Fall 2019 Course Descriptions
Chinese Language and Literature Courses
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 develops beginning learners’ functional language ability—the ability to use Mandarin Chinese in linguistically and culturally appropriate ways at the beginning level. It helps students acquire communicative competence in Chinese while sensitizing them to the links between language and culture.
The 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 continues to focus on training students in the four language skills--speaking, listening, reading, and writing with a gradually increasing emphasis on basic cultural readings and developing intercultural competence. Prerequisites: Chinese 1A
This course is designed specifically for Mandarin heritage students who possess speaking skill but little or no reading and writing skills in Chinese. The course utilizes students’ prior knowledge of listening and speaking skills to advance them to the intermediate Chinese proficiency level in one semester. Close attention is paid to meeting Mandarin heritage students’ literacy needs inmeaningful 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
Elementary Cantonese 3A is designed for non-Chinese heritage learners with no prior knowledge of Cantonese, a regional variety of Chinese, introducing students to its use through oral, written and visual texts related to daily life. Topics include meeting people, shopping, leisure activities, telling the time, discussing daily routines, describing people and family members, and transportation, and students will compose texts in Cantonese that show the relationship between language and culture. Finally, the course develops students’ awareness of socio-culturally situated language use and their ability to compare and negotiate similarities and differences between the target culture and their own culture.
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.
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. Prerequisites: Chinese 1 or Chinese 1B; or consent of instructor
Intermediate Chinese 10RA is designed for non-heritage graduate students and motivated undergraduate students who have completed Elementary Chinese 1B or the equivalent and who wish to develop their technical reading competence but also go on to look for meaning in modern Chinese texts. The course promotes cross-cultural understanding by presenting a series of stories portraying young people from diverse cultural backgrounds in an American academic community, and as students read these stories in Chinese and analyze textual features, they construct meanings from the vocabulary, grammatical patterns, conventions, and culture. Prerequisites: Completion of Elementary Chinese 1B or the equivalent is required to take Intermediate Chinese 10RA
The course further develops students’ linguistic and cultural competence. In dealing with texts, students are guided to interpret, narrate, describe, and discuss topics ranging from real-life experience and personal memoir to historic events. Intercultural competence is promoted through linguistic and cultural awareness and language use in culturally appropriate contexts. Prerequisites: Chinese 10A; or consent of instructor
The course continues to develop students’ literacy and communicative competence through vocabulary and structure expansion dealing with topics related to Chinese heritage students’ personal experiences. Students are guided to express themselves on complex issues and to connect their language knowledge with real world experiences. Prerequisites: Chinese 1X; 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. Prerequisites: Chinese 10 or Chinese 10B
This 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. Students learn to recognize a second version of Chinese characters. Prerequisites: Chinese 10X; 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. Prerequisites: 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 10, 10B, 10X, or 10Y is recommended but not required
A critical study of pre-modern Chinese fiction. Prerequisites: Chinese 100A or Chinese 100XA (may be taken concurrently); or consent of instructor
This course introduces a century of Chinese cinema through the prism of Shanghai-- as a major site of film production and exhibition, an object of cinematic imagination, a changing urban space marked by colonial modernity, socialism, and postsocialism, a node of transregional and transnational traffic, a point of historical reflection, reconstruction, fetishism, and nostalgia. The class will span from the silent era to contemporary cinema, covering a wide range of genre (slapstick, martial arts, melodrama, opera film, animation, noir, socialist realist cinema, neonoir, documentary) and auteurs such as Sun Yu, Wu Yonggang, Yuan Muzhi, Zheng Junli, and Lou Ye. Students will view some of the most celebrated yet rarely screened films while they hone the foundational skills for film analysis, engage film theory, and familiarize themselves with the complex social and political history of China. All readings in English. No Chinese language skills are required
This course examines the development of Confucianism in pre-modern China using a dialogical model that emphasizes its interactions with competing viewpoints. Particular attention will be paid to ritual, conceptions of human nature, ethics, and to the way that varieties of Confucianism were rooted in more general theories of value.
Readings vary from year to year and are drawn from a wide variety of philosophical and historiographical sources.
This seminar is an intensive introduction to various genres of Buddhist literature in classical Chinese, including translations of Sanskrit and Central Asian scriptures. Chinese commentaries, philosophical treatises, hagiographies, and sectarian works. It is intended for graduate students who already have some facility in classical Chinese. It will also serve as a tools and methods course.
East Asian Languages and Cultures Courses
This course will provide students with a basic understanding of the history, teachings, and practices of the Buddhist tradition. We will begin with a look at the Indian religious culture from which Buddhism emerged, and then move on to consider the life of the Buddha, the early teachings, the founding of the monastic order, and the development of Buddhist doctrinal systems. We will then turn to the rise of Mahāyāna Buddhism, and the transformation of Buddhism as it moved from India to China, Japan, Tibet and the countries of Southeast Asia. We will end with a brief look at contemporary controversies over, (1) the tulku (reincarnate lama) system in Tibet; (2) the ordination of Buddhist nuns in Southeast Asia; and (3) the rise and popularity of mindfulness meditation in America. Readings will cover a variety of primary and secondary materials, as well as two short novels, and we will make use of films and videos. There are no prerequisites for this course—everyone is welcome. But the course does demand a great deal of time and effort on the part of students. There is a lot of reading as well as a short written assignment or quiz each week, and attendance at all lectures and discussion sections is mandatory. Students should only enroll if they can commit the required time and energy to the course.
This course explores representation of romantic love in East Asian cultures in 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. 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.
Fall 2019: Expressing the Ineffable in China and Hebrew Poetry
This course will explore how the Chinese and Hebrew-language literary traditions (broadly defined) delineate the realm of the ineffable, and how cultural notions of the inexpressible shape the writing and reading of poems, songs, and a selection of prose pieces, from the uses of figurative language and prosody to genre and canon formation. Over this course of study, students will not only refine their sensitivity to the power of literary modes of indirection, but will also hone their skills in close reading, analytical writing, and oral expression. All readings will be in English. Prerequisites: None.
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 intrinsicto 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.
This course will discuss the historical development of the Pure Land school of East Asian Buddhism, the largest form of Buddhism practiced today in China and Japan. The curriculum is divided into India, China, and Japan sections, with the second half of the course focusing exclusively on Japan where this form of religious culture blossomed most dramatically, covering the ancient, medieval, and modern periods. The curriculum will begin with a reading of the core scriptures that form the basis of the belief system and then move into areas of cultural expression. The course will follow two basic trajectories over the centuries: doctrine/philosophy and culture/society.
The emergence of the tantras in seventh and eighth-century India marked a watershed for religious practice throughout Asia. These esoteric scriptures introduced complex new ritual technologies that transformed the religious traditions of India, from Brahmanism to Jainism and Buddhism, as well as those of Southeast Asia, Tibet, Mongolia, China, Korea, and Japan. This course provides an overview of tantric religion across these regions.
How do film genres come into being? Do they evolve like species with identifiable features and family resemblance? Are they allowed to cross-breed? What enable film genres to travel across national boundaries? How does gender and class get mixed up with genre? This course engages the questions of genre through East Asian cinema. We will look at genre films as complex negotiations with the circulation of global film genres while they engage with specific economic, social, and political histories of East Asia. Throughout the semester we will study contemporary theories of film genre, examine how the case of East Asian genre films complicate existing theories, and follow the parallel transnational traffics--between East Asian Cinema and global film genre, and across East Asian Cinema in their history of cultural and economic flow as well as political confrontation. The course will integrate our investigations of genre-specific questions--industry, style, reception, spectatorship, affect--with those of gender, ethnicity, power as well as nation and transnational/transregional dynamic. Major genres to be discussed include melodrama, film noir, martial arts films, horror, samurai films, and musical. Students will acquire foundational skills for film analysis, familiarize themselves with the history of East Asian Cinema, and gain critical insights with film theory and genre theory.
In this seminar we will explore the history and practice of photography across China, Taiwan, and Japan. We will explore the advent of photography in East Asia in the nineteenth century and its entanglement with histories of colonial encounter; studio portraiture and vernacular photography; modernist and documentary photography in the interwar years; and the photography of war and revolution. We will familiarize ourselves with some of the most significant photographers and photographic movements to have emerged in the post-war, post-Mao, and post-Chiang periods, with particular attention to the way in which contemporary photographers have grappled with historical legacies of war, political violence, and environmental destruction. We will be attentive throughout to the questions of photography's intertwinement with print culture and literary writing. Each week's meeting will pair close analysis of photographs with discussions of essays by historians, critics, and practitioners on the technics, aesthetics, and ethics of photographic practice. Given the cross-regional framework for the course, all assigned readings will be in English; but students are required to conduct further research in Chinese or Japanese language materials.
Prerequisites: Graduate standing or the approval of the instructor.
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.
Japanese 1B is designed to develop basic skills acquired in Japanese 1A further. Students will learn approximately 150 new kanji. At the end of the course students should be able to express regret, positive and negative requirements, chronological order of events, conditions, giving and receiving of objects and favors, and to ask and give advice. Grades will be determined on the basis of attendance, quiz scores, homework and class participation. Prerequisites: Japan 1A
This course is an overview of Japanese literature and culture, 7th- through 18th-centuries. 7A begins with Japan's early myth-history and its first poetry anthology, which show the transition from a preliterate, communal society to a courtly culture. Noblewomen's diaries, poetry anthologies, and selections from the Tale of Genji offer a window into that culture. We examine how oral culture and high literary art mix in Kamakura period tales and explore representations of heroism in military chronicles and medieval Noh drama. After considering the linked verse of late medieval times, we read vernacular literature from the urban culture of the Edo period. No previous course work in Japanese literature, history, or language is expected.
This course is intended to train students who wish to acquire reading fluency in the Japanese language in a short time period and therefore dispenses with all components not germane to that goal. Prior knowledge of fundamental first-year grammar and vocabulary is required as this course will start at the second-year level and run parallel with our full-language second-year courses, covering the same reading materials as used in J10A-B. The course will be conducted in English and students’ comprehension will be examined and analyzed in terms of Japanese-to-English translation. By completion of J10RB, students will be functional readers of Japanese for general purposes. Prerequisites: Japanese 1B or equivalent
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 willlearn 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: Japan 1 or Japan 1B
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
Introduction to Japanese culture from its origins to the present: premodern historical, literary, artistic, and religious developments, modern economic growth, and the nature of contemporary society, education, and business. Class conducted in English.
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: Japan 10 or Japan 10B
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, Japan 100B, or Japan 100X; or consent of instructor
An introductory look at the culture, values, and history of religious traditions in Japan, covering the Japanese sense of the world physically and culturally, its native religious culture called Shinto, the imported continental traditions of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism, the arrival and impact of Christianity in the 16th century and the New Religions of the 19th and 20th centuries. Focus will be on how the internal structure of Buddhist and Confucian values were negotiated with long-established views of mankind and society in Japan, how Japan has been changed by these foreign notions of the individual’s place in the world, particularly Buddhism, and why many see contemporary Japan as a post-religious society.
An introduction to classical Japanese (bungo), the premodern vernacular, which was used as Japan's literary language until well into the 20th century and remains essential for a thorough grounding in Japanese literature and culture. Prerequisites: Japanese 10 or Japanese 10B
This course examines the historical production and reception of key Japanese literary and film texts; how issues of gender, ethnicity, social roles, and national identity specific to each text address changing economic and social conditions in postwar Japan. Prerequisites: Japanese 100A (may be taken concurrently).
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, Japan 10B or Japan 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, Japanese 100B, or Japanese 100X; or equivalent
This course will examine the works of the novelist Murakami Haruki and the animator Miyazaki Hayao within the context of contemporary Japanese aesthetics and history. Both Murakami and Miyazaki debuted in 1979 and their work has very much defined Japan’s cultural experience from the tail end of the Era of High Growth Economics through the Bubble Era, the Lost Decade, and into the twenty-first century. Students will explore the works of these two figures in the context of the history of Japanese literature and film and its relation to larger political, social, and cultural trends of Japan from the 1980s to the present.
The course considers the different literary, social and ethical formations that arise or are destroyed in disaster. It explores how Japanese literature and media, before and after 3:11, attempt to translate the un-representable, and in so doing, to create a new type of literacy about 1) trauma and the temporality of disaster, 2) precarity, community and the public sphere and 3) sustainabilityand ecological scale. The course will pay particular attention to a range of works that explicitly or obliquely reframe iconic or popular representations of disasters in cinema, literature and other media, taking into account of the readiness with which certain cultural forms lend themselves to vistas of disaster.
This course is a lecture and discussion course focusing on Japanese animation, or anime, as a medium from its earliest forms to contemporary works. This semester the theme is Auteurs of Anime
Topics may include examples from the Noh, Kyogen, Joruri, or Kabuki theaters. Prerequisites: Two semesters of classical Japanese
Korean Language and Literature Courses
This course is designed for non-heritage students who have absolutely no prior knowledge of the Korean language. Students will learn written and spoken Korean on self-related and day-to-day topics, and present information both in oral and written forms using formulaic and memorized expressions. They will also engage in simple conversational exchanges on a variety of daily topics. Prerequisites: None
This course is designed for students who already have elementary comprehension and speaking skills in Korean and have minimum exposure to reading and/or writing in Korean. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor
This is a continuing course for non-heritage students who have completed K1A or demonstrated an equivalent proficiency level. Students will enhance and broaden their linguistic and cultural competence by learning more essential grammatical structures, daily life expressions and speech acts. The course is also intended to introduce certain cultural aspects through media sources and various activities. Prerequisites: Korean 1A; or consent of instructor
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.
With equal attention given to speaking, listening, reading, writing, and cultural aspects of the language, students will further develop their language skills for handling various everyday situations. Prerequisites: Korean 1B; or consent of instructor
This is an intermediate course for students whose Korean proficiency level is higher in speaking than in reading or writing due to Korean-heritage background. Students will elaborate their language skills for handling various everyday situations. Prerequisites: Korean 1BX; or consent of instructor.
This is a third-year course in modern Korean with emphasis on acquisition of advanced vocabulary and grammatical structure. Equal attention will be given to all four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Prerequisites: Korean 10B; or consent of instructor.
This is a third-year course in modern Korean with emphasis on acquisition of advanced vocabulary and grammatical structure. Prerequisites: Korean 10BX; or consent of instructor.
This is an advanced course of reading and textual literary analysis in Korean. Advanced reading and writing skills and practice in the use of standard reference tools will also be introduced. Prerequisites: Korean 100B or Korean 100BX; or consent of instructor.
This course is uniquely designed for students who are interested in enhancing their proficiency level up to high-advanced or superior level through the lens of Korean popular media. By analyzing various media such as movies, documentary, TV shows, K-Pop songs, and news articles, students will broaden their knowledge and understanding about Korean society and culture in a deeper level, which is vital in advancing proficiency. Class discussions, presentations, article readings, and essay writings will help students learn and practice how to express their own opinion on various topics from aspects of Korean history to current social issues. Additionally, four-letter idioms, advanced grammars, and vocabularies will be introduced. Prerequisites: Korean 100B or Korean 100BX; or consent of instructor
This course is designed to increase the students' proficiency to advanced-high (or superior for some students) level in all aspects of Korean. Texts and materials are drawn from authentic sources in various genres. Some will be selected according to student interests. Students will write research papers based on specialized topics of their choice and present them orally in class. Prerequisites: Korean 101 or Korean 102; or consent of instructor.
This course explores the formation and development of Korean Fiction during the colonial period (1910-1945) through key canonical texts and their thematic and stylistics features. Its post-colonial approach is designed to facilitate critical understanding of the relationship between the literary representation and the problems and contradictions of the Japanese colonial rule. Course will be conducted in Korean. Prerequisites: Korean 100A or equivalent (may be taken concurrently)
This course examines the development and transformation of Korean literature since the 1945 liberation to the present. In particular, it explores how Korean literature engaged, represented and thematized the tumultuous historical events and changes, such as literation, nation’s partition, Korean War, industrialization, democratizationetc. The course will be conducted in Korean. Prerequisites: Korean 100A or equivalent (may be taken concurrently)
This course will explore the moments of intercultural encounters captured in Korean literature. 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. 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.
Mongolian Language and Literature Courses
This course introduces students to Literary Mongolian, its phonetics, grammar, vertical writing system and its relation to living spoken language. The course emphasizes reading texts in the Mongol vertical script. As foundation, students receive a basic introduction to Mongolian phonology and grammar as well as learn the Mongol vertical script writing system and a standard system of transcription. After a brief period of introduction students immerse in reading texts. Class time is devoted to reading comprehension, translation, and analysis. Although texts may be drawn to suit student interest, the standard course repertoire will consist of works of Mongolian Buddhist literature and history.
This course examines the modern history of Mongolia. Beginning with the Mongols' heritage as imperial nomads who uphold a dual custom, the Buddhist religion and the Manchu Qing dynastic state, it discusses how this order came to be threatened by, and ultimately dissolve under, political pressures imposed by governments espousing "modern" thought. The course focuses on how, navigating the political turmoil that ensued from the falls of the Russian Empire and Qing Dynasty, the Mongols were able to found a sovereign government of their own. Readings for the course are of primary sources in translation. Prerequisites: None
Tibetan Language and Literature Courses
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.
This seminar provides an introduction to a broad range of Tibetan Buddhist texts, including chronicles and histories, biographical literature, doctrinal treatises, canonical texts, ritual manuals, pilgrimage guides, and liturgical texts. It is intended for graduate students interested in premodern Tibet from any perspective. Students are required to do all of the readings in the original classical Tibetan. It will also serve as a tools and methods for the study of Tibetan Buddhist literature, including standard lexical and bibliographic references, digital resources, and secondary literature in modern languages. The content of the course will vary from semester to semester to account for the needs and interests of particular students.