Graduate Courses 2024-2025



ASIA_V 570-B_042 – Indigenous Environmentalism in Asia [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Pasang Sherpa

Term 2, Tuesdays, 12:00pm-3:00pm, Classroom: BUCH D209

This course will examine human-environment relationships through the works of Indigenous scholars from different parts of Asia to understand the position, the context, and the material with which they illuminate Indigenous environmentalism. By centering Indigenous communities and their experiences, students will learn about a rich variety of ways Indigenous environmentalism is embodied, expressed, and experienced.



ASIA_V 508B_017 – Topics in Pre-modern Chinese History and Institutions [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Leo Shin

Term 2, Tuesdays, 3:00pm-6:00pm, Classroom: BUCH B312

Introduction to selected problems in the historiography of China. Emphasis will be on the later imperial period, but specific themes will be determined in consultation with interested students.


ASIA_V 513-B_034 – Topics in Classical Chinese Literature [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Kay Duffy

Term 1, Mondays, 2:00pm-5:00pm, Classroom: BUCH B312

Course description: TBA


ASIA_V 514B_026 –  Topics in Modern Chinese Literature [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Christopher Rea

Term 1, Tuesdays, 2:00pm-5:00pm, Classroom: BUCH B312

Course description: TBA


ASIA_V 517_035 –  Chinese Media Studies: Theories and Histories [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Renren Yang

Term 1, Wednesdays, 1:30pm-4:30pm, Classroom: BUCH D228

This course surveys a range of key theories and recent research that define pathways for thinking about media in the Chinese context. In addition to considering the historical and philosophical genesis of media, the course is scaffolded around four umbrella themes: power, materiality, technology, and aesthetics. We will analyze not only how the evolution of media technologies has changed our perception of sociopolitical realities and the pro-consumption of cultural artifacts, but also how social, political, and ecological forces shape the organization, function, and reception of media technologies, as media today are inextricably associated with power relations, object affordances, communication modes, and representational systems. This term, we will explore the interplay between literature and media in both Chinese and global contexts, incorporating a survey of seminal theories and recent scholarship at the intersection of literary and media studies.


ASIA_V 590-B_004 – Topics in Chinese Literature [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Alison Bailey

Term 2, Thursdays, 4:00pm-7:00pm, Classroom: BUCH D319

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_V 521-A_007 – Research Methods and Source Materials in Japanese Studies [3.0 credits] 
Instructor: Dr. Nam-lin Hur

Term 1, Mondays, 10:00am-12:30pm, Classroom: IBLC 460

Course description – TBA


ASIA_V 532-A_032 – Approaches to Ecoculture and Narrative [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Christina Laffin

Term 1, Thursdays, 1:00pm – 4:00pm, Classroom: IBLC 264

Course description – TBA


ASIA_V 535_033 – Japanese Cinema Studies: Theory and Practice [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Colleen Laird

Term 1, Wednesdays, 12:00pm-3:00pm, Classroom: IBLC 191

This graduate seminar serves as an introduction to both Japanese cinema studies and foundational film theory. Participants will engage with primary theoretical texts including essays by filmmakers and critics in Japanese, monographs that have historically shaped the field of Japanese cinema studies, scholarship that demonstrates close readings of Japanese films, and the practice of formal sequence analysis. To understand the global context of Japanese cinema throughout motion picture history, participants will be required to watch both Japanese films and films from other national cinemas. Students should be prepared to watch several films per week in addition to time allocated for readings. Although all non-English, non-Japanese language films will have English subtitles, some Japanese language films do not. Graduate students interested in the course who do not have Japanese language reading/aural comprehension skills are welcome but should consult with the instructor at the beginning of the term for reading and viewing alternatives.


ASIA_V 518_033 – Introduction to Japanese Cinema [3.0 credits] online
Instructor: Dr. Colleen Laird

Term 2, Wednesdays, 10:00am – 1:00pm

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.


ASIA_V 532-B_009 – Traditional Japanese Literature [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Joshua Mostow

Term 2, Mondays, 4:00pm – 6:00pm, Classroom: BUCH D209

Classical Japanese texts from a variety of genres and periods—chosen in consultation with the students—are read and translated. Base texts are often manuscripts or early modern editions, providing training in early modern palaeography.



ASIA_V 584_008 – Topics in Traditional Korean Literature [3.0 credits] 
Instructor: Dr. Ross King

Term 1, TBA.

Korean Buddhist Narrative, with a Focus on the Mulian Story (目連經)



South Asia

ASIA_V 576C_046 – Re-Orienting in the Fields of Punjab Studies [3.0 credits] 

Instructor: Kiran Sunar

Term 1, Tuesdays, 2:00pm – 4:00pm.  Classroom: BUCH D213

This course invites graduate students to orient ourselves to the unruly historical terrain of Punjab Studies. We dig into the ongoing conundrum of what “Punjab Studies” is and ask ourselves how we might re-orient to the possibilities of its becoming. This course is ideal for graduate students who work on or who hope to work on Punjab(s), Punjabi, Punjabis, and/or Punjabi diasporas. No knowledge of the Punjabi language is required. We will meet synchronously either in-person or on Zoom on a weekly basis for 2 hours. While this is a graduate seminar, advanced undergraduate students are welcome to join this course with the instructor’s permission.

Please contact


ASIA_V 574_040 – Topics in South Asian History [3.0 credits] 

Instructor: Dr. Hasan Siddiqui

Term 2, Tuesdays, 10:00am – 12:30pm.  Classroom: BUCH D209

This course offers an introduction to major questions in the historiography of South Asia with an emphasis on the early modern and colonial periods.


Theories, Methods & Pan-Regional

ASIA_V 516_028 – Race, Indigeneity and Coloniality in Asia and Beyond [3.0 credits] online
Instructor: Dr. Sunera Thobani

Term 1, Synchronous, Mondays 4:00 – 6:00 pm Asynchronous, Weekly 1 hour.

Please note this course is being delivered in an online format. Students are required to participate in the weekly synchronous class (Monday 4pm-6:00pm) as well as the asynchronous class (1 hour).

This interdisciplinary Graduate Seminar introduces students to a range of theoretical approaches to the study of race, racialization, Indigeneity and coloniality in Asia and Beyond.  We will explore key concepts in Critical Race, Indigenous, Decolonization and Post-Colonial Studies; analyze how these concepts deconstruct western theoretical and political frameworks; and evaluate what these theoretical traditions reveal about the shifting relations between ‘Asia’ and the ‘West’ in the global order. Special attention will be paid to how race, Indigeneity and coloniality intersect with gender, sexuality, religion, class, caste and nation in specific Asian contexts.

Course assignments are designed to provide maximum flexibility for students to focus their study of course topics on particular areas of their graduate program. Along with close readings of course texts, students will be encouraged to learn self-reflexivity by attending to their positionality within local as well as global racial/colonial hierarchies.

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


ASIA_V 519_031 – Popular Cultures in Asia: Theories and Methods [3.0 credits] 
Instructor: Dr. Hyung-Gu Lynn

Term 2, Mondays, 4:00pm-5:30pm

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.


ASIA_V 591_010 – Critical Issues in Asian Studies [3.0 credits] 
Instructor: Dr. Harjot Oberoi

Term 1, Wednesdays, 5:00pm-8:00pm. Classroom: IBLC 460

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_V 590_036 – Thinking with the Body: Embodied, Sensory, and Non-Representational Methodologies [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Ayaka Yoshimizu

Term 2, Fridays, 1:00pm-4:00pm, Classroom: IBLC 265

This course begins with a premise that research is a multisensorial, corporeal activity and approaches scholars’ (our) bodies critically as sites of knowing. While each of our bodies is unique, specific, and differently situated and emplaced, they are also places of inter-corporeal encounters with other human and non-human bodies and objects. We will examine, together and separately, how knowledge is generated through our classed, gendered, racialized, (dis)abled bodies as we move through the street, reading a story and becoming sentimental, being touched by “haptic images,” smelling a particular odor, and being haunted by “ghostly matters.”

This is an interdisciplinary course. Students will be exposed to embodied, sensory, and non-representational approaches developed and emerging in various disciplines and fields, including Anthropology, Geography, Sociology, Communication and Media Studies, Cultural Studies, Film Studies, Literary Studies, Performance Studies, Sound Studies, and Visual Studies. Throughout the term we will exercise “sensory embodied reflexivity,” examining how our positionalities, past experiences, and relationalities affect the way we make sense of the reality. The course format will be a mix of conventional seminar discussions and workshops informed by the weekly materials. Students will bring their research topic/project/object to class and work with it through various embodied approaches over the course of the term.


ASIA_V 592_005 – The Profession of Asian Studies [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Bruce Rusk

Term 2, Wednesdays, 5:00pm-7:30pm, Classroom: Buchanan B312

Introduction to essential skills for academic and professional work in Asian Studies. Outlines career trajectories in the PhD and beyond, including grant applications, cv-writing, and job searches. Required of Asian Studies PhD students, normally in their first year.

Note: This course is required for all first-year Asian Studies PhD students. PhD candidates in Asian Studies a year or two before their expected graduation are encouraged to audit the course. PhD students in other programs may enrol with the permission of the instructor.



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