Course Descriptions

Asian Studies | Chinese | Japanese

Asian Studies

ASIA 109 - January in China

This introductory level course uses historical frameworks and methodology to explore China in January. Through readings, lectures, site visits and discussion, the students will be introduced to the major changes in Chinese government, society, economy and culture from the earliest times to the present day. Visiting Chinese cities such as Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and/or Hong Kong for about two weeks, the students will also experience the Chinese way of life through tasting Chinese food, conducting interactive contacts with their Chinese peers, and exercising close-up observation of social, economic and cultural activities in China. There is no prerequisite for this course, but students are required to work on a research project on a topic of their own choice.

Frequency: Offered occasionally.

ASIA 111 - Introduction to Asian Studies

This course explores the history of the idea of Asia and how that concept and region have been explicated both in the West and in China, Japan, and India. We examine Buddhism, Confucianism, and Hinduism, religious and philosophical traditions that have been seen as unifying Asia, and consider how those traditions have been used to address contemporary problems like human rights, economic development, and security. The course traces historical relationships among Asian nations and regions involving cultural borrowing, trade, conquest, and colonialism have shaped contemporary Asia, and considers how under globalization, boundaries separating people, cultural artifacts, and capital have become porous, giving new meaning to the notion "Asia."

Frequency: Every year.

ASIA 124 - Asian Religions

An introduction to the study of Asian religious traditions in South and East Asia (India, China and Japan). Open to everyone but especially appropriate for first and second year students.

Frequency: Every year.

Cross-Listed as

RELI 124

ASIA 127 - Religions of India

An introductory level course on the popular, classical and contemporary religious traditions of South Asia. Topics include Advaita Vedanta and yoga, popular devotionalism, monastic and lay life in Theravada Buddhism, the caste system, Gandhi and modern India.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Prerequisite(s)

RELI 124 or permission of instructor.

Cross-Listed as

RELI 127

ASIA 140 - Introduction to East Asian Civilization

This course introduces the cultures and societies of China, Japan and Korea from the earliest times to the present day. Primarily an introductory course for beginners in East Asian civilization, this course considers a variety of significant themes in religious, political, economic, social and cultural developments in the region.

Frequency: Every year.

Cross-Listed as

HIST 140

ASIA 149 - Shanghai, Global City: Urban Culture in China from the Opium Wars until the Present

This interdisciplinary course explores Shanghai's importance in China's turbulent cultural and political trajectory from the late 19th Century until the present. It attempts to illustrate how the experience of living in China's first and foremost modern metropolis has manifested itself through the city's literature, music, film, and art. We will explore a variety of artistic responses to Shanghai's urban modernity, analyze the impact of global modernism on Shanghai's urban culture, and comment on the degree to which the particular social and political context of Shanghai has shaped the arts and architecture of this East-Asian metropolis.

Cross-Listed as

CHIN 149

ASIA 150 - Language and Gender in Japanese Society

Japanese is considered to be a gendered language in the sense that women and men speak differently from each other. Male characters in Japanese animation often use "boku" or "ore" to refer to themselves, while female characters often use "watashi" or "atashi." When translated into Japanese, Hermione Granger (a female character in the Harry Potter series) ends sentences with soft-sounding forms, while Harry Potter and his best friend Ron use more assertive forms. Do these fictional representations reflect reality? How are certain forms associated with femininity or masculinity? Do speakers of Japanese conform to the norm or rebel against it? These are some of the questions discussed in this course. Students will have opportunities to learn about the history of gendered language, discover different methodologies in data collections, and find out about current discourse on language and gender.

Frequency: Offered alternate years.

Cross-Listed as

JAPA 150, LING 150 and WGSS 150

ASIA 170 - Art of the East I: China

This course provides a broad thematic survey of artistic production in China from prehistoric jades to experimental installations in contemporary Beijing. While encouraging the close analysis of visual materials and exploring the methods appropriate to interpreting works of art, this course also emphasizes the specific historical, political and religious contexts that made, used and inspired these materials. Topics include the funerary art of early tombs, Buddhist cave temples and monumental ink landscape paintings.

Frequency: Fall semester.

Cross-Listed as

ART 170

ASIA 171 - Art of the East II: Japan

This course examines the art, architecture, and broader visual culture of Japan.   We will discuss a diverse array of art and objects from Neolithic Jomon pottery, Shinto shrines, and print media to Buddhist sculpture, postwar art trends, anime (cartoons) and manga (comics); in the process, students will learn methods of formal visual analysis and gain insight into the artistic, social, economic, political, and religious function of each work.  Through this course, students will learn to view various artworks, spaces, and objects in their historical contexts and how they influence contemporary practices. Class discussions and projects provide the opportunity to   critically reflect on narratives about Japanese culture.

Cross-Listed as

ART 171

ASIA 194 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

ASIA 211 - Indian Philosophies

An introductory study of some of the great philosophers and philosophical problems of the Indian philosophical tradition focusing on Buddhist and Hindu philosophical debate from the time of the Buddha to around 1000 CE. Topics will include the role of philosophy in the Indian intellectual and religious tradition; Indian logic; the relationship between philosophy and practice (yoga, meditation); what counts as knowledge (pramana theory); ultimate truth versus conventional truth; Buddhist/Hindu debate on the nature of persons, rebirth and karma; competing theories of reality (momentariness, emptiness, non-dualism, realism) and methodologies of cross-cultural philosophy. Students will learn the basic Sanskrit terminology of Indian philosophy and will work with primary source material in translation.

Frequency: Every year.

Cross-Listed as

PHIL 211

ASIA 254 - Japanese Film and Animation: From the Salaryman to the Shojo

This course surveys the history of Japanese film from the "golden age" of Japanese cinema to the contemporary transnational genre of anime. While introducing methodologies of film analysis and interpretation, it develops knowledge of how major works of Japanese film and animation have expressed and critiqued issues of modern Japanese society. In doing this, we trace the development of two related archetypes: the middle-class salaryman and the adolescent girl (shojo). These figures - as well as their incarnations as cyberpunks and mecha-warriors, sex workers and teen rebels - help us explore Japanese film's engagement with the strictures of middle-class society, the constrained status of women, fantasy and escapism, sexuality and desire. Weekly screenings and discussion will be supplemented by readings in film theory and cultural criticism. Directors include Ozu Yasujiro, Akira Kurosawa, Oshima Nagisa, Miyazaki Hayao, Anno Hideaki, and Hosoda Mamoru. No prior knowledge of Japanese required.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Cross-Listed as

JAPA 254

ASIA 255 - China on Screen

This course is an overview of China on the silver screen. Adopting the "nation" as its primary structuring device, the course examines how Chinese films represented the national identity, national issues, and the national past. The topics under discussion include how women's virtues became the emblems of a nation that strived for modernity in the early 20th century; how films were politically appropriated for the socialist construction; how the revolutionary past had been cinematically constructed, remembered and critiqued in the post-Mao era; how the national legacy and tradition were consciously or unconsciously re-created and revised as a spectacle to meet the curious gaze from the global market; and how Taiwan and Hong Kong cinema constantly reflected the issue of cultural and national identities. The course starts from the silent film period and extends to the fifth generation directors, underground filmmaking, and the revival of martial arts genre in the greater China area. Feature films from mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong will be screened and discussed. Secondary articles and books are also assigned in conjunction with the films. The course is organized thematically and moves chronologically. No prior knowledge of China or Chinese is required.

Cross-Listed as

CHIN 255

ASIA 256 - Peoples and Cultures of South Asia

Introduces students to anthropological knowledge of the peoples and cultures of South Asia and to the ways in which Western knowledge of that region has been constructed. The course examines the historical and social processes that have shaped the culture and lifeways of the people who live on the subcontinent and that link the modern states of South Asia to the world beyond their frontiers.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Prerequisite(s)

ANTH 101 or ANTH 111

Cross-Listed as

ANTH 256

ASIA 257 - Image in 20th Century China

This course investigates the function of images in the social and political life of 20th century China. From the last decades of dynastic rule through the rise of Communism and ending with China's current presence on the global stage, we explore the role of the image in representations of cultural identity, the relationship between tradition and modernity, and changes in technology and media.

Frequency: Every year.

Cross-Listed as

ART 257

ASIA 260 - Narratives of Alienation: 20th Century Japanese Fiction and Film

The sense of being out of place in one's society or one's nation, estranged from one's self or the world - this is the feeling that has motivated man of the narratives of modern Japanese fiction. Through stories of precocious adolescents, outcast minorities, vagabond women, disillusioned soldiers, and rebellious youth, this course examines the social implications of narrative fiction (including film, anime, and manga) within the context of modern Japanese history. While introducing methods of literary analysis and developing a familiarity with major works of Japanese fiction, the course aims to cultivate an understanding of how stories can be used to engage and think abou the quandaries of modern society. We will explore the way these narratives express marginal experiences, rethink the foundations of human and societal bonds, and articulate new ways of being in the world. Works covered include stories by Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, Kawabata Yasunari, Oe Kenzaburo, Mishima Yukio, and Murakami Haruki, as well as films by Akira Kurosawa, Koreeda Hirokazu, and Otomo Katsuhiro. No knowledge of Japanese required.

Frequency: Alternate years.

ASIA 274 - The Great Tradition in China before 1840

A study of the traditional culture and society of China from earliest times to the eighteenth century, when the impact of the West was strongly felt. The course will be based on detailed study of selected significant themes in Chinese history. Lecture/discussion format.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Cross-Listed as

HIST 274

ASIA 275 - The Rise of Modern China

A study of leading institutions and movements of nineteenth- and twentieth-century China. Major emphases include the impact of Western imperialism, the transformation of peasant society through revolution, the rise of Mao Tse-Tung, and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Special attention will be given to U.S.-China relations.

Frequency: Every year.

Cross-Listed as

HIST 275

ASIA 276 - The Great Tradition in Japan before 1853

A survey of the major political, social, religious, intellectual, economic and artistic developments in Japan from earliest times to the opening of Japan in the 1850s. It also examines Japan's relations with its close neighbors, Korea and China.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Cross-Listed as

HIST 276

ASIA 277 - The Rise of Modern Japan

Japan's rapid industrialization in the latter part of the nineteenth century, and its phenomenal rise as the number two economic power in the world after the devastation wrought by World War II, have led many scholars to declare Japan a model worthy of emulation by all "developing" nations. After an examination of feudal Japan, this course probes the nature and course of Japan's "amazing transformation" and analyzes the consequences of its strengths as a nation-state. Considerable study of Japanese art, literature, and religion will be undertaken and American attitudes toward the Japanese and their history will also be examined.

Frequency: Every year.

Cross-Listed as

HIST 277

ASIA 294 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

ASIA 340 - Living on the Edge: The Asian American Experience

The Asian American experience will be used to examine the role of cultural heritage in how one views oneself, one's own ethnic group and the dominant culture. This interdisciplinary course consists of experiencing the art, reading the literature and history, and discussing the current issues of several Asian American communities. Topics include the role of women, stereotype, racism and assimilation.

ASIA 378 - War Crimes and Memory in East Asia

This course's main goal is to introduce evidence of the major crimes and atrocities during World War II in East Asia such as the Nanjing Massacre, biochemical warfare (Unit 731), the military sexual slavery ("comfort women") system, the forced labor system, and inhumane treatment of POWs. The course will also help students understand the contemporary geo-political and socio-economic forces that affect how East Asians and Westerners collectively remember and reconstruct World War II.

Frequency: Offered occasionally.

Cross-Listed as

HIST 378

ASIA 394 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

ASIA 494 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

ASIA 611 - Independent Project

Juniors and above may pursue an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty member in or associated with Asian Studies.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

ASIA 111 and two other courses related to Asia and permission of instructor must be obtained prior to the start of the semester. Junior or Senior standing.

ASIA 612 - Independent Project

Juniors and above may pursue an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty member in or associated with Asian Studies.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

ASIA 111 and two other courses related to Asia and permission of instructor must be obtained prior to the start of the semester. Junior or Senior standing.

ASIA 613 - Independent Project

Juniors and above may pursue an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty member in or associated with Asian Studies.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

ASIA 111 and two other courses related to Asia and permission of instructor must be obtained prior to the start of the semester. Junior or Senior standing.

ASIA 614 - Independent Project

Juniors and above may pursue an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty member in or associated with Asian Studies.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

ASIA 111 and two other courses related to Asia and permission of instructor must be obtained prior to the start of the semester. Junior or Senior standing.

ASIA 621 - Internship

Sophomores and above may extend their learning beyond Macalester by working for an organization or institution related to Asia, usually in the Twin Cities.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

ASIA 111 and permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office.

ASIA 622 - Internship

Sophomores and above may extend their learning beyond Macalester by working for an organization or institution related to Asia, usually in the Twin Cities.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

ASIA 111 and permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office.

ASIA 623 - Internship

Sophomores and above may extend their learning beyond Macalester by working for an organization or institution related to Asia, usually in the Twin Cities.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

ASIA 111 and permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office.

ASIA 624 - Internship

Sophomores and above may extend their learning beyond Macalester by working for an organization or institution related to Asia, usually in the Twin Cities.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

ASIA 111 and permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office.

ASIA 631 - Preceptorship

Students may be invited by a faculty member in Asian Studies to assist in the preparation and teaching of an Asian Studies course.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs.

ASIA 632 - Preceptorship

Students may be invited by a faculty member in Asian Studies to assist in the preparation and teaching of an Asian Studies course.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs.

ASIA 633 - Preceptorship

Students may be invited by a faculty member in Asian Studies to assist in the preparation and teaching of an Asian Studies course.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs.

ASIA 634 - Preceptorship

Students may be invited by a faculty member in Asian Studies to assist in the preparation and teaching of an Asian Studies course.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs.

ASIA 641 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project. Instructor permission required.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor

ASIA 642 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project. Instructor permission required.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor

ASIA 643 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project. Instructor permission required.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

ASIA 644 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project. Instructor permission required.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

Chinese

CHIN 101 - First Year Chinese I

This course is an introduction to Chinese language and culture. It offers instruction and practice in basic sentence patterns and conversational expressions to enable students to speak and write in Chinese.

Frequency: Every fall.

CHIN 102 - First Year Chinese II

A continuation of First Year Chinese I.

Frequency: Spring semester.

Prerequisite(s)

CHIN 101

CHIN 149 - Shanghai, Global City: Urban Culture in China from the Opium Wars until the Present

This interdisciplinary course explores Shanghai's importance in China's turbulent cultural and political trajectory from the late 19th Century until the present. It attempts to illustrate how the experience of living in China's first and foremost modern metropolis has manifested itself through the city's literature, music, film, and art. We will explore a variety of artistic responses to Shanghai's urban modernity, analyze the impact of global modernism on Shanghai's urban culture, and comment on the degree to which the particular social and political context of Shanghai has shaped the arts and architecture of this East-Asian metropolis.

Cross-Listed as

ASIA 149

CHIN 194 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

CHIN 203 - Second Year Chinese I

While the emphasis is placed on listening and speaking skills, students continue their study of characters and begin to work with short texts.

Frequency: Spring semester.

Prerequisite(s)

CHIN 102

CHIN 204 - Second Year Chinese II

A continuation of Second Year Chinese I.

Prerequisite(s)

CHIN 203

CHIN 255 - China on Screen

This course is an overview of China on the silver screen. Adopting the "nation" as its primary structuring device, the course examines how Chinese films represented the national identity, national issues, and the national past. The topics under discussion include how women's virtues became the emblems of a nation that strived for modernity in the early 20th century; how films were politically appropriated for the socialist construction; how the revolutionary past had been cinematically constructed, remembered and critiqued in the post-Mao era; how the national legacy and tradition were consciously or unconsciously re-created and revised as a spectacle to meet the curious gaze from the global market; and how Taiwan and Hong Kong cinema constantly reflected the issue of cultural and national identities. The course starts from the silent film period and extends to the fifth generation directors, underground filmmaking, and the revival of martial arts genre in the greater China area. Feature films from mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong will be screened and discussed. Secondary articles and books are also assigned in conjunction with the films. The course is organized thematically and moves chronologically. No prior knowledge of China or Chinese is required.

Cross-Listed as

ASIA 255

CHIN 294 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

CHIN 303 - Third Year Chinese I

A continuation of Second Year Chinese II. While the emphasis is placed on listening and speaking skills, students continue their study of characters and expand work with texts.

Frequency: Fall semester.

Prerequisite(s)

CHIN 204

CHIN 304 - Third Year Chinese II

A continuation of Third Year Chinese I.

Frequency: Spring semester.

Prerequisite(s)

CHIN 303

CHIN 407 - Fourth Year Chinese I

This course is designed for students who have achieved general proficiency in all aspects of Chinese language learning, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening. They are considered beyond the levels of proficiency of their 3rd year counterparts and are ready to delve deeper into more sophisticated textual readings, including short works of fiction, periodical readings and more frequent use of primary reference materials. Students will work to improve their listening skills while working with TV, movie, and news scripts and give greater attention to developing a more sophisticated writing style in Chinese. This course is conducted completely in Chinese.

Prerequisite(s)

CHIN 304

CHIN 408 - Fourth Year Chinese II

This course is designed for students who have achieved general proficiency in all aspects of Chinese language learning, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening. They are considered beyond the levels of proficiency of their 3rd year counterparts and are ready to delve deeper into more sophisticated textual readings, including short works of fiction, periodical readings and more frequent use of primary reference materials. Students will work to improve their listening skills while working with TV, movie, and news scripts and give greater attention to developing a more sophisticated writing style in Chinese. This course is conducted completely in Chinese.

Prerequisite(s)

CHIN 407

CHIN 452 - Translating Chinese: Theory and Practice

How and why did the first translators who began to translate English into Chinese and Chinese into English, choose the texts they translated? What problems, both linguistically and culturally, did they encounter? Did the same issues arise when translating into Chinese and English, and how were they respectively addressed? Who did the translating? This course approaches the topic of Chinese translation simultaneously from a socio-historical, empirical, and theoretical perspective. It addresses some of the fundamental issues faced when translating Chinese into foreign languages, English in particular. At the same time, the course functions as a practical workshop in which we read and translate a wide variety of Chinese primary texts and familiarize ourselves with tools of translation.

Prerequisite(s)

2 years of Chinese language.

CHIN 494 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

CHIN 611 - Independent Project

Sophomores and above may pursue an independent research project under the supervision of a Chinese Language and Culture faculty member.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Three college-level courses related to Chinese speaking countries. Permission of instructor must be obtained prior to the start of the semester.

CHIN 612 - Independent Project

Sophomores and above may pursue an independent research project under the supervision of a Chinese Language and Culture faculty member.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Three college-level courses related to Chinese speaking countries. Permission of instructor must be obtained prior to the start of the semester.

CHIN 613 - Independent Project

Sophomores and above may pursue an independent research project under the supervision of a Chinese Language and Culture faculty member.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Three college-level courses related to Chinese speaking countries. Permission of instructor must be obtained prior to the start of the semester.

CHIN 614 - Independent Project

Sophomores and above may pursue an independent research project under the supervision of a Chinese Language and Culture faculty member.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Three college-level courses related to Chinese speaking countries. Permission of instructor must be obtained prior to the start of the semester.

CHIN 641 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project. Instructor permission required.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor

CHIN 642 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project. Instructor permission required.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor

CHIN 643 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project. Instructor permission required.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor

CHIN 644 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project. Instructor permission required.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor

Japanese

JAPA 101 - First Year Japanese I

Introduction to Japanese language and culture. Practice in basic sentence patterns and conversational expressions to enable students to speak and write Japanese.

Frequency: Fall semester.

JAPA 102 - First Year Japanese II

Continuation of JAPA 101. Spring semester.

Prerequisite(s)

JAPA 101 or its equivalent.

JAPA 150 - Language and Gender in Japanese Society

Japanese is considered to be a gendered language in the sense that women and men speak differently from each other. Male characters in Japanese animation often use "boku" or "ore" to refer to themselves, while female characters often use "watashi" or "atashi." When translated into Japanese, Hermione Granger (a female character in the Harry Potter series) ends sentences with soft-sounding forms, while Harry Potter and his best friend Ron use more assertive forms. Do these fictional representations reflect reality? How are certain forms associated with femininity or masculinity? Do speakers of Japanese conform to the norm or rebel against it? These are some of the questions discussed in this course. Students will have opportunities to learn about the history of gendered language, discover different methodologies in data collections, and find out about current discourse on language and gender.

Frequency: Offered alternate years.

Cross-Listed as

ASIA 150, LING 150 and WGSS 150

JAPA 194 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

JAPA 203 - Second Year Japanese I

Continuation of JAPA 102. While the emphasis is placed on listening and speaking skills, students continue their study of kanji and begin to work with short texts.

Frequency: Fall semester.

Prerequisite(s)

JAPA 102 or its equivalent.

JAPA 204 - Second Year Japanese II

Continuation of JAPA 203.

Frequency: Spring semester.

Prerequisite(s)

JAPA 203 or its equivalent.

JAPA 235 - Communicative Strategies in Japanese Society

This course aims at understanding communicative strategies employed by Japanese speakers. Students of Japanese language often wonder what cultural assumptions and strategies lie behind the language they are studying. In language classrooms such issues are touched upon but never fully explained in the interest of time. This course offers in-depth explorations of the interrelationship between Japanese language and society. Students will be encouraged to reflect upon their own communicative strategies. They will also read about strategies used by American English speakers as a point of comparison. How is gender articulated in Japanese society? Is the so-called feminine speech in Japanese real? If the feminine speech is considered "powerless," how do women in authoritative positions speak? Problems in U.S.-Japan business and other negotiations are often reported in the popular press. How are they related to how people in each country communicate with one another? Japanese people are supposed to be "polite." How, to whom, and in what context do they express politeness? Are their politeness strategies markedly different from those of other countries? Students will have opportunities to explore issues such as these. No Japanese language ability required.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Cross-Listed as

LING 235

JAPA 250 - Postwar Literature in Translation: At the Center, From the Margins

This course is designed to explore the richness of postwar and contemporary Japan, and begins with an examination of how Japanese literature came onto the "world scene" after WWII, as the works of Tanizaki, Mishima, and Kawabata appeared in English translation. We'll read several novels by these authors, and consider what kind of image of Japan developed from and through that literary canon, then we'll "deconstruct" that image of Japan by reading work by less well-known authors. Although Japanese society is often presented as homogenous and monoracial, there are people of various backgrounds, ethnicities, and language traditions living in the islands of Japan today, as there have been for many centuries. We will read literature and non-fiction about and by Okinawans, residents of other southern islands, Koreans and people of Korean descent in Japan, burakumin (traditional outcasts), and Ainu. We will read work by women that challenges traditional role expectations, and we will read work about and by people who experienced atomic bombing.

Frequency: Every year.

JAPA 251 - Fiction of Modern Japan

This course introduces major authors, texts, and issues in modern Japanese literature from 1868 to the present. The focus will be on works of fiction (mainly novels, novellas, and short stories) and how they mediate and complicate the relationships between: self and other, tradition and modernity, nation and empire, and history and memory. One of the central themes of the course is the role of literature in the production, transformation, and contestation of the national narratives and cultural constructs-or the fictions-of modern Japan. In addition to the literary or textual aspects of individual works (such as language, style, and narration), we will consider the specific historical, political, and socioeconomic factors informing these works. No prior knowledge of Japan or Japanese is required. Readings are in English or English translation.

Frequency: Alternate years.

JAPA 254 - Japanese Film and Animation: From the Salaryman to the Shojo

This course surveys the history of Japanese film from the "golden age" of Japanese cinema to the contemporary transnational genre of anime. While introducing methodologies of film analysis and interpretation, it develops knowledge of how major works of Japanese film and animation have expressed and critiqued issues of modern Japanese society. In doing this, we trace the development of two related archetypes: the middle-class salaryman and the adolescent girl (shojo). These figures - as well as their incarnations as cyberpunks and mecha-warriors, sex workers and teen rebels - help us explore Japanese film's engagement with the strictures of middle-class society, the constrained status of women, fantasy and escapism, sexuality and desire. Weekly screenings and discussion will be supplemented by readings in film theory and cultural criticism. Directors include Ozu Yasujiro, Akira Kurosawa, Oshima Nagisa, Miyazaki Hayao, Anno Hideaki, and Hosoda Mamoru. No prior knowledge of Japanese required.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Cross-Listed as

ASIA 254

JAPA 260 - Narratives of Alienation: 20th Century Japanese Fiction and Film

The sense of being out of place in one's society or one's nation, estranged from one's self or the world - this is the feeling that has motivated man of the narratives of modern Japanese fiction. Through stories of precocious adolescents, outcast minorities, vagabond women, disillusioned soldiers, and rebellious youth, this course examines the social implications of narrative fiction (including film, anime, and manga) within the context of modern Japanese history. While introducing methods of literary analysis and developing a familiarity with major works of Japanese fiction, the course aims to cultivate an understanding of how stories can be used to engage and think about the quandaries of modern society. We will explore the way these narratives express marginal experiences, rethink the foundations of human and societal bonds, and articulate new ways of being in the world. Works covered include stories by Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, Kawabata Yasunari, Oe Kenzaburo, Mishima Yukio, and Murakami Haruki, as well as films by Akira Kurosawa, Koreeda Hirokazu, and Otomo Katsuhiro. No knowledge of Japanese required.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Cross-Listed as

ASIA 260

JAPA 288 - Race and Ethnicity in Japan

One of the founding myths of the modern Japanese nation-state has been the illusion of racial and ethnic homogeneity. This course aims not only to challenge this myth but also to historicize and contextualize it by investigating various racial and ethnic minorities in Japan: Ainu, Burakumin (outcasts), Okinawans, Koreans, African Americans, Nikkeijin (South Americans of Japanese descent), and Caucasians. These groups pose fundamental questions about the boundaries of "Japan" and about the meanings of "race" and "ethnicity" as categories of identification and difference. The purpose of this course is two-fold: 1) to familiarize students with the history of minority discourse in Japan, and 2) to encourage students to think critically and comparatively about race and ethnicity in general. All readings are in English or English translation.

Frequency: Offered every year.

Cross-Listed as

AMST 288 and INTL 288

JAPA 294 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

JAPA 305 - Third Year Japanese I

Continuation of JAPA 204. Emphasizes continued development of conversation skills, while not neglecting the development of reading skills.

Frequency: Fall semester.

Prerequisite(s)

JAPA 204 or permission of instructor.

JAPA 306 - Third Year Japanese II

Continuation of JAPA 305. Emphasizes strong development of reading and writing skills.

Frequency: Spring semester.

Prerequisite(s)

JAPA 305 or permission of instructor.

JAPA 335 - Analyzing Japanese Language

Our perception is greatly influenced by the language we use. Without knowing, we limit ourselves to thinking that our current perspective is the only way by which to view ourselves and the world. By analyzing Japanese, students can experience perceptual and cultural systems that are different from their own. At the same time, students may also discover that there are certain qualities that are common even in "exotic" languages such as Japanese. What is the function of the topic marker? Why can't you translate "he is cold" into Japanese word for word? Why are there so many different personal pronouns in Japanese? How do you express your feelings in Japanese? What is the relationship between your identity and gendered speech? This course provides opportunities to discuss these questions that students of Japanese commonly have. Students will also experience examining authentic Japanese data. Japanese Language and Culture majors who are juniors and seniors may count this course as their capstone experience.

Frequency: Offered every three years.

Prerequisite(s)

 JAPA 204 or permission of instructor.

Cross-Listed as

LING 335

JAPA 394 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

JAPA 407 - Fourth Year Japanese I

This course aims at the acquisition of advanced level proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing. Students are given opportunities to develop abilities to narrate and describe, to understand main ideas and most details of connected discourse on a variety of topics, to read prose several paragraphs in length, and to write routine social correspondence and join sentences in simple discourse of at least several paragraphs in length on familiar topics. In addition, students will practice language that is sociolinguistically appropriate in specific situations. May be repeated for credit.

Frequency: Fall semester.

Prerequisite(s)

JAPA 306 or permission of instructor.

JAPA 408 - Fourth Year Japanese II

This course is a continuation of Fourth Year Japanese I. It continues work on the acquisition of advanced level proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing. Students are given opportunities to understand the main ideas of extended discourse, to read texts which are linguistically complex, and to write about a variety of topics. May be repeated for credit.

Frequency: Spring Semester.

Prerequisite(s)

JAPA 407 or permission of instructor.

JAPA 488 - Translating Japanese: Theory and Practice

This workshop for advanced students of Japanese explores the craft and cultural implications of Japanese-to-English literary translation. It aims to give students not only a facility and sophistication in translating Japanese, but also a closer familiarity with the Japanese language itself. Through weekly translation assignments, we will examine the expressive qualities of the Japanese language, tracing major developments of prose style in the modern period and studying the socio-historical context manifested in those linguistic innovations. Our work will be informed and enhanced by engagements with theories of translation as well as essays on Japanese-to-English translation specifically. We will cover a broad range of genres, including essays, poetry, manga, and film (subtitles). The course will culminate in an original project translating a Japanese work of one's choice.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Prerequisite(s)

JAPA 305 - Third Year Japanese I or higher.

Cross-Listed as

LING 488

JAPA 494 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

JAPA 601 - Tutorial

Tutorials may be arranged for special kanji study or for supervised reading.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

JAPA 602 - Tutorial

Tutorials may be arranged for special kanji study or for supervised reading.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

JAPA 603 - Tutorial

Tutorials may be arranged for special kanji study or for supervised reading.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

JAPA 604 - Tutorial

Tutorials may be arranged for special kanji study or for supervised reading.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

JAPA 611 - Independent Project

Sophomores and above may pursue an independent research project under the supervision of a Japanese Language and Culture faculty member.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Three college-level courses related to Japan. Permission of instructor must be obtained prior to the start of the semester.

JAPA 612 - Independent Project

Sophomores and above may pursue an independent research project under the supervision of a Japanese Language and Culture faculty member.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Three college-level courses related to Japan. Permission of instructor must be obtained prior to the start of the semester.

JAPA 613 - Independent Project

Sophomores and above may pursue an independent research project under the supervision of a Japanese Language and Culture faculty member.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Three college-level courses related to Japan. Permission of instructor must be obtained prior to the start of the semester.

JAPA 614 - Independent Project

Sophomores and above may pursue an independent research project under the supervision of a Japanese Language and Culture faculty member.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Three college-level courses related to Japan. Permission of instructor must be obtained prior to the start of the semester.

JAPA 631 - Preceptorship

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs.

JAPA 632 - Preceptorship

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs.

JAPA 633 - Preceptorship

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs.

JAPA 634 - Preceptorship

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs.

JAPA 641 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project. Instructor permission required.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor

JAPA 642 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project. Instructor permission required.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor

JAPA 643 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project. Instructor permission required.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor

JAPA 644 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project. Instructor permission required.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor