Summer 2018 Course Descriptions

Chinese Language and Literature Courses

This is a 10-week beginning Chinese class developing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in modern standard Chinese using pinyin and traditional characters. This course is the equivalent of Chinese 1A-1B offered in the regular academic year. Prerequisites: None.

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

The second of 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. 7B focuses on late imperial, modern, and contemporary China. The course will focus on the development of sound writing skills. Please note Chinese 7B can be taken before Chinese 7A. Prerequisites: None.

This 10-week course is designed to develop the student's reading, writing, listening, and speaking abilities in Chinese, and teaches both simplified and traditional characters. This course is equivalent to Chinese 10A-10B offered in the regular academic year. Prerequisites: Chinese 1B; or consent of instructor.

This course is designed as an intensive six-week immersion course in Business Chinese. The courses will cover intensive instruction in Chinese with an emphasis on communicative skills and understanding language in a authentic environment (mass media, business market, pop culture, Chinese cuisine, etc. In addition to the regularly scheduled classes there will be enrichment courses. Weekly field trips to: porcelain town, tea factory, banks, corporate offices, night market place, industrial parks, National Palace Museum and natural scenic sites. Each week there will be a lecture given by a representative from different trades or corporate enterprises i.e., HP and the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei. Prior to these special lectures and enrichment courses, students will be given background language and cultural training in the various target topics. Prerequisites: Consent of Travel Study Program.

Please note: Chinese 105 is a Travel Study Program to Taiwan.

East Asian Languages and Cultures Courses

How do our senses work separately and together to inform our understanding of the world around us? What happens to our brain in moments of sensory deprivation or disorientation? What are the challenges in representing sensory experience in art and language, and how do we use the language of smell, sight, hearing, taste, and touch to talk about our social and cultural environments? This course looks at how these questions have been asked and answered over a span of almost a millennium of Japanese literature. Moving through different genres (essays, short stories, poetry) and media (film, photography), we will look at how each of the five senses have been mobilized by different authors and artists to describe and destabilize – make sense and nonsense of – our perceptions of human experience. Each week will pair a primary literary text with a critical/analytical piece that both models strong academic writing and comments (directly or indirectly) on themes and issues found in the primary text. 

This class fulfills the second half of the College of Letters and Science’s Reading and Composition requirement, which aims to help students develop the necessary analytical reading and writing skills for university-level work. R1B courses further help students develop skills to incorporate their own research into their writing. As the primary objective of this course is to develop these skills in reading, writing, and research in order to critically engage with unfamiliar content, no previous knowledge of Japan or Japanese language is required. 

Through the analysis of "love"-related aspects of selected East Asian narratives (premodern literary texts and modern cinema), students sharpen their understanding of traditional East Asian values and, in the process, consider the status of such values in contemporary East Asia. On the one hand, students develop interpretive skills while exploring the traditional role of Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism in "love" narratives, and, on the other, share diverse opinions on definitions of love in contemporary China, Korea and Japan. This class uses an “Active Learning Classroom” approach. Most course content is delivered outside the classroom via reading assignments and online lectures. In-class time is often exercises. Attendance is critical. Prerequisites. None.

Arguably the greatest allure of Asian action cinema, - kung fu, samurai, and gangster films - are their (anti) heroes and the vengeance they claim. Though action cinema tends to be thought of as a genre, overwhelmingly gendered male, this course takes up the figure of the lady avenger, who perhaps owing to Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill share an over-determined association with Asian cinema. If the hero's vengeance represents action cinema's cause for celebration, we focus on the lade avenger to test that celebration and to understand its allure. Fundamentally, this course is concerned with the question: what can cinema avenge and for whom? Through a pairing of films from across Asia with key writing in feminist theory, we explore the lady avenger's convergence with structural inequality and the violence of gendered expectation; her maintenance of and challenge to gender binaries; the forms of identification she attracts and propels, and the significance of her staging of post and anti-colonial responses. Across these concerns, we will be tenacious in asking whose fantasies the lady avenger enacts. Prerequisites: None

All readings in English

Japanese Language and Literature Courses

This course is designed to develop basic speaking skills and to introduce hiragana, katakana, and approximately 300 kanji. Emphasis is on both spoken and written Japanese. This course is the equivalent of Japanese 1A-1B offered in the regular academic year. Prerequisites: None.

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. Prerequisites: None.

This course will examine the literary and cultural responses by writers and artists in twentieth-century Japan to the impact of modernity. Attention will be given to the problem of modernity as manifested in attempts to construct identities in conditions of cultural and social upheaval. Topics include the breakdown of tradition and the crisis of individualism; nostalgia and nationalism; war and cultural amnesia; the literature of atrocity; sexuality, power, and the dynamics of cultural influence; cultural authenticity; the postmodern. In addition to works by literary artists, we will examine film, architecture, photography, and dance. Prerequisites: None.

In this course, students will learn how to integrate the basic structures and vocabulary which they learned in Japanese 1A/B in order to express a wider range of ideas in a manner appropriate for many social situations. Students are expected to participate fully in classroom activities and discussions. This course is the equivalent of Japanese 10A-10B offered in the regular academic year. Prerequisites: Japanese 1B; or consent of instructor.

Gangsters have long captured the popular imagination. We see this across the media landscape: in music, video games, television, and cinema. This course will examine images of the yakuza, Japan's organized crime groups, to locate and historicize that fascination. We will use the frame of the image as a rubric for examining not only visual representations, but also for probing the associations, stereotypes, and mythologies that circulate around the yakuza. We will develop a methodology for interpreting images and then proceed to look at photography, political history, journalism, memoir, and film. In the process, we will ask ethical questions about what is invested in images and what remains or is made invisible in them. We will examine how Japan is figured in and by the yakuza; or what the image means to Japan, both domestically and extraterritorially; and how images of the yakuza have been constructed and transformed over time. Prerequisites: None 

All readings in English

Korean Language and Literature Courses

This 10-week course introduces students to beginning level Korean, including the basic structures and hangul (Korean script). Emphasis is on speaking, listening, reading, and writing. This class is for students with minimal or no knowledge of Korean. This course is the equivalent of Korean 1A-1B offered in the regular academic year. Prerequisites: None.