Fall 2015 Course Descriptions

Chinese Language and Literature Courses

This course is designed for students who are of non-Chinese origin and were not raised in a Chinese-speaking environment; or who are of Chinese origin but do not speak Chinese and whose parents do not speak Chinese. The course develops beginning learners’ functional language ability—the ability to use Mandarin Chinese in linguistically and culturally appropriate ways at the beginning level. It helps students acquire communicative competence in Chinese while sensitizing them to the links between language and culture. Prerequisites: None.

This course is designed specifically for heritage Chinese 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 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. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.

The course is designed for students who have had exposure to a non-Mandarin Chinese dialect but cannot speak Mandarin and possess little or no reading and writing skills in Chinese. The course helps students gain a fundamental knowledge about Mandarin Chinese and explore their Chinese heritage culture through language. Students learn ways and discourse strategies to express themselves and develop their linguistic and cultural awareness in order to function appropriately in Mandarin-speaking environments. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.

The first in a two-semester sequence, introducing students to Chinese literature in translation. In addition to literary sources, a wide range of philosophical and historical texts will be covered, as well as aspects of visual and material culture. 7A covers early China through late medieval China, up to and including the Yuan Dynasty (14th century); the course will also focus on the development of sound writing. Prerequisites: None.

The 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 deals with lengthy conversations as well as narrative and descriptive texts in both simplified and traditional characters. It helps students to express themselves in speaking and writing on a range of topics and raises their awareness of the connection between language and culture to foster the development of communicative competence. Prerequistes: Chinese 1 or Chinese 1B; or consent of instructor.

The course takes students to a higher level of competence in Chinese language and culture and develops students’ critical linguistic and cultural awareness. It surveys social issues and values on more abstract topics in a changing China. Through the development of discourse and cultural knowledge in spoken and written Chinese, students learn to interpret subtle textual meanings in texts and contexts as well as reflect on the world and themselves and express themselves using a variety of genres. Prerequistes: Chinese 10 or Chinese 10B; or consent of instructor.

The course advances students’ linguistic and cultural competence through the development of critical literacy skills. It guides students to become more sophisticated language users equipped with linguistic, pragmatic, and textual knowledge in discussions, reading, writing, and translation. Students reflect on the world and themselves through the lens of the target language and culture and become more competent in operating between English and Chinese and between American culture and Chinese culture. Prerequisites: Chinese 10X; or consent of instructor.

This course helps Chinese heritage language learners with a dialect background to further develop their Chinese language competence. More sophisticated linguistic forms are used with various socio-cultural topics. Close reading knowledge and skills, formal and informal registers, discourses in speaking and writing, and different genres of Chinese reading and writing are introduced and practiced. Students learn to recognize a second version of Chinese characters. Prerequisites: Chinese 10Y; or consent of instructor.

The course is designed to further develop students’ advanced-mid level language proficiency and intercultural competence. It uses authentic readings on Chinese social, political, and journalistic issues, supplemented by newspaper articles. To develop students’ self-learning abilities and help them to link the target language to their real world experience, students’ agency in learning is promoted through critical reading and rewriting and through comparing linguistic and cultural differences. Prerequisties: Chinese 100B or Chinese 100XB; or consent of instructor.

The first half of a one-year introductory course in literary Chinese, introducing key features of grammar, syntax, and usage, along with the intensive study of a set of readings in the language. Readings are drawn from a variety of pre-Han and Han-Dynasty sources. Prerequisites: Chinese 10B is recommended.

This fast-paced course improves students’ abilities to use advanced language forms to read and discuss a wide range of abstract subjects and issues. This includes literature, philosophy, law, economics, history, cross-Strait relations, geography, and movie criticism. The course also develops students’ ability to read articles that contain both formal and informal and modern and classic Chinese usages. Students learn to identify and explain the classical Chinese allusions used in the articles and compare them to their modern counterparts. Students use the Chinese language in their fields of study and are directed to write a professional paper in their academic field. Prerequisites: Chinese 101 or 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 100A, Chinese 100XA, Chinese 100YA (may be taken concurrently); or consent of instructor.

This course introduces Chinese film auteurs since the late 1970s across the geopolitical divides between Mainland, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. We will focus on individual film auteurs (Jia Zhangke, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Wong Kar Wai, etc.) situated in distinct “new wave” movements in these three different regions, each in conversation with the global “new wave” cinema while engaging their respective political and cultural history. The class will combine inquiries of film style with pressing political and social issues facing contemporary Mainland, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Introducing major scholarship on contemporary Chinese language cinema, this class will investigate the assumptions and validity of the notion of “film auteur” as well as notions of New Wave cinema based on a European, particularly French model. We will end with a turn to popular cinema, by looking at how issues of genre and auteur suggest new possibilities of negotiations with the force of Hollywood and globalization. Prerequisites: None.

This course introduces the history of traditional Chinese drama from the thirteenth to seventeenth centuries, covering important works from a wide range of genres (farcical, religious, detective, martial arts, historical, and romantic). We study Chinese theater in the context of pleasure precincts, ad hoc markets, ritual parades, and printed matter. The underlying questions we ask are: how did different kinds of spatial structure historically define performance? And how did these varied spatial configurations orient the relationship of the audience to the performance differently? And what general implications did the theatrical space have for the constitution of the self and for social formation in medieval and early modern China? Prerequisites: None.

While there has been much discussion about the relationship between historical and fictional prose writing in premodern China, little attention has been paid to the role of “fantasy” and the “imagination” in the history of Chinese poetry. In a poetic tradition that grounds both the writing and the interpretation of lyric poetry in the poet’s particular experiences, there would seem to be little room for fancy. And yet, some of the most celebrated poets were given to uses of poetic language that, at the very least, challenged readers’ expectations of real-world referentiality.  After examining key relevant concepts in both Chinese and English, the class will engage in the intensive reading and discussion of a selection of poems (as well as poetic criticism), to interrogate the content, the function—and the limits—of fantasy and imagination as practiced at key moments in the history of Chinese poetry. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.


East Asian Languages and Cultures Courses

This course will provide a basic understanding of the teachings and practices of Buddhism. The central issues will be situated within their broader Indian historical contexts, and the readings follow a generally chronological order. The course begins with the life of the Buddha, the early teachings, and the founding of the Buddhist monastic order. The course then progresses to the cosmological and philosophical developments of the Mahāyāna, followed by the ritual and mythological innovations of the Buddhist tantras. The final section takes a brief look at how Buddhism was assimilated into Tibetan culture. Prerequistes: None.

This course will explore poetic translation, across languages, across cultures, and across historical ages, not merely from the perspective of the "accuracy" with which a classic text is represented in the translation, but as a window into the nature of poetic tradition and poetic writing itself. Works will be primarily drawn from the Chinese tradition, but in the interest of allowing a comparative discussion of the course's central themes, a significant amount of reading from ancient and modern Greek poetry will be included as well. The goal of the class is not simply to gain familiarity with Chinese poetry and poets, but more fundamentally to gain skill and sophistication in reading, responding to, and thinking about poetry. Prerequisites: None.

Tea has a long and complex history in China and Japan. It has had a role in philosophical, religious, and literary discourse. It influenced, and was influenced by, visual arts, artisan endeavors, architecture, and social practices. This class considers the interaction of tea with arts, philosophy and poetics in premodern China and Japan. Broadly stated, we begin with the early tea origin myths of China then become more earnest in our analysis with events in the Tang and Song dynasties. While we cover briefly Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties our focus swings towards Japan in the second half of the course where we look at tea practices in the Kamakura, Muromachi and early Edo periods. Comparing how tea was received in these two countries illuminates characteristics of both cultures and provides a unique example of how culture flows between them. Further, there is a dialectic between the ordinariness of brewing and drinking tea with the arts and philosophy and we therefore consider the cross-over of concepts (the movement of cultural “signs”), such as how yin-yang philosophy and the Chinese medical texts based on it created contexts for thinking about tea (Tang China) and how linked-verse poetics informed tea-related social practice (Muromachi Japan). Of necessity, this class devotes a certain amount of time to overview-level historical perspectives (era-specific economies, politics, religions) in both countries, geography, and, to properly situate the tea plant itself, we begin with the basics of tea’s origin and the evolving cultivation and leaf-crafting practices associated with the plant. Prerequisites: None.

This course explores Chinese cultures of sex and gender from antiquity to the seventeenth century. We concentrate on three interconnected issues: women’s status, homoeroticism, and the human body. Our discussion will be informed by cross-cultural comparisons with ancient Greece, Renaissance England, and Contemporary America. In contrast to our modern regime of sexuality, which collapses all the three aforementioned issues into the issues of desire and identity intrinsic to the body, we will see how the early Chinese regime of sexual act evolved into the early modern regime of emotion that concerned less inherent identities than a media culture of life-style performance. 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. All readings will be in English. Prerequisites: None.

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. Prerequisites: None.

Through lecture, discussion and essay, we read and analyze selections from premodern Japanese literature (poetry, prose and drama), especially via the consideration of cultural concepts (such as purity, exile), themes (such as rancor, shame) and aesthetics terms (such as sabi / "rustic beauty"). While this class focuses on literature, we do take some 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. 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. We read selections from a very wide range of literary texts, 10th to 18th centuries, but there is a considerable amount of visual information presented as well. 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 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 10B; or consent of instructor.

Students develop their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills further to think critically, to express their points of view, and to understand Japanese culture and society in depth The readings are mainly articles on current social issues from Japanese newspapers, magazines, and professional books as sources of discussions. Students are required to write short essays on topics related to the reading materials. Prerequisites: Japan 100, 100B, or 100X; or consent of instructor.

This course provides students an opportunity to develop their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills, thereby enabling them to express their points of view and to engage in argumentative discourse. In addition to Japanese literature, readings include academic essays and other texts, which provide a variety of writing styles and serve as sources for classroom discussion. Also, Japanese films are used for various activities in order to broaden students’ cultural awareness and knowledge of Japanese society. Prerequisites: Japan 100, 100B, or 100X; or consent of instructor.

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

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 may include Chinese translations of Sanskrit and Central Asian Buddhist scriptures, scriptural commentaries written in China and Korea, Japanese subcommentaries on influential Chinese and Korean commentaries, philosophical treatises, hagiography, apologetics, histories, doctrinal letters, preaching texts, and setsuwa literature. This course is intended for students who already have some facility in literary Japanese. Prior background in Buddhist history and thought is helpful but not required. Prerequisite: Japanese 120 (may be taken concurrently if you have also completed Japanese 100B); or consent of instructor.

In J155 we read, in the original language, full-length modern Japanese short stories by highly regarded authors from the Meiji through Heisei periods. The stories for this class are selected based on two primary qualities: distinct contrasts in written style and inherent interest of theme. Learning focus: Since we read in the original Japanese, there are inevitably questions of vocabulary and grammar. Our primary activity, however, is considering how sentence structure, rhythm, pace, word choice and dialect support a work's success as a literary object. Since we read a large number of short stories, the overall structure of the course also functions as an introduction to a variety of Japanese authors of merit. Prerequisites: Completed or concurrent enrollment in J100A (as a minimum), 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, historical changes, and genetic origins. Students are required to have intermediate knowledge of Japanese. No previous linguistics training is required. Prerequisites: Japan 10, 10B or 10X.

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, 100B, or 100X; or consent of instructor.

How does cinema convey meaning? How do the images and sounds 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 cinema.

You do not have to speak Japanese or know anything about Japan to take this course: all the films will have subtitles. Prior knowledge of the methods of film analysis will be helpful, but is not required. We will discuss all the concepts you need in class. Film showings (with a few exceptions) will be on Tuesday nights, every week, and attendance is required. Prerequisites: None.

This course explores space, place, and architecture in Japanese literary texts written between the 1850 and the 1930s (by writers such as Sôseki, Ôgai, Doppo, Shusei, Shiki, Kafu, Rampo, Kawabata, Yokomitsu, Miyazawa Kenji, and Kon Wajiro), alongside photography, maps, and a broad range of theoretical writings on space and objects. Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Korean Language and Literature Courses

This course is designed for students who have little or no prior knowledge of the Korean language. Students will learn the Korean alphabet and basic grammar. Prerequisites: None.

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 instuctor.

A survey of pre-modern Korean literature and culture from the seventh century to the 19th century, focusing on the relation between literary texts and various aspects of performance tradition. Topics include literati culture, gender relations, humor, and material culture. Texts to be examined include ritual songs, sijo, kasa, p'ansori, prose narratives, art, and contemporary media representation of performance traditions. 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. Prerequistes: Korean 1 or 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 10 or 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 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 and 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 will explore the moments of intercultural encounters captured in Korean literature from the sixteenth through the twentieth century. Encounters with foreign cultures and literary reflections on them have emerged as prominent at critical moments of Korean history, such as periods of great social transition or international conflict. It is not a coincidence, in this regard, that many of the most important works of Korean literature have been produced in response to interactions with foreign cultures. In this course, we will be addressing questions concerning how experiences of the encounters of foreign cultures have been represented in Korean literature from the sixteenth through the twentieth century; what their domestic ramifications were, especially in terms of literary genres; and how the transformation of Korean national identity have been imagined and articulated in literary works. The reading list for includes travel writings, fictional war narratives, the records of Chosŏn officials’ diplomatic visits to Qing China of the Chosŏn period. In the latter half of the course, we will be reading representative modern fictional narratives that deal with the crucial issues of modernization, colonization, and the division of Korea, all of which were occurring against the complex background of international relations of modern East Asia. All readings are in English. Prerequisites: None.

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

This course examines the formation and transformation of global Cold War culture in South Korean literature and film of the 20th century. It pays close attention to representations of the Korean War and its aftermath in literature and cinema, but opens up the field of inquiry to encompass larger sociocultural issues related to the Cold War system manifest in literature and cinema. All readings are in English. Prerequisites: None.

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.

The language of Mongolia is rich. It is the language of a people who politically have emerged on the world stage after verily hundreds of years of imposed isolation, who geographically live on the vast open steppe that ranges from the Gobi to Siberia, who economically juggle an ancient tradition of pastoral nomadism with the development of national and private industry, who culturally know an eclectic, vibrant cosmopolitanism belied by their rugged open spaces, and who long ago established the largest contiguous empire the world has ever known. The aim of this course is to make as much of this richness open to students as possible. To this end the course frames the study of Khalkha Mongolian, the standard language of Mongolia, in its context as a dialect of Mongolian language proper. It exercises the four basic language functions, speaking, listening, reading, and writing, with emphases on grammar, translation, pronunciation, and colloquial expression. And it shows deference in presenting the language to the cultural heritage that makes the Mongolian world unique.

Prerequistes: None.

Tibetan Language and Literature Courses

A beginning Tibetan class developing basic listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in modern Tibetan (Lhasa dialect). The course also helps students begin to acquire competence in relevant Tibetan cultural issues. Prerequisites: None.

This course, a continuation of 1A-1B (elementary Tibetan), is designed to further develop the student's skills in modern standard Tibetan. The emphasis is on communication skills in vernacular Tibetan, as well as grammar, reading, and writing. Prerequistes: Tibetan 1B; or consent of instructor.

Anyone visiting Tibet will soon be struck by the number of inscriptions found carved into the rocks.  Most are Buddhist prayers and mantras, but others are of considerable historical significance.  This seminar will explore the Old Tibetan inscriptions found on rocks, steles, tablets, bells, and walls across Tibet.  Attention will be directed primarily toward reading the inscriptions themselves, but each will be supplemented by additional readings on early Tibetan history provide further context for understanding its larger significance.  Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.