This course introduces incoming graduate students to literary and cultural theory and criticism. The goal is not to provide a comprehensive overview, but to develop the tools needed to understand and responsibly assume our specific and evolving positions regarding our chosen materials, be they ancient or modern, Chinese or Japanese. The intensive reading and discussion of critical texts will be grounded in the students’ work as scholars of East Asian languages and cultures, and will try to address some of the following questions: How do these diverse interpretive modes intersect with East Asian cultural, literary, and visual studies? What sorts of new questions and ways of seeing do they enable or elide? Are there particular problems or practices to which we, as students of East Asian languages and cultures in the US academic context, need to attend? What are our archives, and what should we “do” with them? How do our encounters with primary texts ‘translate’ into academic work? Prerequisites: This course is required of first-year graduate students in EALC. The seminar is also open to interested graduate students in Asian Studies, as well as those in History, Comparative Literature, History of Art, Linguistics, Anthropology, Rhetoric, and related fields, who plan to focus on East Asian materials.