Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

ANS 301M • Introduction To Islam

31615 • Aghaie, Kamran
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 301
GC (also listed as HIS 306N, ISL 310)
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ANS 301R • History Of Religions Of Asia

31625 • Freiberger, Oliver
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM UTC 3.102
GC (also listed as CTI 306D, 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 classical expressions and 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 and rituals of the different communities. Not all Asian traditions can be covered 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. The religions studied in the course will include: Hinduism, Buddhism, South Asian Islam, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto.


The principal required texts are W. Oxtoby, R. Amore, and A. Hussain, World Religions: Eastern Traditions (4th or 5th edition); R.K. Narayan, The Rāmāyaṇa; Ashvaghosha, The Buddhacarita: The Life of the Buddha (available on Canvas); B. Watson, Zhuangzi: Basic Writings; Basho, The Narrow Road to the Deep North (also on Canvas). Additional readings will also be posted on Canvas.


The major written assignments will be four short essays on assigned reading and two exams.

ANS 302C • Introduction To China

31630 • Lai, Chiu
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM RLP 1.104
GC (also listed as HIS 302C)
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Introduction to Chinese Civilization and Culture

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

31635 • Oppenheim, Robert
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM WAG 214
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This course is designed as an introductory overview of Korean history, culture, and society from ancient times to the present.  It aims also 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.  This class has no prerequisites.

ANS 320C • Genji/Godzilla Adaptn Jpn Clsc

31640 • Cather, Kirsten
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM CAL 221
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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 321M • Politics In Japan

31645 • Maclachlan, Patricia
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:30AM UTC 3.134
GC (also listed as GOV 321M)
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Survey of postwar Japanese politics; the occupation, governmental institutions, interest groups, protest movements, industrial policy, the government-business relationship, and political and economic reform.

ANS 340F • Goddesses World Relig/Cul

31650 • Selby, Martha
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BUR 136
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 (K?l? and Laks?m?, for example), we will move on to female figures in the Buddhist Mah?y?na pantheon (such as Kuan-Yin, popular in China, Korea, and Japan), and then on to some of the goddesses of western antiquity (Inanna, Isis, Athena, Aphrodite, and Mary in her aspects as mother and intercessor).  We will end the course with a study of contemporary goddess worship in the United States as an important expression of Neo-Paganism.  Issues relating to gender, sexuality, power, and violence (domestic and political) will be emphasized as themes throughout the course.

ANS 340J • Jainism: Rlgn Non-Violence

31655 • Maes, Claire
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM MEZ 1.102
GC (also listed as R S 341F)
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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.

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

31660 • Li, Huaiyin
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM WAG 420
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 340U • Devotional Literature Of India

31665 • Rajpurohit, Dalpat
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM GAR 1.134
GC (also listed as R S 341U)
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In this course we will discuss the songs of major saints and their role in shaping the religious communities of India. Bhakti (or Devotion)–which is passionate love towards god–is very much a part of the religious lives of Indians and their popular culture. Bhakti is often thought to be a movement against restrictive social and scriptural norms. Looking critically at the idea of this so called “Bhakti movement”–that is understood as a force binding the south to the north, together with other parts of India–we will read and compare devotional songs from different geographical and linguistic regions of India from the 9th to 18th century. These include: Kabīr, Tulsīdās and Sūrdās (from the northern side of India), Mīrā (Rajasthan), Narsiṁha Mehtā (Gujarat), Tukārām (Maharashtra), Nānak (Punjab), Rāmprasād (Bengal) and Āṇṭāl from Tamil Nadu. The list is not exhaustive, but these selections will give us a good introduction to how holy men and women expressed their religiosity through the medium of songs and poetry over the centuries. All these works will be studied in translations. 

ANS 346N • Indian Subcontinent, 1750-1950

31670 • Chatterjee, Indrani
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM CBA 4.344
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 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

31700 • Hindman, Heather
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM RLP 0.122
CDGCWr (also listed as 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 • Asian Mobilities

31710 • Hindman, Heather
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM RLP 0.106
GC (also listed as AAS 330J)
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This class explores alternative research methods and spatialities, in an attempt to produce new understandings of how people live in an increasingly mobile world. While mobility is a desire for many, it is also restricted and dangerous for others. This class will take movement as an object of study, rather than a particular space or identity. An introduction to the developing field of mobilities research will begin the class, including key thinkers like John Urry, Pal Nyiri, Tim Cresswell and Noel Salazar. The central portion of the course will examine how this new approach to movement allows scholars to rethink simplistic ideas of migration and to see process of circular and impermanent movement. In particular, we will be looking at topics often neglected in migration theory, such as educational migration, infrastructural and legal barriers to mobility, transnational borders and identity in situations of mobility. Cases will be drawn from movements within Asia, those between Asia and elsewhere, and those with an Asian imaginary.

ANS 361 • Development And Movement

31675 • Oh, Youjeong
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM MEZ 2.124
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This class explores various interpretations, methods, and policies of development mainly focusing on the cases of East and Southeast Asia. We will trace the history of development as a post-war international project that emerged in the context of decolonization since the 1940s. Particular attentions will be given to the state-driven developmentalism in East and Southeast Asia, intertwined with the Cold War geopolitics, decolonization, post-colonial desires, economic development, and the US-led neocolonizing capitalist incorporation of the greater Asia region. Then we will move to practices of development/counter-development/post-development in the era of globalization and neoliberalism. Topics included land, labor and livelihood struggles; race, gender, power; activism and social movements; transnational development and the reinterpretation of foreign aid; and civil society and the future of the state.

ANS 361 • Gender And Modern India

31705 • Chatterjee, Indrani
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM WAG 420
GC (also listed as WGS 340)
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ANS 361 • Indian Republic 1947-Pres

31679 • Guha, Sumit
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM MEZ 1.120
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ANS 361 • Intl Rels Of E/Stheast Asia

31695 • Maclachlan, Patricia
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM CBA 4.328
GC (also listed as GOV 365D)
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An introduction to the international relations of East and Southeast Asia, with particular attention to postwar economic and security issues, the changing political landscape of the post-Cold War period, and the development and functions of regional institutions.

ANS 361 • Topics In Asian Studies

Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM JES A209A
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ANS 361 • Topics In Asian Studies

Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM SZB 524
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ANS 361 • Transnational Asia

31690 • Koyagi, Mikiya
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM PAR 101
GC (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

31715 • Oh, Youjeong
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM MEZ 1.102
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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 361F • Ethnic Politics In Taiwan/Asia

31720 • Liu, Amy
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM PAR 203
(also listed as GOV 366J)
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Explore ethnic politics in Taiwan including some comparison with ethnic politics in neighboring countries.

ANS 361G • State Bldg In China And Taiwan

31725 • Lu, Xiaobo
Meets MW 8:30AM-10:00AM PAR 101
(also listed as GOV 365O)
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Compare and contrast the state building process in mainland China and Taiwan.

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 379 • Comparing Religions

31760 • Freiberger, Oliver
Meets W 4:00PM-7:00PM MEZ B0.302
GCIIWr (also listed as R S 375S)
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Comparing religions is nothing new. Religious people have always compared their beliefs and practices with those of their neighbors, sometimes with a sincere religious interest, sometimes only to claim the superiority of their own religion. When the academic discipline of Religious Studies was established in the late 19th century, scholars sought to compare without favoring a particular religious tradition. They were struck by the fact that the religions of the world seemed to have similar – or completely different – answers to the same existential questions. Some religious expressions (beliefs, practices, literature, art, institutions, etc.) appeared drastically different and others strikingly similar. Some scholars wondered if comparing religions would reveal a common sacred truth that underlay all the diverse forms of religious phenomena, while others warned that assuming such a religious essence was not an analytical but rather a religious assertion. Critics of comparison say that by alleging analogies in other cultures Western scholars impose their own concepts on those cultures, while comparativists insist that because all scholarly categories are comparative, comparison is indispensable. Analyzing those debates, this course will explore the risks and benefits of comparison in the study of religion. We will discuss and evaluate potential goals of a comparative study and develop ways in which it may be conducted both responsibly and productively. Numerous examples from Asian and other religions will enrich the discussions. During the course of the semester, students will also develop individual comparative projects.

Readings: Course packet

Attendance/participation: 25%
Reading responses: 20%
Oral presentation: 10%
Research project: 45%

ANS 379 • Transnational Korea

31755 • Oppenheim, Robert
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM RLP 0.122
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The focus of this course is on various recent and contemporary manifestations of “the Koreas in the world, and the world in the Koreas.” We begin with various historical formations of Korean out- and return migration, notably encompassing both Koreas. From there, we go on to look at various movements of people, products, ideas, and institutions in the last twenty years. These include labor and marriage migration from and to the Koreas, educational sojourning (and so-called “kirogi” families split by the practice), transnational adoption, tourism, international sport, and media flows (e.g., the “Korean Wave”).

ANS 381 • New Persp On Mod Chinese Hist

31775 • Li, Huaiyin
Meets TH 3:30PM-6:30PM GAR 1.122
(also listed as HIS 382N)
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This seminar examines the development of the field in the past five decades or so and the changing perspectives on major historical events and issues in the recent Chinese past.  Focusing on reading and discussion of the significant and innovative works, this course covers the major topics on late Qing and Republican China, including: ethnicity and identity; state-making and local politics; peasant economy and community; women and gender; urban culture and society; and rebellion and revolution.  Particular attention is paid to how the various political forces in China as well as historians inside and outside the country interpret history differently for varying political and academic purposes.

ANS 388M • Translating India

31780 • Selby, Martha
Meets W 5:00PM-8:00PM WCH 4.118
(also listed as C L 380M)
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This graduate-level seminar will introduce students to the craft of literary translation through a wide variety of approaches.  Over the course of the semester, we will read various tracts, articles, and books on the theory and craft of translation from a wide range of Euro-American and South Asian stances and viewpoints.  We will analyze editions of various classics from India that have been translated into English repeatedly, paying particular attention to the political nature of the act and art of translation in its colonial and post-colonial contexts. 

This seminar will also have a practical component, and one hour of our meeting period each week will allos students to present translations-in-progress to their peers for comment and critique. 

Graduate standing required.  Students must have a good working knowledge of at least one South Asian language, classical and/or modern.

ANS 390 • Race And Migration

31785 • Hsu, Madeline
Meets TH 12:30PM-3:30PM CBA 4.342
(also listed as AAS 381, HIS 392)
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Migration is one of the most widespread of human experiences yet generates tremendous conflicts and contradictions in constructions of identities, communities, and inequalities of power.  Perhaps the chief systems of differentiation troubled by migration are those of racial categorizations and nation-state formations. This reading seminar guides graduate students to develop a vocabulary and conceptual understanding for migration studies and its interventions into nation-based conceptual frameworks through transnational, diasporic, critical race, and ethnic studies projects.
This course fulfills the core course requirement for the portfolio in Asian American Studies with completion of the syllabus assignment.

Excerpts from Aihwa Ong, Melissa Brown, Mae Ngai, Adam McKeown, Philip Kuhn, Wang Gungwu, Renato Rosaldo, Glick-Schiller et al, Arjun Appadurai, Roger Rouse,
Natalia Molina, How Race is Made in America (UC 2014)
Madeline Hsu, The Good Immigrants (Princeton 2015)
Eiichiro Azuma, Between Two Empires (Oxford 2001)
Vivek Bald, Bengali Harlem (Harvard 2013)
Lisa Lowe, Intimacies of Four Continents (Duke 2015)
Elaine Lynn-ee Ho, Citizens in Motion: Emigration, Immigration, and Re-migration Across China's Borders (Stanford 2018)

25 % Class participation and attendance

10 % Conducting class discussion

30 % Two 750-word book reviews

35 % Annotated bibliography or syllabus for “Introduction to Asian American History” course

ANS 390 • Reconcept Lit China/Taiwan

31790 • Chang, Sung
Meets M 4:00PM-7:00PM CMA 3.108
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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 • Eur Imperial: Brit Empire

31795 • Louis, William
Meets TH 12:30PM-3:30PM HRC 3.304
(also listed as HIS 380L, MES 385)
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This research seminar will discuss the causes of British expansion in the nineteenth century and the reactions to British conquest and rule.  How did the British manage to establish colonial sway over a quarter of the globe? What were the aims of British colonial administration?  How did the Empire affect the lives of Asians, Africans and others throughout the world as well as the lives of those within the British Isles? In the first half of the seminar, students read books that will stimulate curiosity about those questions.   During the opening weeks, the focus is on Latin America, the Middle East and Africa as well as India.  Latin America provides the background for discussion on ‘informal empire’.

Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre, Freedom at Midnight
W. R. Louis, Imperialism: The Robinson and Gallagher Controversy
Ronald Robinson and John Gallagher, Africa and the Victorians
Judith Brown, Gandhi: Prisoner of Hope
Penderel Moon, ed., Wavell: The Viceroy’s Journal
Sarvepalli Gopal, Nehru (vol. 1)
Ayesha Jalal, The Sole Spokesman

Grades are determined by attendance and participation in discussion (25%); the weekly critiques (25 %); and the research paper (50%).

ANS 395 • Proseminar In Asian Studies

31800 • Hyder, Syed
Meets M 6:00PM-9:00PM 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.