At the same time that China has faced its largest challenge in history in terms of sovereignty, dignity, and culture, its art has been influenced by the importation of Western styles and aesthetics. The two artistic traditions clashed, coexisted, and were integrated. To understand the artistic impact of the West and China's reaction to it, we will, in this intermediate-level course, investigate the journey from its beginning, the Opium Wars, to the present, an era of urbanization in a global context. Prerequisite: ARHS 111 or ARHS 114 or permission of instructor.
This capstone seminar is taught by Asian Studies Program faculty in rotation, and organized around a common theme that integrates the various disciplines and regions of Asia. Through readings, films, guest lectures, and other activities, the course will lead students to synthesize their academic and personal (e.g., off-campus) experiences in a broader comparative perspective. Students will produce work that examines one or more topics of their own interest within the comparative Asian framework. Required for Asian Studies concentrators and joint majors. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Offered every spring.
Vietnam is a region, a country, a nation, a society, and a war, or a series of wars. This seminar explores the place and its people during the twentieth century, with special attention to the era from 1945 to 1975. The French and American wars will be situated in the context of the Vietnamese experience of colonialism and nationalism. Through fiction, field studies, memoirs, reportage, official documents, critical essays, and films we will consider the issues of memory, race, and ideology in the construction of history. Students will pursue independent research projects and share their research.
This course will explore the evolution of popular conceptions of disease and health in pre-modern Europe. While broadly chronological, the course pauses at particular historical moments to allow for a multifaceted examination of various themes — ranging from gender and sexuality to miracles and magic — within regional contexts. Particular attention will be paid to the perpetually shifting "grey areas" that existed between reason and faith, science and religion, and medicine and magic. A close examination of primary and secondary sources will allow us to delve into the mentality of pre-modern Europeans, as we seek to understand how and why views of the causes and cures of ailments varied by time and place. In order to foster an understanding of the reciprocal relationship between ideas and events, we will examine how conceptions of health and disease influenced, and were influenced by, cultural media, religious institutions, scientific discovery, politics, and war. This course may be of interest to students studying about health-related issues. Meets Pre-Modern requirement and Seminar Requirement. No prerequisite.
This course introduces concepts essential for understanding contemporary Japanese culture and society. Students will study key words in the relevant context through extensive reading and in-class discussion. They will also have ample opportunities to utilize the learned concepts through oral interviews and writing practice to be conducted on a weekly basis. The course will be taught in Japanese. Prerequisite: JAPN 321 or permission of instructor.
Through the study of selected literary and cinematic works in their historical and cultural contexts, students will gain knowledge of key issues in contemporary Japanese society. Students explore works written by a Nobel Prize winner, Ôe Kenzaburô a 'burakumin' (outcaste) writer, Nakagami Kenji; a popular male writer, Murakami Haruki, a popular female writer, Yoshimoto Banana; and a Catholic novelist, Endô Shûsaku. The cinema includes but not limited to Permanent Nobara, a film adaptation of manga, produced by a controversial female writer Saibara Rieko. Gender and sexuality will be key analytical categories to examine all these works.
No knowledge of the Japanese language or of Japanese literature is required; all texts will be read in English translation. The class will be taught in English. No prerequisite.
This course provides ongoing study of the music of the Sundanese gamelan degung, a traditional ensemble incorporating different types of tuned bronze percussion, drums, flutes, and vocals. Students will be introduced to basic and advanced instrumental techniques for several individual gamelan instruments and receive coaching in musicianship and ensemble skills.A variety of repertories will be covered. Each semester will culminate in one public performance. No previous musical experience is required. This course can be used to satisfy requirements in anthropology as well as music. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
This course will be a historical and contemporary survey of religious life in Japan, focusing on the Shinto, Buddhist, and Confucian traditions. We will pay special attention to the ways in which religious ideas, values, and practices are integrated into the common forms of Japanese culture today. Classes will be a mixture of lecture and discussion, supplemented by films. No prerequisite. Offered every third year.
This seminar will examine some of the important ideas, personalities, and institutions associated with Islamic mysticism. Students will read and discuss important primary and secondary sources on such topics as the development and organizations of Sufi tariqahs, Sufi mystical poetry, the nature of the Sufi path, and Sufi psychology. A crucial aspect of the course will be on examination of the role of the veneration of "holy persons" in Islamic piety. Prerequisite: RLST 240 or permission of instructor.