Graduate Courses

Research Areas

Note: Courses in Green are offered in 2019-2020 academic year.

 

Asia

ASIA 510B (012) –  Monastic Biography and Hagiography in East Asian Buddhism [3.0 credits]
Not offered in 2019-2020 academic year

As a general introduction to medieval East Asian (mainly Chinese and Japanese) monastic bio/hagiographical literature, this seminar (for graduate students and advanced under-graduates) will begin with a general discussion of its nature, structure and basic features, which is supplemented by a comparison of East Asian monastic biographies with Chinese secular (official) biographies on the one hand and Western (mainly Christian) biographies on the other. After a brief survey of biographies of nuns, a peculiar portion of East Asian monastic biographical literature, we will formally investigate the functions monastic biographies played in medieval East Asian Buddhism, focusing on the following aspects: (i) the writing of monastic biographies and the formation of sectarian consciousness, (ii) monastic biographies as a vehicle of sectarian ideologies, (iii) monastic biographies as a polemical instrument. In the course of this investigation, we will touch on the historical and textual value of monastic biographical literature, especially its significance for deciphering sectarian agenda. Some general methods of interpreting monastic biographies will also be introduced (in particular, we will stress the necessity and effectiveness of reading monastic biographies in close comparison with their corresponding autobiographies).

 

ASIA 524B (021)-Japanese for Chinese and Korean Specialists
Not offered in 2019-2020 academic year

This course is designed to make research produced in Japanese accessible to students who are specializing in topics related to China and Korea. Some Japanese reading capability is required but we will focus on improving existing skills and practicing strategies for unpacking Japanese scholarly writing.

We will begin by examining common patterns and stylistic tendencies within Japanese scholarly prose (the “shoronbun” 小論文 style). Since there are few set “rules” but many common attributes and frequently used phrases, we will parse some samples of this sometimes infuriating style. Our goal will be to read with maximum efficiency so that sections of interest can be quickly identified and understood.

We will then test article and book databases so that students can search and find secondary scholarship in their fields of study. We will use these selections to fuel the remainder of the class. By the end, students should have made their way through a number of Japanese articles or book sections that relate to their research areas.

Time and interest permitting, we will also discuss scholarly presentations (gakujutsu kenkyu happyo 学術研究発表) in Japan so that students can compile abstracts (yoyaku 要約) and various “materials” (shiryo 資料) in the form of handouts (rejume レジュメ) or simply understand how this process works in the context of Japanese presentations.

China

ASIA 508A (017) –  Topics in Pre-modern Chinese History and Institutions [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Leo Shin

Term 1, Mondays, 3:00-6:00pm, Buchanan Tower 1206/1207

Introduction to selected problems in the historiography of China. Tentative themes for 2019W include: borders, boundaries, and identities.

 

ASIA 511A (012) – Buddhist and Taoist texts in Chinese; Reading and Research Methods
Instructor: Dr. Jinhua Chen

Term 1, Thursdays, 4:30-7:00pm, Buchanan D228

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 531B (004) – Masterworks of Chinese Fiction and Drama in Translation [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Alison Bailey

Term 1,  Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00-3:30pm, Buchanan D208.  Undergraduate Course: ASIA 441A 001

Reading of a classic novel or play, with attention to intellectual, social, and political subtexts as well as aesthetic dimensions and problems of interpretation.

 

ASIA 570B (004) – Topics in Chinese Literature [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Alison Bailey

Term 2, Thursdays, 3:00-6:00pm, Buchanan D214

This course will focus on philosophical, literary and visual representations of emotion in pre-modern China, with a focus on late Ming and early Qing texts and images.

 

ASIA 502A (026) – Modern Chinese Fiction and Western Criticism [3.0 credits]
Not offered in 2019-2020 academic year

What are the best ways to write cultural history? How is a researcher to identify what is important in cultures of the past, and to convey that importance in writing? How can we make our own writings on cultural history more persuasive, relevant, and accurate? How has modern Chinese cultural history been written, for good or for ill, during the past few decades? This course will examine theories, methods, and practices of writing cultural history, drawing examples from exemplary scholarship on cultures of the modern Sinophone world. Each week we will focus on a particular cultural practice or form, such as literature, translation, cinema, photography, music, publishing, and the graphic arts. Students will critique the merits of one book-length work of scholarship, and individually identify and evaluate one other study on a related topic. Along the way, students will learn practical research skills such as: conducting preliminary bibliographic searches; fast and slow reading; notetaking; formulating researchable questions; treating research as problem-solving; reconciling personal interests and the interests of the field; writing a book review; and proposing and writing a research paper. Reading knowledge of Chinese encouraged but not required.

 

ASIA 506A (018) – Topics in Chinese Linguistics and Sociolinguistics [3.0 credits]
Not offered in 2019-2020 academic year

This course introduces graduate students to some fundamental aspects of the Chinese language – its history, structure, dialects, spoken vs. written language. We also examine sociolinguistic topics and issues related to language contact, language change, language ideology, language policy, and language use in Chinese society. The course will be conducted through lectures combined with class discussions of assigned readings and individual/small-group presentations. Course work will also include students’ selection of a research topic, their bibliographic search for relevant materials, a term paper and an oral presentation on the topic. The course is taught in English with examples from Chinese. Familiarity with the Chinese language is expected.

 

ASIA 507B (018) – Topics in Chinese Applied Linguistics [3.0 credits]
Not offered in 2019-2020 academic year

Pre-requisites ASIA 506: Chinese Linguistics and Sociolinguistics (or instructor’s approval)

This course provides an overview to theory and research related to teaching/learning Chinese as a second, foreign or heritage language. It explores current issues related to Chinese language instruction around the world and examines major approaches to foreign language pedagogy with an emphasis on their applications to Chinese language instruction. Topics include: Chinese second language acquisition and socialization, Chinese lesson planning, teaching methodology, Chinese teaching material development and evaluation, testing and assessment, Chinese heritage language learning, culture and language learning, and the use of technology in Chinese language teaching.

 

ASIA 510B (012) T2- Monastic Biography and Hagiography in East Asian Buddhism
Not offered in 2019-2020 academic year

As a general introduction to medieval East Asian (mainly Chinese and Japanese) monastic bio/hagiographical literature, this seminar (for graduate students and advanced under-graduates) will begin with a general discussion of its nature, structure and basic features, which is supplemented by a comparison of East Asian monastic biographies with Chinese secular (official) biographies on the one hand and Western (mainly Christian) biographies on the other. After a brief survey of biographies of nuns, a peculiar portion of East Asian monastic biographical literature, we will formally investigate the functions monastic biographies played in medieval East Asian Buddhism, focusing on the following aspects: (i) the writing of monastic biographies and the formation of sectarian consciousness, (ii) monastic biographies as a vehicle of sectarian ideologies, (iii) monastic biographies as a polemical instrument. In the course of this investigation, we will touch on the historical and textual value of monastic biographical literature, especially its significance for deciphering sectarian agenda. Some general methods of interpreting monastic biographies will also be introduced (in particular, we will stress the necessity and effectiveness of reading monastic biographies in close comparison with their corresponding autobiographies).

 

ASIA 512 B (005) – Advanced Readings in Classical Chinese [3.0 credits]                       
Not offered in 2019-2020 academic year

In this seminar we will read prose in Literary Chinese from the later imperial period (roughly 1000-1900 CE). “Literary Chinese” refers to the range of non-vernacular registers, based on older models, that were the normative form for most prestigious uses of writing: scholarship, bureaucratic documents, religious texts, even personal correspondence. The ability to write and/or read this language was shared among elites and some non-elites in China and the rest of East Asia, so it has left an enormous literary legacy: most of the surviving written material from China and Korea during this period, as well as a great deal from Japan and Vietnam.

The class is built around close reading of a small subset of this material in a few key genres; the exact content will be based on students’ interests and needs.

The only prerequisite is some experience reading Classical/Literary Chinese, whether in Chinese or another tradition (e.g., kambun). The class will be conducted in English, and no knowledge of Modern Chinese is required (students may read the texts with Korean, Japanese, or Vietnamese pronunciations, for example).

Anyone interested in taking this class should contact the instructor for further information.

Japan

ASIA 532A (021) – Readings in Classical Japanese Texts [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Christina Laffin

Term 1, Wednesdays, 9:00am-12:00pm, Jack Bell Building (SOWK) 324

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 532B (009) – Readings in Classical Japanese Texts [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Joshua Mostow

Term 2, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30pm – 5:00pm, Undergraduate Course: JAPN 423

Classrooms: Tuesdays, Buchanan D205, Thursdays, Buchanan D216

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 533A (011) – Topics in Modern Japanese Literature and Narrative Culture [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Sharalyn Orbaugh

Term 1, Mondays, 11:00am-1:00pm, Buchanan D312

Title: Allusion, Adaptation, Transmediation

Description:

In this seminar we will examine a specific topic in modern Japanese literature from a specific theoretical/methodological point of view. For details of this year’s topic and methodology,  please contact Dr. Orbaugh at sharalyn.orbaugh@ubc.ca

 

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

Term 2, Fridays, 2:00pm-5:00pm, Buchanan D229

A graduate seminar on post-1945 Japanese literature and criticism that explores the interrelated workings of language politics, literary production, and postcolonial gendered/ethnic/class refractions in the ambiguous time/space of the “postwar” (sengo).

 

ASIA 580A (011) – Critical Approaches to Manga and Anime [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Sharalyn Orbaugh

Term 1, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00am – 12:30pm, Undergraduate Course: ASIA 326

Classrooms: Buchanan A103

A critical introduction to Japanese manga and anime in the 20th and 21st centuries.

 

ASIA 580A (033) – Introduction to Japanese Cinema [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Colleen Laird

Term 1, Thursdays, 5:00pm – 9:00pm, Undergraduate Course: ASIA 354

Classrooms: Buchanan A203

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 525A (007) – Topics in the Social History of Japanese Religions [3.0 credits]
Not offered in 2019-2020 academic year

As a sequel to ASIA 521A, which was offered in Term 1, in Term 2 we will continue to read primary documents (sōrōbun) pertaining to Bakumatsu and Meiji. In each meeting, all students are expected to read three sōrōbun documents assigned and be prepared to discuss related issues in Japanese. Those who are interested in taking the course are asked to contact the instructor for permission.

 

ASIA 528A(019) – Problems of Japanese Intellectual History[3.0 credits]
Not offered in 2019-2020 academic year

This seminar’s goal is to challenge a number of long-standing assumptions regarding various aspects of Japanese society before the Meiji period. Major themes include the construction of individual and collective identity, aggressive pursuit of self-interest, defiant practice of forbidden religious traditions, interest in self-cultivation and personal betterment, understandings of happiness and well-being, embrace of “neglected” counter-ideological values as practiced, evidence of both individuality and equality, and resistance to modernity and the modern transformation.  The two primary texts are the co-edited (Nosco, Ketelaar and Kojima) Values, Identity and Equality in 18th– and 19th-Century Japan (Brill 2015); and (Nosco) Individuality in Early Modern Japan  (Routledge 2017).

Korea

ASIA 581A (002) – Korean History [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Donald Baker

Term 1, Thursdays, 2:00pm-5:00pm

Classrooms: Asian Centre Room 223

Please contact Dr. Baker (don.baker@ubc.ca) for course description.

 

ASIA 582A (008) – History and Structure of the Korean Language [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Ross King

Term 1, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30pm-5:00pm, Undergraduate Course: KORN 420

Classrooms: Tuesdays, Buchanan D213, Thursdays, Buchanan D228

The purpose of the course is to learn the basics of Middle Korean, the language recorded in the earliest hangul records from the 15th century shortly after the alphabet was invented. The text we use is the 삼강행실도 (三綱行實圖, Illustrated Conduct of the Three Bonds).  This was an illustrated Neo-Confucian ethics primer that continued to be used and reprinted for the next 500 years in Choson and therefore offers many insights into historical changes in the Korean language.

 

ASIA 581A (007) – Research Methods and Source Materials in Korean Studies [3.0 credits]
Not offered in 2019-2020 academic year

 

ASIA 583A, B (001) – Topics in Korean Literature [3.0 credits]
Not offered in 2019-2020 academic year

This course is an intensive workshop seminar in Korean-to-English literary translation. Each student completes a translation of an as yet untranslated Korean short story, or a translation of any literary work that is treated in his or her MA thesis or Ph.D. dissertation. Students critique one another’s work, and are encouraged subsequently to seek publication of their complete translation.

 

ASIA 584B (008)  – Topics in Korean Traditional Literature [3.0 credits] 
Not offered in 2019-2020 academic year

We will spend the term reading from a couple different late-Choson manuscript copies of 서상기 (西廂記, aka Xixiangji in Mandarin). This is China’s most popular play, a love comedy (the inspiration for 춘향전, it would seem), and it was also hugely popular in Choson (though so scandalous as a text that it was never printed, and only ever circulated in manuscript). We will look at a couple different manuscripts and pay attention to the glosses and commentaries in Korean, as well as to the 18th- and 19th-century Korean translations that often accompanied in the margins. We would also read a few articles (one or two a week) in Korean about the reception of the play in Korea (not a lot of research has been done on this, though, because of Korean nationalist sentiment–after all, it’s not ‘Korean’).

 

ASIA 587 A (007) – The Choson Dynasty [3.0 credits]
Not offered in 2019-2020 academic year

This graduate seminar will deal with issues related to women, family life, status system, ethnocentrism, and foreign contacts in Late Choson and early Colonial Korea. Readings will include books and journal articles in Korea and English and each participant will be required to write a position paper (2-3 pages) for each meeting. Depending on the needs of participants, specific topics will be chosen and discussed.

 

South Asia

ASIA 574 (001) – From the Chronicle to the Archive: Cultures of History in South Asia [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Hasan Siddiqui

Term 1, Fridays, 3:00pm-6:00pm, Geography 212

This course examines the development of historical writing in South Asia from roughly the turn of the first millennium CE—when Persian chronicles were first written in Punjab and the Rajatarangini was composed in Kashmir—to the lifetimes of the first Indian practitioners of archival history in modern times. Some of the most contentious questions in the study of South Asia today concern the manner in which the past was memorialized over the past millennium and it is the aim of this course to examine both the substance of these debates and the stakes that their participants have perceived them to hold. As such we will begin the course by examining some important articulations of the problems posed by a study of South Asian historical writing. We will then proceed chronologically, examining recent scholarship on the ways that the past was memorialized in Perso-Arabic and Indic literary cultures and in the regimes of history writing that emerged under colonialism.

 

ASIA 541A (032) – An Introduction to the Persianate World [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Naveena Naqvi

Term 2, Fridays, 3:00pm-6:00pm, Buchanan B315, Undergraduate Course: ASIA 391 001

This course invites students to explore the history of the “Persianate World,” a region spanning Iran, India and Central Asia, where Persian was a shared language of culture and power from ca. 1000 – 1800 CE. We will explore the connections across this vast region through its political structures, the interactions between its myriad Islamic and non-Islamic societies, and the literary and artistic exchanges between poets, statesmen, travelers and Sufi mystics based in its urban centers. Each week, we will read contemporary scholarship on these themes as well original Persian works in translation with a particular focus on works produced in South Asia.  Prior knowledge of Persian is not required.

 

ASIA 547 (023) – Textuality and Performance in South Asian Traditions [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Adheesh Sathaye

Term 2, Wednesdays, 3:00pm-6:00pm

Classrooms:  Buchanan B303

Course Description TBA

 

ASIA 580A (028) – Contemporary South Asian Gender and Sexuality Studies [3.0 credits]

Instructor: Dr. Sunera Thobani

Term 1, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00am-12:30pm, Undergradate Course ASIA 333

Classrooms:  Tue: Mathematics 102; Thurs: Buchanan A202

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

 

 

ASIA 576B (025) – Critical Issues in South Asian Studies [3.0 credits]
Not offered in 2019-2020 academic year

This class will address key questions and methods that have emerged in the study of South Asian Studies, across disciplines. We begin with post-colonial and subaltern studies, considering the ways the representation of South Asian cultures and pasts have been configured in the Western academy and in relation to nationalist projects in South Asia, as well as the ways in which “tradition” was configured within the colonial frame. This will lead us to consider alternative approaches to the study of pre-modern South Asia, to assess (for example) the nature of the Mughal state; caste; and cosmopolitan and vernacular linguistic and literary formations and the problem of translation. The class is meant to introduce graduate students (or possibly advanced undergraduates) to major themes and concerns in the study of South Asia in the post-colonial period.

 

 

 

Theories, Methods & Pan-Regional

ASIA 561B (031) – Popular Cultures in Asia: Theories, Methods, and Approaches
Instructor: Dr. Hyung-Gu Lynn

Term 2, Mondays, 4:00pm – 7:00pm, Buchanan D216

This graduate seminar will cover various approaches to the analysis of popular culture in Asia. It will be composed of three segments: (1) theoretical and comparative readings; (2) readings focused on specific cases in Asia (mainly in modern and contemporary periods covering South, Southeast, and East Asia); and (3) readings and research for one final paper, for which there will be on presentation. The format will be discussion based.

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

 

ASIA 561A (008) – Language, Writing, and Linguistic Thought in the History of the Sinographic Cosmopolis
Instructor: Dr. Ross King

Term 2, Tuesdays, 3:30pm – 6:30pm, Buchanan B302

History of language, writing and linguistic thought in China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam from a comparative perspective and focusing on the dissolution of this translocal cultural formation with the onset of modernity.

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

 

ASIA 570B (033) – Transnational Asian New Media [3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Colleen Laird

Term 2, Thursdays, 1:00pm – 3:00pm, Jack Bell Building (SOWK) 326

This graduate seminar serves as a critical introduction to new media theory, technologies, industries, cultures, and analytical practices with a focus on transnational Asian digital and interactive texts such as video games, augmented reality, mobile apps, social media content platforms, video streaming sites and services, mobile apps, and online fan fiction networks. Participants will engage with both core readings and new research in new media studies in order to analyze texts from their own geographic area of interest (related to Asia). Participants will also put theory into practice: the class will interact with digital platforms for public scholarship. Participants should be eager to cultivate a collaborate environment for learning and sharing technology, as well as an interest in developing best practices for 21st century digital scholarship. In additional to a final research paper, participants will, under guidance, develop small pieces for submission to online venues.

 

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

Term 1, Wednesdays, 5:00pm-8:00pm, Buchanan B312

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 (011) – The Profession of Asian Studies [ 3.0 credits]
Instructor: Dr. Sharalyn Orbaugh

Term 2, Wednesdays, 5:00pm-8:00pm, BUCH 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.

 

ASIA 501A (017) –    Source Materials and Research Methods for Classical Chinese Studies [3.0 credits]
Not offered in 2019-2020 academic year

The goal of this course is to introduce students to some of the research tools and source materials available for the study of China in the imperial period. Emphasis will be placed on the tools and sources that are particularly useful for the study of the history of later imperial China.

 

ASIA 521A (007) – Research Methods and Source Materials in Japanese Studies. [3.0 credits]
Not offered in 2019-2020 academic year

During the semester we will read early modern Japanese documents in their original forms available from 『史料を読み解く3:近世の政治と外交』(東京:山川出版社, 2008). In each week we will closely read two original 「候文」文書 which are accompanied by 釈文, 読み下し and 現代語訳. The seminar is designed to train students in reading 「候文」documents for the study of early modern Japan.

 

ASIA 501 A,B (020) – Research Methods and Source Materials in Classical Chinese Studies [3.0 credits]
Not offered in 2019-2020 academic year

This course is an introduction to research methods and bibliography in Classical Chinese studies. While classroom discussion about research materials is necessary, students’ direct contact and familiarity with these materials are nonetheless the primary goal of this course. For this purpose, small problems related to specific types of material will be given to students regularly

 

ASIA 541A (025) –  Research Methods and Source Materials in South Asian Studies [3 credits]
Not offered in 2019-2020 academic year

This class represents a unique opportunity to read narrative poetic literature from early modern South Asia across several methodological and linguistic divides. We will examine Sufi (Islamic mystical) narrative traditions in Hindavi/Avadhi (generally known as early Hindi; in translation) and Punjabi (in the original), and focus on reading Waris Shah’s Heer in both Gurmukhi (the script utilized for Punjabi in India) and Shahmukhi (the Perso-Arabic script used for Urdu and Persian, which is utilized to write Punjabi in Pakistan). (Students must know one of these scripts to take the course.) To enable this reading “across scripts,” the first weeks of the class are dedicated to the teaching of one of these scripts to those who do not already know both of them. We will also examine new ground-breaking secondary work on this literary form that has been published in recent years.

 

ASIA 581B (002) – Research Methods and Source Materials in Korean Studies [3.0 credits]
Not offered in 2019-2020 academic year

An introduction to primary and secondary sources in specific fields of Korean Studies as well as to the various methodologies used in the field. Students focusing on the Chosŏn dynasty are required to use materials in Classical Chinese. Students focusing on Korea in the 20th century are required to use materials in Korean and Japanese.