Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

ANS 301M • Bangladesh: Hist/Cul/Polit

32959 • Shamim, Ahmed
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM SZB 422
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ANS 301M • Female Voices In China

32960 • Waring, Luke
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM RLP 0.106
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Most accounts of China’s past have been dominated by men. But women also played an important role in deciding the course of China’s history, contributing in powerful ways to the development of China’s various cultural traditions. Chinese women brought their influence to bear in the domestic sphere as wives, daughters, and mothers, but they were also rulers and generals, ghosts and goddesses, novelists and poets, warriors and revolutionaries. In this course, we will study key texts in the Chinese historical and cultural tradition by, for, and about women, exploring the many different ways that women have articulated their own visions of politics, society, and culture. In the process, we will see how women struggled to carve out a space for themselves in a male-dominated cultural and political landscape, as well as the ways that men adopted and coopted the female voice as a means for expressing their own anxieties and experiences.



  • Attendance – 10%
  • Weekly posts – 10%
  • Test 1 – 15%
  • Test 2 – 15%
  • Test 3 – 15%
  • Final exam – 35%

ANS 301M • Pop Culture In Modern Japan

32965 • Hurley, Brian
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM WAG 101
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This class examines expressions of popular culture in modern Japan. Over the course of the semester, we will consider pieces of literature, film, music, and visual culture in a range of historical contexts: our course materials will take us from the realm of 18th century urban life in Edo to the violent age of wartime and empire in the early 20th century, and finally bring our discussions to our own era of globalization today. Ranging over this vast and various territory, we will develop an understanding of how the history of modern media has shaped the pop culture imagination in Japan.



Student performance is graded on a scale of 0-100 points. Assignments are worth the following number of points:

  • Discussion Board Postings (3x5 points) 15
  • One-Page Response Papers (2x15 points ea.): 30
  • Exam 1 (covering the first half of the course): 20
  • Exam 2 (covering the second half of the course): 20
  • Final Reflection (One-Page Paper): 15

ANS 301R • History Of Religions Of Asia

32975 • Freiberger, Oliver
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM UTC 3.134
GC (also listed as CTI 306D, R S 302)
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This course offers a survey of the major religious traditions of Asia (Hinduism, Buddhism in South and East Asia, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto). It focuses on the historical development of their beliefs, practices, rituals, and customs in social context. The course will combine lectures with class discussions on readings.



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

ANS 302C • Introduction To China

32980 • Lai, Chiu-Mi
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM RLP 1.104
GC (also listed as HIS 302C)
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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. The overall course inquiry: How is the present informed by an understanding of the past? How has the past shaped the present geopolitics?



  • 10% Class and online discussion, participation and “preparedness” (unannounced reading quizzes, discussion/participation exercises)
  • 60% THREE Section Quizzes (Take-home Essay and Video Comment Responses to Discussion and Reading Questions, based on Lectures, Readings, Class/Online Discussion)
  • 15% ONE Written Response (2 pages) on Ten Lessons in Modern Chinese History [+5% for attendance/participation in discussion of selected chapters for Focused Discussion sessions in Weeks 11 and 13]
  • 10% Contemporary Geo-politics Responses (Video Comments, Final Written Commentary)

ANS 302D • Intro To Korean Cul And Hist

32985 • Oh, Youjeong
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM RLP 1.106
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This course is designed as an introductory overview of Korean history, culture, and society from the early modern era to the present. It aims to encourage students to locate their knowledge about Korea in relation to perspectives from other disciplines, while thinking critically about how history, culture, and society are understood. Class lectures will be supplemented with films, slides, and other audio-visual materials. This class has no prerequisites.



  • Class attendance and Participation (20%). Class attendance is mandatory and will be checked regularly including the add/drop period. Students are allowed one absence. For each unexcused absence after that, your final grade will be lowered by 2 points, up to a maximum of 20 points.
  • In-class midterm exam (20%).
  • Reaction papers (30%). Students are expected to write TWO essays (3 single-space pages) about a given topic (15% each). 
  • Take-home final exam (30%). Essay questions based on class lectures, readings and films. 

ANS 302K • Introduction To South Asia

32990 • Rajpurohit, Dalpat
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM RLP 1.106
GC (also listed as ANT 310L)
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This course is an introduction to South Asian cultures and histories. Students will be introduced to major thinkers, ideas, histories, issues, and movements of South Asia. While a clear set of factual information will be integral to the course, the equally important goal of the course is to learn to understand South Asian literatures, art, religion, law, or other cultural expressions as sources for our own humanistic and ethical development. Thus, the primary goal of this course is to train students in how to “read” South Asia in such a way that it can mean something to them.



  • Attendance and Participation (20%)
  • Reading responses and Documentary and Film Review (25%)
  • Three in class written quizzes (30%)
  • Book Review (10%)
  • Final Presentation (15%)

ANS 340F • Goddesses World Relig/Cul

32995 • Selby, Martha
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BUR 108
GC (also listed as ANT 322J, R S 373G, WGS 340)
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This course will provide a historical and cross-cultural overview of the relationship between feminine and religious cultural expressions through comparative examinations and analyses of various goddess figures in world religions. We will begin our study in Asia; specifically in India, where goddess worship is a vital part of contemporary Hinduism in all parts of the subcontinent. From the goddesses of the Hindu tradition (Kālī and Lakṣmī, for example), we will move on to female figures in the Jain and Buddhist Mahāyāna pantheons (such as Kuan-Yin, popular in China, Korea, and Japan), and then on to some of the goddesses of western antiquity (Inanna, Isis, Athena, and Aphrodite), including a brief consideration of Mary in her various goddess aspects. We will end the course with a brief study of “neo-pagan” goddess worship in America. Issues relating to gender, sexuality, power, and violence (domestic and political) will be emphasized as themes throughout the course.


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

33000 • Li, Huaiyin
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM GAR 1.126
GC (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 341K • Origins Of Modern Japan

33004 • Ravina, Mark
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PMA 5.116
GCWr (also listed as HIS 341K)
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Overview: This is an introductory survey of modern Japanese history, covering 1850 to 1950. There are no prerequisites. Topics include a brief survey of traditional Japanese society and politics; the fall of the shogunate and the Meiji Restoration; industrialization and economic development; the rise of political parties; militarism and World War II; the American occupation and postwar recovery. Although the emphasis will be on major political events and institutional developments, we will trace social and cultural currents through literature, including dramas and novels.

Readings: The following books are available at the bookstore.

Gordon, Origins of Modern Japan, ISBN 9780190920555. Earlier editions are similar.
Tanizaki Junichirō, Naomi, ISBN: 9780375724749. Other editions are fine.
Cook, Japan at War, ISBN 9781565840393

Quizzes (5): 5% each for 25%. These will be short, point-of-fact exams at the beginning of class.

ANS 346N • Indian Subcontinent, 1750-1950

33005 • Chatterjee, Indrani
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GAR 1.126
GC (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 posting daily comments on Discussion Board in Canvas (40 points), In-class mid-terms (20), In-Class Finals (20 points), One Self-Assessment/ Reflection Essay (10). Letter grades of A, B, C, D and F will be assigned on the basis of the performance.

ANS 361 • Biomedicine/Ethics/Culture

33030 • Traphagan, John
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM BUR 116
EGCWr (also listed as R S 373M)
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ANS 361 • Intl Rels Of E/Stheast Asia

33025 • Maclachlan, Patricia
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM WAG 214
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ANS 361 • Meaning Of Life In Hinduism

33015 • Maitra, Nabanjan
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CBA 4.344
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This course seeks to answer a simple question. What did it mean to live a meaningful life according to the classical Hindu texts? The classical Hindu tradition identified three –later four –goals of human life: pleasure (kāma), power (artha), duty (dharma), and liberation(mukti). Part of our goal will be to read the foundational texts that theorized that, and how, humans should pursue each of these goals. We will read texts (in translation) across a variety of genres –theoretical treatises, plays, narratives, poetry –to try and understand how the classical Sanskrit tradition derived norms to comprehend the varieties of human experience. This course will impel us to think with these texts and against them. These texts will present us with an opportunity to raise large questions –where do norms come from? Who is subject to a set of norms? What distinguishes religious conduct from non-religious conduct? How do these texts conceive of and theorize different categories of being –human, man, woman, animal, god? How do these texts articulate the difference between nature and culture? Above all, this course is designed to teach students to raise productive questions to put to texts and traditions.


Grade Breakdown

Reading Responses:50%

In-class Presentation/Participation25%

Final Exam/Paper25%

ANS 361 • Musics Of India

33020 • Slawek, Stephen
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MRH M3.114
GCWr (also listed as ANT 324L)
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ANS 361 • Slavery/South Asian History

33035 • Chatterjee, Indrani
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GAR 1.126
GC (also listed as HIS 367F)
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This course is organized in three parts: the first two span the period between the third century BCE and the late eighteenth century, the third covers indenture and abolition during the nineteenth-twentieth centuries. Students will learn about a range of practices that bonded destitute people, orphans, debtors and criminals to lay and sacred complexes in the subcontinent. These institutions lost their eminence with the growth of European colonial economics in the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 

1) Arthashastra Book III, Chapter XIII, Rules Regarding Slaves and Laborers, on
2) Amitava Ghosh, ‘The Slave of Ms. H6’, from Subaltern Studies, Vol. 5.
3) Sunil Kumar, ‘When Slaves Were Nobles’, Indian Economic and Social History Review , 1998.
4) Pushpa Prasad, ‘Female Slavery in Thirteenth Century Documents’, Indian Historical Quarterly, 1985.
5) Excerpts from Ex-Slave’s Memoir, Tahmasnama: The Autobiography of a Slave (Bombay 1967).
6) Legal Documents : Lariviere ed. Contested Ownership of a Slave; Mr. Hunter Stands Trial for Injuring his Slave Documents, Criminal Judicial Consultations of 1799 from the British Library and the U.N. Report 7) Marina Carter, ‘Slavery and Unfree labor in the Indian Ocean’ and ‘Indian Slaves in Mauritius’

Course Work: 1) Posing Daily Question/Comment on Discussion Board (Canvas): (60%)
2) Home-Written 5-page essay comparing historical readings with interpretation made in film (20%)
3) Home-Written 10-15 page discussion on a single theme (20%).

Letter grades of A, B, C, D and F will be assigned accordingly.

ANS 361E • Urban Experiences In E Asia

33045 • Oh, Youjeong
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GAR 0.128
GC (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/or city. For more critical examinations, we will also learn and discuss key concepts in geography and urban studies, such as commodification of urban space, spectacles and place-making, gentrification, uneven development, media and place, tourism, and the creation of peripheries.



  • Participation (10%)
  • Reading Response (45%)
  • Group Project I (15%)
  • Group Project II (15%)
  • Take-home final exam (15%)

ANS 361N • Self/Culture In North Korea

33055 • Oppenheim, Robert
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM GAR 0.128
GC (also listed as ANT 322E)
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The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (commonly called North Korea) is often described as closed or unknowable, and simultaneously characterized in much U.S. public discussion as alternatively threatening, crazy/irrational, or simply pathetic. It is very rare to hear something about North Korea other than nuclear weapons, famine, or human rights/refugees; it is sometimes hard to imagine that there is an actual society there. Yet in recent years, there has emerged a growing scholarly literature precisely concerned with understanding North Korea’s historical development and its current workings as a social, cultural, and political/ideological system. Self and Culture in North Korea is focused on the questions this literature raises.



  • A and B class presentations (5% each, 10% total)
  • Short assignments (5 x 5%=25% total)
  • Papers (10% + 15%=25% total)
  • Take-home, open-book midterm exam (15%)
  • Take-home, open-book final exam (15%)
  • General class participation and discussion (10%)

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 372G • Precolonial India 1200-1750

33070 • Talbot, Cynthia
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:30AM GAR 2.112
GC (also listed as HIS 346G)
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This course surveys the history of South Asia during the era prior to British colonial rule.  It begins ca. 1200 with the establishment of Muslim political power in North India and ends ca. 1750 with the emergence of British dominance in East India.  The large states which emerged in this period – the Delhi Sultanate, the Vijayanagara kingdom of South India, and the Mughal empire – incorporated  regions of South Asia that had previously been politically divided and stimulated the circulation of ideas, peoples, and goods throughout the subcontinent and beyond.  The increased scale of these political networks led to greater uniformity and communication in the society and economy of South Asia, as well as the growth of a pan-Indian elite culture.  At the same time, the diversity of South Asian culture and society increased during the timespan from 1200 to 1750, due to the influx of peoples and religions of foreign origin coming overland from Afghanistan and Persia and also overseas from Europe and elsewhere.   The roots of contemporary South Asia -– an area that is distinctly different from other parts of the world yet is also very diverse internally – thus lie in the precolonial era.

1) C. Asher & C. Talbot, India before Europe
2) Banarsidas, Ardhakathanak: A Half Story, trans. Rohini Chowdhury
3) excerpts from The Rehla of Ibn Battuta, Hasan Sizji's Morals of the Heart, 
    Baburnama, Humayunnama, Michael Fisher's Visions of Mughal India etc.

2 papers (4-6 pps each)= 40%
2 exams (ID & essay))= 50%
1 set of discussion questions=   5%
attendance & participation=   5%

ANS 373C • Decoding Cla Chinese Poetry

33085 • Lai, Chiu-Mi
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM MEZ 1.120
GC (also listed as C L 323)
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Fall 2021 Topic: Landscape Poetry and Painting

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. Readings in English translation will encompass a selective sampling of poetry from as early as the seventh century B.C.E. through the 9th century. 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 on the relationship of poetry and painting in the Chinese tradition. 


  • Discussion (20%)
  • Writing and Oral Presentation (75%)
  • Creative Writing (5%)

ANS 373E • Mdrn Japanese Lit In Transltn

33090 • Cather, Kirsten
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM JES A217A
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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 373G • Epics And Heroes Of India

33095 • Talbot, Cynthia
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM GAR 3.116
GCWr (also listed as AHC 330, CTI 344, HIS 350L)
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This undergraduate seminar focuses on India's classical epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.  Although they originated in ancient times, these two captivating narratives have been retold in different languages and formats over the centuries, including most recently in the form of TV serials and graphic novels.  Among the topics to be explored are the martial ethos of ancient India, the complexities of dharma, the ideology of kingship, traditional gender norms, the recent politicization of the Ramayana, and the use of the epics to counter social and gender hierarchy.  Students will read abbreviated versions of the epics along with excerpts from various translations of the complete narratives; they will also be exposed to other primary sources including paintings, traditional theatrical performances, and modern films and TV shows.

1) Chakravarthi V. Narasimhan, The Mahabharata
2) Gurcharan Das, The Difficulty of Being Good
3) R. K. Narayan, The Ramayana
4) Numerous articles and essays provided on Canvas.

reading responses (6 x 5% each) = 30%; analytical essays (2 x 25% each) = 50 %; film review = 5%; attendance & participation = 15%

ANS 379 • His And Mem In Jpn And Korea

33110 • Oxenford, Shelby
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM GAR 0.132
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This course takes up the fraught and entangled histories of modern Japan and Korea depicted in literature and film to consider experiences of imperialism, rapid modernization, war, decolonization, and trauma. We will consider how these forces shaped the development of the modern subject, the development of the nation-state, and how memories of these experiences continue to shape the relations of the larger region. By taking the texts we read and the films we watch not as historical documents but as that which can represent some kind of truthfulness of experience, we will examine what can and cannot be said or represented about different kinds of systemic and personal violence, traumatic experience, and war. We will address issues relating to memory, responsibility, and history, and question the dichotomy of victim and perpetrator. We will also question the ethics of comparison, and in particular examine what comparison may reveal or obscure within the nexus of these issues. 

Grading Breakdown

Participation: 20% One page intake paper: 5%

Weekly reflections and in-class writing: 25%

Close reading paper: 10%

Analytic paper: 15%

Final research paper/project: 25%

ANS 381 • Contemporary Chinese History

33125 • Li, Huaiyin
Meets T 12:30PM-3:30PM CBA 4.340
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Study of various aspects and periods of Chinese culture and society.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic and are given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 385 • Paradigm Shifts Lit/Cul Stu

33135 • Chang, Sung-Sheng
Meets M 4:00PM-7:00PM RLP 0.124
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Study of various aspects and periods of Chinese language and literature.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic and are given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 390 • Shii Islam: History & Resis

33140 • Hyder, Syed
Meets W 6:00PM-9:00PM WCH 4.118
(also listed as R S 390T)
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Study of various Asian studies-related topics that do not focus on any single geographic region.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic and are given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 391 • Politics, Ecology, History

33145 • Guha, Sumit
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM GAR 1.122
(also listed as HIS 382N)
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This course intended for students who want to engage with diverse approaches to environmental politics and justice. While Asia-focused, the course is premised on Asia’s historical engagement with other parts of the world and with the global environment. The course will have both research and reading tracks. Students taking the research track will select their area in the third week of the semester and write a source-based 18-20 page essay. Students opting for the writing track will write a historiographic essay of the same length. 

Assessment will be based on

 (a) Final paper (including drafts and presentations toward it), 50% 


(b) Weekly response papers 30% 


(c) preparation for and participation in class 20% 

This course will use +/- grades. 


ANS 395 • Proseminar In Asian Studies

33150 • Hindman, Heather
Meets T 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.

ANS 397C • Comprehensive Exam Preparation

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ANS 678HA • Honors Tutorial Course

Meets F 3:00PM-5:00PM RLP 0.124
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ANS 697C • Comprehensive Exam Preparation

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ANS 997C • Comprehensive Exam Preparation

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