Fall 2023 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.
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.
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.
This course is designed for native and heritage Mandarin speakers. These students share the knowledge of standard Chinese writing system with Cantonese speakers. They have an interest in speaking Cantonese and learning a Chinese subculture shared among Cantonese speakers. This course will introduce 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, transportation, and students will compose texts in Cantonese. Students will focus on vocabulary, linguistic knowledge, culture through expression analysis, and practical use of language. 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.
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
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.
This course is an introduction to the history of Buddhism in China from its beginnings in the early centuries CE to the present day. Through engagement with historical scholarship, primary sources in translation, and Chinese Buddhist art, we will explore the intellectual history and cultural impact of Buddhism in China. Students will also be introduced to major issues in the institutional history of Buddhism, the interactions between Buddhism and indigenous Chinese religions, and the relationship between Buddhism and the state. Previous study of Buddhism is helpful but not required.
This course explores popular, realist, and avant-garde literature from mainland China and Taiwan since 1949. We will consider how writers have engaged with the cultural dislocations of modernity by exploring questions such as the presentation of cultural and gender identities and the politics of memory and place. Central to our discussion will be the problem of how literature not only reflects but also critically engages with historical and cultural experience through a variety of genres. A crucial aspect of this course will be the development of skills in close, critical, and historically contextualized reading. Prerequisites: Chinese 100A or Chinese 100XA (may be taken concurrently).
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.
Fall 2023: description coming soon
Fall 2023: Course description coming soon
Fall 2023: Course description coming soon
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.
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.
Higher Learning begins with the study of heaven. As the source of orientation in space and time, heaven provides humanity the foundation for its knowledge and political order. To understand what knowledge is or how politics function, we need a basic understanding of the ways of heaven. This course examines the function heaven serves in the founding of order against the void in nature through the formation of conventional systems of time and space and the role heaven has played in the promulgation of governments. From a cross-cultural, interdisciplinary perspective that covers the course of Eurasian history and using primary sources in translation, we will see heaven unfold through the developments that leave us with the world we know today.
Fall 2023 Course Description coming soon
Fall 2023: The course explores how horror cinema unsettles the integrity of the human body by rearticulating the relations between viewers and the screen; the spectacle and the networked; the spectral and the virtual. We will raise questions about the body’s subjection to forms of gendered, racist, and class-based violence: how do different forms of horror encode histories of violence and oppression within bodies? How do we interpret and contextualize this “body language” within its representative history, in cinema and other media forms? We will think through these questions by reading and viewing recent works in the horror genre as well as a rich tradition of film criticism as it intersects with developments in affect studies, performance studies, and queer theory. Film screenings will include works by established auteurs and emerging directors from world cinema.
“It may be easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism,” goes the well-known phrase attributed to Fredric Jameson, and with irreversible climate change, we are racing blindly toward the end of the world as we know it. Tracing the origins and onset of the industrial era in the late 19th century, this seminar couples scholarly/theoretical insights on the many aspects of what has come to be called the “Anthropocene” (climate change, fossil capital, natural/social disaster, ecological racism, waste colonialism, viral pandemics, vegetarianism, animal liberation, blue humanities, degrowth communism, cyborgian and/or posthuman subjectivity) with creative works of fiction exploring the ecological metabolism between humans and their natural or built environments across China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Taiwan, Oceania, and Asian America. All readings will be available in English translation, though participants are encouraged to read primary sources in the original languages corresponding to their area(s) of expertise. Requirements: in-class presentation; final seminar paper.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
This course provides a critical survey of prominent and other noteworthy expressions of Buddhist thought and culture in Japanese history. The Japanese experience of Buddhist teachings, practices and institutions, as well as aesthetic expressions in painting, sculpture, architecture, garden design, literature, and theatre will be examined against the backdrop of the transmission of all these forms of Buddhist culture from India to China to Korea to Japan. Special attention will also be given to the fusion of Buddhist and “native” Japanese sensibilities in theater (Noh, Kabuki, and Bunraku) and popular art such as ukiyo-e prints and manga. Prerequistes: None.
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 is an introduction to Japanese modernism through the reading and discussion of representative short stories, poetry, and criticism of the Taisho and early Showa periods. We will examine the aesthetic bases of modernist writing and confront the challenge posed by their use of poetic language. The question of literary form and the relationship between poetry and prose in the works will receive special attention. Prerequisites: Japanese 100A (may be taken concurrently).
This course deals with issues of the usage of the Japanese language and how they have been treated in the field of linguistics. It concentrates on pragmatics, modality/evidentiality, deixis, speech varieties (politeness, gender, written vs. spoken), conversation management, and rhetorical structure. Students are required to have intermediate knowledge of Japanese. No previous linguistics training is required. Prerequisites: Japan 10, Japan 10B, or Japan 10X; or consent of instructor.
This course is designed for those at high-intermediate to low-advanced level of fluency in Japanese to further develop their reading proficiency through detailed grammatical analyses of selected texts. Although adequate knowledge of both vocabulary and grammar is essential for understanding the text, often in foreign-language learning, vocabulary typically receives more emphasis than grammar. Through assigned texts, students learn through a hands-on approach how words are combined to form a phrase, how phrases are combined to form a clause, how clauses are combined to form a sentence, how sentences are combined to form a text. Readings are selected from modern Japanese writing on current affairs, social sciences, history, and literature. Prerequisites: Japan 10B; or consent of instructor
This course surveys modern Japanese fiction and poetry in the first half of the 20th century. Topics will vary.
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.
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 for students wanting to acquire high-advanced and superior level Korean proficiency in Korean business settings through the nuances of job-related communication and cultural expectations. Students master appropriate workplace terminology, expressions, and professional style spoken and written form. They complete job a search, plan a new product, present and negotiate the product status, and finally present the product externally. In addition, this course will cover Korean job culture topics such as work ethics and relationships. Upon completion, students can expect to be able to more confidently navigate a job search, application process, interview, job acceptance, and common situations in a professional Korean setting. Prerequisites: Korean 100B or Korean 100BX; or consent of instructor.
This course is designed to help advanced Korean students understand the influence of history and politics on contemporary Korean culture. Students will analyze contrastive views on historical events reflected in writings and media. Structured as a seminar format, students will take active roles in a class by sharing their inquiries and findings on course materials. A superior level of speaking and writing competence will be promoted based on advanced reading and listening competence. Prerequisites: Korean 101 or Korean 102; or consent of instructor.
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 Mongol Empire founded by Chinggis Khan. We will study the empire from the time its founding in 1206 until its decline in the mid-14th century. The greater extent of the course covers the matter of the Mongol conquest: military technologies, methods and strategies, logistics, and the events of specific battles and actions. These events are framed in the context of the Mongolian culture.
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.
Tibetan Buddhists view the moment of death as a rare opportunity for transformation. This course examines how Tibetans have used death and dying in the path to enlightenment. Readings will address how Tibetan funerary rituals work to assist the dying toward this end, and how Buddhist practitioners prepare for this crucial moment through tantric meditation, imaginative rehearsals, and explorations of the dream state.
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.