Asian Languages and Civilizations

2018-19

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

This is a continuation of First-Year Arabic I. We will complete the study of the Elementary Arabic Al-Kitaab 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.

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 2025

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 Lecturer George. 

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

This is a continuation of Second-Year Arabic I. We will complete the study of the Al-Kitaab 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 Lecturer George.

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 2025

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 2018-19.

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 2018-19.

Other years: Offered in Spring 2023, Spring 2025

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. Five College Senior Lecturer Hassan.

Other years: Offered in Spring 2025

490 Special Topics

Independent reading course.

Fall and spring semesters. Five College Teachers of Arabic.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Asian Languages & Civilization

102 World War II in Asia

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2017

112 Russian Empire in Eurasia

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2018, Spring 2022, Fall 2024

114 Race, Empire, and Transnationalism: Chinese Diasporic Communities in the U.S. and the World

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2022

120 Atomic Bomb Literature

[J] On August 6, 1945, in the waning days of World War II, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, laying waste to the city and killing perhaps 100,000 people. A second bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki a few days later, on August 9, with similarly destructive effects. This course will investigate the literary responses to these calamities. Such works are referred to collectively as genbaku bungaku, or Atomic Bomb Literature. As the only country in history to have been attacked with nuclear weapons, this is a genre of literature unique to Japan. In order to illuminate this body of writing, we will draw on linguistic and communicative models, trauma theory, and nuclear criticism. We will also examine the larger historical context of the Second World War. The course is structured around three generations of writers, from the immediate aftermath of the bombings to the height of the Cold War. The course assumes no prior knowledge of Japan, and all texts are taught in English translation.

Fall semester. Professor Van Compernolle.

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018, Fall 2020

123 Arts of Japan

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2013, Fall 2017, Fall 2019, Fall 2021

126 Middle Eastern History: 500–1600

2023-24: 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

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

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2013, Spring 2018, Spring 2022

144 Religion in Ancient India

Other years: Offered in Fall 2013, Spring 2015, Fall 2016, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2021, Fall 2023

148 The Modern Middle East: 1800–Present

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Fall 2017, Fall 2019, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

152 Introduction to Buddhist Traditions

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

154 Art and Architecture of South Asia

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Spring 2022

171 History of Dynastic China

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

172 Troubled Transformations: History of Modern China from the Opium War to the Olympics

Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2023, Spring 2025

173 Between Conflict and Co-existence: The Making of Medieval and Early Modern South Asia, 1200–1800 A.D.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2016, Spring 2018, Fall 2023

174 Introduction to Modern South Asian History

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2017

175 Japan from Shamans to Samurai

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2015, Fall 2024

187 Introduction to Islamic Traditions

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Fall 2018

207 The Home and the World: Women and Gender in South Asia

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2019

208 Power and Politics in Contemporary China

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2020, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Fall 2024

247 Japan's Modern Revolutions: 1800–2000s

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Spring 2018, Spring 2020

255 Modernity's Media in South Asia

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2017

258 Political Economy of the Modern Middle East

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Spring 2018

259 U.S. Security Policy in the Middle East

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2016, Fall 2017

260 Buddhist Art of Asia

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2021, Spring 2023

268 Image of Empire: Art and Architecture of Mughal India, 1526–1858

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016

271 Caste and Politics of Inequality in India

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2016, Fall 2018

272 Gandhi: A Global History of Non-Violence

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2017

274 Decolonizations

2023-24: Not offered

276 Perspectives on Chinese History

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Fall 2016

277 Islamic Constitutionalism

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Spring 2020

281 The Arts of Exchange: Cross-Cultural Interaction in the Islamic World, 1400–1800

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Fall 2017

282 Muslim Reformers of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2018, Spring 2020

287 Islamic Intellectual Tradition: The Classics

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

288 Bollywood:  A Cinema of Interruptions

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018, Spring 2023

317 Researching China

Other years: Offered in Fall 2013, Spring 2017, Spring 2019, Fall 2021, Fall 2023

318 Chinese Childrearing

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Fall 2015, Spring 2018, Fall 2020, Spring 2023, Fall 2024

319 The Tea Ceremony and Japanese Culture

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2018, Spring 2020

320 Religion, Empires, and Secular States in the Nineteenth Century

Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2019

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

Written over one thousand years ago by the court lady, Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji is the supreme masterpiece of Japanese literature and a work whose influence on subsequent arts and letters in the country cannot be overestimated. As the world’s earliest extant prose narrative by a woman writer, the Genji has received much attention in world literature and women’s studies programs and, with its rich psychological portraits of desire, guilt, and memory, has gained for itself 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 the tenth-century prose experiments that made the work possible and examine 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.

Omitted 2018-19. Professor Van Compernolle.

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Fall 2017

341 Anthropology and the Middle East

2023-24: 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

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2019, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

367 State, Society, and Economy in Late Imperial China, 1368-1911

Other years: Offered in Fall 2018

370 Japan's Empire in Asia, 1868–1945

Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Spring 2019, Fall 2020

375 Subaltern Studies: History from Below

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Spring 2018

377 The British Raj: Colonial Rule in South Asia

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018

383 Approaches to Chinese Painting

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2018, Spring 2020, Fall 2022

384 The Replicated Image in Japanese Art: Woodblock Prints, Postcards, and Photographs

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

385 The Qur'ān and Its Controversies

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2021

403 Social Policy in China

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Fall 2015

452 South Asian Feminist Cinema

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2019

459 Inside Iran

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2017, Spring 2020, Fall 2021

470 Key to Modern China: The History of Shanghai from 1840 to 2010

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

474 Anticolonial Nationalism in India

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013, Fall 2017

475 Theory/History/Japan

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2016

477 The History and Memory of the Asia-Pacific War

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2014, Fall 2020

489 An Era of Translation: The Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Empire

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2016

490 Special Topics

Independent reading course.

Fall and spring semesters. 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, Fall 2024

493 Turkey: From Ataturk to Erdogan

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Spring 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

494 Istanbul

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2018

498, 499 Senior Departmental Honors

Spring semester. The Department.

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 2025

Non-Language Departmental Courses

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 Maxey and Morse.

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, 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.

Omitted 2018-19. Professor Van Compernolle.

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2017, Spring 2021

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.

Fall semester. Professor Van Compernolle.

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2016, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2022

Departmental Courses

252 Buddhist Life Writing

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2014, Spring 2018

352 Buddhist Ethics

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2012, Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

Non-Language Departmental Courses

436 Apocalypse Japan

(Offered as ASLC 436 and FAMS 422) 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. Omitted 2018-19. Professor Van Compernolle.

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2017

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).

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

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. Discussion sections limited to 8 students. 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 2025

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 three class meetings and two drill sessions each week.

Requisite: CHIN 102 or equivalent. 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

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. 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 2025

301 Third-Year Chinese I

This course, alongside Chinese 302 in the spring semester, is our third-year class offered for students who have completed the first two years of Mandarin Chinese. We continue to emphasize pronunciation and intonation, practice listening and speaking, and work to improve our command of grammar with more complex syntax structures. The class will see a switch from textbook materials to selective authentic texts for the general Chinese reader, and introduce the students to a variety of topics, genres, and speech types ranging from literary works to media and popular cultural materials. Exposed to a significantly larger vocabulary, the students read and write with the aid of a dictionary as the class prepares them to become independent readers of idiomatic Chinese for the fourth-year level. The course meets five times per week (lectures on MWF and drill sessions on TTh). 

Requisite: CHIN 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

This course, as the continuation of Chinese 301 in the fall semester, is our third-year class offered for students who have completed the first two years of Mandarin Chinese. We continue to emphasize pronunciation and intonation, practice listening and speaking, and work to improve our command of grammar with more complex syntax structures. The class will see a switch from textbook materials to selective authentic texts for the general Chinese reader, and introduce the students to a variety of topics, genres, and speech types ranging from literary works to media and popular cultural materials. Exposed to a significantly larger vocabulary, the students read and write with the aid of a dictionary as the class prepares them to become independent readers of idiomatic Chinese for the fourth-year level. The course meets five times per week (lectures on MWF and drill sessions on TTh).

Requisite: CHIN 301 or equivalent. 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 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2025

401 Fourth-Year Chinese I

This course, along with Chinese 402 in the spring semester, is the most advanced class in our Chinese language curriculum. Giving consistent emphasis to listening, speaking, writing, and grammar, the course focuses on advanced reading of authentic and idiomatic texts of Mandarin Chinese. With a balanced consideration to various topics, genres, and speech types, literary works will make up the principal part of the fourth-year reading materials. Exposed to a large and sophisticated vocabulary, and with the aid of a dictionary, the students read independently as they become sensitive to the linguistic nuances and cultural references in the texts, and able to appreciate the aesthetic shades of the language. The course meets three times per week (MWF).

Requisite: CHIN 302 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 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

402 Fourth-Year Chinese II

This course, as the continuation of Chinese 401 in the fall semester, is the most advanced class in our Chinese language curriculum. Giving consistent emphasis to listening, speaking, writing, and grammar, the course focuses on advanced reading of authentic and idiomatic texts of Mandarin Chinese. With a balanced consideration to various topics, genres, and speech types, literary works will make up the principal part of the fourth-year reading materials. Exposed to a large and sophisticated vocabulary, and with the aid of a dictionary, the students read independently as they become sensitive to the linguistic nuances and cultural references in the texts, and able to appreciate the aesthetic shades of the language. In this semester, we will also spend three weeks doing a selective introduction to classical Chinese as part of our four-year curriculum at Amherst. The course meets three times per week (MWF). 

Requisite: CHIN 401 or equivalent. 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 2025

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, Fall 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. 

Fall and spring semesters. Senior Lecturer Brown 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, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

102 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. 

Requisite: Some Japanese instruction in high school, home, or college. Fall and spring semesters. Senior Lecturer Brown and Professor Tawa.

Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

103 Building Survival Skills in Japanese

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. 

Requisite: JAPA 102 or equivalent. Fall and spring semesters. Senior Lecturer Miyama and Professor Tawa.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

201 Functional Japanese

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 multiple 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. 

Requisite: JAPA 103 or equivalent. Fall and spring semesters. Senior Lecturer Miyama and Professor Tawa.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

202 Communicating in Sophisticated Japanese

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. 

Requisite: JAPA 201, or equivalent. Fall and spring semesters. Senior Lecturer Kayama and Professor Tawa.

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

203 Experience with Authentic Japanese Materials

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.

Requisite: JAPA 202 or equivalent. Fall and spring semesters. Senior Lecturer Kayama and Professor Tawa.

Other years: Offered in 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, Spring 2025

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 103 or its equivalent. Fall and spring semesters. Professor Tawa.

2023-24: Not offered
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, Spring 2025

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 103 or its equivalent. Fall and spring semesters. Professor Tawa.

2023-24: Not offered
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, Spring 2025

290, 290H, 390, 390H, 490, 490H Special Topics

Independent reading course.

Half course. Fall and spring semesters.

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, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

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. 

Requisite: JAPA 203 or equivalent. Fall and spring semesters. Senior Lecturer Kayama and 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, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

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. 

Requisite: JAPA 301 or equivalent. Fall and spring semesters. Senior Lecturer Brown and 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, Spring 2025

401 Introduction to Thematic Reading and Writing

This course is designed for 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. 

Requisite: JAPA 302 or equivalent. Fall and spring semesters. Professor Tawa and Senior Lecturer Miyama.

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, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

402 Thematic Reading and Writing

This course is a continuation of JAPA 401. In addition to learning how to search for relevant material, read it with comprehension, and produce a high level of writing, 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. 

Requisite: JAPA 401 or equivalent. Fall and spring semesters. 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, Spring 2025

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. 

Requisite: JAPA 402 or equivalent. Fall and spring semesters.  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, Spring 2025

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. 

Requisite: JAPA 411 or equivalent. Fall and spring semesters. Professor Tawa. 

2023-24: Not offered
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, Spring 2025