Courses

EALC 41451 History, Drama, Fantasy: Palace of Lasting Life

(TAPS 41451)

This seminar explores the interplay of history, fantasy, and theatricality in one of the masterpieces of early Qing chuanqi drama, Changsheng dian 生殿 (Palace of Lasting Life, 1688), Hong Sheng's 洪昇dramatization of the famous tragic romance between the Tang Emperor Xuanzong and his most favored concubine Lady Yang Yuhan.  The play alternates between a restaging of the An Lushan rebellion based on the playwright’s research into historical sources and the creation of a parallel fantastical universe in the forms of purgatory and paradise.  These seemingly contradictory trends—the increased concern with historical accuracy in drama and the fascination with spectacular, supernatural worlds—are fundamental to many seventeenth-century chuanqi plays.  To understand the play’s genealogy, we will read influential earlier treatments of the Xuanzong/ Lady Yang romance, but we will also examine the play in light of its relationship to contemporary events, particularly the fall of the Ming, and to contemporary debates on historical drama and the role of the playwright in the publication and production of theatrical works. The course will include consideration of the “afterlife” of the play by screening some dvds of important live performances.

Prerequisites

Good command of classical Chinese.

EALC 10600 Topics in EALC: Ghosts and the Fantastic in Literature and Film

(CMST 24603, SIGN 26006)

What is a ghost? How and why are ghosts represented in particular forms in a particular culture at particular historical moments and how do these change as stories travel between cultures? This course will explore the complex meanings, both literal and figurative, of ghosts and the fantastic in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean tales and films. Issues to be explored include: 1) the relationship between the supernatural, gender, and sexuality; 2) the confrontation with death and mortality;  4) the visualization of "invisible" ghosts and the uncanny in film; 5) responses to ecological and political trauma.

2024-2025 Winter

EALC 10733 Topics in EALC: Nature & Dao

(RLST 28602)

This course is about ways some fundamental questions about life have been asked and answered in Chinese traditions. What is the world—especially what we today might call the “natural” or “living” world? How should one live, and see one’s life, within it? What is our relationship with it? How can we best understand it? How should our understanding guide our own lives and practices? We’ll explore some traditional Chinese responses to these questions as they have been expressed in religious practice, painting, literature, philosophy, gardening, and travel. Programmatically, the course is a hybrid: a “great works” course in the classic mold grafted onto a survey of some recent writings in the “environmental humanities.” These texts will both provide a set of conversation partners for our classic Chinese works and outline possible resources for reading and thinking about them here in our present age of ecological catastrophe generated, in large part, by our modern human practices.

Prerequisites

Note: This course is open only to students in the College. There are no prerequisites.

2024-2025 Autumn

EALC 14504 The History of Everyday in Modern Korea

(HIST 14504)

“Everyday” is easily perceived as too trivial to discuss its importance or mundane to have no historical value. In contrast, postcolonial, postmodern, poststructural, and even posthuman seem to have attempted to deconstruct pre-existing systems, social structures, our relationships with other people, objects (either living or not living), environment, and cultures (from ideology to affects, you name it). Yet, what we easily call macro-level or meta-narratives feels too heavy to lift. We will try to learn how to fill the gap between abstract and concrete and try to understand history as something specific and commonplace: Everyday. Using modern Korea as a lens, this course will address topics related to everyday—from what we do everyday (housing, eating, and clothes) to how we do everyday (earning, spending, meeting, thinking, feeling, etc.) How does food reflect the history of any society’s culture? What historical situations have created so-called “the Apartment Republic” in South Korea? Why did the Korean public become crazy about dancing in the 1950s? How has SPAM become a popular holiday gift set?  Likewise, we can ask various questions about our notions of everydayness and discuss the multiple meanings of everydayness, the politics of everyday, and its relationships in modern Korean History.

Eunhee Park
2024-2025 Autumn

EALC 14745 Recasting the Past: East Asian Classics on Modern Stages

(TAPS 20245)

Performance exists in repetition. Theater is a space where we continue to bring the past to the present, making new moments while maintaining old memories. In this class, we will explore the relationship between performance and repetition by looking at how classical performance in East Asia continue/discontinue on modern stages. From Royal Shakespeare Company’s translation and adaptation of Yuan drama to avant-garde Japanese theatre’ artists recycling of classical performance training techniques, from museum performances that breathe life into the collected theatrical objects to underground variety theater that revives Edo-kabuki––all the materials in the class center on the ways in which modern East Asia negotiates with the disruption of traditions as well as social and personal dislocations that modernity has brought about. By closely looking at a variety of cases, we will consider: How does performance provide us alternative lens to probe into the changing cultural values, historical backgrounds, and social identities in East Asia? What are some ways that we can rethink the premodern/modern divide in East Asian Studies? How can the studies of East Asian performance, both classical and modern, enrich our understandings of the interplay between theater, history, and memory?

Yiwen Wu
2024-2025 Spring

EALC 14750 Production and Reproduction: Women in Modern China, Japan, and Korea

(HIST 14602, GNSE 12129)

The course introduces both women’s history and theories concerning production and reproduction in modern China, Japan, and Korea. By bringing both production and reproduction into the discussion, the course extends the definition of “work” from workplaces to households, from formal work settings to informalities. We will read and analyze women’s economic engagements in different contexts and localities (e.g. factories, households, political mobilizations, global trade, and sex work) together with scholarships from socio-economic historians, anthropologists, and feminist scholars.

Historians have provided a broad chronological framework and empirical studies, such as the birth of feminist movements in twentieth-century East Asia, the pattern of gendered and highly specialized economic development, and women’s work as handicraft makers, factory employers, and sex workers. Anthropologists have established such analytical categories as “skill,” “practical knowledge,” and “gynotechnics” that were largely overlooked when discussing women’s work. Recent Marxist feminist scholars have extended Marxist examination of value to female labor, and contributed to our understanding of social reproduction by theorizing capitalism and its supporting system. With different concepts and frameworks, students are encouraged to reassess the complex meanings of differences outside of contemporary Western feminist theories.

Yuanxie Shi
2024-2025 Spring

EALC 15008 Gender and Sexuality in World Civ III: Feminism in Korea

(GNSE 10058)

This course will explore contending strands of feminist thought and practice in modern Korea. Building on previous coursework on feminism and the postcolonial critique of Western feminism, we will consider how various Korean expressions of women’s equality developed in historically contiguous and critical relation to other global feminist ideals and movements (e.g., “The New Woman”, “revolutionary motherhood”, Women of Asia, #MeToo, radical militant feminism, transfeminism, etc…). We will engage a diverse range of historical, literary, and ethnographic sources that probe feminist, proto-feminist, and anti-feminist ideas throughout different periods from Japanese colonialism to the North-South division to the neoliberal South Korean present.

 

Angie Heo
2024-2025 Spring

EALC 17212 Sonic Cultures of Japan

This course engages with the various techniques and practices associated with sound in Japanese culture, ranging from the 18th century through the contemporary era. The media covered will include literature, language reform movements, theater, cinema (both silent and sound), recorded music, radio broadcasting, manga, video games and anime. We will also read recent sound-oriented approaches to literary and cultural studies from scholars from both Japan and elsewhere. All readings will be in English.

2024-2025 Spring

EALC 17215 Sound and Listening in Modern Chinese Literature

Whether it is the tonalities and idiosyncracies of individual speech and dialogue in the polyphonic novel, the depiction of urban sounds and noises in Eileen Chang’s prose about 1930’s Shanghai, the borrowing of folk songs in political lyrics during the Mao era, or Western pop and rock music in experimental fictions from the 1980s, sound culture in its various forms and transformations has long left its imprint on modern literary imaginations. Sound is inseparable from technologies and ideologies of listening; in this course, we will use literary texts as aural technologies to approach historical sonic cultures, and read them as archives of sonic experiences. Through reading modern Chinese literary works together with the history of Chinese sound cultures, we ask: how does literature from different historical periods capture transient sounds? What can literature tell us about how sound is experienced in different historical periods? What are the strengths and limits of language as a medium of articulating aural experiences? How is the difference between sound and noise, listening and other senses, drawn in different historical periods, and what role does literature play in it?

Siting Jiang
2024-2025 Spring

EALC 17400 Navigating the "Modern" in Modern Japanese Literature, 1800-1945

This course focuses on the idea of the modern in Japanese literature, how it is envisioned, construed, complicated, and debated through the century from 1840 to 1945. We will read texts from decades before the Meiji Restoration of 1868, which is commonly seen as the starting point of “modern Japan,” up until the end of WWII in 1945. This course introduces key texts, both literary and critical, and asks the students to critically think about what the “modern” means across different time periods, from different points of view, and against different historical, political, and cultural backgrounds.

The purpose of this course is threefold: 1) to familiarize students with the knowledge of Japanese literature and Japanese cultural history of this time; 2) to prompt students to think about literary and cultural history in a critical and informed manner, especially in the case where they are not familiar with the culture; 3) to train students with skills in close reading and in critically examining scholarly discourses. All required readings will be provided in English. Proficiency in the Japanese language is not required.

Danlin Zhang
2024-2025 Spring

EALC 21090 Spectral Archives: Asian Diasporic Literature in the Americas

(CMLT 31090, GLST 21090, GNSE 23166, LACS 21090, RDIN 21090, SPAN 22090)

Are minor lives worth documenting? How do we have access to the lives of the multitude, the dispossessed, the outcasts and the enslaved—the lives that archival documents have little to tell us about? Is it ethical to recreate and recover the unheard lives of peoples historically perceived as illiterate, undesirable, “diseased” and unassimilable? What is the power of imagining and writing about existing otherwise? We will consider these questions throughout the course by turning to the under-explored history of Asian diasporas in Latin America and the Caribbean. We will contextualize examples of life writing (broadly-defined) spanning from late seventeenth-century to the twenty-first century, both by members of the Asian diasporas themselves and as they have been re-imagined by contemporary authors. Some examples of primary texts include the spiritual biography of a seventeenth-century Mughal princess-slave who became a mystic in colonial Mexico, queer imagination of a Chinese “coolie” in late nineteenth-century Jamaica, the memoirs of Japanese-Peruvians in the internment camp during WW2, semi-autobiographical poems and short stories by contemporary Asian-Latinx writers. With the help of supplementary critical readings on radical life writing, we will consider throughout the course how imaginative, anti-racist, feminist and queer narratives may expand our current knowledge of the lives of the marginalized and the racialized.

Prerequisites

Students will engage with course materials through collaborative discussion and presentation, and the creation of a public-facing website that will include blog posts and a multimedia final project, where each student crafts a creative piece for an Asian diasporic subject of their own choosing.

Yunning Zhang
2024-2025 Autumn

EALC 22245 Monsters and Marvels: The Abnormal in China, Japan, and Korea

This course presumes that to describe what is normal in human culture, premodern and modern, we can observe how one culture’s monsters and marvels define the abnormal. The history of monsters and marvels in China, Japan, and Korea is explored on several levels: indigenous constructions of monsters and marvels in each culture; cross-influences among the three cultures; the place of monsters and marvels in everyday life; their religious and political significance; and their influence in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean aesthetic products—literature, visual and plastic arts, and performance. The focus is premodern with an eye to modern revivals in East Asia and globally.

2024-2025 Autumn

EALC 22401 Zen Before Zen: Chan Buddhism in China

(RLST 22401, DVPR 32402, HREL 32400)

This course is part of a two-sequence series, to be followed by a course on Japanese Zen Buddhism taught by Professor Stephan Licha in Winter 2025.  "Chan" is a partial Chinese transliteration of the Sanskrit word "Dhyana," meaning meditation practice; the same Chinese character is pronounced "Zen" in Japanese.  This course will consist of the close reading (in English translation) and discussion of both the Indian Buddhist scriptures and indigenous Chinese sources that form the core of the tradition spanning Chan and Zen, with a few secondary descriptions of Chan institutions and cultural influences.  Our focus will be on the development of ideas concerning the nature of sentience and the implications this has for understanding the existential predicament of sentient beings, touching on central themes of dependent co-arising, non-self, Emptiness, consciousness-only, Buddha-nature and original enlightenment, and the methods of realization (doctrinal, non-doctrinal, and indeed anti-doctrinal) proposed to redress this existential predicament at each stage of Chan history. This will be done both with an eye to the historical continuity of these sometimes seemingly contradictory forms thought and practice, and also to extract from them whatever transhistorical philosophical and spiritual valences we care to derive from the texts.

Brook Ziporyn
2024-2025 Autumn

EALC 22402 Japanese Zen Buddhism

(RLST 22402)

What is Zen? Impossibly, seemingly, everything to everybody. In this course, we will explore Zen’s protean transformations through a close reading of primary sources in translation. Rather than asking what Zen is, we will focus on how in these materials the Zen traditions are continually de/re-constructed as contingent religious identities from medieval Japan to the contemporary United States and Europe. The focus of the course will be the premodern Japanese Zen tradition, its background in Chinese Chan, and its reception in the West. The course will include field trips to Zen communities in the Chicago area. Students wishing to take this course are strongly encouraged to also take Prof. Ziporyn’s course on Chan during the fall quarter. 

Stephan Licha
2024-2025 Winter

EALC 23044 Generations, Gender, and Genre in Korean Fiction & TV Drama

(GNSE 20136/30136, MAAD 13044)

The seminar analyzes the issues of generations, gender, and genres that arise from a selection of popular literary and television dramas from modern and contemporary Korea. The selection for the course is marked by the creative contributions of Korean women as novelists, scriptwriters, directors, among others. It includes prose fiction by renowned authors such as Park Wan-sŏ (1931-2011), Han Kang (1970- ), and Cho Nam-joo (1978- ), as well as television series like Mr. Sunshine (2018; scripted by Kim Eun-sook), The Red Sleeve (2021; dir. by Chŏng Chi-in; adapted the 2017 novel by from Kang Mi-kang), and My Liberation Notes (2022; written by Park Hae-yeong). Through a blend of close textual analysis and historical contextualization, the course aims to uncover the ways in which the gendered and generational identities of these creators might have helped certain configurations of concerns, needs, and aspirations saliently emerge in response to social, cultural, historical, and political currents of their time. [Consent Required; No prior knowledge of the Korean language is necessary]

 

2024-2025 Autumn

EALC 24116 Buddhism and the Good Life

(RLST 24116)

Forbes Magazine has styled the Tibetan Buddhist monk Mingyur Rinpoche, “the happiest man alive.” Like no other religion, Buddhism in the public imagination is associated with providing us with an accessible way towards leading a good and happy life. But what is the “good life” according to the Buddhist tradition, and what is “happiness” supposed to lead us towards? In this course, we will explore these questions through a close reading of Buddhist sources in translation. Through these readings the course will introduce the doctrinal and practical foundations of the Buddhist traditions and serve as a gateway to more specialized studies. Course Note: This course counts as a Gateway course for RLST majors/minors.

Stephan Licha
2024-2025 Winter

EALC 24407 (Un)popular fiction: Chosŏn Era Novels and Readership

(HIST 24406)

This course is an introduction to the prose literature of the Chosŏn dynasty (1392–1910) of Early Modern Korea with a focus on novels and short stories, their readers, and their detractors. We will examine major works of early modern Korean literature in translation, investigate elite and popular literary culture, and explore the status of novels according to contemporary critics. The course highlights questions of cosmopolitan and vernacular language, translation, script, the materiality of texts, readership and reading practices, gender, class, canonization, cross-cultural influence with China and Japan, and the legacies of Chosŏn literature in contemporary North and South Korea.

Graeme Reynolds
2024-2025 Spring

EALC 24408 Post-1945 South Korean Politics and Society

(HIST 24407)

This course aims to go through recent English-written monographs in the Korean Studies field each week and to learn how scholarship addresses South Korean politics and socioeconomic changes in terms of class, gender, modernization, and development politics. By reading and discussing significant scholarly works, this course will help students extend their understanding of modern South Korean society and its relationship to the family, the state, civil society, popular culture, class, and the economy in both local and global contexts.

Eunhee Park
2024-2025 Autumn

EALC 24848 Sino-Soviet Relations

This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to the history of the relationship between China and the Soviet Union, surveying some of the most representative texts and sources on the topic. For the Chinese side, we cover both ROC and PRC. Moreover, we extend our timeline beyond the collapse of the USSR to inquire how the historical Sino-Soviet alliance is being perceived in the present day. Our focus will primarily be on state-level politics and highbrow cultural production, but we will also pay attention to the social history of the expansive border regions and population movement. Students are expected to bring their own expertise and interest to the class by presenting on an individualized research topic, in addition to writing an in-class midterm and a final paper. All readings are in English.

2024-2025 Spring

EALC 27657 Rethinking Pilgrimage: Pop-culture Tourism and Religious Travel

(RLST 27657)

The term pilgrimage is usually associated with journeys to ancient religious sites such as the Vatican or Mecca. But why do superfans who travel to Disney World often describe this in terms of a pilgrimage? Why is it that when anime fans visit real-life sites from their favorite shows, this is frequently called a “journey to sacred sites” (seiichi junrei)? In this course we will discuss these and other questions about pilgrimage in its religious and secular forms. We will consider examples such as the Islamic Hajj, the Crusades, and a 750-mile Buddhist pilgrimage in Japan, alongside journeys to Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross, Elvis’s Graceland, and the sets of Hobbiton. After first exploring theories of travel, tourism, and pilgrimage through a global array of examples, the second half of the course consists of a deep dive into connections between anime tourism, religious travel in Japan, and the worldwide boom of Japanese pop culture. At the end of the course students will present a small research project on a pilgrimage/tourist destination of their own choosing. No prior coursework on religion required. 

Bruce Winkelman
2024-2025 Autumn

EALC 28989 Junior Tutorial in East Asian Studies

This seminar will introduce students to the materials and methodologies of East Asian studies. What are the ways one might make sense of an Anyang wine vessel, a Bashō haiku, a line from the Analects, a pansori performance, a short story by Akutagawa, or a K-pop ballad? Through a range of approaches to diverse objects of inquiry, we will explore the interdisciplinary breadth of EALC as well as the history and future of area studies. Assignments based around students’ interests will also work towards developing field-specific research and writing skills. 

Prerequisites

Required for all EALC majors; open to non-majors, space permitting. 

2024-2025 Spring

EALC 33900 Esoteric Buddhism in East Asia

(HREL 33900)

The tantric or esoteric traditions exerted a profound if often covert influence on the development of East Asian Buddhism as a whole and on Japanese Buddhism in specific. In this course, we will trace their development through a close reading of selected sources in translation, focusing on the Ben kenmitsu nikyô ron attributed to Kūkai (774–835), the first systematizer of esoteric Buddhist thought in Japan. We will pay especially close attention to how the label of the “esoteric” or “tantric” is used to define specific religious identities. Students wishing to take this class should have a grounding in (East Asian) Buddhist thought. 

Prerequisites

Basic familiarity with Buddhist thought.

Stephan Licha
2024-2025 Spring

EALC 33908 Bergson and China: Buddhist and Confucian Reboots

(DVPR 33908, HREL 33908, RLST 23908)

This course will explore Henri Bergson's philosophy as set forth in Time and Free Will, Matter and Memory, and Creative Evolution, and its reception in late Imperial and early Republican China (late 19th and early 20th centuries). Of special interest will be the role played by Bergsonian ideas in the Yogacara revival and the formation of New Confucianism during this period, with particular focus on figures like Zhang Taiyan, Xiong Shili and Liang Shumin. This will require us to deeply engage Bergson's idea of "duration" (durée) and its interpretation, particularly in relation to a reconsideration of the Yogacara Buddhist notion of ālaya-consciousness (storehouse consciousness) and the Confucian idea of ceaseless generation and regeneration (shengsheng bu xi) as derived from interpretive traditions centered on the Book of Changes (Yijing). 

Prerequisites

All readings will be available in English. Chinese reading proficiency is recommended but not required.

Brook Ziporyn
2024-2025 Autumn

EALC 25521 Constructions of the Other in Cold War Japanese Media and Literature

This class will survey the constructions of a variety of Others in Cold War Japanese media and literature, including questions of ethnicity, race, sexuality, gender, and species. We will cover primary sources, including literary texts, films, and music, and we we will also read recent secondary scholarship in both English and Japanese relevant to the topic.  A substantial portion of the course readings will be in Japanese.   

Prerequisites

Reading proficiency in Japanese required.

2024-2025 Winter

EALC 23005/33005 The Spirit of Reality TV in East Asia

Over the last several decades, reality television has become a central ingredient in media diets all across the world. One can practically trace a line from early hits like Survivor and Big Brother, which were quickly formatted for global circulation, to the recent viral success of Squid Game, a fictionalized account of a death-game tournament that spawned its own reality show. Why do audiences everywhere find reality TV so entertaining? What moral lessons do viewers take away from these shows? And what might scholars learn by taking this popular aesthetic form, in all its cultural variation, seriously? This course brings together media studies, aesthetic criticism, area studies, and the sociology of religion to try to answer some of these questions. The course will help students to think about the moral and spiritual beliefs embedded in popular cultural forms, but also to understand how these forms are now circulated and consumed in our contemporary media environment and what they tell us about late-stage global capitalism. Course readings will introduce students to scholarship in television studies, aesthetic criticism, religious studies, and cultural studies, providing them with the necessary foundations to analyze reality TV from multiple disciplinary perspectives. We will also screen examples of reality TV and its offshoots, with a specific focus on East Asian shows and the competition or elimination format. Students will develop skills in visual analysis, interpretation of secular religion and belief structures, social theory, and basic research and writing methods.

Prerequisites

 

Students will develop skills in visual analysis, interpretation of secular religion and belief structures, social theory, and basic research and writing methods.

2024-2025 Spring

EALC 24123/34123 History of Food in Japan

(HIST 24123/34123)

Although food is an essential part of human existence, it has only recently become the object of historical analysis, and historical research has drawn attention to its significance in relation to issues of health, gender, class, technology, and culture.  This course explores the history of food in Japan in the period from c. 1600 to the postwar era.  Topics to be examined include changing practices of consumption and production, medical discourse and conceptions of a proper diet, the impact of introduction of new foods and new methods of preparation, the rise of nutritional science, the development of a “national cuisine,” and the impact of war and defeat upon food culture.

2024-2025 Spring

EALC 24124/34124 Post-empire: Japan and East Asia

(HIST 24124/34124)

This course is on the post-imperial and postcolonial history in East Asia. After Japan declared defeat on August 15th, 1945, the empire has officially ended. Yet, the aftermath and afterlife of Japan’s empire still deeply influenced the social and political environment in this region. How did the post-imperial connections shape Japan and its Asian neighbors? How did different actors react to this sudden change of political environment? This course pays close attention to the imperial and post-imperial continuity and changes.

Yuting Dong
2024-2025 Winter

EALC 24255/34255 Everyday Maoism: Revolution, Daily Life, and Material Culture in Socialist China

(CRES 24255, HIST 24507/34507)

The history of Maoist China is usually told as a sequence of political campaigns: land and marriage reform, nationalization of industry, anti-rightist campaign, Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, etc. Yet for the majority of the Chinese population, socialism was as much about material changes as about politics: about the two-storey brick houses, electric lights and telephones (loushang louxia, diandeng dianhua) that the revolution had promised; about new work regimes and new consumption patterns – or, to the contrary, about the absence of such change. If we want to understand what socialism meant for different groups of people, we have to look at the "new objects" of socialist modernity, at changes in dresscodes and apartment layouts, at electrification and city planning. We have to analyze workplaces and labor processes in order to understand how socialism changed the way people worked. We also have to look at the rationing of consumer goods and its effects on people's daily lives. The course has a strong comparative dimension: we will look at the literature on socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, to see how Chinese socialism differed from its cousins. Another aim is methodological. How can we understand the lives of people who wrote little and were rarely written about? To which extent can we read people's life experiences out of material objects? 

2024-2025 Winter

EALC 24626/34626 Japanese Cultures of the Cold War: Literature, Film, Music

This course is an experiment in rethinking what has conventionally been studied and taught as "postwar Japanese culture" as instances of global Cold War culture. We will look at celebrated works of Japanese fiction, film and popular music from 1945 through 1990, but instead of considering them primarily in relation to the past events of World War Two, we will try to understand them in relation to the unfolding contemporary global situation of the Cold War. We will also look at English-language writing on Japan from during and after the Cold War period. Previous coursework on modern Japanese history or culture is helpful, but not required. All course readings will be in English.

2024-2025 Winter

EALC 24813/34813 East Asian Science and Technology: Ways of Making

(HIST 24813/34813)

This is the second part of the East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine series. In this series, we will read major works on the history of STM in East Asia and constantly are in conversation with studies of this history in the globe.

2024-2025 Spring

EALC 24615/35615 History of Energy in East Asia

(HIST 24615/34615)

This course discusses the history of major energy sources in East Asia with a focus on coal, hydropower, and nuclear power plant. We pay close attention to both the technological side of the history of energy and how different energy sources interact with the social and political environment in Japan, China, and Koreas.

Yuting Dong
2024-2025 Spring

EALC 25811/35811 Foundations of East Asian Buddhism

(HREL 35811, RLST 22501)

This course is an introduction to Buddhism in East Asia, examined through lenses of texts, art, and thought. We will examine important sources of the major currents of East Asian Buddhist thought and practice stretching from the earliest days of the religion in China to the East Asian Buddhist world of today, giving special consideration to major textual and artistic monuments, such as translated scriptures, Chan/Zen literature, paintings and sculptures, and pilgrimage sites.  

2024-2025 Winter

EALC 25812/35812 East Asian Science and Technology: Ways of Knowing

(HIST 24812/34812)

This course is the first half of the East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine series. The second part of the course will be offered in the spring quarter by Professor Jacob Eyferth. In this series, we will read major works on the history of STM in East Asia and constantly are in conversation with studies of this history in the globe.

Yuting Dong
2024-2025 Winter

EALC 28901/38901 Discovering Ancient East Asia: Themes in the Archaeology of China, Korea, and Japan

What happened to Peking Man? Where did rice cultivation begin and who made the first pottery? Why were hoards of bronzes buried and what were they used for? This course will explore themes such as the origins of humans, the beginning of agriculture, early villages and cities, metal technology, ancient writing systems, and the rise of states and civilizations in East Asia. It will also discuss the current state of archaeological research in Asia, and the role of archaeology in nation building and modern geopolitics. The rich resources available in the museums of Chicago will also be explored.

2024-2025 Spring

EALC 40350 Modern Chinese Literary Studies: Twists and Turns of a Field

How has the discipline of Modern Chinese Literary Studies emerged and evolved in the US and in China, and what are the major debates that have agitated the field? This research seminar surveys various issues and approaches in modern Chinese literary studies, seeking to delineate its main turning points. Students are invited to identify their area of interest early on in the course, and to work on a major research paper throughout the quarter. 

2024-2025 Winter

CHIN 20508/40800 Intermediate Literary Chinese I

(EALC 40800)

Selected readings in pre-modern Chinese literature from the first millennium B.C.E. to the end of the imperial period. The course covers important works in topics ranging from philosophy, history and religion to poetry, fiction and drama. Specific content varies by instructor.

Prerequisites

Course may be repeated for credit with consent of instructor. Undergraduate enrollment is encouraged. CHIN 21000, or placement, or consent of instructor.

2024-2025 Autumn

CHIN 20509/40900 Intermediate Literary Chinese II

(EALC 40900)

Selected readings in pre-modern Chinese literature from the first millennium B.C.E. to the end of the imperial period. The course covers important works in topics ranging from philosophy, history and religion to poetry, fiction and drama. Specific content varies by instructor.

Prerequisites

Course may be repeated for credit with consent of instructor. Undergraduate enrollment is encouraged. CHIN 40800, or CHIN 21000, or placement, or consent of instructor.

Not offered every year; quarters vary.

2024-2025 Winter

CHIN 20510/41000 Intermediate Literary Chinese III

(EALC 41000)

Selected readings in pre-modern Chinese literature from the first millennium B.C.E. to the end of the imperial period. The course covers important works in topics ranging from philosophy, history and religion to poetry, fiction and drama. Specific content varies by instructor.

Prerequisites

Course may be repeated for credit with consent of instructor. Undergraduate enrollment is encouraged. CHIN 40900, or CHIN 21000, or placement, or consent of instructor.

Not offered every year; quarters vary.

2024-2025 Spring

EALC 23001/43000 Censorship in East Asia: The Case of Colonial Korea

(CRES 23001, MAAD 16001)

This course examines the operation and consequences of censorship in the Japanese Empire, with focus on those of colonial Korea. The Japanese authorities’ repressive measures and the Korean responses to them exhibit both general characteristics of censorship and distinctively colonial ones. With a larger goal of exploring the relationship between censorship practices and legacies in modern East Asia, it studies the institutions, the human agents, and texts produced by censors as well as by writers, stressing the need of a comparative understanding of censorship. In addressing the institutional aspects of censorship and the reactions by journalists and writers, the course pursues two main objectives. The first aim is to examine the workings and impact of prepublication censorship in particular, one that shaped the journalistic culture of colonial Korea. Secondly, the class seeks a better understanding of censorship-inflected textual matters, not only in terms of the sites of censorship but also in regard to the strategies of counter-censorship, which may or may not be visually inscribed on the printed texts.

2024-2025 Autumn

EALC 45400 Western Zhou Bronze Inscription

This course is intended to be the first segment of a two-quarter long sequence introducing the study of early Chinese inscriptions. The first quarter will begin with a survey of Shang and Zhou oracle-bone inscriptions, with the intent to get a general overview of how to read and interpret these inscriptions. The second half of the quarter will then turn to a similar overview of Western Zhou bronze inscriptions, paying attention to both paleographic and artistic considerations. Much of the focus of this overview will center on questions of periodization. We will consider in particular how notions of periodization have influenced the historiography of Western Zhou bronze studies.

2024-2025 Winter

EALC 45401 Western Zhou Bronze Inscriptions

This course is intended to be the second segment of a two-quarter long sequence introducing the study of early Chinese inscriptions. Students should have taken the first quarter, EALC 45400, which will have given them a foundation in the study of ancient Chinese inscriptions, and especially of inscribed bronze vessels. The second quarter will be devoted to specific case studies, most of them driven by the students' own research interests. Students will be expected to produce a comprehensive study of one inscribed vessel or set of vessels.

Prerequisites

Knowledge of classical Chinese.

Open to undergraduates with consent. This course is a continuation of EALC 45400, although 45400 is not a prerequisite of EALC 45401.

2024-2025 Spring

EALC 28010/48010 Archaeology of Anyang: Bronzes, Inscriptions, and World Heritage

(ANTH 26765, ANTH 36765)

Anyang is one of the most important archaeological sites in China. The discoveries of inscribed oracle bones, the royal cemetery, clusters of palatial structures, and industrial-scale craft production precincts have all established that the site was indeed the last capital of the Shang dynasty recorded in traditional historiography. With almost continuous excavations since the late 1920s, work at Anyang has in many ways shaped and defined Chinese archaeology and the study of Early Bronze Age China.  This course intends to examine the history of research, important archaeological finds, and the role of Anyang studies in the field of Chinese archaeology. While the emphasis is on archaeological finds and the related research, this course will also attempt to define Anyang in the modern social and cultural contexts in terms of world heritage, national and local identity, and the looting and illegal trade of antiquities.

Prerequisites

Undergrads with permission from instructor.

2024-2025 Winter

EALC 56302 Law and Society, China and Beyond: Using Legal Sources

(HIST 56302)

TBD

2024-2025 Winter

EALC 58011 Archaeology of Craft Production: Theories and Case Studies

(ANTH 58011)

The course will review anthropological literature and case studies of craft production and craft specialization in ancient civilizations. It also takes a multi-disciplinary approach by adopting perspectives developed in history and art history. Topics discussed in the course include organization of production, craft production and the elite, chaîne opératoire, status and identity of artisans, and political economy and craft production. Students are expected to become familiar with prevalent theoretical discussions and are encouraged to apply, adopt, or revise them in order to analyze examples of craft production of their own choice.

2024-2025 Spring