Spring 2013 Courses

Spring 2013 Japanese Language Courses

EALJ 10112/11112 First Year Japanese II

This course is designed for students who have not completed the equivalent of First Year Japanese I.  The goal of this class is to gain an acquisition of the four basic language skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening.  They will learn to read and write Hiragana and Katakana and approximately 130 kanji over the course of the year.  This course covers Chapters 7-12 in Nakama IFirst year Japanese II is a 5 credit course; students should enroll in one MWF (EALJ 10112) section and one TR (EALJ 11112) lab.


EALJ 10112 01 First Year Japanese II MWF 9:35-10:25                                             Noriko Hanabusa/Miyuki Yamamoto

EALJ 10112 02 First Year Japanese II MWF 1:55-2:45                                               Noriko Hanabusa/Miyuki Yamamoto


EALJ 11112 01 First Year Japanese II Lab TR 9:30-10:20                             Miyuki Yamamoto

EALJ 11112 02 First Year Japanese II Lab TR 2:00-2:50                                Miyuki Yamamoto


EALJ 20212/21212 Second Year Japanese II

This course is designed for students who have completed Second Year Japanese I 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 370 kanji.  This course covers Chapters 6-11 in Nakama II.  Second Year Japanese II is a 5 credit course; students should enroll in one MWF (EALJ 20212) section and one TR (EALJ 21212) lab.


EALJ 20212 01 Second Year Japanese II MWF 10:40-11:30                         Noriko Hanabusa/Naho Maruta

EALJ 20212 02 Second Year Japanese II MWF 1:55-2:45                              Noriko Hanabusa/Naho Maruta


EALJ 21212 01 Second Year Japanese II Lab TR 2:00-2:50                          Naho Maruta

EALJ 21212 02 Second Year Japanese II Lab TR 11:00-11:50                       Naho Maruta


EALJ 30312 Third Year Japanese II MWF 12:50-1:40                                                 Miyuki Yamamoto

EALJ 31312 Third Year Japanese II Lab T 3:30-4:20

A course designed for students who have completed Third Year Japanese I or its equivalent.  Students 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.  This course covers chapters 5-8 in Tobira: Gateway to Advanced Japanese. Third year Japanese II is a 4 credit course; students must enroll in both the class and the lab.


EALJ 40412 Fourth Year Japanese II MWF 12:50-1:40                                                Noriko Hanabusa

This is a course for students who have completed Fourth Year Japanese I 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 12-15 in Tobira: Gateway to Advanced Japanese, which include authentic materials such as newspaper articles, essays, and video clips.


EALJ 50512 Advanced Japanese II MW 3:00-4:15                                                       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.


SPRING 2013 Literature and Culture Courses


LLEA 13186 01 Literature University Seminar                                                                          Xiaoshan Yang TR 03:30-4:45

                             Man and Nature in Chinese Poetry

This course introduces students with little or no knowledge of Chinese language or culture to the ways in which nature is perceived and represented in pre-modern Chinese poetry. We will explore nature imagery not only as rhetorical and structural devices but also as reflections of underlying Chinese world views. Readings are arranged roughly in chronological order to reinforce the sense of historical development. Whereas their amount and difficulty vary from week to week, the texts always demand careful and thoughtful reading. Students are encouraged to bring in their experience of reading Western poetry in order to approach the Chinese texts from a comparative perspective


LLEA 13186 02 Literature University Seminar                                                                          Michael Brownstein TR 2:00-3:15

    Family Matters: Coping with Modernity in Modern Japanese Fiction

In the century following the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Japan transformed itself from an isolated, feudalistic society to a world power with a constitutional government, heavy industries, a national school system, and a host of other changes. How did the rush to modernity affect the traditional family circle, which had been defined by Confucian teachings for over 200 years? How did Western notions of love and individualism affect the relationships between parents and children, husbands and wives? In this course, students will explore the private world of family life in modern Japan, from the early 1900s through the present, by reading and writing about six novels by some of Japan's most important modern writers, from Natsume Sōseki's Kokoro (1914) to Yoshimoto Banana's The Lake (2005).


LLEA 30314 01 Gateway to East Asia I: The Classical Foundations                          Kerim Yasar TR 3:30-4:45

An interdisciplinary introduction to the literature, history, art, religion, and philosophy of China, Japan, and Korea from antiquity to ca. 1400.  Readings are focused on primary texts in translation and complemented by critical and scholarly studies, films, and other materials from the visual arts.  The objective of the course is to gain a greater understanding of these cultures while exploring – and possibly challenging – the received dichotomies that shape our interpretations of the world.  The course will include guest lectures by Asian studies faculty in East Asian Languages and Cultures, Anthropology, History, Political Science, and Comparative Theology.


LLEA 30315 01 Crimes of Passion                                                                                   Michael Brownstein MW 3:00-4:15

What did it mean to be a “man” or a “woman” in Japan in the centuries before the modern era? How did conceptions of masculinity and femininity evolve under the influence of Buddhism and Confucianism, not to mention changes in the social order? Above all, how was gender “performed” when it came to matters of the heart? In this course, students will explore these issues, primarily through fiction and drama, but also through diaries, essays, and poetry.  The course is divided into three units. Unit 1 surveys the literature of the Imperial court from the 8th through the 12th centuries. We will begin with selections of love poetry from the Man’yōshū, Tales of Ise, and Kokinshū as background for Murasaki Shikibu’s epic of courtly love, The Tale of Genji (ca. 1000 A.D.). Unit 2 focuses on plays from the Nōh theater, which typically dramatize the problem of desire from a Buddhist perspective. In Unit 3, we will explore the issues of gender and sexuality in Ihara Saikaku’s Five Women Who Loved Love (1685) and plays by Chikamatsu Monzaemon, such as The Love-Suicides at Amijima (1721). All materials are in English and no special knowledge of Japan or Japanese is required. Students will also read essays by Western scholars to acquire a critical perspective on the issues of gender and sexuality in specific texts.


LLEA 30403 01 Chinese Civilization and Culture                                                          Xiaoshan Yang TR 2:00-3:15

This course surveys Chinese culture and civilization from the beginnings to the present time. Readings include traditional historical, philosophical, political, religious and literary texts as well as modern scholarship. Students are encouraged to bring in their experience, living or reading, of Western culture in order to form comparative and reflective perspectives.


LLEA 30405 01 Intro to Korean History and Culture                                                    Jung-Hyuck Lee TR 9:30-10:45

This introductory course is designed for students without extensive prior knowledge of Korea or Korean culture. Starting from its unique historical background, various aspects of Korea such as religion, thoughts, literature, politics, arts, life styles and pop culture ("Korean Wave") will be explored and discussed throughout the course. The in-depth examination of traditional features will guide students to extensive understanding of contemporary phenomena in Korea. Lecture-based teaching format will be enriched by a variety of supplementary channels such as movies, documentaries, and so on. Students will have a presentation on their own topic related to Korean culture at the end of the semester.


LLEA 30415 01 The Family in Japanese Film and Anime                                              Kerim Yasar TR 11:00-12:15

                                                                                                                                                                         W 5:00- 7:00

The family forges identity. Moving images forge the imagination. Both help shape the way we see ourselves and the world. In this course we will examine the intersection of the two by watching and discussing representations of the family in Japanese cinema, from the sun-drenched melancholy of Ozu Yasujiro’s Late Spring, to the harrowing survival story of Takahata Isao’s Grave of the Fireflies, to the absurd comedy of Morita Yoshimitsu’s Family Game. In the process we will explore issues of film form and technique, translation, and the various incarnations and configurations of Japanese families over time. Readings in film analysis and Japanese film history will be supplemented by sociological sources. Some of the questions we will explore: What role has cinema served in the articulation of Japanese identity in the modern period? How do filmic representations of Japanese families capture or depart from observed realities? How do gender roles operate within the family and the larger culture? What are some of the distinctive characteristics of Japanese cinematic practice in various historical periods? How do families endure in the face of historical trauma?


LLEA 33105 01 Masters Contemporary Chinese Cinema                                              Sylvia Lin MW 1:30-2:45

                                                                                                                                                                      W 5:00-7:00   

This introductory film course showcases master directors and major films from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Students will learn to appreciate Chinese cinema both for its content and techniques, while familiarizing themselves with social and political changes under which these films were produced in Greater China. We will examine cinematic accomplishments by master directors and analyze how they recreate for the audience different Chinese societies on the screen. This course is taught in English. No prior knowledge of Chinese is required.


LLEA 40404 01 Literati Culture in Late Imperial China                                                              Liangyan Ge MW 3:00-4:15

In the context of Chinese studies, the word literati is usually used as an English equivalent of the Chinese term shi, which refers collectively to the members of the intellectual and cultural elite in traditional China, who always played a prominent role in Chinese cultural and political life. The term late imperial China often refers to the final two dynasties in Chinese history, the Ming (1368-1644) and the Qing (1644-1911), but for the purpose of this course we use it primarily to refer to the ending decades of the Ming and the so-called High Qing  period, corresponding roughly to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It was during these two centuries that the two-millennium long evolution of the literati culture in traditional Chinese society reached its apogee, before the decline of the nation in the nineteenth century. To a large extent, the literati were the carriers and enhancers of the most refined traditions in literature, art, scholarship, and entertainment. The literati culture was thus the most sophisticated sector of Chinese culture at large. Since many of the literati practices in late imperial China, a recent past by Chinese standard, still have a strong influence on the Chinese peoples cultural life today, an acquaintance with the literati culture of that period is essential for understanding and appreciating the Chinese cultural heritage. In this course we will be reading the seventeenth century long play Peach Blossom Fan, the eighteenth-century novel The Scholars, and a portion of another eighteenth-century novel Dream of the Red Chamber. As these masterworks are saturated with cultural information, we will read them as both literary and cultural texts, which will lead to discussions of multiple topics in literati culture. The primary goal of the course is to help students explore different areas of the literati culture in late imperial China. More specifically, students will become familiar with the basic facts of the literati culture and recognize its most prominent features. They will be expected to reflect critically on the phenomena of late imperial Chinese literati culture and be able to discuss them, both orally and in writing, in terms of their historical, social, and aesthetic contexts. The means of assessment of learning include in-class presentations, in-class quizzes, 5 one-page critiques/reading reports, a 10-page term paper, and the final examination.


LLEA 40858 01 The Worlds of Buddhism                                                                                     Robert Gimello TR 2:00-3:15

A thematic introduction to the pan-Asian (i.e., South, Southeast, and Central Asian as well as East Asian) Buddhist tradition exploring the fundamentals of Buddhist doctrine and practice while also sampling major themes in the religion's social, cultural, and material history. Among the particular topics to be covered are: the life of the Buddha (history & hagiography), the "Four Noble Truths" (the essentials of the Buddhist "creed"), the Buddhist canon (the nature and scope of Buddhist scripture), Buddhist cosmology (Buddhist conceptions of the formation and structure of the universe, i.e., of time and space), Buddhist monasticism, meditation and the Buddhist contemplative life, Buddhist ethics, the ritual lives of Buddhists, Buddhism and politics, Buddhist "family values," Buddhism and the arts, etc.


LLEA 30106 01 Modern South Asia                                                                                 Jayanta Sengupta TR 9:30-10:45

Home to over a billion people, just over 23% of humanity, the South Asian subcontinent is a fascinating laboratory in which to analyze the unfolding of such themes in modern history as colonialism, nationalism, partition, decolonization, post-colonial democracies, the modern state, economic development, center-region problems and relations between Asia and the West. The course will consider critical themes in social, political, economic, and cultural history, which will include imperialism, capitalism, nationalism, religious politics, regionalism, ethnicity, globalization, diaspora, ecology, social inequality, and gender, development, and democracy. It will not only provide a lively historical narrative told through lectures based on scholarly research and primary texts, but will also seek to embellish this narrative with the perception and articulation of vision and sound, as well as with readings from representative genres of South Asian literature.


LLEA 30110 01 Ancient Japan                                                                                         Julia Thomas TR 11:00-12:15

History is not a single "true story," but many competing narratives, each defined by values, interests, and political commitments. This course on ancient Japanese history provides an overview of three sets of competing narratives: first, the politically charged question of Japan's origins, when we explore archeological evidence and chronicles of the Sun Goddess; second, the question of whether culture (through continental imports of writing, religious forms, and statecraft) or nature (as disease and environmental degradation) defined the Yamato state from the sixth to the ninth century; and, third, whether Heian court power rested on economic, political, military, judicial, or aesthetic grounds and if its foundations were undermined internally or by the invasion of the Mongols. In examining these competing narratives, we aim to develop the disciplined imagination necessary to enter another culture and another time.


LLEA 30121 01 Christianity in Asia                                                                                   Peter Choi TR 12:30-1:45

This course examines the growth of Christianity in a variety of strikingly different Asian contexts. The largest church in the world with a membership of one million gathers in Seoul, South Korea offering15 services in 7 different languages each Sunday. The number of Christians in Japan remains less than 1% of the total population despite first missionary activity dating back to the 16th century. After generations of suppressing Christianity, China is well on its way to becoming the largest Christian country in the world. The rapid pace of indigenous growth as well as persistent challenges to the spread of Christianity in Asia will be the major focus of this course. By examining the proliferation of Asian Christianity in local, national, and global contexts, students will be able to identify trends in political, economic, social, and theological factors shaping the spread of Christianity in Asia.


LLEA 30562 01 Contemporary Dictatorship                                                                     Alexander Dukalskis MW 4:30-5:45

What does dictatorship mean in today's world? What is dictatorship and what varieties of it exist? Why would people ever support a nondemocratic government? What can people who oppose dictatorship do about it? How do today's dictatorships differ from well-known historical cases and in what ways are they similar? This course will address these questions in the context of dictatorships that have existed in your lifetime or are still in power today. In the first part of this course, we will consider various theoretical perspectives on dictatorships by studying selections from political scientists and political theorists. In the second part of the course, we will think about these theoretical questions in the context of real dictatorships. Specifically we will study the rise, fall and resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the continued rule and economic success of the Chinese Communist Party, North Korea under three successive Kims, and Burma/Myanmar's long period of repressive military rule and its ongoing liberalization. In the third part of the course, we will ask what people do when they want to resist dictatorship. We will address various forms of resistance and debate the potential of the Internet to pry open closed regimes.


LLEA 40180 01 Ghandi’s India                                                                                            Jayanta Sengupta TR 3:30-4:45

The dominant figure in India's nationalist movement for nearly thirty years, M. K. "Mahatma" Gandhi has also been the twentieth century's most famous pacifist, and a figure of inspiration for peace and civil rights movements throughout the world. This course offers an examination of Gandhi and the nature of his unconventional and often controversial politics. It charts Gandhi's career against the background of events in London, South Africa, and India. Examines the evolution and practical application of his ideas and techniques of non-violent resistance, and his attitudes toward the economy, society and state. Gandhi's influence on Indian politics and society is critically assessed and his reputation as the "apostle of non-violent revolution" examined in the light of developments since his death in 1948. Some of the questions that will be discussed are: how far did the distinctive character of Gandhian politics derive from his absolute commitment to India's nationalist struggle? Was his success due to the force and originality of his political ideas and his advocacy of nonviolent action? Can his achievements be explained by political wiliness and pragmatism, or by willingness to embark on new experiments with the truth? Though helpful, a prior knowledge of Indian history is not required for this course.


SPRING 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.