Courses

EALC 10510 Topics in EALC: Approaches to East Asian Popular Music

This course surveys a variety of scholarly approaches to the study of popular music in East Asia since 1900, including questions of authenticity, gender, media technologies, circulation, and translation. The course will introduce a variety of musical genres from China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan, ranging from forms considered 'traditional' to contemporary idol and hiphop music.

Prerequisites

All readings will be available in English, and no background in music is required or expected.

2021-2022 Autumn

EALC 10524 Topics in EALC: Traditional Performance in East Asia

This course surveys traditional theater and performance in East Asia, including their histories and intersections, but also their modern transformations and contemporary status as living practices and cultural objects. Mixing theatrical texts and readings from performance studies with videos or documentaries about these traditions, the course encourages students to reconsider what constitutes a “tradition,” how knowledge is codified or transmitted (and how certain means of transmission might be privileged over others), and the implications of these performance traditions being recast as cultural products for tourism or soft power. In addition to introducing the major performance traditions of China, Japan, and Korea, the course aims to incorporate perspectives from rural performance, circuses or spectacle shows, and traditional East Asian theater performed by Asian-American artists and communities.  All course readings will be available in English.

2021-2022 Spring

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.

2021-2022 Spring

EALC 10622 Topics in EALC: Understanding Games and Play with Pre-modern East Asian Literature

Games are everywhere, so pervasive that we tend to take for granted what games are and how the notion of play is associated with specific cultural and historical contexts. In this class, we will defamiliarize our understandings of games and play by exploring their active interactions with literature mainly in pre-modern China and Japan. From Tang dynasty riddle tales to Edo period puppet theater, from the fantastic pilgrimage in the novel Journey to the West to the virtual journey on the Sugoroku game board—all these materials we will cover in class center on the ways in which playing, storytelling, and reading go hand in hand with one another. Stories are turned into literary games, and sometimes, games start to tell stories. By engaging theories in game studies, media studies, and narratology with a close reading and discussion of selected tales, novels, and plays, we will consider: What aspects of games and play, as well as their related cultural values can we discover in these literary works? How do games and play as a perspective enable us to consider such issues as fictional world, objecthood, adaptation, and memory in literature and beyond? How do certain narrative and stylistic devices in different media (e.g. textual, visual, and material) function in our examination of games and stories? All readings will be provided in English.

2021-2022 Autumn

EALC 10728 Topics in EALC: Dunhuang and the Silk Road

Dunhuang, a key oasis town on the cultural and economic networks of ancient Eurasia known today as the “Silk Roads,” lay for centuries at the nexus of four major cultural spheres: those of China, Tibet, Central Asia, and the Steppe. Dunhuang is renowned especially for its connection with the Mogao Caves, a major Buddhist temple and pilgrimage site. Its immense importance today lies in the fact that it is not only the most important collection of Buddhist painting in the ancient world, but that it also held a cache of manuscripts and block-printed texts that has transformed our understanding of the history of the region, and especially of the histories of Buddhism, Daoism, Manichaeism, and Christianity. Dunhuang’s location at the nexus of cultural spheres is reflected in the astonishing range of languages attested at the site, in manuscripts, epigraphy, and graffiti. These include Chinese, Tibetan, Khotanese, Sogdian, Old Uyghur, Old Türkic, Sanskrit, Tangut, and Kuchean, among others. This course is an exploration of the rich history of Dunhuang and the Mogao Caves: not only the ancient histories reflected in its art, objects, and texts, but also the modern histories of those materials, which are today in good part scattered across the globe in museum and library collections filled by agents of 20th Century empires.

2021-2022 Winter

EALC 14601 Twentieth-Century China through Great Trials

(HIST 14601)

This course surveys China's turbulent twentieth century through the lens of great trials. From communist show trials to international courts, from struggle sessions to investigative journalism, and from trial by mob to trial by media, students will witness public and private "justice" in action both in and beyond the courtroom and across the long century's radically different governmental regimes. Our view of China will explore both the sweeping events of revolution and individual experiences. There is no prerequisite for this course.

Johanna Ransmeier
2021-2022 Autumn

EALC 15411 East Asian Civilization I, Ancient Period–1600

(HIST 15411)

This course examines the politics, society, and culture of East Asia from ancient times until c. 1600.  Our focus will be on examining key historical moments and intellectual, social, and cultural trends with an emphasis on the region as a whole. Students will read and discuss culturally significant texts, and be introduced to various approaches to analyzing them.

Prerequisites

Note: This a pilot Core course.

EALC 16100 Art of the East: China

(ARTH 16100)

This course is an introduction to the arts of China focusing on the bronze vessels of the Shang and Zhou dynasties, the Chinese appropriation of the Buddha image, and the evolution of landscape and figure painting traditions. This course considers objects in contexts (from the archaeological sites from which they were unearthed to the material culture that surrounded them) to reconstruct the functions and the meanings of objects, and to better understand Chinese culture through the objects it produced. 

2021-2022 Spring

EALC 16100 Art of the East: China

(ARTH 16100)

This course is an introduction to the arts of China focusing on the bronze vessels of the Shang and Zhou dynasties, the Chinese appropriation of the Buddha image, and the evolution of landscape and figure painting traditions. This course considers objects in contexts (from the archaeological sites from which they were unearthed to the material culture that surrounded them) to reconstruct the functions and the meanings of objects, and to better understand Chinese culture through the objects it produced.

2021-2022 Winter

EALC 17860 Landscape Representation in Dynastic China

(ARTH 17860)

In China, landscape, literally “mountains and waters” (shanshui), has been a primary theme of artistic expression since the tenth century, as revealed most elaborately in two-dimensional works of art. This course surveys major areas of study in the history of Chinese landscape painting from its full bloom in the tenth century to the end of dynastic China in the twentieth century. It aims to equip students with basic knowledge and skills required to analyze the key elements of its pictorial representation, such as format, style, technique, material, etc. On a broader level, the course will investigate topics including religious significance of early landscape images, stylistic analysis and art historical accounts in relation to court and literati arenas, landscape aesthetic and theoretical foundations, and landscape representation as socio-political commentary. Considerable attention will be paid to the inherent features of various portable formats, such as scroll, fan and album leaf, as well as their historical context, viewing convention, audience and social function.

Meng Zhao
2021-2022 Spring

EALC 18001 Dream of the Red Chamber and Late Imperial China

(FNDL)

The eighteenth-century novel Dream of the Red Chamber occupies an unparalleled place in Chinese literary culture. This story of a peculiar boy born into a wealthy family in decline was an instant hit when first published and remains the subject of innumerable studies and adaptations to this day. A novel of philosophical complexity, emotional richness, and lush materiality, Dream of the Red Chamber offers an affecting portrait of the psyche of a young misfit, a reflection on memory and the act of writing, and a sprawling, encyclopedic view of Qing dynasty society. Our reading of the novel will pay close attention to the text itself while also situating it within the social, cultural, and intellectual history of late imperial China.  

2021-2022 Spring

EALC 18606 Structuring China’s Built Environment

(ARCH 18606, ARTH 18606)

This course asks a basic question: Of what does China’s built environment in history consist? Unlike other genres of art in China, a history of China’s built environment still waits to be written, concerning both the physical structure and spatial sensibility shaped by it. To this end, students will be introduced to a variety of materials related to our topic, ranging from urban planning, buildings, tombs, gardens, and furniture. The course aims to explore each of the built environments—its principles, tradition, and history—based on existing examples and textual sources, and to propose ways and concepts in which the materials discussed throughout the quarter can be analyzed and understood as a broader historical narrative of China’s built environment.

2021-2022 Autumn

JAPN 20500 4th-Year Modern Japanese I

This course is intended to improve Japanese reading, speaking, writing, and listening ability to the advanced low level as measured by the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Proficiency Guidelines. Weekly assignments require students to tackle modern Japanese texts of varying length and difficulty. Organized around a range of thought-provoking themes, reading assignments include academic theses, literary texts, and popular journalism. After each reading, students are encouraged to discuss the topic in class and are required to write their own thoughts on each reading along with a summary. The class meets for two eighty-minute sessions each week. All courses in this sequence must be taken for a quality grade.

Prerequisites

JAPN 20403, or JAPN 30300, or placement, or consent of instructor

JAPN 20600 4th-Year Modern Japanese II

Open to both undergraduates and graduates. This course is designed to improve Japanese reading, speaking, writing and listening ability to the advanced high level as measured by the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Proficiency Guidelines. Weekly assignments will require students to tackle modern Japanese texts of varying length and difficulty. Organized around a range of thought-provoking themes (from brain death and organ transplants to Japanese values on work and religion), reading assignments will include academic theses in psychology and anthropology, literary texts, and popular journalism. After completing the readings, students will be encouraged to discuss each topic in class. Videos/DVDs will be used to improve listening comprehension skills. There will also be writing assignments.

Prerequisites

JAPN 20500, or JAPN 40500, or placement, or consent of instructor

JAPN 20700 4th-Year Modern Japanese III

Open to both undergraduates and graduates. This course is designed to improve Japanese reading, speaking, writing and listening ability to the advanced high level as measured by the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Proficiency Guidelines. Weekly assignments will require students to tackle modern Japanese texts of varying length and difficulty. Organized around a range of thought-provoking themes (from brain death and organ transplants to Japanese values on work and religion), reading assignments will include academic theses in psychology and anthropology, literary texts, and popular journalism. After completing the readings, students will be encouraged to discuss each topic in class. Videos/DVDs will be used to improve listening comprehension skills. There will also be writing assignments.

Prerequisites

JAPN 20600, or JAPN 40600, or placement, or consent of instructor

EALC 20800 Elementary Literary Chinese I

(CHIN 20800)

Introduction to the Chinese literary language from the first millennium B.C.E. to the end of the imperial period. While surveying a variety of literary genres (such as, philosophical and historical texts, poetry, and essays), focus is on grammatical structures and translation methods.

Prerequisites

CHIN 20300, or placement, or consent of instructor. Auditing is not permitted. Must be taken for a quality grade.

2021-2022 Autumn

CHIN 20900 Elementary Literary Chinese II

(EALC 20900)

Introduction to the Chinese literary language from the first millennium B.C.E. to the end of the imperial period. While surveying a variety of literary genres (such as, philosophical and historical texts, poetry, and essays), focus is on grammatical structures and translation methods.

Prerequisites

CHIN 20800, or placement, or consent of instructor. Auditing is not permitted. Must be taken for a quality grade.

2021-2022 Winter

KORE 21100 Fourth Year Modern Korean I

The first in a series of three consecutive courses focuses on improving speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills to high-advanced level. Through intensive readings and discussions, students will build extensive vocabulary and complex grammatical structures as well as developing sophisticated speaking skills and academic writing skills. The materials introduced in this class include newspaper articles dealing with current social, cultural, or economic issues in Korea, literary works such as poems and novels, and authentic media such as TV documentaries or movies.

Prerequisites

KORE 30300, placement or consent of instructor. Must be taken for a quality grade.

2021-2022 Autumn

KORE 21200 Fourth Year Modern Korean II

The second of three consecutive courses focuses on improving speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills to high-advanced level. Through intensive readings and discussions, students will build extensive vocabulary and complex grammatical structures as well as developing sophisticated speaking skills and academic writing skills. The materials introduced in this class include newspaper articles dealing with current social, cultural, or economic issues in Korea, literary works such as poems and novels, and authentic media such as TV documentaries or movies.

2021-2022 Winter

KORE 21300 Fourth Year Modern Korean III

The third of three consecutive courses focuses on improving speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills to high-advanced level. Through intensive readings and discussions, students will build extensive vocabulary and complex grammatical structures as well as developing sophisticated speaking skills and academic writing skills. The materials introduced in this class include newspaper articles dealing with current social, cultural, or economic issues in Korea, literary works such as poems and novels, and authentic media such as TV documentaries or movies.

Prerequisites

KORE 41200 or consent. Must be taken for a letter grade. No auditors.

2021-2022 Spring

EALC 21667 Poetics of Space: Performance and Place in Japan and Beyond

(CMLT 21667, HMRT 21667, TAPS 21667)

The role of space in everyday life has acquired a newfound prominence in light of recent events, as exemplified in the emergence of terms like “social distancing” and “quarantine” as common parlance. Approaching the implications of this from a different angle through an examination of how spatial imaginings travel across time and medium, we will explore questions of space as they are bound up with problems of gender, exile, aesthetics, and performance. How is space imagined and evoked across different media? How might attention to this question lead us to rethink the way that space mediates our experiences of our surroundings? While Japan will be our primary geographic topos, we will interrogate an understanding of these spatialities as ‘Japanese’ by surveying the role they come to play in discourses of both ‘Japanese-ness’ and Western modernism. We will pay special attention to performance (namely, nō dance-drama); however, we will also take up short stories, novels, film and more. Centering our investigations on modern and contemporary cultural production, our travels will also take us through premodern terrain to trace the multiple axes along which our diverse array of objects circulate. Figures considered include: Murata Sayaka, Gaston Bachelard, Hori Tatsuo, Doreen Massey, Mishima Yukio, Ōe Kenzaburō, Ezra Pound, and W. B. Yeats. All readings will be in English.

Prerequisites

No prior background required.

2021-2022 Autumn

EALC 24209 The Making of Modern Asia: Nationalism in China, India, and Japan

(HIST 24200)

The late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries saw the intensification of nationalist and anti-colonial movements in Asia. What understandings of imperialism did these different movements develop? How and why did those movements take such divergent paths in their anti-colonial struggles? And despite these divergences, what similar political, social, and economic trends animated them? This class will explore the connections and disparities between emergent nationalisms in India, China, and Japan. Instead of accepting distinctions between East and South Asia or between colonialism and semi-colonialism as proof of incomparability, this class will use the differences between these three countries to develop a comprehensive understanding of the various ways that societies responded to the threat of foreign rule and encroachment. By reading a combination of primary and secondary sources, students will discover the indelible influence that resistance to imperialism had on the development of nationalist thought in these three societies, even as that resistance took on increasingly different forms as time passed. Beginning with efforts in the late-nineteenth century to categorize their position in a global hierarchy vis-à-vis the Western powers, this course then tracks the ways that Japanese, Indian, and Chinese nationalisms took on similar shapes in different contexts before rapidly diverging in the early twentieth century.

Y. Nasser
2021-2022 Autumn

EALC 24852 Sino-Western Encounters: Chinese Law and Empire from Global Perspectives

(GLST 24852)

This course examines the history of Sino-Western relations through the perspective of law. Today when we talk about Chinese law in Western contexts, it is often associated with impressions such as human rights abuse and rule of person instead of law. Ever since the early eighteen century, law has assumed a prominent role in the development of Sino-Western relation. Using law as a primary analytical framework, this course surveys a variety of issues arising from Sino-Western interactions during the nineteenth century and early twentieth centuries. Questions to be discussed include what role does the West, both as political actors and a source of ideology, play in shaping understanding of Chinese law and politics? How did judicial knowledge of business, sovereignty, and family structure change as China entered the global world of nation-states? How did understanding of law help construct and reconstruct notions of ethnicity, marriage, and gender over time in cross-cultural settings? You will be able to understand broad political processes such as modernization, colonization, and globalization, as well as their impact on everyday life. In addition to discussing how Western observers produced knowledge about Chinese law, we also examine the role of law in the Qing Empire’s expansion. The parallel of the two trajectories – one Chinese and one Western – will lead us to reconsider some of the assumptions in cross-cultural studies.

Yuan Tian
2021-2022 Spring

JAPN 24900 Pre-Modern Japanese: Kindai Bungo I

The course is a systematic introduction to pre-modern and early-modern texts written in classical Japanese (bungo or kogo), the standard written language in Japan up to the beginning of the twentieth century. We will learn and absorb the fundamentals of classical Japanese grammar and engage with some of the core grammatical problematics of the language. Throughout the course students will gain a firm foundation in how the language is constructed, increase their comprehension of the language’s vocabulary, and will familiarize themselves with original texts in prose and poetry alike, including narrative fiction (monogatari), anecdotes (setsuwa), essays (zuihitsu), and traditional Japanese poems (waka). The goal is to acquire a firm foundation in the classical language and to be able to read pre-modern texts with the help of a dictionary, for the purpose of academic research.

Prerequisites

JAPN 20300 or equivalent, or consent of instructor.

2021-2022 Autumn

EALC 20667/30667 Ecological Imagination in Modern Chinese Short Fiction

(MAPH 30667)

In this class, we will explore a variety of environments and ecological systems portrayed in Chinese short stories in the 20th and 21st centuries, ranging from forests to media ecology. What do fictional tales tell us about the relationship between human beings and nature and the interaction between people inhabiting different types of environment (e.g. the urban versus the rural)? How is ecocriticism entangled with literary criticism? How can we gain a new perspective on the genre of short fiction by considering techniques for storytelling in ecological terms? We will read stories written by famous Chinese writers including Lu Xun, Yu Hua, and Mo Yan (the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2012) in conjunction with a selection of theoretical texts. This class welcomes EALC majors and minors, MAPH students, and other students who are interested in this topic. No prior knowledge of Chinese is needed.

2021-2022 Autumn

EALC 10677/30677 Topics in EALC: Race, Media, and Translingual Practice

(MAPH 30677)

In this class, we will discuss the role that comparison plays as a key method for studying East Asian cultures. We will explore ways of making comparison and reflect on our own habits of comparative thinking. What is comparable and what is not? How can comparison reveal otherwise hidden connections? How might comparison inflict violence on the subjects that we study? How can we compare responsibly, sensitively, and creatively? We will focus on three themes: race, media, and language. We will explore how their interconnections present new opportunities and challenges for comparative thinking when studying Japan, Korea, and China from a global perspective. In lieu of a final paper, each student will develop a critical reflection journal responding to these questions by examining selected cases in a medium of choice (such as handwritten pages, podcast, short film, blog, poetry). All classes will be divided into seminar sessions and workshop sessions. In a seminar session, we will discuss a selection of literary materials, films, and recent theoretical texts produced in interdisciplinary fields including cultural studies, media studies, and postcolonial studies in East Asian contexts in the premodern and modern eras. In a workshop session, we will discuss new portions of students’ journal-in-progress (which will be circulated beforehand). The goal is to help each student develop and modify their own approach to drawing insightful comparison. This class welcomes EALC majors and minors, MAPH students, and other students who are interested in this topic. 

2021-2022 Winter

EALC 10723/30723 Topics in EALC: Health, Healing, and Religion in East Asia

(CRES 10723, HEL, HIST)

This course will consider the intersections between health, healing, and primarily non-Abrahamic religions across East Asia. By reading about, considering, and analyzing conceptions of health and associated healing methods, you will develop the ability to better understand the medical and religious traditions of peoples in East Asia. You will learn to makes sense of religious features such as ritual, spells, pilgrimage, and meditation, including various ways that healers instill calm and confidence in those they treat. These religious features appear strongly in some medical instances, and subtly in “non-religious” medical and psychological contexts. We will compare and contrast these features in the East Asian context and reflect upon their implications for healthcare in the U.S.A. today.

2021-2022 Spring

CHIN 31000 Elementary Literary Chinese III

(EALC 21000)

Introduction to the Chinese literary language from the first millennium B.C.E. to the end of the imperial period. While surveying a variety of literary genres (such as, philosophical and historical texts, poetry, and essays), focus is on grammatical structures and translation methods.

Prerequisites

CHIN 20900, or placement, or consent of instructor. Auditing is not permitted. Must be taken for a quality grade.

2021-2022 Spring

EALC 21401/31401 The Cultural Biography of Things in China

This course investigates literary strategies in China through which material things are depicted and animated. Our emphasis will be on reading primary sources about objects up through the 18th century, but we’ll also incorporate approaches from anthropology, the history of material culture and technology, and art history in a comparative context.  Genres to be covered include the ode on things, the it-biography, tales of the strange, the vernacular novel, handbooks for connoisseurs and collectors, paintings, illustrated books, and decorative objects. All readings will be available in English. Some previous background in Chinese literature, history, or art history would be helpful but is not required.

Prerequisites

NO PRQ, but some previous background in Chinese literature, history, or art history would be helpful.

2021-2022 Winter

EALC 22100/32100 Introduction to Zen Buddhism

(DVPR 32100, HREL 32100, RLST 22100)

This course will consist of the close reading and discussion of primary texts (in translation) of the Chan Buddhism of China and Zen Buddhism of Japan (禪宗--more commonly known in Engish by the Japanese name, Zen), supplemented by secondary readings on Zen institutions and cultural influences. As our foundation, we will be begin with an overview of basic Buddhist tenets, and then work through key Mahāyāna ideas and sūtra passages, focusing on the ideas of Emptiness, Buddha-nature, and Mind-only. Then we will turn to the unique syntheses of these ideas in the early Chan movement in medieval China and their various deployments in the contending interpretations and methodologies of later Chan and Zen, including the Platform Sutra of Huineng, the kōan (Ch: gong-an) literature of the Song dynasty, and the essays of Dōgen. This will be done both with an eye to the historical development of these schools of thought and practice within the context of East Asian Buddhism in general, and for whatever transhistorical philosophical and religious valences we care to derive from the texts. All readings will be in English.

B. Ziporyn
2021-2022 Autumn

CHIN 22451/32451 Social and Economic Institutions of Chinese Socialism

(HIST 24511, HIST 34511)

The socialist period (for our purposes here, c. 1949-1980) fundamentally transformed the institutions of Chinese social and economic life. Marriage and family were redefined; rural communities were reorganized on a collective basis; private property in land and other means of production was abolished. Industrialization created a new urban working class, whose access to welfare, consumer goods, and political rights depended to a large extent on their membership in work units (danwei). Migration between city and countryside almost came to a halt, and rural and urban society developed in different directions. This course will focus on the concrete details of how this society functioned. How did state planning work? What was it like to work in a socialist factory? What role did money and consumption play in a planned economy? Our readings are in English, but speakers of Chinese are encouraged to use Chinese materials (first-hand sources, if they can be found) for their final papers. All readings will be posted on Canvas.  

2021-2022 Spring

EALC 22451/32451 Social and Economic Institutions of Chinese Socialism

(HIST 24511, HIST 34511)

The socialist period (for our purposes here, c. 1949-1980) fundamentally transformed the institutions of Chinese social and economic life. Marriage and family were redefined; rural communities were reorganized on a collective basis; private property in land and other means of production was abolished. Industrialization created a new urban working class, whose access to welfare, consumer goods, and political rights depended to a large extent on their membership in work units (danwei). Migration between city and countryside almost came to a halt, and rural and urban society developed in different directions. This course will focus on the concrete details of how this society functioned. How did state planning work? What was it like to work in a socialist factory? What role did money and consumption play in a planned economy? Our readings are in English, but speakers of Chinese are encouraged to use Chinese materials (first-hand sources, if they can be found) for their final papers. All readings will be posted on Canvas.

2021-2022 Spring

EALC 24107/34107 Law and Society, China and Beyond: Using Legal Source

(HIST 24107, HIST 34107)

This course uses the robust field of Chinese legal history as a starting point for an examination of how historians have used legal records and documents to write different kinds of historical narratives. We will explore the intersection of law and society in modern China through both primary and secondary texts. While historiographic questions from the China field will arise, the class will also consider legal history ideas more generally. We will engage with debates about the role of civil law: How might more contemporary legal practices be a legacy of law or custom? How do societies' definitions of crime change over time. What role does the law play in shaping social attitudes toward different behavior?

J. Ransmeier
2021-2022 Winter

EALC 24115/34115 Japan's Empire

(HIST 24115, HIST 34115)
Prerequisites

The Japanese empire has long been considered "anomalous" among other modern empires: it was the first modern imperial project undertaken by a non-Western nation, one that was (purportedly) based not on racial difference but rather on cultural affinity; one that positioned itself as anti-imperialist even as it was involved in colonization. Although the empire was short-lived, it continues to shape the geopolitics of East Asia today. With an aim to reassessing the "uniqueness" of the Japanese imperial era, this seminar focuses on key issues in the historiography of the Japanese empire through the critical reading and discussion of recent Anglophone works. Assignments: Weekly Canvas posts and final research paper.

 

 

2021-2022 Winter

EALC 24118/34118 Aynu Civilizations

(HIST 24118, HIST 34118)

This class examines the history of the Aynu peoples, the indigenous peoples of Japan. Particular focus will be given to their oral histories. Ability to read Japanese a plus but not required.

2021-2022 Winter

EALC 24215/34215 Sense and Sensation in Premodern Japanese Theater & Literature

Each week will focus on a particular sense or sensation (sound, touch, horror, wonder, etc.) in works of premodern Japanese theater and fiction, paying particular attention to performance (broadly defined to include noh, kabuki, and puppet theater as well as comic storytelling and spectacle shows) as a public site for the exploration of intimacy and alienation, the circulation of feelings, and the staging of somatic difference. Considering, for example, anti-theatrical bias and discourses of contagion, scenes of possession and physical transformation, and the psychologizing of emotion and the senses, the course will engage with theories of embodiment, emotions, disability, and wonder.  All readings will be available in English. Previous experience in Japanese literature or history is not required. Open to both undergraduate and graduate students. 

2021-2022 Winter

EALC 24355/34355 True Crime and Infamy in Early Modern Japan

(MAAD 14355)

The recent popularization of “true crime” in film, television shows, and podcasts has prompted critical discussions about the ethics of mixing documentary with entertainment and fact with fiction, as well as concerns about whose narratives are given public attention as others are ignored. Using these considerations as a starting point, this course examines some of the mainstays of the genre of “true crime”—scandal, violence, disaster, law, and the supernatural—in fiction and theater in early modern Japan in order to trace the fluctuating relationship between news, fiction, and performance over the course of the Edo period. This course examines the many ways that works of literature and stage were already deeply invested in these tropes of rumor, scandal, sensation, spectacle, and documentary long before the advent of regularly circulating printed newspapers in Meiji Japan, as well as how these existing configurations of sense and sensationalism informed later developments in media and fiction. The goal of this course is for students to gain not only a breadth of knowledge about various literary and theatrical forms in early modern Japan but also a critical awareness of how early modern spectacles of infamy or violence intersected with categories of class, gender, sexuality, and disability to transform some figures into targets of sympathy and others into paragons of villainy or horror. 

All course readings will be available in English. The course is designed for undergraduate students but graduate participation is welcome with advanced consultation.

2021-2022 Spring

EALC 24624/34624 Close Encounters with Chinese Art in Chicago Museums

(ARTH 24624/34624)

The class examines closely types of materials used--ceramics, stone, lacquer, silk, paper, ink--and their significance in the production of artworks through Chinese history. Students will be expected go to the Field Museum of Natural History, the Smart Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago where classes will in the galleries, storage, and conservation areas. Students will be able to examine groups of objects of similar materials and individual pieces in detail. They will have opportunities to speak with curators and conservators about their work with museum objects--acquisition, research, exhibition planning, restoration. From their early use beginning in the prehistoric period to their place in the material culture of urban society, certain materials had special significance over time. Craftsmanship of materials, artistic refinement, and local production were related to their social function. Many pieces known in museums today were once buried with the dead, including precious items and emblems of power and wealth, objects for daily use, and inexpensive models of buildings, animals, and figurines made for funerary purposes. Others were used for antiquarian research by scholarly collectors. The Field Museum has an extensive collection of ink rubbings, taken from historical objects that had carved inscriptions and ornament. Ceramicware particularly durable and continuous in use. The Field Museum also has a large cache of Chinese ceramics retrieved from a shipwreck in the Java Sea. Through their close study of works of art and their readings, students will be expected to speak about objects descriptively and discuss them in historical contexts. They will write essays about selected objects as might be featured in an exhibition catalogue.

Katherine Tsiang
2021-2022 Spring

EALC 24640/34640 Chinese Buddhist Icons: Methodologies

(ARTH 24640, ARTH 34640)

Icons belong to the most important category of sacred objects in Buddhism, and they were indispensable for transmitting the religion across East Asia. The ontological status of icons, however, remained polemical throughout most of the religion’s premodern history. While scholars in religious studies have since the 1960s been attentive to the ritual and cultic functionality of Buddhist icons, art historians did not move past style-oriented methodologies and fully engage Buddhist icons as such until the 1990s. This course investigates different methodologies devised by scholars in the past to study Buddhist icons with various theoretical premises and from diverse historical perspectives and focuses. We will pay particular attention to how the field, Chinese Buddhist art history, bears those different approaches to Buddhist icons in its development of the past decades. 

2021-2022 Spring

EALC 15027/35027 Topics in EALC: The Modern Japanese Novel

This course introduces students to modern Japanese literature through the form of the novel. We begin in the late-nineteenth century, when a new generation of writers sought to come to terms with this world historical form, and end in the twenty-first, with writers trying to sustain the form through graphic art and digital media. Along the way, we will consider some of the key debates that have structured the novel's evolution: between elite and mass forms, truth and fiction, art and politics, self and other, native and foreign. The course also looks at how the form has evolved in response to shifting modes of cultural production and shifting patterns of literary consumption. Authors covered may include Natsume Soseki, Yokomitsu Ri'ichi, Hayashi Fumiko, Oe Kenzaburo, Takahashi Takako, and Tawada Yoko. All works will be read in English.

2021-2022 Spring

EALC 26510/36510 The Chinese Classics

(FNDL 23780)

The course will survey the first three of the Chinese Classics, the Yi jing or Classic of Changes, Shu jing or Classic of Documents, and Shi jing or Classic of Poetry, in three different moments of their histories: when they were first created, when they were canonized as classics, and when they were treated as the timeless wisdom at the heart of China's traditions. All readings will be done in English, and will include both primary documents and some secondary readings.

2021-2022 Winter

EALC 19800/39800 History of Ancient China

This course will survey the history of China from the late Shang dynasty (c. 1200 B.C.) through the end of the Qin dynasty (207 B.C.). We will explore both traditional and recently unearthed sources, and will take a multi-disciplinary approach.

2021-2022 Winter

EALC 40900 Advanced Readings in Literary Chinese II

(CHIN 40900)

This quarter we will read classics of the "ancient prose" movement in the late Tang and early Song periods.

Prerequisites

First year Literary Chinese or instructor approval.

2021-2022 Winter

CHIN 41000 Advanced Readings in Literary Chinese III

(EALC 41000)

The course will cover a selection of works in biji and zaji form from the Song to Qing dynasties. Part of the interest of the form is its inclusiveness, which has made it hard to place on maps of genre. These works include scientific investigation, social commentary, travel accounts, classical interpretation, personal reminiscences, tales and gossip, art appreciation, responses to poetry, and many other things, combined in an apparently associative manner. We will read both for topical interest and for understanding of the form.

Prerequisites

Usually preceded by Chinese 408 and/or 409.

2021-2022 Spring

EALC 41102 Reading Archival Documents from the People’s Republic of China

(HIST 41102)

This hands-on reading and research course aims to give graduate students the linguistic skills needed to locate, read, and analyze archival documents from the People's Republic of China. We will begin by discussing the functions and structure of Chinese archives at the central, provincial, and county level. Next we will read and translate sample documents drawn from different archives. These may include police reports, personnel files, internal memos, minutes of meetings, etc. Our aim here is to understand the conventions of a highly standardized communication system - for example, how does a report or petition from an inferior to a superior office differ from a top-down directive or circular, or from a lateral communication between adminstrations of equal rank? We will also read "sub-archival" documents, i.e. texts that are of interest to the historian but did not make it into state archives, such as letters, diaries, contracts, and private notebooks. The texts we will read are selected to cast light on the everyday life of "ordinary" people in the Maoist period. The target group for the course are graduate students and advanced undergraduates with good Chinese reading skills.

Prerequisites

Advanced Chinese reading skills.

2021-2022 Spring

EALC 41192 Annals of Ancient China

Annalistic records kept at the courts of the various states of ancient China were among the earliest writing in China, and certainly serve as the beginning of China's long historiographical tradition. In this course, we will first examine the Chunqiu or Spring and Autumn Annals, long since enshrined as oine of the Five Classics, by way of understanding the nature of annals. Then we will move on to examine in detail the Zhushu jinian or Bamboo Annals, discovered in 279 A.D. an ancient tomb located in what is present-day Jixian, Henan. The Bamboo Annals introduced major changes in the understanding of ancient Chinese history during the Six Dynasties through Tang period, but then came to be suspected of being a forgery. We will consider both to what extent these suspicions are valid, and also what the Bamboo Annals can reveal to us regarding ancient history

Prerequisites

Prerequisite: Ability to read classical Chinese

2021-2022 Spring

EALC 44088 New Approaches to Late Imperial Chinese Literature and Culture

In this class we will read and discuss recent monographs in the field of Ming Qing literature and culture. Each week we will focus on a different book, covering topics that range from early modern translation to Qing court theater to the literary fascination with objects. In addition to the substance of these books, we will discuss the place of this new work within the broader scholarly field as well as the art of book-writing and the state of academic publishing more generally. Over the course of the class, students will produce book reviews and a state of the field article. All readings in English.

2021-2022 Spring

EALC 44822 Platforming Culture in East Asia: From Newspapers to Web 2.0

How has the digital revolution changed the way that creative works, especially literature, are produced and consumed in contemporary East Asia? How has the growth of regional and global online platforms altered the field of cultural production? What do all of these changes mean for the study of culture itself? This seminar takes up these questions in the course of surveying recent theoretical and empirical work on social media platforms, the digital revolution in publishing, and user-generated content. We will survey some of the recent forms that the platformization of culture has taken in East Asia, including internet literature in China, Japanese cellphone novels, and Korean webtoons, putting all of these into comparative perspective with developments elsewhere. We will also look to specific historical forms of platformization in literary culture (e.g., newspaper serialization, mass-market anthologies) to reflect on what is distinct about the platforming of creativity in the digital age.

2021-2022 Spring

EALC 45004 Rethinking Early Chinese Landscape Representations (5th century BCE-10th century CE)

(ARTH 45004)

This course surveys new archaeological evidence for the early development of Chinese landscape representations from the 5th century BCE to the 10th century CE, and explores the relationship between such representations and various cultural and religious trends. Possible topics include the origins of landscape representation, religious significance of landscape images, construction of landscape environment, and landscape aesthetic and the notion of transcendence. Students are encouraged to explore these and other topics, and are expected to produce papers based on focused research.

Prerequisites

Registration granted by consent only.

2021-2022 Spring

EALC 45530 Manuscript Culture in Ancient and Medieval China

Thousands of Chinese manuscripts dating between the fifth century B.C. and the tenth century A.D. have been discovered since the beginning of the twentieth century, with new discoveries continuing to the present. This seminar addresses theoretical and methodological approaches to engaging in research on the manuscripts.

2021-2022 Spring

EALC 45705 Sources and Methods in the Study of Chinese Religion

(HREL 45705)

A survey of recent work in the study of premodern Chinese religion, with an emphasis on questions of method.

This course meets the HS or SCSR Committee distribution requirement for Divinity students.

2021-2022 Autumn

EALC 46090 The Worlds of Japanese Literature

This seminar will explore problems of world literature and worlding in relation to early modern and modern Japanese literature. We will read recent theoretical and scholarly studies on the problem of world literature and read a variety of works of Japanese literature stretching from eighteenth century to the contemporary period in relation to this question. There will be two reading tracks in the course, one for students who are able to read in Japanese and one for students whose reading will be entirely in English.

2021-2022 Autumn

EALC 26333/46333 Comparative Trinitarianisms

(DVPR 46333, HREL 46333, RLST 26333)

This course will be an experiment in juxtaposition. The concept is no more and no less than trying to read in tandem a number of religious and philosophical writings from various corners of world culture which focus on some form of triplicity, triads, trinities, including the Three Hypostases of Neoplatonism, the Christian Trinity, the Hindu Trimurti, the Daoist triad of vitality/energy/spirit, the inter-nested triadic structures of Yang Xiong's Taixuanjing and those of the Hegelian system, the Tiantai Three Truths and its reconfiguration of the Buddhist trikaya, triple gem and other triads, and perhaps others. We will enter into this experiment without any preconceived thesis about what we will find when these things are looked at all together, working together to develop ad hoc hypotheses about how these triads function, why they are so prevalent, what each one can teach us about all the others and vice versa. It is a genuine experiment in that we do not know what will happen when these elements are combined, and we adopt an attitude of reverent expectation and a willingness to follow it wherever it may lead.

B. Ziporyn
2021-2022 Spring

EALC 47750 China’s Performative Architecture

(ARTH 47750)

How does architecture engage people visually, physically, or spatially? In what ways can we talk about architecture acting upon viewers, cultivating their bodily knowledge and shaping their spatial experiences? In a figurative sense, this course explores ways in which architecture is not confined as the backdrop of a performance but a critical constituent of it. Yet, rather than using the power of “performance” only as an explanatory metaphor, the course takes it as an essential quality of architecture, investigating what constitutes Chinese traditional architecture’s performativity—its agentic power that engages and thus transforms viewers both affectively and intellectually. The goal is to situate China’s architectural tradition in an unconventional framework of analysis to explore issues, materials, topics, etc. that have thus far not been fully or appropriately studied. Language proficiency in classical Chinese is required.

Prerequisites

Reading proficiency in Classical Chinese.

2021-2022 Winter

EALC 28015/48015 Archaeology of Bronze Age China

(ANTH 26760, ANTH 46760)

“Bronze Age” in China conventionally refers to the time period from ca. 2000 to about 500 BC, during which bronze, an alloy of copper and other metals such as tin and lead, was the predominant medium used by the society, or to be more precise, the elite classes of the society. Bronze objects, in the forms of vessels, weapons, and musical instruments, were reserved for the upper ruling class of the society and were used mostly as paraphernalia during rituals and feasting. “Bronze Age” in China also indicates the emergence and eventual maturation of states with their bureaucratic systems, the presence of urban centers, a sophisticated writing system, and advanced craft producing industries, especially metal production.  This course surveys the important archaeological finds of Bronze Age China, and the theoretical issues such as state formation, craft production, writing, bureaucratic systems, urbanization, warfare, and inter-regional interaction, etc.  It emphasizes a multi-disciplinary approach with readings and examples from anthropology, archaeology, art history, and epigraphy. This course will also visit the Smart Museum, the Field Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago to take advantage of the local collections of ancient Chinese arts and archaeology.

2021-2022 Spring

EALC 48020 Interpreting Chinese Archaeological Site Reports

With the long tradition of Chinese archaeology, archaeological monographs and site reports have become the primary source for studying ancient China, from the Paleolithic, the Neolithic, to the Bronze Age and the Late Imperial period. Thanks to the scale and the intensity of archaeological operations across China, tens if not hundreds of new titles are published each year. As a genre, archaeological site reports are supposed to describe excavated data in an objective, descriptive, and scientific way. But are archaeological site reports truly "objective"? How do we “read between the lines” and identify and discover the important information hidden in the seemingly dry and tedious details?  This course is designed for students to read and analyze Chinese archaeological site reports for the information and the hidden and underlying theoretical approaches. Site reports included in the course are selected both for the importance of the finds and for the approaches taken to reflect the history and the practice of Chinese archaeology.

Prerequisites

Reading proficiency in Chinese required; previous coursework in archaeology required.  Undergrads may register with consent of instructor.

2021-2022 Spring

EALC 48080 Medical Knowledge in Early Modern Japan and China: History/Literature

(CDIN 48080)

This experimental seminar examines how medical knowledge is constituted and disseminated in texts, images, and performances in early modern Japan and China (roughly 1600-1850). This period saw an explosion in the number of doctors, print and visual materials, and a new centrality of medical, pharmacological, and bodily knowledge and practices. Looking beyond established national, cultural, and political boundaries, we will study how shared medical traditions converge and diverge over time and space. How did literary genre shape and constrain the forms medical knowledge took and vice-versa? Who has access to and who has control over technologies of health and sickness, including learned medicine, vernacular healing, and self-care?  How was efficacy understood, contested, and proven in a medical and legal context?

Primary sources to be read include medical and crime cases, forensic reports, plays, novels, biographies, imperial encyclopedias, almanacs for daily life, illustrated pharmacopeia, religious tracts, printed advertisements, and shops signs. Film and tv episodes will be screened to explore contemporary narratives of early modern medical knowledge in the very different political and media economies of post-war China and Japan.

EALC 48080 Medical Knowledge in Early Modern Japan and China: History/Literature

(CDIN 48080, HIST 44601)

This experimental seminar examines how medical knowledge is constituted and disseminated in texts, images, and performances in early modern Japan and China (roughly 1600-1850). This period saw an explosion in the number of doctors, print and visual materials, and a new centrality of medical, pharmacological, and bodily knowledge and practices. Looking beyond established national, cultural, and political boundaries, we will study how shared medical traditions converge and diverge over time and space. How did literary genre shape and constrain the forms medical knowledge took and vice-versa? Who has access to and who has control over technologies of health and sickness, including learned medicine, vernacular healing, and self-care?  How was efficacy understood, contested, and proven in a medical and legal context? Primary sources to be read include medical and crime cases, forensic reports, plays, novels, biographies, imperial encyclopedias, almanacs for daily life, illustrated pharmacopeia, religious tracts, printed advertisements, and shops signs. Film and tv episodes will be screened to explore contemporary narratives of early modern medical knowledge in the very different political and media economies of post-war China and Japan.

Prerequisites

Consent is required for advanced undergraduates. Please email Professors Zeitlin and Burns a paragraph explaining what you bring to the seminar and what you hope to get from it.  

EALC 48088 Music and Sound in Chinese Literature

(MUSI, TAPS 41455)

This course examines key texts from antiquity through the 18th century related to music and sound. “Literature” is construed broadly to include the many genres in which music or sound play a principle part: philosophical and scientific essays; anecdotes, biographies, and tales; poems and informal essays; songbooks, formularies, and scores; encyclopedias and manuals. The course will be organized historically and thematically. Some of the issues we hope to investigate: the role of music in ritual and governance; theories of the voice and sound production; the translation of sound into words, and what is lost and gained; the pictorial representation of sound and listening; the relation between music and emotion; the social roles of musicians and entertainers; and the cultural significance of musical instruments.

Prerequisites

No prerequisites but some familiarity with Music or Chinese literature and history would be helpful. 

All materials will be available in English but students with classical Chinese will be encouraged to read materials in the original when feasible.

2021-2022 Spring

EALC 48790 Chinese Responses to Christianity in the Ming Dynasty

(HREL 48790, DVPR 48790)

This course will focus on close readings of primary texts in Chinese concerning the polemics around the introduction of Christianity into China in the Ming Dynasty, starting with Matteo Ricci's introduction of Catholic doctrine in his 天主實義 and the polemical responses to it from mainly Confucian and Buddhist authors, with special attention to the metaphysical premises of the conflicting traditions, and more generally what might be at stake in them.

Prerequisites

Reading proficiency in Chinese. Undergraduates can petition to enroll.

B. Ziporyn
2021-2022 Spring

EALC 29402/49402 The Human and its Others in Early Modern China

This course explores the ways in which personhood was constituted in early modern China. Focusing on the years 1500–1800—a period marked by commercial expansion, political rupture, ethnic conflict, social fluidity, and literary experimentation—we will ask how the subhuman, the superhuman, and the nonhuman were used to police or subvert traditional hierarchies, to expand or delimit the possibilities of the human and the humane. Areas of discussion will include gods, ghosts, barbarians, women, eunuchs, animals, and things; readings will come from a wide range of sources, including classical tales, vernacular fiction, drama, medical texts, and natural histories.

Prerequisites

Undergraduate consent only. All readings will be available in English.

2021-2022 Winter

EALC 50000 The Profession of East Asian Studies

This colloquium, which will meet in Winter quarter, will introduce students In East Asian Languages and Civilizations to the profession of East Asian Studies. We will meet once a  week during Winter quarter to discuss such topics as what to expect in terms of teaching: language teaching, appropriate topics for undergraduate teaching, designing a syllabus, evaluating students, etc.; choosing a dissertation topic and its process; publishing a first paper; and finally the job search. Every effort will be made to introduce a wide spectrum of experiences. The colloquium is required as part of the mentoring plan for 2nd and 3rd-year students in EALC, but there will be no academic credit given for it.

Prerequisites

Consent

2021-2022 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.

2021-2022 Spring

EALC 44821 Platforming Culture in East Asia: From Newspapers to Web 2.0

How has the digital revolution changed the way that creative works, especially literature, are produced and consumed in contemporary East Asia? How has the growth of regional and global online platforms altered the field of cultural production? What do all of these changes mean for the study of culture itself? This seminar takes up these questions in the course of surveying recent theoretical and empirical work on social media platforms, the digital revolution in publishing, and user-generated content. We will survey some of the recent forms that the platformization of culture has taken in East Asia, including internet literature in China, Japanese cellphone novels, and Korean webtoons, putting all of these into comparative perspective with developments elsewhere. We will also look to specific historical forms of platformization in literary culture (e.g., newspaper serialization, mass-market anthologies) to reflect on what is distinct about the platforming of creativity in the digital age.

2021-2022 Spring