Fall 2013 Courses

EALJ 10111/11111 First Year Japanese I

This course is designed for students who have not studied Japanese language before.  Students will begin to acquire the four basic language skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening.  They will learn to read and write Hiragana and Katakana and recognize and produce 130 kanji over the course of the year.  This course covers Chapters 1–6 in Nakama I.  First year Japanese I is a 5 credit course; students should enroll in one MWF (EALJ 10111) section and one TR (EALJ 11111) lab.

EALJ 10111 01 First Year Japanese I               MWF 9:25-10:15                      Noriko Hanabusa/Naho Maruta

EALJ 10111 02 First Year Japanese I               MWF 11:35-12:25                    Noriko Hanabusa/Naho Maruta

EALJ 10111 03 First Year Japanese I               MWF 2:00-2:50                        Noriko Hanabusa/Naho Maruta


EALJ 11111 01 First Year Japanese I Lab       TR 9:30-10:20                         Naho Maruta

EALJ 11111 02 First Year Japanese I Lab       TR 11:00-11:50                       Naho Maruta

EALJ 11111 03 First Year Japanese I Lab       TR 2:00-2:50                           Naho Maruta


EALJ 20211/21211 Second Year Japanese I

This course is designed for students who have completed one year of college-level Japanese or its equivalent.  Students will build on their acquisition of the four basic language skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening from first year; they will increase their fluency in both speaking and listening, construct increasingly longer and more complex sentences, and recognize and produce approximately 240 new kanji over the course of the year.  This course covers Chapters 1-5 in Nakama II.  Second Year Japanese I is a 5 credit course; students should enroll in one MWF (EALJ 20211) section and one TR (EALJ 21211) lab.

EALJ 20211 01 Second Year Japanese I          MWF 10:30-11:20                  Miyuki Yamamoto

EALJ 20211 02 Second Year Japanese I          MWF 2:00-2:50                       Miyuki Yamamoto

EALJ 21211 01 Second Year Japanese I Lab TR 9:30-10:20                         Noriko Hanabusa/Miyuki Yamamoto

EALJ 21211 02 Second Year Japanese I Lab TR 2:00-2:50                           Noriko Hanabusa/Miyuki Yamamoto


EALJ 30311 Third Year Japanese I                              MWF 12:50-1:40                               Miyuki Yamamoto

EALJ 31311 Third Year Japanese I Lab                     T 3:30-4:20

A course designed for students who have completed two years of college-level Japanese.  Students will expand their vocabulary and learn approximately 280 new kanji words over the course of the year.  They will develop their understanding of Japanese culture, comparing the cultural differences between their own society and that of contemporary Japan.  Students will build on their reading, writing, speaking, and listening abilities, conversing in paragraphs, not just sentences, practicing narration and description, and applying more critical and analytical reading and interpretive skills.  This course covers Chapters 1-4 in Tobira: Gateway to Advanced Japanese.  Third year Japanese is a 4 credit course; students must enroll in both the class and the lab.


EALJ 40411 Fourth Year Japanese I                            MWF 12:50-1:40                        Noriko Hanabusa

This is a course for students who have completed Third Year Japanese or its equivalent.  Students will continue to improve their interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational language skills and knowledge of Japanese culture and history through active participation in their own learning process.  Approximately 280 new kanji will be introduced over the course of the year. This course covers Chapters 9–12 in Tobira: Gateway to Advanced Japanesewhich include authentic materials such as newspaper articles, essays, and video clips.


EALJ 50511 Advanced Japanese I                                MW 3:30-4:45                         Naho Maruta

Advanced Japanese is a three-credit course for students who have completed EALJ 40412.  This course takes students beyond the grammar-centered approach of textbooks to the study and discussion of original materials produced in Japanese for everyday consumption.  Course materials include excerpts from short stories, poetry, letters, social criticism, academic writing, newspaper articles, and video clips.  Students may repeat the course more than once, as the content of the course changes according to the needs and interests of the students enrolled.


14370 EALJ 47498 Special Studies  1.0

This course takes students beyond textbook Japanese by introducing original mate­rials created for Japanese audiences (literature, current events, and video materials, etc.) under the direction of a Japanese language faculty member.  Emphasis is on grammar and syntax, vocabulary building, speaking, reading, and writing.


FALL 2013 Literature and Culture Courses

LLEA 13186 01 Literature University Seminar                                                                Michael Brownstein TR 2:00-3:15

In this course, we will study six novels by modern Japanese writers (in English translation) as a way of exploring the theme of "otherness" — the sense of being an outsider, of being different, or at odds with a society that values conformity, "fitting in", above all. The novels are: Silence by Shusaku Endo, Kokoro by Natsume Soseki, Masks by Enchi Fumiko, The Woman in the Dunes by Abe Kobo, A Personal Matter by Oe Kenzaburo, and "Kitchen" by Yoshimoto Banana. By reading, discussing, and writing about these novels, you will also have the opportunity to explore how fictional narratives work to produce meaning, share your critical insights with others and improve your writing skills.


LLEA 30101 01 Chinese Ways of Thought                                                                      Lionel Jensen TR 9:30-10:45

This lecture and discussion course on the religion, philosophy, and intellectual history of China that introduces the student to the world view and life experience of Chinese as they have been drawn from local traditions, as well as worship and sacrifice to heroes, and the cult of the dead. Through a close reading of primary texts in translation, it also surveys China's grand philosophical legacy of Daoism, Buddhism, "Confucianism" and "Neo-Confucianism," and the later religious accommodation of Christianity and Islam.


LLEA 3041601 Contemporary Japanese Fiction                                                          TR 9:30-10:45

The aim of this course is to introduce students to major works of modern Japanese fiction published after World War II.  By examining key figures and the various literary movements that emerged in the half-century or more since Japan's defeat in 1945, students will gain a fundamental understanding of the different ways Japanese writers responded to the challenges of a new era of democratization, demilitarization, re-fashioning a national identity, and a new prominence in East Asia and on the world stage.  There are no prerequisites for this course and all readings will be in English translation.


LLEA 33101 01 Heroism and Eroticism                                                                          Liangyan Ge TR 11:00-12:15

In this course we will read works in Chinese fiction from the late imperial periods. We will discuss the aesthetic features of such works and their cultural underpinnings, especially the infusion of Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist meanings. Particularly, we will focus on heroism and eroticism as two major themes in Chinese fiction and their specific expressions in each work. We will consider the transition from heroism to eroticism as a shift of narrative paradigm, which coincided with a general trend of "domestication" in traditional Chinese fiction. Through the readings and discussions, the students are expected to become familiar with pre-modern Chinese narrative tradition and acquainted with some aspects of Chinese culture. All the readings are in English translation, and no prior knowledge of China or the Chinese language is required.


LLEA 33316 01 Intro to Japanese Popular Culture                                                      MW 3:30-4:45

This course will examine postwar Japanese popular culture across media, including novels, film, television, manga, and anime.  Our discussion will be framed by some key questions:  What was the role of popular culture in defining a national identity in the postwar?  What was the role of foreign influences, most importantly, American pop culture?  How have popular culture texts spoken to and defined specific audiences (for instance, teenagers, women, non-Japanese)?  The goals of this course are to gain familiarity with some key texts in postwar Japan and to learn various methods of analyzing those texts.  As we approach each medium, we will be using literary, film, television, and comics theories to analyze the texts.


LLEA 33317 01 The Samurai: Classical Japanese Literature                                    Michael Brownstein MW 2:00-3:15

The sword-wielding samurai warrior is perhaps the most familiar icon of pre-modern Japan, one that continues to influence how the Japanese think of themselves and how others think of Japan even in modern times. Who were the samurai? How did they see themselves? How did other members of Japanese society see them in the past? How did the role and the image of the samurai change over time? To answer these questions, we will explore the depiction of samurai in various kinds of texts: episodes from quasi-historical chronicles, 14th-century Noh plays, 17th-century short stories, and 18th-century Kabuki and puppet plays. While some of these texts emphasize themes of loyalty, honor, and military prowess, others focus on the problems faced by samurai in their domestic lives during times of peace. The last part of the course will be devoted to the most famous of all stories, The Revenge of the 47 Samurai. Students will read eyewitness accounts of this vendetta, which occurred in 1702, and then explore how the well-known Kabuki/puppet play Chushingura (A Treasury of Loyal Retainers 1748) dramatizes the conflicting opinions surrounding it. All readings will be in English translation and no previous knowledge of Japan is required.


LLEA 40212 01 Suffering and World Religions                                                              Robert Gimello/Lionel Jensen

TR 11:00-12:15   

The instructors are specialists in Chinese and world religious traditions, who will bring an interdisciplinary dimension to this team-taught course. This content of the course will be diverse with readings drawn from anthropology, art, history, media, philosophy, sociology of religion, and theology. Suffering, the feeling of dis-ease, anguish, is a cardinal and enabling principle of major world religions and ideologies such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Marxism. As well, it is a definitive experience of the seeker of truth or religious insight that proved effective in the dissemination of religion in many parts of the globe. In the industrially developed world where suffering is identified with personal harm or abuse, it is essential to avoid it. The course aims to introduce the student to a horizon of counterintuitive considerations on the universality of suffering and its effects as human agency. The course readings will consist of original texts in translation along with theoretical works that will permit the students to acquire a language of interpretation necessary to an exploration of the experience of suffering in its many forms and a consideration of the many kinds of meaning that religions have assigned to it.


LLEA 30145 01 History of China                                                                                       Dian Murray  TR 11:00-12:15

This course explores Chinese history from the Shang dynasty to today in terms of the development of Confucianism and its repeated reformulations in response to Buddhism, western imperialism, Marxism, and the global capitalism of today.


LLEA 30170 01 Ancient & Medieval South Asia                                                              Jayanta Sengupta TR 11:00-12:15

This course covers the history of the South Asian subcontinent from the beginning of the historical period to about 1700. During this period, the region witnessed the formation of regional states, the rise and fall of strong empires, the evolution of increasingly complex forms of caste and kinship ties, multiple religious traditions including Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam, and the coexistence of different economic organizations ranging from hunting and food-gathering to sophisticated urban communities. Discussion will focus on the transformation of local kinship ties into regional kingdoms and empires, the evolution of religion and the legacy of the expansion of Islam and the consequent rise of Turkish, Afghan and Mughal empires in the area. The main purpose of the course is to introduce students to South Asian civilization in a global context, with special emphasis on the wider linkages of transnational and world history. Finally, there will be a discussion of how interpretations of the South Asian past resonate in the region's modern politics. Besides learning about India this course will provide transferable skills about analyzing primary resources, seminar presentation and effective ways of using internet resources.


LLEA 30492 01 Contention in China                                                                                Victoria Hui TR 3:30-4:45

Is China next for a "Jasmine Revolution"? Why have pro-democracy efforts repeatedly failed in China? Why is there no organized democracy movement despite the prevalence of sporadic protests about various kinds of social injustices? Is China immune to democratization because of a deeply rooted "Confucian culture"? This course examines a wide range of contentious politics in modern China, from the May Fourth Movement through the Communist Revolution, the Cultural Revolution, the Tiananmen Democracy Movement to recent protests by workers, peasants, religious followers, and middle-class property owners. In addition to contention by Han Chinese, this course also examines resistance by Tibetans, Uighurs, Mongolians, and other minorities.


FALL 2013 Honors Track Programs


LLEA 58412 Japanese Honors Thesis

Majors in Japanese are strongly encouraged to pursue the honors track. Those who are interested must meet the following criteria:

  • Fulfillment of all the requirements for a first major of 30 credit hours in Japanese; 
  • Completion of fourth year Japanese;
  • A cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 and a GPA of at least 3.7 in the major or permission from the Department Chair.


Requirements:  In addition to the 30 hours required for a major, the honors track requires the completion of a senior honors thesis that demonstrates the student’s originality and ability to do research in the field of study.  

  • Students are admitted into the honors track in the spring semester of their junior year and will enroll in a year-long course of study in the fall semester of their senior year.
  • Students are encouraged to apply for summer research grants between their junior and senior year to prepare for writing their senior honors thesis.  Summer research grants for this purpose are available on a competitive basis from the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts (ISLA), the Kellogg Institute, the Office for Undergraduate Studies, the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Excellence (CUSE), among others.
  • The senior honors thesis is a year-long, one on one experience with a faculty member that comprises two semester courses of 3 credit hours each.