Location: Bowdoin / Asian Studies / Courses / Fall 2008

Asian Studies

Fall 2008

020. Global Media and Politics
Henry Laurence M 2:30 - 3:55, F 2:30 - 3:55
Examines the impact of media including the internet, newspapers, and television, on politics and society in cross-national perspective. Asks how differences in the ownership and regulation of media affect how news is selected and presented, and looks at various forms of government censorship and commercial self-censorship. Also considers the role of the media and “pop culture” in creating national identities, perpetuating ethnic stereotypes, and providing regime legitimation; and explores the impact of satellite television and the internet on rural societies and authoritarian governments.

201. Literature of World War II and the Atomic Bomb in Japan: History, Memory, and Empire
Vyjayanthi Selinger M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
A study of Japan’s coming to terms with its imperialist past. Literary representations of Japan’s war in East Asia are particularly interesting because of the curious mixture of remembering and forgetting that mark its pages. Post-war fiction delves deep into what it meant for the Japanese people to fight a losing war, to be bombed by a nuclear weapon, to face surrender, and to experience Occupation. The course will shed light on the pacifist discourse that emerges in Atomic Bomb Literature and the simultaneous critique directed towards the Emperor System and wartime military leadership. We will also examine what is suppressed in these narratives—Japan’s history of colonialism and sexual slavery—by analyzing writings from the colonies (China, Korea, and Taiwan). Students will tackle the highly political nature of remembering in Japan and how it has been used to articulate race, gender and national identity in post-war Japan. Writers we will read include the Nobel prize-winning author Ôe Kenzaburô, Ôoka Shôhei, Kojima Nobuo, Shimao Toshio, Hayashi Kyoko, and East Asian literati like Yu Dafu, Lu Heruo, Ding Ling, and Wu Zhou Liu.

205. Development and Conservation in India
Ashish Kothari M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
This course will examine the relationship between economic development, biodiversity conservation, and people’s livelihoods as it is playing out in India. Development is having significant impacts on the environment and on rural communities, especially communities that depend on natural resources for their livelihood or where protected areas are set aside for nature. The course will address these local challenges as well as macro-economic policies and globalization.

208. Literature of Ancient Indian Society
Sree Holt T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
Examines the articulation of fundamental social, cultural, and political values within seminal texts of literature that were written from the fourth century B.C.E. to the fifth century C.E. in the Indian sub-continent. The texts may include the Edicts of Asoka (emphasizing the moral development of social interaction), the Arthasastra (concerned with strategic policy and royal statecraft), Manudharmasastra (the codification of social duties according to age, gender, and vocation), and Vatsayana’s Kamasutra (the aesthetics of cultured etiquette). Half-credit course.

209. The Arts of Japan
De-nin Lee M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
This course surveys ritual objects, sculpture, architecture, painting, and decorative arts in Japan from the Neolithic to the modern period. Topics include ceramic forms and grave goods, the adaptation of Chinese models, arts associated with Shinto and Buddhist religions, narrative painting, warrior culture, the tea ceremony, woodblock prints and popular arts, modernization and the avant-garde.

220. Modern and Contemporary Art in China
De-nin Lee M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
Examines the multitude of visual expressions Chinese artists adopted, re-fashioned, and rejected during the political struggles of the twentieth century, from the May Fourth Movement of 1919 through the Cultural Revolution (1966–76) and (almost) to the present day. Major themes include the tension between identity and modernity, the relationship between art and politics, and the impact of globalization and an international art market. Part of the Other Modernities course cluster.

228. Chinese Foreign Policy
Olya Gayazova M 10:30 - 11:25, W 10:30 - 11:25, F 10:30 - 11:25
An analytical survey of the sources, substance and significance of contemporary Chinese Foreign Policy. Emphasis is on understanding Beijing's distinctive diplomatic voice by unpacking the growing web of China's diplomatic relations with states as diverse as the United States and India, Germany and Brazil, South Africa and Russia, Saudi Arabia and Israel. In the course of the semester, students will outline and interpret Beijing's recent initiatives in the areas of international investment, trade, energy, education, and civilian and military technology.

237. History of Sexuality, Gender, and the Body in South Asia
Rachel Sturman T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
Seminar. Explores changing conceptions of the body, sexuality, and gender in South Asia, with a focus on modern formations since the late eighteenth century. Topics include: practices of female seclusion; ideas of purity, pollution, and the care of the self; religious renunciation and asceticism; the erotics of religious devotion; theories of desire; modern conjugality; and the emergence of a contemporary lesbian/gay/queer movement.

240. Hindu Literatures
John Holt W 2:30 - 3:55, F 2:30 - 3:55
A reading of various genres of translated Hindu religious literature, including Rig Veda hymns, philosophical Upanisads, Yoga Sutras, the eipcs Ramayana and Mahabharata, including the Bhagavad Gita, selected myths from the Puranas, and poetry and songs of medieval devotional saints. Focuses on development of various types of religious world views and religious experiences within Hindu traditions, as reflected in classical Sanskrit and vernacular literature of India.

247. Indian Cinema and Society: Industries, Politics, and Audiences
Sara Dickey TH 1:00 - 2:25, T 1:00 - 2:25
Explores Indian films, film consumption, and film industries since 1947. Focus is on mainstream cinema in different regions of India, with some attention to the impact of popular film conventions on art cinema and documentary. Topics include the narrative and aesthetic conventions of Indian films, film magazines, fan clubs, cinema and electoral politics, stigmas on acting, film-makers and film-making, rituals of film-watching, and audience interpretations of movies. The production, consumption, and content of Indian cinema are examined in social, cultural, and political contexts, particularly with an eye to their relationships to class, gender, and nationalism. Attendance at weekly evening screenings is required.

254. Transnational Chinese Cinema
Shu-chin Tsui T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
Introduces students to films produced in the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Places national cinema in a transnational framework and explores how cinema as a sign system constructs sociocultural and aesthetic meanings. Students will benefit most by bringing both an open mind toward non-Western cultural texts, and a critical eye for visual art.

256. Modern South Asia
Rachel Sturman T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
Chronological and thematic introduction to the history of South Asia from the rise of British imperial power in the mid-eighteenth century to the present. Topics include the formation of a colonial economy and society; religious and social reform; the emergence of anti-colonial nationalism; the road to independence and partition; and issues of secularism, religious fundamentalisms, democracy, and inequality that have shaped post-colonial South Asian societies.

275. The Making of Modern China
Karen May Teoh M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
An introduction to the transformation of China’s political and social life from the advent of its last dynasty in 1644 to the present. Covers the rise and fall of the Qing dynasty, economic and cultural encounters with the West, Republican government, war with Japan, the Communist revolution, and the People’s Republic under Mao Zedong. We will also discuss social and economic reforms in post-Mao China, and the global Chinese overseas community. Major themes include political and intellectual trends, the ongoing tension between the center and local society, problems of ethnicity and gender, challenges of modernization, and the (re-)emergence of the world’s oldest and largest bureaucratic state as a major power in the 21st century.

278. China, Gender, Family
Nancy Riley M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
Examines issues surrounding gender and family in China, focusing on contemporary society but with some historical work. Topics to be examined include: footbinding, constructions of gender during the Cultural Revolution, the role of family in society and in gender construction, the effect of new economic changes on families and genders.

281. The Courtly Society of Heian Japan
Thomas Conlan M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
Seminar. Japan’s courtly culture spawned some of the greatest cultural achievements the world has ever known. Using the Tale of Genji, a tenth-century novel of romance and intrigue, attempts to reconstruct the complex world of courtly culture in Japan, where marriages were open and easy, even though social mobility was not; and where the greatest elegance, and most base violence, existed in tandem.

282. Japanese Politics and Society
Henry Laurence M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25
Comprehensive overview of modern Japanese politics in historical, social, and cultural context. Analyzes the electoral dominance of the Liberal Democratic Party, the nature of democratic politics, and the rise and fall of the economy. Other topics include the status of women and ethnic minorities, education, war guilt, nationalism, and the role of the media.

283. The Origins of Japanese Culture and Civilization
Thomas Conlan T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
How do a culture, a state, and a society develop? Designed to introduce the culture and history of Japan by exploring how “Japan” came into existence, and to chart how patterns of Japanese civilization shifted through time. Attempts to reconstruct the tenor of life through translations of primary sources, and to lead to a greater appreciation of the unique and lasting cultural and political monuments of Japanese civilization.

101. Elementary Chinese I
Songren Cui M 8:30 - 9:25, T 8:30 - 9:55, W 8:30 - 9:25, TH 8:30 - 9:55
A foundation course for communicative skills in modern Chinese (Mandarin). Five hours of class per week and individual tutorials. Introduction to the sound system, essential grammar, basic vocabulary, and approximately 350 characters. Develops rudimentary listening comprehension and conversational skills. No prerequisite. Followed by Chinese 102.

203. Intermediate Chinese I
Songren Cui M 11:30 - 12:25, T 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:25, TH 11:30 - 12:55
An intermediate course in modern Chinese. Five hours of class per week and individual conversation sessions. Consolidates and expands the knowledge of grammar and vocabulary, with 400 additional characters. Rigorous training in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Followed by Chinese 204.

205. Advanced-Intermediate Chinese I
Songren Cui T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
A pre-advanced course in modern Chinese. Three hours of class per week. Upgrades all skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, with an emphasis on accuracy and fluency. Followed by Chinese 206.

307. Advanced Chinese I
Shu-chin Tsui T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
A subject-oriented language course, facilitating students’ transition from textbook Chinese to authentic materials. Subjects in rotation include social-cultural China, Chinese cinema, business Chinese, and media in China. Emphasis is given to reading and writing, with focuses on accuracy, complexity, and fluency in oral as well as written expression.

101. Elementary Japanese I
Jun Ono M 9:30 - 10:25, T 8:30 - 9:55, W 9:30 - 10:25, TH 8:30 - 9:55
An introductory course in modern Japanese language. In addition to mastering the basics of grammar, emphasis is placed on active functional communication in the language, reading, and listening comprehension. Context-oriented conversation drills are complemented by audio materials. The two kana syllabaries and 60 commonly used kanji are introduced. No prerequisite. Followed by Japanese 102.

203. Intermediate Japanese I
Vyjayanthi Selinger M 8:30 - 9:25, T 8:30 - 9:55, W 8:30 - 9:25, TH 8:30 - 9:55
An intermediate course in modern Japanese language, with introduction of advanced grammatical structures, vocabulary, and characters. Continuing emphasis on acquisition of well-balanced language skills based on an understanding of the actual use of the language in the Japanese socio-cultural context. Introduces an additional 100 kanji.

205. Advanced-Intermediate Japanese I
Asuka Hosaka M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
Increases students’ proficiency in both spoken and written modern Japanese. A variety of written and audiovisual materials are used to consolidate and expand mastery of more advanced grammatical structures and vocabulary. Includes oral presentation, discussion, and composition in Japanese.

307. Advanced Japanese I
Jun Ono
Designed to develop mastery of the spoken and written language. Materials from various sources such as literature, newspapers, and cultural journals as well as TV programs and films are used. Assigned work includes written compositions and oral presentations.