Listed below are short descriptions of our 2018 Winter Session courses. The instructor will post the actual course syllabi for registered students shortly before term begins or distribute them on the first day of class. View the full course schedule here.
Tue Thu, 15:30 - 17:00
Tue Thu, 9:30 - 11:00
Buddhism has enjoyed a largely positive reputation among the major religions of the world, presenting an image of rationality, pacifism, and personal fulfillment. Recently, people from a variety of backgrounds seek the benefits of “mindfulness” to achieve goals both internal and external, personal and material. Yet the vague, life-affirming concept conjured by such a phenomenon fails to reflect the variety and complexity of Buddhism as interpreted and practiced by its adherents. In this course, we will examine how Buddhists across Asia have conceived of and practiced Buddhism, foregrounding the tension between universality and variety. Despite the rhetoric of unity and continuity, Buddhism has always been rooted in a particular place and time. Ideas and practices considered universal invariably acquire specific adaptations that fit their particular environment. This course will teach the fundamental beliefs, practices, and communities of Buddhism in the context of their intersections with local circumstances and priorities.
Tue Thu, 11:00 - 12:30
In this course we will explore sex, gender, and sexuality in literature and films from Japan in a variety of genres from the classical period to the contemporary era in short stories, novels, manga, and films. Topics include gender and social roles; gender and sexual norms and transgressions; heterosexuality, bisexuality, and homosexuality; trans identities; cross dressing; sado-masochism, and more. By the end of this course, you will have basic knowledge of Japanese cultural history and depictions of sex, gender and sexuality in Japanese literature, as well as the basic academic tools necessary to understand, analyze, and discuss literary and visual texts, and to express and support your opinions in academic writing and debate.
This is a reading-heavy course. While the amount of the reading varies depending on the week, you should set aside at least four hours per week for reading. Students in ASIA 254 are expected to come to each class having already done the required reading, bring a copy of the reading with you, and be ready to actively participate in class discussions.