Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

ANS 301M • Introduction To Buddhism

32145 • Freiberger, Oliver
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM UTC 1.132
(also listed as R S 312C)
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This course examines the history of Buddhism by tracing the development of its various schools, doctrines, and religious practices in Asia and beyond. We will explore the historical background against which it arose in India, and study traditional views of the life of the Buddha, the early teachings, and the structure of the Buddhist community of monastics and laypeople. We will examine the growth of Buddhism in India, the development of Theravada Buddhism, and its spread into South East Asia. The emergence of Mahayana Buddhism in India and its spread into Central Asia and East Asia will be covered as well as the development of Vajrayana Buddhism in Tibet. We will then examine the 19th century movement of Buddhist modernism in Sri Lanka and its relations to the Western world. This will be the basis for eventually exploring the various ways Buddhism came to Europe and America and examining the new forms and ideas it developed here.

C.S. Prebish, D. Keown. Introducing Buddhism
J.S. Strong. The Experience of Buddhism.

Attendance/participation: 20% 
Three quizzes: 30% (10% each)
Oral presentation: 20%
Final exam: 30%

ANS 301R • History Of Religions Of Asia

32155 • Brereton, Joel
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM UTC 3.102
(also listed as CTI 310, R S 302)
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This course surveys the central beliefs and patterns of life of living religious traditions of Asia. It will focus particularly on the basic texts or narratives of these traditions, on their essential histories, and on the concepts of humanity, the world, and the divine that are distinctive of each. In addition, the course will explore not only what people believe religiously but also what they do religiously. Therefore, part of the course will consider the ways of life, forms of social action, and rituals practiced by different communities. Not all Asian traditions can be included in a one-semester survey. The traditions chosen have large numbers of adherents, possess particular historical significance, and represent different cultural areas. These include: Hinduism, Islam in South Asia, Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia, Chinese Confucian and Daoist traditions, Shinto, and Buddhism in China and Japan. 
Required Texts:

Willard Oxtoby, Roy Amore, (and Amir Hussain), World Religions: Eastern Traditions (3rd or 4th edition)
R.K. Narayan, tr., The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic
Patrick Olivelle, tr., The Buddhacarita: Life of the Buddha (selections provided in class)
Burton Watson, tr., Zhuangzi: Basic Writings [or B. Watson, Chuang Tzu: Basic Writings]
Hiroaki Sato, tr., Basho's Narrow Road: Spring and Autumn Passages.
Two exams (15% each)  30%
Three essays (15% each) 45%
Final essay 15%
Attendance and Participation 10%

ANS 302C • Introduction To China

32160 • Li, Huaiyin
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM RLP 0.112
(also listed as HIS 302C)
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This course introduces the study of Chinese history, society, and culture through an examination of the cultural unities and diversities, continuities and discontinuities that comprise the historical development of Chinese civilization. Topics include philosophy and religion; population and economy; power and authority; gender, ethnicity, and cultural identity.  This course provides a foundation for continued study of Chinese history and society for students who plan to go on to more specialized, upper-division courses including Chinese anthropology, history, psychology, sociology, economics, law, policy, international business, art history, architecture, environmental science, and philosophy.

J. K Fairbank & M. Goldman, China: A New History (Belknap, 2006)
P. J. Ivanhoe & B. W. Van Norden, Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy (Hackett, 2006)
H. Li, Village China Under Socialism and Reform: A Micro-history (Stanford, 2009)

Mid-term exam (30%)
Final exam (30%)
Two short essays (15% each, 30% total)
Attendance and participation (10%)

ANS 302K • Introduction To South Asia

32165 • Maes, Claire
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM PAR 306
(also listed as ANT 310L)
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This course is an introduction to South Asian cultures and histories, especially to areas of study pursued in the Department of Asian Studies and at UT-Austin. Students will be introduced to major thinkers, ideas, histories, issues, and movements of South Asia. While a clear set of factual information will be integral to the course, the equally important goal of the course is to learn how to engage South Asia on terms similar to other courses in the liberal arts. Stated plainly, we want to do more than learn about South Asia; we want to learn from it as well.  The institutional and traditional obstacle to this approach stems from the simple fact that most American students, whatever their ethnic origins, are taught that “our” intellectual heritage begins with the Greeks and ends with contemporary European and American thinkers. Who “we” are and what makes us a “we,” however, is not as clear as it seems. Most of us are simply not taught how and why to understand South Asian (or other area) literatures, art, religion, law, or other cultural expressions as sources for our own humanistic and ethical development. Thus, the primary goal of this course is to train students in how to “read” South Asia in such a way that it can mean something to them, rather than merely being what other people do—not to make South Asia “ours,” but to take the ideas, history, and people of South Asia seriously.

ANS 340 • Devotional Lit Of India

32167 • Rajpurohit, Dalpat
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM MEZ 1.122
(also listed as R S 341)
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In this course we will discuss the songs of major saints and their role in shaping the religious communities of India. Bhakti (or Devotion)–which is passionate love towards god–is very much a part of the religious lives of Indians and their popular culture. Bhakti is often thought to be a movement against restrictive social and scriptural norms. Looking critically at the idea of this so called “Bhakti movement”–that is understood as a force binding the south to the north, together with other parts of India–we will read and compare devotional songs from different geographical and linguistic regions of India from the 9th to 18th century. These include: Kabīr, Tulsīdās and Sūrdās (from the northern side of India), Mīrā (Rajasthan), Narsiṁha Mehtā (Gujarat), Tukārām (Maharashtra), Nānak (Punjab), Rāmprasād (Bengal) and Āṇṭāl from Tamil Nadu. The list is not exhaustive, but these selections will give us a good introduction to how holy men and women expressed their religiosity through the medium of songs and poetry over the centuries. All these works will be studied in translations. 

ANS 340 • Religions In Contact

32170 • Freiberger, Oliver
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM MEZ 2.118
(also listed as R S 373)
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What happens when religions come in contact with each other? This course discusses the ways in which religious actors respond to challenges posed by the encounter with people, beliefs, or practices which, for them, do not belong to their own religion. Such responses range from curiosity, dialog, or acceptance to apologetics, hostile polemic, or persecution. Examining case studies from several geographical regions and time periods, we will discuss various forms of rhetorical and practical responses to the “religious other.” Part of this discussion is an analysis of the respective motives, which are sometimes related not only to religious conviction but also to competition over economic resources, social status, and political power.

The course will introduce students to relevant theories and scholarly categories, such as religious othering, conversion, reinterpretation, appropriation, subordination, eclecticism, syncretism, intersection, tolerance and intolerance, dialogue, inclusivism, pluralism, and more. These will be critically discussed and tested on the case studies. The goal of the course is to gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which religious actors grapple with religious plurality, draw boundaries – or ignore them –, and form religious identities.

Course packet

Attendance/participation: 25%
Reading journal: 20% (10 at 2% each)
Oral presentation and moderation of class discussion: 20%
Individual case analysis: 25% (essay 15%, presentation 10%)
Response to two case analyses: 10%

ANS 340 • Shamanism & The Primitive

32175 • Roberts, Jason
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM RLP 0.118
(also listed as ANT 324L, R S 352, REE 345)
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All over the world, we find people who are called (and who call themselves) “shamans.” But what does the term really tell us about the people to whom it is applied? The word itself probably originates from the Tungusic Evenki language of North Asia, and may have already been in use for more than a millennium when it was introduced to the West after Russian forces conquered the shamanistic Khanate of Kazan in 1552. Yet in anthropology and the study of religion – let alone in popular culture – the use of the word “shaman” extends well beyond the Tungusic Siberian context from which it was borrowed. It has assumed the form and function of a universal category even as it has come to refer to people whose beliefs, practices, and even appearances are wildly varied. So, what makes a shaman a shaman? And what, moreover, is “shamanism?” This upper division course uses anthropological as well as historical literature focusing on shamans and shamanism in Central Asia to examine such beliefs and practices as three-worlds symbolism, divination, spirit helpers, drumming, chanting, dancing, hallucinogens, trance, and soul retrieval. However, it also examines the ways in which various theories of shamanism constitute and appropriate the exotic in a variety of broadly construed religious settings – the ways in which westerners, from missionaries to social scientists, have viewed the beliefs and practices of the shaman as an “ism” analogous to a religion even when that is not necessarily the case. Students of this course will learn to identify the major theories of “shamanism” along with the inherent biases of those theories in order to better read accounts of shamans and “shamanism” (from historical to modern, anthropological to popular) against the grain and discern when collected data reveals as much about the observers as it does about the shamans they observe.

ANS 347K • Gov And Politics Of South Asia

32180 • Liu, Xuecheng
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM JES A215A
(also listed as GOV 347K)
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South Asia is bounded on the south by the Indian Ocean and on land by West Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. This sub-region comprises eight developing countries—Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. South Asia is home to well over one fifth of the world's population, making it the most populous geographical region in the world. 

Since the end of the Cold War, South Asia has become a focal point of growing international attention and concern by nuclear proliferation, the rise of Islamic militancy and the anti-terror war, the emergence of India as a global power, and regional effort for cooperation. South Asian nations have also been experiencing a profound political evolution of democratization.

This course provides students with a comprehensive and systematic introduction to the comparative political study of the eight nations of South Asia. Organized in parallel fashion to facilitate cross-national comparison, the course sections on each nation address several topical areas of inquiry: political culture and heritage, government structure and institutions, political parties and leaders, and social conflict and resolution. India, the preeminent power of the subcontinent, will receive more attention. In terms of the international relations of the region, this course will address several predominant region-wide issues: the India–Pakistan conflict, the rise of Islamic militancy and the AfPak war, and regional cooperation under the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

This course also carries the Global Cultures flag. Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present.


Since this is an introductory course, a background in Asian studies or Government is recommended but not required.

Grading Policy:

  • Two mid-term exams (60%). 
  • One short term paper of 6-7 pages (30%, first draft 15% and final draft 15%)
  • Overall class participation/attendance may be reflected in a plus or minus up to l0 points in determining the course grade.

Any student missing a mid-term exam with a verified medical excuse or for an official university event with a letter from the responsible university authority may choose to take a make-up exam or do an alternative assignment.

We will adopt UT's "plus & minus" grading system in this course. The following is a list of letter grades, their corresponding GPA values, and the percentage values that I plan to use for your assignments. Note that these percentage scores will not be noted on your transcript. 


The textbooks are all electronic resources and students can read them online or download them by purchase. We will just choose several chapters from each book as reading assignments.


  1. Robert C. Oberst, et al, Government and Politics in South Asia, 7th Edition New York: Westview Press, 2013. (Electronic Resource) [GPSA]
  1. T.V. Paul ed., South Asia’s Weak States, Stanford, Calif.: Stanford Security Studies, 2010. (Electronic Resource) [SAWS]
  2. Lawrence Saez, The South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Hoboken: Taylor & Francis, 2012. (Electronic Resource)
  1. During the course of the semester, additional latest articles on South Asia may be added and distributed as required readings in class.



  1. Paul R. Brass ed., Routledge Handbook of South Asian Politics: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal (Hoboken: Taylor & Francis, 2010).
  2. Neil Devotta ed., An Introduction to South Asian Politics (New York: Routledge, 2016)


ANS 361 • Asian Rgnlism/Multilat Coop

32220 • Liu, Xuecheng
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 303
(also listed as GOV 365L)
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GOV 365L and   ANS 361

Spring  2019



Course Description


Instructor: Xuecheng Liu

Bldg / Room: PAR 303

Days & Time: TTH 12:30-2:00 pm


Office Hours Tuesday 2:00-5:00 pm or by appointment

Office Phone: 512-471-5121






Asian Regionalism and Multilateral Cooperation

                                                (GC and WR)


Asia’s rise as a region will shape the future world order. Asian regionalism as a vitally important dimension of Asia’s rise has attracted critical attention of Asia experts and policy makers. This course first addresses the nature, functional principles, leadership, and policy making process of contemporary Asian regionalism in comparison with the experiences of European integration. We also explore the linkage between the momentum of Asian integration and contemporary Asian nationalism. Then we will introduce and assess the origins and its developments of leading regional cooperation mechanisms: ASEAN, China-Japan-ROK Summit Meeting, SAARC, and SCO. Finally, in terms of engaging with the Asian multilateral cooperation we will discuss policies and strategies of major powers, particularly, the United States and China.


This course contains four main parts:

1, Comparison between Asian Regionalism and European Experiences: Concept, principles, leadership, and policy making process;

2. Asian Regionalism and Asian Nationalism: explore the linkage between the emerging Asian cooperation and contemporary Asian nationalism, focusing on Chinese nationalism, Indian nationalism, and Japanese nationalism;

3. Introduce four most important cooperation mechanisms: Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Southeast Asia; China-Japan-ROK Summit Meeting in Northeast Asia; South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in South Asia; and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Central Asia;

4. Major Powers' Responses to Asian Cooperation: Focus on American and Chinese Strategies for engaging with Asian Integration and multilateral cooperation.


This course carries the Writing Flag. Writing Flag courses are designed to give students experience with writing in an academic discipline. In this class, you can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from your instructor to help you improve your writing. You will also have the opportunity to revise one or more assignments, and you may be asked to read and discuss your peers’ work. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your written work. Writing Flag classes meet the Core Communications objectives of Critical Thinking, Communication, Teamwork, and Personal Responsibility, established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.


This course also carries the Global Cultures flag. Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present.



Grading Policy:


  1. Two take-home essays (6-7 pages) 40%
  2. One 12-page term paper, 50%

   Note: Writing of the term paper includes the paper proposal, the first draft

(15 points), and the second (revised) draft (25 points), and the final draft

(10 points).

  1. Class participation, 10%

Overall class participation/attendance may be reflected in a plus or minus up to l0

points in determining the course grade.




1. Frost, Ellen L., Asia’s New Regionalism ANR

  (Boulder. Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publications, 2008)

  ISBN 978-1-58826-579-1 [Selected chapters distributed by email]

2. Aggarwal, Vind K.,Asia’s New Institutional Architecture ANIA

(Dordrecht: Springer, 2007). [Electronic Resource]

3. Saez, Lawrence, The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

(SAARC): An emerging collaboration Architecture (Hoboken: Taylor & Francis, 2012). [Electronic Resource]

4. Pempel, T. J., Regionalism, Economic Integration and Security in Asia (REISA)

  (Northamptom, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing Inc., 2011). [Electronic Resource]

5. Mahbubani, Kishore, The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East (NAH) (New York: PublicAffairs, 2009). [Electronic Resource]

6. He, Baogang, Contested Ideas of Regionalism in Asia (CIRA) (London: Routledge Taylor and Francis, 2017) [Electronic Resource]

7. Capannelli, Giovanni and Masahiro Kawai, Political Economy of Asian Regionalism (PEAR) (New York: Springer Science and Business Media, 2014). [Electronic Resource]

8. Port, Bertrand, Douglas Webber, Regional Integration in East Asia and Europe: Covergence or Divergence? London: Taylor and Francis, 2005, (Electronic Resourse)

9. National Security Strategy of the United States of America

10. Selected chapters of the recently published books and journal articles distributed by


ANS 361 • Development And Its Critics

32234 • Hindman, Heather
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM RLP 0.122
(also listed as ANT 324L)
show description

Please check back for updates.

ANS 361 • Gender And Modern India

32225 • Chatterjee, Indrani
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM GAR 1.126
(also listed as HIS 364G, WGS 340)
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This is a three-part course that examines the shifting nature of modernity between precolonial and colonial periods in the Indian subcontinent. The first part immerses students in plural ways of thinking, inhabiting and performing gender. They will be asked to read Sufi and Bhakti poetry, distinguish between biological personhood and social selfhood, place relationships of men and women in wider matrixes of kinship, caste-jati, economy and class formations. The second part will enable students to explore British colonial legal, administrative and economic processes in 1700-1900. These processes reconstituted older codes of gender as well as the structures within which women experienced marriage, abortion, inheritance, divorce and death. In the final segment, each student will evaluate how these developments empowered some women while disabling others. They will learn to assess the contradictory movements by undertaking direct research into one of the reform movements of the nineteenth or twentieth century, or by writing a review essay based on the available books on this theme in the UT library.

Required Reading: 1 text book, 1 novel, and multiple articles and primary documents posted by the instructor on Canvas ( Students must buy:  Geraldine Forbes, Women in Modern India (Cambridge University Press, revised edition) and  Bapsi Sidhwa, Ice Candy Man (older title) Cracking India (new title, Penguin Books, 1989, 1991, 2006).

Required Written Work: 1 map quiz (10), 2 short responses (20) , 1 mid-term with IDs (30), 1 final essay (20).

Grading is based on Attendance (10), in-class discussion of a document (10), and all segments of written work (80)

ANS 361 • Global Economies: Asia/US

32230 • Mays, Susan
Meets T 3:30PM-6:30PM MEZ 1.212
show description

Please check back for updates.

ANS 361 • Global Mrkts & Local Culs

32210 • Hindman, Heather
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GAR 2.112
(also listed as ANT 324L)
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Please check back for updates.

ANS 361 • Hist Chinese Lang/Translatn

32215 • Lai, Chiu
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM RLP 0.118
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Carries the Global Cultures Flag

[This course is open to all students – no previous background in Chinese language, culture or linguistics is required.]

Against the backdrop of China’s prominent international status and increasing global interest in the Chinese language, this course will delve into an in-depth study of the Chinese language and culture, including discussion of Chinese regional cultures and dialects.  Course emphasis will be given to the study of the modern Chinese language, with consideration given to the language spoken in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.  Cultural and political contexts of these geopolitical entities will be explored in order to understand emerging differences of all that falls under the common nomenclature of “Chinese.”  Lectures and discussions will focus on the cultural, social, historical, and political background against which the Chinese language has evolved and continues to evolve.  Of significance will be assessment of the increasing influence of usage of the English language and the Internet in China and Taiwan. 

Given China’s increased foreign interaction, this course will also include a discussion of the history of translation of the Chinese language into different languages, In this context, translation theories and approaches will be studied and discussed.  

Students will engage in a final project that will apply translation theory to practice.  This final project will be:  1) a translation project from a foreign language into English; or 2) a comparison of different English-language translations of the same original language source.

NOTE:  This is not a course for training in translation or interpretation.

Course Topic Sections:

  • Section I – The Chinese Language (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan), Dialects, Minority Languages of China
  • Section II – Language and Culture: Language Attitudes, Cultural Usage and Habits
  • Section III – Translation Theories and Approaches, Global Influence of English


Required Text:

S. Robert Ramsey, The Languages of China (Princeton 1987)                                            

Additional Reading Selections on Canvas.



Paul W. Kroll, A Student’s Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese (Brill, 2014)

Doug Leshan, A Handbook of English-Chinese Translation (Commercial Press 2002)

Jerry Norman, Chinese  (Oxford, 1988)     

Morry Sofer, The Global Translator's Handbook (Taylor Trade Publishing, 2013)            

Morry Sofer, The Translator’s Handbook, 8th Revised Edition (2015)


ANS 361 • Hist Food/Heal China Taiwan

32190 • Lai, Chiu
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM RLP 0.118
(also listed as HIS 364G)
show description

(Meets with HIS 364G)

Carries the Global Cultures Flag

In Chinese history, food and healing shared the same set of cosmological assumptions, all of which had to do with harmonizing the “vital energy,” “breath” or “life force” (qi) of the body with the mind. The Chinese holistic approach to the concept of “well-being” by eating, taking medicine and engaging in the healing arts, was to ensure that all of these activities created a healthy balance. Lectures, discussion and coursework will focus on the cultural, historical, philosophical, social, and scientific background against which the connection between food and healing has evolved through history. The course will address how this holistic approach has manifested in China and Taiwan today, and form the basis of the final research inquiry projects, some of which may also be applied to Austin and Houston locales.

Introduction – What is the connection between food and healing in Chinese history?

Section I – Concepts of well-being, the mind and body, “health and healing”

Section II – History of food, the connection between food and healing, food as medicine

Section III – Healing Practices in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan


E.N. Anderson, The Food of China (Yale, 1990)

Paul U. Unschuld, trans. Karen Reimers, What is Medicine – Western and Eastern Approaches to Healing (University of California Press, 2009)

            Further Reading (selections available on Canvas/Files)

ANS 361 • Pol Econ Devel Postwar Korea

32195 • Oh, Youjeong
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM MEZ 1.210
(also listed as AAS 325)
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ANS 361 • The Chinese In Diaspora

32205 • Hsu, Madeline
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GAR 3.116
(also listed as AAS 325, HIS 350L)
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In a self-proclaimed “nation of immigrants” such as the United States, our narratives of migration, race, and ethnicity emphasize themes of acculturation and assimilation symbolized by the metaphor of the “melting pot.”  In this class, we will explore experiences of migration, adaptation, and settlement from the perspective of an emigrant society--China--which has one of the longest and most diverse histories of sending merchants, workers, artisans, diplomats, missionaries, and so forth, overseas.  Over the last millennia, Chinese have migrated around the world and made homes under a great range of adversity and opportunity, producing many fascinating stories of encounters with difference and the building of common ground. Drawing upon this rich set of narratives, we will consider some of the following topics:  As ethnic Chinese have moved and settled in so many places among such diverse societies, what is Chinese about the Chinese diaspora? What kinds of skills and attributes have helped Chinese to become arguably one of the most successful migrant groups? What do Chinese share in common with other migrant groups? How do Chinese adapt their identities and cultures under different circumstances?  What can Chinese experiences of migration contribute to contemporary debates and perceptions of migrants and different kinds of migration?
Chirot, Daniel and Anthony Reid, ed. Essential Outsiders: Chinese and Jews in the Modern Transformation of Southeast Asia and Central Europe. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 1997.

Kuhn, Philip A. Chinese Among Others: Emigration in Modern Times. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008.

Chan, Shelly. Diaspora’s Homeland: Modern China in the Age of Global Migration (Duke 2018)
Hsu, Madeline. Dreaming of Gold, Dreaming of Home: Transnationalism and Migration between the United States and Southern China, 1882-1943 (Stanford 2000)

Roberts, J.A.G., China to Chinatown: Chinese Food in the West. London: Reaktion, 2002.

Wang Gungwu. The Chinese Overseas: From Earthbound China to the Quest for Autonomy. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000.

25 % Class participation and attendance

24 % Two 2-3 page book reviews

36 % 9-10 page research paper

10 % In-class presentation of research

5% peer review

ANS 362 • Research In Asian Studies

show description

Individual instruction for Asian studies majors and nonmajors. Discussion, research, and the writing of papers about various general and specialized Asian subjects.  Prerequisite: Six semester hours of coursework in Asian studies and
written consent of instructor on form obtained from the undergraduate adviser.

ANS 372 • Contemp Japanese Literature

32244 • Kuehl, Michael
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM BEN 1.124
show description

This course examines contemporary Japanese literature produced after the economic bubble in 1991 to the present. The core objective is to develop critical close reading skills which will allow us to think, discuss, and write analytically about how Japanese artists conceptualize contemporary Japan and the issues Japanese society currently faces. In addition to considering the form and style of Japanese fiction (including some examples from contemporary cinema), we will also approach such themes as family, gender relations, sexuality, economic stagnation, religion, crime, the environment, natural and man-made disasters, war memory, and technology.  Through our rigorous exploration of literature, we will find out what we can learn both about and from Japan. 

ANS 372 • Jpn Pop Cul:anime/Manga/Otaku

32243 • Schaub, Joseph
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM GDC 4.304
(also listed as AAS 320)
show description

This course examines a wide variety of Japanese popular media within the historical context during which these unique cultural forms developed.  Our focus will be on the popular manga and anime Japan has exported since becoming an economic superpower in the 1980s.  We will explore utopian/dystopian expression in Japanese sci-fi narratives of this era, and the complex interplay of gender and technology in the new posthuman societies these narratives envision.  We will also consider the significance of global fandom as we chart the rise of the transnational otaku, and its relevance to Japan’s exercise of soft power.

ANS 372 • Precolonial India, 1200-1750

32242 • Talbot, Cynthia
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GAR 1.126
(also listed as HIS 364G)
show description

This course surveys the history of South Asia during the era prior to British colonial rule.  It begins ca. 1200 with the establishment of Muslim political power in North India and ends ca. 1750 with the emergence of British dominance in East India.  The large states which emerged in this period – the Delhi Sultanate, the Vijayanagara kingdom of South India, and the Mughal empire – incorporated  regions of South Asia that had previously been politically divided and stimulated the circulation of ideas, peoples, and goods throughout the subcontinent and beyond.  The increased scale of these political networks led to greater uniformity and communication in the society and economy of South Asia, as well as the growth of a pan-Indian elite culture.  At the same time, the diversity of South Asian culture and society increased during the timespan from 1200 to 1750, due to the influx of peoples and religions of foreign origin coming overland from Afghanistan and Persia and also overseas from Europe and elsewhere.   The roots of contemporary South Asia -– an area that is distinctly different from other parts of the world yet is also very diverse internally – thus lie in the precolonial era.
1) C. Asher & C. Talbot, India before Europe
2) Banarsidas, Ardhakathanak: A Half Story, trans. Rohini Chowdhury
3) excerpts from The Rehla of Ibn Battuta, Hasan Sizji's Morals of the Heart, 
    Baburnama, Humayunnama, Michael Fisher's Visions of Mughal India etc.
2 papers (4-6 pps each)= 40%
2 exams (ID & essay))= 50%
1 set of discussion questions=   5%
attendance & participation=   5%

ANS 379 • Cul Mem/Classic Chinese Nov

32255 • Lai, Chiu
Meets M 4:00PM-7:00PM RLP 0.120
(also listed as C L 323)
show description
  • Meets with CL 323
  • Course carries Writing Flag, Global Cultures Flag
  • 2019 Novel:  The Story of the Stone (Honglou meng, or Dream of the Red Chamber)

The focus of this course is on the masterpiece 18th c. Chinese novel, Dream of the Red Chamber (Honglou meng), with the alternate title of The Story of the Stone (Shitou ji).  Lectures and seminar-style discussion will examine the metaphors and mythology from Chinese cultural memory that are present in this classic novel.  Lectures will provide literary and socio-historical contexts for the novel. A selection of primary and secondary source readings will introduce a cross-section of influential works from classical literature and the major founding schools of Chinese thought. Complementary study will include the viewing of modern-day visual and dramatic representations of this novel. 

The core of the seminar will be the intensive reading and study of The Story of the Stone.  Our reading of the novel in this course is modeled after the original serial nature of the work, where segments of the story were serially released, and read and discussed with great fervor in both public and private spheres.  The attendant commentary and reimagining of the story belonged to the reading public.  One could argue that this was one of the earliest prominent works to spawn “fan fiction,” especially in the context of Chinese artistic ownership, or lack thereof.  We will consider the novel in this light of pop culture, and address the work as a stellar example of how a lowbrow cultural practice has evolved into a highbrow dynamic. 


CAO Xueqin, translated by David Hawkes, The Story of the Stone, Vols. I, II, III

(Penguin, 1973, 1977, 1980) [aka Honglou meng (Dream of the Red Chamber)]

CAO Xueqin and Gao E, translated by John Minford, The Story of the Stone, Vols. IV, V

(Penguin, 1982, 1986)

Richard J. Smith, The Qing Dynasty and Traditional Chinese Culture (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015) [QDTCC]

Other Required Readings on Canvas Course Site

ANS 384 • Body In Indian Medicine & Myth

32269 • Selby, Martha
Meets M 5:00PM-8:00PM WCH 4.118
(also listed as ANT 391, R S 394T, WGS 393)
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What does it mean to inhabit a body in India?  This is the primary question that we will attempt to answer during the course of the semester in this seminar (graduate standing is required).  The readings and discussion over the course of the term will parallel the development of the human being from conception, infancy and childhood, adulthood and sexuality, and will end with aging and death.  We will take an interdisciplinary approach, and will examine textual materials from an extensive range of sources and time periods.  Sources will include selections in translation from medical literature from India’s Āyurvedic traditions as well as readings from religious narratives that deal directly with issues of embodiment and provide powerful metaphors for it.  We will also be drawing largely on sociological and anthropological studies of the different forms that embodiment takes, from metaphysical issues on what it means to be “alive” or “dead” and the human body’s connection to land and landscape to careful explorations of the body’s outer surfaces in terms of ritual, ascetic, and strictly sartorial concerns with adornment and fashion. We will also explore the fascinating interfaces between bodybuilding and nation building in India.

ANS 384 • Hinduism

32265 • Davis, Donald
Meets T 3:30PM-6:30PM MEZ 1.104
(also listed as R S 394T)
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A comprehensive survey of Hindu traditions for graduate students in Asian studies, religion, history, and philosophy. The course will cover substantive topics ranging from ritual, mythology, and institutions to theology, philosophy, and mysticism. Theoretical perspectives and controversies about the nature and history of Hinduism as a tradition will be examined in detail.

ANS 390 • Anthropology Of East Asia

32270 • Oppenheim, Robert
Meets T 5:00PM-8:00PM RLP 0.124
(also listed as ANT 391)
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Anthropology of East Asia is a graduate level course designed both for anthropologists and for non-anthropologists interested in East Asia.  It has two primary goals.  The first is simply to consider contemporary topics, approaches, and frameworks in anthropologies focused on East Asia in a way useful to non-anthropologists and anthropologists alike; I group recent writings around a selection of major and minor themes.  The second is to forward a more explicit discussion of the complex intersections of theory, topic, and area focus.  Consider the following:

a) Anthropologists, often, define themselves by topic or approach, rather (or more than) the geographical area of their research.  E.g., in conversations at conferences, “I do development” often trumps “I do West Africa.”


b) Anthropologists of East Asia are sometimes exceptions to rule a.


Understanding this and its effects on the political economy of knowledge involves keeping in mind a host of tensions, overlapping histories, and divergent and convergent traditions.

ANS 390 • Intel Hist Indo-Iran Islam

32275 • Moin, A
Meets T 1:00PM-4:00PM CAL 419
(also listed as HIS 388K, MES 381, R S 394T)
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This graduate seminar will concentrate on the influence of Iran, and Persian literary culture, on the intellectual history of Islam in India.  A topical organization will be followed rather than a chronological one, although we will also take note of the chronological development that involved: (a) the dominant culture of émigrés from the Iranian plateau during the period of the various Muslim sultanates in India (ca. l000 to 1500 AD), and (b) the development of a composite (or Indianized) Islamic culture under the Mughal empire (ca. 1500 to 1800). Requirements for the course include extensive readings both from secondary works and from primary sources (in translation), and discussion and evaluation of the readings.

ANS 391 • Gender And Decolonial Historie

32280 • Chatterjee, Indrani
Meets T 4:00PM-7:00PM GAR 1.122
(also listed as HIS 382N, WGS 393)
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Decolonial histories, according to Walter Mignolo, keep the coevalness of plural epistemologies (ways of knowing), ontologies (ways of being, identifications and identities) and practices that were marginalised in the course of European colonialism. A decolonial perspective on the past of especially Asian, African and Indian Ocean worlds is located in archives, epistemes and practices that have been relegated to the status of the past, even when some of these practices remain visible in the postcolonial present. Thus decolonialsm offers a method of understanding and writing about ongoing lives and methods of acting that do not privilege any one model of interpretation of the state or of subjects. This methodological insight is especially useful for reopening the investigation of gender over the long duree in the societies of the broader Indian Ocean world. This dual-track graduate course will familiarize both freshmen graduate students with philosophies and practices pertaining to gender and feminism in a non-Western past, as well as enable ongoing research scholars to test particular bodies of feminist scholarship in the context of new research materials and goals. This seminar will also enable both groups of scholars to understand their situated-ness in terms of the production of scholarly research and writing. Theoretical issues to be studied include: gender/sexuality and historiography; the intersections of gender, colonialism and anti-colonial resistance, the emergence of concepts of subjectivities and feminist research ethics. This course is expected to meet the training needs of graduate students in History, Department of Asian Studies and Women and Gender Studies.

ANS 391 • Ideas Of The East: Global Hist

32285 • Koyagi, Mikiya
Meets T 3:30PM-6:30PM CAL 422
(also listed as HIS 388K, MES 385)
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This graduate seminar examines transnational networks of Asian intellectuals and statesmen to study their ideas of Asia. When and where did the concept of Asia emerge in what we call “Asia” today? How did their meanings change over time? What kind of political, economic and cultural activities did the concepts of “Asia” generate among diverse peoples of “Asia”? We will explore how the shared identity as “Asians” emerged and transformed among people who did not see themselves as such until the nineteenth century.

ANS 391 • Invisible Global Market

32290 • Mahajan, Vijay
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM RRH 5.402
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Study of various subjects with Asian studies-related content.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Some topics are offered on the letter-grade basis only; these are identified in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic and are given in the Course Schedule.