Martial arts culture, an invented tradition still in the making, is a site where the cultural, political, and social intersect. At once national, diasporic, and transnational, it challenges and redefines established boundaries and collapses dualisms such as East vs. West and traditional vs. modern. It is therefore a promising entry point into discussions of cultural exchanges in the global context. From a transhistorical and cross-media perspective, this course engages multiple disciplinary approaches -- including literary studies, film and media studies, history, religion, gender studies, and cultural studies -- to examine the representations of martial arts culture in Chinese literature as well as in films from China and other East Asian countries. Through a close examination of 1) historical records and traditional short stories, 2) twentieth-century martial arts novels, and 3) martial arts and Kung Fu cinema, students will gain a historically informed understanding of the martial arts tradition and its cultural and political significance at different historical moments and in various locations. Students will also read selected scholarly works to enter the academic conversation on this topic.
This course explores the interactions of Asian peoples ' the commodities, social practices, and ideas which they produce ' across borders, both political and imagined. The course crosses disciplinary borders, as well, drawing upon divergent materials from the humanities and social sciences in an attempt to do justice to a contemporary context that could be called 'Asia in motion.' An underlying thesis holds that, since nineteenth-century colonialism, nations in the 'West' and 'Asia' participate in a global, dialectical movement in which notions of identity (national, cultural, ethnic, religious, territorial, linguistic) share moments of fluidity and fixity.
An overview of diversity and change in Southeast Asia, with a focus on, and field component in, Indonesia and Thailand. Students will examine the origins and development of complex state societies from an in-depth, ethnographic perspective. Students will explore issues of religious syncretism, gender, agriculture, the cultural impact of European colonialism, and the post-colonial period of nation building in Southeast Asia. Students will also delve into geographically focused case studies, which look at the cultural component of many important issues facing the region, including environmental decline and deforestation, the impact of globalization, the problems of ethnic and religious minorities, and other socio-cultural issues. The second half of the course will examine economic and political processes shaping the region. Specific topics include the economic legacies of colonialism, contemporary patterns of economic growth, patterns of change in rural communities, the process of urbanization and challenges faced by residents of Southeast Asian cities, the role of the state in managing development, democratization and human rights in Southeast Asia, and demographic patterns. The international portion of the course lasts approximately two weeks, and features an immersive stay at local universities in Indonesia and Thailand. The field component is required, and includes guest lectures by local scholars, trips to cultural and historic sites, ethnographic projects, and potential trips to neighbouring areas. Students will be responsible for their own airfare, as well as other potential program fees.
This 0.25 activity course provides preparation and pre-trip orientation for students selected to participate in the PacRim Program. This course is the first part of a two-course sequence required for PacRim students: in the Spring semester of the year prior to studying and traveling in Asia, PacRim students will also enroll in ASIA 402, a full unit course aimed at providing a shared academic foundation for course-work on PacRim. Asia 401 will begin to prepare students to participate in PacRim by ensuring that sufficient time and attention are devoted to important logistical, academic, and inter-personal issues.
The purpose of this course is to prepare students for the year of study and travel in Asia. The focus of this course is primarily on academic preparation for the study-travel year in Asia, but will also include some practical matters. Because PacRim welcomes and encourages students from a variety of majors and with varying backgrounds on Asia, this course serves to ensure that all students on the trip have a shared foundation for course-work on PacRim, most especially preparing students for ASIA 495, the Independent Experiential Learning Project. This course is required for all students participating in the PacRim Program and serves as one of the two Asian Studies prerequisite courses required of PacRim students.
This course consists of independent research and the preparation of a significant paper of original scholarship. Each student seeking the Minor in Asian Studies as Robert Trimble Distinguished Asia Scholar must initiate a topic, identify a supervising instructor in the Asian Studies Program, and develop a plan for research, writing, and public presentation of the project. Alternatively, a student may meet the one-semester thesis requirement for the Distinguished Asia Scholar distinction in Asian Studies by an approved research seminar in a department participating in the Asian Studies Program.
Students trace a topic in multiple PacRim countries in order to develop a comparative, capstone project. Course deepens intercultural comprehension and deploys ethnographic methods of data-collection and observation.
An independent study allows a student to pursue a specific topic not covered in existing courses, under the supervision of a faculty member. A written proposal must be submitted and agreed upon by the faculty independent study advisor.