Spring 2007 Course Descriptions

Chinese Language and Literature Courses

A continuation of Chinese 1A, Chinese 1B provides elementary training in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Modern Standard Chinese. It is designed to help you learn enough Chinese to enable you to handle your needs adequately in Chinese-speaking places or communities. Building upon Chinese 1A, Chinese 1B will further introduce a core vocabulary and fundamental structures. You will be able to describe person/thing/event/place/time/feeling, describe and comment on food, provide and obtain information about borrowing/renting and returning, ask for and give directions, accept and reject invitations, describe health problems and give advice, and compare different places, sports, and prices. You will learn how to understand Chinese well enough to carry out routine tasks and engage in simple conversations. In addition to further mastering the Pinyin Romanization system, you will learn how to read and write 320 new Chinese characters and compounds derived from combining these characters, as well as read and write short messages, postcards, simple notes, and short descriptions. You will also learn about some aspects of Chinese culture. Prerequisites: Chinese 1A; or consent of instructor.

Please note: Chinese 1B is not open to native speakers of any Chinese dialect.

Chinese 1BY, an elementary Mandarin Chinese course for non-Mandarin speaking Chinese dialect heritage learners, is a continuation of Chinese 1AY. The course provides further training in language skills. Linguistic forms and ways of using them are taught to meet learners' language needs. The course prepares Chinese dialect heritage learners to merge with Mandarin heritage learners at an intermediate level for continuous learning. Prerequisites: Chinese 1AY; or consent of instructor.

Chinese 7B is the second 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 Yuan Dynasty to modern times, and place these writings in their historical, cultural, and material contexts. This course does not assume or require any previous exposure to or coursework in Chinese literature, history, or language.

This semester we will pay particular attention to the emergence of vibrant new urban and vernacular cultures in the late imperial period and their relation with classical traditions and literati culture, as well the revolutionary cultural transformations of the late 19th and 20th centuries. The course will both survey the literary and cultural topography that every serious student of China ought to know, while at the same time developing the critical reading and writing skills necessary to traverse and imaginatively engage with that historical terrain. All readings are in English translation. Students who are conversant in Chinese are encouraged to read original texts whenever possible. Prerequisites: None. Recommended: Chinese 7A.

Five one-hour meetings in class, two one-hour periods in the language or computer lab per week. The course, a continuation of Chinese 10A, is designed to develop the student's reading, writing, listening, and speaking abilities in Chinese, and teaches both simplified and traditional characters. Prerequisites: Chinese 10A; or consent of instructor.

Continuation of Chinese 10AX, an intermediate-level course for Mandarin speakers. The course teaches both pinyin and traditional characters, develops a functional vocabulary, and provides a systematic review of grammar. Three one-hour meetings in class and two one-hour periods in the language or computer lab per week. Prerequisites: Chinese 10AX; or consent of instructor.

The goal of the course is to introduce modern Chinese culture while developing competence in reading, speaking and writing standard modern Chinese. The readings include stories, essays, and plays, mostly by leading writers of recent decades. Students prepare in advance, then read and discuss in Chinese in class. Literary aspects are discussed in addition to problems of vocabulary and syntax. Prerequisites: Chinese 100A; or consent of instructor.

Continuation of Chinese 100AX, an advanced-level course for Mandarin speakers with intermediate-level knowledge of reading and writing in Chinese. The goal of the course is to introduce modern Chinese society through reading materials and discussion. The reading materials include stories, essays, and plays, mostly by leading writers of recent decades. Three one-hour meetings in class and two one-hour periods in the language or computer lab per week. Prerequisites: Chinese 100AX; or consent of instructor.

The emphasis of this course is on Chinese social, political, and journalistic readings. The readings are further supplemented by newspaper articles. Students are required to turn in essays written in journalistic style in Chinese. Prerequisites: Chinese 100B; or consent of instructor.

The second half of a one-year introductory course in literary Chinese, continuing the study of grammatical structures and classical usage from the first semester, and introducing the use of basic reference sources. Readings for this semester will be drawn from a range of literary, philosophical, and historiographical texts through the Song Dynasty. Prerequisites: Chinese 110A; or consent of instructor.

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.

In this course, taking the monumental Ming dynasty novel The Journey to the West (Xi you ji) as the central strand of our inquiry, we will explore the range of implications and resonances of the journey in Chinese literature. While the kernel narrative of The Journey to the West is an actual journey taken by the seventh-century Buddhist priest Xuanzang (596–664) from the Tang court to India to seek new Buddhist scriptures, by the time the novel we know by this name takes its final form nearly a millenium later (it has been somewhat tentatively ascribed to Wu Cheng’en [~1500–1582]), it has become both a pinnacle of Chinese literature of the fantastic and an encyclopedic repository for traditional lore of the journey: cosmological, geographical, religious, ethnographic, alchemical, philosophical, psychological, political, zoological. The Journey to the West became a classic for later readers, and as such enjoyed a particularly rich afterlife, in the form of sequels, illustrations, stage (as well as, later, cinema and television) adaptations, as well as commentaries proposing adventurous and inventive theories of allegorical meaning in the work. The novel and its central characters have, moreover, become cultural touchstones for many readers down to the present day. Thus the course will conclude with a few examples of this “afterlife” of The Journey to the West. Prerequisites: Chinese 100B; or consent of instructor.

The major goal of this course is to provide an introduction to basic concepts in general Chinese linguistics and to reinforce the participants’ knowledge of the basic elements of linguistics relevant to the learning of Chinese and its culture. This course investigates the phonology, syntax, semantics, lexicon, and writing system of the Chinese language. Also covered briefly are some topics relating language to cognition, culture, and society. Prerequisites: completion of Chinese 100B; or consent of instructor. An introductory course in linguistics is recommended.

This course examines the different spheres of meaning that have been formed through interpretations of the person and teachings of Confucius. We will consider how the words attributed to Confucius were understood by his near-contemporaries and by later generations, situating these readings within the social and political order of their times. We will examine how Confucian ideals have shaped government, social roles, and intellectual commitments, and how various interpretive communities in turn have shaped the understanding of the Confucian canon. We will also ask what the figure of Confucius meant for these various groups, and how this figure was defined through ritual and material culture. Further, we will consider Confucian responses to other intellectual forces, such as Legalism, Daoism, Buddhism, and Christianity, and reimagination of Confucianism in light of perceived challenges of modernity. Class discussion will focus on readings from primary texts, but will also take into account recent scholarship on the intellectual and social history of the Confucian tradition. Prerequisites: None.

In this seminar, we will examine a selection of writings in traditional literary thought, beginning with the Shijing’s “Great Preface” and ending with the works of Qing Dynasty writers such as Wang Shizhen, Ye Xie, and Yuan Mei. As we read through essays, prefaces, letters, and various forms of poetic commentary, topics of discussion will include theories of literary expressio, the origins and evolution of key theoretical terms and phrases, genre theory, and the critical development of poetic personae. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and a good reading knowledge of classical Chinese.

This seminar will provide a forum for reading and discussing the work of perhaps the single most important and iconic figure in modern Chinese literature. We will read through the canon, sample various critical approaches to his study, and familiarize ourselves with the voluminous scholarly apparatus that has grown up around his writings and his life. The thematic foci of the course will depend in part on student interests, for one of the most remarkable qualities of Lu Xun as a writer, translator, cultural broker, literary patron, activist, and thinker is the voracity and range of his interests and engagements, an incomplete resume of which would have to move from science fiction to modernist poetry, from 'the woman question' to children's literature, from Darwin to Marx,from Six Dynasties zhi-guai to European realism, and from ancient stone inscriptions to modern graphic arts. Given this multiplicity, a central aim of the course will be to contextualize Lu Xun and his writings not only within the local context of late Qing and Republican China, but also in a global and world-historical frame. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; or consent of instructor.

Note: If at all possible, students should acquire their own copy of the multi-volume Lu Xun quanji (Complete works of Lu Xun) in preparation for the course.

East Asian Languages and Cultures Courses

This course will be a survey of Buddhist poetry and poetics written in Pali, Sanskrit (“Classical” and “Buddhist Hybrid”), Prakrit, and Apabhramsha. The main question investigated will be in what sense such lyrical works can be legitimately labelled as “Buddhist” beyond any doctrinal content. To do this we will attempt a comparison with contemporaneous works written by non-Buddhist poets.

There are no formal language requirements, translations for all of the poems and rhetorical discussions will be provided. The main emphasis will be on understanding Buddhist authors’ ideas concerning the nature and purpose of poetry. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; or consent of instructor.

Japanese Language and Literature Courses

Designed to supplement 1A-1B, respectively, in order to facilitate students' listening proficiency. 1AL will cover a variety of listening strategies. 1BL is a continuation of 1AL where students will apply these strategies in listening activities.

A course designed to be taken concurrently with 1B 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.

Continuation of Elementary Japanese 1A using the same general format (written and oral/aural quizzes every Friday) and textbook. Emphasis is on spoken, reading, and written Japanese. Grades will be determined on the basis of attendance, quiz scores, homework, in-class final examination, and class participation. Prerequisites: Japanese 1A; or consent of instructor.

Second semester of Elementary Chinese for heritage students. The course teaches both pinyin and traditional characters, introduces functional vocabulary, and provides a systematic review of grammar. The class meets three times a week, one hour a day. If you have not taken Chinese 1AX, to enroll in this class you must first take the online Chinese Language Placement Test. Find the online test at ealc.berkeley.edu. Students are responsible for enrolling in the appropriate level. They must also accurately inform instructors about their language proficiency level. Any student who enrolls in a class below his/her level will be dropped from the class. Prerequisites: Chinese 1AX; or consent of instructor.

7B offers students the opportunity to consider a wide variety of prose fiction and poetry from Japan’s 19th through 21st centuries, that is, from the time of the Meiji Restoration (1868) until the present. About ten of the works will be read in their unabridged form. The first text we will discuss is what is often called the earliest Japanese work styled after the Western concept of the novel. The last work is a set of short stories exploring the impact of the Kobe earthquake. In between we will read authors who narrate pre-War, post-war and post-modern Japan. Rarely do these authors represent the most common values of their time but they always have a sharp understanding of the world within which they live. There will be abundant opportunity to explore Japanese social and cultural issues through the themes these authors set before the reader. This class is designed to include students with no background in Japan or the Japanese language.

This supplementary course is designed for students who are concurrently enrolled in 10B 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 10B to acquire a better understanding of kanji writing system and to improve overall kanji performance.

In this course, students will learn how to integrate the basic structures and vocabulary which they learned in Japanese 1A/B and Japanese 10A 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. Prerequisites: Japanese 10A; or consent of instructor.

Continuation of J100A. 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. Active student participation is not only encouraged but required. Prerequisites: Japanese 100A; or consent of instructor.

Students will be trained to read, analyze, and translate modern Japanese scholarship on Chinese subjects. A major purpose of the course is to prepare students to take reading examinations in Japanese. The areas of scholarship to be covered are: politics, popular culture and religion, sociology and history, as well as areas suggested by students who are actively engaged in research projects. Two readings in each area will be assigned: one by the instructor and the second by a student participant. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; Chinese 100B or equivalent.

This course is designed for students who have studied Japanese for three years or more at college level to improve their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. It aims to develop further the vocabulary and knowledge of kanji and Japanese grammar through reading and discussing various topics related to Japanese culture. Students will research culture topics and give a short presentation on their findings. Prerequisites: Japanese 100B; or consent of instructor.

This course provides focused, high-level language training for those students who possess advanced ability in the modern Japanese language. Students will improve their skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening in their areas of specialty and in fields of particular interest to them. The course has a dual-track approach, requiring the completion of both class-wide and individually designed projects. The balance of the course focuses on perfecting reading and writing skills. With the instructor’s assistance, students pursue their own projects based on extensive reading of materials in their areas of specialization. These projects will be presented orally to the class. Further, when possible, visiting scholars from Japan are invited to the classroom to speak, their topics discussed afterwards. This provides a valuable opportunity for students to practice listening and speaking high-level, educated Japanese. Committed study at home is expected, and essential for success in this course. Prerequisites: Japanese 111 or equivalent; or consent of instructor.

In this class we read in the original premodern Japanese passages from major women’s quasi-autobiographical works of the Heian period. The texts date from the 10th and 11th centuries and include Murasaki Shikibu’s journal, the author of The Tale of Genji as well as Sei Shônagon’s widely-read book of court life, Pillow Book. The other three texts are Kagerô Diary (a complaint about married life), Izumi Shikibu’s Story (a love affair’s progress as seen primarily through the poems the two lovers exchanged), and Sarashina Memoir (a woman’s retrospection on her life as a lover of fiction, sometimes imperial attendant, and believer of Buddhism). All of these writers employed sophisticated narrative techniques to present a specific persona of themselves to their contemporary readers. The class emphasis will be on the sometimes difficult language of these texts, all prominent examples of literary effort written in the script called onnade (“women’s hand”). The overall themes and characteristics of the texts at hand and the prose literature of the Heian period in general will be frequently discussed. The class is conducted in English. Prerequisites: Japanese 100A and Japanese 120; or consent of instructor.

The life, death, and work of Mishima Yukio (1925-1970) constitute an extraordinary instance of self-production, or self-fashioning. It incorporates Mishima's highly conscious attempt to “write himself” into the postwar history of Japan both as a physical “body” (one literally remade to approximate an ideal of male beauty) at the head of a similarly designed private—but unarmed—army, and as the author of a literary testament of classic scope. This course will treat the “Mishima phenomenon” in three aspects: 1) in the context of postwar Japan's cultural and political history; 2) as an author particularly concerned to create in the classicizing mode; and 3) in terms of his aestheticized theory of transformative political action. Primary readings in the course (to be read in both Japanese and English) will consist of selections from Mishima's novels, short stories as well as political and critical essays. These readings will be supplemented by a selection of contextual treatments designed to convey something of the social and institutional milieux in which Mishima was formed. Prerequisites: J100B; or consent of instructor.

In this course we will explore the complex topic of love in classical Japanese literature by focusing on two culturally important and in many ways contrasting eras of premodern Japan, the high-classical period of eleventh century Heian Japan and the Genroku culture associated with the pleasure quarters of seventeenth century Edo Japan. For the Heian period, we will read personal memoirs by women, narrative fiction, poetry, and prose vignettes based on poems. For the Genroku period, we will read short stories and plays. In both cases students will also be assigned secondary material that provides relevant historical and cultural information regarding these two periods. Where appropriate we will compare notions and ideals of romantic relationships as portrayed in these works with Western ideals that developed in classical and medieval Europe. Prerequisites: None.

In this course, we will explore the four hundred year history of Tokyo, one of the greatest cities to rise in Asia and the world. Using a variety of sources that include literature, art, and film, we will begin with the creation of Edo (Tokyo's former name) as the castle town of Japan's ruling military family and trace the centuries-long changes brought to the city by evolving samurai ethics, culture, commerce, industry, modernization, and globalization. Prerequisites: None.

In this course we will read a variety of literary texts in their relationship to non-literary arts. Topics include rebuses in the Heian period, Kibyôshi in the Edo period, Meiji literature and watercolor painting, the Meiji beautiful girl in literature and painting, food and the popular Meiji novel, Taisho film and literature, the 1920s language of the craft object, censorship of literary and visual images in the 1950s, conceptual art and the demise of writing in the 1960s, film and its theories, and the postwar photography and writing of crime. Most of these sections will be taught by visiting faculty; the content of the remaining sections will be decided by the class. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and reading knowledge of Japanese; or consent of instructor.

Korean Language and Literature Courses

Building on the basic grammar of the Korean language learned from Korean 1A, Korean 1B will introduce more vocabulary and expressions that are useful for everyday conversation. Students will also learn about the Korean culture. Prerequisites: Korean 1A; or consent of instructor.

Please note: Korean 1B is not open to heritage students who have some background knowledge in Korean.

Continuation of Elementary Korean 1AX. Building on the basic grammar of the Korean language learned from Korean 1AX, Korean 1BX will introduce more vocabulary and expressions that are useful for everyday conversation as well as for improving reading and writing skills of students. Students who wish to enroll in K1BX without prior taking K1AX will need to have an oral interview and take a short written proficiency test on the first day of the class. Prerequisites: Korean 1AX; or consent of instructor.

This course explores various aspects of modern Korean literature and culture in the twentieth century. We will examine a range of literary works as well as art and film, in the contexts of colonialism and nationalism, the Korean War and national division, and the various issues that emerged in the process of modernization. No previous course work in Korean or Korean studies required. All readings are in English translation.

Through critical analysis of the works of fiction, poetry, and visual media, we will consider the following set of matters: 1) how the issues of national identity, gender, and socio-economic class are articulated in a diverse array of texts; 2) the complex relations between colonialism and a rise of modernist thinking about the national culture, and between cultural production and formation of identity; 3) modern views on urban and rural space; and 4) how the major events in modern Korean history (colonial occupation, war, urban unrest, political violence, dislocation and relocation) have been represented and remembered in literary texts and in popular culture. Prerequisites: None.

Korean 10B is a continuation of Korean 10A and will continue to use the materials and methods used in 10A. The aim of the course is to help the students develop the language skills necessary to pursue the study of Korean at a more advanced level. The course will introduce vocabulary and idioms beyond basic level, complex grammatical patterns, and varieties of speech styles. Prerequisites: Korean 10A; 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 10AX; or consent of instructor.

Continuation of Advanced Korean 100A using similar methods and format to 100A. Readings in modern Korean selected as appropriate for the advanced Korean course, i.e., presupposing two and one-half years of college-level Korean. A variety of texts from textbooks, essays, journals, and newspapers will be introduced. About 100 Sino-Korean characters will be systematically introduced. Prerequisites: Korean 100A; or consent of instructor.

An advanced course in the reading and analysis of texts in modern Korean drawn from history, sociology, economics, etc. Advanced conversation, writing skills, and practice in the use of standard reference tools will also be emphasized, with the goal of preparing students to do independent research in Korean. Prerequisites: Korean 100B; or consent of instructor.

This course is designed to increase the students' proficiency to advanced-high level in all aspects of modern Korean; it aims to prepare students for research or employment in a variety of Korea-related fields. Text materials are drawn from authentic sources including modern Korean literature, film, intellectual history, and readings on contemporary issues. Radio and TV broadcasts will also be included in the teaching materials. Texts will be selected, in part, according to student interests. With the instructor's guidance, students will conduct research projects based on specialized readings in their own fields of study. The research projects will be presented both orally and in written form at the end of the semester. Prerequisites: Korean 111; or consent of instructor.

This course will explore the relationship between traditional Korean narrative fiction and the various performative and visual expressions that came to be associated with popular culture in the late Choson period (from the seventeenth century through 1910). Reading focuses on a few seminal works of narrative fiction from the late Choson period, together with materials drawn from visual culture and performance tradition, such as p’ansori, as well as historical documents and modern scholarly essays in literature and cultural history. The course aims to promote a critical understanding of popular culture in its intersection with literature, while functioning simultaneously as an introduction to pre-modern Korean prose. Prerequisites: Korean 100 or equivalent; or consent of instructor. 

Focusing on the culture of book collecting in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, this seminar explores various intersections of literature and material culture in late Chŏson Korea. We will examine the literary (and some visual) representations of private libraries and bibliophiles, antiquarianism and other intellectual investments in antiquity, and materialism in the urban culture surrounding the multi-tiered elite groups in Seoul, while situating these issues in the period of unprecedented exchanges between the Chŏson literati and their Qing counterparts. Among the questions to be addressed are: What does it mean to collect, display, or destroy a text? How do texts operate as objects of personal obsession and self-fashioning? How does the antiquarian culture of collecting shape the knowledge of the accessible antiquity in relation to the present, as it affects the bibliographic, as well as literary, taxonomies? What are some of the ways in which the materialist preoccupation with text as object registers the contemporary philosophical discourses on the nature of the material world vis-à-vis the nature and moral subjectivity of human, as well as the broader social concerns about the shifting conditions in the material world of the late Chŏson period? Finally, how does the attention to the materialist approach to literature unsettle the idea of reading literature as a supposedly “immaterial” event? Prerequisites: Graduate standing; or consent of instructor.

Note: Students in Chinese or Japanese, as well as those specializing in history, art history, and other disciplines are welcome to join the seminar. Students without the reading knowledge of Korean should contact the instructor during the first week so that appropriate readings can be supplied.


Tibetan Language and Literature Courses

This course is an intensive introduction to both standard spoken Tibetan (Lhasa dialect) and written literary Tibetan. As such, it will serve the needs of students who intend to continue the study of modern Tibetan so as to function in a Tibetan-speaking environment, as well as the needs of students who will concentrate on classical Tibetan and its rich literature. Prerequisites: Tibetan 1A; or consent of instructor.

This course, a continuation of 10A, is designed to develop the student's reading, writing, listening, and speaking abilities in standard Tibetan (Lhasa dialect). The course focuses on both modern vernacular Tibetan as well as literary Tibetan, with a particular emphasis on reading classical Buddhist materials. Prerequisites: Tibetan 10A; 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; or consent of instructor.

This course is an introduction to some of the major themes in Tibetan Buddhist thought and practice. Beginning with a close study of Patrul Rinpoche’s classic nineteenth century guide to Tibetan Buddhism, the first month of the course will focus on the doctrinal foundations of the tradition. This will be followed by consideration of a recent anthropological monograph on a Tibetan Buddhist village in Nepal. From there, the course will follow a chronological overview of the historical development of Tibetan Buddhism from the seventh century to the present day. Themes considered during the second half of the course include ethics, ritual, art, sacred geography, and biographical literature. Readings will consist of primary texts in translation supplemented by secondary literature on the study of religion and Tibetan Buddhism. Prerequisites: None.