Spring 2022 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.

 

In this course we will explore with a fresh approach the most important texts of Chinese literature from the Yuan dynasty to the present day.  Many of the books we will read are formerly banned; still others are works of scathing social critique. Throughout, we will focus on the relation between literature and history, asking how writers have responded to the dramatic challenges, from foreign invasion to westernization, that China has faced.  All readings are in English translation. We will pay special attention in this course to developing skills in writing and composition. 

 

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 helps students further develop their linguistic and cultural competence in Mandarin Chinese. It trains students to use Mandarin more appropriately and confidently in speaking, reading, and writing. With the expanded repertoire of Chinese language use and the increased awareness of the differences between cultures and subcultures, students are equipped to negotiate their way in an intercultural environment. Prerequisites: Chinese 1Y; or consent of instructor.

 

Going beyond satisfying basic communicative needs, students would learn to use Cantonese to complete more complicated tasks such as elaborating, comparing, analyzing, defending, debating, etc. Students would be frequently exposed to discussions regarding broader societal issues such as housing, food culture, fashion, safety, recreation, education, etc. Assuming basic competence of Cantonese, the course attempts to relate the learners to Chinese subculture through analyzing the link between Cantonese expressions and societal phenomenon in the Cantonese speaking society. Difference between Cantonese and Mandarin expressions and its cultural implications, as well as the social position of Cantonese globally and regionally. Prerequisites: Chinese 3X; or consent of instructor.

 

This course examines the complex worldviews of China’s Han period, the centuries that follow its unification and the establishment of its empire. The momentous changes of this period shaped traditional and contemporary views of history and society, philosophy, and religion, and as a result are still relevant today. This course will look at Han “thought,” a word chosen for its range, including religion, state ritual, social conventions, moral philosophy, and thinking about the natural world. It covers both elite and popular culture, and pays particular attention to two works of the second century B.C.E.: the Shiji (i.e., Records of the Historian) or the Huainanzi.

This course continues the development of critical awareness by emphasizing the link between socio-cultural literacy and a higher level of language competence. While continuing to expand their critical literacy skills, students interpret texts related to Chinese popular culture, social change, cultural traditions, politics and history. Through linguistic and cultural comparisons, students understand more about people in the target society and themselves as well as about the power of language in language use to enhance their competence in operating between languages and associated cultures. Prerequisite: Chinese 100A.

 

This course is designed for Chinese heritage language learners who have taken Chinese 100XA or an equivalent course. It guides learners to use their Chinese language knowledge and skills to survey portions of Chinese history and society and to comprehend Chinese cultural heritage in economic and socio-political contexts. Students read and analyze texts discussing cross-strait relations, Chinese people’s basic living necessities, and their changing lifestyles and mindsets since the economic reforms in mainland China. They are also introduced to several important historical figures in modern Chinese history and to modern literary works. In addition to the continuous development of reading techniques for communicative purposes, critical reading skills in the heritage language are also developed in order to interpret subtle meanings in texts. Different styles and genres of Chinese discourses in speaking and writing are further explored along with an increasingly sophisticated vocabulary, phrases, and structures. Moreover, students are required to be able to read both simplified and traditional versions of Chinese characters. The development of critical reading and writing skills enables students to understand more about people in the target culture and themselves, about what determines values and actions, and about the power of language. Prerequisite: Chinese 100XA. If you have not taken Chinese 100XA, to enroll in this class you must first take the online Chinese Language Placement Exam and be interviewed. Students are responsible for following the instructions at ealc.berkeley.edu to complete the placement process. 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.

 

This course is designed to assist students to reach the advanced-mid level on language skills and to enhance their intercultural competence. Students read the works of famous Chinese writers. Movie adaptations of these writings are also used. In addition to reading and seeking out information, students experience readings by interpreting and constructing meanings and evaluate the effect of the language form choice. Prerequisites: Chinese 100B, 100XB, or 100YB. If you have not taken Chinese 100B, 100XB, or 100YB, to enroll in this class you must first take the online Chinese Language Placement Exam and be interviewed. Students are responsible for following the instructions at ealc.berkeley.edu to complete the placement process. 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.

 

The second half of a one-year introductory course in literary Chinese, continuing the topics from the first semester, and giving basic coverage of relevant issues in the history of the language and writing system. This course examines the canonical texts of the late-imperial period, placing them in the context of literary culture of the Ming-Qing. The course focuses on a different set of texts each time it is taught; the aim is to introduce students to the primary issues in scholarship of late-imperial fiction and drama over a period of several years. Prerequisite: Chinese 110A.

 

This course is an introduction to the study of medieval Buddhist literature written in classical Chinese. We will read samples from a variety of genres, including early Chinese translations of Sanskrit and Central Asian Buddhist scriptures, indigenous Chinese commentaries, philosophical treatises, and sectarian works, including Chan (Zen koans). The course will also serve as an introduction to resource materials used in the study of Chinese Buddhist texts, and students will be expected to make use of a variety of reference tools in preparation for class. Readings in Chinese will be supplemented by a range of secondary readings in English on Mahayana doctrine and Chinese Buddhist history. Prerequisites: Chinese 110A; or one semester of classical Chinese. Prior background in Buddhist history and thought is helpful, 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

In the master narrative constructed by modern Chinese intellectuals in the early 20th-century May 4th Movement, women were represented as the oppressed and voiceless victims of the dominant Confucian ideology in premodern China. Engaging with the large quantity of rediscovered women’s writings from the Ming and Qing dynasties (17th-19th centuries), feminist historians and literary scholars have challenged this stereotype. Drawing on a rich corpus of digitized collections of women’s works held in the Ming Qing Women’s Writings (MQWW) digital archive and database (http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/mingqing/), this seminar aims to engage with women’s textual practices and inscriptions to explore forms of gendered subjectivity, voice, and agency in a male-dominated literary tradition located in a patriarchal society.  The MQWW database also offers opportunities to explore some digital humanities methods and tools for research.  To contextualize women’s textual production, we will consider what social and historical forces and personal circumstances motivated women to write and shape their writings from the seventeenth century on. Topics to be discussed include women’s interventions in literary genres and topoi in poetry and prose; the role of writing in constructing and articulating gendered subjectivity and self-identity; the social function of poetry and its relation to the visibility of women’s homosociality; the religious dimension in women’s writing, among others.  

 

Much of the modern Chinese literary archive is now on-line; keyword searches (and the algorithms that undergird them) allow us to trawl through vast amounts of data in search of relevant material with unprecedented ease. But, as we all know, the digital archive is an inadequate and incomplete replica of the messy and ineluctably material world it purports to represent. More insidiously, its algorithmic and target-driven logic tends to suppress styles of reading that remain indispensable to literary and cultural historiography. In this workshop, we will return to what is arguably the most important site of modern Chinese literary production: the literary journals through which new writing emerged and forged a reading public.  

The aims of the seminar are several. We are fortunate to have much of the archive, in analog form, available to us at the East Asian Library, and this seminar will serve as an introduction to those resources. Precisely because the journals we will be covering loom so large in the standard literary historiography, revisiting their pages will provide with something of a survey of the field. (We will also supplement our readings of original materials with readings from book and media history, as well as recent research pertaining to modern Chinese print culture.) While we will revisit some canonical writings from each journal, however, we will also read in a non-algorithmic manner: immersively and laterally, with close attention to chance encounters, surprising connections, forgotten or neglected texts, historical contingencies, visual cues, formatting and paratextual framings. In this sense, revisiting these important journals may allow us to unearth something of the non-canonicity of the canonical. Secondly, we will consider the journal itself as an artifact, and as a form of social agency, particularly with respect to the translation of epistemic formations, discursive practices, and literary forms that characterized the Chinese twentieth-century. In what sense does the analog archive represent a trace, or even a fossilization of the larger social worlds or historical moments from which it emerged? What kinds of reading are adequate to the task of understanding and generating compelling narratives about those worlds?

East Asian Languages and Cultures Courses

The evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and evils of racism,” said the soon-to-be assassinated Martin Luther King in 1967. This course will survey these various “evils” through the tumultuous conditions of the so-called radical '60s from the standpoint of East Asia. Drawing from works of literature, film, art, music, and engaged scholarship, we will endeavor to both appreciate and critically reflect on the unique East Asian experience of communization, US imperialism, third world revolution, women’s liberation, the environmental movement, and Afro-Asian solidarity. Was the utopian energy of this decade misplaced? Did the 1960s fail to enact lasting change? Or do the documents from this era still communicate with our present in prescient and instructive ways? Addressing these and related questions, we will delve unflinchingly into this era, never to return the same.

What does it mean to “know” a person in writing, and how does one make oneself—or someone else— “known” through writing? Beginning with both ancient and modern philosophical and literary treatments of the topic, this seminar guides students in reading and writing about people, skills they will need long after this course has ended. Prerequisites: None.

 

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

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

A study of the Buddhist tradition as it is found today in Asia. The course will focus on specific living traditions of East, South, and/or Southeast Asia. Themes to be addressed may include contemporary Buddhist ritual practices; funerary and mortuary customs; the relationship between Buddhism and other local religious traditions; the relationship between Buddhist institutions and the state; Buddhist monasticism and its relationship to the laity; Buddhist ethics; Buddhist "modernism," and so on.

 

In this course, we will engage with a range of works in East Asian horror cinema (Japan and South Korea) and explore their power to provoke and disturb, in light of issues such as spectatorship, the uncanny, and the staging of gender and sexuality as modes of critique. We will also discuss the ways in which these films theorize cultural memory and the transmission of traumatic knowledge in the context of their adaptation into other Asian sites (Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand). The aim of the course is to generate a critical understanding of horror cinema, its stock figures and conventions, as well as its inventive potential.

 

Did you ever wonder how other people get their work done? Or where they get their ideas? Are you curious about the best strategies and habits for clear, forceful, and engaging writing? Do you want the inside story on the joys of the process of submitting your work to a journal? Over the course of the semester each of you will revise for submission to a journal a seminar paper you have already written. At the conclusion of the semester you will send your revised essay for review at a journal. (You are not required to have it accepted!) Over the course of the term, we will read and discuss the written work of the seminar members, as well as model examples of writing, including that of Berkeley faculty. Time will also be set aside each session for work on professionalization: publication cover letters, job applications and interviews, mock talks

 

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.

 

An introduction to Japanese literature in translation in a two-semester sequence. 7B provides a survey of important works of 19th- and 20th-century Japanese fiction, poetry, and cultural criticism. The course will explore the manner in which writers responded to the challenges of industrialization, internationalization, and war. Topics include the shifting notions of tradition and modernity, the impact of Westernization on the constructions of the self and gender, writers and the wartime state, literature of the atomic bomb, and postmodern fantasies and aesthetics. All readings are in English translation. Techniques of critical reading and writing will be introduced as an integral part of the course.

 

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.

 

The goal of this course is for the students to understand the more advanced language and culture required to communicate effectively in Japanese. Some of the cultural aspects covered are; pop-culture, traditional arts, education, convenient stores, haiku, and history. Through the final project, students will learn how to introduce their own cultures and their influences. In order to achieve these goals, students will learn how to integrate the basic structures and vocabulary they acquired in the previous semesters, as well as study new linguistic expressions. An increasing amount of more advanced reading and writing, including approximately 200 new kanji, will also be required. Prerequisites: Japan 10A; or 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 aims to 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, essays, and video clips which will provide insight into Japanese culture and society. Prerequisites: Japan 100A; or consent of instructor.

 

An introduction to the critical analysis and translation of traditional Japanese poetry, a genre that reaches from early declarative work redolent of an even earlier oral tradition to medieval and Early Modern verses evoking exquisitely differentiated emotional states via complex rhetoric and literary allusion. Topics may include examples of Japan's earliest poetry in Man'yoshu, Heian courtly verse in Kokinshu, lines from Shinkokinshu with its medieval mystery and depth, linked verse (renga), and the haikai of Basho and his circle. Prerequisites: Japanese 120 or consent of instructor.

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.

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 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.  

 

This is a continuing course for Korean-American heritage students who have completed K1AX or demonstrated an equivalent proficiency level. More emphasis will be paid on reading and writing in order to establish their balanced four language skills. Students will enhance their linguistic competence by mastering essential grammatical structures and more elaborated daily expressions, as well as accompanying cultures. Prerequisites: Korean 1AX; or consent of instructor.

 

A survey of modern Korean literature and culture in the 20th century, focusing on the development of nationalist aesthetics in both North and South Korea. Topics include class and gender, urban culture, colonial modernity, war and trauma, and modernizatio

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 non-heritage students who have completed K10A or demonstrated an equivalent proficiency level. Students will continue to improve their linguistic skills with the goal of becoming more proficient and fluent in daily and extended communication needs, with a special emphasis on listening and speaking. The course will introduce expressions, vocabularies, and complicated sentence structure and students are expected to carry on more sophisticated conversations on various topics beyond daily life. Prerequisites: Korean 10A; or consent of instructor. 

 

This is an intermediate course for Korean-American heritage students who have completed K10AX or demonstrated an equivalent proficiency level. It will emphasize reading and writing so that students can reach a comparable proficiency with their already high speaking and listening skills. More cultural aspects and social phenomena will be covered and students will be able to convey and write more than a paragraph level on various topics. Prerequisites: Korean 10AX; or consent of instructor.

 

This course is a continuation of K100A for non-heritage speakers. It will place more emphasis on listening and speaking through various authentic materials. Students will conduct individual projects on aspects where they intend to improve on. Various cultural aspects in addition to four-letter idiomatic expressions will be also covered. Prerequisites: Korean 100A; or consent of instructor.

 

This course aims to help students achieve a high-advanced level of proficiency in all aspects of Korean by deepening their knowledge of fast-changing modern Korean society through the lens of current issues. It covers various authentic media materials to facilitate class discussions and promote critical thinking skills. Special attention will be paid to the formal use of the Korean language through practices on advanced expressions and grammar. Prerequisites: Korean 100B/BX; 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.

 

Mongolian Language and Literature Courses

This course covers the history of Mongolian Buddhism from its inception in the Yuan dynasty to the present. The importance of Mongolian Buddhism to the greater dharma lies not only with the ways of its priests but also with the means of its patrons, the Mongol aristocracy, in forging a distinctive tradition in Inner Asia and disseminating it throughout the world. While maintaining a historical thread throughout, this course will examine in detail some of the tradition’s many facets, including Mongolian-Buddhist politics, the politics of incarnation, the establishment of monasteries, economics, work in the sciences, astral science and medicine, ritual practice, literature, sculpture and painting, music and dance, and more.

 

Tibetan Language and Literature Courses

This course is a broad introduction to the history, doctrine, and culture of the Buddhism of Tibet. We will begin with the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet in the eighth century and move on to the evolution of the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhist literature, ritual and monastic practice, the place of Buddhism in Tibetan political history, and the contemporary situation of Tibetan Buddhism both inside and outside of Tibet.