Fall 2008 Course Descriptions

Chinese Language and Literature Courses

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.

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.

This course is designed to bring up the students to advanced-high competence in all aspects of modern Chinese; it aims to prepare students for research or employment in a variety of China-related fields. Materials are drawn from native-speaker target publications, including modern Chinese literature, film, intellectual history, and readings on contemporary issues. Radio and TV broadcasts will also be included among the teaching materials. Texts will be selected, in part, according to the students' interests. With the instructor's guidance, students will conduct their own research projects based on specialized readings in their own fields of study. The research projects will be presented both orally and in written form by the end of the semester. Prerequisites: Chinese 102; or consent of instructor.

Chinese cities are the sites of complicated global/local interconnections as the nation is increasingly incorporated into the world system. Understanding Chinese cities is the key to analyzing the dramatic transformation of Chinese society and culture. This course is designed to teach students to think about Chinese cities in more textured ways. How are urban forms and urban spaces produced through processes of social, political, and ideological conflict? How are cities represented in literary, cinematic, and various popular cultures? How has our imagination of the city been shaped and how are these spatial discourses influencing the making of the cities of tomorrow? Prerequisites: Chinese 100B/100BX (may be taken concurrently); or consent of instructor.

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 will look at the early development of the Chinese Chan tradition through a variety of documents, with a focus on Dunhuang manuscripts and the writings of medieval Tang exegetes. In addition to the usual philological and historical issues, we will focus on a hermeneutic question: what epistemological "frame" is best suited for understanding these early materials? Should we approach them phenomenologically, as attempts to denote and delimit a particular experience or understanding of the world that is immediately available to us as human beings? Are they exegetical works: attempts by the Chinese to grapple with various doctrinal formulations and puzzles found in Buddhist scriptures? Are they performative: prescriptive models of "enlightened" speech and activity used to legitimize Chinese ecclesiastical authority? What other options might there be? The seminar will begin with materials not typically associated with early Chan, including Tantric scriptures and ritual manuals associated with the Tattvasamgraha tradition. The Chinese readings will be accompanied with a variety of recent secondary studies on early Chan, with a particular focus on the so-called Hongzhou school. This course is intended for graduate students with advanced facility in literary Chinese. Permission of the instructor required for all students, with the exception of graduate students in EALC or GBS.

In this seminar, students will read across a range of genres, examining how writers of the medieval period 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, the focus of this course will gradually move from explicit, essayistic treatments of temporality, memory, and change, to the implicit expressions of these concerns in works that situate mortal man in time: biographies, chuanqi fiction, anecdotes, and poetry.  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 (ming) in biographical (and autobiographical) writing, the relationship between narration and prognostication, uses of genre as a mode of temporal meditation, and formal reflections of temporal thinking in literary writing.  We will consider the extent to which recent scholarly attempts to characterize temporal thinking in pre-modern China successfully account for the range of perspectives provided by these texts.  Does the underlying approach to temporality shift significantly across genres and themes?  What kinds of changes do we apprehend across the centuries that comprise this period?  Primary texts in Chinese will be the focus of discussion; but students will also be asked to read and refer to theoretical writings where relevant. Prerequisites: Graduate standing (or permission of the instructor) and good reading knowledge of Classical Chinese.

The 1960s were a time of world-historical upheaval and transformation. Those extraordinary years were the fulcrum of much of what defines our own post-socialist, post-modern, post-colonial, globalized, and mediatized present. Yet the utopian energies and violent disenchantments of those years often make them seem like a disavowed historical “other,” particularly in the Chinese-speaking world. In this seminar, we will explore the literature and culture of the Chinese 1960s, starting from the culture of collectivization and Cultural Revolution under Mao, and continuing on to examine writing and film-making in Taiwan and Hong Kong in the shadow of the cold war divide. Prerequisites: Graduate standing or consent of the instructor. Reading knowledge of modern Chinese is helpful, but not necessarily essential.

This course investigates the material world of the mid-eighteenth century novel Honglou meng (Dream of the Red Chamber), while analyzing the thematization of materiality in the novel itself.  We will examine various models for conjoining the study of literary texts and material culture as we engage in a series of case studies of types of objects featured in the novel.  We will learn how to work with Qing dynasty objects on field trips to the Asian Art Museum and the Berkeley Art Museum. Students will be expected to have read the novel, either in the original or in David Hawkes' translation, before the seminar begins.  Reading knowledge of Chinese is desirable but not required. This course is also listed as History of Art 230.

East Asian Languages and Cultures Courses

This course explores the representation of romantic love in East Asian cultures in both premodern and post-modern contexts. Students develop a better understanding of the similarities and differences in traditional values in three East Asian cultures by comparing how canonical texts of premodern China, Japan and Korea represent romantic relationship. They explore how these values sometimes provide a given framework for a narrative and sometimes provide the definition of transgressive acts. This is followed by the study of several contemporary East Asian films, giving the student the opportunity to explore how traditional values persist, change, or become nexus points of resistance in the complicated modern and post-modern milieu of East Asian cultures maintaining a national identity while exercising an international presence. Prerequisites: None.

This course will examine war, empire, and the writing and memorialization of history through an eclectic group of literary, graphic, and cinematic texts from China, Japan, Europe, and the U.S. We will begin by examining crucial issues of imperial power, violence, and historical representation through the lens of the Han dynasty historian Sima Qian's classic accounts of "terrorism" in the Warring States period, the rise of the Han empire, and its conflicts with the Hsiung-nu "barbarians" to the north. With these earlier examples in mind, we will turn our focus to two crucial conflicts in modern history - the Boxer Uprising of 1899-1900, and the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-1945 - and their diverse representations in a number of different times, places, and media. Prerequisites: None.

This course will discuss the social, economic, and cultural aspects of Buddhism as it moved along the ancient Eurasian trading network referred to as the “Silk Road”. Instead of relying solely on textual sources, the course will focus on material culture as it offers evidence concerning the spread of Buddhism. Through an examination of the Buddhist archaeological remains of the Silk Road, the course will address specific topics, such as the symbiotic relationship between Buddhism and commerce; doctrinal divergence; ideological shifts in the iconography of the Buddha; patronage (royal, religious and lay); Buddhism and political power; and art and conversion.

This course is designed as an historical introduction to the Silk Road, understood as an ever-changing series of peoples, places, and traditions, as well as an introduction to the study of those same peoples, places, and traditions in the modern period. In this way, the class is intended both as a guide to extant textual, archaeological, and art historical evidence from the Silk Road, and as a framework for thinking about the modern Silk Road regions from the perspective of a contemporary American classroom. Prerequisites: None.

A critical survey of key issues in the contemporary forms of Buddhism in Japan.  The course covers: Buddhist emergence into modernity, the rise of new lay-oriented Buddhist movements, the breakdown of traditional parishioner-temple relations, the role of pilgrimage sites and routes, and the internationalization of Buddhism.  We will read primary texts of contemporary Japanese Buddhist leaders, secondary literature on the history and sociology of contemporary Japanese Buddhism, and watch films about or on the role of Buddhism among individuals and organizations. Prerequisites: None

This course introduces incoming graduate students to literary and cultural theory and criticism. We’ll explore perspectives central and/or foundational to intellectual work across the humanities (including structuralism, poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, feminism and gender studies, postcolonialism, image-word studies, and Marxian and materialist approaches). A central concern will be to explore which the ways in which critical perspectives produced from various positions within East Asian cultural, literary, and visual studies, both premodern and modern, intersect with current intellectual debates in the humanities. Prerequisites: Graduate student standing; or consent of instructor.

This seminar will focus on the close reading of a range of Chinese religious texts drawn primarily from the Buddhist tradition. We will read examples from different genres of Buddhist materials, including biographical, doctrinal, ritual, and historical—geographical sources. In order to effectively study Chinese Buddhism it is also necessary to utilize non-canonical sources along with texts not exclusively categorized as “Buddhist.” Therefore, this seminar will also involve the introduction to and reading of epigraphical materials, Daoist texts, and relevant sections from gazetteers. One of the goals of this seminar will also be to introduce students to the wide range of research tools for studying Chinese religious texts (dictionaries, encyclopedias, indexes, electronic databases, etc.) now available in Chinese, Japanese, and European languages. All of the primary readings will be in classical Chinese. Prerequisites: Graduate student 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.

Designed to supplement 1A in order to facilitate students' listening proficiency. 1AL will cover a variety of listening strategies and practice applications of such strategies in listening activities. Students will engage in listening activities, including audio/visual exercises that will focus on the matrerials that are taught in Japanese 1A.

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.

The field of Japanese literature is extraordinarily rich; it covers over twelve centuries of texts, including the thousand-page classic, The Tale of Genji, often described as the world’s oldest novel, and the seventeen-syllable haiku, one of the shortest poetic forms and still one of the most popular. Like all her eleventh-century aristocratic contemporaries, the author of Genji believed in spirit possession, dream prophecy, and reincarnation. And yet her depiction of the subtle workings of male competition and female jealousy is as psychologically subtle and perceptive as any passage in Proust, to whom she is often compared. J7A will begin with a look at Japan's early myth-history, Kojiki, and first extant poetry anthology, Man'yôshû, which show the transition from preliterate, communal society to a highly developed courtly culture. Examples of the rich Japanese female diary tradition follow, and then two weeks on Genji, the high-point of Heian prose. The second half of the course, examines medieval literature, including religious and aesthetic essays by cultured monks and violent yet intensely moving war stories, sung by priests to the accompaniment of lutes. We will conclude by reading the poetry and travel literature of Bashô, often called Japan's last medieval poet. 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 freshmen seminar is an introduction to Japanese animation, or anime. We will screen several animated feature films and read the critical works they have inspired. We will address such issues as globalization and cultural memory, gender relations and the gaze, technology and the representations of the posthuman. All readings will be English translations. This seminar will meet for eight weeks on the following dates:  August 29, September 5, September 12, September 19, October 3, October 10, October 17 and October 24, 2008.

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 provides further development of reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills to enable students to express their points of view and construct argumentative discourse. Readings include Japanese newspapers, magazines, a selection of Japanese literature as sources of discussions. Students learn various writing styles and in-depth aspects of Japanese culture. Prerequisites: Japanese 100B or equivalent; or consent of instructor.

This course provides further development of reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills to enable students to express their points of view and construct argumentative discourse. In addition to Japanese literature, readings include newspaper articles and other texts as sources of discussions in order to become familiar with various writing styles and learn more aspects of Japanese society and culture. 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.

A critical survey of major themes in the history of Japanese Buddhism. 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 during the medieval period; the interaction between Buddhism, "Shinto," and "folk religion"; the relationship between Buddhism and the state, especially during the Edo period; Buddhist perspectives on nature, healing, and pilgrimage; and Buddhist modernism of the Meiji period. Prerequisites:  None.

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 course continues the introduction of bungo (premodern literary Japanese). It gives students basic tools for reading and appreciating waka (traditional Japanese poems in 31-syllables) in their original language. The course presented an historical overview of the three dominant premodern waka collections: Man'yôshû (Ten Thousand Leaves, 8th c.), Kokinshû (Ancient and Modern Poems, 10th c.) and Shin-Kokinshû (New Ancient and Modern Poems, 13th c.) The primary stylistic features and poetic techniques of these collections are discussed through reading examples. In the second part of the class we read nature poetry with a focus on autumn poems. In the final segment of the class we read love poetry. Prerequisites:  Completion of Japanese 120; or consent of instructor. 

This course introduces students to various aspects of modern Japanese literature by reading prose selections, primarily short stories, by highly regarded authors from the Meiji to Heisei periods (1868- ). Selected passages in Japanese will be assigned for close reading, analysis and discussion. Prerequisites: Japanese 100B (may be taken concurrently with J100A with approval); or consent of instructor.

The goal of this course is to provide a general picture of prehistoric and protohistoric archaeology in China, Japan and Korea. The course will emphasize the differences and similarities in archaeological studies between East Asia and North America. It will also consider the role of archaeology in East Asian societies today, and discuss how archaeological interpretations have been affected by the social and political contexts in these countries. Topics to be emphasized include changes in subsistence-settlement systems, origins and dispersal of food production, the development of social complexity, and the formation of state. Prerequisites:  None.

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.

A close examination of Genji Monogatari in its literary, cultural, and historical contexts.

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.

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.

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.

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 it's rich literature. Prerequisites: None

This course, a continuation of 1A-1B (elementary Tibetan), is designed to further develop the student's skills in modern standard Tibetan (Lhasa dialect). The emphasis is on communication skills in vernacular Tibetan, as well as grammar, reading, and writing. Students with a particular interest in reading classical literature, particularly Buddhist texts, are encouraged to enroll simultaneously in 110A-110B. Prerequisites: Tibetan 1B; or consent of instructor.

This course is an intensive course in reading modern and classical Tibetan literature, with an emphasis on classical Buddhist texts. It builds on basic reading skills acquired in 1A-1B (elementary Tibetan), and is designed to be taken either concurrently with 10A-10B (intermediate Tibetan) or independently. Prerequisites: Tibetan 10A (may be taken concurrently); or consent of instructor.