Courses

An introduction to the basic philosophy and doctrines of Buddhism, beginning with a survey of lives and works of major historical figures of Buddhism. The principal issues of Buddhist thought, drawing from Indian, East Asian, and Western sources, are treated. Particular attention is paid to the meaning of faith, practice, and enlightenment in Buddhism. This course is offered as both AAS 260 and RLS 260.

Presents a picture of religion in ancient Mesopotamia based on archaeological data and ancient texts. A major contribution of the Mesopotamian civilization was the development of a special spiritual life of the people. Since the sixth millennium BC, these beliefs were the way they explained un-known and un-seen experiences. Set rules, traditions and special architecture were developed around these beliefs. These will be discussed, including the incorporation of these beliefs by other cultures. Not for credit in addition to AAS 212, Religion of Ancient Mesopotamia.

An introduction to the main features of Islamic revelation as contained in the Koran and its impact on the major spiritual, intellectual, legal, and social teachings and institutions of the Islamic world. The course concludes with an examination of Islam in the modern world. This course is offered as both AAS 280 and RLS 280.

Study of the historical development of major intellectual traditions of East Asia (China, Japan, Korea). Topics include the Political Thoughts of the Ancient World (Formations of Confucianism, Taoism, and Yin Yang and Correlative Thinking), Era of Metaphysics (Introduction and Development of Buddhism and East Asian Mysticism), Ethics and Nationalism (Neo-Confucianism and Encounter of the Western Civilization), and East Asia's Modern Transformation (Modernization, Socialism, and Westernization).

This cultural studies course examines the cultures of travel (i.e. fiction, memoirs, photography, and filmmaking) in narratives by and about the Pacific, South and Southeast Asia. We will study 'empire' by analyzing narratives about the former colonies of Spain, France, Britain and the United States. As we discuss the metaphors or tropes of empire, we will also examine the concept of empire as a historical and contemporary formation, or what an empire meant in the 19th century and what it means today in the early 21st century. The course begins with the premise that travel narratives and modern visual culture illuminate the relationship between the violence and romance of travel. The course includes modern travel narratives (i.e. novels by Asian Americans) that focus on the lives of those who are forced to travel or migrate due to civil war, poverty and/or economic instability. This course is offered as AAS 305 and EGL 305.

Work Load: Each student will lead the discussion of a chapter. Presentations will be written as 3-4 pages. The midterm exam will contain essays and true/false questions. The final paper is an analytical and creative paper (at least 8 pages or more).

Critically examines the important and, at times, even crucial roles played by women in US-Asian relations over a roughly 125-year period, from the 1850s to the 1970s; and it compares/contrasts these roles to those in the present day. We will study the transformative occupations (writers/poets, missionaries, journalists, diplomats, medical and social workers, scientists, scholars and chefs) to understand how women used motivational discourse and social networking to interpret China, India, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and Vietnam for diverse audiences in America and their native lands in Asia. This course is offered as both AAS 307 and POL 307.

Explores America's involvement in and execution of wars in Asia in the 19th and 20th centuries notably in the Philippines, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, with an incisive analysis of American empire building. If war is 'an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfill our will,' how far did these wars succeed in their aim? Focusing both on American and Asian perspectives on global conflicts, we will draw upon international relations and historical interdisciplinary sources in our investigations, including newer tools such as online digitized oral history collections through the Library of Congress Veterans' History Project. This course is offered as both AAS 310 and POL 340.

Work Load: You will participate in an in-class debate and special spring seminar as well as other interactive activities. You will complete archival research and weekly journaling, quizzes, a final class presentation and submit a 10-page research paper.

A survey of Chinese art from the Neolithic period to modern-day China. Visual media such as bronze, jade, sculpture, ink painting and pottery as well as their cultural influence on philosophy, literature, religion and politics will be explored. The course will also examine the influence of India and Central Asian on Chinese art and, in turn, China's influence on Korean and Japanese art.

Introduction to selected classics of Indian literature in English translation. Classical and modern works are discussed, representing Sanskrit (the Vedas, the Upanishads, the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, classical drama of Kalidasa and Bhasa), Tamil, Kannada, Hindi-Urdu, and Indian English. Western and Indian literary theories and critical approaches are compared and evaluated.

An introduction in English to the literary tradition of Korea. Representative literary texts chosen from various periods are studied with attention to their historical background and the aesthetic and cultural values that inform them. Previously offered as KRH 251. Not for credit in addition to KRH 251.

Work Load: Every class 4 or 5 students will present the storyline of each literary work. There will be weekly quizzes, 1 page response papers, a 6 page analysis paper, and a final exam. Classroom discussion will require your active participation.

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