Fall 2018 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. The Hanyu Pinyin (a Chinese Romanization system) and simplified characters are introduced.
Note: For students who: 1) are of non-Chinese origin and were not raised in a Chinese-speaking environment; or 2) are of Chinese origin but do not speak any dialect of Chinese and whose parents do not speak any dialect of Chinese. Students are responsible for enrolling in the appropriate level and section. 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. All Chinese 1A students are required to attend a weekly half hour tutorial. The required tutorial sections will be scheduled once classes begin.
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 in meaningful 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.
Note: For students who: 1) were born in a non-Chinese speaking country but were raised in a home where Mandarin (or Mandarin and another dialect) was spoken but possess little or no reading and writing skills in Chinese; or 2) were born in a Chinese-speaking country and received zero or limited formal education in that country up to the second grade. All students must 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.
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 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.
Note: Prerequisite of Chinese 10A. If you have not taken Chinese 10A, 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 10B students are required to attend a weekly half hour tutorial. The required tutorial sections will be scheduled once classes begin.
This 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.
Note: Prerequisite of Chinese 1X. If you have not taken Chinese 1X, 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 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.
This course will be centered around intensive reading and analysis of Cao Xueqin's 18th-century masterpiece of Chinese fiction, The Story of the Stone 石頭記 (also known as the Dream of the Red Chamber 紅樓夢). 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. Prerequisites: All readings will be available in English translation. Students who are conversant in Chinese are encouraged to read the original texts when possible, and some class sessions will focus on issues relating to the style and structure of the Chinese text in particular. No previous exposure to or course work in Chinese history, culture, and literature, however, is assumed or required.
This course sets out to examine a set of “focus chapters” from the Zhuangzi along several dimensions: 1) in the context of Warring States thought, 2) as independent stories that need to be puzzled through and read critically, and 3) tracing the influence of those chapters on subsequent periods of Chinese thought.
This seminar is an intensive introduction to various genres of Buddhist literature in Classical Chinese, including translations of Sanskrit and Central Asian scriptures. Chinese commentaries, philosophical treatises, hagiographies, and sectarian works. It is intended for graduate students who already have some facility in Classical Chinese. It will also serve as a tools and methods course, covering the basic reference works and secondary scholarship in the field of East Asian Buddhism. The content of the course will be adjusted from semester to semester to best accommodate the needs and interests of students. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor
In this seminar, students will read across a range of genres, examining how writers of the medieval period (Six Dynasties and Tang) imagined and represented man’s place—collectively and individually—in time. After a brief critical survey of recent scholarship on notions of time in traditional China, we will focus on both explicit and implicit treatments of temporality, memory, and change as found in poetry, letters, biographies, fiction, and anecdotes. Topics of discussion may include: immortality as both source mythology and literary motivation, the rhetoric of commemoration, the spatial representation of time in poetry and essays, the role of fate and causality in biographical (and autobiographical) writing, the relationship between narration and prognostication, the use of genre as a mode of temporal meditation, and formal manifestations of temporal thinking in literary writing.
East Asian Languages and Cultures Courses
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, as well as two short novels, and we will make use of films and videos. There are no prerequisites for this course—everyone is welcome. But the course does demand a great deal of time and effort on the part of students. There is a lot of reading as well as a short written assignment or quiz each week, and attendance at all lectures and discussion sections is mandatory. Students should only enroll if they can commit the required time and energy to the course.
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.
This course will provide an outline of prehistoric archaeology in Japan, China and Korea, with a focus on long-term changes in human environmental interaction. Particular emphasis will be on the causal relationships between food diversity, scale of society, climate change, technological developments, mobility of people, goods and information, and the cumulative damage on the local and global environment. Roles of archaeological studies for our understanding of long-term sustainability of human cultures and societies will be discussed.Results of biological and chemical analyses of archaeological data, such as stable isotope analyses, DNA analyses, residue analyses of pottery, starch grains analysis, and macro faunal and floral remains analyses, will frequently be cited.
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. Prerequisites: Preference will be given to majors, especially those with junior or senior standing.
This course introduces incoming graduate students to literary and cultural theory and criticism. The goal is not to provide a comprehensive overview, but to develop the tools needed to understand and responsibly assume our specific and evolving positions regarding our chosen materials, be they ancient or modern, Chinese or Japanese. The intensive reading and discussion of critical texts will be grounded in the students’ work as scholars of East Asian languages and cultures, and will try to address some of the following questions: How do these diverse interpretive modes intersect with East Asian cultural, literary, and visual studies? What sorts of new questions and ways of seeing do they enable or elide? Are there particular problems or practices to which we, as students of East Asian languages and cultures in the US academic context, need to attend? What are our archives, and what should we “do” with them? How do our encounters with primary texts ‘translate’ into academic work? Prerequisites: This course is required of first-year graduate students in EALC. The seminar is also open to interested graduate students in Asian Studies, as well as those in History, Comparative Literature, History of Art, Linguistics, Anthropology, Rhetoric, and related fields, who plan to focus on East Asian materials.
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. Note: Enroll in Japanese 1A if you have minimal or no knowledge of Japanese.
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.
We read and analyze selections from premodern Japanese literature (poetry, prose and drama), especially via a consideration of cultural concepts (such as purity) and aesthetic terms (such as sabi). While this class focuses on literature, we often find time to consider the visual arts, music, and the formation of the tea ceremony. Students will be expected to master a range of factual and conceptual information as well as produce interesting and credible analysis on course topics via written assignments. Teaching methods: While there are some lectures, most of the factual information and interpretive content is delivered outside the classroom via online lectures and assigned readings. For some, this approach increases the amount of non-class time needed to do well in the course. Learning outcomes: Students develop sophistication in reading premodern literary works, become versed in a range of cultural concepts that are important to the cultural history of the country and/or relevant to contemporary Japanese culture, obtain a good overview of some of the major historical events relevant to premodern Japanese culture, and hone their analytic writing skills. Prerequisites: 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. Prerequisites: 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. Prerequisites: 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. Prerequisites: Japanese 10 or Japanese 10B; 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.
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 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 will 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. Prerequisites: Japanese 120. One semester of classical Japanese. Prior background in Buddhist history and thought is helpful, but not required.
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).
An overview of the concepts of theoretical, contrastive, and practical linguistics which form the basis for work in translation between Japanese and English through hands-on experience. Topics include translatability, various kinds of meaning, analysis of the text, process of translating, translation techniques, and theoretical background. Prerequisites: Japanese 100, Japanese 100B, or Japanese 100X; or equivalent.
“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. We read in translation a wide variety of lively Japanese literary texts (legends, Noh plays, ghost stories, Kabuki plays, etc.)—most quite short—from the 11th century up to the present. The course's topic enables discussion of 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, resentment and revenge. Teaching methods: While there are some lectures, most of the factual information and interpretive content is delivered outside the classroom via online lectures and assigned readings. Further, short assignments become the basis for in-class discussions. For many, this approach increases the amount of non-class time needed to do well in the course. Learning outcomes: Students will acquire knowledge of the basic theories of folklorist Hayao Kawai and psychoanalyst Takeo Doi. They will have encountered a wide range of literary prose genre from premodern Japan. And, as the core knowledge, they will have developed a sophisticated understanding of the structure of urami as it is represented via literary narrative. Prerequisites: None.
How does cinema convey meaning? How do the images and sounds and spaces of cinema shape the way we think about gender, about our place in the world, about who we are and where we came from, about what is possible for the future? When does cinema open up new imaginative possibilities, question long-held assumptions, and realize previously impossible dreams, and when—and how—can it push our emotional buttons to convince us to hold onto rigid and limited frameworks of thinking? Taking up the case study of Japanese cinema, this course considers how cinema is shaped by social and cultural history, and how it in turn influences and transforms culture. Viewing these questions from outside the Hollywood mainstream affords a new perspective on the languages and contexts of film. We will raise these questions as we embark on a voyage through the twentieth century from the era of silent cinema to wartime cinema, through the New Wave cinema of the sixties and seventies and up to the present day of anime and digital media. Students will emerge with a grasp of the major trends and directors of Japanese cinema as well as knowledge of current directions in research and tools for critical thinking about Japanese cinema. Prerequisites: None.
Topics run from Japan's earliest extant poetic anthologies in Chinese (Kaifuso) or Japanese (Man'yoshu) to medieval linked verse (renga) and Edo haikai.
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 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).
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.
Mongolian Language and Literature Courses
A beginning Mongolian course dedicated to developing basics in listening, speaking, and reading Standard Khalkha Mongolian, writing in Cyrillic script, but with exposure to traditional script.
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
This course is an intensive introduction to reading literary 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.