Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

ANS 301M • Intro To Japanese Film

31605 • Cather, Kirsten
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM PAR 1
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This course will offer a broad survey of Japanese cinema focusing on fictional feature films, but also including early silents and anime (animated films). The goals of this course are: to gain a familiarity with and appreciation for Japanese films and culture, to learn the basic history of Japanese cinema, to acquire the necessary vocabulary and tools for analyzing films as cinematic texts, and to develop critical thinking skills when viewing, discussing, and writing about film. This class requires no background in Japanese language, film, or history; all films are subtitled in English. Classes will include a lecture component, but will be heavily focused on whole class and small group discussions. Your consistent attendance and active participation are essential to the success of this class and your grade in it.


List of film screenings (subject to change): 
Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai, KUROSAWA Akira, 1954, 200 min.) 
Page of Madness (Kurutta ippeiji, KINUGASA Teinosuke, 1926, 60 min.)
Sisters of the Gion (Gion no kyōdai, MIZOGUCHI Kenji, 1936, 66 min.)
Late Spring (Banshun, OZU Yasujiro, 1949, 108 min.)
Crazed Fruit (Kurutta kajitsu, 1956, NAKAHIRA Kō, 86 min.)
Millenium Actress (Sennen jōyū, 2003, KON Satoshi, 87 min.)
Tampopo (ITAMI Juzō, 1985, 114 min.)
Fireworks (Hana-bi, KITANO “Beat” Takeshi, 1997, 103 min.)
Still Walking (Aruitemo aruitemo, KOREEDA Hirokazu, 2008, 115 min.) 
Linda Linda Linda (YAMASHITA Nobuhiro, 2005, 114 min.)

ANS 301R • History Of Religions Of Asia

31610 • Freiberger, Oliver
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM UTC 3.102
(also listed as CTI 306D, R S 302)
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This course offers a survey of 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. At the end of the semester, students will have a basic knowledge of the beliefs and practices of those religious traditions, have read important religious texts and discussed issues pertinent to the religions’ adherents, and have a more refined sense of how the category “religion” may be applied. All this enables students to develop a greater awareness of global cultural diversity and will, hopefully, spark the desire to study some of those religions more deeply.

Course materials:

  1. Willard G. Oxtoby, Roy C. Amore, Amir Hussain, eds. World Religions: Eastern Traditions. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.
  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.

ANS 302C • Introduction To China

31615 • Lai, Chiu-Mi
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM RLP 1.104
(also listed as HIS 302C)
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Introduction to Chinese Culture and Civilization

Course Description:

This course will provide an introduction to major concepts and ideas from Chinese cultural traditions to construct a course inquiry into understanding Chinese culture and society. A guiding principle in this course inquiry will be to investigate the past to help inform the present.   Lectures and discussion will examine key concepts from art, history, language, literature, and thought that greatly shaped, and continue to influence, “Chinese” cultural and geopolitical entities.  

ANS 302D • Intro To Korean Cul And Hist

31620 • Oh, Youjeong
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM RLP 1.106
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Introduction to Korea's history, culture, and civilization from antiquity to the present.  Asian Studies 301M (Topic 10) and 302D may not both be counted.

ANS 302K • Introduction To South Asia

31624 • Maes, Claire
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 103
(also listed as ANT 310L)
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This course is designed to introduce students to the various historic and contemporary cultures that constitute South Asia. Students will learn about South Asia through a variety of disciplinary lenses. A wideranging exploration of the histories, religions, literatures, arts, etc. will acquaint students with the diversity found in South Asia. This course will expose students to various perspectives that complicate the question “What is South Asia?”

ANS 320 • Classical Indian Literature

31625 • Selby, Martha
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 302
(also listed as C L 323, R S 341)
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This writing-intensive course will provide the student with a comprehensive overview of narrative literature and poetry composed in the three classical languages of India (Old Tamil, Sanskrit, and Prakrit). We will begin with a study of aesthetic conventions. First, we will examine rasa theory as it is spelled out in the Sanskrit Natyashastra, and we will then move on to dhvani or “poetic resonance” as an analytical category described by the theoreticians Anandavardhana and Abhinavagupta. We will then read excerpts from the Tolkappiyam, the earliest extant Tamil text on phonetics, grammar, and poetry, paying special attention to the sections on poetic convention and generic taxonomies. This will give us the means to study poetry produced in India’s classical period. In tandem with our explorations of literary convention, we will read a wide variety of poems from various collections from the Sanskrit and Prakrit traditions, and will then read selections from the eight anthologies of classical Tamil that treat akam (romantic/erotic) and puram (heroic/ethical) themes. We will then move on to an exploration of epic and story literature from the Sanskrit and Tamil languages.


ANS 340 • Ritual & Religion In Korea

31635 • Oppenheim, Robert
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM GAR 0.128
(also listed as R S 352)
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This course will examine major religious traditions of Korea, focusing on history and contemporary practice rather than origins, philosophical systems, or textual bases.  Topics will include shamanism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, and new religions, each of which will be considered from a variety of anthropological, sociological, and historical angles. We will also explore the relation between religion and politics mostly from the late 19th century to the present.  In the process, we shall seek also to ask a variety of broad empirical and conceptual questions.  How have religions in Korea been understood and used by various parties, and with what consequences?  Is “religion” a universal concept?  Can religion help explain political or economic change?  What intersections do religions have with ethics or with transnational imaginaries?

ANS 340C • Japan Relig/Westrn Imagintn

31640 • Traphagan, John
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM CMA 5.190
(also listed as ANT 324D, R S 352D)
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This course focuses on how Japanese religious traditions, particularly Zen, have been viewed from the perspective of people living in non-Japanese societies since the end of World War II. Using Ruth Benedict’s book The Chrysanthemum and the Sword as a starting point, we will explore different ways in which non-Japanese have imagined Japanese religious and ethical ideas and both explained Japanese behavior and adopted (often stereotyped) ideas about Japan into their writings about philosophy and life. We will discuss and deconstruct works by authors such as Alan Watts, Eugene Herrigel (Zen in the Art of Archery), and Robert Pirsig (Zen in the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) as a framework for thinking about how Japanese religious and ethical ideas have been imagined in the West.

ANS 340L • Post-Mao China: Chng/Transform

31645 • Li, Huaiyin
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GAR 1.126
(also listed as HIS 340L)
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This course examines Chinese economy, society, and politics during the reform era since the late 1970s in a historical context.  It covers the following topics: the transformation of China’s rural and urban economies and its social consequences; change and continuity in government systems, political ideologies, and popular values; and China’s integration into the global system and its impact on China’s role in world politics.  Using a comparative and historical perspective, this course aims to identify the characteristic “China model” of economic, social, and political changes and explore its implications for existing theories of development and globalization.

ANS 340S • Chinese In The United States

31650 • Hsu, Madeline
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GAR 2.112
(also listed as AAS 325, HIS 340S)
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This class examines U.S. history from the perspective of Chinese who were the first targets of racially defined immigration restrictions. As such, Chinese have played key roles in the evolution of U.S. immigration restrictions, their enforcement, limits regarding citizenship; permanent residency, and the underlying racial ideologies and conceptions of national belonging.


This course offers an overview of the history of Chinese in America with an emphasis on Chinese American identity and community formations under the shadow of the Yellow Peril. Using primary documents and secondary literature, we will examine structures of work, family, immigration law, racism, class, and gender in order to understand the changing roles and perceptions of Chinese Americans in the United States from 1847 to the present.


Partially fulfills legislative requirement for American history.


Chang, The Chinese in America: A Narrative History (2004); Yung et al Chinese American Voices (2006); excerpts of other readings posted on Canvas.


Midterms on lectures and assigned texts. Research paper on Chinese American history.

ANS 340T • Taiwan: Colniz/Migratn/Ident

31655 • Hsu, Madeline
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM RLP 0.104
(also listed as AAS 325, HIS 340T)
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Contemporary Taiwan’s claims of an ethnic identity distinct from the Chinese mainland reference a history of multiple colonizations and migrations to and from the island.  This course will explore questions of ethnicity, empire, and modernization in East Asia from the sixteenth century to the present through encounters between aborigines, Han Chinese, Dutch, Portuguese, the imperial Qing, Fujianese, Japanese, mainlander KMT, and the United States on Taiwan.

Shih-Shan Henry Tsai, Maritime Taiwan: Historical Encounters with the East and the West (M.E. Sharpe, 2009)



Denny Roy, Taiwan: A Political History (2003);
Shih-shan Henry Tsai, Maritime Taiwan (2009)
Additional readings available on CANVAS



Map quiz:  5%

Exam: 30% Short IDs and essay

Class participation and attendance: 15%

Writing assignments: 50% Three 5-6 page essays, with one rewrite required.


ANS 346N • Indian Subcontinent, 1750-1950

31660 • Chatterjee, Indrani
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM CBA 4.344
(also listed as HIS 346N)
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Description: The Indian Subcontinent can teach us a great deal about diversity in the cultures of the past. It also teaches us about the conditions under which such diversity can be lost. For these reasons, we need to understand the carving out of the Indian subcontinent into separate political units called India and Pakistan respectively (in 1947-50). The course begins with ‘caste’ and ‘religion’ in the subcontinent, moves to the gradual consolidation of British colonialism, the redrawing of social, economic, religious, political boundaries and identities and ends with the growth of modern political forms such as political parties, and end with the cataclysms of Partition in 1947.


Aims: 1) to acquaint students with basic concepts and a simplified chronology of events, people, and processes.

2) teach students the importance of ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ sources in the understanding of any past

3) encourage students to think critically by exposing them to a variety of perspectives on the past, including some key controversies around each of the themes of the course.



Requirements. On days marked ‘Read’ in the syllabus, students are required to read a compulsory number of pages in a given text in each topic before they come to class. They will be required to purchase/borrow/ rent the following

            1          Barbara and Thomas Metcalf, A Concise History of India, (3rd edition) Cambridge University Press, (2012 paperback), ISBN-13 978-1-107-67218-5


All other readings are on Canvas OR on recommended websites for particular days.



Grading is based on attendance and class-participation (40 points), four-page report on five American newspaper reports on an Indian event (10 points), in-class mid-terms and finals (20+30 points respectively). Letter grades of A, B, C, D and F will be assigned on the basis of the performance.


ANS 361 • Anthropol Of The Himalayas

31675 • Hindman, Heather
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM RLP 0.122
(also listed as AAS 330, ANT 324L)
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This course looks at the history and culture of the Himalayan region, including the northern hills of India, (briefly) sections of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Tibet but especially Nepal. Some understanding of Asian history, politics and religion will be helpful (but not necessary) as our attempt will not be a comprehensive survey of the region. The Himalayas have been the site of a great deal of anthropological attention and as such we will be simultaneously be exploring several key theoretical, historical and methodological issues within the discipline of anthropology as we learn about places and people in the region. Particular attention will be paid to the area as a site for exoticism by the Occident (as the Shangri-la phenomenon), development politics, the environment, mountaineering and tourism as well as the current political tensions in the region. At the conclusion of the class, students should have a stronger idea of the important role this area has played in the political, religious and social imagination of the world and an appreciation of concepts such as ritual theory, social movements, modernity and gender studies.

ANS 361 • Development And Its Critics

31690 • Hindman, Heather
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM RLP 0.118
(also listed as ANT 324L)
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Course Description

This class approaches particular aspects of the contemporary state of international aid and development. While people have been seeking better methods of doing good in hopes of improving their own lives and those of their community for a long time, this isn’t development, at least as we will discuss it in this class. In the post-colonial era (thus after about 1950), nation-states have created new methods and logics behind their support of/by other nation-states. While governments were long central to the operation of international aid, businesses and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) have gained prominence in recent years, and it can often be difficult in the present era to disentangle public/private or governmental/non-governmental dimensions. Increasingly (and perhaps especially because of the critique of colonialism), individuals and groups wonder if development is even a good idea, and instead promote ideas of social entrepreneurship or other forms of revenue-generating “aid programs.” The result is an extremely complex landscape behind even the most basic goal of aid - “fewer people starving, suffering and dying.” Beyond this goal, there is little agreement. Rather than approaching the unreasonable goal of deciding what good aid and bad aid is (read this twice - we will not be solving the problem of the right way to do development), we will be looking at two particular aspects of aid: the imbrication of aid into nation-state goals and development as a distinctive type of industry. At the conclusion of the class, students will have a better idea about the decision making that takes place within the development industry and the scope of aid as a economic and social force in the contemporary world.


ANS 361 • Intl Rels Of E/Stheast Asia

31670 • Maclachlan, Patricia
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM BUR 136
(also listed as GOV 365D)
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International Relations of East and Southeast Asia

GOV 365D/ANS 361

Global Cultures Flag


Fall 2019


Prof. Patricia L. Maclachlan

TTH 9:30-11:00, BUR 136


Course Description:

            This upper division undergraduate course introduces students to some of the major theories and themes in the post-Cold War—and particularly contemporary—international relations of East and Southeast Asia: “Great Power” (China, Japan, and the United States) contributions and challenges to the military and economic security of the region, the objectives and processes of economic globalization and institutional integration in the Asia-Pacific, the domestic political determinants of international relations, and the future of the liberal institutional order in the region.  Along the way, we will explore the ongoing North Korean nuclear threat, tensions between China and Taiwan, territorial disputes in the East and South China seas, and the fate of the United States’ so-called Asia Pivot.




            6 semester hours of lower-division Government courses.  Graduate students may take this course for graduate credit.



Assignments/Grading Policy:

  1.  3 in-class midterm exams (20% + 25% + 25%):                                70%   
  2. Short (approx. 3 pages each) writing assignments (2 x 15%):          30%




  1. Sheila A. Smith, Japan Rearmed: The Politics of Military Power. Harvard University Press, 2019.
  2. David Shambaugh, China’s Future. Polity, 2016.
  3. Victor Cha, The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future. Ecco, 2013.


Additional readings will be provided to students via Canvas at the beginning of the semester.

ANS 361 • Political Economy Of Asia

31684 • Maclachlan, Patricia
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM MEZ 1.120
(also listed as GOV 365E)
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Political Economy of Asia

GOV 365E/ANS 361 (Writing Flag)

Prof. Patricia L Maclachlan

TTH 12:30-2:00, MEZ 1.120



This intensive reading and writing course explores key topics in the political-economic development of modern Japan, China, and North and South Korea: the sources of the region’s “miraculous” economic growth rates; the “Developmental State” and the impact of industrial policy on economic growth; the significance of East Asia’s distinctive corporations (chaebol, keiretsu, Chinese State-Owned Enterprises); the impact of globalization on the region and the processes of economic reform; the social consequences of East Asian growth models; and North Korea’s failure to develop. We examine these and related topics with reference to both political science theories and other regions of the world.  


In keeping with the “writing flag,” this course prioritizes the development of advanced research and writing skills.  




6 semester hours of lower-division Government courses. Some knowledge of East Asia and or comparative politics/political economy is recommended but not required.



Assignments/ Grading Policy: 

  1. Quizzes on assigned readings (approx. 6):                         10%
  2. Class participation: 10%
  3. Two short take-home essay assignments on required readings: 15%
  4. Research paper proposal: 10%
  5. Research paper (approx. 3,000 words) in 2 drafts:             40%    
  6. In-class research paper presentation:                         10%




There are no required texts for this course. All readings will be posted on Canvas.

ANS 361 • Slavery/South Asian History

31685 • Chatterjee, Indrani
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM GAR 1.126
(also listed as HIS 364G)
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Description: This is a higher-level undergraduate class which requires students to read intensively in unfamiliar cultures. It is a three-part course. The first two parts use selected case-studies to explain the ways in which 'religion' and 'caste' and 'service' were woven together to form an entire social-political structure between the third century CE and the late eighteenth century. Students will learn about the ways in which a range of destitute people, orphans, debtors and criminals were incorporated into complex and variable social and political institutions. The third part of the course studies the limits of colonial abolitionism from the late eighteenth to the twentieth century. Students will understand the ways in which legal, political and commercial processes, associated with global histories of European empires, contributed to the large-scale shift in slave-using structures, the meanings of slavery and freedom, the relationship between Abolitionism of the 19th century and that of the 20th century.   


Aims: 1) to acquaint students with basic concepts and a simplified chronology of events, people, and processes.

2) teach students the importance of ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ sources in the understanding of any past

3) encourage students to think critically by exposing them to a variety of perspectives on the past, including some key controversies around each of the themes of the course.

There is no textbook for this course. All readings will be available on Canvas. 

Grading: 1) Attendance and Class Participation (40 points)

2) Written Work:  (for a total of 60 grade points) 

LETTER GRADES OF A, B, C, D, F will be given in this course.


ANS 361 • Transnational Asia

31665 • Koyagi, Mikiya
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM PAR 201
(also listed as MES 343)
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In this course, we examine how various groups of people understood, experienced, and imagined concepts such as “the East” and “Asia,” with a primary focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. When and where did these concepts emerge? How did their meanings change over time? What kind of political, economic and cultural activities did the concepts of “the East” and “Asia” generate among diverse peoples of “the East” and “Asia”? How did the concept impact these peoples’ collective identities? Answering these questions requires us to study diverse groups of people, from the Romantics in early nineteenth-century Germany to Malaysian and Singaporean statesmen in the 1980s, from nineteenth-century Japanese reformers to early twentieth-century Chinese, Indian, and Central Asian revolutionaries. Our aim is not to study a comprehensive overview of modern Asian history. Rather, we will explore how the shared identity as “Easterners” and “Asians” emerged and transformed among people who did not see themselves as such until the nineteenth century. By studying this subject, we aim to think critically about the geographical and cultural boundaries that we tend to take for granted in twenty-first century America. More generally, our aim is to learn to think of ourselves as citizens of a larger world by gaining the ability to comprehend how people remote from ourselves understand, experience, and imagine their lives.

ANS 361E • Urban Experiences In E Asia

31695 • Oh, Youjeong
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM RLP 0.118
(also listed as URB 330F)
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Urbanization in East Asia has taken place in rapid, massive and turbulent ways. The purpose of this class lies in employing urbanization as an analytical category through which we can examine development, modernization, the politics of accumulation and distribution, state-society relations, urban struggles and activism in East Asia. The class lectures are organized, therefore, around topics rather than by country and city. For more critical examinations, we will also learn and discuss key concepts in Geography and Urban Studies, such as modernity, uneven development, place-making, gentrification, cultural agglomeration, global cities, and urban social movements. Reading various books and articles on urban issues, this course aims to advance the understanding of East Asia’s contemporary dynamics and East Asia in global context. We will supplement our readings by drawing various other materials including maps and illustrations, films, and video clips of TV programs.


ANS 361N • Self/Culture In North Korea

31700 • Oppenheim, Robert
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM GAR 0.128
(also listed as ANT 322E)
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North Korea (officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) is often understood almost solely through the challenges it poses, its failings, and its horrors.  The story is unremittingly one of nuclear breakout, famine, refugees, and gulags.  Without disregarding such issues entirely, this course focuses on a variety of recent attempts—notably in anthropology, history, literature, art history, and cultural studies—to understand the public culture of North Korea and the constitution of self and everyday life within it.  Readings will be supplemented with both documentary and feature films.


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 • Buddhist Art

31729 • Langberg, Hillary
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM DFA 2.204
(also listed as R S 341)
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Please check back for updates.

ANS 372 • Contemporary Chinese Cinema

31709 • Yang, Li
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM JES A209A
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Ever since film was introduced into China at the end of the nineteenth century, it has become a major medium of mass communication, and has played an important role in China’s quest for modernity. Despite warfare, censorship, competition from Hollywood, and other obstacles   witnessed over the course of one hundred years of development, today the Chinese film industry is one of the most vibrant in the world. This course introduces major developments and genres since 1980 by presenting representative films from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Students will study Chinese films both as a unique form of artistic expression, and as a vehicle for powerful social and political discourse. All films have English subtitles. No knowledge of Chinese language will be necessary. 

Learning Objectives

  • Introducing the general history of Chinese cinema which spans over one hundred years
  • Presenting major developmental milestones in the development of Chinese cinema since 1980
  • Presenting major genres of filmmaking in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan
  • Illuminating the relationship between aesthetic conventions and socioeconomic development
  • Highlighting the interconnections of the film cultures between the three Chinese societies
  • Presenting the interaction between Hollywood and Chinese cinema in terms of marketing, production, and stars

ANS 372 • Decoding Cla Chinese Poetry

31720 • Lai, Chiu-Mi
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM MEZ 2.124
(also listed as C L 323)
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Fall 2019 Focus:  Landscape Poetry and Painting

[Taught in English]

This course will provide an introduction to the classical Chinese poetic tradition and is open to all students.  No previous background in Chinese language, culture or literature is required. 

Lectures and discussions will focus on the literary, cultural, historical, social, political, philosophical, and religious background against which these representative works in poetry arose.  While background reading will be assigned, the focus of lectures and discussion will be on the primary works of poetry, and the relationship of poetry and painting in the Chinese tradition.

Lectures, readings and class discussion will examine these ideas and concepts in the context of landscape, known as “mountains and water” (shan shui) in Chinese literary and cultural memory.  Through this methodical process, we will begin to decode the literary language of classical Chinese poetry and poetic craft.  

Global Cultures:  This course 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.

ANS 372 • E Asia In Global Contemp Art

31708 • Evans, Ariel
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM ART 3.432
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Please check back for updates.

ANS 372 • Japanese Science Fiction

31707 • Schaub, Joseph
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 204
show description


This course introduces some of Japan’s important works of sci-fi and speculative fiction in the postwar era. We will explore the ways that literature and film’s futuristic narratives and imagery change during periods of economic prosperity or prolonged recession. Central to our discussions will be the slippage between utopian and dystopian worldviews, the fascination and fear of high-tech society, the ongoing threat of global apocalypse, and the gradual dawning of the posthuman era. No prerequisites are required for this course, although familiarity with postwar Japanese history will be helpful.


Japan Sinks, (1973) Sakyo Komatsu

All You Need is Kill (2004) Hiroshi Sakurazaka

The Best Japanese Science Fiction Stories (1989) Edited by John Apolstolou & Martin Greenberg

Speculative Japan 4 (2018) Edited by Edward Lipsett

Additional readings will be made available on Canvas


Attendance and Participation 25%

Quizzes and Unit Tests 25%

Written Assignments 25%

Final Exam 25%

ANS 372 • Lit/Cul Of Early Mod India

31710 • Rajpurohit, Dalpat
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 206
(also listed as HIS 364G)
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This course introduces literary, religious, and courtly cultures of early modern India (1500-1800). We will read scholarly writings to get a historical and theoretical background of this period. In addition to this scholarship, we will read primary sources in translation: including memoirs of emperors, Sufi romances, devotional and courtly poetry, merchants accounts, and the nationalist construction of an Indian past. The goal of this course is to engage students with a broad range of texts to inform them of the traditions on their own terms while linking the discussion to current scholarship on the subject matter.



  • To get acquainted with major literary and religious traditions as well as the history of early-modern India.
  • To discuss the historical, religious, mythological, and cultural aspects of literary works.
  • To improve critical thinking and academic writing skills by reading, discussing, and writing about multidisciplinary secondary sources.

ANS 372 • Mod Japanese Lit In Trans

31730 • Cather, Kirsten
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM GAR 2.128
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This course looks at literature written by key Japanese authors in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We will learn to read, think, discuss, and write about Japanese literature critically and analytically with attention to a work’s content, style, and form. Equally importantly, we will think about our own individual tastes in literature - why we read fiction and how. We'll also consider the socio-historical context of the production and reception of literature and how it deals with themes like the breakdown of tradition and the crisis of individualism; nostalgia and nationalism; war memory and cultural amnesia; “women’s literature”; sexuality, gender, and power; and the dynamics of crosscultural influence. This is a small discussion-based class that requires the active and engaged participation of all class members to ensure its success.



ANS 372 • South Asian Migration To US

31735 • Bhalodia, Aarti
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM CMA 3.114
(also listed as AAS 325, HIS 365G, WGS 340)
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Course Description

This course examines the South Asian diaspora in the United States. We will cover migration of people from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh to United States and other parts of the world. While studying the history and culture of South Asian America, we will discuss globalization, transnationalism, migration, assimilation, formation of a diaspora, discrimination, and gender and sexuality, all major themes in Asian American Studies. The course is arranged chronologically and thematically. We will start in the nineteenth century following the journey of the first South Asian migrants to the U.S. We will then move on to studying the formation of Bengali-African, Punjabi-Mexican and other multiracial communities. We will study how American immigration laws have facilitated or inhibited South Asian migration to the U.S. in the twentieth century. Topics covered include economic and social reasons for migration, adaptation to American life, cultural and religious assimilation, changing family structures, and discrimination and exclusion. We will end the semester by discussing South Asian American life in the twenty-first century.

This course carries the Cultural Diversity in the United States flag. Cultural Diversity courses are designed to increase your familiarity with the variety and richness of the American cultural experience. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one U.S. cultural group that has experienced persistent marginalization.

This course 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.

Course Objectives

Through the semester we will study more than a century of South Asian American history. A primary goal of this course is to highlight the diversity within South Asian America. We will encounter a diaspora whose members belong to different religious, linguistic, economic and social groups. Many came to the United States forcibly to seek economic opportunities lacking at 2 home. Others came enthusiastically with dreams of making it “big” in the land of abundant opportunities. We will also examine South Asian American interactions with other Americans in the fields of social activism and community development.

You are encouraged to participate in South Asian American life in Austin. I will bring to your attention relevant films, lectures, art, music, and dance performances. Our class meetings will be a blend of lectures and discussions.

ANS 372 • The Age Of The Samurai

31715 • Clulow, Adam
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM ART 1.110
(also listed as HIS 364G)
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This course explores the history of Japan via an examination of the complex and ever changing figure of the samurai. The focus is broadly on the period from 1185 to 1867 when Japan was ruled by a succession of warrior regimes but the course will also examine the evolution of samurai images and representations. The central concern is with the changing nature of the historical samurai across this long period and with the constant tension between the ideals put forward about the way of the warrior and the actual realities of samurai life.


Required texts:


Pierre Francois Souyri. The World Turned Upside Down. (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2001)


Ikegami, Eiko. The Taming of the Samurai: Honorific Individualism and the Making of Modern Japan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997)


Constantine Vaporis, ed. Voices of Early Modern Japan: Contemporary Accounts of Daily Life During the Age of the Shoguns (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2013)


Nitobe, Inazo, Bushido, The Soul of Japan: An Exposition of Japanese Thought (Tokyo, 1899), available via



Attendance, Preparation and Participation – 10%

Annotation of Readings – 10%

First Assignment: Research Proposal: The Pitch, 5%

Second Assignment: Research Paper – 25%

Third Assignment: Research Proposal: Final Submission 25%

Final exam – 25%

ANS 372 • Veiling In The Muslim World

31725 • Shirazi, Faegheh
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM PAR 203
(also listed as ISL 372, R S 358, WGS 340)
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ANS 372 • Women And Gender In China

31728 • Li, Huaiyin
Meets TH 3:30PM-6:30PM GAR 1.122
(also listed as HIS 350L, WGS 340)
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This course examines women and gender in China from imperial times to the present.  Major themes include the changing conceptions of masculinity and femininity in Chinese cultural and religious contexts; gender roles and inequalities in the patriarchal family and society; the varying discourse on women and gender in the modern period; women’s dilemma in the Chinese Revolution; new challenges to women and new conceptions of gender and sexuality during the reform era since the 1980s.  There is no prerequisite for attending this course, but some background in Chinese history is recommended.
Robin Wang, Images of Women in Chinese Thought and Culture (Hackett Publishing Company, 2003)
Patricia Ebrey, The Inner Quarters: Marriage and the Lives of Chinese Women in the Sung Period. (University of California Press, 1993)
Zheng Wang, Women in the Chinese Enlightenment: Oral and Textual Histories (University of California Press, 1999)
Leslie Chang, Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China (Spiegel & Grau, 2009)
Emily Honig and Gail Hershatter. Personal Voices: Chinese Women in the 1980's. (Stanford University Press,1988)
Xueping Zhong, Some of Us: Chinese Women Growing up in the Mao Era. (Rutgers University Press, 2001)
1) Class participation (20%)
2) Mid-term and final examination (15% each, 30% total)
3) Research paper (40%)
4) Attendance (10%)

ANS 379 • Radical Religion: Ascetics

31745 • Freiberger, Oliver
Meets W 4:00PM-7:00PM PAR 310
(also listed as R S 375S)
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Radical Religion: Ascetics and Holy Persons

Asceticism, as a concept and a way of life, exists in many religious traditions. Ascetics commit to bodily restraints that can be manifold and are practiced at various levels of intensity. From specific food restraints (for example, vegetarianism) to fasting to death; from celibacy to self-castration; from wearing simple robes to going naked; from shaving one’s head to severe self-mutilation; from living in a monastic community to locking one-self in a cell to constant wandering. Using case studies from various religions, this course discusses the concepts, practices, and goals associated with this radical way of life. It also introduces students to scholarly approaches to asceticism, which includes theories of the body and of culture more generally. Other topics discussed in class are the social status of the ascetic; asceticism and gender; asceticism and devotion; and asceticism and violence. Historical examples will be taken primarily from South Asia (Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism) and Mediterranean late antiquity (Greek/Roman religions, Christianity, Judaism).

At the end of the semester, students (1) will have gained historical knowledge about the discussed ascetic traditions; (2) will have learned to critically analyze historical cases of ascetics and holy persons and sort out soteriological, performative, devotional, social, and other dimensions; (3) will have developed an awareness of how categories like asceticism are defined, constructed, and employed in the study of religion, including the risks and benefits; and (4) will be able to relate the gained insights to our contemporary world.


This course carries three flags: Global Cultures, Writing, and Independent Inquiry.

ANS 390 • Lit Inst: Mod E Asia

31760 • Chang, Sung-Sheng
Meets M 4:00PM-7:00PM CMA 3.108
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With the revival of interest in the notion of world literature, it is high time to revisit questions related to the position occupied by modern literatures produced in the East Asian region. A rupture occurred in the general cultural life in East Asian societies when these societies were abruptly ushered onto the stage of the modern world some one and a half centuries ago, which also marked the beginning of a long process of assimilation of imported models involving not only the conceptual category “literature” but also major literary genres and artistic trends. Fundamental changes also took place in the literary institutions, i.e. social mechanisms of literary production, disseminating systems, consecrating agencies, etc. The main objects of inquiry of this class are such institutional changes in different parts of the region since the mid-twentieth century. We are particularly interested in paradigmatic shifts at historical junctures that affected the general outlook of literary production in the ensuing decades, such as the adoption of a socialist paradigm in Mao’s China (1949-1976), new practices that were set in motion during the Allied occupation of Japan (1945-52), and the still-influential dominant culture endorsed by the Nationalist regime in Taiwan under martial law (1949-1987). The goal is to discern general patterns of similarities and differences among literary developments in various modern East Asian societies, in order to pave the ground for a more thorough and non-exclusionist study of the world-system of literary production.   

ANS 391 • China/The Developing World

31769 • Eisenman, Joshua
Meets T 9:00AM-12:00PM SRH 3.312
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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.

ANS 391 • Empires And Imperialism

31767 • Ravina, Mark
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM GAR 1.122
(also listed as HIS 381)
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This course is an introduction to the history and historiography of empires: what they were, what they are, how they work, and how researchers have explored these questions. We will examine a range of explanations for empire: institutional, geopolitical, economic, and cultural. Readings will include explorations of ancient Roman, Ottoman, Ming, Qing, modern British, French, Japanese, and American empires. Our major questions will include

·      Can a single definition of empire account for polities as diverse as ancient Rome and Qing China? What are the advantages of such general definitions over regional and chronological specificity?

·      What drove empire formation? How should we weigh economic demands, geopolitical rivalries, and domestic pressures?

·      At the beginning of the last century, much of the world lived within a European empire, either in a colony or in the metropole. Was nineteenth-century European colonialism unique, or simply an intense instance of a broader historical process?

·      How does imperialism relate to nationalism and local political identities? Does imperialism efface or create national identities?

·      How do empires shape quotidian lived experience? How do empires transform gender identities and family practices?


Weekly assignments: During the semester, write six short responses (800-1000 words) to the week’s readings. Try not to summarize, or focus on a single work, but to explore a central issue that connects the readings. Think about how and why questions have been framed, and the questions that remain unanswered or not even imagined.
Mock ACLS grant proposal: Begin formulating your research question with mock grant proposal. The proposal should include a title, an 800-character abstract, a 2000-character proposal, and a bibliography.
Research paper (5000 words): Explore a question in your specialty and relate it to the course readings. Should your research topic be considered an instance of imperialism? Use both secondary and primary sources and include a bibliography.

ANS 391 • Eur Imperial: Brit Empire

31774 • Louis, William
Meets TH 2:00PM-5:00PM HRC 3.304
(also listed as HIS 380L, MES 385)
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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.

ANS 391 • Medicine In Empire/Diaspora

31768 • Osseo-Asare, Abena
Meets W 9:00AM-12:00PM GAR 1.122
(also listed as HIS 382J)
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How have medical ideas moved across time and space? In this course, we consider the making of medical knowledge since the 1500s. Readings and course materials consider different ways to conceptualize empires and diasporas to show overlapping arenas for medical authority.  Case studies include the circulation of materia medica within the British, Spanish, and Dutch empires, the contest between Ayurveda and biomedicine in South Asian diasporas, the movement of African medical knowledge during the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the globalization of Chinese traditional medicine, and research on genetic diseases within populations. Additional topics include bioprospecting for new drugs, birthing practices, globalization of clinical studies, and the spread of injections and vaccines. Course participants will gain a deep historical background in world history of medicine and global health. A primary goal of the course is to show points of connection between biomedicine and other healing traditions.

ANS 391 • Politics, Ecology, History

31770 • Guha, Sumit
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM GAR 1.122
(also listed as HIS 382N)
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Politics, Ecology and History: Asia in the Anthropocene

This is a reading course for students who want to engage diverse readings in political ecology. While Asia-focused the course is premised on Asia’s historical engagement with other parts of the world and the global environment. Students will engage with ‘clusters’ of reading around a particular topic and write three review essays responding to each set of readings within a 15 days of the last reading.

Assessment will be based on

(a) preparation and participation in class 34%

(b) Three review essays (out of the four clusters) 66%


ANS 395 • Proseminar In Asian Studies

31775 • Selby, Martha
Meets W 5:00PM-8:00PM WCH 4.118
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Core Readings and Methods in Asian Studies. Various theories and methods used in the field of Asian studies, including disciplinary history, controversies, and the diversity of approaches within the field.