East Asian Studies

  • 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.
  • Love and Violence through Words: Modern Chinese Literature in the Age of Revolution

    This course will introduce you to important works in modern Chinese literature from late 19th century to the present, which have served as tools of propaganda, national defense, cultural revolution, self-fashioning, gender-conscious communication, or complete depoliticization. Therefore, the multiple literary genres of novel, folklore tale, theater and poetry will be analyzed against related forms of film, opera, music-drama and painting.
  • Manga: Visual Culture in Modern Japan

    This course examines the comic book as an expressive medium in Japan. Reading a range of works, classic and contemporary, in a variety of genres, we consider: How has the particular history of Japan shaped cartooning as an art form there? What critical approaches can help us think productively about comics (and other popular culture)? How can we translate the effects of a visual medium into written scholarly language? What do changes in media technology, literacy, and distribution mean for comics today? Coursework will combine readings, written analysis, and technical exercises.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Korean Travel Narratives, 1100s-1930s

    Knowledge about the world has assumed a variety of forms over history. This course, centered on travel writings by Koreans and about Korea, pursues two interrelated goals. First of all, we will look into the epistemic coordinates that structure travelogue as a genre of perception. Secondly, we will learn about the changing political and cultural contexts around Korea, which defined the modes of mobility and experience of travel in different historical periods. This, in turn, provides us with a concrete historical location, from which we can look out onto the structures of the larger world.
  • Love and Violence through Words: Modern Chinese Literature in the Age of Revolution

    This course will introduce you to important works in modern Chinese literature from late 19th century to the present, which have served as tools of propaganda, national defense, cultural revolution, self-fashioning, gender-conscious communication, or complete depoliticization. Therefore, the multiple literary genres of novel, folklore tale, theater and poetry will be analyzed against related forms of film, opera, music-drama and painting.
  • Manga: Visual Culture in Modern Japan

    This course examines the comic book as an expressive medium in Japan. Reading a range of works, classic and contemporary, in a variety of genres, we consider: How has the particular history of Japan shaped cartooning as an art form there? What critical approaches can help us think productively about comics (and other popular culture)? How can we translate the effects of a visual medium into written scholarly language? What do changes in media technology, literacy, and distribution mean for comics today? Coursework will combine readings, written analysis, and technical exercises.
  • 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.
  • 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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