Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

ANS 301M • Introduction To Buddhism

32165 • Freiberger, Oliver
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM UTC 3.132
GC (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 Theravāda Buddhism and its spread into South East Asia. The emergence of Mahāyāna Buddhism in India and its spread into Central Asia and East Asia will be covered as well as the development of Vajrayāna 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 Buddhismcame to Europe and America and examining the new forms and ideas it developed here.

ANS 301M • Introduction To Islam

32170 • Azam, Hina
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM RLP 1.106
GC (also listed as ISL 310, R S 319)
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This course provides an introduction to the religion of Islam. It is designed for students with a general interest in the Islamic world, in religion, or in History. We will examine the theology, history, and main social and legal institutions of Islam. Islam, as a major system of belief in the world, is experienced by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Consequently, besides studying the basic tenets and texts of the religion, this course will focus on the variety of ways in which Muslims and non-Muslims have understood and interpreted Islam. We will review the debates surrounding the life of the prophet of Islam, Islamic pre-modern and modern history, the Islamic concept of God and society, the role of women, and finally, Islamic government and movements. The course is designed for students with a general interest in the Islamic world, religions, or history. No prior knowledge of Islam or Islamic history is necessary.

ANS 301R • History Of Religions Of Asia

32175 • Brereton, Joel
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM UTC 3.102
GC (also listed as R S 302)
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This course offers a survey of the major religious traditions of Asia (Hinduism, Buddhism in South and East Asia, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto). It focuses on the historical development of their beliefs, practices, rituals, and customs in social context. The course will combine lectures with class discussions on readings.

Course materials:

  1. Willard G. Oxtoby, Roy C. Amore, eds. World Religions: Eastern Traditions. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.
  2. R. K. Narayan, The Mahabharata: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2000.
  3. Zhuangzi: Basic Writings, translated by Burton Watson. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.
  4. Readings provided as PDF files on CANVAS


  • Attendance/participation: 20%
  • Two quizzes: 20% (10% each)
  • Two short essays: 20% (10% each)
  • Midterm exam: 20%
  • Final exam: 20%

ANS 302C • Introduction To China

32180 • Yang, Li
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM ART 1.110
GC (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.

ANS 302K • Introduction To South Asia

32185 • Rajpurohit, Dalpat
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WAG 201
GC (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 307C • Intro To The History Of India

32190 • Guha, Sumit
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM MEZ B0.306
GC (also listed as HIS 307C)
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This course surveys the long history of the Indian subcontinent. It has two goals. The first is to provide you with an outline of the major phases of South Asian history from the rise of its first civilization five thousand years ago, up to the development of modern self-governing states after the end of the British empire. The second is to enable you to think about how humans organize themselves to live in the mega-societies that occupy the world today. India created one of the earliest such societies on the planet. Since the course surveys five thousand years, it will be directed to identifying lasting patterns and institutions rather than individuals and events. But class discussions will especially focus on key personalities and important texts that have left historic legacies or offer insight into their times. The format will be a mix of lectures with discussion, as well as discussion meetings devoted to specific readings.


The course is designed to accommodate students with no previous knowledge of Asia. It does require students to attend regularly, contribute to a collective learning process, keep up with weekly readings and participate constructively in discussions. Discussions will usually focus on primary sources. A primary source is something that historians use as a valid record of the past. All good historical narrative is constructed on the basis of evidence from primary sources. Reading and discussing these will enable you reason from evidence, just as historians do



Thomas R. Trautmann India: Brief History of a Civilization

Second Edition Publication Date - January 2015

ISBN: 9780190202491

All other readings will be available on the course website or free download.

Grading: 4 best reading responses/geographical understanding tests 20%; one 1000-1200 word book report – 20%; mid-term and final in-class exams – total 25 + 25%; attendance 10%.


Regular attendance is expected. A student may only be absent or late three times without penalty. Make-up for missing a quiz/test/exam will only be permitted if a documented and satisfactory explanation is provided.

Grades will be assigned as follows:

A+ = 97-100                 A=93-96           A- = 90-93

B+ = 86-89                   B= 82-85          B-= 78-81

C+ = 74-77                   C=70-73           C-=66-69

D+ = 62-65                   D= 58-61          D-=57-53

52 and lower are F.

ANS 340 • Death/Dying In South Asia

32200 • Maes, Claire
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 303
GC (also listed as R S 341)
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“It is hard to have patience with people who say, ‘There is no death’ or ‘Death doesn’t matter.’ There is

death. And whatever is matters. And whatever happens has consequences, and it and they are irrevocable and irreversible.” (C.S. Lewis 1996 [1961]: 15) Subscribing to these short but powerful statements, this course explores the various beliefs, practices, attitudes, and understandings of the dying experience, death, and the afterlife across South Asian cultural areas. During the course of the semester, we will be looking at the philosophical, ethical, and legal issues of death from a variety of perspectives. We will explore in detail how South Asian religious traditions have been approaching the problem of death within their broader cultural, historical, and social contexts. We will focus on various religious traditions, among others Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Central themes will include the changing meaning of death, the contemporary issue of the medicalization of death, and the funeral service industry. Discussions will center on the questions of ‘What is a good death?’, ‘What does the end of life mean for oneself and for others?’ and most basically but importantly ‘What is life?’ and ‘How is it envisioned after death?’ We will work with religious and philosophical treatises on death, as well as with different types of literary forms, ethnographies, documentaries, and feature-length films.


Grading Policy

Attendance and Participation (15 %)

Reading Responses and Documentary/Film reviews (25 %)

Midterm (25%)

Final (25%)

Oral Presentation (10 %)

ANS 341K • Origins Of Modern Japan

32205 • Ravina, Mark
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GAR 0.128
GCWr (also listed as HIS 341K)
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Same as Asian Studies 341K. This course focuses on Japan’s early modern age, from the end of the warring-states period in the 1500s to the stirrings of the industrial revolution in the mid 1800s.  The central focus is on the period of government by the Tokugawa shoguns (1600–1867), a period that reveals the social-ecological dynamics of an island country at a time of chronic resource scarcity and unprecedented development of popular culture.  Topics include the classical and medieval heritage, social and economic change, national isolation and national opening, the Meiji revolution, and the origins of modern nationalism, imperialism, and democracy.   We pay special attention to the subjective experiences of Japanese men and women who lived and created Japan’s distinctive path to modernity.

ANS 347K • Gov And Politics Of South Asia

32210 • Liu, Xuecheng
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM JES A303A
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ANS 361 • Asian Rgnlism/Multilat Coop

32255 • Liu, Xuecheng
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 101
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ANS 361 • Captl/Consum/Civ Soc Korea

32240 • Oppenheim, Robert
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM WAG 112
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This is a course about contemporary social and political life in urban South Korea—to use a complex and problematic concept, about Korean modernity.  It focuses on present conditions and their historical background: on capitalism and development from the colonial era (1910-1945) to the present, on the perspectives of workers, white-collar employees, and students over time, on the lifestyles of the new middle class, and on the struggle for democracy and its aftermath.  We will read ethnographies of corporations, factory work, consumption, and activism, as well as accounts of popular culture and changing gender systems and roles.  We will also watch several recent films and examine other visual materials.

ANS 361 • Development And Movement

32215 • Oh, Youjeong
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM MEZ 1.216
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This class explores various interpretations, methods, and policies of development mainly focusing on the cases of East and Southeast Asia. We will trace the history of development as a post-war international project that emerged in the context of decolonization since the 1940s. Particular attentions will be given to the state-driven developmentalism in East and Southeast Asia, intertwined with the Cold War geopolitics, decolonization, post-colonial desires, economic development, and the US-led neocolonizing capitalist incorporation of the greater Asia region. Then we will move to practices of development/counter-development/post-development in the era of globalization and neoliberalism. Topics included land, labor and livelihood struggles; race, gender, power; activism and social movements; transnational development and the reinterpretation of foreign aid; and civil society and the future of the state.

ANS 361 • Ethnic Polit In Taiwan/Asia

32220 • Liu, Amy
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM PAR 303
GC (also listed as GOV 365L)
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Students must have taken a foundational course in government or Asian studies. The course also assumes basic knowledge of world history.


Course Description

This course is primarily about ethnic politics in Taiwan. We begin with a study of different theories of ethnic politics. Then we will draw on these theories to understand how the Taiwanese state transitioned from being an authoritarian regime – where an ethnic minority repressed the majority – to one that is democratic and accommodating of even the most marginalized minorities. We will conclude by situating the Taiwanese experience against those of its neighbors.


Grading Criteria

25%     Weekly Quiz

25%     Midterm Examination

25%     Final Examination

25%     Data-Based Paper

ANS 361 • Global Commodities: Asia And T

32225 • Clulow, Adam
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM RLP 0.122
GCIIWr (also listed as HIS 350L)
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This course explores the vital role of commodities in Asian history with a particular focus on East and Southeast Asia.  It examines a range of key commodities from silver to deerskins to soybeans that were exchanged across Asia and which came to transform the political, economic and social contours of the region while underpinning the construction of empire.  The focus is on how the spread of commodities created a global economy while reshaping both sites of production and consumption.  By weaving together the stories of different commodities, this course aims to present a different way to understand the history of early modern and modern Asia and the development of global capitalism.


Pomeranz, Kenneth, and Steven Topik. The World That Trade Created: Society, Culture, and the World Economy, 1400 to the Present (Armonk, NY and London: M. E. Sharpe, 1999)


Rose, Sarah. For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History (Penguin Books, 2011)


Weekly Readings


Flynn, Dennis. O and Arturo Giraldez. “Born with a ‘Silver Spoon’: The Origin of World Trade in 1571.” Journal of World History 6.2 (1995): 201-21.


Flynn, Dennis O., and Arturo Giráldez. 1994a. “China and the Manila Galleons.” In Japanese Industrialization and the Asian Economy, ed. A. J. H. Latham and H. Kawakatsu. London.


Excerpts from Von Glahn, Richard. Fountain of Fortune: Money and Monetary Policy in China, 1000–1700 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996)


Flynn, Dennis O., and Arturo Giráldez, “Cycles of Silver: Global Economic Unity through the Mid- Eighteenth Century,” Journal of World History 13.2 (2002): 391-427.


Hochstrasser, Julie Berger, “The Conquest of Spice and the Dutch Colonial Imaginary. Seen and Unseen in the Visual Culture of Trade,” pp. 169-186, in Schiebinger, Londa and Claudia Swan (eds.), Colonial Botany: Science, Commerce, and Politics (Pennsylvania University Press, 2005)


  1. L. van Zanden, The Rise and Decline of Holland's Economy. Merchant. Capitalism and the Labor Market (Manchester: Manchester University. Press, 1993), 67-81


Excerpts from Adam Clulow, Amboina, 1623: Conspiracy and Fear on the Edge of Empire (Columbia University Press, 2019)


Koo, Hui-wen, “Deer Hunting and Preserving the Commons in Dutch Colonial Taiwan,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 42.2 (2011): 185-203.


Laver, Michael, “Skins in the Game: The Dutch East India Company, Deerskins, and the Japan Trade,” World History Bulletin 28:2. Fall (2012): 13-16.


Walker, Brett, The Conquest of Ainu Lands: Ecology and Culture in Japanese Expansion, 1590-1800 (Berkeley and London: University of California Press, 2001).


Gerritsen, Anne. “Fragments of a Global Past: Ceramics Manufacture in Song-Yuan- Ming Jingdezhen,” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 52 (2009), pp. 117-152.


Gerritsen, Anne and Stephen McDowall, 'Material Culture and the Other: European Encounters with Chinese Porcelain 1650-1800', Journal of World History, 23, 2012, pp. 87-113.


Gerritsen, Anne ‘Chinese Porcelain Local and Global Context: the Imperial Connection’, Luxury in Global Perspective: Commodities and Practices, c. 1600-2000, Bernd-Stefan Grewe (Universität Konstanz) and Karin Hofmeester (IISH Amsterdam), eds. (Cambridge University Press, 2017).


Dillon, Michael, Transport and Marketing in the Development of the Jingdezhen Porcelain Industry During the Ming and Qing Dynasties,” Journal of the Social and Economic History of the Orient 35 (1992), 278-90.


Carol Benedict, “Between State Power and Popular desire: tobacco in Pre-Conquest Manchuria, 1600–1644.” Late Imperial China 32 (1):13–48.


Mathee, Rudi, “Exotic Substances: The Introduction and Global Spread of Tobacco, Coffee, Cocoa, Tea, and Distilled Liquor, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries,” in Roy Porter and Mikulás Teich, eds. Drugs and Narcotics in History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).


Screech, Timon. “Tobacco in Edo Period Japan.” In Smoke: A Global History of

Smoking, eds. Sander L. Gilman and Zhou Xun, 92–99 (London: Reaktion Books, 2004)


Excerpts from Shelagh Vainker, Chinese Silk: A Cultural History (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2004)


Excerpts from Xing Hang, Conflict and Commerce in Maritime East Asia: The Zheng Family and the Shaping of the Modern World, c. 1620-1720 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2016).


Chan Ying-Kit, “The Founding of Singapore and the Chinese Kongsis of West Borneo,”

Journal of Cultural Interaction in East Asia, 7 (2016),  99-121


Tagliacozzo, Eric.  “A Necklace of Fins: Marine Goods Trading in Maritime Southeast Asia, 1780–1860.” International Journal of Asian Studies 1, no. 1 (2004), 23–48.


Tagliacozzo, Eric. 2011. “A Sino-Southeast Asian Circuit: Ethnohistories of the

Marine Goods Trade.” In Chinese Circulations: Capital, Commodities, and

Networks in Southeast Asia, edited by Eric Tagliacozzo and Wen-Chin Chang,

  1. 432-454. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.


Excerpts from Trocki, Carl A. Opium, empire and the global political economy: A study of the Asian opium trade, 1750 –1950, Asia’s transformations (London and New York: Routledge, 1999)


Carl A. Trocki. Opium as a Commodity in the Chinese Nanyang Trade, in Chinese Circulations: Capital, Commodities, and Networks in Southeast Asia, Edited by  Eric Tagliacozzo and Wen-chin Chang (Duke University Press, 2011)


James Hevia, “Opium, Empire, and Modern History”. China Review International  10.2 (2003): 307–326


Excerpts from Eric Jay Dolin, Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America. (New York: W. W. Norton, 2007)


Wiley, Peter Booth. Yankees in the Land of the Gods: Commodore Perry and the Opening of Japan (New York: Viking Penguin, 1990)


  1. H. Drabble, Rubber in Malaya 1876–1922: The Genesis of the Industry (Oxford University Press, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, 1973)


Hagan, J. & Wells, A. D. 'The British and rubber in Malaya, c1890-1940', in G. Patmore, J. Shields & N. Balnave (eds), The Past is Before Us: Proceedings of the Ninth National Labour History Conference, ASSLH, Business & Labour History Group, University of Sydney, Australia (2005), pp. 143-150.

Excerpts from Louise Young. Japan’s Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism (University of California Press, 1998)

Ines Prodöhl, "A Miracle Bean". How Soy Conquered the West, 1909-1950 · Bulletin of the GHI Washington, Issue 45 (Fall 2009)


Attendance, Preparation and Participation- 10%

Assignment 1: Amboina Trial Group Exercise - 15%

Assignment 2: Commodity History Book Review - 20%

Assignment 3: Commodity Portfolio, poster presentation and reflective

paper – 30%

Final Exam: 25%

ANS 361 • Global Economies: Asia/US

32260 • Mays, Susan
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM RLP 1.102
GC (also listed as AAS 325)
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ANS 361 • Mughal India In Hist/Memory

32250 • Talbot, Cynthia
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM BUR 228
GCWr (also listed as HIS 350L, ISL 372)
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This undergraduate seminar focuses on South Asia during the era of the Mughal empire. Much of the Indian subcontinent came under the control of the Mughal dynasty, ushering in a period of peace and prosperity during which long-lasting economic and cultural linkages were formed between the various regions of the subcontinent. Aside from its cultural splendor, political might, and booming economy, Mughal India is also important for the many ways in which it shaped South Asia's development in subsequent centuries. We will therefore look not only at Mughal India at the height of imperial power between approximately 1550 to 1750, but also at the continuing legacies and symbolic relevance of the Mughal dynasty in British India and in India today. 

The basic political history of the period will be covered in the course, through occasional lectures by the instructor and readings drawn from recent secondary scholarship on the Mughal empire. However, the emphasis will be on exposing students first-hand to original sources from the Mughal period such as court chronicles and European travel accounts, as well as material from more recent eras such as films and historical novels. Considerable class time will also be spent on the painting and architecture of the era, as well as on the religious patronage and social composition of the court elites. By the end of the semester, students should be familiar with the main developments of the Mughal era and have a sense of how the Mughal dynasty has been remembered by later generations.


1) Catherine B. Asher & Cynthia Talbot, India Before Europe

2) Andre Wink, Akbar (Makers of the Muslim World series)

3) Audrey Truschke, Aurangzeb

4) numerous other excerpts from primary sources (on Canvas)



5 reading responses (400-500 words each)                               25%

comparing emperors paper, 2 drafts (1500 words)                   25%

primary source analysis paper (2500 words)                              30%

performance as discussion leader                                      5%

attendance & participation                                                 20%

ANS 361 • Pol Econ Devel Postwar Korea

32230 • Oh, Youjeong
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM MEZ 1.210
GC (also listed as AAS 325, GRG 356T)
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This course will explore the political economy of South Korean development during the postwar period. The purpose of this course is to develop critical understanding of history, society, and culture of South Korea. By reading texts about compressed modernity, developmental state, social movements, gender politics, financial crisis and its aftermath, this course will address the tensions between industrialization, nationalism, authoritarianism, and democracy in South Korea. At the same time, we will contemplate contemporary South Korea in the global context by exploring such topics as Cold War geopolitics, transnational migration, transnational adoption, the globalization of Korean popular culture, and K-pop tourism. It is a reading- and discussion-extensive course.



Class Participation: 20%
Reading Responses: 20%
Midterm Exam: 20%
Final Paper: 40%

ANS 361 • Why Chinese Has No Alphabet

32245 • Lai, Chiu-Mi
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM RLP 0.118
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*Cross-listed with LIN 350

Carries Global Cultures Flag

This course will provide an introduction to the history of the evolution of the Chinese writing system and language. This course is open to all students and while recommended, no background in Chinese language, culture or linguistics is required. Course emphasis will be given to the study of the writing system and the cultural contexts that have preserved such a unique orthography from ancient to modern times. In this context, the course will include some discussion of the history of the Chinese language, including Chinese dialects. Lectures and discussions will focus on the cultural, historical, social, and political background against which Chinese writing and language have evolved.

            Introduction – Chinese Language and Writing; What is writing?  What is an alphabet?

  1. The Beginnings – Ancient Writing Systems (Mesopotamia, Egypt), Proto-Writing, the Shang Bronze Age
  2. The Han Dynasty Milestone – Old Text/New Text Debates, Invention of Paper, “radicals” and the influential role of the Shuowen jiezi
  3. The Song Dynasty Milestone – Calligraphy, Painting, Invention of Printing, and “handwriting”
  4. The Modern Milestone – Language Reform, Script transformation, Japanese/Western influence
  5. Contemporary Times – Chinese writing in the cyber age, influence of the English language/alphabet


ANS 361 • World War I: The Colonial Expe

32234 • Rose, Christopher
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GAR 1.126
GC (also listed as HIS 366N)
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World War I has been described as a “total war,” one in which civilian as well as military populations were expected to participate. However, the war was not just between European nation-states, but also between imperial powers, who drew on the natural and human resources of their colonial holdings for the war effort. British Egypt, Ottoman Syria, and German East and Southwest Africa saw military action in their own territories, while Indians and Indochinese were utilized as sources of both laborers for the front and fighting men by Britain and France in both colony and metropole.

This course will examine the impact of the total war on the colonies and colonial subjects. From the ways that resource provisioning triggered starvation and famine in the countries of the Mediterranean, the recruiting methods used by imperial powers to rally support for the war cause in the colonies, to the challenges of colonial concepts of race posed by Vietnamese soldiers in the streets of Paris, we’ll explore the global nature of World War I in North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia.

We’ll end with a discussion of the so-called “Wilsonian moment,” and the tensions that resulted when promised nationalist aspirations were dashed at Versailles in 1919—tensions that would remain unresolved until after the Second World War and the beginning of decolonization. What had these nations-in-waiting expected to happen at Versailles, and why?

This class is appropriate for upper division undergraduates in history, area studies, and related fields; graduate students seeking to do a "bump-up" are welcome.

ANS 362 • Research In Asian Studies

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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 • Art In The Himalayas

32270 • Leoshko, Janice
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM DFA 2.204
EGCWr (also listed as R S 352)
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ANS 372 • Japanese Concepts Body/Self

32285 • Traphagan, John
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM BUR 228
GC (also listed as ANT 324L, R S 352)
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ANS 372 • Jpn Pop Cul:anime/Manga/Otaku

32280 • Schaub, Joseph
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM RLP 0.128
GC (also listed as AAS 320)
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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 the Japanese sci-fi narratives of tis era, and the complex interplay of genre and technology

in the new posthuman societies this 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


ANS 379 • Art Of Autobiography In Jpn

32300 • Cather, Kirsten
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM PAR 10
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This seminar examines autobiographies written by prominent figures in Japan from the tenth century to the present and considers how they negotiated their lives and their legacies through the act of self-portraiture. We will look at how these works are informed by both the historical and cultural contexts in which they were written and by the genre itself. Examples include works by highborn ladies-in-waiting and imperial consorts in the premodern era; samurai men who found their class on the verge of extinction in the mid-19th century; and avant-garde artists and filmmakers in the 20th and 21st centuries. In order to consider in depth how the form or medium guides the content of these self-portraits, our objects of study will encompass a wide variety of mediums that go beyond the traditional book form to include paintings, poems, songs, films, and manga.
This is a Writing Flag and Global Cultures Flag course. In this class, you can expect to write and revise regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from your instructor and your peers to help you improve your academic writing. You should expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your written work. It is also designed to increase your familiarity with practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present.

ANS 379 • Cul Outsidr: Memoirs E Asia

32305 • Lai, Chiu-Mi
Meets M 4:00PM-7:00PM RLP 0.120
GCWr (also listed as HIS 340U)
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The Cultural Outsider: Memoirs and Travelogues of East Asia*

*cross-listed with HIS 340U

Course carries Global Cultures and Writing Flags

The focus of the capstone seminar is on the cultural outsider’s perceptions of East Asia as addressed in greater literature originally written in English (with a few exceptions), in the genres of memoirs and travelogues dating from as early as the writings of Marco Polo up to works published in contemporary America. Works selected for the seminar are to be read and discussed within the broad context of “travel literature” by visitors to greater East Asia: China (including Hong Kong and Tibet), Taiwan, Japan, and Korea. These travelers include missionaries, colonizers, journalists, POW’s, scholars, students, and tourists. Through a sampling of these selected works, a main focus will be on the approach to the concept of “Asianness” in the distant and recent past as treated from the perspective of a cultural outsider.

Some major concepts and themes that emerge from these works concern Asian stereotypes, self-discovery and cultural identity formation, and exoticization of Asia and all things Asian (or “Oriental”). We will pose open-ended questions about these perceptions of Asia not as literary critics, but rather more as readers, or as fellow travelers to Asia. Thus, the course focus will be on primary, rather than secondary, sources and materials. Students will choose from the selected works below for oral panel presentations, leading class discussion, which in turn will form a focus for essays.


ANS 379 • Gender/Labor In Global Asia

32310 • Hindman, Heather
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GAR 1.134
GCWr (also listed as ANT 324P)
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This course will examine the production, distribution, and consumption of East Asian popular culture. Specific topics include Hong Kong cinema, Japanese animation, Japanese trendy dramas, Korean television dramas, and K-po music. Noting the “globalization” phenomenon, this course will address what has caused the increasing visibility of East Asian Cultural products outside of the region. The growing recognition of East Asian pop culture around the globe, however, has also accompanied by more vibrant circulations of the cultural products and interactions among recipients within the region. Therefore, this course will take the globalization of popular culture as an analytical lens through which to reflect modernity, tensions of (trans)nationalism, urbanization gender politics, and identity formations in East Asia.


Class Participation; 20%

Reading Responses: 20%

Student Presentation: 20%

Midterm and Final Paper: 40%

ANS 386 • Reading Japanese Lit And Film

32335 • Cather, Kirsten
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM MEZ 1.104
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In this class, we will analyze classic texts of modern Japanese literature and film alongside the classic secondary scholarship that has arisen about these works to consider key debates about the place of art in Japanese society in the 20th and 21st centuries. These debates center around artistic and political issues, such as competing gendered and national identities and subjectivities; censorship and the state; western versus Japanese poetics and narrative conventions; and the evolution of film and literary languages. Reading works of criticism written by both Japanese and Western scholars will enable us also to examine how Japanese literary and film theory converges or diverges from Western theoretical models.

The focus of the course will be to improve literary and film interpretive and analytical skills, and to get a sense of how literary and film theorists and critics in both Japan and the West analyze these texts. We will also work to situate the authors and works in their socio-historical context to consider how it informs both primary and secondary works.

Reading List to be determined based on the interests/research focus of class members. 

ANS 390 • Sufism/Islam Mystic Traditn

32340 • Hyder, Syed
Meets W 6:00PM-9:00PM WCH 4.118
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What are the major issues that scholars face when engaging histories, literary aesthetics, and ethnographies concerning Islamic mystical traditions? How do we read the poetic traditions vis-a-vis the prose traditions that inform Sufism? What roles have gender and sexuality played in the emplotment of Sufi spirituality? This course will explore these questions and  others. 
Book Reviews: 40%
Mid-term: 20%
Final paper: 40%
Shahab Ahmed, What is Islam?
Supriya Gandhi, The Emperor who Never was: Dara Shukoh in Mughal India
Annemarie Schimmel, As through a Veil
S.H. Nasri, Three Muslim Sages
William Chittick, Ibn Arabi
Rika Cornell, Rabi'a from Narrative to Myth 
Nile Green, Sufism: A Global History
Omid Safi, Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Tradition
Katherin Ewing, Arguing Sainthood: Modernity, Psychoanalysis, and Islam

ANS 391 • Ethnography Of Global Asia

32345 • Hindman, Heather
Meets T 5:00PM-8:00PM WCH 4.118
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This graduate seminar is designed to familiarize students with recent literature discussing transnational Asia and the Asian diaspora.  Students will be expected to be researching related material and the research interests of the students will in part shape the course context.  The class will consider topics including the role of diasporas in shaping national imaginaries, the popularity and transformation of Asian medias and the importance of off-shored manufacturing and knowledge work.

ANS 391 • Sovrgnty In Islam:thry/Prac

32350 • Moin, A
Meets W 2:00PM-5:00PM BUR 554
(also listed as R S 390T)
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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.