New and Highlighted Courses (Spring 2023)

Introduction to China: Outsiders in History (ASIAN 2231)

Instructor: Robin McNeal

Course Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 3:45pm-4:35pm plus discussion sections.

Cross-listed with CAPS 2231.

3 credits.

This is a course about the power of the past in Chinese historical, literary, religious, and artistic imagination.  We will survey notions about China's past across more than two millennia, from the Bronze age to contemporary times.  We will do this by focusing on a handful of literary, philosophical, artistic, and material sources to examine how people have made sense of an found meaning in China's past.  The course assumes little or no background in the study of China.

This class is one of several topical courses in the Department of Asian Studies at the 2000-level that offer introductions to Chinese civilization. Students may take more than one of these introductory courses for credit.

(General Education Rubric)

Opt Out, Tune In: Hermits, Pilgrims (ASIAN 3331)

Instructor: Jane-Marie Law

Course Time: Monday and Wednesday, 9:40am-10:55am

Cross-listed with RELST 3331.

3 credits.

This course explores the intentional removal of oneself from society as expressed in East Asian Buddhist literature, through the acts of hermits and pilgrims.  We read the diaries, essays, autobiographies, and poetry of recluse monks and nuns from China, Korea and Japan, and the musings of pilgrims through the ages in these countries, with special attention to Japan. Last, we examine how the actions of many of these writers influenced the American counter-culture movement in the 1960’s and into the present. We inquire what light these writings can shed on “the great resignation” of recent years, and “quiet quitting” as a response to late capitalism, ecosystem collapse and climate change and social upheaval in our current times. Many of the figures we read were directly critiquing social excess and materialism, and these writings offer surprising assessments of our current age.

(Religion Rubric)

Poetry of Classical India (ASIAN 3336)

Instructor: Larry McCrea

Course Time: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 12:25pm-1:15pm

3 credits.

The course will survey in translation a selection of major works of poetry, drama, and aesthetic theory and criticism from the Sanskrit literary tradition of ancient India. Beginning with selections from the Sanskrit epic Ramayana, traditionally regarded as the “first poem” in the Indian tradition, we will turn to survey prominent examples from the ongoing tradition of epic poetry, the rise of romantic and heroic drama through the works of the fifth century Gupta poet Kalidasa and his successors, and the extensive corpus of Sanskrit and Prakrit lyric poetry from the 2nd to the 12th century AD.

(Literature and Linguistics Rubric)

Korean American Literature (ASIAN 3378)

Instructor: Ivanna Yi

Course Time: Monday and Wednesday, 11:25am-12:40pm

Crosslisted with AAS 3378/COML 3378.

3 credits.

The rapidly growing literature of the Korean diaspora is one of the most significant developments in Korean literature since the 20th century. As Korean literature has circulated as world literature, it has become more widely recognized in the Anglophone world through translation and through narratives written by Korean American authors. This course will explore Korean American literature and creative transpacific exchanges between Korea and the US, addressing issues of identity, language, place, migration, race discrimination, citizenship, and the ways in which storytelling shapes community. We will examine the vibrant dialogue between works of fiction and poetry across the Pacific, reading the work of Korean American authors alongside the writing of Korean authors working in the Korean language. Increasingly, Korean American writers are creating narratives that remember and reconfigure Korean history and Korea’s relationship to the US, and we will explore narratives and poetry that offer new perspectives on the Japanese colonial period, the Korean War, and American imperialism such as Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko, Chang-rae Lee's The Surrendered, and Don Mee Choi's DMZ Colony. Readings for the course will be in English or in English translation and no prior knowledge of Korea is required.

 (Literature & Linguistics Rubric)

Topics in South Asian Culture & Literature (ASIAN 4414)

Instructor: Asiya Zahoor

Course Time: Tuesday and Thursday,12:25-1:15pm (2nd 7-Week)

2 credits

Topic: Poetry & Narrative, From Ghazals to Film

This course is designed for the undergraduate students who may have little or no familiarity with South- Asian literature or cinema but are interested in knowing its diverse cultures, social structures, and politics. This course covers the major literary movements in the literary landscape of the region such as the Progressive Writer’s movement and regional modernisms. It also explores the impact of British colonialism on the culture and the politics of South-Asia. The course encourages thinking across boundaries of literatures, cultures, and histories. This course covers a range of topics and diverse genres: from Ghazal, a prominent poetic expression, to fictional representation of the two partitions (1947 and 1971) and its aftermaths to theatrical retelling of the Indian mythology. The course also encourages students to critically engage with South-Asian Cinema. The course looks at the intersectionality of Caste and Class and Gender in the South-Asian in contemporary South-Asian. Course has literature from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka that best represent the region.

This course does not require a prior knowledge of languages of South-Asia as all the text are available in English and English translation.  

(Society & Culture Rubric)

Narrating Choson Korea (ASIAN 4426)

Instructor: Suyoung Son

Course Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 11:25am-12:40pm

4 credits.

This course will explore the culture and society of Choson Korea (1392—1897) through a variety of historical, literary, and visual representations. Following the major political, social, and cultural transformations that shaped Choson Korea, such as Confucianism and the introduction of the patriarchy; changes to relationships among family, class, and gender; the Hideyoshi invasion and the collapse of the Ming dynasty; and the flourishing of commerce and foreign trade, we will examine a variety of discursive practices for constructing individual and collective identities and analyze how these identities changed over time in relation to shifting historical conditions in Choson Korea.

(Society and Culture Rubric)

Projects of Modernity in Asia (ASIAN 4480)

Instructor: Chiara Formichi

Course Time: Tuesday, 11:20am-1:50pm

Crosslisted with HIST 4408/RELST 4480

4 credits.

Prerequisite: one 3000-level course in the humanities; some knowledge of Asian history. Idea(l)s of modernity across the Global South have been largely rooted in Euro-American projections of “civilization,” and “civilizational” projects. The colonial worldview in which only Western(ized) experiences could be modern is foundational to the multifarious ways in which scholarship and nation-builders have engaged with progress, whether aspiring to it, rejecting it, or appropriating it. In this seminar we explore how imperial authorities, nationalists, and scholars/intellectuals have interfaced with idea(l)s of progress and modernity in Asia, reading works (“one book a week”) grounded in multiple disciplines and cultural settings.  Core themes will include: health and hygiene, consumption, technology, gender, piety and devotion, imperialism and race, and nationalism.

 (Society & Culture Rubric)

Topics in Southeast Asian Studies (ASIAN 4494)

Instructor: William Noseworthy

Course Time: Wednesday, 7:30-9:00pm (1st 7-Week)

2 credits

Topic: Movement and Memory: Explorations of Southeast Asian Hip Hop Culture

Much existing scholarship in Southeast Asian Studies on popular music focuses on traditional and folk music, with a substantial number of recent works exploring rock & roll, punk, and metal across the region. Although Hip Hop is the global break-out genre of the 21st century, influencing everything from K-Pop to Indonesian heavy metal, shockingly few scholars directly address the social history of Hip Hop in the region. Fewer still do so from a thematic and comparative perspective, rather than nation-bounded inquiries. In this course, we will adopt a trans-pacific lens to facilitate our explorations, connecting the innovations of diaspora communities in the Americas to those in Southeast Asia. We will examine the movements –  social, musical, and physical – of Southeast Asian performance artists, while we will also consider the role of memory in terms of how histories are interpreted and inform artistic understandings of lyric and aesthetic. As music is ultimately experiential, while students will write and reflect on reading in the course, our emphasis will be on discussion of how we also experience movement and memory in this context. For the cumulative assignment in this course, students will design their own productive segment of a radio show, podcast, or similar format of their choosing.

(Society & Culture Rubric)