Graduate Courses 2021-2022



ASIA 570A (033) – Pan-Asian New Media: Video Games [3.0 credits]

Instructor: Dr. Colleen Laird

Term 1, Thursdays, 2:00pm-5:00pm, Classroom:  BUCH B216

Why does studying video games matter? How can we critically engage with video games? What can we discover at the intersection of Asian studies and video game studies? Designed with these three foundational questions in mind, this graduate seminar is an introduction to the study of video games with a focus on texts, markets, and player communities in Asia. Participants will engage with both core readings in video game studies as well as new research in area studies in order to analyze texts from their own geographic area and/or cultural context of interest. Participants should be eager to cultivate a collaborative environment for learning and sharing technology, as well as an interest in developing best practices for 21st century digital scholarship. In addition to presentations and a final research paper or project, participants will, under guidance, work together on a curation to submit to the online venue In Media Res.


ASIA 580B (007) – The Profession of Asian Studies (Hybrid mode) [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Nam-Lin Hur

Term 2, Date and Time: Tuesdays 3:00-6:00pm, Classroom B216

This graduate seminar is designed to offer for advanced PhD students working on international relations/interactions in East Asia in the 18th century to 1945. The seminar will help all participants develop two or three papers for publication and teaching skills in the field of international relations in East Asia (premodern to 1945).



ASIA 501A (017) – Research Methods and Source Materials in Classical Chinese Studies [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Leo Shin

Term 1, Mondays, 3:00pm-5:30pm, Classroom:  BUCH B303

An introduction to the research tools for the study of China. Topics to be covered will in part depend on the students’ particular research interests. Special attention will be given to the expanding universe of digital resources.


ASIA 502A (026) – Modern Chinese Fiction and Western Criticism[3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Christopher Rea

Term 1, Tuesdays, 2:00pm-5:00pm, Classroom: SOWK 324

Theme for 2021W Term 1: “Writing Modern Chinese Literary History”

How has modern Chinese literary history been written? How might it be written? This course will examine several influential conceptions of the role of literature in modern China; how writers have implemented them; and how historians have attributed meanings to literary works retrospectively. We will examine literary writings; theoretical writings; scholarly books and essays; as well as practices of anthologizing, promoting, canonizing, and censoring literature. In doing so, we will analyze the assumptions and value systems underlying various literary trends from multiple perspectives. Which threads in the fabric of modern Chinese literary history have writers, critics, and scholars chosen to draw attention to, and why? What have they believed to be the definition, purpose, or functions of literature? Beyond these historical questions, we will also consider the methodological question of how scholars today can make best use of available research resources to write new histories of modern literature. This component of the course will involve both examining exemplary works of scholarship and assessing the functions—and limitations—of bibliographies, databases, anthologies, collected works, websites, journals, scholarly monographs, translations, and other research resources.


ASIA 511B (012) – Readings in Chinese Religious Texts [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Jinhua Chen

Term 1, Mondays, 10:00am-12:30pm, Classroom: BUCH B312

Topics of this course will be flexible, adjusting to the interest and background of the students. Selections for readings can be from any important Chinese Buddhist and Taoist texts belonging to any major Buddhist and Taoist traditions of any period. Focus is given to the doctrinal issues implied in a specific genre of Buddhist and Taoist texts. Methodological issues of interpreting Chinese Buddhist and Taoist texts are also to be discussed.

In addition to intensive reading of the original texts, students are to be trained in some basic methods indispensable for the research of Sinology in general and Buddhism and Taoism in particular. Students will be required to demonstrate at least basic competence in all the following areas:

  • Dictionaries (general and specialized).
  • Bibliographies and bibliographic databases in European and East Asian languages.
  • Historical Geography of China, Central Asia and India.
  • Use of maps, atlases and dictionaries.
  • Biography (religious and secular).
  • Official and religious titles.
  • Dates and chronologies.
  • Books and authors.
  • Structure and content of the Buddhist (and Taoist) canons.
  • Extra-canonical works and collectanea.
  • Indices and concordances (including electronic resources such as the Academia Sinica website).
  • Dunhuang materials.
  • Epigraphy.
  • Gazeteers (secular and monastic).
  • Dynastic histories.
  • Biji, anecdotal sources and unofficial histories.
  • Poetry.
  • Art historical sources.

By the end of this course students are expected to punctuate original Chinese Buddhist and Taoist texts correctly, translate them appropriately and interpret them both faithfully and creatively.


ASIA 514B (035) – Author, Media, Fame [3.0 credits] (online)
Instructor: Dr. Renren Yang

Term 1, Wednesdays, 1:30pm-4:30pm, Classroom: SCRF 204

This course introduces students to major theories of authorship and media studies, with a focus on how changing media ecologies facilitate the making and unmaking of celebrity authorship from premodern to modern times. Topics might include comparative histories of authorship,  authority/charisma/iconicity, socialist models and the cult of Mao, literary celebrities, televisual/cinematic stardom, microcelebrities/virtual celebrities, the public/private divide, authoring system, and the politics of recognition, etc. Theorists might include Walter Benjamin, Foucault, Richard Sennett, Charles Taylor, Chris Rojek, Butler, Haraway, Bishnupriya Ghosh and Hiroki Azuma.


ASIA 590 (004) – Topics in Chinese Literature [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Alison Bailey

Term 2, Tuesdays, 3:00pm-6:00pm. Classroom: BUCH D214

This course will focus on philosophical, literary and visual representations of emotion in pre-modern and modern China, tracing various themes, definitions, concepts, categories and trajectories across time. We will explore certain typologies of emotional expression in a range of texts, visual images, and contexts to navigate the vast and complex histories of emotion, using a variety of different lenses and approaches to try to understand what, who, how, which, where, and when shape, define and articulate emotion.


ASIA 528A (021) – Japanese Women’s Self -Writing [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Christina Laffin

Term 1, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 11:00am-12:00pm, Classroom: BUCH B213
Undergraduate Course: ASIA 464 001

Selected aspects of the more than 1000 years of self-writing (diary, autobiography, personal fiction). Theory and criticism about the use of writing as a medium of self-expression.


ASIA 532A (021) – Imagining Premodern Japan across Modes, Media, and Platforms [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Christina Laffin

Term 1, Fridays, 3:00pm-6:00pm, Classroom: BUCH B307

How have representations of premodern Japan appeared across different modes, media, and platforms? In this seminar we will examine notions and images of premodern Japan across media, from traditional sweets to video games, in conversation with scholars, creators, and commentators.


ASIA 532B (009) – Topics in Japanese Cultural History II: The Early Modern Age – TPCS JAPN CLT II [3.0 credits]  (Online course)
Instructor: Dr. Joshua Mostow

Term 1, Date and Time: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 12:00pm-1:00pm.  Online course.
Undergraduate Course: ASIA 346A 001

The Warrior in Japanese Literature


ASIA 533A (006) – Topics in Modern Japanese Fiction and Cultural History [3.0 credits]  
Instructor: Dr. Christina Yi

Term 1, Date and Time: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 1:00pm-2:00pm.
Undergraduate Course: ASIA 444 001

Focuses on a limited time period or particular aspect of modern Japanese literature.


ASIA 525A (007) – Topics in the Social History of Early Modern Japan: Religion and Society [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Nam-Lin Hur

Term 2, Date and Time: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 3:00pm-4:00pm.  Classroom: BUCH D222
Undergraduate Course: ASIA 387 001

This graduate seminar is designed to discuss a range of issues of religion and society in Tokugawa Japan. For registration, instructor’s permission is required.


ASIA 532A (009) – Advanced Readings in Classical Japanese Literature [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Joshua Mostow

Term 2, Date and Time: TBA

Transcribing, reading, translating, and analyzing Buke Hyakunin isshu 『武家百人一首』in an illustrated and annotated 1672 edition. Previous knowledge of kuzushiji 崩字 not required.


ASIA 533A (011) – Seminar in Modern Japanese Literature [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Sharalyn Orbaugh

Term 2, Date and Time: TBA

Course Description: TBA



ASIA 583A (008) – Topics in Modern Korean Literature [ 3.0 credits] 
Instructor: Dr. Ross King

Term 1, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:00pm-6:30pm.
Undergraduate Course: KORN 410A 001

Reading and translating twentieth-century Korean short fiction.

South Asia

ASIA 546A (038) – Classical Persian Literature in English Translation [ 3.0 credits] 
Instructor: Dr. Mostafa Abedinifard

Term 1, Tuesdays, 3:30pm-5:30pm.
Undergraduate Course: ASIA 392 002

Works of classical Persian literature dating from the tenth to the seventeenth century.


ASIA 576 (028) –  Contemporary South Asian Gender and Sexuality Studies [ 3.0 credits] 
Instructor: Dr. Sunera Thobani

Term 1, Wednesdays, 11am-12:30pm.
Undergraduate Course: ASIA 333 001

Main theories and key concepts with a particular focus on the changing status of women, and gender and sexual minorities.


ASIA 550A (032) – India and the Persianate World [ 3.0 credits] 
Instructor: Dr. Naveena Naqvi

Term 2, Thursdays, 3:00pm-6:00pm.
Undergraduate Course: ASIA 491 001

Histories of Muslim Empires, spanning Iran, India and Central Asia, from 1000-1800 CE. Examined through the conceptual lens of the Persianate World with emphasis on Persianate culture and power in South Asia.

Theories, Methods & Pan-Regional

ASIA 591 (010) – Critical Issues in Asian Studies [ 3.0 credits] (Online course)
Instructor: Dr. Harjot Oberoi

Term 1, Wednesdays, 5:00pm-8:00pm.  Online course.

Proseminar introducing major methodological and conceptual themes in the contemporary study of Asia, modern and pre-modern. Required of all Asian Studies PhD students, normally in their first year.


ASIA 592 (206) – The Profession of Asian Studies [ 3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Christina Yi

Term 1, Wednesdays, 5:00pm-7:00pm, Classroom: BUCH B209

In this course, students will gain important knowledge and skills relevant to MA program. Topics we will discuss include expectations for seminar participation and writing at the graduate level, grant proposals, the ins and outs of conference participation (including giving presentations), MA thesis writing, PhD program overviews, and the history and theories of “area studies.” The course is strongly recommended for all incoming MA students.

NOTE: This year, we will be offering a version of the course for MA students. MA students should sign up for this section.


ASIA 598 (001) – Museum in Asia [ 3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Fuyubi Nakamura

Term 1, Thursdays, 9:30am-12:30pm.  Classroom: Museum of Anthropology (MOA) Room 213
Undergraduate course: ASIA 498

The focus of the course will be broader to include a diverse range of visual and material cultures of Asia including art, photography and museums. This course will be taught by Fuyubi Nakamura, Curator of Asia at the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) this year, and the classes will take place at MOA (Room 213).


ASIA 516 (028) – Race, Indigeneity and Coloniality in Asia and Beyond [3.0 credits]  (Online class)
Instructor: Dr. Sunera Thobani

(Note:  A waitlist of ASIA 516 w28 is available.)

Term 2, Wednesdays, 4:00pm-5:30pm, online class.

Please note this course is being delivered in an online format. Students are to attend the synchronous class (Wednesday 4pm-5:30pm) and the Asynchronous class of 1.5 hours.

This Graduate Seminar introduces students to ideas and issues related to race, racialization, Indigeneity and coloniality in Asia and Beyond. Students will explore key concepts in Critical Race, Indigenous and Post-Colonial Studies that deconstruct western theoretical and political frameworks, and help us to interrogate how the formation of the ‘West’ and ‘Asia/the Orient’ shaped capitalist modernity. We will also examine how race and Indigeneity intersect with gender, sexuality and nation in specific Asian contexts.

Course assignments provide maximum opportunity for students to focus their study of racialization and Indigenization in the contexts of their graduate research area. Our close reading of the course texts will also allow students to learn self-reflexivity, and attend to our changing positionality within global and local racial/colonial hierarchies.

NOTE: This seminar counts for the pan-Asian theory course requirement for Asian Studies PhD students.


ASIA 570B (039) – Indigenous Experience in Asia and Decolonizing Methodologies [3.0 credits]   
Instructor: Dr. Aynur Kadir

Term 2, TBA, 3 hours in-person seminar.  Time will be decided in consultation with registered students

Indigeneity, from India to Taiwan, China, and Japan, has increasingly become a mainstream topic both nationally and internationally. In this graduate seminar, students will be introduced to the contested topic of Indigeneity, diverse processes of localization (or rejection) of Indigenous identities, and how Indigeneity plays roles in national and international politics and activism beyond ideas of identity. We will consider the social situations in which Indigenous politics emerge and examine the groups fighting for and building solidarities within the global Indigenous movement. The seminar will explore theories and practices of decolonizing methodologies and how these approaches are transforming the fields of social sciences and humanities around the world, with a focus on how they have been applied and used in and for Asian studies.

NOTE: This seminar counts for the pan-Asian theory course requirement for Asian Studies PhD students.


ASIA 561B (031) – Popular Cultures in Asia: Theories and Methods [3.0 credits] (Hybrid mode)
Instructor: Dr. Hyung-Gu Lynn

Term 2, Mondays, 4:00pm-7:00pm, Classroom:  BUCH B209

The course will cover a range of theories, old and new, mobilized in studies of popular culture om general and Asia in particular. The seminar will engage through critical reading and discussion a mix of oft-used classics to forgotten gems, works inspiring for their cogency to those that might inspire for their promise rather than delivery. The media covered will include film, visual art, photography, cartoons and animation, games, food, cosmetics, and music. The focus will largely be on Asia, but will also include discussions of diasporic production and consumption, as well as references to examples from the rest of the world.

NOTE: This seminar counts for the pan-Asian theory course requirement for Asian Studies PhD students.


On this page
    Back to toparrow_upward