East Asian Studies

  • Chinese Cinemas

    This course is an introduction to contemporary Chinese cinemas in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. From postwar musicals and pan-Asian blockbusters, to new wave avant-garde films and experimental documentaries, the diversity of Chinese cinemas reflects cinema's relations to global capitalism, Asia's democratization movements, financial crises, and the arrival of (post)socialism. Creating urban nomads, songstresses, daydreamers, travelers, and terrorists, Chinese cinemas put on full display the forces of globalization in shaping the aesthetics and politics of film.
  • Postwar Japanese Narrative: Modern to Postmodern

    This course examines postwar Japanese experience through major literary, cinematic, and intellectual achievements. The objective is first to analyze a multitude of struggles in the aftermath of the Asia-Pacific War, and then to inquire into the nature of post-industrial prosperity in capitalist consumerism and the emergence of postmodernism. The course will cover representative postwar figures such as, Oe Kenzaburo, Dazai Osamu, Mishima Yukio, as well as contemporary writers such as Murakami Haruki.
  • Strange Korean Families

    Using family as a lens and a theme that brings together an array of vastly different literary, filmic, and theoretical works, this class will examine key moments in the history of Korea from 2019 to old times. We will look into disenchanted families, violent families, cyborg families, mixed race families, immigrant families, South and North Korean families, royal families, and more. Maintaining the longue-duree historical perspective, we will ponder on the ethical and aesthetic premises of kinship and family as modes of configuring human reciprocity and ways to imagine and live life.
  • Chinese Cinemas

    This course is an introduction to contemporary Chinese cinemas in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. From postwar musicals and pan-Asian blockbusters, to new wave avant-garde films and experimental documentaries, the diversity of Chinese cinemas reflects cinema's relations to global capitalism, Asia's democratization movements, financial crises, and the arrival of (post)socialism. Creating urban nomads, songstresses, daydreamers, travelers, and terrorists, Chinese cinemas put on full display the forces of globalization in shaping the aesthetics and politics of film.
  • Postwar Japanese Narrative: Modern to Postmodern

    This course examines postwar Japanese experience through major literary, cinematic, and intellectual achievements. The objective is first to analyze a multitude of struggles in the aftermath of the Asia-Pacific War, and then to inquire into the nature of post-industrial prosperity in capitalist consumerism and the emergence of postmodernism. The course will cover representative postwar figures such as, Oe Kenzaburo, Dazai Osamu, Mishima Yukio, as well as contemporary writers such as Murakami Haruki.
  • Strange Korean Families

    Using family as a lens and a theme that brings together an array of vastly different literary, filmic, and theoretical works, this class will examine key moments in the history of Korea from 2019 to old times. We will look into disenchanted families, violent families, cyborg families, mixed race families, immigrant families, South and North Korean families, royal families, and more. Maintaining the longue-duree historical perspective, we will ponder on the ethical and aesthetic premises of kinship and family as modes of configuring human reciprocity and ways to imagine and live life.
  • Dangerous Bodies: Cross-Dressing, Asia, Transgression

    This course examines "dangerous bodies" - bodies that transgress existing gender and racial norms in Chinese and Sinophone cultures. Situated at the intersection of literary, film, performance, gender and ethnic studies, this course provides an introduction to the shifting social meanings of the body in relation to historical masculinity, femininity, and Chineseness.
  • Chinese Poetry

    In this seminar we closely study ancient and medieval Chinese poetry, with emphasis on the formative stages of the Chinese textual tradition. While all texts will be read in translation, we also explore the ways in which the classical Chinese language shaped this poetry in its unique characteristics and possibilities of expression. In addition, we discuss in depth key texts of Chinese literary thought in their aesthetic, philosophical, social, and historical dimensions. Knowledge of the Chinese language is neither required nor expected.
  • Cosmopolitan Her: Writing in Late Capitalism

    This course introduces students to twenty-first-century Asian women writers (Japan, Korea, China) whose works achieved global popularity through translation in the past two decades. Written by writers living in East Asian countries dealing with capitalist developments, financial crises, and neoliberal free trade agreements, the texts collectively suggest the global interest and transmission of women's rights and LGBTQ movements in Asia and beyond.
  • Dangerous Bodies: Cross-Dressing, Asia, Transgression

    This course examines "dangerous bodies" - bodies that transgress existing gender and racial norms in Chinese and Sinophone cultures. Situated at the intersection of literary, film, performance, gender and ethnic studies, this course provides an introduction to the shifting social meanings of the body in relation to historical masculinity, femininity, and Chineseness.

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