Undergraduate ASIA Courses
A comprehensive list of courses offered by the Department of Asian Studies can be found in the UBC Calendar.
ASIA100 Introduction to Traditional Asia Sections
A survey of the histories and cultures of Asia before 1600 and the coming of the Europeans. Emphasis will be given to parallel themes in the development of the civilizations of South, Southeast and East Asia.
ASIA101 Introduction to Modern Asia Sections
A survey of the emergence of modern Asia. Aims at an understanding of how the various peoples of Asia have maintained distinctive cultural identities despite centuries of political, economic, social and cultural change.
ASIA208 Cultural Foundations of South Asia Sections
A survey of South Asian cultures, including language and literature, art, religion, polity and society, as they developed in the past and have been transformed in the modern period.
ASIA250 Introduction to Buddhism Sections
Origins, basic teachings, development of Theravada, Mahayana, and Tantric traditions, historical spread first through Asia and later the world, and Buddhism in contemporary societies.
ASIA254 Sex, Gender, and Sexuality in Japanese Literature and Film Sections
The integral role that sex, gender, and sexuality play in literary and cinematic works from Japan. Literary works will be read in translation, movies will be subtitled.
ASIA258 Religion in South Asia Sections
The major religious traditions of South Asia, including Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, and Buddhism; the significance of religious thought and practice in premodern India, as well as the continuing impact of religion in today's globalized South Asia.
ASIA300 Writing and Culture in East Asia Sections
Practical, aesthetic, historical, technological and political issues pertaining to the use of Chinese characters - hanzi (Chinese), kanji (Japanese), or hanccha (Korean) - throughout the region.
ASIA301 Buddhism in the Modern Era Sections
Buddhism from the nineteenth century to present day with special emphasis on its history and character in local settings, including specific traditions such as Tibetan Nyingma and Japanese Zen, as well as the development of a modern and global "Buddhism."
ASIA302 Theravada Buddhism Sections
History, story, and culture of the major form of Buddhism primarily focused on the regions of Sri Lanka, and mainland Southeast Asia, including southern Vietnam, parts of southern China, spread to Nepal, and modern global diffusion.
ASIA303 Mahayana Buddhism Sections
Historical and philosophical development of Mahayana Buddhism.
ASIA304 Survey of South and Southeast Asian Performing Arts Sections
An historical perspective of the performing arts of South and Southeast Asia, highlighting the role of music, dance, and the dramatic arts in the lives of actors and audiences. Option to complete a practicum performance.
ASIA305 Asian Horror Cinema: National Nightmares and Specters of Trauma Sections
Engaging with the ideologies, industrial histories, socio-cultural contexts, and aesthetics of horror films - and the genre itself - from various Asian cinemas.
ASIA307 Korean Language and Writing in Culture and Society Sections
An examination of Korean language and writing using approaches from sociolinguistics, the sociology of language, and linguistic anthropology.
ASIA308 Myth, Ritual and Epic in Ancient India Sections
Myths of creation Gods and goddesses of the Vedic pantheon. Connections with myths in other parts of the world, particularly in the Indo-European tradition. Literary representations of the myths.
ASIA311 Tibetan Buddhism Sections
Religious terrain of the Tibetan cultural realm, looking at the history and development of Tibetan Buddhism and key ideas of the four main Tibetan Buddhist traditions.
ASIA313 Tibetan and Himalayan Culture and Society Sections
History and culture of the Himalayan regions, including India, China, Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan.
ASIA314 Premodern Japan Sections
Japanese history (political, economic, social and cultural) to 1600.
ASIA315 Japan from Feudal to Modern State Sections
Japanese history from 1600 to the Meiji Restoration. Political, economic, social and cultural forces which were involved in transforming Japan.
ASIA316 Race and Ethnicity in Japanese Literature and Film Sections
Examines relations between majority and minority groups in Japanese society and changing definitions of "Japan" through literature and film from Japan.
ASIA317 The Rise of Korean Civilization Sections
The evolution of a distinctive Korean civilization within the East Asian cultural sphere. Primary focus on cultural, social and political development from the earliest times to the sixteenth century.
ASIA320 History of Early China Sections
History of China from the earliest times to the disintegration of the Tang empire. Students will acquire the analytical skills and tools to understand the origins and foundations of Chinese society.
ASIA324 Literature of Hong Kong Sections
A survey of the literature of Hong Kong, from classical times to the present. Important periods in literary history (imperial, colonial, post-colonial), major authors (locals, visitors, and writers elsewhere), and important genres, including poetry, essays, and fiction.
ASIA325 Hong Kong Cinema Sections
A survey of the cinema of Hong Kong from the post-war period to the present. The influence of Hong Kong on global cinema, and the forces (artists, studios, audiences, etc.) that have given rise to filmmaking styles and genres perceived as "distinctively Hong Kong."
ASIA326 Critical Approaches to Manga and Anime Sections
A critical introduction to Japanese manga and anime in the 20th and 21st centuries.
ASIA327 Korean Popular Music in Context Sections
History, contexts, and the genres of Korean popular music. Students will analyze specific artists and songs using a range of approaches. While an understanding of basic concepts of music will be helpful, no previous exposure to ethnomusicology or music performance is required.
ASIA332 Confucianism in China and Beyond: Reinventions of Tradition Sections
Key ideas and trends in Confucian thought and practice from its origins to modern times through primary sources in translation and secondary scholarship.
ASIA333 Contemporary South Asian Gender and Sexuality Studies Sections
Main theories and key concepts with a particular focus on the changing status of women, and gender and sexual minorities.
ASIA337 The Korean People in Modern Times (1600 to the present) Sections
The transformation of Korea from a Confucian state into an industrial nation. The rise of nationalism and modern ideologies in Korea. Cultural, social and economic changes Korea has undergone as it has entered the modern world.
ASIA341 Classical Chinese Literature in Translation Sections
Poetry, historical and philosophic prose writings and the earliest genres of fiction in classical Chinese (ca. 1100 BC ca. 750 AD).
ASIA342 Chinese Literature in Translation: The Vernacular Tradition Sections
Readings in drama and fiction, 800 to 1800 AD. The emergence of vernacular genres as distinct from and sometimes opposed to the existing classical genres.
ASIA346A Topics in Japanese Cultural History II: The Early Modern Age - TPCS JAPN CLT II Sections
Focuses each year on a specific topic related to the culture of early modern Japan.
ASIA347 Traditional Korean Literature in Translation Sections
An introduction to Korean literature from ancient times to 1900.
ASIA351 Modern Chinese Fiction in Translation Sections
Reading of selected novels and stories written between 1750 and the present.
ASIA354 Introduction to Japanese Cinema Sections
Students will be introduced to the work of the major directors (e.g., Ozu, Mizoguchi, Kurosawa, Itami, Oshima, Shinoda). Ideological uses of literary texts and period pieces (e.g., Ugetsu, Life of Oharu, Double Suicide). Impact of depiction of Japanese in American film.
ASIA355 History of Chinese Cinema Sections
Introduction to the work of major directors.
ASIA356 Korean Cinema Sections
Introduction to the work of the major film makers.
ASIA357 Modern Korean Literature in Translation Sections
Selected fiction and poetry written between 1917 and the present.
ASIA364D Modern Japanese Literature in Translation - MOD JAPN LIT TRN Sections
An introduction to the literature and cultural history of modern Japan, with readings drawn from various literary genres, from 1868 to the present.
ASIA365 Punjabi Cinema Sections
Punjabi culture, history, and social values through films. The class includes film viewings and seminar discussions. Films will be screened with English subtitles.
ASIA367 Contemporary Korean Culture Sections
An introduction to the literature, drama, music, and art of Korea today. Particular attention will be paid to the continuing influence of traditional themes and forms.
ASIA369 Asian Folklore Sections
A survey of oral and expressive traditions in Asia, including jokes, superstitions, fairy tales, myths, music, and foodways; practical training in collecting and archiving folklore.
ASIA371 Foundations of Chinese Thought Sections
Chinese thought from its beginnings until the Han dynasty (206 BCE to 220 CE) in its historical and cultural contexts. Includes, among others: Confucius; Mo Zi; the Legalists/Authoritarians; Zhuang Zi; the Lao Zi book.
ASIA372 Development of Traditional Chinese Thought Sections
Chinese thought from the Han dynasty (206 BCE to 220 CE) to Wang Yangming (1472-1529) in its historical and cultural contexts.
ASIA373 History of Hong Kong Sections
History, culture, and identities of Hong Kong from the early 1800s to the present.
ASIA377 History of Korean Thought Sections
An examination of Korean religious, philosophical, and scientific thought from the earliest written records to the present day, with particular focus on the interaction of Shamanism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and, in the present century, Christianity.
ASIA381 Daoist (Taoist) Religion and Its Philosophical Background Sections
A study of the Daoist religious traditions from their beginnings in the second century CE in their cultural, intellectual and social contexts.
ASIA382 Buddhism in China Sections
History, thought, and practices of Chinese Buddhism from its beginnings until the twentieth century.
ASIA386 Chinese Grammar and Usage I Sections
In-depth examination of modern Chinese grammar and its usage including word formation, syntactic constructions, discourse cohesions, semantics, and stylistic considerations.
ASIA387 Japanese Religions Sections
An introduction to traditional Japanese religions including Shinto, Buddhism, Shugendo, Confucianism, new religions and folklore, and their roles in Japanese history, culture and society.
ASIA388 Buddhist, Brahamanical and Jain Philosophers in Interaction Sections
Debates on issues of epistemology, language and ontology among the philosophical schools or systems of classical India Nagarjuna, Bhartrhari, Uma-svati, Sankara and others.
ASIA390 History of the Indian Ocean World Sections
Societies and empires shaped by voyages of exploration, religious pilgrimages, trading diasporas and forced migration in the world of the Indian Ocean.
ASIA392 Classical Persian Literature in English Translation Sections
Works of classical Persian literature dating from the tenth to the seventeenth century (in English translation).
ASIA393 History of Iran from the Sasanians to the Safavids Sections
Iranian history from the fall of the Sasanian empire and the Arab conquest of Iran to the rise of Iranian dynasties in the east, the reign of Turkic and Turko-Mongolian rulers, and the formation of a Shiite Iran under the Safavids.
ASIA394 Post-Revolutionary Iranian Cinema Sections
Gender politics, family relationships, and women's social, economic, and political roles in post-revolutionary Iran as shown through Iranian cinema.
ASIA396 Chinese Grammar and Usage II Sections
In-depth examination of modern Chinese grammar and its usage including word formation, syntactic constructions, discourse cohesions, semantics, and stylistic considerations. Continuation of ASIA 386.
ASIA398 Narrative Literature in Premodern India Sections
Stories of gods, goddesses and religious heroes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Puranas, Avadanas and in classical poetry and drama.
ASIA410 International Relations in Premodern East Asia Sections
International relations, particularly between Korea and Japan in the premodern East Asian context, focusing on migration, trade, diplomacy, war, collective memory, mutual perceptions, and the context of the Sinocentric international order.
ASIA411 Chinese Political Thought and Institutions Sections
Chinese theories and practices of government and administration from earliest times to 1949.
ASIA427 Topics in Korean Popular Culture (Hallyu) Sections
A survey of one of the primary areas of Korean popular culture, such as television dramas, film, K-Pop music, graphic novels and webtoons, or Hanshik cuisine.
ASIA433 The Cinematic Lives of Muslims in South Asia Sections
Depictions of Muslims in South Asian cinema, with a particular focus on the Hindi film industry.
ASIA440 Cultural History of Imperial China Sections
An in-depth examination of the construction, transmission, and transformation of Chinese culture(s) prior to 1800. Completion of at least 9 credits of 300- or 400-level ASIA recommended prior to registration. Credit will be granted for only one of ASIA 440 or HIST 479.
ASIA444 Topics in Modern Japanese Fiction and Cultural History Sections
Focuses on a limited time period or particular aspect of modern Japanese literature.
ASIA451 Modern Chinese Authors in Translation Sections
Study of one influential modern Chinese author, such as Lu Xun, Shen Congwen, Eileen Chang, Yu Hua, Mo Yan, or Wang Anyi.
ASIA453 Japanese Travel Literature Sections
Japanese travel literature (myths, legends, poetry, tales, diaries, illustrated guides, satiric sermons, haiku, comic fiction, colonial reporting, and ethnography) from the 8th century to present.
ASIA456 History and Culture of Taiwan Sections
The major social, economic, political, and cultural changes in Taiwan since the seventeenth century; the post-World War II process of democratization and Taiwans place in the contemporary world.
ASIA475 Documenting Punjabi Canada Sections
Exploration of the history of the Punjabi Canadian community through traditional text-based methods and oral history collection (in English or Punjabi).
ASIA488 Religion, Society and State in Modern India Sections
History of secular and religious discourse in post-independent India. Partition, state policy of secularism, religious mobilization among Hindus and Muslims, communal violence and religious radicalism.
ASIA495 Folk Cultures in the Asian Diaspora Sections
The mediation of folklore (e.g. slang, songs, games, dance, foodways) in the everyday lives of immigrant and transnational Asian communities. Emphasis on Asian-Canadian folklore in Greater Vancouver through digital documentary media production and archival folklore research.
ASIA499 Honours Thesis Sections
Restricted to fourth-year students admitted to the Honours Program in Asian Studies.