Courses

A critical analysis of the traditions, practices, and literature of Zen and other traditions of Buddhism, with particular attention paid to the meaning of enlightenment and the practice of meditation. Previously offered as RLS 341, this course is now offered as both AAS 367 and RLS 367. Not for credit in addition to the former RLS 341.

Work Load: Class attendance and participation is important. Reading assignments should be completed before the scheduled lectures. Two exams and one term paper are required.

In this course we investigate Yogic systems of philosophy and self-transformation in their many forms throughout history. Topics include the origins of Yoga in ancient India, the philosophy of the Yoga Sutras and its commentarial traditions, Buddhist Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Tantric Yoga, and the medicalization and globalization of Yoga in the modern period. Students are encouraged to supplement class discussions by participating in Yoga classes at the Stony Brook University Wellness Center. This course is offered as both AAS 368 and RLS 368.

Through combination of theory and research from discourse linguistics and linguistic anthropology, this course examines (i) how culture shapes ways of speaking; (ii) how language constructs identities, dispositions, role relations; and (iii) what challenges people from different cultures may face when they communicate with each other. The following analytical perspectives will be presented: speech act theory, ethnography of communication, linguistic politeness, and sequential organization of turn taking. This course is offered as both AAS 370 and LIN 370.

Explores the development of social, economic, political, and cultural systems in ancient China, from the neolithic period through the Han dynasty. Draws on archaeological data and historical texts to examine the emergence of state-level polities and their subsequent unification under imperial authority. Analytical focus is on political economy, social organization, ritual exchange, and notions of power and rulership expressed in philosophical thought. This course is offered as both AAS 371 and ANT 371.

Examines forms and dynamics of social organizations in Chinese society, focusing on cultural, social, and economic aspects of family, marriage, and extended kinship relations such as lineages, clans, and sworn brotherhoods. Particular attention is paid to how gender, generation, class, and ritual exchange shape identity, status, and power. This course is offered as both AAS 372 and ANT 372.

Work Load: You will post weekly in the discussion board forum. You will submit a family genealogy (3-5 pages). There will be multiple quizzes with the lowest one being dropped, and a midterm. There will be a cumulative final exam or the option of a 12 page paper.

This course explores issues of ethnic and national identity in the context of the social ecology of the Chinese state, both past and present. It focuses on the material and social relationships that have shaped perceptions of, and interactions between, cultural groups in China and along its frontiers. Drawing on case studies from the Himalayan plateau, Yunnan highlands, Inner Asian steppes, Taiwan, and elsewhere, students examine how sustenance strategies, economic organization, and political administration have influenced construct of ethnic identity. This course is offered as both AAS 379 and ANT 379.

A study in depth of Islamic texts in translation. Selections may be made from the Qur'an, the Hadith, the Law, and from one or more of the major intellectual schools, such as Kalam (scholastic theology), Peripatetic philosophy, illuminationist theosophy, Sufism, and the 'transcendent theosophy' of the School of Isfahan. May be repeated as the topic changes. Previously offered as RLS 408, this course is now offered as both AAS 380 and RLS 380.

Work Load: There will be one exam, the final, three short papers, and one research paper.

An introduction to the teachings and practices of two major schools of Japanese Buddhism: Zen and Pure Land. The course focuses on the writings of the founders of the important lineages within these schools. Formerly offered as RLS 406, this course is now offered as both AAS 382 and RLS 382. Not for credit in addition to the former RLS 406.

Inquiry into issues in the translation of Asian languages into/from English. This course introduces the recent theories and concepts of translation studies and applies them to the analysis of a variety of Asian texts as source texts or target texts. Students are expected to gain insights into the lexical, grammatical, cognitive, pragmatic, and socio-cultural characteristics of Asian languages as well as social and political issues that surround translation of Asian texts. Texts to be analyzed include, but are not limited to, literary works, newspaper articles, advertisements, brochures, and business letters. Advanced skills in one of the Asian languages are required.

The goal of this course is to compare the basic teachings of Islam and Confucianism concerning the correct way to achieve true human status. Special stress will be placed on books that Muslim scholars wrote in Chinese beginning in the seventeenth century. These books employed Neo-Confucian language to introduce Chinese Muslims to their own theology, cosmology, and spiritual psychology, thus providing a rare pre-modern example of inter-religious dialogue. This course is offered as both AAS 387 and RLS 387.

Work Load: There will be two midterms and a final. You will complete a paper and take quizzes.

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