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.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
This is a continuation of First-Year Arabic I. We will complete the study of the Elementary Arabic AlKitaab book sequence along with additional instructional materials. Emphasis will be on the integrated development of all language skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking – using a communicative-oriented, proficiency-based approach. By the end of this semester, you will acquire vocabulary, grammatical knowledge, and language skills necessary for everyday interactions as well as skills that will allow you to communicate with a limited working proficiency in a variety of situations, read and write about a variety of factual material and familiar topics in non-technical prose. In addition to the textbook exercises, you will write short essays, do oral and video presentations and participate in role plays, discussions, and conversations throughout the semester in addition to extra-curricular activities and a final project.
Requisite: ARAB 101 or equivalent. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Five College Senior Lecturer Hassan.2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
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 Lecturer Al-Shalchi.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
This is a continuation of Second-Year Arabic I. We will complete the study of the AlKitaab II book sequence along with additional instructional materials. In this course, we will continue perfecting knowledge of Arabic integrating the four skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing using a communicative-oriented, proficiency-based approach. By the end of this semester, you should have sufficient comprehension in Arabic to understand most routine social demands and most non-technical real-life conversations as well as some discussions on concrete topics related to particular interests and special fields of competence in a general professional proficiency level. You will have broad enough vocabulary that will enable you to read within a normal range of speed with almost complete comprehension a variety of authentic prose material and be able to write about similar topics. Also by the end of this semester, you should have a wide range of communicative language ability including grammatical knowledge, discourse knowledge and sociolinguistic knowledge of the Arabic language. You should expect text assignments as well as work with DVDs, audio and video materials and websites. Exercises and activities include essay writing, social interactions, role plays and in-class conversations, oral and video presentations that cover the interplay of language and culture, extra-curricular activities and a final project.
Requisite: ARAB 201 or equivalent or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Five College Senior Lecturer Al-Shalchi.2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
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. Fall semester. Five College Lecturer Al-Shalchi.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
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. Spring Semester. Five College Senior Lecturer Al-Shalchi.2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
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. Omitted 2013-14.
2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
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.
2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Independent Reading Course.
Fall and spring semester. Five College Teachers of Arabic.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 148 and ASLC 123.) 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 2013-14. Professor Morse.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
(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.2019-20: Not offered
(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.
Fall semester. Professor Ringer.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHS 152 and ASLC 142.) This introductory course explores the architecture, manuscripts, painting, textiles, decorative arts, material culture, and popular art of the Islamic world, from the late seventh century C.E., touching on the present. It follows a basic chronology, but is structured primarily through thematic issues central to the study of Islamic visual culture, including, but not limited to: orality and textuality, geometry and ornament, optics and perception, sacred and royal space, the image and aniconism, modernity and tradition, and artistic exchange with Europe, China, and beyond. The class will focus on the relationships between visual culture, history, and literature, analyzing specific sites or objects, for example the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, carved ivory boxes from Spain, luxury manuscripts from Cairo, gardens of Iran, and contemporary art from Pakistan, alongside primary and secondary texts. Films, audio recordings, and field-trips to local museum collections will supplement assigned readings and lectures. Participation in class discussion, a significant component of the course, is expected. No previous background is presumed, and all readings will be available in English.
Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Five College Fellow Rice.2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
(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.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as RELI 143 and ASLC 144.) This course explores central ideas and practices in the religious and intellectual traditions of India up until the medieval period. We consider the range of available archeological, art historical, and textual evidence for religion in this period, though the course focuses mostly on texts. We will read the classic religious and philosophical literature of the traditions we now call Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.
Fall semester. Professor M. Heim.2019-20: Not offered
(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 2013-14. Professor Dennerline.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
(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.
Omitted 2013-14. Professor Ringer.2019-20: Not offered
(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.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
(Offered as HIST 173 [ASP] and ASLC 173 [SA].)This course presents an introduction to major themes and developments in medieval and early modern South Asian history with a focus on the emergence and flourishing of Islamicate regimes in the sub-continent. Commencing with the growth of Islamic polities in South Asia, the course explores the Delhi Sultanate, various syncretistic and devotional sects and movements, the Vijayanagara Empire, and the Mughal Empire, as well as politics, religion, literature, art, architecture, and trade under these formations. Readings are drawn from a variety of both primary and secondary sources and combine perspectives offered by political, social, and cultural history. The course aims at providing a broad overview of six centuries of the sub-continent’s past, coupled with closer attention to select themes. Challenging both colonialist and early nationalist views of this vast period as one of stagnation and tyranny, the course seeks to demonstrate the vitality and dynamism characterizing these centuries of the second millennium. We will lay particular emphasis on the processes of transculturation between the Islamic and Indic through which the South Asian medieval was lived. Two class meetings per week.
Omitted 2013-14. Professor Sen.
2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as HIST 174 [AS] and ASLC 174 [SA].) This survey course introduces key themes and events in the making of modern South Asia. The objective is to provide a skeletal historical narrative of the various transformations the subcontinent and its peoples experienced through the colonial and post-colonial eras. A variety of primary sources and audio and visual materials will be utilized in conjunction with excerpts from panoramic textbooks as well as portions of monographs, combining perspectives from political, social, cultural and economic history. Commencing with the transitions occurring in the middle to late 18th century, the course explores some of the major historical developments in South Asia until the present moment including the East India Company-state, colonial and imperial rule, social reform, the revolt of 1857, Indian nationalism, caste and communal conflict, and the struggles for post-colonial democracy. Two class meetings per week.
Spring semester. Professor Sen.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ANTH 200 and ASLC 200) In what ways are the experiences and perspectives of people in contemporary China different from those of people in other places and times, and in what ways are they similar? What accounts for these similarities and differences? How can anthropology help us to understand China? What can the study of China contribute to anthropology? This course will help students answer these questions by reading, discussing, and writing about recent books and articles about China.
Limited to 25 students. Fall Semester. Professor Fong.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as POSC 208 [CP] [SC, IL - Starting with the class of 2015 ] and ASLC 208.) This course provides an introduction to the major institutions, actors, and ideas that shape contemporary Chinese politics. Through an examination of texts from the social sciences as well as historical narratives and film, we will analyze the development of the current party-state, the relationship between the state and society, policy challenges, and prospects for further reform. First, we examine the political history of the People’s Republic, including the Maoist period and the transition to market reforms. Next, we will interrogate the relations between various social groups and the state, through an analysis of contentious politics in China including the ways in which the party-state seeks to maintain social and political stability. Finally, we will examine the major policy challenges in contemporary China including growing inequality, environmental degradation, waning economic growth, and foreign policy conflicts.
Limited to 50 students. Fall semester. Professor Ratigan.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as POSC 209 [CP/IR ] [ G - Starting with the class of 2015 ] and ASLC 209.) This course will analyze China's foreign relations, major foreign policy challenges, and China's role in the international community. To understand the context in which foreign policy is made, we will begin the course by examining the domestic forces that shape foreign policy, including the role of elites and popular nationalism. We will then turn to China’s relations with its neighbors in the Asia-Pacific region with a particular focus on political hot-spots and areas of territorial dispute or historical conflict such as relations with Japan and Taiwan. We will also broaden our focus to examine China’s relations with other regions of the world including North America, Europe, Latin America, and Africa. Finally, we will evaluate the evolution of China’s engagement with international organizations, such as the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. We will assess the impact that China has had on international discourse related to human rights and democracy and analyze the implications of a “Beijing Consensus” as an alternative narrative for the international system.
Limited to 35 students. Spring semester. Professor Ratigan.2019-20: Not offered
(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. Omitted 2013-14. Professors Morse and Van Compernolle.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
[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.
Fall semester. Professor Van Compernolle.2019-20: Not offered
This course will examine the interplay of gender and national identity in post-colonial South Asian cinema. We will begin by tracing the development of the film industry in the region with reference to the historical and political context. We will look at the different streams of South Asian cinema, from mainstream "Bollywood" movies to regional/national cinema to parallel and diasporic film. Within this framework, we will examine the shifting feminine and masculine representations of nationhood, and the way they intersect with religious identity. Specific topics include a critical analysis of the portrayal of women in the films of Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak, the mother-goddess construct of Indian nationalism in mainstream cinema, thematic treatments of the relationship between machismo and Hindu/Muslim revivalism, and gender and Muslim identity in the cinema of Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Spring semester. Visiting Professor Masud.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as SOCI 230 and ASLC 230.) East Asia has been booming, economically—first Japan, then Korea and Taiwan, and now China. In this course, we will study both what made the economic boom in these countries possible and what social issues have arisen in each country because of the particular social system that arose through its process of economic development. In particular, we will consider patterns of social inequality. In the case of Japan and Korea, we will focus on understanding important inequality patterns that arose during the economic development in the 1970s and 1980s and their enduring effect on current society, such as youth unemployment and gender inequality. As for China, we will study how the rapid economic development generated social inequalities (such as glaring income inequality and urban-rural inequality) different from those observed in Japan and Korea. Through the readings and class discussions, students will learn about the lives of people who live in these East Asian societies: How are the societies organized? What are the critical social issues in these countries? How are these societies both similar and different?
Limited to 20 students. Fall semester. Professor Mun.2019-20: Not offered
[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.
Omitted 2013-14. Professor Van Compernolle.2019-20: Not offered
(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.
Spring semester. Professor Van Compernolle.2019-20: Not offered
(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. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Zamperini.2019-20: Not offered
(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.
Spring semester. Professor Morse.2019-20: Not offered
(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.
Omitted 2013-14. Professor Zamperini.2019-20: Not offered
(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.
Fall semester. Professor Maxey.2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
(Offered as HIST 275 [AS] and ASLC 249 [C].) This course is designed as an introduction to local and global themes in the history of modern China. We will focus on the period between the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95 and the Treaty of Versailles and Chinese May Fourth Movement of 1919, which launched the Communist revolution. The major issues of this period have taken on new significance since the end of the Cold War. They include 1) Chinese responses to and participation in the developing global economy, 2) approaches to political, economic, and cultural reform, 3) problems of national and cultural identity in China and abroad, 4) modern experience and new issues of class, gender, and educational status. Major events include imperial reform movements, the Boxer uprising, the anti-American boycott of 1905, popular resistance movements, the Republican revolution of 1911, and the advent of the New Culture movement after 1915. Two class meetings per week.
Fall semester. Professor Dennerline.2019-20: Not offered
(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.
Spring semester. Professor M. Heim2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ANTH 255 and ASLC 255) This course on South Asian public culture starts from the premise that modernity today is a global experience. Most societies today possess the means to produce local versions of the modern, as Arjun Appadurai and Carol Breckenridge have argued. In this course, we will collectively approach mass culture in South Asia--a staggeringly complex cultural entity--with an eye towards understanding emergent forms of subjectivity, agency, pleasure, and embodied experience. While rethinking the predominantly European notions of publicity, we will study how popular culture in South Asia reflects the intersecting processes of nationalism, globalization, and economic liberalization. Our focus will be on the interface of media and modernity, and in so doing, on the complex negotiations between cultural producers and consumers. We will discuss film, advertising, spatial politics, and popular art to make sense of the region’s postcolonial public life.
Limited to 25 student. Fall semester. Professor Chowdhury.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 261 and as ASLC 260.) Visual imagery plays a central role in the Buddhist faith. As the religion developed and spread throughout Asia it took many forms. This class will first examine the appearance of the earliest aniconic traditions in ancient India, the development of the Buddha image, and early monastic centers. It will then trace the dissemination and transformation of Buddhist art as the religion reached South-East Asia, Central Asia, and eventually East Asia. In each region indigenous cultural practices and artistic traditions influenced Buddhist art. Among the topics the class will address are the nature of the Buddha image, the political uses of Buddhist art, the development of illustrated hagiographies, and the importance of pilgrimage, both in the past and the present.
Omitted 2012-13. Professor Morse.2019-20: Not offered
Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e (‘pictures of the floating world’), are perhaps the best known form of Japanese art. From the late seventeenth century until the present day, ukiyo-e have played greatly varied and significant roles in Japanese society, including illustrations for folktales, portraits of famed courtesans and kabuki actors, souvenirs of historical sites, explicit erotica, secret calendars, board games and fan designs, reportage of contemporary events, and even as precious art objects to be collected and cherished. This course will examine the medium of the Japanese woodblock print both as a representation of a flourishing urban society and also as the means by which that flourishing was made possible; the prolific artists, publishers, carvers, colorists, government censors, and the citizenry of the capital all contributed to a massive and thriving industry and trade in ukiyo-e. It will conclude with an examination of the influence of ukiyo-e on European and American artists. In addition, the course will focus on firsthand examination of the objects themselves, drawing from the Mead’s collection of over 4,000 Japanese prints, allowing students to develop skills of connoisseurship and a deep understanding of the technological evolution of print-making over the course of nearly four hundred years. In addition to more traditional assignments, students will learn to craft practical texts germane to working in a museum, including condition reports, accession proposals, label texts, and catalogue entries.
Limited to 20 students. Spring Semester. Post-doctoral Fellow Bailey.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 267 and ASLC 267.) This course considers the arts of the book at the royal courts of Greater Iran (including Afghanistan and parts of Central Asia) and Islamic South Asia from the thirteenth through seventeenth centuries. It will focus in particular on illustrated histories and poetic works in Persian, including Abu'l Qasim Firdausi's Shahnama (Book of Kings), Nizami Ganjavi's Khamsa (Quintet), and Abu'l Fazl's Akbarnama (Book of Akbar), among others. All aspects of manuscript production will be considered, from the arts of “miniature painting,” calligraphy, and illumination, to the preparation of paper, brushes, inks, and pigments. The class will explore in depth the nature of the royal manuscript workshop, the formation of visual idioms, the roles of originality and imitation in artistic practice, the aesthetics of the illustrated page, and the theorization of painting and calligraphy in technical treatises, poetry, and other primary texts. Emphasis will be placed on the great movement of artists, materials, and ideas across the Islamic world, all of which contributed to the rise of an elite, cosmopolitan culture of manuscript connoisseurs. Examination of objects in the Mead Art Museum and other local collections will supplement classroom discussion and assigned readings. No previous knowledge of the topic is presumed, and all reading will be available in English.
Requisite: One course in Art History or Studio Art. Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2013-14. Five College Fellow Rice.
2019-20: Not offered
Founded in 1526 by a Muslim prince from Central Asia, the Mughal dynasty dominated the political landscape of South Asia (including present-day India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh) until the middle of the nineteenth century. The influence of the Mughal Empire also extended well beyond South Asia, making it one of the most important states in the premodern global arena. This course will examine the great range of art and architecture produced for the Mughal emperors and members of their court, placing special emphasis on how these materials (and their makers) helped create a powerful, multifaceted image of empire. We will explore lavishly illustrated manuscripts and monumental architecture, including the justly famous Taj Mahal, but also expand our purview to consider less studied objects such as carved jade vessels, inscribed gems, inlaid metalwork, and textiles. We will pay particular attention to Mughal encounters with the arts of India's Hindu kings, the Safavid Empire, the Jesuit missionaries, the royal courts of Europe, and the British East India Company. Films and field-trips to local museum collections will supplement assigned readings and lectures. Participation in class discussion, a significant component of the course, is expected. No previous background is presumed, and all readings will be available in English.
Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Prof. Rice.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ANTH 253 and ASLC 270 [SA].) This course is a survey of foundational and contemporary writing on Muslim cultures across South Asia. The approach here is anthropological, in the sense that the course focuses on material that situates Islamic thought in the making of everyday practices, imaginations, and ideologies of a very large and varied group of people. While India hosts the second largest population of Muslims in the world, Pakistan and Bangladesh, respectively, are two of the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation-states. This course will aim to capture some of the richness of the textual and vernacular traditions that constitute what is known as South Asian Islam and the lived experiences of Muslims. Without relegating Muslims to a minority status and therefore targets of communal violence, or approaching Islam in South Asia only at the level of the syncretic, this course aims to understand the interface of traveling texts and indigenous traditions that is integral to the making of its diverse Muslim cultures. In doing so, the course will by necessity discuss topics of subjectivity, law, gender, community, secularism, and modernity that continue to raise important theoretical questions within the discipline of anthropology.
Some prior knowledge of Islam or Muslim societies may be helpful. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Chowdhury.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as RELI 282 and ASLC 282 [WA].)This course deals with the life of Muhammad (the founder and prophet of Islam) and the Qur’an (the Muslim Scripture). The first part deals with the life of Muhammad as reflected in the writings of the early Muslim biographers. It examines the crucial events of Muhammad’s life (the first revelation, the night journey, the emigration to Medina, the military campaigns) and focuses on Muhammad’s image in the eyes of the early Muslim community. The second deals with the Qur’an. It focuses on the history of the Qur’an, its canonization, major themes, various methods of Qur’anic interpretation, the role of the Qur’an in Islamic law, ritual, and modernity.
Omitted 2013-14. Professor Jaffer.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ANTH 317 and ASLC 317 [C].) This course teaches students how to design research projects, collect data, and analyze data about people in China. Students will read about and discuss previous findings from the instructor’s longitudinal project about Chinese only-children and their families, and findings from comparable projects in China and elsewhere, as well as help to design new interview and survey questions for research participants to answer in the future. In addition, students with statistical analysis skills can analyze English-language survey data; students with Chinese language skills can translate and analyze Chinese-language interview questions and responses; students who have taken or are currently taking at least one course about anthropology, sociology, economics, psychology, or China can analyze the relevant English-language scholarly literature in the field(s) with which they are most familiar. Course assignments will be tailored to the interests, skills, and academic background of each student, so first-year students, sophomores, and students with no Chinese language skills or statistical analysis skills are welcome and just as likely to succeed as juniors, seniors, and students with Chinese language or statistical analysis skills. Each student will work only on assignments suitable for his/her current skills and interests, but also read the work of other students with different skills, interests, and disciplinary knowledge and participate in discussions of their work, so all students will learn about the many different kinds of skills, disciplines, and research methods that can help them gain a better understanding of China.
Limited to 20 students. Admission with the consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Professor Fong.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ANTH 318 and ASLC 318 [C].) This course examines Chinese childrearing, focusing primarily on childrearing in mainland China. We will look at differences as well as similarities between childrearing in Chinese families of different socioeconomic status within China, as well as between childrearing in mainland China and in childrearing in Chinese and non-Chinese families worldwide. We will also look at dominant discourses within and outside of China about the nature of Chinese childrearing and ask about relationships between those discourses and the experiences of Chinese families. Students will work together to conduct original research about childrearing in China, drawing on data from the instructor’s research projects. Students with statistical analysis skills will analyze English-language survey data; students with advanced Chinese language skills will translate and analyze Chinese-language interview questions and responses; and students who have taken or are currently taking at least one course about anthropology, sociology, economics, psychology, or China will analyze the English-language scholarly literature about Chinese childrearing in the field(s) with which they are most familiar. Course assignments will be tailored to the interests, skills, and academic background of each student, so first-years, sophomores, and students with no Chinese language skills or statistical analysis skills are welcome and just as likely to succeed as juniors, seniors, and students with Chinese language or statistical analysis skills.
Limited to 20 students. Admission with consent of the instructor. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Fong.2019-20: Not offered
(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. Fall semester. Professor Morse.2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
(Offered as HIST 319 [c] and ASLC 320 [WA].) Conceptions of the religious and the secular that continue to resonate today assumed global significance in the course of the nineteenth century as colonial empires and nascent nation-states negotiated how they would govern heterogeneous populations and interact with each other. Drawing on scholarship from a number of disciplines that historicize the categories of religion and secularity, this course will examine the political function of the religious and the secular as conceptual and regulatory categories in the 19th century. Colonial administrations, for example, employed the conceit of secularism to neutralize religious difference while individuals and communities attempted to reform and modernize local traditions as “religion” in order to navigate global hierarchies. We will begin with a historiographic and theoretical survey, covering topics that include the academic creation of “World Religions,” the politics of conversion within the British Empire, and the discourse of Orientalist spiritualism. The second half of the course will apply these historiographic and theoretical concerns to East Asia and Japan in particular. Requirements will include two topical essays and one longer paper entailing modest research. Two class meetings per week.
Limited to 15 students. Not open to first-year students. Spring semester. Professors Maxey and Ringer.2019-20: Not offered
(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. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Zamperini.2019-20: Not offered
(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 2013-14.2019-20: Not offered
(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 2013-14.2019-20: Not offered
This course is an introduction to contemporary Japanese popular culture through focused study of a particular theme. This semester we will concentrate on the apocalypse, among the most prominent themes in postwar Japan. Many would trace its origins to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, for Japan is the only country in history to have been attacked with nuclear weapons, but we will examine a broader cultural matrix in this course, which will allow us to address questions of technology, human agency, utopia, dystopia, and spectacle, among other topics. Through reading and discussion of theories of mediation, we will also seek connections between works of popular culture and larger issues, such as globalization, politics, and discourses on cultural uniqueness. Finally, because many contemporary works utilize the apocalyptic theme as a way to explore the replacement of older media by newer technologies—such as the replacement of VHS by DVD or the displacement of traditional film by digital technology—we will also pursue issues of media specificity. This will entail learning the disciplinary terminology of film, anime, and manga studies.
Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor Van Compernolle.2019-20: Not offered
(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 be 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. Fall semester. Professor C. Dole.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
(Offered as ANTH 347 and ASLC 347 [SA].) Anthropology of South Asia, in the last decade or more, has focused primarily on such themes as bureaucracy and corruption in relation to the postcolonial state; the economy, with special attention to development, liberalization and globalization; mass media and public culture; technology and global capital; and violence, as both a strategy and outcome of governmental and non-governmental politics. As students of South Asian cultures, how do we understand this trend? Is there an influence in South Asian scholarship of the changes taking place in the broader field of anthropology, or is there something specific to the region’s postcolonial modernity that demands this intellectual move? What is new about these emergent themes and how could they be read in light of canonical interests of South Asian anthropology? We shall explore these questions by way of reading recent anthropological writing on South Asia while paying special attention to theories of governmentality, identity, violence, mediation, and the state. The course is designed to offer a critical survey of recent ethnographic writing on the politics and aesthetics of South Asian public life. The larger aim is to situate South Asian anthropology within the body of literature known as South Asian Studies as well as against the unfolding history of the discipline of anthropology.
Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Chowdhury.2019-20: Not offered
Asian economic development has challenged many Western observers; one reason has to do with the fact that Asian economies rely on institutional arrangements that do not exist in Western economies. In this course, we will look at distinctive institutional arrangements in Asia and discuss how those arrangements emerged. We will also discuss on-going debates concerning the character of Asian capitalism. Specifically we will look at the history of capitalism in Asia, what capitalism in Asia looks like today, how capitalism in Asia is perceived before and after the Asian financial crisis, and how the perception of Asian capitalism has changed since the most recent financial crisis originating in the United States. This course will require weekly class meetings (2 hours) and small-group meetings prior to weekly class meetings.
Not open to first-year students. Recommended requisite: One previous course in Sociology is strongly recommended. Limited to 20 students. Enrollment requires attendance at the first class meeting. Spring semester. Assistant Professor Mun.2019-20: Not offered
(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 2013-14. Professor M. Heim.2019-20: Not offered
(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 2013-14. Professor Ringer.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
(Offered as RELI 285 and ASLC 356 [WA]) 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. Professor Jaffer.2019-20: Not offered
[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. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Zamperini.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as History 375 [AS], ANTH 375 and ASLC 375 [SA].) This course explores the intervention made by the Subaltern Studies Collective in the discipline of history-writing, particularly in the context of South Asia. Dissatisfied that previous histories of Indian nationalism were all in some sense “elitist,” this group of historians, anthropologists, and literary theorists sought to investigate how various marginalized communities--women, workers, peasants, adivasis--contributed in their own terms to the making of modern South Asia. Their project thus engaged broader methodological questions and problems about how to write histories of the marginal. Combining theoretical statements with selections from the 12-volume series as well as individual monographs, our readings and discussion will chart the overall trajectory of Subaltern Studies from in its initial moorings in the works of the Italian Marxian theorist Antonio Gramsci, to its later grounding in the critique of colonial discourse. The objective is to understand how this school of history-writing transformed the understanding of modern South Asian history. Our discussion will engage with the critiques and debates generated in response to the project and the life of the analytical category, “subalternity,” outside South Asia. One class meeting per week.
Spring semester. Professors Sen and Chowdhury.
2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as RELI 382 and ASLC 382 [WA].) This course introduces students to the intellectual tradition of Islam. It focuses on the pre-modern period. We will explore works of theology, philosophy, and political theory that were composed by Muslim intellectuals of various stripes. We will use primary sources in English translation to examine the ideas that Muslim intellectuals formulated and the movements that they engendered. In our discussions we will investigate questions concerning the rise of sectarianism, language and revelation, prophecy, heresy and apostasy, God and creation, causality and miracles, the role of logic and human reasoning with respect to the canonical sources (Quran and Hadith), and conceptions of the Islamic state.
Fall semester. Professor Jaffer.2019-20: Not offered
This course will provide an overview of the major South Asian women filmmakers in the region and the diaspora: their cinematic language and vision, the feminist dimension of their work, and their place within the spectrum of global cinematic trends. Specific topics to be addressed include the challenges women face in the industry, a comparative view of their representations of gender, same sex desire, religious extremism, social conservatism and women's experience. We will examine the work of Deepa Mehta, Mira Nair, Nandita Das, Aparna Sen, Sabiha Sumar, and Gurinder Chadha among others. We have invited some of the filmmakers to lecture after the screenings of their respective films. There will be required film screenings in addition to the regular course meetings.
Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Masud.2019-20: Not offered
(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. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Shandilya.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as HIST 492 [ME] and ALSC 459 [WA].) This seminar explores contemporary Iran from a historical and interdisciplinary perspective. The aim of the course is both to provide an overall understanding of the history of Iran, as well as those key elements of religion, literature, legend, and politics that together shape Iran'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.
Recommended requisite: a survey course on the modern Middle East. Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Not open to first-year students. Fall semester. Professor Ringer.2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
(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 2013-14. Professor Maxey.2019-20: Not offered
(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. Two class meetings per week.
Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 20 students. Not open to first-year students. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Dennerline.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as History 474 [AS] and ASLC 474 [SA]). Anti-colonial nationalism in India was one of the first major movements towards the decolonization of the global south. This reading- and writing-intensive seminar examines the story of the Indian nationalist movement and the effort to liberate the subcontinent from British colonial rule. Drawing on both primary and secondary sources, the course attempts to chronologically explore the rise and development of nationalist ideology and practice, as well as introduce students to four broadly conceived historiographical schools and their interpretations of this movement--nationalist, Marxist, Cambridge, and Subaltern Studies. Students will thereby engage with a number of prominent historiographical debates about Indian nationalism and gain an in-depth appreciation of the triumphs, contradictions, and failures that marked the struggle for freedom in India, as well its troubled legacies. Writing assignments are designed to culminate in a substantial research paper. One class meeting per week.
Limited to 20 students. Fall semester. Professor Sen.2019-20: Not offered
Independent Reading Course.
Fall and spring semesters. Members of the Department.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
(Offered as HIST 493 [ME] and ASLC 493 [WA].) Turkey has a particularly complex relationship with the Ottoman Empire. On the one hand, the establishment of Turkey as a secular republic following the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire after World War I marked a watershed between empire and republic, sultan and president, subject and citizen. On the other hand, significant areas of continuity persisted. This seminar focuses on areas of rupture and continuity in order to shed light on the way that these tensions continue to impact contemporary debates surrounding secularism and the place of religion, nationalism and minority rights, and the tensions between authoritarianism and democracy. We will pay particular attention to the intellectual, social and cultural construction of modernity and to the ongoing contestations over historical memory and the Ottoman past. Students will work in consultation with the instructor on developing, articulating and researching a seminar-length (20 pp) research paper. Two class meetings per week.
Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Ringer.2019-20: Not offered
Fall semester.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
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.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
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.2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
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 three class meetings and two drill sessions each week.
Requisite: CHIN 102 or equivalent. Limited to 30 students, maximum enrollment of 8 students per section. Fall semester. Senior Lecturer Teng.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
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 30 students, maximum enrollment of 8 students per discussion section. Spring semester. Senior Lecturer Teng.2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
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.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
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.2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
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.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
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.2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Independent Reading Course.
Fall and spring semester. Members of the Department.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
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 Miyama and Professor Tawa.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
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. Professor Tawa.2019-20: Not offered
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. Professor Tawa.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
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 Miyama and Professor Tawa.2019-20: Not offered
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 Kayama and Professor Tawa.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
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 Kayama.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
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.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
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.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
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. Five College Lecturer Brown and Professor Tawa.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
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. Five College Lecturer Brown and Professor Tawa.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
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.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
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.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
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.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
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.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
Full course. Fall and spring semesters.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020