East Asian Studies (EAST)

* EAST 016a / HSAR 016a, Chinese Painting and CultureQuincy Ngan

This course focuses on important works of Chinese painting and major painters from the fourth century CE to the twentieth century. Through close readings of the pictorial contents and production contexts of such works of art, this course investigates the works’ formats, meanings, and innovations from social, historical, and art-historical perspectives. In this course, students become familiar with the traditional Chinese world and acquire the knowledge necessary to be an informed viewer of Chinese painting. Discussions of religion, folkloric beliefs, literature, relationships between men and women, the worship of mountains, the laments of scholars, and the tastes of emperors and wealthy merchants also allow students to understand the cultural roots of contemporary China. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  HU
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* EAST 030a / HIST 030a, TokyoDaniel Botsman

Four centuries of Japan's history explored through the many incarnations, destructions, and rebirths of its foremost city. Focus on the solutions found by Tokyo's residents to the material and social challenges of concentrating such a large population in one place. Tensions between continuity and impermanence, authenticity and modernity, and social order and the culture of play. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  WR, HU
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

EAST 220a / HIST 321a, China from Present to PastStaff

Underlying causes of current issues facing China traced back to their origins in the premodern period. Topics include economic development, corruption, environmental crises, gender, and Pacific island disputes. Selected primary-source readings in English, images, videos, and Web resources. Preference given to first years and sophomores.   WR, HU0 Course cr

EAST 237b / HSAR 237b, Arts of ChinaQuincy Ngan

Arts of China is a window to the nation’s history, culture, society, and aesthetics. This course introduces the visual arts of China from the prehistoric period to the twentieth century. We look at the archaeological findings (including pottery, jade, and bronze vessels) as well as ancestor worship and belief in posthumous souls and immortal mountains. We look at the art and architecture inspired by Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. We investigate the place of Chinese painting and calligraphy in court and elite cultures and explore how these arts intertwine with politics, printing culture, and popular culture. Lastly, we investigate the decorative arts, like ceramics, textiles, and furniture, as well as the art and architecture that reflect foreign tastes.    HU0 Course cr
TTh 11:35am-12:25pm

EAST 240a / CHNS 200a / EALL 200a / HUMS 270a, The Chinese TraditionStaff

An introduction to the literature, culture, and thought of premodern China, from the beginnings of the written record to the turn of the twentieth century. Close study of textual and visual primary sources, with attention to their historical and cultural backdrops. Students enrolled in CHNS 200 join a weekly Mandarin-language discussion section. No knowledge of Chinese required for students enrolled in EALL 200. Students enrolled in CHNS 200 must have L5 proficiency in Mandarin or permission of the course instructor.  HU0 Course cr

* EAST 242b / EALL 230b / HUMS 269b / LITR 238b, Poetry and Ethics Amidst Imperial CollapseLucas Bender

Du Fu has for the last millennium been considered China’s greatest poet. Close study of nearly one-sixth of his complete works, contextualized by selections from the tradition that defined the art in his age. Exploration of the roles literature plays in interpreting human lives and the ways different traditional forms shape different ethical orientation. Poetry as a vehicle for moral reflection. All readings are in English.  WR, HU
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

* EAST 253b / EALL 265b / LITR 251b, Japanese Literature after 1970Rosa van Hensbergen

This course is an introduction to Japanese literature written in the last fifty years, with a focus on women writers. We read poetry and prose featuring mothers, daughters, and lovers, novels that follow convenience and thrift store workers, and poetry about factory girls. Our reading takes us from the daily grind of contemporary Tokyo to dystopian futures, from 1970s suburbia to surreal dreamscapes. We attend carefully to the ways in which different writers craft their works and, in particular, to their representation of feelings and affects. Whether the dull ache of loneliness, the oppression of boredom or the heavy weight of fatigue, it is often something about the mood of a work–rather than its narrative–that leaves a distinct impression. We develop the tools to analyze and discuss this sense of distinctness, as well as discover ways to stage connections and comparisons between the works we read.   HU
MW 1pm-2:15pm

* EAST 304b / HIST 304Jb, Japanese Historical DocumentsDaniel Botsman

Few pre-industrial societies anywhere in the world have bequeathed us a body of historical documents as varied and plentiful as those Tokugawa Japan (1600-1867). This class offers students who already have a solid command of modern Japanese an introduction to these remarkable sources, focusing particularly on what they can teach us about life in the great cities of Edo (now Tokyo), Osaka, and Kyoto—three of the largest urban centers anywhere in the pre-industrial world.  Prerequisite: JAPN 140 or equivalent.
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

EAST 310b / GLBL 309b / PLSC 357b, The Rise of ChinaDaniel Mattingly

Analysis of Chinese domestic and foreign politics, with a focus on the country’s rise as a major political and economic power. Topics include China's recent history, government, ruling party, technology, trade, military, diplomacy, and foreign policy.  SO0 Course cr

* EAST 313a / ANTH 213a, Contemporary Japan and the Ghosts of ModernityYukiko Koga

This course introduces students to contemporary Japan, examining how its defeat in the Second World War and loss of empire in 1945 continue to shape Japanese culture and society. Looking especially at the sphere of cultural production, it focuses on the question of what it means to be modern as expressed through the tension between resurgent neonationalism and the aspiration to internationalize. The course charts how the legacy of Japan’s imperial failure plays a significant role in its search for renewal and identity since 1945. How, it asks, does the experience of catastrophic failure—and failure to account for that failure—play into continued aspirations for modernity today? How does Japanese society wrestle with modernity’s two faces: its promise for progress and its history of catastrophic violence? The course follows the trajectory of Japan’s postwar nation-state development after the dissolution of empire, from its resurrection out of the ashes after defeat, to its identity as a US ally and economic superpower during the Cold War, to decades of recession since the 1990s and the search for new relations with its neighbors and new reckonings with its own imperial violence and postwar inactions against the background of rising neonationalism.  HU, SO
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

* EAST 316a / EALL 288a / LITR 303a / RSEE 316a / RUSS 316a, Socialist '80s: Aesthetics of Reform in China and the Soviet UnionJinyi Chu

This course offers an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of the complex cultural and political paradigms of late socialism from a transnational perspective by focusing on the literature, cinema, and popular culture of the Soviet Union and China in 1980s. How were intellectual and everyday life in the Soviet Union and China distinct from and similar to that of the West of the same era? How do we parse “the cultural logic of late socialism?” What can today’s America learn from it? Examining two major socialist cultures together in a global context, this course queries the ethnographic, ideological, and socio-economic constituents of late socialism. Students analyze cultural materials in the context of Soviet and Chinese history. Along the way, we explore themes of identity, nationalism, globalization, capitalism, and the Cold War. Students with knowledge of Russian and Chinese are encouraged to read in original languages. All readings are available in English.   WR, HUTr
M 3:30pm-5:20pm

* EAST 324a / ANTH 324a / ANTH 824a, Politics of MemoryYukiko Koga

This course explores the role of memory as a social, cultural, and political force in contemporary society. How societies remember difficult pasts has become a contested site for negotiating the present. Through the lens of memory, we examine complex roles that our relationships to difficult pasts play in navigating issues we face today. This course explores this politics of memory that takes place in the realm of popular culture and public space. The class asks such questions as: How do you represent difficult and contested pasts? What does it mean to enable long-silenced victims’ voices to be heard? What are the consequences of re-narrating the past by highlighting past injuries and trauma? Does memory work heal or open wounds of a society and a nation? Through examples drawn from the Holocaust, the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, the Vietnam War, genocide in Indonesia and massacres in Lebanon, to debates on confederacy statues, slavery, and lynching in the US, this course approaches these questions through an anthropological exploration of concepts such as memory, trauma, mourning, silence, voice, testimony, and victimhood.  HU, SO
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* EAST 340a / EALL 300a, Sinological MethodsPauline Lin

A research course in Chinese studies, designed for students with background in modern and literary Chinese. Explore and evaluate the wealth of primary sources and research tools available in China and in the West. For native speakers of Chinese, introduction to the secondary literature in English and instruction in writing professionally in English on topics about China. Topics include Chinese bibliographies; bibliophiles’ notes; specialized dictionaries; maps and geographical gazetteers; textual editions, variations and reliability of texts; genealogies and biographical sources; archaeological and visual materials; and major Chinese encyclopedias, compendia, and databases. Prerequisite: CHNS 171 or equivalent. Formerly CHNS 202.   HU
F 1:30pm-3:20pm

* EAST 346a / ANTH 342a, Cultures and Markets in AsiaHelen Siu

Historical and contemporary movements of people, goods, and cultural meanings that have defined Asia as a region. Reexamination of state-centered conceptualizations of Asia and of established boundaries in regional studies. The intersections of transregional institutions and local societies and their effects on trading empires, religious traditions, colonial encounters, and cultural fusion. Finance flows that connect East Asia and the Indian Ocean to the Middle East and Africa. The cultures of capital and market in the neoliberal and postsocialist world.  SO
M 9:25am-11:15am

EAST 364b / HIST 364b, Modern ChinaDenise Ho

Today’s China is one of the world’s great powers, and the relationship between the United States and China is one of the most consequential of our times. Yet we cannot understand China without examining the historical context of its rise. How have the Chinese searched for modernity in the recent past? How were the dramatic changes of the late imperial period, the twentieth century, and after experienced by the Chinese people? This introductory course examines the political, social, and cultural revolutions that have shaped Chinese history since late imperial times. The emphasis of this course is on the analysis of primary sources in translation and the discussion of these texts within the context of the broader historical narrative. It assumes no prior knowledge of Chinese history.  HU0 Course cr
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* EAST 390b / RLST 102b, Atheism and BuddhismHwansoo Kim

A critical examination of atheism and religions (Buddhism), with a focus on intellectual, religious, philosophical, and scientific debates about God, the origin of the universe, morality, evolution, neuroscience, happiness, enlightenment, the afterlife, and karma. Readings selected from philosophical, scientific, and religious writings. Authors include some of the following: Charles Darwin, Bertrand Russell, Christopher Hitchins, Richard Dawkins, Deepak Chopra, Sam Harris, Owen Flanagan, Stephen Batchelor, and the Dalai Lama.   HU
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* EAST 391b / EALL 296b / RLST 121b, Religion and Culture in KoreaHwansoo Kim

Introduction to Shamanism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Christianity, and new religions in Korea from ancient times to the present. Examination of religious traditions in close relationships with social, economic, political, and cultural environments in Korean society. Examination of religious tensions, philosophical arguments, and ethical issues that indigenous and foreign religions in Korea have engaged throughout history to maximize their influence in Korean society.   HU
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

* EAST 400a / RLST 366a, Religion and Politics in China, Xinjiang, and TibetStaff

This course explores the religious and political interactions among the Chinese, Tibetans, Mongolians, and Muslims living in today’s northwest China from the fourteenth to the twentieth century. Focusing on parallel spatial arrangements and historical narratives of these ethnoculturally diverse peoples, the first part of this course investigates the evolving political systems, religious institutions, and social structures in China, Xinjiang and Tibet. Shifting from the center-periphery perspective to the bottom-up perspective, the second part examines major issues associated with interethnic relations. We critically read both primary and secondary sources. Key themes include Chinese imperialism and colonialism, Tibetan Buddhist expansion, Mongolian conquest, Islamization and Muslim resettlement, transregional trade, frontier militarization, ethnic violence, and inter-ethnocultural accommodation.  HU
T 3:30pm-5:20pm

* EAST 401b / RLST 343b, Tibetan BuddhismStaff

This course is a broad introduction to the history, doctrine, and culture of the Buddhism of Tibet. We begin with the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet in the eighth century and move on to the evolution of the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhist literature, ritual and monastic practice, the place of Buddhism in Tibetan political history, and the contemporary situation of Tibetan Buddhism both inside and outside of Tibet.  HU

* EAST 402a / PLSC 384a, Political Psychology and Comparative PoliticsStaff

Political psychology seminars typically focus on American political behavior, and most comparative politics seminars do not directly address political psychology. This seminar aims to bridge that gap by examining the important role of psychology within the broader context of comparative politics. The goal of the seminar is to develop your knowledge and understanding of how political attitudes and behaviors are shaped, how they evolve, and the ways they may influence behavioral outcomes. We explore why people engage in politics, what factors help them form or revise their political beliefs and perspectives, and how those attitudes are manifest (or not) through political action. The role of individual personality traits, human cognition, and both individual and collective identity are considered–in relation to both the general public as well as political insiders. (We also discuss whether making a distinction between the two is relevant and necessary.) Since the course focuses on comparative politics, it closely examines ways that diverse institutions, cultural values, and social environments affect individual political attitudes. We also explore whether there are universal political behaviors and attitudes–and if so, how they should be identified and studied.  SO
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

* EAST 403b / HIST 310b, Law and Order in East Asia to 1800Staff

Law is not only a practical instrument but has also shaped East Asian civilization. In implementing the governance blueprints of rulers and thinkers, law formulated the operations of East Asian empires and kingdoms, as well as their people's life in nearly all aspects. This course introduces students to the law and legal systems in premodern East Asia. Starting with early legal theories, it explores the traditional East Asian ideas of 'justice' and how the law attempted to achieve them under imperial rule and major religious beliefs. By careful and critical reading of premodern codes and court cases, we also seek to trace the life experiences of commoners under such laws and systems. We try to understand the conflicts and tensions among the people through their frustrations in disputes, their pains in different kinds of violence, and other issues.  HU

* EAST 404a / EALL 237a / FILM 399a, Nuclear Disasters and Trauma in Japanese Cinema and BeyondStaff

This course examines the ways nuclear disasters are depicted in contemporary Japanese cinema. More specifically, we look at atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki (1945), and the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster (2011), and how the dormant trauma towards nuclear power has influenced Japanese cinema/media. As the artists portraying disasters often face the limits of representation, their works raise the following questions: how can cinema depict disasters that are indescribable in nature? How might cinema cause or resist tendencies towards post-catastrophic nationalism? In what ways can cinema address disaster that other forms of media cannot? What filmic techniques can be used to dramatize disastrous moments? Can cinema “foresee” unfolding or upcoming disasters? While considering these questions, this course also introduces the methodologies to write/discuss about film as an art form by examining different cinematic elements such as visual, sound, narrative, performance, and touch.  HU
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm, W 7:30pm-10:30pm

* EAST 405b / RLST 235 / RLST 410b, Buddhism and ViolenceStaff

This course focuses on Buddhism and violence in the modern world, with a particular emphasis on Korean Buddhism. Buddhism is often perceived to be a pacifist religion; however, all across the modern Buddhist world, from Japanese Zen Buddhists during World War II, to Vietnamese Buddhists during the Vietnam War, to Buddhists in the contemporary United States, Buddhists have been complicit in and even supported state-sanctioned violence. Can Buddhism be deemed less (or more) violent than other major religions? We cover introductory topics on Buddhism, going back in history to see the fundamental philosophical debates on violence and killing in the tradition. Using Korean Buddhism as a case study, we explore in what ways, if any, these ancient debates relate to the modern world.  HU

* EAST 406b / HSAR 352b, Introduction to Central Asian Art and ArchitectureStaff

Overview of the art and architecture of Central Asia including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, in addition to Afghanistan and Xinjiang, from the Late Antiquity to the modern day. Examination of artistic, architectural-urban transformations as a reflection of the broader societal and cultural change. Through readings, we challenge ourselves 1) to reconsider some of the prevailing understandings of Central Asian history/art & architectural history and 2) to perceive the built environment as an artifact that uncovers secrets and affirms political, social, cultural, and economic aspects of the human past. Throughout, we focus on interactions across the Eurasian continent among Sogdians, Turks, Persians, Arabs, Chinese, Mongolian nomads, and Russians during the last millennium and a half, to understand how these cultures shaped Central Asian urban landscapes, art, and architectural styles. Previous knowledge of Central Asian history is helpful but by no means necessary. Previous knowledge of Art & Architectural history is helpful but by no means necessary.    HU

* EAST 410a / EALL 234a, Japanese Detective FictionStaff

This class offers an overview of modern Japanese literature with a focus on detective fiction. Through detective fiction we can examine key concepts in literature such as narrative voice, point of view, genre, modernism and postmodernism, and learn about debates in Japanese literature, the distinction between highbrow and popular fiction, and the relation between Japanese literature and translated fiction. Detective fiction also allows for the exploration of key issues in Japanese history and society such as consumerism, colonialism, class, gender, and sexuality. Readings include a wide range of texts by canonical and popular writers, as well as theoretical texts on genre and detective fiction. All texts are available in English and no prior knowledge of Japanese or Japan is needed.  HU
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

* EAST 411a / HSAR 415a / WGSS 412a, Women and Art in Premodern East AsiaStaff

For over a thousand years, women in East Asia profoundly influenced the development of the visual arts, yet their formidable presence remains largely hidden. This seminar explores the critical roles women played as patrons, artists, and collectors of the arts in China, Korea, and Japan. We cover periods from the sixth through the nineteenth centuries and discuss a wide array of mediums including bamboo paintings, bijinga woodblock prints, bronze Buddhist sculptures, bojagi textiles, and even embroidered lotus shoes. This seminar focuses particularly on art objects made by anonymous women as a means to rethink and problematize the traditionally elite and male-dominated art historical canon. We also contextualize artistic production in light of emergent theorizations and readings on femininity, feminism, and the sexual politics of representation. Major themes of inquiry include subjectivity and intentionality; representations of women and the male gaze; and postcolonial definitions of female agency.  No prior knowledge of East Asian art history is required or assumed.  HU
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

* EAST 417b / ANTH 414b, Hubs, Mobilities, and World CitiesHelen Siu

Analysis of urban life in historical and contemporary societies. Topics include capitalist and postmodern transformations; class, gender, ethnicity, and migration; and global landscapes of power and citizenship. .  SORP0 Course cr
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* EAST 427a / HSAR 427a, Chinese Skin ProblemsQuincy Ngan

This seminar uses artwork as a means of understanding the various skin problems faced by contemporary Chinese people. Divided into four modules, this seminar first traces how the “ideal skin” as a complex trope of desire, superficiality, and deception has evolved over time through the ghost story, Painted Skin (Huapi), and its countless spin-offs. Second, the course explores how artists have overcome a variety of social distances and barriers through touch; we look at artworks that highlight the healing power and erotic associations of cleansing, massaging, and moisturizing the skin. Third, we explore the relationship between feminism and gender stereotypes through artworks and performances that involve skincare, makeup and plastic surgery. Fourth, the course investigates the dynamics between “Chineseness,” colorism, and racial tensions through the artworks produced by Chinese-American and diasporic artists. Each module is comprised of one meeting focusing on theoretical frameworks and two meetings focusing on individual artists and close analysis of artworks. Readings include Cathy Park Hong’s Minor Feelings, Nikki Khanna’s Whiter, and Leta Hong Fincher’s Leftover Women.     HU
T 9:25am-11:15am

* EAST 431a / RLST 175a, North Korea and ReligionHwansoo Kim

Ever since the establishment of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in 1948 and the Korean War (1950–1953), North Korea has been depicted by the media as a reclusive, oppressive, and military country, its leaders as the worst dictators, and its people as brainwashed, tortured, and starving to death. The still ongoing Cold War discourse, intensified by the North Korea’s recent secret nuclear weapons program, furthers these negative images, and outsiders have passively internalized these images. However, these simplistic characterizations prevent one from gaining a balanced understanding of and insight into North Korea and its people on the ground. Topics other than political, military, and security issues are rarely given attention. On the whole, even though North Korea’s land area is larger than South Korea and its population of 25 million accounts for a third of all Koreans, North Korea has been neglected in the scholarly discussion of Korean culture. This class tries to make sense of North Korea in a more comprehensive way by integrating the political and economic with social, cultural, and religious dimensions. In order to accomplish this objective, students examine leadership, religious (especially cultic) aspects of the North Korean Juche ideology, the daily lives of its citizens, religious traditions, the Korean War, nuclear development and missiles, North Korean defectors and refugees, human rights, Christian missionary organizations, and unification, among others. Throughout, the course places North Korean issues in the East Asian and global context. The course draws upon recent scholarly books, articles, journals, interviews with North Korean defectors, travelogues, media publications, and visual materials.  SO
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

* EAST 470a or b, Independent StudyValerie Hansen

For students with advanced Chinese, Japanese, or Korean language skills who wish to pursue a close study of the East Asia region, not otherwise covered by departmental offerings. May be used for research, a special project, or a substantial research paper under faculty supervision. A term paper or its equivalent and regular meetings with an adviser are required. Ordinarily only one term may be offered toward the major or for credit toward the degree. Permission to enroll requires submission of a detailed project proposal, signed by the adviser, by the end of the first week of classes and its approval by the director of undergraduate studies.

EAST 480a or b, One-Term Senior EssayValerie Hansen

Preparation of a one-term senior essay under the guidance of a faculty adviser. Students must receive the prior agreement of the director of undergraduate studies and of the faculty member who will serve as the senior essay adviser. Students must arrange to meet with that adviser on a regular basis throughout the term.

* EAST 491a and EAST 492b, Senior Research ProjectValerie Hansen

Two-term directed research project under the supervision of a ladder faculty member. Students should write essays using materials in East Asian languages when possible. Essays should be based on primary material, whether in an East Asian language or English. Summary of secondary material is not acceptable. Credit for EAST 491 only on completion of EAST 492.  ½ Course cr per term