Courses in Asian Studies

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Spring 2024

AS 182 Asian Civilization II

Introduction to major themes and events in the histories of China, Korea, Japan, the Indian subcontinent, and Southeast Asia in recent centuries. Considers the impacts of colonialism and imperialism, the emergence of nationalist and revolutionary movements, decolonization and the Cold War. Our goal is to understand the historical forces and transformations shaping contemporary Asia, the common experiences that different areas of Asia have shared in the recent past, and what distinguishes the histories of particular Asian nations within a comparative perspective. This course is the same as  HIS 182 and course repeat rules will apply.  Students should consult with their major department regarding any restrictions on their degree requirements.

AS 317 Japanophilia/Fandom and Fan Cultures in Japan

This course critically examines the rich and complex world of fandom and fan cultures in Japan through its various depictions in Japanese media. It explores the evolution of otaku history and culture in Japan from the 1980s onward, and its transnational influences.

AS 333 Bollywood & S. Asian Cinema

This course is an exploration of post-2000 Indian films in Hindi, Bangla, Malayalam, and Marathi, and focuses on themes which found an urgent need for cinematic expression in India in the past two decades, such as class, caste, religion, gender, family dynamics, and globalization. Looking at both commercial and parallel films, the course focuses on "newness" in Indian cinema, and answers foundational questions about why something makes us laugh, cry, swoon, or ruminate when we watch these films.

AS 338 Islam and Literature

The purpose of this course is to expose students to the wide variety of poetic and prose literary forms associated with Islam, including contemporary English-language novels and translations from Arabic, Bengali, Persian, and Urdu originals. We will explore literature through a variety of themes and genres common to the literary traditions of these languages. This will serve to frame larger questions central to the study of Islamicate literatures. Students should consult with their major department regarding any restrictions on their degree requirements.

AS 345 Korean Popular Culture and Hallyu

This course explores contemporary Korean popular culture by engaging in social and cultural representations from the Korean War to the present day. This course will help students to understand current Korean popular culture as well as the Korean Wave (Hallyu) that is spreading across the globe. This course will also help students to grasp contemporary Korean culture and Korean identity; as well as the values and images depicted in modern Korea. It explores diverse topics including music (K-pop), movies, K-dramas, K-beauty, fashion, food, gaming culture, leisure activities, as well as sports. This course is the same as KOR 345 and course repeat rules will apply.  Students should consult with their major department regarding any restrictions on their degree requirements.

AS 347 The Fantastical World of Japanese Anime

In the past three decades Japanese popular culture has surpassed the technology industry to become Japans largest export. In particular, anime (Japanese animation), the most profitable form of Japanese popular culture, has become increasingly visible all over the world. Although anime fandom in the U.S. is anchored by several works of mass appeal, it remains a subculture whose increasingly influential devotees occupy a cultural fringe. This course introduces students to this unique subculture and introduces an academic approach to viewing the anime art form. In addition to the focus on specific genres of anime, this course will pay special attention to four influential anime directors; Oshii Mamoru, Satoshi Kon, Hosoda Mamoru and Miyazaki Hayao. This course is designed to be interactive, while it builds a rigorous understanding of the anime medium through its history, its artists, and its institutions. Not only will the course focus on critical analysis of films, it will use anime as a medium by which to study Japanese culture at large, with some attention given to production. Taught in English.

AS 370 Modern Korean History

This course looks at the historical transformations that shaped Korean society, culture and politics in the peninsula from the late 19th century to the present. Attention will be given to Korea's interconnections with events occurring elsewhere in East Asia and other parts of the world as we examine the fast moving events following Korea's forced opening in 1876 by Japan. Included among the major historical events and issues that will be covered in this course on modern Korean history are imperialism and self-strengthening efforts, the period of Japanese colonial rule and its effects on Korean society and politics, the division of the country after 1945 and the Korean War, authoritarianism and military dictatorship in the South, along with the concurrent industrialization and economic development of the 1960s and 70s, student protests and democratization in the South, post-war developments in North Korea, current problems in inter-Korean relations and the prospects for unification in the peninsula. This course is the same as HIS 370, and course repeat rules will apply.  Students should consult with their major department regarding any restrictions on their degree requirements.

AS 375 The U.S. and Asia

A survey of relations between the U.S. and East Asia from the eighteenth century to the present.

AS 389 Pirates, Drifters, Fishers: Maritime Southeast Asia

This course examines key moments and longer-term dynamics of Southeast Asia's maritime history.  We will consider how the sea affected state-building from its earliest days, its impact on pre-colonial international relations, its role as a conduit of the desire for conquest and for exotic goods, and the question of piracy, past and present. This course is the same as AS 389, and course repeat rules will apply.  Students should consult with their major department regarding any restrictions on their degree requirements.

AS 394 Topics in Asian Studies: Video Games in Japan

This course introduces the critical study of video games in Japan by exploring the history of its industry and people, and its socio-cultural functions since the 1970s. Students will play and analyze Japanese video games and learn to appreciate the medium as texts through which to understand postwar Japanese culture.

AS 431 Special Topics: Muslim Empires

The course examines the common intellectual heritage of the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal societies through the study of their political institutions, religious doctrines, economic structures, and cultural sources. In addition to reading modern scholarship, we will examine primary sources from the fields of theology, political science, literature, and the arts in order to gain a more intimate knowledge of the ideological trends of the period. This course provides an overview and context for a deeper understanding of modern Middle East through a close study of its history and culture in the early modern period.

AS 431 Special Topics: 20th Century China Politics

China changed more radically, arguably, than any other country in the twentieth century. This seminar explores these changes, which have had and will continue to have major impacts across the world. After a broad and rapid survey of Chinese social and political history in the 19th and 20th centuries, subsequent units examine particular topics in greater depth. Students will complete research projects based in part on primary sources in English translation.

AS Senior Research Seminar in Asian Studies

A capstone course required for all majors in Asian Studies.  Research, writing, and oral presentation of project carried out under the guidance of a faculty member.

AS 499 Independent Study

For more information on completing an Asian Studies Independent Study course contact the Director of Undergradaute Studies, Prof. Mimi Okabe.

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