Asian Languages and Civilizations
Year: Show curriculum in:

Amherst College Asian Languages and Civilizations for 2011-12

101 First-Year Arabic I

This year-long course introduces the basics of Modern Standard Arabic, also known as Classical Arabic. It begins with a coverage of the alphabet, vocabulary for everyday use, and essential communicative skills relating to real-life and task-oriented situations (queries about personal well-being, family, work, and telling the time). Students will concentrate on speaking and listening skills, as well as on learning the various forms of regular verbs, and on how to use an Arabic dictionary. 

Limited to 18 students. Admission with consent of the instructor. Fall semester.  Five College Senior Lecturer Hassan.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

101 First-Year Chinese I

This course, along with CHIN 102 in the spring semester, is an elementary introduction to Mandarin Chinese offered for students who have no Chinese-speaking backgrounds. The class takes an integrated approach to basic language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and it emphasizes pronunciation and the tones, Chinese character handwriting, and the most basic structure and patterns of Chinese grammar. The class meets five times per week (lectures on MWF and drill sessions on TTh).

Limited to 30 students. Fall semester. Senior Lecturer Teng.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

102 First-Year Arabic II

A continuation of ARAB 101.

Requisite: ARAB 101 or equivalent.  Spring semester.  Five College Senior Lecturer Hassan.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

102 First-Year Chinese II

A continuation of CHIN 101. By the end of the course, students are expected to have a good command of Mandarin pronunciation, the basic grammar structures, an active vocabulary of 700 Chinese characters, and basic reading and writing skills in the Chinese language. The class meets five times per week (lectures on MWF and drill sessions on TTh). This course prepares students for CHIN 201 (Second-year Chinese I).

Requisite: CHIN 101 or equivalent. Limited to 30 students. Discussion sections limited to 8 students. Spring semester. Senior Lecturer Teng.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

103 Heritage Chinese I

An intensive introductory course for heritage language learners who have near-native speaking ability in Chinese with very little or no knowledge in written Chinese. Building upon the students’ oral/aural abilities, this course aims to develop students’ communicative competence in all four skills, with special emphasis on reading and writing. By the end of the course, students are expected to have a good command of Mandarin pronunciation, part of the basic grammar structures, an active vocabulary of 600 Chinese characters, and basic reading and writing skills in the Chinese language. Three class hours are supplemented by two drill sessions.

Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students. Omitted 2011-12. Senior Lecturer Li.

2013-14: Not offered

104 Heritage Chinese II

A continuation of CHIN 103, the second intensive introductory course for heritage language learners who have near-native speaking ability in Chinese but want to develop their reading and writing skills. By the end of the course, students are expected to be able to master an active vocabulary of 1,200 Chinese characters, to have a good command of the basic grammar structures and idiomatic expressions, to conduct conversations and discussion with standard Mandarin pronunciation, and to comprehend and write short stories and essays on daily matters in modern Chinese. Three class hours are supplemented by two drill sessions. This course prepares students for CHIN 301 (Third-year Chinese I).

Requisite: CHIN 103 or equivalent. Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students. Omitted 2011-12. Senior Lecturer Li.

2013-14: Not offered

123 Arts of Japan

(Offered as ARHA 148 and ASLC 123 [J].)  A survey of the history of Japanese art from neolithic times to the present. Topics will include Buddhist art and its ritual context, the aristocratic arts of the Heian court, monochromatic ink painting and the arts related to the Zen sect, the prints and paintings of the Floating World and contemporary artists and designers such as Ando Tadao and Miyake Issey. The class will focus on the ways Japan adopts and adapts foreign cultural traditions. There will be field trips to look at works in museums and private collections in the region.

Omitted 2011-12. Professor Morse.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2013

201 Second-Year Arabic I

This course expands the scope of the communicative approach, as new grammatical points are introduced (irregular verbs), and develops a greater vocabulary for lengthier conversations. Emphasis is placed on reading and writing short passages and personal notes. This second-year of Arabic completes the introductory grammatical foundation necessary for understanding standard forms of Arabic prose (classical and modern literature, newspapers, film, etc.) and making substantial use of the language.

Requisite: ARAB 102 or equivalent. Fall semester.  Five College Senior Lecturer Hassan. 

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

201 Second-Year Chinese I

This course is designed for students who have completed first-year Chinese classes. The emphasis will be on the basic grammatical structures. The course reinforces the four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) through vigorous drills and practices. There will be two class meetings and two drill sessions each week.

Requisite: CHIN 102 or equivalent. Limited to 28 students, maximum enrollment of 4 students per section. Fall semester. Senior Lecturer Li.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

202 Experience with Authentic Japanese Materials

This course is a continuation of JAPA 201. The course will provide sufficient practice of reading authentic texts and viewing films to prepare for the next level, JAPA 301, in which various genres of reading and films will be introduced. Throughout the course, the development of more fluent speech and stronger literacy will be emphasized by studying more complex and idiomatic expressions. Acquisition of an additional few hundred characters (Kanji) will be part of the course. The class will be conducted mostly in Japanese. Small groups based on the students’ proficiency levels will be formed, so that instruction accords with the needs of each group. Students will be required to practice with the materials that are on the course website at the college. Two group meetings and two individualized or small group evaluations per week are normally required throughout the semester.

Requisite: JAPA 201 or equivalent. Spring semester. Professor Tawa and Senior Lecturer Miyama.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

202 Second-Year Arabic II

Continued conversations at a more advanced level, with increased awareness of time-frames and complex patterns of syntax. Further development of reading and practical writing skills.

Requisite: ARAB 201 or equivalent or consent of the instructor. Spring semester.  Five College Senior Lecturer Hassan.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

220 Reinventing Tokyo: The Art, Literature, and Politics of Japan's Modern Capital

[J] Tokyo is the political, cultural, and economic center of Japan, the largest urban conglomeration on the planet, holding 35 million people, fully one fifth of Japan’s population.  Since its founding 400 years ago, when a small fishing village became Edo, the castle headquarters of the Tokugawa shoguns, the city has been reinvented multiple times—as the birthplace of Japan’s early modern urban bourgeoise culture, imperial capital to a nation-state, center of modern consumer culture, postwar democratic exemplar, and postmodern metropolis. The course will focus on the portrayals of Tokyo and its reinventions in art, literature, and politics from the end of the Edo period to the present day.  It will examine the changes that took place as the city modernized and Westernized in the Meiji era, became the center of modern urban life in Japan before the Second World War, and rebuilt itself as part of the country’s economic miracle in the postwar era.  As the largest human cultural creation in Japan, one that endured political upheavals, fires, earthquakes, fire-bombings and unbridled development, Tokyo has always been a complex subject. The course will use that complexity to consider how to analyze an urban environment that draws upon Japan's long history, yet which is also one of the most modern in Asia.

Preference to majors and students with an interest in urban studies.  Limited to 25 students.  Omitted 2011-12.  Professors Maxey and Morse.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

234 Japan on Screen

(Offered as ASLC 234 [J] and FAMS 320.)  Is the concept of national cinema useful in the age of globalization?  Given the international nature of cinema at its inception, was it ever a valid concept?  In this course, we will consider how the nation is represented on screen as we survey the history of film culture in Japan, from the very first film footage shot in the country in 1897, through the golden age of studio cinema in the 1950s, to important independent filmmakers working today. While testing different theories of national, local, and world cinema, we will investigate the Japanese film as a narrative art, as a formal construct, and as a participant in larger aesthetic and social contexts.  This course includes the major genres of Japanese film and influential schools and movements.  Students will also learn and get extensive practice using the vocabulary of the discipline of film studies.  This course assumes no prior knowledge of Japan or Japanese, and all films have English subtitles.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2011-12. Professor Van Compernolle.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2013

236 A History of Love: Chinese Romance in Time

(Offered as ALSC 236 [C] and WAGS 230.) The course will deal with the world of romance in traditional Chinese culture. Following the thematic arrangement found in the seventeenth-century text Qingshi, A History of Love, an encyclopedic work about the various forms love can take, we will read and analyze stories, novels, poetry and plays (in their English translation) from different historical periods. Our aim shall be to try and draw together all of the discourses circulating about the experience of passion, love and lust from the Tang dynasty up until the early twentieth century. If time allows, we will engage in comparisons with other East Asian traditions as well as with the Western traditions of romance, with the goal to generate meaningful cross-cultural exchanges.

Omitted 2011-12. Professor Zamperini.

2013-14: Not offered

240 Flowers in the Mirror:  Writing Women in Chinese Literature

(Offered as ASLC 240 [C] and WAGS 240.) The focus of this course will be texts written by women throughout the course of Chinese history. We will deal with a wide range of sources, from poetry to drama, from novels and short stories to nüshu (the secret script invented by peasant women in a remote area of Hunan province), from autobiographies to cinematic discourse. We will address the issue of women as others represent them and women as they portray themselves in terms of gender, sexuality, social class, power, family, and material culture. We will try to detect the presence and absence of female voices in the literature of different historical periods and to understand how those literary works relate to male-authored literary works. In addition to primary sources, we will integrate theoretical work in the field of pre-modern, modern and contemporary Chinese literature and culture.

Omitted 2011-12.  Professor Zamperini.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2012

242 Yoga Traditions

(Offered as RELI 242 and ASLC 242 [SA].) While yoga is often practiced today at the gym for health and exercise, it has a long philosophical history in the religions of India. This course traces the intellectual traditions of yoga from early South Asian texts to its modern global and secular forms. Yoga entails training in contemplative, postural, and respiratory techniques as a means to such varied goals as knowing the true self, experiencing nirvana, meeting god, making good karma, and enhancing well-being. We will examine yoga philosophy in the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and the writings of Patanjali, and then turn to its flowering in the development of medieval and modern Hinduism as we look at tantrism, guru devotion, and bhakti religiosity. Finally, we will explore the history of its modern expressions in physical exercise, stress management, and “secular spirituality.”

Spring semester.  Visiting Lecturer S. Heim.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Spring 2012

253 Theravada Buddhism

(Offered as RELI 253 and ASLC 253 [SA].) This course introduces the history and civilization of Theravada Buddhism. The Theravada (the “Doctrine of the Elders”) is the dominant form of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar (Burma); in recent decades it has also found a following in other regions in Asia and the west. We will trace the Theravada’s origins as one of the earliest sectarian movements in India to its success and prestige as a religious civilization bridging South and Southeast Asia. We will also consider this tradition’s encounter with modernity and its various adaptations and responses to challenges in the contemporary world. No previous background in Buddhism is required.

Spring semester. Professor Heim.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2011, Spring 2012

292 The Inheritance of Iran: The Iranian World from Antiquity to the Middle Ages  

(Offered as HIST 292 [MEP] and ALSC 292 [WA]). This course examines the equally profound continuities and discontinuities in the history of Iran from the Achaemenids to the Mongols. We will trace the rise of the ancient Iranian empires and their promotion of Zoroastrianism before turning to the Arab, Turkish, and Mongol conquests and the Islamization of Iranian society. In addition to exploring patterns of religious, cultural and social change in Iranian history, we will discuss the extent to which the inheritance of antiquity in Iran, Central Asia, and beyond constituted a discrete unity--an Iranian world--within the medieval Middle East. Sources will include classics of Persian and Arabic literature, not least the Book of Kings. Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor Payne (Mt. Holyoke College).

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012

301 Third-Year Arabic I

This year-long course continues the study of Modern Standard Arabic.  The course concentrates on all four skills:  reading, writing, speaking, and listening.  Students will read and discuss authentic texts by writers throughout the Arab world.  Topics address a variety of political, social, religious, and literary themes and represent a range of genres, styles, and periods.

Requisite:  ARAB 202 or equivalent.  Fall semester.  Five College Lecturer Berrahmoun.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011

301 Third-Year Chinese I

This course is designed to expose students to more advanced and comprehensive knowledge of Mandarin Chinese, with an emphasis on both linguistic competence and communicative competence. Expanding of vocabulary and development of reading comprehension will be through different genres of authentic texts. Students will be trained to write short essays on a variety of topics. Three class hours are supplemented by two drill sessions.

Requisite: CHIN 104, 202 or equivalent. Fall semester. Senior Lecturer Shen.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

302 Moving From "Learning to Read" to "Reading to Learn" in Japanese

This course will be a continuation of JAPA 301. Various genres of writing and film, of longer and increased difficulty levels, will be used to develop a high proficiency level of reading, writing, speaking, and listening throughout the semester. At this level, the students should gradually be moving from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” This important progression will be guided carefully by the instructor. Small groups based on the students’ proficiency levels will be formed, so that instruction accords with the needs of each group. Students will be required to practice with the materials that are on the course website at the college. Two group meetings and two individualized or small group evaluations per week are normally required throughout the semester.

Requisite: JAPA 301 or equivalent. Spring semester.  Professor Tawa.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

302 Third-Year Arabic II

A continuation of ARAB 301, this year-long course continues the study of Modern Standard Arabic.  The course concentrates on all four skills:  reading, writing, speaking, and listening.  Students will read and discuss authentic texts by writers throughout the Arab world.  Topics address a variety of political, social, religious, and literary themes and represent a range of genres, styles, and periods.

Requisite ARAB 301 or equivalent.  Spring semester.  Five College Lecturer Berrahmoun.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012

302 Third-Year Chinese II

A continuation of CHIN 301, a modern Chinese reading and writing course at the advanced level. Development of the basic four skills will continue to be stressed. It will emphasize both linguistic competence and communicative competence. Acquisition of additional characters will be through authentic readings of different genres. More training will be given on writing with more precision and details. Three class hours are supplemented by two drill sessions. This course prepares students for CHIN 401.

Requisite: CHIN 301 or equivalent. Spring semester. Senior Lecturer Shen.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

325 Beyond Shangri-La. Narratives of Tibet, East and West

This course will look in depth at Asian and Western constructions of Tibetan identity in various sources and media, from Tibetan folk songs and legends to Buddhist philosophical and historical treatises, from Chinese Yuan and Ming dramas to Hollywood cinema, from Tibetan traditional art and music to some of its contemporary Western interpretations. By trying to get to the heart of Tibetan culture in this multimediatic universe, we will also try to map the ways in which, throughout different periods and at the hands of different agents, readers, and performers, “Tibet” has been constructed, invented, and deconstructed, as a site of identity, oppression, and resistance. The second part of the course will also involve sustained engagement with the Tibetan community in the Pioneer Valley, as the students will interview, in collaboration with the Shang Shung International Institute for Tibetan Studies and the Tibetan Association of Western Massachusetts, local Tibetan immigrants and collect their stories about the ways in which they identify with Tibetan culture in the North American diaspora. Course participants will give updates about their fieldwork projects, and the course will culminate in the creation of database of the oral histories and narratives of Tibetans in the Pioneer Valley.

Spring semester.  Profesor Zamperini.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012

328 The Dao of Sex: Sexuality in China, Past and Present

(Offered as ASLC 328 [C] and WAGS 205.) This survey course will focus on sexual culture in China, from pre-Qin times to the present. Using various sources such as ancient medical texts, Daoist manuals, court poetry and Confucian classics, paintings and illustrated books, movies and documentaries, as well as modern and pre-modern fiction written both in the classic and vernacular languages, we will explore notions of sex, sexuality, and desire. Through the lens of cultural history and gender studies, we will try to reconstruct the genealogy of the discourses centered around sex that developed in China, at all levels of society, throughout 5,000 years. Among the topics covered will be sexual yoga, prostitution, pornography, and sex-tourism.

Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor Zamperini.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2012

329 Fashion Matters: Clothes, Bodies and Consumption in East Asia

(Offered as ASLC 329 and WAGS 313.) This course will focus on both the historical and cultural development of fashion, clothing and consumption in East Asia, with a special focus on China and Japan. Using a variety of sources, from fiction to art, from legal codes to advertisements, we will study both actual garments created and worn in society throughout history, as well as the ways in which they inform the social characterization of class, ethnicity, nationality, and gender attributed to fashion. Among the topics we will analyze in this sense will be hairstyle, foot-binding and, in a deeper sense, bodily practices that inform most fashion-related discourses in East Asia. We will also think through the issue of fashion consumption as an often-contested site of modernity, especially in relationship to the issue of globalization and world-market. Thus we will also include a discussion of international fashion designers, along with analysis of phenomena such as sweatshops.

Limited to 20 students. Fall semester.  Professor Zamperini.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2011

331 Asian Studies Colloquium

A close study of a focused topic that has broad significance in Asian Studies. Normally to be team-taught by two faculty of the department. The approach will be multidisciplinary; the goal of the course will be to explore a subject of interest in Asian Studies that also has suggestive implications for issues in the humanities and social sciences.

Limited to 30 students. Omitted 2011-12. 

2013-14: Not offered

335 The World's Oldest Novel: The Tale of Genji and Its Refractions

Written over one thousand years ago by Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari) is the supreme masterpiece of Japanese literature, a work whose influence on subsequent arts and letters in the country is impossible to exaggerate.  As the world’s earliest extant prose narrative by a woman writer, the Genji has received attention in world literature and women’s studies programs.  With its rich psychological portraits of desire, guilt, and memory, the work has also gained a reputation as “the world’s oldest novel.”  In this course, we will read the entire Tale of Genji in English translation and engage fully with its sophistication and complexity by employing diverse critical perspectives.  We will investigate both the tenth-century prose experiments that made the work possible and a number of later works in different genres so as to gain awareness of the impact of the Genji on the culture of every historical era since its composition.  We will also have occasion to consider the reception of Murasaki’s masterpiece in the English-speaking world.

Limited to 20 students.  Omitted 2011-12.  Professor Van Compernolle.

2013-14: Not offered

352 Buddhist Ethics

(Offered as RELI 252 and ASLC 352.) A systematic exploration of the place of ethics and moral reasoning in Buddhist thought and practice. The scope of the course is wide, with examples drawn from the whole Buddhist world, but emphasis is on the particularity of different Buddhist visions of the ideal human life. Attention is given to the problems of the proper description of Buddhist ethics in a comparative perspective.

Omitted 2011-12. Professor M. Heim.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2012, Spring 2015

356 The Islamic Mystical Tradition

(Offered as RELI 285 and ASLC 356.)  This course is a survey of the large complex of Islamic intellectual and social perspectives subsumed under the term Sufism. Sufi mystical philosophies, liturgical practices, and social organizations have been a major part of the Islamic tradition in all historical periods, and Sufism has also served as a primary creative force behind Islamic aesthetic expression in poetry, music, and the visual arts. In this course, we will attempt to understand the various significations of Sufism by addressing both the world of ideas and socio-cultural practices. The course is divided into four modules: central themes and concepts going back to the earliest individuals who identified themselves as Sufis; the lives and works of two medieval Sufis; Sufi cosmology and metaphysics; Sufism as a global and multifarious trend in the modern world.

Spring semester. Visiting Lecturer Mustafa.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

360 Religion and Society in the South Asian World

(Offered as ANTH 334 and ASLC 360 [SA].) Observers have long marveled at the sheer number of separate religious traditions that flourish and interact with each other in South Asia. In this single ethnographic region, the Indian subcontinent, we find Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Christians, Jews, and others as well. Given this extraordinary diversity, South Asia provides an unparalleled opportunity to study interactions among religious systems in a broad range of social and political contexts. This course takes advantage of this circumstance by exploring, in South Asian settings, a variety of theoretical approaches to the study of religion. Among the subjects to be considered are religion and social hierarchy, religion and gender, religious responses to rapid social change, modern religious movements, religion and modern media, religious nationalism, and South Asian religions in diaspora. Although the course focuses on the South Asian region, it is designed to emphasize theoretical issues of current interest to anthropologists and others who study religion from the perspective of social science. While some background in South Asian studies would be helpful, it is not a prerequisite for this course.

Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2011-12. Professor Babb.

2013-14: Not offered

366 The Monkey, the Outlaws, and the Stone: The Novel in Pre-modern China

[C] This course will be devoted to reading the English translations of the major Chinese novels, from the Ming dynasty Xiyouji (Journey to the West), to the Jin Ping Mei (The Plum in the Golden Vase), the Shui hu zhuan (The Water Margins), to the eighteenth-century novel Hongloumeng (The Dream of the Red Chamber). Due to the length of each individual text, only one major novel will be the focus of the course each time, though we will often include selections from other contemporary and related sources, when relevant to the overall understanding of the text under study. As we read through the novel selected for the semester together, uncovering its richness and complexity, we will in turn address issues such as the place of the novel in traditional Chinese literature; authorship and authority; narrative strategies and plot development; magic and religion; material culture and fashion; class and discrimination; health and disease; femininity, masculinity and their discontents. In addition to the primary source chosen for each semester, representative theoretical work in the field of pre-modern Chinese literature will be incorporated as much as possible.

Omitted 2011-12. Professor Zamperini.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2013

401 Fourth-Year Chinese I

This course is designed for students who have completed three years of Chinese at the college level. The emphasis is on building substantial sophisticated vocabulary and reading various genres of writings and literary works like newspaper articles, essays, and short novels, etc. Development of a higher level of proficiency of the four skills will be stressed through class discussions, writing compositions, listening to TV news clips and watching movies that are supplemental to the themes of the reading materials. Class will be conducted entirely in Chinese. There will be three class meetings each week.

Requisite: CHIN 302 or equivalent. Admission with the consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Senior Lecturer Shen.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

402 Fourth-Year Chinese II

This course is a continuation of CHIN 401. More advanced authentic texts of different genres of writings and literary works will be introduced to students. Development of a higher level of proficiency of the four skills will be stressed through class discussions, writing compositions, listening to TV news clips and watching movies that are supplemental to the themes of the reading materials. Class will be conducted entirely in Chinese. There will be three class meetings each week.

Requisite: CHIN 401 or equivalent. Admission with consent of the instructor. Spring semester. Senior Lecturer Shen.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

402 Thematic Reading and Writing

This course is a continuation of JAPA 401. In addition to learning how to search for the relevant material, read it with comprehension, and produce a high level of writing, the students will learn to conduct a small research project in this semester. The course will also focus on the development of a high level of speaking proficiency through discussions with classmates and the instructor. Small groups based on the students’ proficiency levels will be formed, so that instruction accords with the needs of each group. Two group meetings and two individualized or small group evaluations per week are normally required throughout the semester.

Requisite: JAPA 401 or equivalent. Spring semester. Professor Tawa.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

411 Introduction to Great Books and Films in the Original

This course is designed for students who possess a high proficiency level of speaking but need training in cover-to-cover book reading or film comprehension. Class materials will be selected from well-known books and films. Writing assignments will be given to develop critical and creative writing skills in Japanese. Small groups based on the students’ proficiency levels will be formed, so that instruction accords with the needs of each group. Two group meetings and two individualized or small group evaluations per week are normally required throughout the semester.

Requisite: JAPA 402 or equivalent. Fall semester.  Professor Tawa.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

425 Proseminar: Research and Writing

(Offered as ASLC 425 and ARHA 425.)  The topic for the seminar changes from year to year; in 2011-12 the topic will be images and icons.  The course will examine their role in various religious traditions, drawing in particular on the discipline of the history of art.  The primary focus will be on images in the Buddhist and Hindu faiths; however, the class will also make comparisons with those in Christianity and the religions of Africa and New Guinea.  Some of the topics to be covered will include the relationship between icons and deities, the authentication and animation of images, the connections between icons and political authority, their use in ritual, and aniconism and iconoclasm. Students will be expected to “write about art,” using formal, stylistic, and iconographic methods of analysis as well as to make a seminar presentation and complete a research paper. 

Open to juniors and seniors with priority given to majors, juniors preparing to write a senior thesis, and seniors who have opted not to write a thesis.  Limited to 15 students.  Fall semester.  Professor Morse.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011

462 The History and Memory of the Asia-Pacific War

(Offered as HIST 477 [AS] and ALSC 462 [J].)  The varied names given to the fifteen years of war conducted by Japan-the Pacific War, the Great East Asian War, the Fifteen-Year War, World War II, and the Asian-Pacific War-reflect the conflicting perspectives that arise from that war. How has the experience of a fifteen-year war during the 1930s and 1940s shaped memory and history in Japan, East Asia, and the United States? This seminar begins with this broad question and pursues related questions: How are the memory and history of war intertwined in both national and international politics? What forms of memory have been included and excluded from dominant historical narratives and commemorative devices? How does critical historiography intersect with the politics and passions of memory? We will use oral histories, primary documents, film, and scholarship to guide our thoughts and discussions. We will begin with a brief history of Japan’s Fifteen-Year War and move on to prominent debates concerning the history and memory of that war. Short response papers and a research paper will be required. One class meeting per week.

Limited to 15 students. Not open to first-year students. Omitted 2011-12. Professor Maxey.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2014

498, 499 Senior Departmental Honors

Fall semester. 

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

Non-Language Departmental Courses

124 Chinese Civilization to 1800

(Offered as HIST 171 [ASP] and ASLC 124 [C].) A survey of Chinese history from ancient times to the eighteenth century. We will focus on texts and artifacts to explore the classical roots and historical development of Chinese statecraft, philosophy, religion, art, and literature. Using these media for evidence, we will trace the histories of inter-state relations, imperial institutions, global commerce, and family-based society through the ancient Han empire, the great age of Buddhism, the medieval period of global trade, and the Confucian bureaucratic empires that followed the Mongol world conquest. We will also compare these histories to those of European and other civilizations, considering Chinese and non-Chinese views of the past. Readings include the Analects of Confucius and other Confucian and Daoist texts, Buddhist tales and early modern fiction, selections from the classic Records of the Grand Historian (Shiji), and Jonathan Spence’s Emperor of China: Self-portrait of Kangxi. Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester. Professor Dennerline.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012

126 Middle Eastern History: 600-1800

(Offered as HIST 190 [MEP] and ASLC 126 [WA].) This course surveys the history of the Middle East from the outset of the Islamic period to the beginning of the modern period. It is divided into the following segments: the formative period of Islam, the classical caliphates, the classical courts, the Mongols, and the great empires of the Ottomans and the Safavids. The course is organized chronologically and follows the making and breaking of empires and political centers; however, the focus of the course is on the intellectual, social, cultural and religious developments in these periods. Two class meetings per week.

Omitted 2011-12. Professor Ringer.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2011, Fall 2012

143 Arts of China

(Offered as ARHA 147 and ASLC 143.) An introduction to the history of Chinese art from its beginnings in neolithic times until the end of the twentieth century. Topics will include the ritual bronze vessels of the Shang and Zhou dynasties, the Chinese transformation of the Buddha image, imperial patronage of painting during the Song dynasty and the development of the literati tradition of painting and calligraphy. Particular weight will be given to understanding the cultural context of Chinese art.

Fall semester. Professor Morse.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Fall 2011

146 Modern China

(Offered as HIST 172 [AS] and ASLC 146 [C].) A survey of Chinese history from the Manchu conquest of 1644 to the present. Beginning with the successes and failures of the imperial state as it faced global economic development, expanding European empires, and internal social change, we will study the Opium War, massive nineteenth-century religious rebellions, Republican revolution and state-building, the “New Culture” movement, Communist revolution, the anti-Japanese war, Mao’s Cultural Revolution, and the problems of post-Mao reform, all with comparative reference to current events. Readings, which include a wide variety of documents such as religious and revolutionary tracts, eye-witness accounts, memoirs, and letters, are supplemented by interpretive essays and videos. Two class meetings per week.

Omitted 2011-12. Professor Dennerline.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Fall 2014

148 The Modern Middle East: 1800-Present

(Offered as HIST 191 [ME] and ASLC 148 [WA].) This course surveys the history of the Middle East from 1800 to the present. The focus is threefold: following political, social and intellectual trends as they evolve over time, exploring contemporary historical and methodological debates and analysis, and introducing students to important historical literature of the period. The class is divided into modules: “From Subject to Citizen,” “Engineering a Modern Middle East,” “Nationalism and the Quest for Independence,” “Islamist Opposition,” and “Taking Sovereignty: Contemporary Debates and the Post-Modern Era.” The class is discussion-oriented and writing intensive. Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester. Professor Ringer.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

152 Introduction to Buddhist Traditions

(Offered as RELI 152 and ASLC 152 [SA].) This course is an introduction to the diverse ideals, practices, and traditions of Buddhism from its origins in South Asia to its geographical and historical diffusion throughout Asia and, more recently, into the west. We will explore the Three Jewels--the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha--and how they each provide refuge for those suffering in samsara (the endless cycle of rebirth). We will engage in close readings of the literary and philosophical texts central to Buddhism, as well as recent historical and anthropological studies of Buddhist traditions.

Fall semester. Professor M. Heim.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

221 Traditional Japanese Literature

[J] This course is an introduction to traditional Japanese literature from the beginning of Japan’s written language to the early commercialization of literature around 1800. The course is organized thematically, but will move in chronological fashion. Whether dealing with tales of courtly romance, the stirring account of the Genpei War in The Tale of the Heike, 17-syllable haiku poems, or the explosively popular play, Chûshingura (the famous story of the 47 rônin), special emphasis will be placed throughout the term on the communal production/consumption of literature, which is one of the distinctive features of artistic life in premodern Japan. This course assumes no prior knowledge of Japan or Japanese, and all texts are taught using English translations.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2011-12. Professor Van Compernolle.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2010

222 Indian Civilization

(Offered as ANTH 221 and ASLC 222 [SA].)  A general introduction to Indian civilization. The course will survey South Asia’s most important social, political, and religious traditions and institutions. It will emphasize the historical framework within which Indian civilization has developed its most characteristic cultural and social patterns. This course is designed for students who are new to South Asia, or for those who have some knowledge of South Asia but have not studied it at the college level.

Fall semester. Professor Babb.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011

225 Japanese History to 1700s

(Offered as HIST 175 [ASP] and ASLC 225 [J].) This is a writing attentive survey of Japan’s history from antiquity to the early-eighteenth century. It traces political, social, and cultural developments in order to provide basic literacy in pre-modern Japanese history and a basis both for comparative history and further course work in Japanese history.  Prominent themes include the rise of early polities, contact with the Chinese continent and Korean peninsula, the aristocratic culture of the Heian court and its displacement by medieval samurai rule, the role of Buddhist thought and institutions, the “warring states” period of the sixteenth-century and cosmopolitan contact with Christian Europe, the Tokugawa peace and its urban cultural forms.  Throughout, we will read a variety of sources, including eighth-century mythology, aristocratic literature, chronicles of war, religious and philosophical texts, as well as modern fiction and film.  Classes will combine lectures with close readings and discussions of the assigned texts.  Requirements include short response papers and topical essays. Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester. Professor Maxey.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Spring 2015

238 From Edo to Tokyo: Japanese Art from 1600 to the Present

(Offered as ARHA 262 and ASLC 238 [J].)  In 1590 the Tokugawa family founded its provincial headquarters in eastern Japan. By the eighteenth century, this castle town, named Edo (now known as Tokyo), had become the world’s largest city. This class will focus on the appearance of artistic traditions in the new urban center and compare them with concurrent developments in the old capital of Kyoto. Topics of discussion will include the revival of classical imagery during the seventeenth century, the rise of an urban bourgeois culture during the eighteenth century, the conflicts brought on by the opening of Japan to the West in the nineteenth century, the reconstruction of Tokyo and its artistic practices after the Second World War, and impact of Japanese architecture, design and popular culture over the past twenty years.

Omitted 2011-12. Professor Morse.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2011

247 Modern Japanese History from 1800 to the 2000s

(Offered as HIST 176 [AS] and ASLC 247 [J].) This course surveys the modern history of the Japanese archipelago, from the late-Tokugawa period through the rise of the modern Meiji nation-state, colonial expansion and total war. We will conclude with the postwar economic recovery and the socio-political challenges facing the Japanese nation-state in the early-2000s. Through primary documents, fiction, and film, we will explore themes including the disestablishment of the samurai class, industrialization, imperialism, feminism, nationalism, war, democracy, and consumerism. Classes will consist of lectures along with close readings and discussions. Requirements include short response papers and topical essays. Three class meetings per week.

Spring semester.  Professor Maxey.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2012

249 China in the World, 1895-1919

(Offered as HIST 275 [AS] and ASLC 249 [C].)  In 1895 the emergent Japanese empire imposed a humiliating defeat on the declining Qing empire in China, began the colonization of Korea and Taiwan, and set in motion the reformist and revolutionary trends that would shape the political culture of the Chinese nation in later times. In 1919, concessions by the Chinese warlord regime in Beijing to Japan at Versailles sparked the student movement that would further radicalize the political culture and ultimately divide the nation politically between Nationalist and Communist regimes. This course focuses on the intellectual, cultural, political, and economic issues of the era in between, when, despite the weakness of the state, the creative visions and efforts of all informed people were in line with those of progressives throughout the world. We will explore these visions and efforts, with special reference to national identities, civil society, and global integration, and we will consider their fate in wartime, Cold War, and post-Cold War Asia. Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester. Professor Dennerline.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012

252 Buddhist Life Writing

(Offered as RELI 252 and ASLC 252) From the biographies of Gotama Buddha to the autobiographies of western converts, life writing plays a central role in teaching Buddhist philosophy, practice, history, and myth. This course explores the diverse forms and purposes of Buddhist life writing in the literary and visual cultures of India, Tibet, Sri Lanka, China, Vietnam, Japan, and America. Reading the lives of eminent saints and laypersons, charismatic teachers, recluses, and political activists, the course aims to broaden understanding of how Buddhists have variously imagined the ideal life. We will pay particular attention to how literary and cultural conventions of genre guide the composition of lives.

Fall semester.  Professor M. Heim

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011

261 Sacred Images and Sacred Space: The Visual Culture of Religion in Japan

(Offered as ARHA 266 and ASLC 261.) An interdisciplinary study of the visual culture of the Buddhist and Shinto religious traditions in Japan. The class will examine in depth a number of Japan's most important sacred places, including Ise Shrine, Tôdaiji, Daitokuji and Mount Fuji, and will also look at the way contemporary architects such as Andô Tadao and Takamatsu Shin have attempted to create new sacred places in Japan today. Particular emphasis will be placed on the ways by which the Japanese have given distinctive form to their religious beliefs through architecture, painting and sculpture, and the ways these objects have been used in religious ritual.

Spring semester. Professor Morse.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2012, Spring 2015

319 The Tea Ceremony and Japanese Culture

(Offered as ARHA 383 and ASLC 319.) An examination of the history of chanoyu, the tea ceremony, from its origins in the fifteenth century to the practice of tea today. The class will explore the various elements that comprise the tea environment-the garden setting, the architecture of the tea room, the forms of tea utensils, and the elements of the kaiseki meal. Through a study of the careers of influential tea masters and texts that examine the historical, religious, and cultural background to tea culture, the class will also trace how the tea ceremony has become a metaphor for Japanese culture and Japanese aesthetics both in Japan and in the West. There will be field trips to visit tea ware collections, potters and tea masters. Two class meetings per week.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2011-12. Professor Morse.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2012

341 Anthropology and the Middle East

(Offered as ANTH 331 and ASLC 341 [WA].)  In an era where “terrorism” has eclipsed the nuclear fears of the Cold War and become associated with a radicalism that is portrayed as at once militant, anti-Western, and bound to a particular region (the Middle East) and religion (Islam), the task of this seminar--to examine the everyday realities of people living throughout the Middle East--has become all the more critical.  Beginning with an historical eye toward the ways that the “West” has discovered, translated, and written about the “Orient,” this seminar will use anthropological readings, documentary film, and literary accounts to consider a range of perspectives on the region commonly referred to as the Middle East.  Rather than attempting a survey of the entire region, the course will take a thematic approach and explore such topics as:  Islam and secularism, colonialism and postcoloniality, gender and political mobilization, media and globalization, and the politics and ethics of nation building.  As an anthropology course, the class will take up these themes through richly contextualized accounts of life within the region.  While it is recognized that the Middle East is incredibly heterogeneous, particular attention will given to the influence and role of Islam.  By the end of the seminar, students will have gained a broad understanding of some of the most pressing issues faced within the area, while at the same time grappling with advanced theoretical readings.  No previous knowledge of the Middle East is assumed.

Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor C. Dole.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012

351 Mother India: Reading Gender and Nation in South Asia

(Offered as WAGS 366, ASLC 351, and FAMS 325.)  Do you often wonder why some countries are referred to as the “motherland” and others as the “fatherland”? What and who decides how we refer to a country? In this course, we will examine seismic changes over time in gendered imaginings of the Indian subcontinent. As women stepped out of the domestic sphere to participate in the nationalist struggle of the late 19th century, the idea of the nation swayed dramatically between the nation as wife and the nation as mother in the Indian popular imagination. Readings will include novels such as Rabindranath Tagore’s Home and the World and Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. We will also study a range of cinematic texts from the classic Mother India to the recent feminist film Silent Waters.

Limited to 20 students.  Omitted 2011-12.  Professor Shandilya.

2013-14: Not offered

355 Early Islam: Construction of an Historical Tradition

(Offered as HIST 393 [MEP] and ASLC 355 [WA].)  This course examines in depth the formative period of Islam between c. 500-680. Using predominantly primary material, we will chart the emergence, success, and evolution of Islam, the Islamic community, and the Islamic polity. The focus of this course is on understanding the changing nature over time of peoples’ understanding of and conception of what Islam was and what Islam implied socially, religiously, culturally and politically. We concentrate on exploring the growth of the historical tradition of Islam and its continued contestations amongst scholars today. This course will familiarize students with the events, persons, ideas, texts and historical debates concerning this period. It is not a course on the religion or beliefs of Islam, but a historical deconstruction and analysis of the period. This class is writing intensive. Two class meetings per week.

Admission with consent of the instructor. Not open to first-year students. Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2011-12.  Professor Ringer.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2013, Fall 2014

363 Women in the Middle East

(Offered as HIST 397 [ME], ASLC 363 [WA], and WAGS 362.) The course examines the major developments, themes and issues in woman’s history in the Middle East. The first segment of the course concerns the early Islamic period and discusses the impact of the Quran on the status of women, the development of Islamic religious traditions and Islamic law. Questions concerning the historiography of this “formative” period of Islamic history, as well as hermeneutics of the Quran will be the focus of this segment. The second segment of the course concerns the 19th- and 20th-century Middle East. We will investigate the emergence and development of the “woman question,” the role of gender in the construction of Middle Eastern nationalisms, women’s political participation, and the debates concerning the connections between women, gender, and religious and cultural traditions. The third segment of the course concerns the contemporary Middle East, and investigates new developments and emerging trends of women’s political, social and religious activism in different countries. The course will provide a familiarity with the major primary texts concerning women and the study of women in the Middle East, as well as with the debates concerning the interpretation of texts, law, religion, and history in the shaping of women’s status and concerns in the Middle East today. This class is conducted as a seminar. Two class meetings per week.

Limited to 20 students. Fall semester. Professor Ringer.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2014

384 The Japanese Image Replicated:  Prints, Postcards, and Photographs

(Offered as ARHA 384 and ASLC 384.)  An image that can be replicated serves a very different function from a single unique work of art; it addresses new audiences and elicits a wider range of responses. This seminar will explore three different types of replication in Japan—woodblock printing, lithography, and photography. Japanese prints have captured the imaginations of Westerners since the mid-nineteenth century. With the unprecedented achievement of literacy among urban populations during the early sixteenth century, Japan developed highly inventive woodblock texts and images. This seminar will investigate the history of the Japanese print in the Edo period (1615 -1868) through the works of artists such as Suzuki Harunobu, Kitagawa Utamaro, Katsushika Hokusai, and Utagawa Hiroshige. It will also examine how the postcard replaced the print as the favored format for the dissemination of images during the early twentieth century, becoming the primary visual means for communicating Japan’s modernity before the advent of World War II. In Japan, photography evolved from studio productions for tourist souvenirs to extremely creative compositions that transcend national boundaries. The course will make extensive use of the collection at the Mead Art Museum as well as that at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.  One class meeting per week held in the Study Room at the Mead.

Spring semester.  Limited to 15 students. Visiting Lecturer A. Morse.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012

452 South Asian Feminist Cinema

(Offered as WAGS 469, ASLC  452 [SA], and FAMS 322.)  How do we define the word “feminism”? Can the term be used to define cinematic texts outside the Euro-American world? In this course we will study a range of issues that have been integral to feminist theory--the body, domesticity, same sex desire, gendered constructions of the nation, feminist utopias and dystopias--through a range of South Asian cinematic texts. Through our viewings and readings we will consider whether the term “feminist” can be applied to these texts, and we will experiment with new theoretical lenses for exploring these films. Films will range from Satyajit Ray’s classic masterpiece Charulata to Gurinder Chadha’s trendy diasporic film, Bend It Like Beckham. Attendance for screenings on Monday is compulsory.

Limited to 20 students.  Spring semester.  Professor Shandilya.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2014

459 Inside Iran

(Offered as HIST 492 [ME] and ALSC 459 [WA].)  This seminar explores contemporaryIranfrom a historical and interdisciplinary perspective. The aim of the course is both to provide an overall understanding of the history ofIran, as well as those key elements of religion, literature, legend, and politics that together shapeIran's understanding of itself. We will utilize a wide variety of sources, including Islamic and local histories, Persian literature, architecture, painting and ceramics, film, political treatises, Shiite theological writing, foreign travel accounts, and U.S. state department documents, in addition to secondary sources.  Two class meetings per week.

Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students.  Not open to first-year students.  Omitted 2011-12. Professor Ringer.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011

465 Middle Eastern Court Culture

(Offered as HIST 495 [MEP] and ASLC 465 [WA].)  Middle Eastern court culture--the culture of the royal courts of both pre-Islamic and Islamic kings and royalty--has long been esteemed as an inspiration of visual arts, heroic epics, and poetry. Court culture is also widespread, forming an important shared element in Persian, Arab and Turkish dynasties throughout the centuries. What has been insufficiently appreciated, however, is court culture’s rich contribution to political theory, ethics and the role of women in society. This seminar will illuminate these contributions from the pre-Islamic, classical and early modern Middle Eastern court cultures, using both visual arts and texts. The emphasis will be on exploring both their complementarities and tensions with “Islamic” culture as together they form the principle pillars of arts, ethics and political theory in the Middle East. One class meeting per week.

Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Not open to first-year students. Omitted 2011-12. Professor Ringer.

2013-14: Not offered

470 Seminar on Modern China: The People and the State

(Offered as HIST 478 [AS] and ASLC 470 [C].) Political thinkers and activists inside China and throughout the world today puzzle over the relationship between the people and the state.  Where do state functions and state control begin and end?  How do the global economy, China’s increasing regional hegemony, internal migration, NGOs, rural protest, and the internet influence the relationship between the people and the state?  Fundamental questions about the relationship between the people and the state have occupied thinkers and activists since the beginning of the twentieth century.  Reformers in China tried to transform the imperial state into a constitutional monarchy, revolutionaries tried to create a Republic, Nationalists tried to build a “corporatist state,” and Communists tried to create a Socialist one.  At each stage, the state-makers “imagined” the people, mobilized them, categorized them, and tried to control them.  The people became subjects, citizens, nationals, and “the masses.”  They divided themselves by native place, region, language, ethnicity, political party, class, and educational status.  Chinese people in Southeast Asia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, have imagined themselves in relation to both “the ancestral land” and the colonial or national states under which they live.  The process is by no means over.  This seminar will focus on the problem of “imagining” and mobilizing people in China and these other states over the past century.  General topics will include the ideas, the intellectual and educational context, and the mobilizations of urban and rural communities, commercial and religious groups, and NGOs.  Research topics will depend on the interests of students.  One class meeting per week.

Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 20 students. Not open to first-year students.  Omitted 2011-12.  Professor Dennerline.

2013-14: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2013

Japanese

101 Introduction to the Japanese Language

This course is designed for students who have never previously studied Japanese. The course will introduce the overall structure of Japanese, basic vocabulary, the two syllabaries of the phonetic system, and some characters (Kanji). The course will also introduce the notion of “cultural appropriateness for expressions,” and will provide practice and evaluations for all four necessary skills--speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Students will be required to practice with the materials that are on the course website at the college. Two group meetings and two individualized or small group evaluations per week are normally required throughout the semester.

Fall semester. Senior Lecturer Kayama, Five-College Lecturer Brown and Professor Tawa.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

102 Building Survival Skills in Japanese

This course is a continuation of JAPA 101. The course will emphasize active learning by each student in the class by means of the materials in the course website and individualized or small group discussions with the instructor. Small groups based on the students’ proficiency levels will be formed, so that instruction accords with the needs of each group. By the end of this course, students are expected to be familiar with most basic Japanese structures, to have acquired a substantial vocabulary, and to have gained sufficient speaking, listening, reading, and writing proficiency levels, which will enable the students to survive using Japanese in Japan. As for literacy, a few hundred new characters (Kanji) will be added by reading and writing longer passages. Two group meetings and two individualized or small group evaluations per week are normally required throughout the semester.

Requisite: JAPA 101 or equivalent. Spring semester. Senior Lecturer Kayama.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

103 Review and Progress in Japanese

This course is designed for students who have already begun studying Japanese in high school, other schools, or at home before coming to Amherst, but have not finished learning basic Japanese structures or acquired a substantial number of characters (Kanji). This course is also for individuals whose proficiency levels of the four skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) are uneven to a noticeable degree. Small groups based on the students’ proficiency levels will be formed, so that instruction accords with the needs of each group. Students will be required to practice with the materials that are on the course website at the college. Two group meetings and two individualized or small group evaluations per week are normally required throughout the semester.

Requisite: Some Japanese instruction in high school, home, or college. Fall semester. Senior Lecturer Kayama, Five-College Lecturer Brown, and Professor Tawa.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

104 Beyond Basic Japanese

This course is a continuation of JAPA 101. The course will emphasize active learning from each student in the class by the use of the materials on the course website and individual or small group discussions with the instructor. By the end of this course, students are expected to be able to use basic Japanese structures with a substantial vocabulary and to have attained post-elementary speaking, listening, reading, and writing proficiency levels. As for literacy, a few hundred new characters (Kanji) will be added by reading and writing longer passages. Small groups based on the students’ proficiency levels will be formed, so that instruction accords with the needs of each group. Students will be required to practice with the materials that are on the course website at the college. Two group meetings and two individualized or small group evaluations per week are normally required throughout the semester.

Requisite: JAPA 101 or equivalent. Spring semester. Senior Lecturer Kayama, Five-College Lecturer Brown and Professor Tawa.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

201 Communicating in Sophisticated Japanese

This course is designed for students who have completed the acquisition of basic structures of Japanese and have learned a substantial number of characters (Kanji) and are comfortable using them spontaneously. The course will emphasize the development of all four skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) at a more complex, multi-paragraph level. For example, students will be trained to speak more spontaneously and with cultural appropriateness in given situations using concrete as well as abstract expressions on a sustained level of conversation. As for literacy, students will be given practice reading and writing using several hundred characters (Kanji). Small groups based on the students’ proficiency levels will be formed, so that instruction accords with the needs of each group. Students will be required to practice with the materials that are on the course website at the college. Two group meetings and two individualized or small group evaluations per week are normally required throughout the semester.

Requisite: JAPA 102 or 104, or equivalent. Fall semester. Senior Lecturer Miyama and Professor Tawa.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

209H Conquering Kanji I

Japanese uses three different writing systems, one of which is called Kanji, with characters that were borrowed from China. A linguist, R.A. Miller (1986) in his book Nihongo (Japanese), writes: “The Japanese writing system is, without question, the most complicated and involved system of script employed today by any nation on earth; it is also one of the most complex orthographies ever employed by any culture anywhere at any time in human history.” The difficulty lies not merely in the number of characters that students must learn (roughly a couple of thousand), but also in the unpredictable nature of the ways these characters are used in Japanese. It is not possible in regular Japanese language classes to spend very much time on the writing system because the students must learn other aspects of the language in a limited number of class hours. This writing system is, however, not impossible to learn. In this half course, the students will learn the Japanese writing system historically and metacognitively, in group as well as individual sessions, and aim to overcome preconceived notions of difficulty related to the learning of Kanji. Each student in this class is expected to master roughly 500 Kanji that are used in different contexts.

Requisite: JAPA 101 or its equivalent. Fall semester. Professor Tawa.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

210H Conquering Kanji II

This half course serves either as continuation of JAPA 209H or the equivalent of 209H. See JAPA 209H for the course content.

Requisite: JAPA 101 or its equivalent. Spring semester. Professor Tawa.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

301 Introduction to Different Genres of Japanese Writing and Film

This course will introduce different genres of writing: short novels, essays, newspaper and magazine articles, poems, expository prose, scientific writings, and others. Various genres of films will also be introduced. Development of higher speaking and writing proficiency levels will be focused upon as well. The class will be conducted entirely in Japanese. Small groups based on the students’ proficiency levels will be formed, so that instruction accords with the needs of each group. Students will be required to practice with the materials that are on the course website at the college. Two group meetings and two individualized or small group evaluations per week are normally required throughout the semester.

Requisite: JAPA 202 or equivalent.  Fall semester.  Professor Tawa.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

401 Introduction to Thematic Reading and Writing

This course is designed for the advanced students of Japanese who are interested in readings and writings on topics that are relevant to their interests. Each student will learn how to search for the relevant material, read it, and summarize it in writing in a technical manner. The course will also focus on the development of a high level of speaking proficiency. Small groups based on the students’ proficiency levels will be formed, so that instruction accords with the needs of each group. Two group meetings and two individualized or small group evaluations per week are normally required throughout the semester.

Requisite: JAPA 302 or equivalent. Fall semester. Five College Lecturer Brown and Professor Tawa.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

412 Great Books and Films in the Original

This course is a continuation of JAPA 411. The course is designed for students who possess a high proficiency level of speaking but need training in cover-to-cover reading or film comprehension. Class materials will be selected from well-known books and films. Writing assignments will be given to develop critical and creative writing skills in Japanese. Small groups based on the students’ proficiency levels will be formed, so that instruction accords with the needs of each group. Two group meetings and two individualized or small group evaluations per week are normally required throughout the semester.

Requisite: JAPA 411 or equivalent. Spring semester. Professor Tawa. 

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

490H, 490 Special Topics

Half course.  Fall and spring semesters.

2013-14: Offered in Fall 2013 and Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

Related Courses

202 Second-Year Chinese II

This course is a continuation of CHIN 201. By the end of the semester, most of the basic grammatical structures will be addressed. This course continues to help students develop higher proficiency level on the four skills. Class will be conducted mostly in Chinese. There will be three meetings and two drill sessions each week. This course prepares students for CHIN 301.

Requisite: CHIN 201 or equivalent. Limited to 28 students, maximum enrollment of 8 students per discussion section. Spring semester. Senior Lecturer Li.

2013-14: Offered in Spring 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015
 

Yushien Garden