Fall 2005 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.

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.

This seminar will meet for discussion every Monday morning from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in 102A Durant. The lectures will take place every Friday morning from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at an auditorium in the California State Building adjacent to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza, which is easily accessible by BART. During the fall semester 2005, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, with the help of Cal's Institute of East Asian Studies and various campus departments and centers, will host a series of extremely distinguished lecturers who will speak on topics related to the history of Chinese art and literature from earliest times through the Tang dynasty (618-906). Lecturers will include highly noted experts from Princeton, Harvard, the University of Chicago, U.C. Berkeley, the Ecole française d'extrême-orient, and other centers of Chinese studies. The lectures will be introductory in nature and cover such topics as early Chinese ceramics, ceremonial bronze vessels, Daoism, Buddhism, ancient burial practices, the masterpieces of Chinese literature, and other topics important to a basic understanding of traditional Chinese civilization. Students are expected to attend the lectures as well as to participate in a one-hour discussion seminar with Professor Jeffrey Riegel, who is the organizer of the series, to discuss with him the contents of each lecture. There are no required readings for the seminar, but a list of suggested readings will be provided. Enrollment is limited to fifteen students.

Please note: Chinese 24 is open only to Freshman 

The goal of the course is to introduce modern Chinese culture while developing competence in reading, speaking and writing standard modern Chinese. The readings and conversation 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 5 days a week for one hour per day; students spend 2 hours per week in the language or computer lab. Prerequisites: Chinese 10B; 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.

Readings in pre-Han, Han-Dynasty, Six Dynasties and Tang-Dynasty texts. This course introduces the basic grammatical structures and core vocabulary of literary Chinese. Emphasis is on grammatical analysis and careful explication of classical usage. At the same time, attention is paid to introducing the various genres of prose and poetry and discussing their distinguishing features. This course is also meant to provide some introductory background on the formation of the “Confucian Classics” and the texts of the “Taoist Canon.” Prerequisites: Chinese 10B is recommended.

The primary focus of this course will be the types of narrative fiction in classical Chinese usually referred to as zhiguai (“recounting anomalies”) and chuanqi (“transmitting the strange/marvelous”). While modern literary historians have often treated these genres as part of an autonomous tradition of classical fiction, close attention to the texts, their authors, and their literary and cultural context makes it clear that these “fictional” forms cannot be simply or straightforwardly separated from “nonfictional” writing. In particular, the relations between the zhiguai and chuanqi forms and historical writing are close, complicated, and central to a real appreciation of the meaning of classical narratives. To gain such an appreciation we need to be very careful about how we apply distinctions such as history vs. fiction, serious vs. playful, realism vs. fantasy, and so on. We will begin by reading a selection of texts in early Chinese historiography to gain a sense of some of the problems and preoccupations that drive Chinese historical writing, and then proceed to study a sampling of texts from various periods of the zhiguai and chuanqi traditions. In addition to reading these works in relation to traditional problems raised in earlier texts, we will also pay attention to the ways in which the repertoire of short classical tales from the Six Dynasties to the Tang (i.e., roughly 3rd to 9th centuries CE) served as the basis for retellings in later drama, popular fiction, and film. Prerequisites: Chinese 110B.

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 explores one of the most central and potent areas of cultural politics in modern China: the city and its relations to the countryside. We will explore how urban space and native soil both become central places of imagination and desire in modernity; how Beijing and Shanghai become mediums of imagining differing meanings of "modernity" and "tradition," "Chinese" and "Western," and cultural authenticity; the repeated reformist and revolutionary desire to return from the city back to the countryside; as well as more recent mass migrations from the countryside to cities during a time of (and as a part of) drastic urban destruction and "renewal." Throughout the course, we will examine fiction, essays, photographs, films, and theoretical writings in order to consider a variety of ways in which people have sought to picture or narrate the shifting relations of cities and country, and indeed how particular forms of image-making and story-telling have been produced out of such experiences of dislocation. Prerequisites: Chinese 100B or equivalent (may be taken concurrently), or consent of instructor; previous coursework in literature, art history, visual culture, and/or film.

What do landscapes "do"? How do landscape images and travel narratives mediate experiences of land and nature, and how do landscapes map one's place in the world (in terms of both cultural identity and real geographic space)? Can landscapes travel? This course explores such questions by examining one of the world's longest-running traditions of landscape representation. We will consider such landscape genres as poetry, prose description, fiction, travel narrative, maps, painting, and photography, and consider their work across China's long history of imperial expansion, colonization, and globalization. We will also consider the place of China in thinking about landscape and travel in the West. Prerequisites: Previous coursework in literature, art history, and/or visual culture. All readings in English, but Chinese majors strongly encouraged to consult original texts. Open to undergraduates and graduate students.

This course is an introduction to a dimension of traditional Chinese writing that was of central importance for premodern writers, but which has tended to fall outside the notice of modern scholarship on traditional Chinese culture: the commentary. Taking the tradition of Analects commentary as our central strand, we will read selected works by exegetes from the Wei and Jin period to late-imperial writers such as Lu Jiuyuan, Wang Yangming, and Wang Fuzhi. The Analects occupy a somewhat anomalous position in the Traditionalist canon. Often viewed as the most direct textual embodiment of Confucius’s teaching, the text was never classed as “scripture.” Exegetes of the “subtle speech” of the sage as foregrounded in this text often have recourse to a complementary dualism of embodied presence and fragmented trace that makes the Analects emblematic of the predicament of the reader of the classics in general. In addition to commentaries in the narrow sense, we will also read examples of the sort of “literary midrash” in which authors from the early-medieval period on reimagined and rewrote the text. In the final section of the course, we will turn our attention to the distinctive cultural institution of the bagu essay as it bears on reception, rewriting and reperformance of the Analects. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.

East Asian Languages and Cultures Courses

The Chinese 19th century was a tumultuous and pivotal era, one which witnessed both the zenith and the precipitous decline of the Qing dynasty, the complex and violent encounter between a Chinese empire and the forces of global imperialism, and the consequent advent of a new colonial modernity in China. In this course, we will study these transformations as they are registered and represented in literary, historical, material and visual texts produced both in China and the West. Indeed, one of the aims of the course is to study China not as an isolated or distinct entity, but as an active participant in world history and the making of a new modern culture. To that end, we will focus on the literary, cultural, and historical nexus that linked together, and profoundly altered the fate of both Qing China and Victorian England. The course will emphasize not only these larger thematic materials, but also aim to develop and reinforce students' skills in close reading, critical writing, and techniques of cultural and historical analysis. Prerequisites: None. Previous coursework in Chinese and/or English literature and history are helpful, but not required.

This course is a pro-seminar required for all entering graduate students in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures no matter their particular areas of interest. Its purpose is to introduce graduate students in the program to the major theoretical concerns, academic issues, and interpretive methodologies relevant to humanistic studies more generally and to the study of East Asian literature, thought, religion, and culture in particular. Supervising faculty change from year to year, as does the focus of the seminar. 

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.

This course provides an overview of Japanese literature and cultural history, from the seventh to the eighteenth century. J7A will begin with Japan's early myth-history, Kojiki, and its first extant poetry anthology, Man'yôshû, which show the first stages of transition from a preliterate, communal society to a highly developed courtly culture. Readings from noblewomen’s diaries, poetry anthologies, and a selection of chapters from the classical Japanese literary masterpiece The Tale of Genji offer a window into that courtly culture and its heights of refinement. We will examine the intermingling of traces of oral culture and high literary art in popular tales from the Kamakura period and explore the early representations of samurai heroism in military chronicles and medieval noh drama. After considering the development of linked verse in late medieval times we will read several types of vernacular literature that emerged in the urban culture of the early modern Edo period including the poetic diaries of the haiku poet Bashô, the popular puppet theatre of Chikamatsu , the comic narratives of Saikaku and supernatural tales by Ueda Akinari. This course does not assume or require any previous exposure to or coursework in Japanese literature, history, or language. Prerequisites: None.

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.

This supplementary course is designed for students who are concurrently enrolled in 10A to enable their acquisition of a better understanding of Japanese grammar in general and clause linkage in particular.

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.

This class offers an introduction to some of the varied literary styles of the Edo period. Readings will include selections from early Edo popular short stories (otogizôshi), Bashô’s travel diaries, Saikaku’s comic fiction, Chikamatsu’s jôruri and Ueda Akinari’s yomihon. Prerequisites: Japanese 120 or equivalent with consent of instructor. Japanese 100B is strongly recommended, but nor required.

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: 102 or equivalent.

The course examines the complex meanings of the ghost in modern Japanese literature and culture. Tracing the representations of the supernatural in drama, fiction, ethnography, and the visual arts, we explore how ghosts provide the basis for remarkable flights of imaginative speculation and literary experimentation. Topics include: storytelling and the loss of cultural identity, horror and its conversion into aesthetic pleasure, fantasy, and the transformation of the commonplace. We will consider historical, visual, anthropological, and literary approaches to the supernatural and raise cultural and philosophical questions crucial to an understanding of the figure and its role in the greater transformation of modern Japan (18th century to the present). Prerequisites: None.

Analyzing literary treatments of romance and intimacy in Japanese prose and poem. In this course, students examine how a specific aspect, of their choosing, of intimate human relationship is depicted within a specific range of Japanese prose or poem. The course goal is a well-researched and well-argued term paper founded on a solid understanding of the cultural underpinnings of his/her area of specialization and a savvy deployment of a critical approach appropriate for the thesis argued. While the instructor's particular area of expertise is romance of the Heian period and comparative romance, and this background will provide the foundation of much of the class discussion, this class is meant to afford students an opportunity to sharpen their grasp of the intellectual/cultural currents relevant to their specific research topic in how these currents inform depictions or romance and intimacy. Further, the seminar is conceived as a forum for experimenting with or further improving the critical approach(es) that each student is comfortable with. A wide range of approaches is welcome and encouraged. Prerequisites: None. Course is open to advanced undergraduates.

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. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission 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.

Five 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.

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.

This course is a critical exploration of the broad range of prose literature before the 20th century, including vernacular fiction, memoirs, travel accounts, and essays. Particular attention will be given to narrative styles, issues of personal identity, and a link between literary text and material culture in the development of prose literature before the 20th century. The course is intended as a close reading of key prose narrative works, while functioning simultaneously as an introduction to basic reading knowledge of premodern Korean texts. 

This course examines the contemporary urban culture of South Korea through the works of fiction published between 1990s to the present. The course will focus on close reading of the fiction works, but will also consider the relation between literature and visual media, between popular culture and modern history, as well as other issues concerning urban subjectivity. Writers to be examined include Shin Kyongsuk, Hailji, Song Sokche, Kong Chiyong, Un Huigyong, and Kim Yongha. Prerequisites: Korean 100B or equivalent.

This course will provide an overview of the considerations that a translator must take into account when approaching a Korean text. Special attention will be paid to the structural and linguistic differences between Korean and English as well as cross-cultural differences in stylistics. Texts to be considered are drawn from both expository and literary writings in Korean. By means of translating selected texts in English, students will acquire abilities to recognize common translating problems, explore methods for finding solutions, and evaluate accuracy and communicative effectiveness of translation. Prerequisites: Korean 100B or equivalent; or consent of instructor.

This course introduces key approaches to modern Korean poetry by closely examining the poems in the recently published collection of Korean poetry in translation, Columbia Anthology of Modern Korean Poetry. We will discuss how to think through poetry, with particular attention to issues on self-presentation, rhetoric and performativity, and the relation between politics and aesthetics. All reading materials will be provided in English. 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.

A second-year course in modern Korean for students whose Korean proficiency level is higher in speaking than in reading or writing due to Korean-heritage background. Prerequisites: Korean 1BX; 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.

This course, a continuation of 1A-1B, is designed to develop the student's reading, writing, listening, and speaking abilities in standard Tibetan (Lhasa dialect). The course focuses on both modern vernacular Tibetan as well as literary Tibetan, with a particular emphasis on reading classical Buddhist materials.. Prerequisites: Tibetan 1B; or consent of instructor.