course aims to facilitate critical understanding of persistent themes and diverse styles of modern Korean literature through close readings of canonical works from the colonial period (1910-1945). It encourages students to develop broad comprehension of “post-colonial” characteristics of Korean literature. Concurrently, it explores how Korean literature aspired to the expression of the universal aesthetic values and judgment against the particularistic historical condition of colonialism. Prerequisites: Korean 100A; Korean 100AX; or equivalent (may be taken concurrently).

This course explores the role of modern visual media in shaping geopolitical, cultural, and historical imaginations of Korea during the last hundred years. Drawing examples from photographs, films, and literature, produced in and outside Korea, the course aims to consider the idea of "Korea" primarily via images constructed through transnational cultural networks. Consideration will be given to the relationship between visual media and cultural memory. We will think in particular about the ways in which globally accessible visual media such as photography and film narrate the key local sites of contested memories of colonization, war, and political violence.

Mongolian Language and Literature Courses

This course examines the Mongol Empire founded by Chinggis Khan. We will study the empire from the time its founding in 1206 until its decline in the mid-14th century. The greater extent of the course covers the matter of the Mongol conquest: military technologies, methods and strategies, logistics, and the events of specific battles and actions. These events are framed in the context of the Mongolian culture.

This course covers the history of Mongolian Buddhism from its inception in the Yuan dynasty to the present. The importance of Mongolian Buddhism to the greater dharma lies not only with the ways of its priests but also with the means of its patrons, the Mongol aristocracy, in forging a distinctive tradition in Inner Asia and disseminating it throughout the world. While maintaining a historical thread throughout, this course will examine in detail some of the tradition’s many facets, including Mongolian-Buddhist politics, the politics of incarnation, the establishment of monasteries, economics, work in the sciences, astral science and medicine, ritual practice, literature, sculpture and painting, music and dance, and more.

 

 

Tibetan Language and Literature Courses

A continuation of Tibetan 1A, Tibetan 1B develops further listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in modern Tibetan (Lhasa dialect), with a gradually increasing emphasis on basic cultural readings and developing intercultural competence.

 

 

This course is a broad introduction to the history, doctrine, and culture of the Buddhism of Tibet. We will begin with the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet in the eighth century and move on to the evolution of the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhist literature, ritual and monastic practice, the place of Buddhism in Tibetan political history, and the contemporary situation of Tibetan Buddhism both inside and outside of Tibet.

 

 

Tibetan Buddhists view the moment of death as a rare opportunity for transformation. This course examines how Tibetans have used death and dying in the path to enlightenment. Readings will address how Tibetan funerary rituals work to assist the dying toward this end, and how Buddhist practitioners prepare for this crucial moment through tantric meditation, imaginative rehearsals, and explorations of the dream state.