10000- and 20000- level courses are undergraduate; 30000-level and above are graduate.
Course offerings and times are subject to change.
The course offers panoramic views as well as close-ups of cinematic landscapes of East Asia and Southeast Asia. We will cover a variety of films—including animation and documentary—from Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Malaysia, with a focus on site-specific works and trans-regional co-productions, circulations, and exchanges. Combining critical readings with truly close analyses of films, this course seeks to develop: (1) solid understandings of cinema’s peculiar and intricate relations to space and time; (2) conversations between cinema and other art forms, such as photography, painting, and calligraphy; (3) methods and skills of conducting film analysis. Proficiency in East Asian languages is NOT required.
Equivalent courses: CMST 24605
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.
Equivalent courses: ARTH 16100
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.
Equivalent Courses: CRES33001, MAAD 16001
This course guides students through critical readings of primary historical documents from approximately 1800 through 1950. these documents are translated sentence by sentence, and then historiographically analyzed. Most of these documents are from the nineteenth century. Genres include public imperial edicts, secret imperial edicts, secret memorials to the throne from officials, official reports to superiors and from superiors, funerial essays, depositions ("confessions"), local gazetteers (fangzhi), newspapers, and periodicals. To provide an introduction to these genres, the first six weeks of the course will use the Fairbank and Kuhn textbook The Rebellion of Chung Jen-chieh (Harvard-Yanjing Institute). The textbook provides ten different genres of document with vocabulary glosses and grammatical explanations; all documents relate to an 1841–42 rebellion in Hubei province. Each week prior to class students electronically submit a written translation of the document or documents to be read; a day after the class they electronically submit a corrected translation of the document or documents read. A fifteen-page term paper based on original sources in documentary Chinese is also required. A reading knowledge of modern (baihua) Chinese and some familiarity with classical Chinese (wenyan) or Japanese Kanbun. Other students may take the course with permission from the instructor.
Equivalent Courses: HIST 24513 /34513
This course surveys the literary works by women writers of Japan through the modern period from late Meiji (early 1900s) through mid-Shōwa (1970s). Throughout this period, Japanese writers and critics have been preoccupied with questions related to self-expression: How does one know and represent one’s self in writing? Can a true self be expressed through the artifice of literature? What is the relationship between writing and self-consciousness? Yet literature written by women has largely been left out of this conversation, and often chronically consigned to the margins as mere ‘women’s writing’, a pale imitation of pure (male-authored) literature. Aiming to address this unevenness, this course engages with groundbreaking works of literature authored by women. Furthermore, in order to transcend insubstantial and limiting categories such as “women’s writing”, students’ analysis will be focused using the dynamic lense of women writing women: that is, women’s self-representation in literature. Readings for the course are grouped by larger themes which are key not only to students’ analysis of literary works, but in relation to the larger social, political and cultural contexts in which the works were produced. All works will be read in English translation.
What are the salient forms, manifestations, and performances found at the intersections of gender and modernities in East Asia? This seminar aims at identifying the characteristics of modern gendering that East Asians experienced in the
first half of the twentieth. It aims to generating a broad discussion on
the form and patterns of "new" cultural experiences that came to shape themselves under the hegemony of Western modernities outside as well as those of “old” counterparts. While considering the shared questions of modernized gender, gendered consciousness, and personal/private spaces, discussions will respond to the diverse interests, backgrounds, and initiatives of student participants so as to best facilitate comparative and theoretical discussions on gender and modernity in East Asia.
Equivalent courses: GNSE 25601/35601
This course examines how intellectuals in Preindustrial China maintained their independence, as well as their moral compass, in times of inordinate social and political pressure. Systematic thinking on this topic appears early in China, beginning with Confucius and Mencius, but was by no means limited to the Confucian tradition. Zhuangzi (late 4th c. BCE) devoted an entire chapter to the problem. This course will survey some important meditations on the topic from the Classical period, but will focus on the Song dynasty (960-1278) with its rich body of essays, poems, and paintings touching upon the problem of moral autonomy. To supplement our study of primary sources we’ll read secondary sources on Song law, society, and government, as well as relevant secondary studies of European art. Later in the course we will read reflections on Song period Chinese essays by English radicals of the 18th century, and will wrap up with American classics by Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Wendell Berry. Along the way we will learn how to conduct “close readings” of both written and visual materials for clues to the deep, humanistic themes underlying artistic choice.
Equivalent courses: ARTH 25709/35709
The seminar will focus on classical, medieval, and modern historiography from China, India, and Tibet seeking answers to three general questions: (1) How are senses of historical time created in Asian historiographies by means of rhetorical figures of repetition, parallelism, dramatic emplotment, frame stories, and interweaving storylines? (2) How are historical persons and events given meaning through use of poetic devices, such as comparison, simile, and metaphor? And (3) How do Asian histories impose themselves as realistic accounts of the past by means of authoritative devices using citation of temporal-spatial facts, quotation of authority, and/or reliance on established historical genres? The methods employed to answer these questions are here adapted from pre-modern Asian knowledge systems of literary theory, poetics, dramaturgy, and epistemology, and thus permit looking at other knowledge formations from within the discourse of the traditions themselves.
Equivalent courses: KNOW 27016/37016, CMLT 27016
This class explores the history and cultural life of Beijing from the Yuan dynasty to the present. First, in what ways did the city develop over the course of the past millennium and how did the material space of the city impact people’s daily life? Using materials from archaeology and architecture, we will track the permutation of the city plan, the process of construction and destruction, and the social and cultural life of urban residents. Second, how was Beijing experienced, understood, and represented in varied literary and art forms from the imperial period to today? Through literature (Lao She, Lin Yutang), art (Xu Bing, Song Dong.), and film (directed by Chen Kaige, Jia Zhangke, Guan Hu) that features Beijing and its people, we will study the city not only as an imagined site of remembrance and nostalgia, but also a political site constructing cultural identities and reflecting social conflicts. This class has a Language across the Curriculum section, and we will read selected novels and poems on Beijing. Open to MAPH students but not PhD students.
The late-nineteenth century saw the transformation of cities around the world as a result of urbanization, industrialization, migration, and the rise of public health. This course will take a spatial history approach; that is, we will explore the transformation of London, Tokyo, and New York over the course of the nineteenth century by focusing on the material "space" of the city. For example, where did new immigrants settle and why? Why were there higher rates of infectious disease in some areas than in others? How did new forms of public transportation shape the ability to move around the city, rendering some areas more central than others? To explore questions such as these, students will be introduced to ArcGIS in four lab sessions and asked to develop an original research project that integrates maps produced in Arc. No prior ArcGIS experience is necessary, although students will be expected to have familiarity with Microsoft Excel and a willingness to experiment with digital methods. Assignments: Discussion posts, homework (mapping), and a final research project.
Equivalent courses: HIST 29527
This year we will read ritual texts from the Dunhuang cache--yuanwen, zhaiwen, huanwen, etc--in the context of relevant archaeological finds.
Equivalent courses: HREL 45803
A reading of the Yijing, its commentaries, and the uses to which it is put in Confucianist, Daoist and Buddhist traditions.
Equivalent course: DVPR 52010