Summer 2024 Course Descriptions

East Asian Languages and Cultures Courses

Neurodiversity in Literature will investigate how neurotypical and neurodiverse (or neurodivergent) authors depict and discuss neurodiversity. This course will give special emphasis to two Japanese authors: Nobel Prize-winner Oe Kenzaburô, who has treated the subject of a disabled/neurodiverse child extensively in his work, and Higashida Naoki, whose autobiographical work, The Reason Why I Jump, generated considerable international attention (and controversy) following the release of its English translation in 2013. 

Course material covers both fiction and non-fiction, and also includes work by Steve Silberman, Temple Grandin, Oliver Sacks, Roy Richard Grinker, Donna Williams, Clara Claiborne Park, Andrew Solomon, and former Talking Heads front-man David Byrne. The course will be reading-intensive. Through the course, students will develop a more nuanced understanding of neurodiverse identity, the personal and societal challenges faced by this community, and how these topics are represented in literature.

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 offered in the regular academic year. Prerequisites: None.



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 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. This course is the equivalent of Japanese 10B offered in the regular academic year. Prerequisites: Japan 10A; or consent of instructor.  



Korean Language and Literature Courses

This six-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 offered in the regular academic year. Prerequisites: None.