Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

ANS 301M • Forbidn Romance Mod Chi Lit

31150 • Tsai, Chien
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 206
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In this class, we read stories and watch films by Chinese and Sinophone writers and directors that explore the precarious nature and manifestations of love. While we are ever ready to believe in the universality of love, the stories and films prompt a radical reconsideration of the two notions of universality and love. Weekly readings and screenings speak to each other in different ways about what love is, what love should be, what (not) to love, and how (not) to love. The characters’ various responses to the challenges they face with regards to love provide a lens through which to review the socio-political conditions and the history of modern China and other Sinophone communities such as Hong Kong and Taiwan since the late 19th century. Furthermore, we will look closely at the ways in which these writers and directors traverse or fortify biological boundaries, as well as certain legal, moral, or religious principles in the name of love, placing emphasis on love as both a universal feeling and a local practice.

ANS 301M • Intro To Politics In E Asia

31155 • Maclachlan, Patricia
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM SZB 296
(also listed as GOV 314)
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 This lower-division survey course introduces students to the domestic politics and political systems of Japan, China, Taiwan and North and South Korea.  For each country, we explore key political institutions and processes from theoretical, historical, and comparative perspectives. Along the way, we touch on many of the questions that have intrigued scholars of East Asian politics, including the region’s distinctive models of economic development and paths to democracy, the legacies of strong states, and the nature of state-society relations. In so doing, we explore a number of relevant political science concepts and theories (e.g., authoritarianism, democratization, the “developmental state,” rational choice, historical institutionalism, civil society, and social movements) and assess their applicability to the region. By the end of the semester, students will have acquired the background knowledge to not only interpret current events in East Asia but also to pursue more in-depth scholarly study of this critically important part of the world.           








            Students are not required to purchase textbooks.  All readings will be posted under Modules on the Canvas site for the course.




  1. Quizzes on readings (approx. 8)                                                               15%

2.   In-class exam #1:                                                                                     25%

3.   Take-home essay assignment:                                                                   30%

In lieu of this assignment, students may write a short

(5-6 pp) research paper on a topic of their choice

4.    In-class exam #3 (cumulative):                                                                 30%


ANS 301R • History Of Religions Of Asia

31160 • Brereton, Joel
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM UTC 3.102
(also listed as 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. Part of the course, therefore, 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 originated in Asia, have large numbers of adherents, possess particular historical significance, and represent different cultural areas. By the end of the course, students will have a understanding of the basic histories and orientations of these religious traditions.

Written assignments comprise four interpretive essays on primary texts assigned in the course and two exams. 

Principal required texts:

Willard Oxtoby, Roy Amore, (and Amir Hussain), World Religions: Eastern Traditions (3rd or 4th ed.). Oxford.
R.K. Narayan, tr., The Rāmāyaṇa. Penguin.
Patrick Olivelle, tr., The Buddhacarita: Life of the Buddha (posted on Canvas)
Burton Watson, tr., Zhuangzi: Basic Writings. Columbia. [=B. Watson, Chuang Tzu: Basic Writings]
Hiroaki Sato, tr., Basho's Narrow Road: Spring and Autumn Passages. Stone Bridge.

There will also be additional short readings to be posted on Canvas.

download syllabus

ANS 302K • Introduction To South Asia

31169 • Hyne-Sutherland, Amy
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM BUR 130
(also listed as ANT 310L)
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This course introduces students to the histories, literature, religions, social organizations and stratifications, festivals, and material culture of the people of South Asia, with a primary focus on contemporary India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. We start with the seemingly simple question “What is South Asia?” challenging ourselves from the outset to consider both the arbitrariness and the consequences of boundaries. In addition to studying various aspects of culture emerging from this region, students will learn to recognize their own biases and to view phenomena through various lenses. Course content will be drawn from primary sources in translation, scholarly literature, documentaries, newspapers, and online forums. Students write analyses of current events using multiple sources, present group research projects, and attend South Asia related talks/events on campus and in the community.

ANS 320 • Genji/Godzilla: Adaptations

31170 • Cather, Kirsten
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM UTC 1.116
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We will focus on "classics" of Japanese literature, film, and theater that engendered countless adaptations over the years. Our texts will range from the eleventh-century The Tale of Genji to the 1954 B-movie Godzilla; from midieval Noh plays to contemporary manga (comic books) and anime (animated films). We will consider how and why modern artisits repeatedly turn to the "classics" for creative inspiration. We will look at how the adaptation process has been influenced by a number of factors, including the cultural, political, and gendered identity of the artist, and how it has been shaped by differences in genre and medium. Our goal is to become familiar with a wide range of Japanese art, including premodern, modern, and contemporary legends, literature, film, and popular culture, and to learn to think, discuss, and write critically on the process of adaptation by considering not only content, but also form and socio-historical context. This class requires no background in Japanese language, film, or history. All literature will be read in translation, and all films are subtitled in English.

ANS 340 • Jainism: Relig Of Non-Violence

31174 • Maes, Claire
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 1.102
(also listed as R S 341)
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With its emphasis on vegetarianism, its modern discourse on ecology and its regard for all life-forms, Jainism is commonly and justly known as the religion of non-violence. Having its historical origins in North India about 25OO years ago, Jainism is an ancient but thriving religion. It has a distinctive community of both male and female ascetics and a supporting community of laypeople. Jainism’s unique theory of karma, ethics of non-violence (ahimsa), and its multisided approach (anekantavada) to truth and reality have influenced in some way or other all major religions and orthodox philosophical traditions in India.

This course will introduce students to this fascinating religion by examining its history, doctrines, philosophical tenets and religious practices. Students will learn about Jainism’s dynamic contribution to the religious and cultural heritage of South Asia. Readings will be drawn from primary sources, contemporary Jain writings and secondary scholarly literature. In the second part of the course, we will move on to a thematic discussion of Jainism. Themes will center on gendered experience of religion, devotion and divinity, the relationship between laypeople and monastics, pilgrimage and festivals, Jain views on life and death, its ethics of non-violence and its modern discourse on ecology. This thematic approach will encourage students to engage with these various themes from the perspectives of their own background and interests. Each student will write a research paper and give a class presentation on a topic of her or his choice.



Cort, John E., Jains in the World. Religious Values and Ideology in India. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. (Available as electronic resource at University of Texas Libraries)

Long, Jeffrey D., Jainism: An Introduction. London & New York: I. B. Tauris, 2009.




Attendance and Participation: 10 %

Four Quizzes: 40 % (10% each)

Oral Presentation: 25%

Writing assignment: 25%


ANS 340 • Religions In Contact

31175 • Freiberger, Oliver
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 303
(also listed as R S 373)
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Religions in Contact

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.

At the end of the semester, students (1) will have gained insights about important features of the religions discussed in the case studies (especially Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Islam, Christianity, Greek and Roman religion); (2) will have learned to analyze various aspects and dimensions of religious encounter in a systematic way; and (3) will be able to suggest alternative perspectives that may help to resolve conflicts related to religious encounter.

Course packet.

Attendance/participation: 25% 
Reading journal: 20%
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

31180 • Roberts, Jason
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CLA 0.118
(also listed as ANT 324L, R S 352, REE 345)
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Course Number: R S 342 Course Title: Shamans and the Idea of Shamanism Semester / Year: Spring 2018 Instructor & Rank: Jason Parker-Roberts, Lecturer Cross Listings: ANT, REE, ANS • Upper division course, small seminar format, ideally MW or TTh • Religious Studies course, cross-lists with Slavic Studies, anthropology, (Asian Studies is of secondary interest if only 3 cross-listings are possible.) • Course level flag through Slavic Studies: world culture 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 340T • Taiwan: Colniz/Migratn/Ident

31190 • Hsu, Madeline
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GAR 0.132
(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 (Cornell University Press, 2003)
Vivian S. Louie, Compelled to Excel: Immigration, Education, and Opportunity among Chinese Americans (Stanford University Press, 2004)
Additionalreadings 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 347K • Gov And Politics Of South Asia

31195 • Liu, Xuecheng
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM JES A217A
(also listed as GOV 347K)
show description

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 for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).



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.


In terms of the mid-term exams, 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 makeup exam or do an alternative assignment.


We will adopt UT's new "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.


Letter grade                                                    GPA                                                     Percentage Score


A                                                                                  4.00                                                     94-100 %

A-                                                                                3.67                                                     90-93

B+                                                                                3.33                                                     87-89

B                                                                                  3.00                                                     84-86

B-                                                                                2.67                                                     80-83

C+                                                                                2.33                                                     77-79

C                                                                                  2.00                                                     74-76

C-                                                                                 1.67                                                     70-73

D+                                                                                1.33                                                     67-69

D                                                                                  1.00                                                     64-66

D-                                                                                0.67                                                     60-63

F                                                                                  0.00                                                     59 & below





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.



Yek Raj. Pathak, SAARC: South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Kathmandu: Rashtriya Samachar Samiti, 2014). (PCL: DS 331 S229 2014).


ANS 361 • Asian Rgnlism/Multilat Coop

31235 • Liu, Xuecheng
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 101
(also listed as GOV 365L)
show description

Selected topics in south and east Asian anthropology, economics, history, geography, government, art, music, and philosophy.  Please check with the Asian Studies academic advisor for more information.

ANS 361 • Development And Its Critics

31199 • Hindman, Heather
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CLA 0.106
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This class approaches some particular aspects of the contemporary state of international aid and development.  While it may be the case that people have been seeking other better methods of doing things in hopes of improving their 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 have been 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 - promoting ideas of social entrepreneurship or other forms of revenue-generating “aid programs.”  The result is an extremely complex landscape of approaches to that most basic idea behind aid - “it’s good if fewer people starve, suffer and die.”  Yet beyond this, 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.



Crewe, Emma and Richard Axelby. 2013. Anthropology and Development: Culture, Morality and Politics in a Globalised World. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Alexander, Jessica. 2013. Chasing Chaos: My Decade in and out of Humanitarian Aid. New York: Broadway Books.

Bornstein, Erica. 2012. Disquieting Gifts: Humanitarianism in New Delhi. Stanford: Stanford University Press.




Participation/Attendance 15%

Book Review               15%

NGO Analysis              15%

Project Proposal          25%

Midterm                      10%

Final                            20%

ANS 361 • Gender And Modern India

31240 • Chatterjee, Indrani
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM 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

31200 • Mays, Susan
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM SAC 5.102
(also listed as AAS 325)
show description

Flag: Global Cultures

This course introduces key trends in the economies of the US and Asia, with emphasis on the links between these two major trading blocs. The class addresses the rise of China and India as well as the development of Japan, the “Tiger” economies (South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong), and Southeast Asia. The course examines the connections between Asia and the US in trade, technology and knowledge transfer, and outsourcing, considering key sectors such as manufacturing, technology, finance, and infrastructure. Importantly, the class addresses professional and labor migration between Asia and the US, including the growth of the Asian American population and a globalized professional class. The approach is historical and comparative (quantitative analysis is not required), and the reading includes scholarly works and case studies as well as articles by business leaders, industry analysts, and journalists.

The course features three modules: 

I. The Making of the Global Economy
II. Asia as the World's Largest Trading Block
III. Global Economies: Asia and the U.S.


15% -- Class Participation and Canvas Posts
45% -- 3 Quizzes (no final exam)
20%  --  Individual Paper (~6 pages)
20%  --  Group Project

ANS 361 • Global Indian Literature

31202 • Doherty, Brian
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:30AM JES A218A
(also listed as AAS 320, E 360L)
show description

E 360L  l  Global Indian Literature


Instructor:  Shingavi, S

Unique #:  35060

Semester:  Spring 2018

Cross-lists:  AAS 320, ANS 361

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No


Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.


Description:  Two important historical trends have marked the development and recognition of “Indian literature” as a global (rather than a strictly national) phenomenon.  First, the patterns of migration of South Asians since the beginning of the Raj moved Indians to various parts of the British Empire and created a network of ambassadors and webs of affiliation throughout the world for South Asian culture; the fact of colonial schools which produced English-speaking Indians is not incidental.  Second, the celebrity of Rushdie as the premiere Indian writer helped to produce a niche market within the publishing world for books about and by South Asians (usually represented by the big, national novel).  To this must also be added the contemporary rise of India as a leading world economy which has raised the demand for and curiosity about Indian culture within the global marketplace.  This course will investigate the production of a “global Indian literature” – paradoxically cosmopolitan and national – as made up of the intersecting experiences of Indians outside of India and the demands of the literary market (international publishing houses and the big literary prizes).  All of the writers that we will consider have won major national and international prizes (the Nobel, Man Booker, Commonwealth Writers, Pulitzer, etc.), and this will allow to think about what kinds of issues, what kinds of histories, and what kinds of forms tend to predominate in this body of writing.


Texts:  Tagore, Home and the World; Rushdie, The Golden House; Roy, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness; Mistry, A Fine Balance; Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies; Naipaul, House for Mr. Biswas; Chatterjee, The Mammaries of the Welfare State; Ghosh, Sea of Poppies; Seth, Golden Gate; Desai, Clear Light of Day.


Requirements & Grading:  Weekly blog posts, 250 words (20%); Midterm (20%); Final (30%); Paper, 6-7 pages (20%); Participation (10%).

ANS 361 • Gov And Politics Of Se Asia

31205 • Liu, Amy
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM CLA 1.104
show description

Selected topics in south and east Asian anthropology, economics, history, geography, government, art, music, and philosophy.  Please check with the Asian Studies academic advisor for more information.

ANS 361 • Modernization In East Asia

31230 • Li, Huaiyin
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM GAR 1.126
(also listed as HIS 364G)
show description

This course examines the different historical experiences of mainland China and Taiwan in the context of the East Asian model of development.  Owing to a shared cultural heritage and historical links, both China and Taiwan have displayed some features in their postwar developments that are identified as characteristic of the East Asian region.  But striking contrasts across the strait existed in political systems, economic development strategies, and cultural attitudes.  To what extent these differences explain the different economic performances between the two sides of the strait in the postwar years?  How has the Taiwan experience influenced the patterns of economic growth in China during the reform era?  Will Taiwan's democratization play a role in the future political development in mainland China?  These will be among the major topics to be explored in this course.

T. Jacka, A. Kipnis, and S. Sargeson, Contemporary China: Society and Social Change
J. F. Copper, Taiwan: Nation-State or Province?

A. H. Amsden, Asia’s Next Giant: South Korea and Late Industrialization
M. Woo-Cumings, The Developmental State

Class participation: 10%
Mid-term: 25%
Final exam: 25%
Short essay: 10%
Research paper: 30%

ANS 361 • Pol Econ Devel Postwar Korea

31210 • Oh, Youjeong
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:30AM GAR 0.132
show description

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. Topics include compressed modernity, developmental state, social movements, gender politics, financial crisis, urbanization, migration, and recent globalization of Korean popular culture. In the context of the relations among state, society, and culture, this course will address the tensions of industrialization, nationalism, authoritarianism, democracy, and globalization in Korea. We will read various audio-visual sources (photo, film, drama, music, cartoon, podcast, and blog), as well as scholarly articles, as a lens through which to reflect upon various sociocultural issues in Korea.  


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 361 • Why Chinese Has No Alphabet

31215 • Lai, Chiu
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM MEZ 1.120
(also listed as LIN 350)
show description

(Meets with LIN 350) 

Required Texts:  (Available at University Co-op Bookstore)

William G. Boltz, The Origin and Early Development of the Chinese Writing System

 Recommended Texts:  (Available at University Co-op Bookstore)

(Selections available on Canvas/Files)

Jerry Norman, Chinese

Tsuen-hsuin Tsien, Written on Bamboo and Silk – The Beginnings of Chinese Books and Inscriptions, Second Edition, 2004.

Further Reading (selections available on Canvas/Files):

John DeFrancis, The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy

S. Robert Ramsey, The Languages of China

Michael Sullivan, The Three Perfections: Chinese Painting, Poetry and Calligraphy (Revised edition: George Braziller, 1999) [Out of print]

Course Description

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, 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

Statement on Global Cultures Flag:

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.


This course will be graded on the Plus/Minus system.

There is a class attendance policy for this course (attendance is graded).  More than 10 unexcused absences will result in a failing grade for the course.  

Your grade for this course will be based on the following (see below for details):

  • There is no written final exam.

I. 10% Attendance, Class and online discussion, participation and “preparedness” (informal


II. 60% Reading and Discussion Questions

III. 20% Two Oral Presentations

IV. 10% Final Roundtable Group Presentations

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 • Art In The Himalayas

31255 • Leoshko, Janice
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM DFA 4.106
show description

Please check back for updates.

ANS 372 • Gender/Art In Muslim World

31290 • Shirazi, Faegheh
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 303
(also listed as ISL 373, WGS 340)
show description

Please check back for updates.

ANS 372 • Globalizing E Asian Pop Cultr

31259 • Oh, Youjeong
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM PAR 304
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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-pop 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.


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 • Mod Japanese Lit In Trans

31280 • Cather, Kirsten
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM MEZ 2.102
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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 cross-cultural influence. This is a small discussion-based class that requires the active and engaged participation of all class members to ensure its success.

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 culture of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present.

ANS 372 • Pop Lit/Cul Modern China

31275 • Tsai, Chien
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM JES A207A
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This course examines the changing definition of "the popular" in China and other Sinophone communities. Throughout the semester we will study works by important Chinese literary figures and Chinese filmmakers. The course is designed to bring into dialogues literary and cinematic texts in conjunction with various thematic topics of adaptation, performance, music et cetera.  From writing to acting, from music to theatre, this course will probe “the popular” as it has manifested itself, and trace its sociopolitical, aesthetic, and affective impact on modern Chinese writers, filmmakers, and cultural brokers in general.

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 • South Asian Migration To US

31285 • Bhalodia-Dhanani, Aarti
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM ETC 2.114
(also listed as AAS 325, HIS 365G, WGS 340)
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Flag: Cultural Diversity in the U.S.

This course examines the South Asian diaspora in 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 US. We will then move on to studying the Bengali and Punjabi immigrants to U.S. and the formation of Bengali-African and Punjabi-Mexican communities. We will study how American immigration laws have facilitated or inhibited South Asian migration to US 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.

Karen Isaken Leonard, The South Asian Americans  
Vivek Bald, Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America
Judith M. Brown, Global South Asians: Introducing the Modern Diaspora
Shamita Das Gupta edited, A Patchwork Shawl: Chronicles of South Asian Women in America
Knut A. Jacobsen and R. Pratap Kumar edited, South Asians in the Diaspora: Histories and Religious Traditions
Susan Kosby and R. Radhakrishnan edited, Transnational South Asians: The Making of a Neo-Diaspora           

Attendance: 5%
Class Participation: 10%
Object Analysis Assignment: 5%
Exam 1: 25%
Exam 2: 25%
Research paper topic and bibliography: 5%
Research paper: 25%

ANS 372 • Veiling In The Muslim World

31270 • Shirazi, Faegheh
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM PAR 101
(also listed as ANT 324L, ISL 372, MEL 321, R S 358, SOC 321K, WGS 340)
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This course will deal with the cultural significance and historical practices of veiling, “Hijab”, in the Muslim world. The issue of veiling as it relates to women has been subject to different interpretations and viewed from various perspectives, and with recent political developments and the resurgence of Islam, the debate over it and over women’s roles in Muslim countries has taken various shapes.  A number of Muslim countries are going back to their Islamic traditions and implementing a code of behavior that involves some form of veiling in Public /or segregation to various degrees for women. In some Muslim nations women are re-veiling on their own. In others, women resist the enforcement of such practices. We will examine the various perspectives, interpretations and practices relating to Hijab in the Muslim world with respect to politics, religion, feminism, culture, new wave of women converts and the phenomenon of “Islamic fashion” as a marketing tool.    


 Reader Packet.

Will be announced where the Packet is sold


Faegheh Shirazi. The Veil Unveiled: Hijab in Modern Culture. University Press of Florida, 2001, and 2003


Active participation (assigned article with discussion questions/ is a group activity) 10%

Regular Class Attendance 5%

3 quizzes (Lowest grade will be dropped) 20%

Midterm Exam 30%

Final Research Paper (20%), and Oral Presentation %15 (This is a group activity)



ANS 379 • Cul Outsider: Memoirs/E Asia

31309 • Lai, Chiu
Meets M 4:00PM-7:00PM CLA 0.120
(also listed as HIS 364G)
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Capstone Seminar (meets with HIS 364G)

The Cultural Outsider: Memoirs and Travelogues of East Asia

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.

REQUIRED [Selected excerpts available on Canvas]:

Isabella Bird, Unbeaten Tracks in Japan: The Firsthand Experiences of a British Woman in Outback Japan in 1878 (Abridged edition)

Fuchsia Dunlop, Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China

Peter Hessler, River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze

Helie Lee, Still Life With Rice: A Young American Woman Discovers the Life and Legacy of Her Korean Grandmother

Marco Polo, The Travels of Marco Polo. Translated by Ronald Latham.

Paisley Rekdal, The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee – Observations on Not Fitting In

Further Reading for Presentations and Research Projects available on Canvas course site

Course Grade Based On:

  • This course is graded on the Plus/Minus System.
  • There is a class attendance policy for this course. (Attendance is graded.)  More than 5 unexcused absences will result in a failing grade for the course. 
  • There is no written final exam.
  • 15%       Attendance, Class and online discussion, participation and “preparedness”; in-class

informal writing

  • 60%       Critical and Analytical Writing (Discussion Questions/Weekly Written Responses; Final Inquiry Paper with First Draft)
  • 20%       Two Short Oral Panel Presentations and Lead Discussant work
  • 5%          Travelogue or Memoir “Revision"


ANS 379 • Radical Religion: Ascetics

31310 • Freiberger, Oliver
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM CLA 0.120
(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 India (Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism) and Mediterranean late antiquity (Greek/Roman religions, Christianity, Judaism).

Course packet

Attendance/participation: 20%
Reading responses: 20%
Partner project: 15%
Research essay: 45%