Spring 2017 course descriptions

Chinese Language and Literature Courses

This 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. Prerequisites: None.

Chinese 7B is the second semester in a year long sequence introducing students to the literatures and cultures of China. We will read many of the major authors, works, and literary genres from the Yuan Dynasty to modern times, and place these writings in their historical, cultural, and material contexts.  This course does not assume or require any previous exposure to or coursework in Chinese literature, history, or language. This semester we will pay particular attention to the emergence of vibrant new urban and vernacular cultures in the late imperial period and their relation with classical traditions and literati culture, as well the revolutionary cultural transformations of the late 19th and 20th centuries. The course will both survey the literary and cultural topography that every serious student of China ought to know, while at the same time developing the critical reading and writing skills necessary to traverse and imaginatively engage with that historical terrain. Prerequisites:  The Chinese 7AB series is required of all Chinese majors. Chinese 7A is recommended, but not required, as a prerequisite for Chinese 7B. All readings are in English translation.  Students who are conversant in Chinese are encouraged to read original texts whenever possible. 

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 memoire 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.

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.

The 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. Prerequisites: Chinese 1Y; or consent of instructor.

The 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. Prerequisites: Chinese 100A; or consent of instructor.

Advanced Chinese 100XB 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. Prerequisites: Chinese 100XA; or consent of instructor.

Advanced Chinese 100YB is designed for Chinese heritage language learners who have taken Chinese 100YA 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. Prerequisites: Chinese 100YA; or consent of instructor.

The 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 or Chinese 100XB; or consent of instructor.

Continuation of Chinese 110A. Reading and analysis of a variety of classical Chinese prose texts (focusing this semester on early historical writing), highlighting basic grammatical and rhetorical features of the language. On completing this course, students should have mastered all essential grammatical and syntactic features of the classical language, core vocabulary, as well as basic skills in the use of the relevant reference tools, and be fully prepared for upper-division classical literature courses as well as broader reading in a variety of literary Chinese genres. Prerequisites: Chinese 110A; or consent of instructor.

This fast-paced course is designed to help the student reach an advanced-high competence level in all aspects of modern Chinese. It prepares students for research or employment in a variety of China-related fields. Materials are drawn from native-speaker target publications, including modern living philosophies, film, intellectual history, and readings on contemporary issues. Texts are selected according to the students’ interests. Under the instructor’s guidance, students conduct their own research projects based on specialized readings in their own fields of study. Research projects are presented both orally and in written form. Prerequisites: Chinese 101 and Chinese 102; or consent of instructor.

This course, structured around a reading of the Journey to the West, will also examine texts and other types of sources relating both to the novel’s early antecedents and to its various successor works. We will introduce and discuss early texts on spirit journeys, cosmography, demonography, sources relating to the adaptation and assimilation of Buddhism—an initially quite alien and exotic cultural tradition and belief system—as well as late imperial to modern commentaries, metafictional works, and film relating to the Journey to the West in particular and the tradition of exotic journey in general. Prerequisite: Chinese 100A or equivalent; or consent of instructor.

An intensive introduction to research in the field of Chinese Buddhism. Topics will include: (1) the early Chinese assimilation of Buddhism; (2) the emergence of medieval Chinese Buddhist "schools" such as Chan, Tiantai, Pure Land, and the Esoteric tradition; (3) Buddhist art, archaeology, and material culture; (4) Song Buddhism; (5) later Chinese Buddhism. Secondary readings may be supplemented by indigenous Chinese sutra and sastra materials such as Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, Visualization Sutra,Platform Sutra, Mulian Saving His Mother, etc. The course is intended for graduate students with a background in Buddhism, Chinese literature, or East Asian history or art history, who may not have a background in the study of Chinese Buddhism per se. (It is designed in part to serve as preparation for a Ph.D. qualifying exam in the area.) Permission of the instructor required.

This course investigates the visual and material worlds of the mid-eighteenth century novel Honglou meng (Dream of the Red Chamber also known as Story of the Stone), while analyzing the thematization of visuality and materiality in the novel itself.  We will examine various models for conjoining the study of literary texts and visual and material culture as we engage in a series of case studies of types of objects featured in the novel.  Topics include:  perspectival painting and architectural painting, ceramics, garden design, bronze and glass mirrors, European objects, and furniture and interior spaces. We will invite local specialists in ceramics and classical Chinese furniture and examine Qing dynasty objects on field trips to the Asian Art Museum and the Berkeley Art Museum. 

East Asian Languages and Cultures Courses

Through the analysis of "love"-related aspects of selected East Asian narratives (premodern literary texts and modern cinema), students sharpen their understanding of traditional East Asian values and, in the process, consider the status of such values in contemporary East Asia. On the one hand, students develop interpretive skills while exploring the traditional role of Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism in "love" narratives, and, on the other, share diverse opinions on definitions of love in contemporary China, Korea and Japan. This class uses an “Active Learning Classroom” approach. Most course content is delivered outside the classroom via reading assignments and online lectures. In-class time is often exercises. Attendance is critical. No prerequisites. Open to all.

This course explores the discourse on bioethics that has taken place in Asia, where traditional values concerning life, death, religion, and the relationship of the individual to family and society has often developed along lines quite different from what is normative in the West. The advances in recent biomedical research have raised difficult ethical questions in all societies, and these will be examined both as universal questions about the human condition as well as issues that demand clarification of the relevance of past approaches to defining what a human being is and what behavior taken to or on behalf of a human being is ethically acceptable. The core of the course focuses on debates within India, China, and Japan, but Korea and Southeast Asia may also be considered. We will look at bioethical writings within traditional religion and law on the subjects such as suicide, euthanasia, population control, abortion, sex-selection, genetic manipulation, brain-death, organ transplants, etc. Prerequisites: None.

The 1960s were a time of radical upheaval and transformation, not only in the US, but globally. Many of us are at least superficially familiar with some of the iconic moments and movements of the era, from the Civil Rights Movement and anti-Vietnam war protest, to the emergence of rock music and the 'counterculture.' Berkeley and the Bay Area, of course, played no small part in this story. In this course, we will look at the 1960s through the lens of a very different locale: East Asia. Located at the frontline of the geopolitical divides of the Cold War, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan underwent convulsive urbanization and rapid economic growth under US-backed developmental regimes. In China, the utopian energies of Maoism fueled a political movement that dwarfed those of the West in intensity and destructive fury. While the radical hopes and violent disenchantments of those years often make the decade seem like a disavowed historical other, the 1960s remains crucial to any informed understanding of the East Asian present. In this course, we will explore the art, literature, music, and media culture of the East Asian 1960s on both sides of the Cold War divide. In what ways did East Asia participate in larger struggles for decolonization? How did the emergence of new global circuits for the distribution and consumption of ideas and images transform literary and artistic styles in the 1960s? How did the rhetoric of the era — with its emphasis on youth, immediacy, experiential intensity, sensation —  relate to technological and institutional changes in media culture?  Can we read the most distinctive artistic products of this period — from Maoist music and fashion to Taiwanese modernist fiction and musicals, and from Japanese avant-garde cinema to Hong Kong martial arts films and Korean melodramas  — not only in terms of local, but also global developments?  By the same token, is it possible to revise existing (US and Eurocentric) stories of the decade in light of the arts of the East Asian 1960s? Finally, what can the artifacts of that era (and the ways in which they are remembered now) tell us about the horizons of our own historical imagination? Prerequisites: None.

What does it mean to “know” a person in writing, and how does one make oneself—or someone else— “known” through writing? Beginning with both ancient and modern philosophical and literary treatments of the topic, this seminar guides students in reading and writing about people, skills they will need long after this course has ended. Prerequisites: None.

 

Japanese Language and Literature Courses

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 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; or consent of instructor.

This class explores major literary writers of modern Japan and introduces important cultural contexts from the Meiji Restoration (1868) into the 21st century. Analytic focus is determined by the key directions of the texts themselves, resulting in a wide range of topics including problems with individualism, definitions of the beautiful, moral weakness / strength, conundrums in apprehending or narrating truth, revenge, and aimlessness. Readings might include Higuchi (short fiction), Tanizaki (short fiction), Soseki (short fiction & novel: Kokoro), Kawabata (short fiction & novel: Snow Country), Dazai (novel: No Longer Human), Mishima (novel: Temple of the Golden Pavilion), A-Bomb literature (short fiction), Oe (novel: A Personal Matter), and Murakami (short fiction). All readings are in English translation. Students write analytic essays as part of the courseThis class uses an “Active Learning Classroom” approach. Most course content is delivered outside the classroom via reading assignments and online lectures. In-class time is often exercises. Attendance is critical. No prerequisites. Open to all.

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.

This course provides a general introduction to contemporary Japanese society and culture.  We will explore various aspects of contemporary Japan, from everyday things to political issues, learning from basic scholarly works on Japan and using popular films (in English).  Topics include popular culture and technologies, family and gender matters, education and socialization, Japanese identity and diversity, fashion and tradition.  The course offers not only ethnographic details of lives in Japan but also introduces the key concepts that are crucial for understanding Japanese society and culture in depth. Prerequisites: none.

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. Prerequisites: Graduate student standing; Japan 10B and Chinese 100B or equivalents.

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.

Students develop their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills further while examining Japanese historical figures, events, background, stories, etc. Students read a variety of texts and watch videos related to Japanese history as sources for discussions to deepen their understanding of Japanese society, culture, and people from historical perspectives. Students conduct individual research on a topic in Japanese history, and write a short research paper. Prerequisites: Japanese 100, Japanese 100B, or Japanese 100X; or consent of instructor.

A critical survey of the main themes in the history of Japanese Buddhism as they are treated in modern scholarship. The course covers the transmission of Buddhism from China and Korea to Japan; the subsequent evolution in Japan of the Tendai, Shingon, Pure Land, Nichiren, and Zen schools of Buddhism; the organization and function of Buddhist institutions (monastic and lay) in Japanese society; the interaction between Buddhism and other modes of religious belief and practice prevalent in Japan, notably those that go under the headings of "Shinto" and "folk religion." Prerequistes: None.

This course is an introduction to the study of medieval Buddhist literature written in Classical Japanese in its wabun (aka bungo) and kanbun forms (including kakikudashi). The class will read samples from a variety of genres, including material written in China that are read in an idiosyncratic way in Japan. Reading materials may include Chinese translations of Sanskrit and Central Asian Buddhist scriptures, scriptural commentaries written in China and Korea, Japanese subcommentaries on influential Chinese and Korean commentaries, philosophical treatises, hagiography, apologetics, histories, doctrinal letters, preaching texts, and setsuwa literature. This course is intended for students who already have some facility in literary Japanese. Prior background in Buddhist history and thought is helpful but not required. Prerequisite: Japanese 120; or consent of instructor.

In J155 we read in the original language modern Japanese short stories by highly regarded authors from the Meiji through Heisei periods. The stories for this class are selected based primarily on these two qualities: distinct contrasts in written style and inherent interest of theme. Learning focus: Since we read in the original Japanese, there are inevitably questions of vocabulary and grammar. Our primary activity, however, is considering how sentence structure, rhythm, pace, word choice and dialect support a work's success as a literary object. Since we read a large number of short stories, the overall structure of the course also functions as an introduction to a variety of Japanese authors of merit. This class uses an “Active Learning Classroom” approach. Most course content is delivered outside the classroom via reading assignments and online lectures. In-class time is often exercises. Attendance is critical. Prerequisites: Completed or concurrent enrollment in J100B (as a minimum), or consent of instructor.

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 is a lecture and discussion course focusing on Japanese animation, or anime, as a medium from its earliest forms to contemporary works. We will think through issues of digital culture, seriality, transnational circulations, and the relation between anime, manga (comics), gaming and cinema; limited and full animation; cultural disaster and the post-war; bodies and sexuality, and queer/yaoi (BL) and otaku culture, as well as anime's place within contemporary media theory. We will view works by Miyazaki Hayao, Kon Satoshi, Anno Hideaki, Oshii Mamoru, and many others.

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.

With special emphasis on reading and writing, students will expand common colloquialisms and appropriate speech acts. Prerequisites: Korean 1AX; or consent of instructor.

With equal attention given to speaking, listening, reading, writing, and cultural aspects of the language, students will learn vocabulary, expressions, and varieties of speech styles beyond the basic level. Prerequisites: Korean 10A; or consent of instructor.

This intermediate course will emphasize reading and writing so that students can reach a comparable proficiency with their already high speaking and listening skills. Prerequisites: Korean 10AX; or consent of instructor.

Students will learn more advanced expressions and use them in reading and writing. Small group discussions will enhance speaking and listening skills. Prerequisites: Korean 100A; or consent of instructor.

Students will be introduced to advanced-level Korean by reading authentic texts and writing short compositions, summaries, essays, and critical reviews. Students will be encouraged to speak using advanced vocabulary and expressions. Prerequisites: Korean 100AX; or consent of instructor.

This is an advanced course of reading and textual analysis in various areas including politics, economics, society, and history. Both fluency and accuracy will also be emphasized in speaking and writing with the goal of preparing students to conduct independent research in Korean. Prerequisites: Korean 100B or Korean 100BX; or consent of instructor.

This course aims to prepare students for research or employment in a Korea-related field. Authentic materials will be used to discuss various issues in Korea. Students will write a research paper on the topic of their interests. Prerequisites: Korean 101 and Korean 102; or consent of instructor.

This course examines representations of history and memory in contemporary Korean cinema. Korean films have displayed a thematic preoccupation with the nation's tumultuous past by presenting diverse stories of past events and experiences. The course pays close attention to the ways in which popular narrative films render history and memory meaningful and pertinent to contemporary film viewers. All readings are in English. Prerequistes: None

Mongolian Language and Literature Courses

A continuation of Mongolian 1A, This course furthers students' study in listening, speaking, reading and writing Khalkha Mongolian. Prerequisites: Mongoln 1A; or consent of instructor.

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. Prerequisites: None.

 

Tibetan Language and Literature Courses

A continuation of Tibetan 110A, this course provides an intensive introduction to a range of literary Tibetan literature. Assuming knowledge of basic literary Tibetan grammar, the course focuses on selected readings from Buddhist texts in Tibetan. Prerequisites: Tibetan 110A; or consent of instructor.
This course seeks to develop a critical understanding of contemporary Tibet, characterized as it is by modernity, invasion, Maoism, liberalization, exile, and diaspora. It explores the cultural dynamism of the Tibetans over the last 100 years as expressed in literature, film, music, modern art, and political protest. The core topics include intra-Tibetan arguments regarding the preservation and "modernization" of traditional cultural forms, the development of new aesthetic creations and values, the constraints and opportunities on cultural life under colonialism and in the diaspora, and the religious nationalism of the recent political protests. Prerequisites: None.

A continuation of the Fall 2016 seminar that focused on the beginnings of tantric ritual in India with a particular focus on the ritual system of the Saravatathāgata-tattvasaṃgraha, this seminar moves forward by about one century to consider the rise of the Mahāyoga tantras and the *Guhyagarbha-tantra in particular.  The readings will center on the De kho na nyid kyi snang ba dam pa rgyan gi bsgom thabs, an extensive sādhana based on the *Guhyagarbha that is found only among the Tibetan Dunhuang manuscripts. Using this as our primary source, we will supplement it with secondary readings in western scholarship on the same period of tantric ritual development.  Attention will also be paid to how Tibetans assimilated these systems in the eighth to tenth centuries.  Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.