New and Highlighted Courses (Spring 2024)

Introduction to China: Outsiders in History (ASIAN 2230)

Instructor: Suyoung Son

Course Time: Monday and Wednesday, 12:20pm-1:41pm plus discussion sections.

Cross-listed with CAPS 2230.

3 credits.

This is an introduction of Chinese civilization from ancient times up to the end of the Chinese empire in 1911. It is intended to familiarize students with the major concepts of Chinese history, society, and culture, focusing on the stories of people that have been often neglected in canonical histories, such as the merchants, women, travelers, and ethnic minorities from the thirteenth to the nineteenth century.

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)

Food and Asia (ASIAN 2272)

Instructors: Suyoung Son and Chiara Formichi

Course Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 1:25pm-2:40pm

3 credits.

Can we identify a distinctive Asian food and food culture? Challenging attempts to define heterogenous gastronomic practices as authentic reflections of a static Asian identity, this course discusses how food, diet, and cuisine have been integral to shaping boundaries of culture, identity, and nation across geographical and temporal divisions in Asia. We will examine how people use daily and visceral food experiences to imagine themselves as members of a given community, be it a nation, ethnicity, class, gender, or religion, while also examining how food practices constantly challenge that fixation and redraw these categories. Through examining a wide range of materials in diverse disciplines, ranging from reading historical and anthropological studies to watching “food porn” and TV cooking shows, we will discuss topics related to cookery and the media, colonialism and culinary modernity, food production and consumption, gender and cooking, food and (trans)nationalism, diaspora and globalization of food as well as eating and inequality.

(Society & Culture Rubric)

Speculative Asias (ASIAN 2282)

Instructor: Shaoling Ma

Course Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 2:55pm-4:10pm

3 credits.

This course explores Asian speculative literary fiction and cinema including early mythological influences, science fiction, and contemporary discourses of technoscientific progress. Students will examine the historical development of the broad genres in their specific contexts; the conceptual relations between realism, science, fantasy, and speculation; and ultimately, question past and future understandings of “Asia” as speculative.

(Literature & Linguistics Rubric)

Videogames in East and Southeast Asia (ASIAN 4483/6683)

Instructor: K.T. Wong

Course Time: Monday and Wednesday, 1:25pm-2:40pm

3 credits.

While Japan used to dominate the Asian gaming landscape, its East Asian and Southeast Asian neighbors have since developed into major gaming hubs with distinctive characteristics. This course presents a historical and theoretical overview of the cultural, industrial, and technological aspects of videogames within the contexts of East and Southeast Asian nations from the 1970s to the present. Although this course is organized using nation as a unit, we will study the proposed topics not solely from a national perspective, but also through the lenses of transnational media flow and globalization to shed light on the factors that regionalize videogames as a cultural imagination and an industrial system in East and Southeast Asia.

 (Society & Culture Rubric)

Systems/Asia: Political Economies of Complexity (ASIAN 6681)

Instructor: Shaoling Ma

Course Time: Wednesday, 2:00pm-4:30pm

3 credits.

The history of systems theory involves complex stories of technoscientific change and knowledge production on a global scale. In recent years, scholars have increasingly moved away from the field’s predominantly North American and European focuses to study instead how systems theory’s thinking of dynamic interrelations, and the related area of cybernetics research on self-organization and recursivity have developed in major Asian societies. This course first explores the epistemological foundations of systems theory before studying its major developments and historical case studies in the PRC, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia. We will then examine systems theory and cybernetics’ impacts on questions of technocratic governance, biopolitics, economy, gender and sexuality, and cultural and aesthetic production. 

 (Society & Culture Rubric)