Courses

Fall 2015

Chinese 101: Beginning Chinese

This course offers an introduction to speaking, reading, listening comprehension, 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: 102 or equivalent.

Foreign Culture 142: 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.

Started with an interdisciplinary project, this course offers a gateway for students to explore the global presence of China. After a comparative study of origin myth and flood in China and the West, the course continues with an examination of cross-culture education, during which students will finish an interview project. Both Chinese cuisine and the topic of “made in China” will be essential parts of this course, but it also opens to topics that students want to explore together, such as Hollywood representation of Chinese culture, international adoption or Dalai Lama. With class discussion and student-led projects, this interdisciplinary course will provide a basic understanding of Chinese culture and tradition. Gen Ed: INTCL.

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.

Religion 265: Religious Narratives in Japan: Demons, Sex, and Martial Arts

This course examines religious themes in and the religious function of various narrative forms in Japan. The narratives studied in this course assume a spiritual topography that includes demons, ghosts, and gods, probe the gender and sexual identities of their characters, and introduce self-cultivation techniques such as martial arts. In particular, this course will focus on two traditional, narrative forms, Kabuki and Nō, and two contemporary ones, Manga and Anime. Some Kabuki and Nō plays function as religious ritual, while some Manga and Anime consciously reflect on moral attitudes and religious beliefs. These forms are also the product of various interactions among Japanese, Chinese, and American cultures. Analyzing these four kinds of cultural and religious expressions, the course examines the role of religious ritual and sacred texts in premodern as well as contemporary Japan. The course introduces students to religious studies methodology, critical theory (including gender and queer studies), and intercultural analysis. It will also deepen the skills in textual and literary criticism introduced in the courses fulfilling the Bible requirement. This course exposes students equally to the study of Japanese culture and the religious phenomenon.

January 2016

Religion 264: Disaster and Enlightenment: Pilgrimages in China and Japan

This course explores traditional and new forms of pilgrimages in China and Japan. In particular, it examines two kinds of pilgrimages: traditional ones to sacred mountains, sanctuaries, and other religious pilgrimages sites, and pilgrimages to memorials that commemorate immense natural and human catastrophes in Sendai (3/11 earthquake and tsunami), Hiroshima (dropping of the atomic bomb), and Nanjing (1937/8 massacre). What connects these two kinds of pilgrimages is the importance attributed to memory, the desire for healing, and the need for reflection. The goal of this course is to investigate the religious and political dimensions of memory, self-cultivation, and contemplation. The course accomplishes this goal by examining questions such as "what is the social dimension of religious pilgrimages," "what is the moral dimension of memory," and "what is the spiritual dimension of healing and reconciliation."

History 262: Everybody Loves Gandhi

M. K. Gandhi remains the Indian most indelibly associated with India, one of the most frequently-quoted thinkers of all time, and one of the most important figures in developing the theory and practice of non-violent resistance. However, Gandhi's ideas and philosophy have managed to become detached from the historical context in which they were created, and indeed from the human being who created them. This course examines Gandhi's life, political positions, and political legacies in India and globally, in an effort to re-evaluate his achievements and failures, to place his life within the broader historical context of India in the early twentieth century, and to consider the reasons why some people, since his death, have variously beatified and demonized the man and his ideas. Gen Ed: HIST, HB

Spring 2016

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.

History 162: South Asian History

An introduction to the basic themes and content of South 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 Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. 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. Gen Ed: HB, HIST, INTCL.

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. Gen Ed: REL, HEPT, INTCL.

Art 239: Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art

This course will explore Chinese art from the mid-19th century through the present, with particular emphasis on artists, works of art, and the institutional, social, artistic, and theoretical contexts from which they emerged. The course will focus on ways in which Chinese artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have defined modernity and their tradition against the complex background of China’s history. Gen Ed: HEPT; HIST.

Art 339: Global Currents and Local Responses: Art in the 21st Century

Contemporary art is increasingly recognized as a transnational, global phenomenon. This course will briefly examine historical conditions that laid the foundation for what is recognized today as an international field of contemporary art and explore in depth some of the most critical issues in the field. This course will focus on a select body of artworks and texts produced by figures within the wide world of contemporary art in order to understand the positions they represent. Embedded within three thematic units will be examinations of specific geographical regions, artists, aesthetic and conceptual currents, as well as larger theoretical frameworks such as post-colonial, postmodern, gender, and diaspora studies. Gen Ed: HEPT, INTCL.

Asian Studies 389: Directed Research

Contact Professor Gereon Kopf for more information.

Catalog Courses

  • AS 389
  • CHIN 101, 102, 201, 202, 142, 242
  • FCUL 142, 242
  • HIST 161, 162, 262 (pending), 361, 362
  • REL 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 364

For more information on Luther's courses, visit the Luther College Catalog