Asian Studies (ASIA)

Undergraduate ASIA Courses

A comprehensive list of courses offered by the Department of Asian Studies can be found in the UBC Calendar.

Winter 2018

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.

Winter 2018

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.

ASIA211 Sex, Sexual Ethics, and Asian Religions Sections

Sex and sexual ethics in the scriptures, monastic rules, rituals, and narratives of Asian religions, such as Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.

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.

Winter 2018

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."

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.

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.

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.

ASIA323 History of Cantonese Worlds Sections

The history, culture, languages, and identities of the multi-faceted Cantonese worlds, in the context of Chinese history and the Cantonese diaspora.

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.

ASIA330 Islam in South Asia Sections

Islam as a transnational phenomenon with specific reference to its South Asian forms.

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.

ASIA340 History of Later Imperial China Sections

History of China from the end of Tang to the eve of its modern transformation. Students will acquire the analytical skills and tools to understand the political, socio-economic, and cultural changes in imperial China.

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.

ASIA345 Chinese Film Classics Sections

Introduction to and analysis of artistically significant films made in mainland China during the first half century of Chinese film history.

ASIA347 Traditional Korean Literature in Translation Sections

An introduction to Korean literature from ancient times to 1900.

ASIA348 Great Literary Works of Classical India in Translation Sections

Major Sanskrit and Prakrit literary genres as developed in the Brahmanical, Buddhist and Jaina traditions, including folktales of riddle, intrigue, etc. Ramayana, Mahabharata. Polished poems of the urbane. Plays. Learned novels and long poems.

ASIA351 Modern Chinese Fiction in Translation Sections

Reading of selected novels and stories written between 1750 and the present.

ASIA353 Introduction to Hindi Film Sections

History, aesthetics, politics, and social roles of Bollywood films. Seminar discussions in English; Hindi films with English subtitles.

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.

ASIA360A A Specific Asian Literature in Translation - SP ASIAN LIT TRN Sections

Introduction to the literature of a linguistic area of Asia not covered in existing courses. Not given every year. Consult the Department for details. May be taken multiple times on different subjects for credit.

ASIA362A Pre-Modern Japanese Fiction (in translation) - PREMOD JAPN FCTN Sections

The influential genre of early tales and fiction in pre-modern Japan.

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.

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.

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.

ASIA375 Global Chinese Cinemas Sections

A survey of Chinese cinemas in global perspective, covering films, filmmakers, producers, audiences, markets, industries, and critical discourse since the early twentieth century. Covers both cinematic culture and filmmaking technique.

ASIA376 The Sikhs: Formations, Contexts, and Historical Development Sections

Introduction to the historical development of Sikh traditions in India and Diaspora, from the 15th century to the present, with attention to broader historical contexts.

ASIA378 Philosophical Wisdom of Early India Sections

Epistemological and ontological thought from the Vedic period to the period of the rise of philosophical schools or systems Philosophy in the Mahabharata, Gita; early Buddhist and Jain views on knowledge and reality; views on language.

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.

ASIA385 Chan/Zen Buddhism: Doctrine and Practice Sections

The history, doctrines, and practices of Chan Buddhism, particularly the profound influence of Chan Buddhism on various aspects of East Asian culture.

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).

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.

Winter 2018

ASIA402 Language, Writing, and Linguistic Thought in the History of the Sinographic Cosmopolis Sections

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.

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.

ASIA428 Mughal India Sections

History of the politics, economy, society, and culture of South Asia from the Great Mughals to the British conquest.

ASIA441A Masterworks of Chinese Fiction and Drama in Translation - CHIN FIC&DRAM TR Sections

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

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.

ASIA452 Literature of the Korean Diaspora Sections

A survey of literature, in translation, from the Korean diaspora, focusing on writing by ethnic Koreans in North America, Europe, and Japan.

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.

ASIA460 Modern Asian Women in Narrative Sections

Experience of women in the context of a particular Asian culture, as seen through literature, popular culture, film and folklore. Narrative as a medium for the representation and constitution of gender.

ASIA468 Approaches to the Study of Asian Religions Sections

The Western genealogy and problematics of religion, issues in its application to non-Western cultures and traditions, and the practical study of Asian religions, in Asia and its diasporas.

ASIA470 Comparative Conceptions of the Self Sections

Ways in which the "self" has been portrayed in eastern and western religious traditions. Thinkers to be considered include Aristotle, Mencius, Freud, Xunzi (Hsn-tzu), Nietzsche, and Zhuangzi (Chuang-tzu).

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).

ASIA484 The History of the Choson Dynasty Sections

Political, social, and cultural history of Korea's Choson Dynasty, focusing on how it lasted from 1392 to 1910 and why it collapsed so quickly at the beginning of the twentieth century. Credit will be granted for only one of ASIA 484 or ASIA 587.

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.

ASIA490A Asian Classics - Fourth Year Seminar - ASIA CLSSCS SEM Sections

Focus changes from year to year. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor and fourth-year standing.

ASIA490B Asian Classics - Fourth Year Seminar - ASIA CLSSCS SEM Sections

Focus changes from year to year. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor and fourth-year standing.

ASIA490C Asian Classics - Fourth Year Seminar - ASIA CLSSCS SEM Sections

Focus changes from year to year. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor and fourth-year standing.

ASIA490D Asian Classics - Fourth Year Seminar - ASIA CLSSCS SEM Sections

Focus changes from year to year. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor and fourth-year standing.

ASIA490G Asian Classics - Fourth Year Seminar - ASIA CLSSCS SEM Sections

Focus changes from year to year. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor and fourth-year standing.

ASIA498 Asia in Museums/the Museum in Asia Sections

Museological representations of Asia and Asian forms of museological representation in colonial and post-colonial contexts. Credit will be granted for only one of ASIA 498 or ASIA 598.

ASIA499 Honours Thesis Sections

Restricted to fourth-year students admitted to the Honours Program in Asian Studies.