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Course Catalog

UGRD > ASIAN

Asian Studies

  • ASIAN 104L  Introduction to East Asian Art

    Description:
    This course is an introduction to East Asian art, focusing on Japan and China. It is divided into three historical segments: early forms of Buddhism, paintings of the scholar class, and the interaction of tradition with imported Western cultural forms. These topics provide a comparative context for exploring style, culture, class and gender. ART 104L and ASIAN 104L are the same course.   More Info

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  • ASIAN 115L  Survey of Contemporary Asia

    Description:
    This broad survey course provides a basic familiarity with some of the major political, social and cultural issues in modern Asia from the mid-nineteen century tot he present. We will deal specifically with China, Japan, Vietnam, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The major themes include: social inequality, religious and ethnic diversity, political conflict and economic change (South Asia): colonialism and war (South East Asia): military nationalism, revolution, alternative paths to modernity and economic development (East Asia). Asian Studies 115 is the gateway course for all students wishing to major in Asian Studies at UMass Boston. ASIAN 115L and HIST 115L are the same course.   More Info

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  • ASIAN 160L  East Asian Civilizations to 1850

    Description:
    An introduction to the traditional civilizations of China, Japan, and to a lesser extent Korea, from the earliest times to the arrival of the modern industrial West in the mid-nineteenth century. (Course offered in the fall only.) ASIAN 160L and HIST 160L are the same course.   More Info

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  • ASIAN 161L  East Asian Civilizations since 1850

    Description:
    An introduction to the modern transformation of China, Japan, and, to a lesser extent, Korea, from their encounter with the industrial West in the mid-nineteenth century up to the present day. (Course offered in the spring only.) ASIAN 161L and HIST 161L are the same course.   More Info

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  • ASIAN 232L  Asian Religions

    Description:
    This course focuses mainly on Taoism and Mahayana Buddhism, briefly touching also on Hinduism, Confucianism, and Shinto. It situates the classical teachings of these traditions in their historical contexts in India and East Asia, compares them to other worldviews more prevalent in the West, and invites students to consider their possible relevance to life in the world today. ASIAN 232L and RELSTY 232L are the same course.   More Info

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  • ASIAN 234L  Religion and Culture in Japan

    Description:
    This class explores the relationship between religion and culture in Japan, from premodern times to the more recent eras. Int he first half of the semester, students will be introduced to the two main religions of Japan, Buddhism and Shinto, through various types of cultural texts that range from scriptures and fiction to theatrical performances. Int he second half, the class will look at a range of religious movements and phenomena that are less mainstream, but no less crucial to the culture and society of their times. Such movements include the introduction of Christianity to Japan, religions of "ethnic minorities," and newer religious groups that appeared in the late 19th into the 20th centuries.   More Info

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  • ASIAN 235L  Yoga in History, Philosophy, and Practice

    Description:
    This course examines the history, philosophies, and practices of Yoga in their religious and cultural contexts. In the modern west, Yoga has become popular as a secular form of exercise. However, the diverse Yoga traditions of India have also involved sophisticated analyses of the mind and systems of mediation. Intrinsic to no single religion, Yoga has had roles in most South Asian traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sufism or Islamic mysticism. The course surveys this rich history and the history of the various forms of meditative and physical discipline Yoga has entailed.   More Info

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    • TBA
  • ASIAN 239L  Hindu Myth and Narrative: the Epics and Puranas

    Description:
    This course studies Hinduism through its narrative literature, especially the great epics (the Mahabharata and Ramayana) and mythological texts (Puranas - the "Ancient Books"). Through stories of gods, devotees, villains, and heroes, the course explores the development of significant themes in the Hindu tradition, from ethics and philosophy to asceticism and religious devotion. An important focus of the course is the enduring cultural significance of myth and the epics of South and Southeast Asia, as retold through the ages in a variety of languages, cultural contexts, and media, including classical and vernacular texts, the oral tradition, drama, dance, and cinema.   More Info

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    • TBA
  • ASIAN 252L  Premodern Japanese Culture:From Ancient Times to 1868

    Description:
    This course surveys Japanese culture from the 8th century to the 19th century, with particular emphasis on literature, history, as well as contemporary material culture and social history. All readings are in English, and no knowledge of Japanese is required.   More Info

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    • TBA
  • ASIAN 265L  Icons of East Asia: Stereotypes, gender, and cultural history from geisha girls to martial masters

    Description:
    The purpose of this class is to explore, critically and comparatively, various discourses about popular cultural icons of East Asia. We will focus on two specific well-known examples women entertainers and male figures adapt at martial arts with the following aims: 1) to focus on specific historical contexts, which suggest how and why these categories were formed and became important; 2) to understand how dynamic and motivated these seemingly unchanging and timeless icons actually are; and 3) to investigate how gendered identities are constructed and manipulated for particular goals. ASIAN 365L and MDNLNG 365L are the same course.   More Info

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    • TBA
  • ASIAN 271L  Religion and the Arts

    Description:
    This course examines the interplay between religion and aesthetics, as expressed through the literary, visual, and performing arts. Structured thematically rather than by religious tradition, this course covers topics such as religious seeing, visual representation of the divine through icons and iconography, iconoclasm and the power of images, aniconism, calligraphy and geometric design, sacred space and religious architecture, religion and the book arts, religious music, dance, and drama, visual narrativization, and religious ritual as performance. ASIAN 271L and RELSTY 271L are the same course.   More Info

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  • ASIAN 275L  Peoples and Cultures of China

    Description:
    This course describes and analyzes China and Chinese society through the perspective of culture. By looking at the ways in which Chinese people lead their lives, the beliefs and ideas they place importance upon and the ways in which these ideas are manifested in people's actions, we hope to gain a more thorough understanding of China as a social, political and economic entity, and a more nuanced and analytical understanding of Chinas diverse peoples. Some of the themes we will address include the following: unity and diversity in Chinese society, the role of the family, the place of the state, food and eating, gender relations, ritual and religion, popular culture (particularly movies and opera), economic and social change, nationalism and international relations. ANTH 275L and ASIAN 275L are the same course.   More Info

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  • ASIAN 357L  Women in South Asian Religions: Gender Ideology and Practice in Hinduism, Buddihism, and Islam

    Description:
    This course examines women in South Asian history through the intersections of women's lives with three major faith traditions of the subcontinent - Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Using historical, Literary, and anthropological lenses the course will consider how various institutions of authority - patriarchy, religion, and the state - have shaped and reshaped gender ideology in South Asia, and how women, throughout South Asia's history, have, in turn, interpreted and negotiated their position in society.   More Info

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  • ASIAN 358L  Psychology, Politics, and Philosophy in East Asia

    Description:
    Why do attitudes in China, Korea, and Japan differ from Western attitudes on such issues as human rights; individualism and community; child rearing; moral and psychological development; the role of government; and proper behavior in business organizations? This course explores the roots of these differences in the Confucian tradition. ASIAN 358L and RELSTY 358L are the same course.   More Info

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    • TBA
  • ASIAN 359L  Women in Modern China

    Description:
    This course examines the social and cultural roles of Chinese women, and their changes over time. Emphasis is given to twentieth-century China, especially the People's Republic period. ASIAN 359L and HIST 359L are the same course.   More Info

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  • ASIAN 360L  Traditional China

    Description:
    A survey of traditional China from ancient times to about 1800, with emphasis on cultural, intellectual, and social developments. ASIAN 360L and HIST 360L are the same course.   More Info

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  • ASIAN 361L  The History of Modern China

    Description:
    A survey of the political, social, and intellectual development of China from 1800 to the present, with emphasis on Sino-Western relations and twentieth century reform and revolution. (Course offered in the fall only.) ASIAN 361L and HIST 361L are the same course.   More Info

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    • TBA
  • ASIAN 362L  Japanese Art from 16th to 20th Centuries: Japan and the West

    Description:
    This course looks at Japanese art across mediums during the sixteenth through twentieth centuries; in Japanese historical terms, from the Momoyama through Meiji periods. The course will pay particular attention to how Japanese are engaged with the West and Western art, beginning with Portuguese traders in the sixteenth century, moving the so-called "period of isolation" from the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries, and concluding with the opening of Japan following Commodore Perry's arrival in 1853.   More Info

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  • ASIAN 363L  Modern Japan

    Description:
    A historical survey of economic, social, political and cultural developments in Japan from 1800 to the present, special consideration of economic and foreign policy problems. ASIAN 363L and HIST 363L are the same course.   More Info

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  • ASIAN 366L  Re-made in Asia: Tellings and re-tellings from the Buddha to Godzilla

    Description:
    What is a "remake"? Why are people interested in stories that are told and re-told, sometimes in many versions? This class explores narratives that travel across time and space in Asia, in order to find some answers to these questions. The purpose of this class is to consider how texts from the past are rendered relevant to concerns contemporary to the remakes. Students are expected to have taken at least one 200-level course related to Asia.   More Info

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  • ASIAN 371  Environmental Issues in China

    Description:
    This course will analyze China's environmental and resource challenges including food security, wildlife, conservation, water, air, and land pollution, water distribution, deforestation, desertification and population control. We will study the issues from economic, scientific, and social perspectives and look at solutions as well as causes. We will also study China's environmental initiatives and accomplishments. Topics covered include pollution remediation, environmental protection,and investments in clean energy technology.   More Info

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  • ASIAN 478  Independent Study

    Description:
    For those with special interest in a project dealing with East Asia.   More Info

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  • ASIAN 480  Topics in Asian Studies

    Description:
    Variable content course: offered on an irregular basis.   More Info

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    • TBA
  • ASIAN 488L  The Idea of Asia

    Description:
    This course examines the imagination of Asia from a variety of perspectives: historical, economic, religious, philosophical, literary, and artistic. It begin from the extreme social and cultural diversity of the continent as it is currently defined, and asks first, how the idea of a coherent Asia was constructed; and second, what effects this idea has had in both "Asian" and "European" history. This course fulfills the capstone requirement for the Asian Studies major. ASIAN 488L and MDNLNG 488L are the same course.   More Info

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    • TBA