Courses

Fall 2014 Course Offerings

Chinese 101: Beginning Chinese

This course offers an introduction to speaking, reading, listening to, and writing Chinese. Through the study of the language, the student will also gain an appreciation of Chinese culture and contemporary life.

Chinese 201: Intermediate Chinese

A continuation of the study of Mandarin Chinese: grammar, writing, speaking, reading, and listening comprehension. Speaking proficiency will be developed through active class participation. The use of authentic materials (video, music, texts) will enhance language skills and cultural knowledge. Prerequisite for 201: 102 or equivalent.

Foreign Culture 139: China in the World

This course explores the importance of China in a rapidly globalized world from an intercultural perspective. Students are invited to examine how China interacts with the world, and vice versa, through a variety of issues, including philosophy, literature, art, popular culture, and contemporary life in China. The course will address such topics as comparison between the Chinese mythology of flood and Noah’s Ark, controversies on two Chinese Nobel Literature Prize laureates, the popularity of kung fu films in the US, why Chinese kids love McDonald's, how Neo-Confucianism works with capitalism, nationalism and China's relations with its neighbors, and more. With class discussion and student-led projects, this interdisciplinary course will provide a basic understanding of Chinese culture and tradition.

History 361: Topics in East Asian History

Things Matter: Material Culture and Everyday Life in East Asia

This course explores the everyday material culture in the history of China and Japan. Starting with a general discussion of material culture, this course covers a wide range of physical objects (e.g. clothes, tea, architecture, religious objects, book printing, and artifacts). How they functioned in everyday life and contributed to the mentality of East Asian people will be the main topic. Both textual and visual sources will be analyzed in class in order to recreate a comprehensive picture of everyday life through objects. We will also examine how the material culture of different time periods evolved in response to various historical forces. Within the context of material culture and the nature of consumption, this course also explores overarching themes such as urbanization, transnational communication, and modernization. Students will be exposed to and encouraged to apply ideas from other fields, such as art history, anthropology, and religious studies, to their research projects. Prerequisite: PAID 112 or equivalent. (HBSSM, Hist)

Religion 262: Religions of East Asia

This course will introduce the religious and philosophical traditions of China, Korea, and Japan. Particularly, it will focus on the historical, textual, and doctrinal foundations of Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shintoism. It will analyze excerpts of their sacred scriptures, survey their beliefs, study their practices, and explore their ethical systems. Additional consideration will be given to contemporary issues facing these traditions. Prerequisites: one of 101, 111, or 112.

January 2015 Course Offerings

Foreign Culture 239/339: Experiencing China, A Search for the Dragon (Study abroad)

This course invites students to explore the significance of traditional culture in contemporary China. Most co-curricular activities will take place in Beijing, but will also include a five-day trip to Xi’an, an old capital city where the Terra Cotta warriors were discovered, and a one-day tour of a small village in rural China, with the aim to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of China’s cultural diversity. Participants will have home stay opportunities to experience Chinese daily life with Chinese families.

Religion 263: Experiencing Mahayana Buddhism (Study abroad)

This course introduces students to Mahayana Buddhism. It explores the development of Mahayana Buddhism, its relationship with other religious traditions, and its influence on culture. The primary teaching method is experiential. Students will visit temples in Hong Kong and Japan, have instructions by an abbot, participate in monastic life, will meet scholars of Buddhism, visit holy sites, and participate in Buddhist worship. The students will spend three days in a temple, joining the monks in meditation and religious practice. In addition to this experiential dimension, the course will familiarize students with the history, scriptures, and beliefs of Mahayana Buddhism through readings from primary texts, lectures, videos, and class discussions. It will further analyze the Buddhist response to general topics and problems, such as the absolute, the notion of self, the problem of human existence, as well as soteriological and ethical issues.

Spring 2015 Course Offerings

Chinese 102: Beginning Chinese II

This course offers an introduction to speaking, reading, listening to, and writing Chinese. Through the study of the language, the student will also gain an appreciation of Chinese culture and contemporary life.

Chinese 202: Intermediate Chinese II

A continuation of the study of Mandarin Chinese: grammar, writing, speaking, reading, and listening comprehension. Speaking proficiency will be developed through active class participation. The use of authentic materials (video, music, texts) will enhance language skills and cultural knowledge. Prerequisite for 201: 102 or equivalent.

History 161: East Asian History

An introduction to the basic themes and content of East Asian history from the earliest times to the present. Students will explore the lives of both great and ordinary people who lived in what are now China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Students will consider how empire, international trade, relations of production, and ideologies affected the construction and reproduction of social and cultural groups. Offered alternate years. (HB, Hist, Intcl)

History 239 Chinese Environmental History (pending approval)

This course explores the significant role of the environment in Chinese history from early times to the present. It focuses on the interaction between nature and cultural ideas, political management and economic growth. The course will begin by discussing Chinese traditional concepts of nature in comparison with other world cultures. We will then focus on the Imperial Period, examining how people’s daily lives were shaped by various environmental elements, such as plant, animal, weather, irrigation, agriculture, and disease. The last part will cover the complex evolution and management of the environment as responding to varying historical developments in the 20th century, including colonialism, Maoist revolution, consumption, and pollution. Through this course, students will gain a better understanding of the geographical diversity of China and its interactions with the outside world.

Religion 261: Religions of South Asia

This course will introduce the religious and philosophical traditions of South Asia. Particularly, it will focus on the historical, textual, and doctrinal foundations of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. It will analyze excerpts of their sacred scriptures, survey their beliefs, study their practices, and explore their ethical systems. Additional consideration will be given to contemporary issues facing these traditions. Prerequisite: one of REL 101, 111, or 112. (Rel, HEPT, Intcl)

Catalog Courses

  • AS 389
  • CHIN 101, 102, 201, 202, 242
  • FCUL 242
  • HIST 161, 162, 361, 362
  • REL 261, 262, 263, 364