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Academics > Majors & Minors > Asian Studies

Courses

Contact

Weihong Du

Associate Professor of Asian Studies

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999

309-341-7846

wdu@​knox.edu

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Requirements

Requirements for the major

11 credits as follows:

  • Language and Context Component: Three credits of study in an Asian language and its social context. This requirement can be satisfied in one of two ways:
    1. Three credits of Chinese or Japanese language at the 200 level or above;
    2. Participation in an approved, semester-length or longer language and culture study program in Asia, excluding China and Japan.
  • Asian Content Component: Four credits of study with an Asian-related focus. At least one must be at the 300-level. 100-level language credits cannot be counted toward this requirement.
  • Allied Field Component: Three credits in a single department, selected in consultation with the academic advisor. One credit must be at the 300 level. Credits used to satisfy the Asian Content Component cannot be used to satisfy the Allied Field Component
  • Senior Project: One credit of ASIA 399 or ASIA 400

Asian Studies Course Descriptions

Chinese Course Descriptions

Japanese Course Descriptions

Asian Studies Catalog Page

Course Descriptions

ASIA 114. East Asian Philosophy. (1)

This course will introduce the three major philosophical systems of East Asian thought: Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism through their canonical texts. This historical approach will be supplemented by contemporary readings in each tradition. When taught as a component of the Japan Term, this course will pay special attention to the development of Japanese Buddhism, specifically Pure Land Buddhism (Amida Buddhism), Esoteric Buddhism (Shingon Buddhism) and Zen Buddhism (Soto and Rinzai). Cross Listing: PHIL 114; Normally offered alternate years; W. Young;

ASIA 141. Introduction to Chinese Civilization. (1)

This course is a preliminary introduction to Chinese civilization, beginning with the archaeological record and extending to the nineteenth century. This course will focus on a few themes and a few approaches instead of providing a comprehensive survey of the history of Chinese civilization. The purpose of this course is to provide a basic understanding of the development of Chinese tradition and the complexity of its culture by looking in depth at the following questions: what forces came together to produce Chinese civilization and how did they contribute to the formation of the notion of "Chineseness" over time? What were the roles of intellectual or philosophical thinkers in the development of Chinese cultural tradition? How can literature reveal details of the way people lived, the values they held and the ideas they followed? Cross Listing: CHIN 141;HIST 141; Normally offered alternate years; W. Du;

ASIA 142. Introduction to Japanese and Korean Civilizations. (1)

This course surveys the history and culture of the Korean peninsula and the Japanese archipelago to 1700. It examines the two distinct political entities and two distinct civilizataions that arose in these areas, as well as the shared history of cultural interaction and adaptation. Reading and analysis of primary sources will draw on the rich mythological, religious, philosophical, and literary traditions. Cross Listing: HIST 142; Normally offered alternate years; M. Schneider;

ASIA 205. Buddhism and Japanese Buddhism. (1)

This course is an introduction to Buddhism, with specific emphasis on Japanese Buddhism. To these ends, it will canvass the principal tenets of Buddhism, namely, the four noble truths, the eight-fold path, dependent originations, the no-self, karma, etc., in the Theravada and Mahayana traditions. It will then consider the development of Japanese Buddhism from the Asuka (552-645 CE) through the Kamakura Periods (1185-1332 CE) by examining the rise of particular sects within Japanese Buddhism (Nara Schools, Tendai, Shingon, Pure Land, and Zen). Cross Listing: PHIL 205;RELS 205; Normally offered alternate years; W. Young;

ASIA 220. The Chinese Literary Tradition. (1)

This course is an introduction to the rich literary tradition of China. It explores major literary genres such as poetry, historical narrative, drama, and vernacular fiction in pre-modern China. All readings are in English translation. Cross Listing: CHIN 220; Staff;

ASIA 221. Women and Modern Chinese Literature. (1)

This course explores the crucial role that women played in shaping modern Chinese literature. We will make close readings of short stories, autobiographies, novel excerpts, and complete novelettes of mostly female writers, exploring the ideas, themes, and theories that they were exploring while breaking new ground. We will also be dissecting these readings through our own contemporary literary lenses as a means of expanding the students' skills of literary interpretation and criticism that will be a concomitant benefit to the expansion of the students' knowledge of China and both its literary and historical past. Cross Listing: CHIN 221;GWST 222; Offered annually, typically winter; W. Du;

ASIA 222. Japanese Popular Culture. (1)

Examines issues in contemporary life in Japan by focusing on the following forms of Japanese popular culture: pop song, enka, karaoke, manga (comics), anime (animation), video games, television drama, films, and idols (popular teenage singers and actors). Explores the forces by which Japan shapes itself in comparison with the U.S. and other countries, through different forms of pop culture. Cross Listing: JAPN 220; Offered in the winter biennially; M. Matsuda;

ASIA 223. Chinese Popular Culture. (1)

This course takes a multi-faceted and interdisciplinary look at modern and contemporary popular culture in China. Through studying an array of popular and academic sources, we will explore food culture, trends in music, cultures of expression in physical and digital spaces, perspectives on celebrity and fandom in China, as well as the social factors surrounding new developments in dating culture. Historically, the course explores forms of popular culture as they were perceived at the time of their popularity. Theoretically, the goal is to understand how various pop cultural developments were informed by ongoing social and cultural dialogues operating domestically and internationally. This approach highlights the social geography surrounding Chinese pop culture, as well as the changing face of Chinese culture as a whole. HUM; Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor; Cross Listing: CHIN 223; Offered occasionally; W. Du;

ASIA 225. Introduction to Chinese Film. (1)

This course is an introduction to Chinese cinema in mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, with emphasis on the ways film represents China, Chinese identity, cultural heritage, and Chinese modernity. The course will include weekly film viewings and in-class discussion. Cross Listing: CHIN 225;CHIN 225;FILM 225; Offered occasionally; W. Du;

ASIA 235. Contemporary Buddhism in Southeast Asia. (1)

Southeast Asia is home to the strand of Buddhism known as "Theravada". What is included in this category and how do Southeast Asians who call themselves Buddhist actually practice this religion? How has Theravada Buddhist practice changed in recent years, and what has prompted these changes? After providing some historical background, including attention to the rise of Buddhist modernist movements, this course will examine the contemporary practice of Buddhism in Burma, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia, as well as its connections with Buddhist practice in other parts of the world. Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing; Cross Listing: ANSO 235; Offered occasionally, typically in the spring; N. Eberhardt;

ASIA 236. Ethnography of Southeast Asia. (1)

This course uses ethnographic inquiry to study the diverse nations, ethnicities, religious traditions, and cultural processes that comprise contemporary Southeast Asia. Highlighting the way Southeast Asia has always been deeply connected to other parts of the world, it considers the legacy of colonialism, religious and social transformations, internal and external migration, the consequences of tourism, and the role of global capital in local economies. HSS; Cross Listing: ANSO 236; DV; Offered occasionally, typically in the spring; N. Eberhardt;

ASIA 240. In Search of China: Then and Now. (1/2)

This is a two-week travel study course that explores historical sites as well as the contemporary bustle of life in large cities. Students are asked to use their imagination and creativity to navigate the perspectives needed to appreciate the sites and ways of life they witness. This course includes a .5 credit fall preparation class, a December trip to China, and a final, interdisciplinary project where students report on the findings of their fieldwork. Projects will address the themes of transformation, self-reflection, and the living connection between historical and contemporary China. Stops include Xi'an, Dunhuang, and Beijing. Prerequisite(s): Concurrent enrollment in ASIA/CHIN/HIST 141 or permission of the instructor; W. Du;

ASIA 241. Modern China. (1)

A survey of political, social, economic and intellectual history of China since 1800 with emphasis on the twentieth century. Topics include the changes in late imperial society, Western imperialism, the concept of revolution, the response of major world powers to China as a revolutionary power, and the struggles of contemporary Chinese society. HSS; Prerequisite(s): One course in history; HIST 141 is recommended; Cross Listing: HIST 241; Normally offered alternate years; M. Schneider;

ASIA 242. Japan: from Samurai to Superpower. (1)

In little over a century, Japan changed from a divided and neglected country on the edge of Asia into a global economic and cultural superpower. This remarkable transformation offers many insights into the challenges and repercussions societies face as they undergo rapid modernization. This course surveys the experiences of Japanese society since the 1600s. It explores the decline of the samurai military elite, the rise of a new industrial economy, the clashes that resulted with its Asian neighbors and the U.S., and the reemergence of an ultra-modern society whose consumer products are known around the world. HSS; Prerequisite(s): One course in history; HIST 142 is recommended; Cross Listing: HIST 242; Normally offered alternate years; M. Schneider;

ASIA 244. East Asian International Relations. (1)

This course examines international relations among China, Japan, and Korea from the late nineteenth century to the present. In addition to exploring the history of major conflicts among these states (from imperialist wars and World War Two in Asia to the tensions on the Korean peninsula), it explores the broad cultural forces that shape relations among these states, the influence of the United States in the region, the role of popular culture such as Japanese anime and "the Korean wave" in diplomacy, and the rise of China as the potential regional leader. Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor; one course in Asian Studies recommended; Cross Listing: HIST 244; Offered occasionally; M. Schneider;

ASIA 246. /346 Tokyo: Rise of a Megacity. (1)

How did Tokyo become the world’s largest city? This course explores the rise of Tokyo from a small village to its current premiere status. We will examine how Tokyo became a political, social, cultural, and economic hub through study of three distinct historical phases--the era of the samurai, the modern/imperial age, and the global age. Readings and assignments include all levels of Japanese society while considering the social, geographic, and international conditions that made and continue to remake this city. Prerequisite(s): HIST 246: One course in history or Japanese studies is recommended; HIST 346: HIST 245 or 285 or permission of the instructor; Cross Listing: HIST 246; ASIA 346 is W; M. Schneider;

ASIA 263. Japanese Literature I. (1)

(In English translation) Japanese literature and poetry from antiquity to the early Meiji (mid-nineteenth century). A study of Japanese court poems, haiku, as well as novels and essays of the Heian period (794-1185), such as the tale of Genji, the historical novels of the succeeding era, the novels and plays of the Tokugawa era (1600-1868), and the literature of the early years of Meiji (1868-1911), when the influence of Western writers was beginning to be felt. Cross Listing: JAPN 263; Offered occasionally; Staff;

ASIA 270. Japanese Language and Culture. (1)

An examination of the relationship between the Japanese language and the cultural perceptions and dynamic interpersonal mechanism in Japan. After a brief overview of the historical background of the Japanese society and the predominant beliefs and key concepts about Japanese language and culture, this course will discuss such topics as family (uchi [in-group], soto [out-group]), gender (men's Japanese, women's Japanese, LGBT's Japanese), politeness (honorific, humble, neutral), gift-giving/receiving, and "loan words" from foreign languages, final-sentence particles, etc. by using various resources, such as films, documentaries, TV dramas, fashion magazines, anime, comic books, and on-line journals or blogs written by non-Japanese living or studying in Japan. Prerequisite(s): JAPN 101 or permission of the instructor; Cross Listing: JAPN 270; Offered in the fall biennially; M. Matsuda;

ASIA 273. Japanese Literature II. (1)

(In English translation) The course examines the novels and poetry from the Meiji era to the present, including the works of Mori Ogai, Natsume Soseki, Akutagawa Ryunosuke, Tayama Katai, Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, Kawabata Yasunari, Mishima Yukio, Nosaki Akiyki, Banana Yoshimoto, and Haruki Murakami. Cross Listing: JAPN 273; Students may not earn credit for both ASIA 273 and ASIA 373; Offered in the spring biennially; Staff;

ASIA 320. Orientalism, Occidentalism, and Chinese Culture. (1)

A theoretical survey of historical and contemporary relations between the Western world and the East, specifically China. Interdisciplinary in approach, this class investigates cultural interactions and classic Asian Studies theory through comparative analysis of diverse media, including: short stories, film, non-fiction, pop culture, and art forms. Topics such as colonialism, diaspora, appropriation of the Other, and trans-nationalism are also part of our focus. Prerequisite(s): Junior standing; at least one course in Asian Studies recommended, or permission of the instructor; Cross Listing: CHIN 320; DV; Offered occasionally; W. Du;

ASIA 321. Women and Modern Chinese Literature. (1)

See description of ASIA 221. Additional research component and consent of the Instructor required for ASIA 321. Prerequisite(s): Junior standing and at least one literature course or 200-level ASIA or CHIN course with a C- or better; Cross Listing: CHIN 321;GWST 322; Offered annually, typically winter; W. Du;

ASIA 344. East Asian International Relations. (1)

This course examines international relations among China, Japan, and Korea from the late nineteenth century to the present. In addition to exploring the history of major conflicts among these states (from imperialist wars and World War Two in Asia to the tensions on the Korean peninsula), it explores the broad cultural forces that shape relations among these states, the influence of the United States in the region, the role of popular culture such as Japanese anime and "the Korean wave" in diplomacy, and the rise of China as the potential regional leader. Prerequisite(s): HIST 245 or 285 or at least two courses in international relations and/or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor; Cross Listing: HIST 344; W; offered occasionally; M. Schneider;

ASIA 345. The Chinese Economy. (1)

This course analyzes the evolution of the Chinese economy from 1900 to the present, with emphasis on the period of 1949-2000. It treats the topic as a vehicle for thinking about the nature and possibilities of capitalism and socialism. It also explores the differences between Marxist and conventional western economic theories of Chinese economic development. Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing, one from among ECON 110, 120, 340, 373, HIST 241, or PS 326, or permission of the instructor; Cross Listing: ECON 345; Offered annually, typically in the fall; S. Cohn;

ASIA 346. . (1)

How did Tokyo become the world’s largest city? This course explores the rise of Tokyo from a small village to its current premiere status. We will examine how Tokyo became a political, social, cultural, and economic hub through study of three distinct historical phases--the era of the samurai, the modern/imperial age, and the global age. Readings and assignments include all levels of Japanese society while considering the social, geographic, and international conditions that made and continue to remake this city. Cross Listing: HIST 346;

ASIA 363. Japanese Literature I. (1)

See description for JAPN 263. Additional research component and consent of instructor required for 363. Prerequisite(s): One literature course, or one 200-level ASIA or JAPN course, or permission of the instructor; Cross Listing: JAPN 363; Offered occasionally; Staff;

ASIA 370. Japanese Language and Culture. (1)

See description for JAPN 270. Students who enroll in ASIA 370 complete additional requirements. Prerequisite(s): JAPN 101 or permission of the instructor; Cross Listing: JAPN 370; Offered in the fall biennially; M. Matsuda;

ASIA 373. Japanese Literature II. (1)

See description for ASIA 273. Additional research component and consent of the instructor required for ASIA 373. Prerequisite(s): One literature course or one 200-level JAPN or ASIA course, or permission of the instructor; Cross Listing: JAPN 373; Students may not earn credit for both ASIA 273 and ASIA 373; Offered in the spring biennially; Staff;

ASIA 399. Senior Project. (1/2 or 1)

Preparation of an independent research project under the guidance of Asian Studies faculty members. W; Staff;

ASIA 400. . (1/2 or 1)

See College Honors Program.

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