Asian Languages and Civilizations

2012-13

Arabic

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. Fall semester. Five College Senior Lecturer Hassan.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

102 First-Year Arabic II

A continuation of ARAB 101.

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

Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

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. Limited to 18 students. Fall semester.  Five College Senior Lecturer Hassan. 

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

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. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester.  Five College Senior Lecturer Hassan.

Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

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. Limited to 18 students.  Omitted 2012-13.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

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. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2012-13.

Other years: Offered in Spring 2023, Spring 2024

401 Fourth Year Arabic - Media Arabic

Media Arabic is an advanced language course at the 400 level. Students are required to complete a set amount of material during the semester. Media Arabic introduces the language of print and the Internet news media to students of Arabic seeking to reach the advanced level. It makes it possible for those students to master core vocabulary and structures typical of front-page news stories, recognize various modes of coverage, distinguish fact from opinion, detect bias and critically read news in Arabic. The course enables students to read extended texts with greater accuracy at the advanced level by focusing on meaning, information structure, language form, and markers of cohesive discourse. The prerequisite for Media Arabic is the equivalent of three years of college-level Arabic study in a classroom course that includes both reading/writing skills and speaking/listening skills. The final grade is determined by participation and assignments, two term-papers and a final paper, a final written exam, an oral presentation and a comprehensive oral exam. Participation in the program requires significant independent work and initiative.

Requisite: ARAB 302 or equivalent. Limited to 18 students. Fall semester. Five College Senior Lecturer Hassan.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

402 Topics in Arabic Language and Culture

This Arabic Language course is designed to further promote the development of advanced level proficiency in all four-language skills according to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Proficiency Guidelines. It aims to achieve that objective by training students to use more precise vocabulary, to be able to make more complicated arguments, and to begin to engage in abstract topics in a context of a rich cultural component. The course introduces students to authentic Arabic materials, strengthens and enhances their grammar, and reinforces linguistic accuracy. A significant amount of authentic supplementary texts, video and audio materials will be used from a variety of genres to cover the thematic modules of the course that will include, but are not limited to, Arabic social tradition, religion and politics, literature, women and gender issues in the Middle East, culture and history, arts and cinema. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to communicate and understand narrative and description in all time frames as well as begin to support opinions, hypothesize, and speak and write accurately in extended discourses. Students will be able to listen to and understand the main points and details of a speech, academic lecture or news broadcast. The course builds advanced Arabic competence, using communicative approaches to the learning of linguistic skills, function, and accuracy in both formal and informal registers.  

Requisite: ARAB 302 or equivalent. Limited to 18 students.  Spring semester.  Senior Lecturer Hassan.

Other years: Offered in Spring 2024

Asian Languages & Civilization

123 Arts of Japan

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2013, Fall 2017, Fall 2019, Fall 2021

124 Chinese Civilization to 1800

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

126 Middle Eastern History: 600-1800

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2017, Spring 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

142 Visual Culture of the Islamic World

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2023

143 Arts of China

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2013, Spring 2018, Spring 2022

146 Modern China

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2021

148 The Modern Middle East: 1800-Present

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Fall 2017, Fall 2019, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

173 Introduction to Medieval and Early Modern South Asia: From the Delhi Sultanates to Mughal Successor States, 1200-1800 A.D.

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2016, Spring 2018, Fall 2023

174 Introduction to Modern South Asian History

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2017

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

Offered as ASLC 220 [J] and ARCH 220.)  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 bourgeois 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.  Fall semester.  Professors Morse and Van Compernolle.

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2022

225 Japanese History to 1700s

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Spring 2015

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. Spring semester.  Professor Van Compernolle.

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2016, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2022

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

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2011, Spring 2014

247 Modern Japanese History from 1800 to the 2000s

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Spring 2018, Spring 2020

249 China in the World, 1895-1919

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

252 Buddhist Life Writing

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2014, Spring 2018

260 Buddhist Art of Asia

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2021, Spring 2023

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

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2015, Fall 2023

267 The Arts of the Book in Iran and Islamic South Asia, 1250-1650

Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2024

270 Muslim Lives in South Asia

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2015

271 Caste in Modern South Asian History

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2016, Fall 2018

315 Inequalities in Contemporary China

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012

318 Chinese Childrearing

Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Fall 2015, Spring 2018, Fall 2020, Spring 2023, Fall 2024

319 The Tea Ceremony and Japanese Culture

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2018, Spring 2020

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.

Omitted 2012-13.  Professor Zamperini.

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

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. Priority given to Asian Studies and WAGS majors. Others admitted to balance by class year and major. Omitted 2012-13. Professor Zamperini.

2024-25: 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.  Priority given to ASLC and WAGS majors. Others admitted to balance by class year and major. Omitted 2012-13. Professor Zamperini.

2024-25: 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 2012-13. 

2024-25: Not offered

341 Anthropology and the Middle East

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2019

355 Early Islam: Construction of an Historical Tradition

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2019, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

363 Women in the Middle East

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2014

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 Chambers. 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. In spring 2013 we will read the English translation of Xiyou ji, Journey to the West. As we explore this text, 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; Buddhism in China and its meanings and roles in literature and art; buddhafields, paradises, and hells; Daoist and Buddhist magic; the figure and the fortune of Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, in narratives past and present; ghosts, demons and exorcism; travel narratives and geographical wonders; desire, sexuality, femininity, masculinity, and their discontents. In addition to Xiyou ji, representative theoretical work in the field of pre-modern Chinese literature will be incorporated as much as possible.

Previous knowledge of Chinese literature and culture is not required.  Spring semester.  Professor Zamperini.

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2013

452 South Asian Feminist Cinema

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2019

459 Inside Iran

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2017, Spring 2020, Fall 2021

462 The History and Memory of the Asia-Pacific War

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2014, Spring 2018, Fall 2020

470 Seminar on Modern China: The People and the State

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

490 Special Topics

Independent Reading Course.

Fall and spring semesters.  Members of the Department.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024

493 Turkey: From Empire to Republic

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Spring 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

498, 499 Senior Departmental Honors

Spring semester.

Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

Departmental Courses

152 Introduction to Buddhist Traditions

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

Non-Language Departmental Courses

221 Canons and Traditions: Japanese Literature to 1750

[J] Before the emergence of print capitalism and the proliferation of books, literature was one of the repositories of cultural memory in Japan. Pre-modern authors alluded to and appropriated the writings of their predecessors as a way to bind their own creations to the great works from the past, but they also necessarily transformed the literature of their forebears in the process. A long-term perspective, stretching from the beginning of Japan’s written language to the early commercialization of literature in the eighteenth century, can best help us understand how canons, traditions, and genres emerge, develop, and become destabilized over time as part of the construction of and contestation over cultural memory. We will also examine a variety of genres, including courtly love poetry, war tales touched by many hands, Chinese verse composed by Japanese monks, theatrical forms for audiences large and small, and travel journals that overlay a literary topography on the physical landscape, among others. This course assumes no prior knowledge of Japan or Japanese, and all texts are taught using English translations.

Omitted 2012-13. Professor Van Compernolle.

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Spring 2022

233 Words, Self, and Society: Japanese Literature Since 1750

[J] In the past two and a half centuries, Japan has experienced vertiginous transformations, including the rise of a money economy, the encounter with the West, rapid modernization, imperial expansion, war, defeat, democratization, and its postwar reemergence as a technological and economic superpower. This course will examine how literature has both reflected and responded to these disorienting changes. We will focus on how varied social, historical, and aesthetic contexts contribute to the pendulum swings among artistic positions: the belief that literature has an important role to play in the exploration of the relationship between society and the individual; the fascination with the very materials of artistic creation and the concomitant belief that literature can only ever be about itself; and the urgent yet paradoxical attempt, in the writing of traumas such as the atomic bombings, to capture experiences that may be beyond representation. This course assumes no prior knowledge of Japan or Japanese, and all texts are taught using English translations.

Spring semester.  Professor Van Compernolle.

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2017, Spring 2021

235 An Introduction to Contemporary Chinese Cinema

(Offered as ASLC 235 [C] and FAMS 326.)  In the last fifteen years, Chinese films have regularly won important awards in international film festivals. Who are the major filmmakers, actors and producers in the People’s Republic of China today? How can the recent success be traced to the Chinese film industry that has thrived since 1905? This course introduces the world of contemporary cinematic representations and discourses in the People’s Republic of China in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a focus on how social, political and cultural changes of modern and contemporary China find their expressions in films.

By focusing on the work of directors like Zhang Yimou and Jiang Wen, Jia Zhangke and Cui zi’en, as well as Xu Jinglei and Du Haibin, we will discuss millennial utopias and dystopias, gender and transgender, modernity and cultural identity, history and memory, urban culture, relocation and social migration. Students will learn to develop a critical understanding of Chinese society and culture through film, as well as to use and analyze film language.

No previous knowledge of Chinese cinema and culture is required. Fall semester. Professor Zamperini.

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012

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 the study of sources authored by women throughout the course of Chinese history. We will deal with a wide range of material, 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 literary 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. Focusing on issues such as foot-binding, sexuality, violence, and love, in the works of writers such as Li Qingzhao and Zhang Ailing, 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.

Fall semester.  Professor Zamperini.

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2012

Departmental Courses

253 Theravada Buddhism

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2016, Spring 2021

254 Reading Early Buddhist Texts: Mind, Meditation, and Transformation

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013

282 Muhammad and the Qur'an

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2018, Spring 2020

Non-Language Departmental Courses

326 Enlightening Passion: Sexuality and Gender in Tibetan Buddhism

(Offered as ASLC 326, RELI 326 and WAGS 326.)  In this course we will study the lives of prominent female teachers in Tibetan Buddhism from its inception up to the present day. Our focus will be on reconstructing the narratives of the trajectories to realization that women like Yedshe Tsogyal, Mandarava, Yid Thogma, Machig Labdron, Sera Khandro, and Ayu Khandro, among others, undertook, often at high personal and societal cost. By utilizing biographical and--as much as possible--autobiographical records (in English translation), we will analyze the religious and social aspects of these women’s choice to privilege the Vajarayana path to enlightenment, often (but not always), at the expense of more conventional and accepted lifestyles. In order to do so, we will explore in depth the meanings attached to femininity, masculinity, sexuality, and gender dynamics within Tibetan monastic and lay life.

The course will combine methodology from Buddhist studies, Tibetan studies, women and gender studies, critical theory, and literary criticism in an effort to unravel and explore the complex negotiations that Buddhist female teachers engaged in during their spiritual pursuit, in the context of traditional as well as contemporary Tibetan culture.

Recommended requisite:  Previous knowledge of Tibetan culture and Buddhism.  Spring semester.  Professor Zamperini.

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013

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 2012-13.  Professor Van Compernolle.

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Fall 2017

Departmental Courses

352 Buddhist Ethics

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2012, Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

356 The Islamic Mystical Tradition

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015

Chinese

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 Li.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

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 Li.

Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

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 2 students per section. Fall semester. Senior Lecturer Teng.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

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.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

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 Lecturers Shen and Teng.

Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

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.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

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.

Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

490 Special Topics

Independent Reading Course.

Fall and spring semester. Members of the Department.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024

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 32 students, maximum enrollment of 8 students per discussion section. Spring semester. Senior Lecturer Teng.

Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

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 and Professor Tawa.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024

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 and Five-College Lecturer Brown.

Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024

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 Miyama, Five-College Lecturer Brown, and Professor Tawa.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024

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 and Professor Tawa.

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, 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, Five-College Lecturer Brown, and Professor Tawa.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024

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.

Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2024

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 104 or its equivalent. Fall semester. Professor Tawa.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2024

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 104 or its equivalent. Spring semester. Professor Tawa.

Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2024

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.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024

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.

Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024

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. Professor Tawa.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024

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.

Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

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.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024

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. 

Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2024

490, 490H Special Topics

Half course.  Fall and spring semester.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024