Fall 2004 Course Descriptions

Buddhism Literature Courses

A historical survey of the Buddhist tradition, in all of its incredible religious and cultural diversity. The first half of the course focuses on the evolution of Buddhist doctrines, practices, and institutions in India, from the origins of the religion as a group of world-renouncing ascetics through the development of large state-supported monastic communities and the rise of the movements known as Mahayana and Tantra. The second half of the course treats major Buddhist movements in other parts of the world: the Theravada Buddhism of Southeast Asia; the Tantric Buddhism of Tibet; and the various schools of East Asian Buddhism, such as Tientai, Pure Land, and Chan (Zen). It also deals with the issues of Buddhism in the modern world and the contemporary spread of various branches of the tradition from Asia to the West. Prerequisites: None.

This course is an introduction to the history, doctrine, and culture of the various forms of Buddhism found in Tibet. We will begin with the earliest transmissions of Buddhism to Tibet from India and China. We will then trace the evolution of the various schools of Tibetan Buddhism, starting with the so-called Old School (rNying-ma-pa) and concluding with the dominant Gelugpa School (dGe-lugs-pa) under the Dalai Lama. We will pay particular attention to Tibetan Buddhist ritual in general, and Tantric ritual in particular, with its complex techniques of "generating the deity" in visualization. The course will also serve as an introduction to the forms of Tibetan art closely associated with Tibetan Buddhist doctrine and practice. Prerequisites: None.

This graduate seminar serves as an introduction to a broad range of Japanese Buddhist literature belonging to different historical periods and genres, including (1) liturgical texts; (2) monastic records, rules, and ritual manuals; (3) doctrinal treatises; (4) biographies of monks; and (5) histories of Buddhism in Japan. The seminar is designed to be of interest to a range of graduate students working on premodern Japanese culture (literature, philosophy, intellectual history, religion, art, etc.). Students are required to do all the readings in the original languages, which are classical Chinese (kanbun) and classical Japanese. The seminar will also serve as a "tools and methods" course, covering basic reference works for the study of Japanese Buddhism as well as secondary scholarship in Japanese. The content of the course will be adjusted from semester to semester to accommodate the needs and interests of the students. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.

Chinese Language and Literature Courses

A beginning (Mandarin) Chinese class developing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in modern standard Chinese, using pinyin and simplified characters. Five hours in class, two hours in the language laboratory, and one-half hour tutorial meeting every week. Prerequisites: None.

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

An elementary-level course designed for those who speak Mandarin but who do not read or write in Chinese. The course teaches both pinyin and traditional characters, introduces functional vocabulary, and provides a systematic review of grammar. The class meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, one hour a day. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.

A beginning Mandarin Chinese class designed for students who already have elementary comprehension and speaking skills in a Chinese dialect other than Mandarin Chinese and minimal exposure to reading and/or writing in Chinese. The class uses Pinyin and traditional characters. Four hours in class, one-half hour discussion session, and at least two hours in the language laboratory every week. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.

Chinese 7A is the first 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 beginnings of Chinese civilization to the Song dynasty, look at aspects of Chinese visual and material culture, and place these artifacts in their historical and cultural contexts. This course does not assume or require any previous exposure to or coursework in Chinese literature, history, or language. The course surveys the expansive literary and cultural topography of early China, while at the same time helping students to develop the reading and writing skills needed to engage critically and imaginatively with that historical terrain. Prerequisites: None.

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

Students who have completed Chinese 1AX/1BX may enroll in Chinese 10AX, an intermediate level course for Mandarin speakers. The course teaches both pinyin, simplified and traditional characters, develops a functional vocabulary, and provides a systematic review of grammar. Three one-hour meetings in class and one one-hour periods in the language or computer lab per week. Prerequisites: Chinese 1BX; or consent of instructor.

Students who have completed Chinese 10AX/10BX may enroll in Chinese 100AX, an advanced level course for Mandarin speakers who have intermediate-level knowledge of reading and writing in Chinese. The goal of the course is to introduce modern Chinese society through reading materials and discussion. The readings and conversation materials include stories, essays, and plays, mostly by leading writers of recent decades. Students prepare in advance, then read and discuss texts and sentence patterns in their literary, social, and cultural contexts. Class meets 3 days a week for one hour per day. Prerequisites: Chinese 10BX; or consent of instructor.

The goal of the course is to assist students in attaining high levels of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing. The primary instructional tool will be comparative studies of contemporary works of Chinese literature in conjunction with the movies that are based upon them. This multimedia approach serves to cultivate skills in all four areas listed above. Three hours of lecture/discussion per week. Prerequisites: Chinese 100B; or consent of instructor.

This course consists of lectures that provide a general overview of traditional Chinese culture from the early Zhou dynasty through the Tang (the 1st millennium BCE through the 9th century of this era). Special emphasis is given to the origins and development of philosophy, art, religion, prose, and poetry. The subjects to be covered include: the Chinese language and writing system, the classical canon, Confucianism and its opponents, historiography, the traditions and techniques of Taoism, hero cults and ancestor worship, burial practice, ghost stories, and the introduction of Buddhism and its role in early Chinese society. Prerequisites: Chinese 10B is recommended.

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

This course is an introduction to the study of medieval Buddhist literature written in Classical Chinese. We will read samples from a variety of genres, including early Chinese translations of Sanskrit and Central Asian Buddhist scriptures, indigenous Chinese commentaries, philosophical treatises, and sectarian works, including Chan gongan (Zen koans). The course will also serve as an introduction to resource materials used in the study of Chinese Buddhist texts, and students will be expected to make use of a variety of reference tools in preparation for class. Readings in Chinese will be supplemented by a range of secondary readings in English on Mahayana doctrine and Chinese Buddhist history. PrerequisitesThis course is intended for students who already have some facility in literary Chinese, and at least one semester of Classical Chinese is prerequisite for enrollment. Prior background in Buddhist history and thought is helpful but not required.

This course provides an introduction to the textual culture of the late Ming and Qing periods with readings of excerpts from novels and short fiction. Close attention to historical and literary historical context; skills in translation and literary analysis will also be developed. Topics for discussion include the seventeenth-century fascination with markets, money and exchange; the examination system and the dissolution of a traditionally constituted elite; the discourse on connoisseurship and collecting; gender and the Confucian bonds of human relation; the representation of homoeroticism. Prerequisites: Chinese 100B or equivalent; or consent of instructor.

What is sonic culture? How can we understand and analyze the aesthetics and politics of sound - both musical and otherwise - in Chinese cultures? Through auditory and textual explorations of both musical discourse and discourses on music, this course will trace the ways in which music has been produced, understood, and debated across a broad swath of Chinese history. How has sound served as an instrument of social power, political protest, literary expression, philosophical speculation, commercial exploitation, pleasure and desire? What kinds of stakes are involved in the production, consumption, and interpretation of both noise and organized sound? Does sonic culture have a history, and if so, how can we use literary texts as a means of listening to the music and the auditory landscapes of cultures predating the age of sound recording? What, finally, is the relation between auditory and literary culture.

We will attempt to answer this set of questions with reference to both premodern and modern Chinese sonic and literary cultures. We will begin by familiarizing ourselves with recent methodologies for the study of sonic culture, and then continue on to a consideration of the conceptualization of both naturally occurring sound and music in a diverse set of early and medieval Chinese texts. In the second half of the course, we turn toward an exploration of Chinese musical modernity within the larger context of global histories of colonialism, capitalism, and the dissemination of technologies for the recording and reproduction of sound in the 20th century. Topics to be covered will include Confucian and Daoist music theory, poetry and music, the introduction of Western music into China in the 19th and 20th centuries, its impact on traditional musics, the transformation of sonic culture by the gramophone and the cinema, the emergence of a variety of urban popular musics, the revolutionary role of mass-mediated sound in the articulation of political movements such as the Cultural Revolution, and the soundscapes of recent Chinese films from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the PRC. The course will conclude with a set of student presentations on aspects of contemporary Chinese sonic culture. Prerequisites: Chinese 7A or B, and/or previous college-level coursework in either literature or music.


This course will examine how Chinese poetic writing reflects, and occasionally challenges, notions of subjectivity implied in philosophical and theoretical writings. Close reading of poems (and some prose essays) drawn primarily from the Six Dynasties and the Tang will reveal how visual and aural imagery, genre, allusion, role-playing, and linguistic structures shape and reflect the character of the lyric “I”. Related topics of study will include: the connection between literary expressions of subjectivity and the formation of poetic personae; implications of our understanding of poetic subjectivity for the practice of translation; and the particular role of the senses and space in the poetic expression of this period. Prerequisites: Translations and supplementary readings in English will be provided; reading ability in Chinese recommended but not required. Advanced undergraduates with prior upper-division coursework in Chinese literature may also enroll with the permission of the instructor.

This seminar will provide a forum for intensive reading and analysis of Cao Xueqin's 18th century masterwork of Chinese fiction, The Story of the Stone. We will read and discuss the entire text, peruse some of the most important Qing commentaries, as well as familiarize ourselves with modern critical approaches to its study. Prerequisites: Excellent reading knowledge of modern and vernacular Chinese. This is a graduate seminar. Advanced undergraduates with prior upper-division coursework in Chinese literature may also enroll with the permission of the instructor.

What happens when images - and ideas about images - travel from one culture to another, or from the past to the present? What are images, and what do images do? What are the differences between visual and verbal images, and why do these differences matter? What are the relations between images and the peoples, places, cultures, histories, and material realities they represent? What are the relations between the spaces imagined and created through verbal and visual images and the spaces that images occupy? Such questions have often been fraught with anxieties over geocultural difference and identity, both in China and in the West.

This seminar explores the stakes involved in thinking about verbal and visual images, through a case study of the radical transformation of visual and literary culture in early twentieth-century China. We will examine the changing relationships among image, word, place, and identity in China in the context of the colonialist reconfiguration of global space and the expansion of image technologies such as photography and illustrated magazines. Topics for discussion include: the cultural meanings of the relations between words and images; debates over linear perspective and the reconfiguration of Chinese literary and pictorial spaces (including classical poetry and painting and popular illustrated magazines); how premodern literature was rethought in a modern culture of images; form as critique and as cultural essentialism; the circulation and migration of images; empathy, fear, and other affective relationships to images; design, abstraction, and everyday life; images, materiality, and the picturing of the invisible; and the transformation of photography and modernism in the image of China. Prerequisites: Open to graduate students from across the humanities and social sciences with instructor's permission.

East Asian Languages and Cultures Courses

Much twentieth-century experimental fiction is written out of a deep unease over the relationships of the past to the present in the modern and increasingly globalized world. This unease has been expressed through an obsession with history and its transmission; with the entanglements of memory and desire; with architecture, geography, and texts as sites of the past; and with the relations among narrative, fiction, and history. How is history written? Or, how does history as a form of writing shape our understandings of what constitutes the past and its significance to the present? In order to engage with these questions, numerous writers have experimented with the fantastic - not as an escape from history, but in order to make representable historical contradictions concealed by more conventional realist narrative.

This course will consider how the close intertwining of history and the strange in early Chinese writing was critically reappropriated in early 20th-century East Asian fiction; how imaginary Chinas have informed experiments with writing the past in Europe and Latin America; and how such experiments have provided contemporary Chinese writers with new lenses through which to explore their own histories. Through this focus we will also create a global and historical context for understanding contemporary Chinese fiction. Readings include Julian Barnes, the Zuo Zhuan, Sima Qian, Chinese histories of the strange (zhiguai, chuanqi, Pu Songling), Shi Zhecun, Tanizaki, Virginia Woolf, Victor Segalen, Kafka, Borges, Italo Calvino, Wang Zengqi, Yu Hua, Ge Fei, Garcia Marquez, and Han Shaogong. All readings will be in English. Prerequisites: None.

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

Japanese Language and Literature Courses

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

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

In this course, students will learn how to integrate the basic structures and vocabulary which they learned in Japanese 1A/B in order to express a wider range of ideas and will study the new structures and vocabulary necessary to express such ideas in a manner appropriate for many social situations. Students are expected to participate fully in classroom activities and discussions. Although the main emphasis will be aural/oral skills, an increasing amount of reading and writing will also be required. Prerequisites: Japanese 1A/B or equivalent; or consent of instructor. Students who have not taken Japanese 1A/B at this University may wish to contact the instructors during Phase I Tele-BEARS to have their language proficiency assessed.

For students who are concurrently enrolled in 10A to acquire a better understanding of kanji writing system and to improve overall kanji performance.

This course aims to develop further communicative skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing in a manner appropriate to the context. It concentrates on enabling students to use acquired grammar and vocabulary with more confidence in order to express functional meanings, while increasing linguistic competence. Course materials include the textbook, supplemented by newspaper and magazine articles and short stories to provide insight into Japanese culture and society. There will be a project which will give students the opportunity to interact with Japanese university students. Active student participation is not only encouraged but required. Prerequisites: Japanese 10B or equivalent; or consent of instructor.

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

This course provides focused, high-level language training for those students who possess fourth-year level ability or equivalent in the modern Japanese language. Students will improve their ability in reading, writing, speaking and listening in their areas of specialty and in fields of particular interest to them. The course may have a dual-track approach, requiring the completion of both class-wide and individually designed projects. The balance of the course will focus on the development of reading and writing skills. With the instructor’s assistance, students will conduct their own projects based on in-depth reading of materials drawn from their areas of specialization. These projects will be presented orally to the class. Further, when possible, visiting scholars from Japan will be invited to the classroom to speak, their topics to be discussed afterwards. This will provide an additional opportunity for the student to practice listening and speaking of high-level, educated Japanese. Committed study at home will be essential for success in this course. Prerequisites: Japanese 102 or equivalent; or consent of instructor.

Japanese 120 is an introduction to classical Japanese. After discussing the basics of classical grammar, we read all of Hôjôki (An account of my hut) and parts of Heike monogatari (The tale of the Heike). The emphasis is on translation into English, grammatical explication, and cultural and literary milieu. Most class meetings are devoted to the reading of the assigned texts. Students read the text aloud, answer questions regarding grammar and literary content, and translate into English. Students are encouraged to read the provided footnotes for practice in modern Japanese and basic background information as well as translations into modern Japanese, English, or other languages. But a line-by-line translation into English by the student is also essential for adequate class preparation. Prerequisites: Japanese 10B or equivalent; or consent of instructor. Not open to graduates of Japanese high schools.

Together with the great classics The Tale of Genji and The Pillow Book, court women in Japan produced some of most exciting poetic memoirs in the Japanese literary corpus. Whereas male courtiers were generally required by convention to compose formulaic and unemotional diaries in Chinese, court women were free to write in their native language about their deepest concerns. The course will read the poetic memoirs of Lady Kagerô, Lady Murasaki, and Lady Nijô in their entirety in English translation then focus on select passages in classical Japanese dealing with adoption, childbirth, and seduction. Prerequisites: Japanese 120 or equivalent; 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 Taishô and early Shôwa periods. We will explore the historical and cultural roots of many of the key themes in works by Akutagawa Ryûnosuke, Hagiwara Sakutarô, Kajii Motojirô, Hayashi Fumiko, Kobayashi Hideo, and others. We will examine the aesthetic bases of their 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 100B or consent of instructor.

This course deals with issues of the structure of the Japanese language and how they have been treated in the field of linguistics. It focuses on phonetics/phonology, morphology, writing systems, dialects, lexicon, and syntax/semantics. Students are required to have advanced knowledge of Japanese. No previous linguistics training is required. Prerequisites: 100A or equivalent, may be taken concurrently.

This course provides an overview of the considerations that the translator must take into account when approaching a text. Special attention is paid to the structural differences between Japanese and English, cross-cultural differences in stylistics, writing with clarity, reference work, etc. Texts to be considered are drawn from both expository and literary writings in Japanese. By means of translating selected texts into English, students will acquire abilities to recognize common translation problems, apply methods for finding solutions, and evaluate accuracy and communicative effectiveness of translation. In consultation with the instructor, each student chooses an appropriate text to be translated during the course of the semester. Prerequisites: 100B or equivalent.

The seminar will cover one or more noh plays each week with attention focused on the diverse nature of the genre. Along with some of the classic aesthetic masterpieces – in particular the “dream vision plays” (mugen nô) attributed to Zeami and Zenchiku – the seminar will study plays by later authors, works of unknown attribution and plays that are not part of the standard contemporary performance tradition (bangai nô). Prerequisites: One year of classical Japanese; or consent of instructor.

Korean Language and Literature Courses

Five classroom hours per week are required. This course introduces students to beginning level Korean, including Hangul (Korean writing system) and the basic grammar of the language. Emphasis is on listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. This course is for students with minimal or no knowledge of Korean. Prerequisites: None.

Please note: Korean 1A is not open to heritage students who have some background knowledge in Korean.

Three classroom hours per week are required. This course introduces students to beginning level Korean. This course is for students who can read Hangul (Korean writing system) or speak some Korean, but their ability to read, write, or speak in Korean is somewhat limited. Prerequisites: Some knowledge of the Korean language; or consent of Instructor.

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

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

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

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

Many recent studies on the intellectual movement of early modern Korea have highlighted a pivotal role played by newspapers in the development of modern national consciousness. The significance of the early twentieth century journals and magazines in the formation of modern Korean literature is also generally recognized. While these early modern media have been regarded as indispensable scholarly sources in the fields of Korean literary and cultural studies, little attention has been paid to the textual forms and ideological underpinnings that enabled these publications to come into existence, to develop into the most crucial public forum, and to serve an instrumental role in the emergence of the modern reading subject during the first quarter of the twentieth century in Korea. Focusing on the intersection of literature and print culture, this seminar examines the various permutations of modern newspapers and journals in Korea from the late nineteenth century to the 1930s. We will be engaged in a close examination of the literary, sociological, and pictorial texts from select periodicals to explore topics such as: the relation between nationalism and print culture; the formal concerns that appeared at the advent of serialization of literary texts; the role of the pictorial press (illustrations, photographs, and advertising leaflets); and a range of issues on the formation of the modern reading subject. We will also consider the relevant scholarship in the areas of history of books, history of reading, cultural studies, and literary criticism. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; or consent of instructor.

Tibetan Language and Literature Courses

This course is an intensive introduction to both standard spoken Tibetan (Lhasa dialect) and written literary Tibetan. As such, it will serve the needs of students who intend to continue the study of modern Tibetan so as to function in a Tibetan-speaking environment, as well as the needs of students who will concentrate on classical Tibetan and its rich literature. Prerequisites: None.