ASIAN STUDIES (ASIA)
Examines the cultural practice and meanings of food, cooking, eating, and drinking through Chinese literature and cinema. Main themes include food and rituals, gourmandism and poetic taste, cannibalism and the grotesque, and hunger and revolution.
Film, history, novels, and theater are used to explore the rich, complex kung-fu tradition in Chinese culture from ancient to modern times, as well as its appropriation in foreign films.
Compares the rhetoric of equality between the sexes presented by late Qing, May Fourth, and communist thinkers to perspectives on gender and society by 20th-century Chinese women writers. Honors version available.
Examines how the East is constructed as the Orient in different historical periods: 19th-century European colonialism, 1950s to 1960s Hollywood films, contemporary Japanese animation, and the global war on terrorism.
Explores different examples of broadcast and digital media (music videos, soap operas and reality shows, radio, and social media) with respect to history, gender, sexuality, globalization, environment, religion, regionalism, and activism.
The course explores selected themes and case studies pertinent to culture and society in modern Israel, with emphasis on debates about "Israeliness" in various cultural and social arenas.
Students watch, interpret, and analyze art films by filmmakers working in various languages and regions of India. Students are introduced to aesthetics, themes, cultures, and histories that have shaped the various regional cinemas of India. Course readings introduce students to some of the formal elements of filmmaking and provide cultural and historical context.
This seminar explores the history of tea culture in Japan, particularly the emergence in the 16th and 17th centuries of the ritualized practice often referred to in English as the "tea ceremony" (chanoyu). Practicioners included merchants, Buddhist monks, warlords, European Jesuits, and professional tea masters.
This course will introduce students to the main works and themes in early Chinese thought from the earliest recorded writings down to the Qin unification in 221 BCE.
In this seminar, we will explore the various ways that Iran-Iraq, United States-Iraq, and United States-Afghanistan wars have been portrayed in literature, film, and photography. We will deepen and enrich our understanding of war experienced by both veterans and civilians. We will also read articles on war criticism and psychology.
This course examines how 16th- and 17th-century Iberian authors of Jewish heritage imagined and represented Chinese, Filipinos, Japanese, and Indonesians in their writings (e.g. plays, historical narratives, economic treatises, travel accounts, maps, etc.). We explore how these authors' representations of Asians not only dialogued with various interwoven variables (political, economic, and religious factors), but also revealed the historically complex issue regarding notions of personal identities and nationhood.
This first-year seminar introduces students to the history of transnational imaginations in modern Korea. Using literature, film, and television, it explores the ways in which Korean cultural producers have used narratives of transnational travel and exchange to rethink Korea's place in the world and refashion the bounds of Korean identity.
This first-year seminar introduces students to aspects of popular culture in the Arab world, taking it as an entry point for understanding the histories, cultures, and societies of the region. The course relies on anthropological readings alongside direct engagements with examples of popular culture from the Arab world.
This course explores the idea of Palestine as in Palestinian creative works. We will study what Palestine is for Palestinians, how Palestinian relationships to and expectations of Palestine have changed over time; and how Palestinian portrayals of their homeland have affected perceptions of Palestine/Israel and the Arab world. How have art, film, and literature shaped Palestinian identities and aspirations throughout modern Palestinian history? How have they contributed to personal agency?
Special topics course. Content will vary each semester. Honors version available.
We examine the ways the medium has been used to incorporate political and social perspectives, challenge the government, and document the lives and struggles of Iranian people. Among the topics explored are Iranian culture and society, gender politics, ethnicity, attitudes about religion, role of children, and various schools of realism. Previously offered as ASIA 224.
This course introduces students to Persian literature from classical to contemporary writers in translation to help them understand the efforts of the Iranian literati in addressing issues surrounding love, the sacred, human diversity, inclusiveness, and the rise of the modern nation-state in Iran through the use of literature.
This course introduces students to Iranian women's issues through their literary works. To contextualize, we will read articles and essays on the historical, cultural, social, political, and economic backgrounds. In order to approach these literary works in a more effective manner, we will also be reading various secondary materials.
The history of Southeast Asia from prehistory to "high imperialism." Long-term political, economic, social, and religious developments, including Indianization, the impact of China, and the first contacts with Europeans.
Chinese history from its beginnings to the present, organized around the central theme of how the identity of China and 'Chineseness' was created.
Comparative and interdisciplinary introduction to China and Japan in the 19th and 20th centuries, focusing on impact of the West, nation building, industrialization, and evolution of mass society.
An introduction to major political, religious, social, and cultural events from 3500 BCE to 1750 CE with a focus on Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhist groups before British colonial rule.
This course is an introduction to modern India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. We will investigate major political, social, economic, and cultural issues from 1750 to the present.
A broad interdisciplinary survey of the later Islamic empires since the 15th century and their successor societies in the modern Muslim world. Students may not receive credit for both ASIA 139/HIST 139 and ASIA 181/RELI 181
The course introduces Asia's historical, cultural, and political diversity by examining some of the global forces that have shaped Asian societies (e.g., colonialism, orientalism, and neoliberalism).
This course is an introduction to the societies of Southeast Asia through literature. Background materials and films will supplement the comparative study of traditional works, novels, short stories, and poems.
Readings from diverse disciplines illuminate the broad features of South Asia throughout history. Topics include political history and social thought, including gender and caste, and religious and imaginative literature.
An introductory survey of the visual arts of South Asia.
This course examines the connection between poetry and performance in the context of Hindi-Urdu literature, particularly the genres of Sufi poetry (qawwali), Bhakti poetry, and the Ghazal.
This course provides a comprehensive overview of the music of South Asia, focusing on India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The entire spectrum of musical genres will be covered.
This course surveys important developments in modern Muslim societies since the 16th century and up to the present. Topics covered include Muslim experiences with colonialism and nationalism, modernist reform movements, fundamentalism, women's activism and changes in Qur'an interpretation, Islamic law, and religious practice. Students may not receive credit for both RELI 181/ASIA 181 and ASIA 139/HIST 139.
An introduction to major religions of South Asia and East Asia, such as Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto.
This course examines interactions across the Eurasian continent between Russians, Chinese, Mongolian nomads, Arabs, and Europeans during the last millennium and a half as empires rose and religions, trade, and cultures flowed across this vast space. While we will treat the Silk Road as one entity, there were actually three distinct Silk Roads.
An analysis of how historical interactions between Hinduism and Islam have inspired the creation of philosophies and great works of literature and art that continue to inform Indian society today.
Youth subcultural practices studied across East Asia. Course examines how young people create meaningful social worlds, from cosplay to skateboarding to video gaming communities. Considers how changes in consumerism, body image, education, and family produce a volatile landscape for youth along the Pacific Rim.
This course explores the development of the Indian cinema, with particular emphasis on the Hindi-Urdu films produced in Mumbai (Bollywood).
East Asia's thousand-year superiority in global trade was lost when Britain began illegally selling massive amounts of opium in the 18th century, causing cultural and political changes in Japan and China. This course will analyze these changes in terms of sexuality and political sovereignty from 1800 until World War II.
The course explores major periods and trends in Israeli cinema. Focus is given to issues pertaining to gender, ethnicity, and the construction of national identity. Honors version available.
The study and comparison of contemporary Southeast Asian performance genres (music, theatre, dance, ritual) in historical and cultural contexts.
This course examines popular culture in Southeast Asia as a response to colonialism, nationalism, modernization, the state, and globalization. Topics include theater, film, pop songs, television, rituals, and the Internet.
Comparative and interdisciplinary study of feasting and its philosophical underpinnings, with special attention to the multiple purposes and nuances of food and feasting in literature, film, and the visual arts. Honors version available.
We will examine the binaries of sacred and profane love, transgression and the law, self and the other, human diversity and inclusiveness in classical Persian poetry. We will explore the intersections of class, gender, sexuality, religion, etc. We will explore the poems inside their historical, cultural, and social contexts.
This course explores literature written in prisons, particularly under the Islamic Republic. Students will read documents to understand human rights (and violations thereof) from a historical perspective. Since literature, film, philosophy, and theory offer invaluable perspectives, we will examine their contributions in the reflection on human rights in Iran's prisons.
This course surveys languages spoken in Southeast Asia, an area rich in linguistic diversity, which is home to five distinct language families and well over 1,000 individual languages. Students will investigate the languages--in situ and in the diaspora--through the lens of descriptive linguistics, and will explore the social, cultural, and political aspects of languages in the region. This course is appropriate for students with an interest in linguistics or in Southeast Asia.
Examines Western views of India and Indian culture and how these views differ from the way Indians in India and Indian immigrants in the West understand themselves and express their relationship to India through novels and travelogues.
Focus on how modern Indian writers and filmmakers have represented the creation of an Indian national identity through such historical periods as British colonialism, the Rebellion of 1857, the Indian Independence Movement, the Partition, and the eras of national integration and globalization.
Spatial structure of population, urbanization, agriculture, industrialization, and regional links in China, Japan, and Korea. (Regional)
Introduces students to the geography of South Asia, including an overview of the physical environment, cultural practices, and economic development. Emphasizes the political geography of South Asia and political and social processes such as nationalism and colonialism that have played a formative role in the region.
Provides students with a critical understanding of the political, economic, and social dynamics of contemporary South Asia. Themes explored include the development (or lack of) democratic structures, continuing relevance of caste and religion, emergence of right wing movements, contesting representations of the past, and the prospects and challenges confronting the region.
This course introduces students to the recent history of the Middle East, including a comparison of the Middle East to the United States.
Explores the conflict over Palestine during the last 100 years. Surveys the development of competing nationalisms, the contest for resources and political control that led to the partition of the region, the war that established a Jewish state, and the subsequent struggles between conflicting groups for land and independence.
This course provides an introduction to Islamic law in its connection to religious ethics and diverse ritual practices, both in the premodern and modern periods, and through an analysis of local contexts and global flows of ideas and practices that determine what is considered "Islamic" about laws, ethics, and practices.
This courses focuses on the ways Hindu gods and goddesses are experienced in South Asia through analysis of literary works, including texts, film, comic books, performance, and ethnography. We will also examine key Hindu concepts (dharma, karma, and caste) in Hindu religious narratives. Honors version available.
An examination of the origins of the Pacific War, the course of this bitter and momentous conflict, and its complex legacy for both Asia and the United States.
This course explores the evolution of China as a geopolitical entity from global perspectives, 1350 to the present.
To put the recent transformation of the People's Republic of China in context, the course examines the different facets of Maoism that governed the country in its early years. It highlights Maoism as a global force that paved the way for China's re-integration into the world order.
An examination of the development of Buddhism after its importation to East Asia.
This course explores the Theravada school of Buddhism and themes in the social, cultural, and political lives of the Theravada Buddhist countries of Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka.
Covering the period from 1600 to 1900, this course examines the causes and impact of the Meiji Restoration of 1868, which marked the start of modern Japan.
Topics include the Japanese Empire, the road to the Pacific War, defeat, the Allied occupation, Japan's recovery from war, and development into a democracy and the world's second largest economy.
Examines the diverse beliefs, practices, and cultures associated with Buddhism in the Himalayan regions of India, Nepal, and Tibet. Topics include Buddhism's development and spread, the cultural dynamics of Himalayan societies, monasticism, folk religion, revivalism, tourism, gender, globalization, and the role of the state in shaping Buddhist life and culture.
Historical survey of the major premodern religious traditions in Japan: Shinto, Buddhism, Shugendo, and Christianity.
Survey of the major religious traditions in modern and contemporary Japan: Shinto, Buddhism, and the New Religions.
Historical introduction to Chinese religions: Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, and folk religion.
Which of the following would you consider potentially political issues: celibacy; semen retention; body-building; depiction of gods/goddesses; or bomb making? Well, they all are. This course examines debates over sex, religion, and violence that constituted a key part of revolutionary thought and anti-colonial struggles in modern South Asia.
We examine works written by Middle Eastern women. We will begin with reading speeches and short stories in the 1860s. We will focus on topics such as Middle Eastern women and feminism and the West; women and nationalism; women and colonialism; women and patriarchy; women, sexuality, and religion.
Ethnographic study of the profound social and cultural transformations that accompanied the capitalist modernization of Japan. Considers the emergence of native ethnology and state interventions into everyday life.
What happened when the British carved Pakistan out of the predominately Muslim corners of India? Readings and films focus on the causes and consequences of this event, the Partition of India. Honors version available.
Centered on the story of the Hindu god Rama, this course explores Valmiki's Ramayana, alternate versions of the story, its performance in theatre, and its role in politics. Students may not receive credit for both ASIA 332 and ASIA 382.
This course offers an introduction to the Sanskrit Mahabharata as well as modern retellings of the epic in contemporary literature, film, and theatre of India. Students may not receive credit for both ASIA 333 and ASIA 383.
The course addresses the history and sociology of Asian immigration and experience in the United States, as well as the formation of diasporic identities among Asian Americans.
This course is designed to examine Jewish life in Arab lands in the last century by examining culture, language, and the communal life that the Arab-Jews shared with their neighbors.
This research-intensive course focuses on the ways religion and religious practices are represented in Israeli literature and media. The greater part of the semester will explore the variety of religious traditions in Israel within the framework of Zionist thought, gender and sexuality issues, and ethnic differences.
Analyzing the relationship between the diaspora communities and their new surroundings by drawing on theories of migration, narration, and identity, we will examine the literature born out of this discourse. We will shed light on the historical, cultural, and aesthetic value of this literary production in the Middle East.
This course will explore contemporary Asian American literature and theory and will examine how Asian American literature fits into, yet extends beyond, the canon of American literature.
This course is an examination of the histories, social organization, and cultures of the Chinese diaspora in the Asia-Pacific region, focusing on contemporary issues in the cultural politics and identities of "overseas Chinese." Previously offered as ANTH/ASIA 578.
The past in Southeast Asia's present, focusing on global, national, and local processes; individual and collective memory; and the legacies of violent death.
Cross-cultural definitions of heroism, individualism, and authority in film and fiction, with emphasis on tales or images that have been translated across cultures. Includes films of Ford, Kurosawa, and Visconti. Honors version available.
Authors' use of narrative techniques to create the separation between heroines and their fictional societies and sometimes also to alienate readers from the heroines. Austen, Flaubert, Ibsen, Arishima, Tanizaki, Abe.
Exploration of the major religious traditions of South Asia. Focuses on the beliefs and practices associated with different traditions, and the ways that these relate to one another and to broader political, historical, and cultural formations. Also addresses questions of modernization, reform, communal violence, and other transformations of religious life.
Explores Valmiki's Ramayana (story of the Hindu god Rama), alternate versions of the story, its performance in theater, and its role in politics. Students work outside of class to stage scenes from the Ramayana, open to the public. Students may not receive credit for both ASIA 332 and ASIA 382.
Introduction to the classical Mahabharata as well as modern retellings of the epic in contemporary literature, film, and theater of India. Students work outside class to stage one or more scenes from the Mahabharata, open to the public. Students may not receive credit for both ASIA 333 and ASIA 383.
How does globalization affect religious life? How do historical, cultural, and religious traditions mediate the experience of globalization in particular locales? This course analyzes the forces and practices associated with political-economic and cultural globalization in Southeast Asia and explores the religious transformations and innovations that these processes have inspired.
In this theory-practice course focusing on religion, performance, and South Asian studies we will analyze the nature of embodied knowledge, aesthetic theory, and the creative power of dance performance in the Indian context. The course also includes a practical component involving embodied experience with Indian classical dance forms.
This course offers an introduction to the history and practice of East Asian martial arts. We will explore the social, political, and cultural contexts of the martial arts, from the classical period to the present. Integral to this course is a practical component involving embodied experience with martial arts training.
When offered, the topic will vary with the instructor. The class will be limited to a seminar size.
Focuses on the various collaborations, exchanges, and mutual enrichment between Israelis and Palestinians in the realm of culture, particularly literature and cinema. These connections include language (Israeli Jewish authors writing in Arabic and Palestinian writers who choose Hebrew as their language of expression), collaborating in filmmaking, and joint educational initiatives.
This course introduces students to the specific contours that the Cold War accrued in East Asia. Focusing on literature and film, it explores what the fall of the Japanese Empire and the emergence of the post-1945 world meant across the region.
The formation and transformation of values, identities, and expressive forms in Southeast Asia in response to forms of power. Emphasis on the impact of colonialism, the nation-state, and globalization.
This course aims to explore Persian Sufism, its foundation, Sufi practices and doctrines, and Sufi themes in literature. By looking at its development, we will examine the nature of Sufism, the controversies and debates, and the influence of Sufism on the literary dimension of the Islamic world.
This course explores the social, cultural, political, and economic contexts in which films are made and exhibited and focuses on shared intra-regional cinematic trends pertaining to discourse, aesthetics, and production.
Employing Zionist and post- and anti-Zionist documents, treatises, and mostly literary and cinematic texts, this class will focus on the relations between language, Jewish-Israeli identity, and the notion of homeland. Previously offered as HEBR 436.
An analysis of the roles of women and men in Indian societies from the early to the modern periods. Topics include the cultural construction of gender and sexuality; beauty and bodily practices; gender and religion; gender and politics; race, imperialism, and gender. Previously offered as HIST/ASIA 556.
This course traces the fascinating history of material, cultural, and theological exchanges and conflicts between individuals belonging to two of the world's major religions: Hinduism and Islam. Throughout the course we will also analyze how modern commentators have selectively used the past to inform their understandings of the present. Previously offered as HIST/ASIA 555.
This course introduces students to postcolonial literature and theory. The main focus in the course is on literary texts and literary analysis. However, we will use postcolonial theory to engage critically with the primary texts within a postcolonial framework. We will explore language, identity, physical and mental colonization, and decolonization.
A study of intercultural interaction and interreligious encounter focusing on Asian religions in America, 1784 to the present.
Examines gender, space, and place relationships in the modern Middle East. Investigates shifting gender geographies of colonialism, nationalism, modernization, and globalization in this region. (GHA)
An examination of the history, society, and culture of modern Tibet and its imagination in the context of international politics and from a multidisciplinary perspective.
This course provides an in-depth examination of the behavioral principles and performances of five core Asian economic systems: Japan, China, Taiwan/South Korea, North Korea and Thailand.
We examine gender and sexuality in literature written by various authors from the Middle East. Our discussions will focus on the significance of sexuality, harems, same-sex desire and homosexuality, construction of female sexuality, masculinity, contraception and abortion, the institution of marriage, gay/lesbian underground subcultures, and social media as sexual outlet.
This seminar draws on feminist and philosophical theory, including the works of Plato, Butler, and Foucualt, as well as postcolonial theory, to explore the categories of sex and gender in South Asian religions. We also analyze the moral cultivation of the self in relation to gender identity in South Asia.
The study of the influence of Western texts upon Japanese authors and the influence of conceptions of "the East" upon Western writers. Goldsmith, Voltaire, Soseki, Sterne, Arishima, Ibsen, Yoshimoto, Ishiguro.
This course approaches constructions of gender and sexuality in Muslim societies in diverse historical and geographical contexts. It focuses on changing interpretations of gender roles and sexual norms. Themes include gender in Islamic law, sexual ethics, masculinity, homosexuality, marriage, and dress.
This course explores Muslim women scholars, activists, and movements that have, over the course of the past 150 years, participated in the debate about the compatibility and relationship of Islam and feminism. It offers an introduction to feminist debates about religion and patriarchy focusing on Islam as 'other' and juxtaposes it critical analysis of contextual expressions of Muslim and Islamic feminist activists, thinkers, and movements that challenge and change gender norms and practices.
This course explores the role that mountains and pilgrimage have played in Japanese cosmology and how they relate to methodology of studying place and space.
This course discusses the development of Shinto in Japanese history and covers themes such as myths, syncretism, sacred sites, iconography, nativism, religion and the state, and historiography.
Permission of the instructor. This course examines the cultural construction of animals in Japanese myth, folklore, and religion.
The course topic will vary with the instructor.
Permission of the department. For the student who wishes to create and pursue a project in Asian studies under the supervision of a selected instructor. Course is limited to three credit hours per semester.
This course combines readings in representative literary cultures in Sanskrit and several other literary languages from India's classical period circa 400 BCE to 1200 CE in translation, emphasizing poetry and related aesthetic theories, with scholarly readings on Sanskrit poetics, and the literary and political history of the period. Seminar format.
This course will focus on revolutionary change in the Middle East during the last century, emphasizing internal social, economic, and political conditions as well as international contexts.
Explores the lives of women in the Middle East and how they have changed over time. Focus will change each year.
This course explores changing interactions between the Middle East and the West, including trade, warfare, scientific exchange, and imperialism, and ends with an analysis of contemporary relations in light of the legacy of the past.
This course is intended as a broad overview of Southeast Asian economic history from premodern times to the present day.
Examines struggles to define culture and the nation in 20th-century China in domains like popular culture, museums, traditional medicine, fiction, film, ethnic group politics, and biography and autobiography.
This course examines the histories, representations, and cultural perceptions surrounding bandits and rebels in modern India. The representations of bandits and rebels are studied in the light of the emergence of nationalism, shifting notions of gender and masculinity, race relations, and emergence of capitalist structures.
A wide-ranging exploration of America's longest war, from 19th-century origins to 1990s legacies, from village battlegrounds to the Cold War context, from national leadership to popular participation and impact.
Explores the indigenous Chinese sciences and the cosmological ideas that informed them. Topics include astronomy, divination, medicine, fengshui, and political and literary theory. Chinese sources in translation are emphasized.
Permission of the instructor. A survey of Islamic mysticism, its sources in the Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad, and its literary, cultural, and social deployment in Arab, Persian, Indic, and Turkish regions.
A survey of the formation of Islamic traditions in the subcontinent from the eighth century to the present, with emphasis on religion and politics, the role of Sufism, types of popular religion, and questions of Islamic identity.
Iran from the rise of the Safavid empire to the Islamic Republic. Topics include Shi'ism, politics, intellectual and sectarian movements, encounters with colonialism, art and architecture, music, literature.
A nontheological approach to the Qur'an as a literary text, emphasizing its history, form, style, and interpretation.
This course explores sexual norms and practices in Muslim contexts in the premodern and modern periods. It considers theories from sexuality, gender, and queer studies, and focuses on the contextual production of sexual norms, going beyond the sex and gender binary, and reflecting on a diverse range of sexual practices in Muslim communities and societies, analyzing concepts such as power, pleasure, control, as they are mapped onto and lived in diverse Muslim bodies.
Permission of the instructor. Study of selected religious, literary, and historical texts in Arabic, Persian, or Urdu.
Presents recent anthropological research on the People's Republic of China. In addition to social sciences sources, fictional genres are used to explore the particular modernity of Chinese society and culture.
Permission of the department. Required for honors students in Asian studies.
Permission of the department. Required for honors students in Asian studies.
This graduate-level course introduces recent scholarly publications in the broad field of Asian history. Covered themes include environmental history and space, colonial and urban contexts, daily life, and margins.
This seminar introduces students to transnational feminisms of the Middle East and South Asia. It examines a diverse range of women's thought and responses to the global and the local in this part of the world, with a focus on theoretical paradigms and tools to better understand women in a global context. Research methods also emphasized in this seminar.
This graduate seminar examines theoretical and research texts related to the mobility of people, languages, ideas, and cultures across Asia and the Pacific. This course aims to critically investigate Asia's past and present with TransAsia and Transpacific perspectives through examining five main themes related to Asian mobilities; 1) Empires, 2) Labor, 3) Transnational Family, 4) Language and Media, and 5) Citizenship.
This interdisciplinary graduate seminar is a foundational course for the M.A. in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. The seminar introduces critical theories and disciplinary and interdisciplinary methodologies in studying South Asia, East Asia, and the Middle East. It studies the regions in part and as a whole by applying regional, transnational and global lenses, taking seriously relevant languages, cultural formations, histories, and philosophies. The seminar employs theoretical, ontological and epistemological terrains to critically analyze texts/media.
This course is intended as a graduate seminar devoted to the new topic of the Anthropocene and the ways in which capitalism and climate change have emerged therein. However, we will focus on the ramifications of the Anthropocene for East Asia (especially Japan and China).
Focusing on East Asia, this seminar introduces students to scholarly intersections between science studies and literary and cultural studies. Drawing upon recent scholarship from these fields, it explores the intertwined pasts and presents of scientific, technological, and cultural production. In so doing, it challenges students to think critically about the contingent nature of disciplinary boundaries and the centrality of East Asia's place in global flows of knowledge, objects, and expression.
This seminar will look at how terms for concepts of 'civilization' in different languages (Old Chinese, Modern Mandarin, English, Japanese) and different historical periods have been used to refer to what is now China as a "civilization." This graduate seminar explores the roles played by various notions of 'civilization' in the articulation of different conceptualizations of "Chinese civilization."
This course focuses on the most celebrated novel titled Honglou Meng or The Story of the Stone by Cao Xueqin (1715-1763). This 120-chapter-long novel tells the downfall of a great aristocratic family that is presented as a microcosm of traditional Chinese societies. The novel features all aspects of traditional Chinese cultures including architecture and garden, education, families and interfamilial connections, generational relationships, genders, history, marriages, mythology, philosophies, poetry, etc.
This seminar applies theories from Postcolonial Ecocriticism and Sinophone Studies to analyze diverse indigenous ecologies in Chinese-language environmental literature. We read poems, philosophy, and fiction (in Chinese or English translation) featuring the cosmologies of Han farmers, Tibetan and Mongolian nomads, Indigenous Taiwanese hunters and fishers, and Hmong foragers, analyzing relational ontologies among humans, non-human animals, assemblages, and ecosystems. Knowledge of Chinese language, literature, history, or philosophy recommended but not required.
This graduate seminar investigates competing concepts of modernity in South Asia as imagined in film and television media. We begin by exploring how notions of modernity have emerged in South Asia, and how film and television have imagined a "modern" society. Particular topics covered include social justice, gender, nation, globalization, and cosmopolitanism. We will also engage with critiques of films, television programs, and Internet-based videos with respect to social justice, environment, and technology.
This seminar examines a range of performance practices in South Asia, and some of the theories and methods scholars have used to research and understand them. It especially focuses on emerging analytical frameworks and approaches currently shaping the field. In this seminar, "performance" is conceptualized broadly to include aesthetic, social and political forms of performance spanning theatre, dance, musical concerts, film, religious events, military rituals, and so forth.
This course enriches students' understanding of the diversity of Middle Eastern countries, exploring histories of intercommunal contact and conflict. We will investigate contemporary representations and lived realities of religious, ethnic, and sexual minorities of the Middle East from diverse political, cultural, historical and aesthetic perspectives. Although the majority of people living in the Middle East converted to Islam after the Arab conquests, there remained important minorities including indigenous Christians, Jews, and in Iran some Zoroastrians.
What is political about the body? This seminar introduces students to social scientific and humanistic approaches to the body. Instead of taking the body as simply a biological entity, it places it within a wider network of meanings, practices, institutions, histories, and forms of power. The course explores the operations of different regimes of power on and in the body and, conversely, shows how the body can become a locus of resistance and creativity.
Examines the role of images in the modern ME & how these images shape transnational relationships and conceptions of the region within the global imaginary. How do images "speak"? What role do they play in constructing subjectivities and identities of belonging? What is their relationship to power locally and globally? We will analyze a variety of texts and media (film, photography, video, television, modern art, street art, graphic novels, social media, etc) from the ME.
This seminar investigates the rise of the radical discourse and literature on the Arab-Jew / Mizrahi in the late 1980s and explores its connection to Israel's "new historians," post-Zionism, and post-nationalism and to Third-worldism. With the increasing presence of the Arab-Jew / Mizrahi in academic discourse and, to an extent, in Israeli (and Arab) media and culture, the original discourse has witnessed various permutations and increasing diversification from its inception to the present.
This seminar is the core course for the graduate certificate in Middle East studies. It is an introduction to critical issues in the disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and cross-disciplinary study of the Middle East.
This seminar guides students through the major stages and mechanics of thesis writing, including focusing your topic and research questions, finding primary and secondary sources, writing a prospectus and a literature review, developing your argument cohesively across chapters, organizing chapters, building a bibliography, proper citation, and formatting the thesis. The seminar serves as a forum for reading and presenting on academic scholarship in the field and as a writing workshop. DAMES MA students only.
Individual research in a special field under the direction of a member of the department.