200 Level EASIA Courses

EASIA 201 Overview of the Chinese Language System
Kuo-Chan Sun
The course is designed for Chinese language learners at beginner and intermediate levels. The course provides knowledge and language exercises that will help you understand Mandarin sentence structures, enhance your self-awareness of the Chinese language learning process, and increase your communication skills in Mandarin.

EASIA 205 Language in Chinese Society
Xiaoting Li
This is a course about Chinese language in its social and cultural context. It is delivered remotely via online videos, and other asynchronous and synchronous activities. This course is designed for undergraduate students who wish to gain a general understanding of language use in modern Chinese society. It offers an introduction to the languages in the Greater China area, Chinese dialects, language and politeness, language and gender, language contact, and language in social interaction. In learning about the characteristics of Chinese in modern Chinese society, you will acquire the knowledge of what the Chinese language is like in different geographical regions, and how it is used by its speakers in Chinese society. Through our examination of this language we will develop a deeper knowledge of the nature of human languages in general and an understanding of the speakers of the languages of China and elsewhere.

EASIA 211 Overview of the Japanese Language System
Tsuyoshi Ono
A linguistic introduction to the Japanese language. It is based on what you have learned in Japanese language courses. Topics covered in the course include: speech sounds, sound structure, vocabulary, writing, word structure, word meaning, and sentence structure. EASIA 211 fulfills a partial requirement for the Certificate in Translation Studies in Japanese.

EASIA 223 East Asian Religions
David Quinter
This course introduces the major religious traditions of East Asia, including Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, Shinto, and popular traditions. Throughout, we will focus on the constant interweaving of myth, ritual, and religious thought with political and social change.

EASIA 224 Interculturalism in East Asian Music
Jeffrey Roberts
Global, Multicultural, Intercultural: these are all words used to describe our world today. Yet, perhaps with the exception of the current Global concept of cultural interaction, cultures in various regions of the world have continuously interacted over the course of history. This class will examine such historical interactions in the context of music in Asia. Using China as a focal point, we will examine how cultures and music traditions to the West of China (India, Persia and Central Asia) interacted with one another and eventually came to influence Chinese music via the Silk Road. From this intercultural interaction, we will examine the history of Chinese music and then turn to examine how Chinese culture and music influenced culture and music to the East of China: Korea and Japan. Coming full circle, we will end the semester examining how Chinese culture and music tradition, in the context of today's world, changes yet again in the context of a new interculturalism.

EASIA 234 The Chinese Literati
Jeffrey Roberts
This class provides a broad overview of the Chinese Literati across over 3,000 years of Dynastic Chinese history. The course will explore the philosophical, moral, spiritual and aesthetic beliefs and practices of the literati from its foundations in pre-Confucian texts to the formation of Confucianism and Daoism in the Classic period of Chinese thought, the formation of the Confucian state during the Han Dynasty up through the end of Dynastic China in the early 20th century. This course will focus on the roles Confucianism and Daoism played in the life of the literati, the tension between public and private life of the literati and how literary writing and the arts (poetry, painting, calligraphy, music) provided for outlets for expression of political and philosophical thought and emotional expression. This course will also explore the end of Chinese Dynastic rule in the early 20th century, the end of state sanctioned Confucian rule and the consequences for the Literati class during the 20th century.

EASIA 236: Modernity and Contemporary Chinese Civilization
Clara Iwasaki
This course introduces the class to literature and culture of early modern China (1870s-1930s) through reading Ba Jin’s famous novel Family and Kristin Stapleton’s Fact in Fiction, a work of scholarship. Students will be introduced to a number of key issues related to early modern Chinese literature and society including: gender and sexuality, elite life and culture, the lives of the urban poor including servants, actors, and beggars, protest and revolution, feminism and the figure of the “New Woman,” and intellectual movements of the early modern period like anarchism and communism. Students will learn to differentiate between primary and secondary sources, gain an understanding of dominant literary and intellectual trends, and demonstrate their understanding of what they have learned by constructing their own mini-syllabuses on selected topics related to the course.

EASIA 239: Daoism and Chinese Civilization
Daniel Fried
Daoism is both a religion and a philosophy that has roots in ancient China. Also known in English as “Taoism”, this tradition is poorly understood outside of China, and often assumed to be reducible to the contents of the mystical Dao De Jing (or “Tao Te Ching”). In fact, Daoism is a long and complex tradition with roots in several early texts and ancient practices, which evolved in surprising ways over the course of Chinese civilization. This course will begin with an introduction to the ideas proposed in the Dao De Jing and the Zhuangzi, the second great text of early Daoism. It will then examine how ideas from these texts evolved into a formally-structured version of popular religion, and discuss the influence that Daoism had on Chinese literature, art, and medicine up until the 21st century. This course is offered in 100% asynchronous online format.

EASIA 240: Overview of Japanese Culture
Walter Davis
This course offers a chronological, selective introduction to the culture of Japan from prehistoric times through the twentieth century. Through lectures, class discussions, homework assignments, and quizzes, students will learn how to articulate key features and concerns of Japanese literature and art in various genres and media and how to interpret such works in relation to social, economic, religious, and historical contexts, relating the works to larger trends and themes in Japanese culture. Students will develop skills at close reading, formal analysis, contextual interpretation, and writing short essays.

EASIA 260: Popular Culture and Contemporary Japanese Society
William Carroll
What is “popular culture,” and how does it differ from “traditional culture” or “high culture?” What characteristics of popular culture are unique to Japan? How is popular culture produced and consumed in Japan, and what does it tell us about its producers and consumers? This course will introduce students to popular arts and entertainment in contemporary Japan, including music, film, television, video games, and literature. In particular, we will look at how these interconnect with one another through multimedia franchising, multimedia stardom, as well as the fan cultures that receive them. Additionally, we will look at how Japanese popular culture is received internationally: its role in cultivating an image of Japan overseas, and in Japanese foreign policy.