Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures

321 Milbank Hall
212-854-5417
amec.barnard.edu
Department Assistant: Mary Missirian

Mission

The Department’s primary aim is to introduce major Asian and Middle Eastern civilizations and their works and values as a means of expanding knowledge of the varieties and unities of human experience.  Students who major in the Department take a specific number of courses from the Barnard and Columbia curriculum, obtain three years of language proficiency in the language relevant to the world area under study, and hence become regional experts with specific disciplinary skills.  The Department offers three tracks:  the East Asian Track covers China, Japan, and Korea; the South Asian track covers India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh; and the Middle Eastern Track covers the Middle East, including Israel, the Gulf States, Armenia, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey, and North Africa.  The Department’s general courses are designed for all students, whatever their major interests, who wish to include knowledge of Asian and Middle Eastern life in their education. Study abroad is encouraged.

Student Learning Outcomes

Faculty in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures hold the following learning outcomes for majors who take advantage of the opportunities offered through the program.  Students will be able to:

  • Speak, write, and read at an intermediate to advanced level in a language of the Middle East, South Asia, or East Asia;
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the history and culture of their chosen area of the world;
  • Exhibit in-depth knowledge of a particular aspect of it, such as the artistic, literary, religious, philosophical, sociological, anthropological, political, or economic elements;
  • Demonstrate familiarity with leading theory on the study of non-Western cultures; and
  • Produce a clearly and critically written senior thesis that draws upon the various aspects of their training – for instance, linguistic, historical, cultural, and political – in investigating a topic in detail and making a contribution to knowledge.

Students who wish to enter Chinese, Japanese, or Korean language courses above the introductory level must pass a language placement test before registering. Placement exams are given during the week before classes begin-contact the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures (407 Kent) for exact dates. For placement above the introductory level in Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Hindi-Urdu, Panjabi, Persian, Sanskrit, Tamil, Tibetan, or Turkish, contact the Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures (401 Knox). All students wishing to enter the Hebrew language program or wishing exemption from the Hebrew language requirement must take a placement test. Contact the Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures (401 Knox) for details.

Barnard Faculty:

Chair: Rachel Fell McDermott (Professor)
Professor: David Moerman
Assistant Professors: Guo Jue, Nicholas Bartlett
Associate Professor of Professional Practice: Hisham Matar
Adjunct Lecturer: Nathanael Shelley

Other officers of the University offering courses listed below:

Shincho Professor Emeritus: Donald Keene

Professors: Muhsin Al-Musawi, Paul J. Anderer, Gil Anidjar, Charles Armstrong (History), Partha Chatterjee, Myron Cohen (Anthropology), Hamid Dabashi, Vidya Dehejia (Art History), Mamadou Diouf, Bernard Faure, Mason Gentzler (Senior Scholars Program), Carol N. Gluck (History), Wael Hallaq, Robert E. Harrist Jr. (Art History), John S. Hawley (Religion), Robert Hymes, Sudipta Kaviraj, Rashid Khalidi, Dorothy Ko (History), Feng Li, Lydia Liu, Mahmood Mamdani, Joseph Massad, Matthew McKelway (Art History), Brinkley M. Messick, Timothy Mitchell, Sheldon Pollock, Anupama Rao (Barnard History), Jonathan M. Reynolds (Barnard Art History), Morris Rossabi, Conrad Schirokauer (Senior Scholars Program), Wei Shang, Haruo Shirane (Chair), Michael Stanislawski (History), Tomi Suzuki, Robert A.F. Thurman (Religion), Gauri Vishwanathan (English and Comparative Literature), Pei-yi Wu (Senior Scholars Program), Marc Van De Mieroop (History), Syed Akbar Zaidi, Madeleine Zelin

Associate Professors: Allison Busch, Michael Como (Religion), Aaron Andrew Fox (Music), Najam Haider (Religion), Theodore Hughes, Kai Kresse, Eugenia Lean, David Lurie, Adam McKeown (History), Gregory Pflugfelder, Gray Tuttle, Jennifer Wenzel

Assistant Professors: Manan Ahmad (History), Harrison Huang, Mana Kia, Jungwon Kim, Katarina Ivanyi (Religion), Debashree Mukherjee, Ying Qian, Zhaohua Yang (Religion)

Requirements for the Major

A student who plans to major in Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures is advised to consult a member of the Department in the spring term of her first year in order to be sure to plan for an appropriate sequence of language study.

To major in Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures, a student will choose to follow one of three tracks, East Asian, Middle Eastern, or South Asian.

The East Asian Track

Major Requirements

The major requires a minimum of 11 courses, including the two senior thesis seminars (if student has already satisfied the language requirement in advance) or more (if she starts the language requirement from the beginning).

The requirements include:

LANGUAGE

3 years of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, or the proficiency equivalent (to be demonstrated by a placement examination).

Third-year Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Tibetan (completion of the CHNS UN3005 Third-Year Chinese I (W) - CHNS UN3006 Third-Year Chinese II (W) in Chinese, JPNS UN3005 Third-Year Japanese I - JPNS UN3006 Third-Year Japanese II in Japanese, or KORN UN3005 Third-Year Korean I - KORN UN3006 Third-Year Korean II in Korean; or TIBT UN3611 Third Year Modern Colloquial Tibetan I - TIBT UN3612 Third Year Modern Colloquial Tibetan II in Tibetan), or the proficiency equivalent (to be demonstrated by placement examination).  Students of Chinese may also complete CHNS UN3003 Third-Year Chinese I (N) - CHNS UN3004 Third-Year Chinese II (N) to meet the third year requirement.

Students who test out of three years or more of a language must take an additional year of that language or another East Asian language in order to satisfy the Barnard language requirement.

*Note that in all East Asian language courses, the minimum grade required to advance from one level to the next is a B-.
 

CORE COURSES

AHUM UN1400 Colloquium on Major Texts: East Asia

Two of the following survey courses:
ASCE UN1359 Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: China
ASCE UN1361 Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: Japan
ASCE UN1363 Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: Korea
ASCE UN1365 Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: Tibet
Asian Civ. UN1367 Introduction to the Civilization of Vietnam
All majors are required to take EAAS UN3990 Approaches to East Asian Studies, which is offered every spring.

DISCIPLINARY COURSES

Three courses in either history, literature, philosophy, religion, art history, anthropology, political science, economics, or some other thematic cluster approved by the adviser. For further information, consult the online catalog or a departmental adviser.

ELECTIVE COURSES

Two courses related to East Asia, to be chosen in consultation with the adviser.

SENIOR THESIS

Each student is expected to prepare, for her senior thesis, a research paper or an annotated English translation of an East Asian text. There will be two tracks for the senior thesis process.  (1) Those who wish to write their senior theses under the aegis of EALAC at Columbia must apply to the Senior Thesis Program at the end of their junior year.   The deadline will be May 1st at 5:00 p.m. [see EALAC’s website for application form], and the application must be delivered in hard copy to the EALAC Academic Coordinator in 407 Kent.  Students must have at least a 3.6 GPA in courses taken in the major at the time of the application.  Decisions will be made by June 1, when grades for the second semester have been received.  All students accepted into the Program are required to enroll in the Senior Thesis Research Workshop (EAAS UN3999) for the fall of their senior year. Students who perform satisfactorily in this workshop, successfully complete a thesis proposal, and find a faculty advisor, will then write the Senior Thesis itself in the spring semester under the direction of the adviser and a graduate student tutor (EAAS UN3901).  Successful completion of the thesis by the April 1 deadline in the spring semester will be necessary but not sufficient for a student to receive Departmental Honors. (Because honors can be awarded to a maximum of 10% of the majors, not all thesis writers will receive honors.)  (2) Students who do not have a 3.6 average in the major OR who wish to write their senior theses at Barnard will do so under the direction of an East Asia faculty member at Barnard.  Such students should enroll in two semesters of independent study (Asian Studies BC 3999) with their faculty adviser.

MINOR REQUIREMENTS

PREREQUISITES:

Students must meet the following prerequisite prior to declaring an AMEC minor in the East Asia Track: Two years of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Tibetan.  These must be either taken at Columbia or proficiency proven through a placement examination.

LANGUAGES:

Two semesters of third-year work in the chosen language, or the proficiency equivalent (to be demonstrated by a placement examination).
Students who test out of the third-year level must take either an additional year of the same language or one year of an additional language in the same East Asia Track.

INTRODUCTORY COURSES (two courses):

AHUM UN1400, Colloquium on Major Texts of East Asia
One civilizations class relating to the language and region of study (China Civ, Japan Civ, Korean Civ, Tibetan Civ, or Vietnamese Civ.)

ELECTIVES (two courses):

Two electives in the world region under study, to be taken in any department in the university at the 3000- or 4000-level, subject to approval by the advisor.

The Middle East or South Asian Track

A minimum of 13 courses is required, including:

  • Asian Humanities: AHUM UN3399 Colloquium on Major Texts: Middle East and South Asia
  • Middle East & South Asia: MDES UN3000 Theory and Culture

Two of the following courses:

  • Asian Civilizations-Middle East: ASCM V2001 Introduction to Major Topics in the Civilizations of the Middle East and India
  • Asian Civilizations-Middle East: ASCM UN2003 Introduction to Islamic Civilization
  • Asian Civilizations-Middle East: ASCM UN2008 Contemporary Islamic Civilization
  • Asian Civilizations-Middle East: ASCM UN2357 Introduction to Indian Civilization
  • Asian Civilizations-East Asian: ASCE V2365 Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: Tibet

The equivalent of six courses (the completion of the 3rd year of advanced language study) of Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish, selected in consultation with the advisor. 

A minimum of five courses chosen as a concentration. The concentration may be in the languages and cultures of ancient Semitic, Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, Indic, Iranian, Persian, or Turkish.

A senior thesis, to be written under the supervision of a faculty member chosen in consultation with the adviser. Students whose sole major is Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures should take two semesters of ASST BC3999 Independent Study with their adviser for the purposes of producing the thesis. Students who are double-majoring in a second department that requires a group seminar should enroll in that seminar and work with the AMEC advisor on the side.

The courses listed under Middle East and South Asia below represent a selection among those required in one or another of the concentrations. Students should consult the Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures department office in 401 Knox Hall for a complete list of course offerings. Graduate courses at the 4000-level may be taken with permission of the instructor. See GSAS catalog for course listings.

Minor Requirements

Prerequisite:

For Middle East Track:
Students must meet the following prerequisite prior to declaring an AMEC minor: Two years of Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish.  These must be either taken at Columbia or proficiency proven through a placement examination.

For South Asian Track:
Students must meet the following prerequisite prior to declaring an AMEC minor: Two years of Sanskrit, Hindi-Urdu, Bengali, Panjabi, or Tamil.  These must be either taken at Columbia or proficiency proven through a placement examination.

Language Requirement (two courses):

Two semesters of third-year work in the chosen language, or the proficiency equivalent (to be demonstrated by a placement examination).
Students who test out of the third-year level must take either an additional year of the same language or one year of an additional language in the same Track.

Introductory Courses (two courses):

AHUM UN1399, Colloquium on Major Texts of South Asia and the Middle East
One civilizations class relating to the language and region of study (Indian Civ or Islamic Civ)

Electives (two courses):

Two electives in the world region under study, to be taken in any department in the university at the 3000- or 4000-level, subject to approval by the advisor.

Theory, Method, and Writing

MDES UN3000 Theory and Culture. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement, Discussion Section Required

Required of all majors. Introduces theories of culture particularly related to the Middle East, South Asia. and Africa. Theoretical debates on the nature and function of culture as a symbolic reading of human collectivities. Examines critical cultural studies of the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. Enables students to articulate their emerging knowledge of Middle East, South Asian, and African cultures in a theoretically informed language. 

Fall 2017: MDES UN3000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 3000 001/25857 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
517 Hamilton Hall
Gil Hochberg 4 80/80

EAAS UN3901 Senior Thesis. 2 points.

Prerequisites: Senior majors only.

Senior Seminar required of all majors in East Asian Studies. Open only to senior majors.

Spring 2017: EAAS UN3901
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 3901 001/68703  
Paul Anderer 2 8/15

EAAS UN3999 Research in East Asian Studies. 1 point.

Introduces students to research and writing techniques and requires the preparation of a senior thesis proposal. Required for majors and concentrators in the East Asian studies major in the spring term of the junior year.

Fall 2017: EAAS UN3999
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 3999 001/15171 M 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
Paul Anderer 1 8/15

EAAS GU4102 Critical Approaches to East Asia in the Social Sciences. 4 points.

This seminar is designed to equip students with essential tools to further their scholarly research into the cultures of East Asia, with a focus primarily on China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.  These tools are those native to the Social Sciences, with our primary materials drawn from the disciplines of Cultural (and Historical) Anthropology and Sociology.  This seminar will familiar students with significant sociological and anthropological works by scholars past and present -- works with which any student serious about continuing social scientific research in East Asia should be familiar.  Beyond this, the seminar aims to equip students with the methodological tools to conduct solid social scientific scholarship and the understanding of sociological and anthropological theory whereby to assess critically the relative efficacy, and potential pitfalls, of various approaches to research.

Fall 2017: EAAS GU4102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 4102 001/01120 T 10:00am - 11:50am
Room TBA
Nicholas Bartlett 4 3

EAAS W4890 Historiography of East Asia. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Two-hour seminar plus additional one-hour workshop in bibliography and research methods. Designed primarily for majors in East Asian Studies in their junior year. Permission of instructor required for others.

Major issues in the practice of history illustrated by critical reading of important historical work on East Asia.

EAAS UN3322 East Asian Cinema. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This course introduces students to major works, genres and waves of East Asian cinema from the Silent era to the present, including films from Japan, Korea, Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. How has cinema participated in East Asian societies’ distinct and shared experiences of industrial modernity, imperialism and (post)colonialism? How has cinema engaged with questions of class, gender, ethnic and language politics? In what ways has cinema facilitated transnational circulations and mobilizations of peoples and ideas, and how has it interacted with other art forms, such as theatre, painting, photography and music? In this class, we answer these questions by studying cinemas across the region sideby- side, understanding cinema as deeply embedded in the region’s intertwining political, social and cultural histories and circulations of people and ideas. We cover a variety of genres such as melodrama, comedy, historical epic, sci-fi, martial arts and action, and prominent film auteurs such as Yasujirō Ozu, Akira Kurosawa, Yu Hyŏnmok, Chen Kaige, Hou Hsiao-hsien, and Ann Hui. As cinema is, among other things, a creative practice, in this course, students will be given opportunities to respond to films analytically and creatively, through writing as well as creative visual projects. As a global core course, this class does not assume prior knowledge of East Asian culture or of film studies.

Spring 2017: EAAS UN3322
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 3322 001/83147 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
509 Hamilton Hall
Ying Qian 4 24/22

RELI UN2308 Buddhism: East Asian. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

Lecture and discussion. An introductory survey that studies East Asian Buddhism as an integral , living religious tradition. Emphasis on the reading of original treatises and historiographies in translation, while historical events are discussed in terms of their relevance to contemporary problems confronted by Buddhism.  There is a mandatory weekly discussion session.

Fall 2017: RELI UN2308
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RELI 2308 001/72198 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
501 Northwest Corner
Michael Como 4 160/160

East Asian, General and Comparative

EAAS UN3844 Health and Society in Contemporary East Asia. 3 points.

Why do certain mental illnesses only appear in specific regions of the world? What processes of translation, adaption, and “indigenization” take place when Western psychiatric diagnostic categories, pharmaceutical regimens, and psychodynamic treatments travel to China, South Korea and Japan? How do East Asian therapeutic modalities such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and the practice of qigong destabilize biomedical assumptions about the etiology and treatment of mental illness? This course engages these and other questions through anthropological analysis of the experiences of people struggling with mental illness, the mental health practitioners who treat them, and the broader economic, social and political contexts that shape these interactions.

AHIS BC3950 Photography and Video in Asia. 4 points.

Undergraduate seminar course. Course limited to 15 Students with instructor's permission. Application process required. Applications are due in the Barnard Art History office April 9, 2015.

East Asia is now perhaps the world’s most dynamic region, and its dramatic social and economic transformation has been mirrored in the work of a host of startlingly original and innovative visual artists. The class will explore the ideas and visual idioms that inform the leading contemporary photo artists in China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. We will begin with a historical survey of the development of photography in East Asia since the mid-19th century, but we will concentrate on the period from 1960 to the present.  Figures whose work will be explored include such Japanese artists and photographers as Eikoh Hosoe, Daido Moriyama, Tomatsu Shomei, Miyako Ishiuchi, Nobuyoshi Araki, Yasumasa Morimura, Moriko Mori, Naoya Hatakeyema, and Tomoko Sawada. From China, we will examine the work of artists like Zhang Huan, Hong Hao, Yang Fudong, Lin Tianmiao, and Xing Danwen, while Korean artists to be covered include Atta Kim andYeondoo Jung. Since many of these artists work regularly in video as well as photography, there will be regular video screenings throughout the semester.

Fall 2017: AHIS BC3950
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3950 001/04024 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Christopher Phillips 4 26

RELI GU4611 The Lotus Sutra in East Asian Buddhism. 4 points.

Prerequisites: open to students who have taken one previous course in either Buddhism, Chinese religions, or a history course on China or East Asian.

The course examines some central Mahayana Buddhist beliefs and practices through an in-depth study of the Lotus sutra. Schools (Tiantai/Tendai, Nichiren) and cultic practices such as sutra-chanting, meditation, confessional rites, and Guanyin worship based on the scripture. East Asian art and literature inspired by it.

Fall 2017: RELI GU4611
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RELI 4611 001/02088 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
507 Hamilton Hall
David Moerman 4 3

HSEA GU4230 Empires and Migrations in the Pacific World . 4 points.

This seminar examines how Asian, European, and American empires have channeled, categorized, and regulated human movement in the Pacific since the 1500s. The Mediterranean and Indian Oceans hosted dense networks of mobility before recorded history, while a single Atlantic World coalesced in the seventeenth century. Yet, the Pacific resisted such integration. Only the Polynesians traversed its vast expanses over centuries of migration. Chinese and Japanese merchants and later European empires were able to build segmented corridors during the early modern era, but mass migration awaited the California Gold Rush. Yet, then the prospect of mass Chinese migration elicited racialized hysteria throughout the Pacific basin’s white settler nations. Their imposition of barriers against ordinary Chinese and later all Asian migrants engendered contemporary systems of policing state boundaries and re-divided the Pacific into contending spheres of state power, economic penetration, and racial imagining. As a result, twentieth-century historians largely wrote fragmented histories of the Pacific. By dividing East Asian, Southeast Asian, North American, and Latin American histories, scholars broke the Pacific into more manageable but bounded pieces. Their approach marginalized transpacific movement and the state systems that transected this region from global history. By contrast, this course reframes the Pacific as the central fulcrum in the making of the modern world. Together, we will explore and develop conceptual frameworks for thinking through a Pacific World. In that ambitious undertaking, we will read from traditionally disconnected historiographies, as well as the emerging field of Pacific World history. Our weekly endeavor will be to think holistically about different imperial and national formations and consider how shifting flows of state power have molded human geographies. As a result, we will also tackle a diverse set of analytical approaches toward the study of mobility. From migration and labor histories to environmental history and critical social theory, this spread will point us toward additional avenues to refine this Pacific World framework. 

Spring 2017: HSEA GU4230
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 4230 001/93297 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
4a Kraft Center
Peter Hamilton 4 6/15

East Asian, China

RELI UN2307 Chinese Religious Traditions. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

Historical survey highlighting major developments in Chinese religion: includes selections from the "Warring States" classics, developments in popular Daoism, and an overview of the golden age of Chinese Buddhism. Touches on "Neo-Confucianism," popular literature of the late imperial period, and the impact of Western ideas.

Spring 2017: RELI UN2307
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RELI 2307 001/16106 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
702 Hamilton Hall
Robban Toleno 3 55/60

EAAS V3310 Rebellion and Revolution in Modern China. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

EAAS W3315 Literature and Film in Modern China. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

HSEA V3430 A Cultural History of "Revolution" in 20th Century China. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

HSEA W3850 Contemporary Chinese Culture and Society. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

A sociological survey of contemporary China. Examines major institutions (economy, politics, media) and the sources and consequences of their transformation. Studies main forms of sicoal inequality and social conflicts. Explores popular culture, civic associations, the environmental crisis, and the prospects for democratic political change.

HSEA BC3861 Chinese Cultural History 1500-1800. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: An introductory Asian history course preferred but not required.

Introduction to visual and material cultures of China, including architecture, food, fashion, printing, painting, and the theatre. Using these as building blocks, new terms of analyzing Chinese history are explored, posing such key questions as the meaning of being Chinese and the meaning of being modern.

ANTH UN3912 Ethnographic China. 4 points.

Contemporary China through the writings of anthropologists who have done fieldwork there during the past decade.

Spring 2017: ANTH UN3912
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3912 001/16672 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
963 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Myron Cohen 4 5/25

EAAS W3927 China in the Modern World. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

The rise of China has impacted world politics and economy in significant ways. How did it happen? This course introduces a unique angle of self-understanding as suggested by Chinese writers, intellectuals, and artists who participated in the making of modern China and have provided illuminating and critical analysis of their culture, history and the world. Topics of discussion include historical rupture, loss and melancholy, exile, freedom, migration, social bonding and identity, capitalism, nationalism and the world revolution.

CHNS GU4019 History of Chinese Language. 3 points.

Introduces the evolution of Chinese language. It reveals the major changes in Chinese sound, writing and grammar systems, and social and linguistic factors which caused these changes. CC GS EN CE GSAS

Spring 2017: CHNS GU4019
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CHNS 4019 001/67849 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
405 Kent Hall
Zhirong Wang 3 15/15
Fall 2017: CHNS GU4019
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CHNS 4019 001/27635 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
423 Kent Hall
Zhirong Wang 3 6/12

HSEA GU4027 Issues in Early Chinese Civilization: Theories and Debates. 4 points.

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the basic issues and problems in the study of early Chinese civilization, some theoretical and others methodological. Through the review of a long series of debates the course offers a quick entrance both to this early period of history and to these studies. Organized around problems, the course encourages critical thinking and contesting arguments and helps the students weigh different positions addressing the problems. By doing so, the course guides the students to search for frontline questions and to probe possible ways to solve the problems. The course deals with both the written records (inscriptional and textual) and the material evidence, and the student can well expect this course to serve as also updates of the most fascinating archaeological discoveries in China made in the past decades. The course is designed as an upper-level undergraduate and MA course; therefore, it is recommended that undergraduate students should take "ASCE V2359: Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: China" before participating in this course.

Fall 2017: HSEA GU4027
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 4027 001/26687 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
424 Kent Hall
Feng Li 4 5/15

EAAS GU4202 The Dead in Ancient China. 4 points.

What did the dead become? Ancestors, spirits, or ghosts? Are these postmortem categories and roles ontologically distinct and mutually exclusive? How did the dead become ancestors, spirits, or ghosts? Where did the dead go and what kind of "lives after" did they have? With these questions in mind, this course explores the realm of the dead in ancient China (ca. 5000 B.C.E.-600 C.E.) instantiated by the living in rituals, objects, and writings. Focusing on contemporaneous materials obtained through archaeology, facilitated with transmitted history and literature when available, students will read about and learn to analyze a variety of conceptions of the dead and corresponding afterlife options recorded in diverse kinds of sources including material culture, architecture, artifacts, pictorial representations, and texts from ancient China.

Spring 2017: EAAS GU4202
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 4202 001/09964 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Jue Guo 4 11/15

HSEA GU4220 Islam in China and Inner Asia. 4 points.

This seminar surveys the history of Islam, both in the Chinese interior and neighboring Inner Asia (primarily Xinjiang), from its arrival to the present day. Beginning with the first legendary accounts of migration from the Middle East to China, we trace the growth of an identifiable Muslim community in the age of the Mongol empire, then look at Ming China’s interactions with the Islamic world, the Qing expansion into Inner Asia, and conclude by discussing modernist and nationalist trends of the twentieth-century. Three broad themes will shape our discussions across this period: the dynamics of religious conversion and cultural assimilation; the interplay of local specificities vs. long-distance connections across Eurasia; and the relationship of religion and state in a non-Muslim (and non-Western) context. Specific topics to be studied include Sufism, as both an intellectual tradition, and a form of social organization, as well as the creation of an Islamic literature in Chinese. Along with the experience of Muslims in China, we will be interested in evolving Chinese views of the Islamic world, and in Islamic views of China.

Spring 2017: HSEA GU4220
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 4220 001/27034 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
404 Hamilton Hall
David Brophy 4 8/25

HSEA GU4844 GLOBAL HONG KONG. 4 points.

This seminar examines modern world history through the lens of Hong Kong. Through readings, discussions, lectures, and a final paper, we will investigate Hong Kong’s outsized historical impact on the world—from its seizure by British forces during the First Opium War to its 1997 handover to the People’s Republic of China. We will dig into Hong Kong’s dramatic evolutions over this century and a half, from an entrepôt and migration hub to a manufacturing powerhouse and financial center. This agenda will also offer us new perspectives on the history of global capitalism and push us to interweave traditionally disconnected histories, such as that of the opium trade, the Chinese diaspora, modern Chinese politics, the Cold War and decolonization, neoliberal globalization, and China’s post-1978 development.

Fall 2017: HSEA GU4844
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 4844 001/21433 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
253 Engineering Terrace
Peter Hamilton 4 13/22

HSEA GU4880 History of Modern China I. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

China’s transformation under its last imperial rulers, with special emphasis on economic, legal, political, and cultural change.

Fall 2017: HSEA GU4880
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 4880 001/73046 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
413 Kent Hall
Madeleine Zelin 3 51/60

HSEA GU4882 History of Modern China II. 3 points.

China's transformation under its last imperial rulers, with special emphasis on economic, legal, political, and cultural change.

Spring 2017: HSEA GU4882
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 4882 001/18153 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
703 Hamilton Hall
Eugenia Lean 3 25/40

HSEA GU4893 Family in Chinese History. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: ASCE V2359.

The history of the Chinese family, its changing forms and cultural expressions: marriage and divorce; parent and child; clan and lineage; ancestor worship; the role of women; the relation of family and state; Western parallels and contrasts.

Fall 2017: HSEA GU4893
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 4893 001/13380 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
315 Hamilton Hall
Robert Hymes 3 12/20

HSEA W4869 History of Ancient China to the End of Han. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

In this upper level course, we will detail the development of early Chinese civilization and discuss a series of cultural and institutional inventions. The course will also provide a systematic introduction to the most fascinating archaelogical discoveries in the past century.

HSEA W4891 Law in Chinese History. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

East Asian, Japan

RELI V2315 Japanese Religious Tradition. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Reason and Value (REA)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Ethics and Values.

Study of the development of the Japanese religious tradition in the pre-modern period. Attention given to the thought and practices of Shintoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism; the interaction among these religions in Japanese history; the first encounter with Christianity.

ANTH UN3939 The Anime Effect: Media and Technoculture in Contemporary Japan. 4 points.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission

Culture, technology, and media in contemporary Japan. Theoretical and ethnographic engagements with forms of mass mediation, including anime, manga, video, and cell-phone novels. Considers larger global economic and political contexts, including post-Fukushima transformations.

Fall 2017: ANTH UN3939
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3939 001/64636 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
467 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Marilyn Ivy 4 12/20

EARL GU4010 Buddhist Inspirations in 20th Cent. Japanese Thought. 4 points.

This course explores the Buddhist inspirations in the thought of some of the most important thinkers of 20th century Japan: Nishida Kitaro (1870-1945), Tanabe Hajime (1885-1962), and Nishitani Keiji (1900-1990).  Additionally, since the Japanese philosophers develop their thoughts essentially by synthesizing eastern and western religions, we will discuss the issue of interreligious dialogue and religious pluralism throughout the course.  No background in western intellectual tradition is required.

Fall 2017: EARL GU4010
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EARL 4010 001/25516 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
4c Kraft Center
Itsuki Hayashi 4 7/20

EAAS GU4277 Japanese Anime and Beyond: Gender, Power and Transnational Media. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This is an upper-level undergraduate and graduate (MA) seminar. It would be helpful if students have some background in film/media studies, cultural studies, and/or East Asian studies, though no prerequisite is required. The guiding questions of the course: The animated films variably have become sites of knowledge formation and aesthetic experiments in different regions of the world. How so? What were the underlying historical and cultural conditions that led to the invention and circulation of animation? What would be a heuristic and effective narrative mode to examine the transnational history of animation? In order to go beyond the narrow confines of area studies that often separate the treatment of Japanese animation from the Euro-American and/or Asian contexts, this course provides a comparative approach. The tripartite course begins by introducing canonical works of Japanese animated film (anime) and provides an overview of the state of field. The next session discusses historically important films (from Europe, US and China) which students examine along with the selected readings from animation theories. The final section explores, in addition to recent animated films, comics and graphic novels (Japan and Korea), which are vital media for understanding animation.

Fall 2017: EAAS GU4277
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 4277 001/68968 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
602 Northwest Corner
Tom Looser 4 20/20

HSEA GU4847 Modern Japan. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

This course explores the history of Japan between 1800 and the present, with a particular focus on the 20th century. The course draws upon a combination of primary source materials (political documents, memoirs, oral histories, journalism, fiction, film) and scholarly writings in order to gain insight into the complex and tumultuous process by which Japan became an industrialized society, a modern nation-state, and a world power.

Fall 2017: HSEA GU4847
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 4847 001/29577 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
411 Kent Hall
Paul Kreitman 4 10/20

East Asian, Korea

EAAS V3214 Major Topics on Modern Korea. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

This course explores the vicissitudes of Korea since its encounter with the world in the late 19th century to the new challeneges in recent years. By exploring the events, thoughts, and the new developments and challeneges in the economic, political, socio-cultural spheres, the course aims to provide better undesrtanding of Korea's struggle to find its place in an increasingly globalizing world.

EAAS V3220 Korean Film and the Making of Cold War Culture. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

This course traces the early history of South Korean film, focusing on the ways in which issues central to the formation of global Cold War culture in the 1950s and 1960s cut across four genres: comedy, combat/military film, melodrama, and the spy thriller. We pay particular attention to the comedic representation of family and the developmental state, the negotiation of race and sexuality in combat/military films, the role of sentimental masculinity in the melodramatic imagination, and the relation between modern discourses of attention and vigilance in the spy thriller. Linking Korean cinema to the transnational context of the Pax Americana, we will also examine cross-cultural representations of Cold War culture in Korean and Hollywood filmic productions. In addition to the secondary sources on Korean/U.S. Cold War culture and Korean literary works, our reading of selected theoretical texts will serve as a point of departure for analyzing such issues as the relation between film as visual medium and the global "red scare"; motion picture and mobilization/militarization; and gender/ways of seeing. Mandatory weekly film screening.

HSEA W3862 The History of Korea to 1900. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Issues pertaining to Korean history from its beginnings to the early modern era. Issues will be examined in the Korean context and also from a comparative East Asian perspective.

East Asian, Tibet

EARL GU4310 Life-Writing in Tibetan Buddhist Literature. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This course engages the genre of life writing in Tibetan Buddhist culture, addressing the permeable and fluid nature of this important sphere of Tibetan literature. Through Tibetan biographies, hagiographies, and autobiographies, the class will consider questions about how life-writing overlaps with religious doctrine, philosophy, and history. For comparative purposes, we will read life writing from Western (and Japanese or Chinese) authors, for instance accounts of the lives of Christian saints, raising questions about the cultural relativity of what makes up a life's story.

Fall 2017: EARL GU4310
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EARL 4310 001/69271 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
511 Kent Hall
Gray Tuttle 4 15/15

EAAS GU4553 Survey of Tibetan Literature. 4 points.

This course introduces a sampling of Tibetan literary works spanning from the Tibetan imperial period to present-day.  We shall focus on Tibetan belles-lettres and vernacular literary forms (all in English translation) that remain salient in current Tibetan intellectual discourse.  We will engage in close readings of those texts, in addition to discussing characteristics of the genres they represent.

Fall 2017: EAAS GU4553
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 4553 001/71196 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
501 International Affairs Bldg
Lauran Hartley 4 0/18

HSEA GU4812 Borderlands and Frontiers: Tibet as a Case Study. 4 points.

Although questions of national expansion and boundary creation were fundamental to the work of such nineteenth-century American historians as Francis Parkman and Frederick Jackson Turner and twentieth century Asian historians such as Alistair Lamb and Owen Lattimore, only in recent years have these topics recaptured the historical imagination. In particular, scholars pf American history operating under the rubric of “borderlands history” have found the complex racial composition, forbidding yet fragile environment, wars of conquest, and the rapid development of the Tibetan plateau fertile terrain for a wide range of fresh approaches to the Asian past. This course will seek to bring the insights of this new scholarship into the context of Tibetan history. No longer marginal to the history of the India or China, the Tibetan borderlands should be central to on-going efforts to grapple with notions of empire and imperialism, the contingent nature of state building and of race, and transnational and comparative units of historical analysis. 

Spring 2017: HSEA GU4812
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 4812 001/96097 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
522a Kent Hall
Gray Tuttle 4 8/25

EAAS W4545 Culture and Art in Contemporary Tibet. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

In this course, we study films, poems, stories, paintings, pop songs and other forms of cultural product that have been made by Tibetans in the last 3 or 4 decades, together with some made by others in their name or in their areas. We discuss questions of identity, survival, history and the politics of representation. We’ll look at questions about cultures and continuity; about whether and how we as outsiders can come to understand or interpret the culture of a country whose language and history we may barely know; about the interplay of texts, politics, and power; and about ways of reading and interpreting artworks and the meanings that they generate in politically charged societies and communities.

HSEA GU4700 Rise of Modern Tibet: History and Society, 1600-1913. 4 points.

Rise of Modern Tibet

South Asian

RELI V2205 Hinduism. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement, Discussion Section Required

The origin and development of central themes of traditional Hinduism. Emphasis on basic religious literature and relation to Indian culture. Readings include original sources in translation.

HSME UN2810 History of South Asia I: al-Hind to Hindustan. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement
Graduate students must register for HIST G6998 version of this course.

This survey lecture course will provide students with a broad overview of the history of South Asia as a region - focusing on key political, cultural and social developments over more than two millennia. The readings include both primary sources (in translation) and secondary works. Our key concerns will be the political, cultural and theological encounters of varied communities, the growth of cities and urban spaces, networks of trade and migrations and the development of both local and cosmopolitan cultures across Southern Asia. The survey will begin with early dynasties of the classical period and then turn to the subsequent formation of various Perso-Turkic polities, including the development and growth of hybrid political cultures such as those of Vijayanagar and the Mughals. The course also touches on Indic spiritual and literary traditions such as Sufi and Bhakti movements. Near the end of our course, we will look forward towards the establishment of European trading companies and accompanying colonial powers.

Fall 2017: HSME UN2810
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSME 2810 001/29344 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
644 Seeley W. Mudd Building
Manan Ahmed 4 38/44

ASRL V3974 Hindu Goddesses. 4 points.

Prerequisites: One course in Indian culture or religion or permission of the instructor.

Study of a variety of Hundu goddesses, focusing on representative figures from all parts of India and on their iconography, associated powers, and regional rituals.  Materials are drawn from textual, historical, and field studies, and discussion includes several of the methodological controversies involving interpretation of goddess worship in India.

MDES GU4057 Subaltern Studies and Problems of Historiography. 4 points.

The aim of this course will be two-fold: first to initiate a detailed study of the school of Indian  history called Subaltern Studies which achieved immense attention and popularity starting from the 1980s; secondly, to study, through these writings, the epistemological problems of critical historical and social science scholarship. The discussions will be on two levels – every week there will be a reading from the subaltern studies history, but this would be linked to thinking about some specific theoretical issue, and the historiographic difficulties of investigating the history of social groups and actors who were conventionally kept outside mainstream histories. It will track the intellectual trajectory of  subaltern studies intellectual work as it expanded , moving  from histories of the peasantry, the working class, tribals, women, lower castes, subordinate nations, to raising larger theoretical and methodological questions about critiques of nationalist history, of European history and social science to the general question of knowledge about the modern world and the languages in which it should be examined. In the last section, we shall discuss if SS contains a promise of similar forms of critical knowledge in other parts of the world, and whether it can be used to examine the conceptual structures of modern social sciences in general.

Fall 2017: MDES GU4057
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 4057 001/62658 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
103 Knox Hall
Sudipta Kaviraj 4 12/20

RELI UN2205 Buddhism: Indo-Tibetan. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

Historical introduction to Buddhist thought, scriptures, practices, and institutions. Attention given to Theravada, Mahayana, and Tantric Buddhism in India, as well as selected non-Indian forms.

Fall 2017: RELI UN2205
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RELI 2205 001/66198 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
633 Seeley W. Mudd Building
Robert Thurman 4 60/60

RELI GU4304 Krishna. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

Study of a single deity in the Hindu pantheon as illuminated in art, music, dance, drama, theological treatises, patterns of ritual, and texts both classic and modern. Special attention to Krishna's consort Radha, to Krishna's reception in the West, and to his portrayal on Indian television.

HSME GU4643 19th Century Indian Muslims: Identity, Faith, Politics. 4 points.

This is an advanced undergraduate/graduate history seminar course over thirteen weeks, designed to introduce upper level students to the study of Muslims in colonial India in the nineteenth century. Although dealing with this period, the main focus of this course will be on social, religious and political developments, inspired by, and affecting, India’s Muslims in the second half of the century.

Fall 2017: HSME GU4643
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSME 4643 001/22786 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
C01 80 Claremont
S. Akbar Zaidi 4 2

Southeast Asian

HSEA W3882 Introduction to Modern Southeast Asian History. 3 points.

Middle Eastern

MUSI UN2030 Jewish Music of New York. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Music Humanities (Columbia University) or An Introduction to Music (Barnard).

With the arrival of the first Jewish immigrants in New York in the mid-1600s until today, Jewish music in the City has oscillated between preserving traditions and introducing innovative ideas. This course explores the variety of ways people have used music to describe, inscribe, symbolize, and editorialize their Jewish experience. Along these lines, it draws upon genres of art music, popular music, and non-Western traditions, as well as practices that synthesize various styles and genres, from hazzanut to hiphop. Diverse musical experiences will serve as a window to address wider questions of identity, memory, and dislocation. We will also experience the Jewish soundscape of New York’s dynamic and eclectic music culture by visiting various venues and meeting key players in today’s music scene, and thus engage in the ongoing dialogues that define Jewishness in New York. A basic familiarity with Judaism and Jewish culture is helpful for this course, but it is by no means required. You do not need to know Jewish history to take this class, nor do you need to be able to read music. Translations from Hebrew and Yiddish will be provided, and musical analysis will be well explained.

Fall 2017: MUSI UN2030
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MUSI 2030 001/61470 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
716 Hamilton Hall
3 9/40

HIST UN2719 History of the Modern Middle East. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)., CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement
Graduate students must register for HIST G6998 version of this course.

This course will cover the history of the Middle East from the 18th century until the present, examining the region ranging from Morocco to Iran and including the Ottoman Empire. It will focus on transformations in the states of the region, external intervention, and the emergence of modern nation-states, as well as aspects of social, economic, cultural and intellectual history of the region. Field(s): ME

Fall 2017: HIST UN2719
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2719 001/63433 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
309 Havemeyer Hall
Rashid Khalidi 4 209/210

MDES UN3445 Societies & Cultures Across the Indian Ocean. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

The course is designed to introduce the Indian Ocean as a region linking the Middle East, East Africa, South and Southeast Asia. With a focus on both continuities and rupture from the medieval to the modern period, we study select cultures and societies brought into contact through interregional migration and travel over a broad arc of history. Different types of people - nobles, merchants, soldiers, statesmen, sailors, scholars, slaves - experienced mobility in different ways. How did different groups of people represent such mobilities? What kinds of cooperation, accommodation or conflict did different Indian Ocean encounters engender? Using an array of different primary sources, we look at particular case studies and their broader social and cultural contexts.

RELI UN2305 Islam. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

An introduction to the Islamic religion in its premodern and modern manifestations.  The first half of the course concentrates on “classical” Islam, beginning with the life of the Prophet, and extending to ritual, jurisprudence, theology, and mysticism.  The second half examines how Muslims have articulated Islam in light of colonization and the rise of a secular modernity.  The course ends with a discussion of American and European Muslim attempts at carving out distinct spheres of identity in the larger global Muslim community.  

Fall 2017: RELI UN2305
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RELI 2305 001/04539 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Najam Haider 4 52/60

HIST W3716 History of Islamic Societies. 0 points.

Focus on religions, conversion, ethnic relations, development of social institutions, and the relationship between government and religion. Field(d): ME

HIST UN3753 Istanbul: Places, People, and Everyday Life. 4 points.

The Seminar will open several perspectives into the Ottoman capital Istanbul, following a cross-disciplinary approach. The premise is that Istanbul’s multi-layered, socially complicated, and culturally rich historic fabric can be understood well in focused episodes. Selected episodes will hence constitute the weekly discussion topics. Ranging from the representation of the city in artistic productions to the construction of the skyline, the impact of modernizing reforms on urban forms, everyday life in public and private spaces, and the decisive role played by new educational and cultural institutions, these fragments will complement each other, coalescing into a complex overall picture. While the chronological frame is defined by the long nineteenth century, critical earlier phases will be covered as well and parallels will be drawn to present-day. The nineteenth century marks a dynamic and radical era of urban transformations, intertwined with key political, economic, social, and cultural turns that redefined the Ottoman Empire in many ways. It also corresponds to an intense period of international communication and transaction, resulting in a “connected world of empires.” Istanbul served as a major stage for these developments. 

Fall 2017: HIST UN3753
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3753 001/23320 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Zeynep Celik 4 4/15

HIST UN3930 The Eastern Mediterranean in the Late Bronze Age. 4 points.

This course presents a comparative study of the histories of Egypt, the Near East, Anatolia and the Aegean world in the period from c. 1500-1100 BC, when several of the states provide a rich set of textual and archaeological data. It will focus on the region as a system with numerous participants whose histories will be studied in an international context. The course is a seminar: students are asked to investigate a topic (e.g., diplomacy, kingship, aspects of the economy, etc.) in several of the states involved and present their research in class and as a paper.

Fall 2017: HIST UN3930
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3930 001/24974 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Marc Van De Mieroop 4 0/15

MDES UN3920 Contemporary Culture in the Modern Arab World. 3 points.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

This seminar, designed for seniors, aims to acquaint students with the notion and theoretical understanding of culture and to introduce them to a critical method by which they can study and appreciate contemporary culture in the Arab World. The seminar will survey examples of written and cinematic culture (fiction and autobiography), as well as music, dance, and literary criticism in the contemporary Arab world. Students will be reading novels, autobioghraphies and literary criticism, as well as watch films and listen to music as part of the syllabus. All material will be in translation. Films will be subtitled. Songs will be in Arabic.

Fall 2017: MDES UN3920
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 3920 001/24506 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
104 Knox Hall
Joseph Massad 3 16/24

CLME UN3928 Arabic Prison Writing. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This course studies the genealogy of the prison in Arab culture as manifested in memoirs, narratives, and poems. These cut across a vast temporal and spatial swathe, covering selections from the Quran, Sufi narratives from al-Halllaj oeuvre, poetry by prisoners of war: classical, medieval, and modern. It   also studies modern narratives by women prisoners and political prisoners, and narratives that engage with these issues. Arabic prison writing is studied against other genealogies of this prism, especially in the West, to map out the birth of prison, its institutionalization, mechanism, and role. All readings for the course are in English translations.

Fall 2017: CLME UN3928
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLME 3928 001/22923 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
337 Seeley W. Mudd Building
Muhsin Al-Musawi 3 32/20

ANTH UN3933 Arabia Imagined. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This course explores Arabia as a global phenomenon. It is organized around primary texts read in English translation. The site of the revelation of the Quran and the location of the sacred precincts of Islam, Arabia is the destination of pilgrimage and the direction of prayer for Muslims worldwide. It also is the locus of cultural expression ranging from the literature of the 1001 Nights to the broadcasts of Al Jazeera. We begin with themes of contemporary youth culture and political movements associated with the Arab Spring. Seminar paper.

Fall 2017: ANTH UN3933
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3933 001/75423 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
963 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Brinkley Messick 4 17/40

MDES GU4057 Subaltern Studies and Problems of Historiography. 4 points.

The aim of this course will be two-fold: first to initiate a detailed study of the school of Indian  history called Subaltern Studies which achieved immense attention and popularity starting from the 1980s; secondly, to study, through these writings, the epistemological problems of critical historical and social science scholarship. The discussions will be on two levels – every week there will be a reading from the subaltern studies history, but this would be linked to thinking about some specific theoretical issue, and the historiographic difficulties of investigating the history of social groups and actors who were conventionally kept outside mainstream histories. It will track the intellectual trajectory of  subaltern studies intellectual work as it expanded , moving  from histories of the peasantry, the working class, tribals, women, lower castes, subordinate nations, to raising larger theoretical and methodological questions about critiques of nationalist history, of European history and social science to the general question of knowledge about the modern world and the languages in which it should be examined. In the last section, we shall discuss if SS contains a promise of similar forms of critical knowledge in other parts of the world, and whether it can be used to examine the conceptual structures of modern social sciences in general.

Fall 2017: MDES GU4057
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 4057 001/62658 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
103 Knox Hall
Sudipta Kaviraj 4 12/20

ANHS GU4001 The Ancient Empires. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

The principal goal of this course is to examine the nature and histories of a range of early empires in a comparative context. In the process, we will examine influential theories that have been proposed to account for the emergence and trajectories of those empires. Among the theories are the core-periphery, world-systems, territorial-hegemonic, tributary-capitalist, network, and IEMP approaches.  Five regions of the world have been chosen, from the many that could provide candidates:

,

Rome (the classic empire), New Kingdom Egypt, Qin China, Aztec Mesoamerica, and Inka South America. These empires have been chosen because they represent a cross-section of polities ranging from relatively simple and early expansionist societies to the grand empires of the Classical World, and the most powerful states of the indigenous Americas.

,

There are no prerequisites for this course, although students who have no background in Anthropology, Archaeology, History, or Classics may find the course material somewhat more challenging than students with some knowledge of the study of early societies.  There will be two lectures per week, given by the professor.

Fall 2017: ANHS GU4001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANHS 4001 001/65986 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
963 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Terence D'Altroy 3 49/100

MDES GU4232 Arabic Literary Heritage. 4 points.

Prerequisites: one semester of fourth-year Arabic, or demonstrate equivalent competence.

The sessions for this course cover a number of excerpts from texts that are systematically arranged to enable close reading and further discussion and analysis that lead to an active engagement with Arab literary [cultural] tradition. There are samples from pre-Islamic poetry, including that of the Renegades and the Ravens, the Maqamat, al-Jahiz’s oeuvre [selections from a number of books and epistles], Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi’s writings, prose by ibn Wahb on use and misuse of language, epistles by prominent epistolographers, Hikayat Abi al-Qasim by al-Azdi, selections from al-Bayhaqi, and the Thousand and One Nights. There are excerpts from the middle and premodern period, along with specific selections of commentaries of pertinence to the rise or devaluation of genres, modes, and practices. We address cases in which language is the contested space. The theoretical framework takes language as the dynamic force and also the battlefield through our reading of the movement of the word from transparency [where no distance exists between signifiers and signified], representation, and discourse. Every epistemic shift has its ideological base which we need to detect.   The underlying premise is that through close reading and discussion we can draw a genealogy of generic growth or decay in terms of historical, geographical, and religio-political dynamics. The class involves reading, discussion, and written assignments in both Arabic and English.

Fall 2017: MDES GU4232
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 4232 001/67041 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
C01 Knox Hall
Muhsin Al-Musawi 4 7/20

RELI GU4322 Exploring the Sharia. 4 points.

The platform of every modern Islamist political party calls for the implementation of the sharia. This term is invariably (and incorrectly) interpreted as an unchanging legal code dating back to 7th century Arabia. In reality, Islamic law is an organic and constantly evolving human project aimed at ascertaining God's will in a given historical and cultural context. This course offers a detailed and nuanced look at the Islamic legal methodology and its evolution over the last 1400 years. The first part of the semester is dedicated to classical Islamic jurisprudence, concentrating on the manner in which jurists used the Qur'an, the Sunna (the model of the Prophet), and rationality to articulate a coherent legal system. The second part of the course focuses on those areas of the law that engender passionate debate and controversy in the contemporary world. Specifically, we examine the discourse surrounding Islamic family (medical ethics, marriage, divorce, women's rights) and criminal (capital punishment, apostasy, suicide/martyrdom) law. The course concludes by discussing the legal implications of Muslims living as minorities in non-Islamic countries and the effects of modernity on the foundations of Islamic jurisprudence.

Fall 2017: RELI GU4322
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RELI 4322 001/07147 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Najam Haider 4 14/16

MDES GU4726 Readings in Persian Texts. 4 points.

May be repeated for credit; content varies.

Prerequisites: Must have completed MDES 2702, equivalent two years of Persian or the instructor's permission.

This course provides experience reading and analyzing Persian language texts, as well as translating them into English. We will also spend some time learning how to read different kinds of paleography, and about various manuscript and print conventions and practices. Supplementary scholarly readings in English will situate the Persian texts. There will be a translation workshop at the end of the semester with related texts of the students choosing, in preparation for a final translation project. Fall 2017 we will explore historical chronicles (tarikh), and their relationship to other ways of representing the past. May be repeated for credit; content varies. No P/D/F or R credit is allowed for this class.

Fall 2017: MDES GU4726
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 4726 001/13150 M W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Mana Kia 4 7/15

MDES GU4760 SHI'ITES AND SHI'ISM. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Fall 2017: MDES GU4760
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 4760 001/64702 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
104 Knox Hall
Hamid Dabashi 3 2

Asian Civilizations

ASCE UN1002 Introduction to Major Topics in Asian Civilizations: East Asia. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

An interdisciplinary and topical approach to the major issues and phases of East Asian civilizations and their role in the contemporary world. 

Fall 2017: ASCE UN1002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1002 001/62484 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Hl-2 Heyman Center For Humanities
Conrad Schirokauer 4 22/22

ASCE UN1359 Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: China. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

Prerequisites: NOTE:Students must register for a discussion section, ASCE V2360
Corequisites: NOTE:Students must register for a discussion section, ASCE V2360

The evolution of Chinese civilization from ancient times to the 20th century, with emphasis on characteristic institutions and traditions.

Spring 2017: ASCE UN1359
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1359 001/19107 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
717 Hamilton Hall
Harrison Huang 4 53/80
Fall 2017: ASCE UN1359
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1359 001/13153 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
310 Fayerweather
Anatoly Detwyler 4 90/90

ASCE UN1361 Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: Japan. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

Prerequisites: NOTE: Students must register for a discussion section ASCE V2371
Corequisites: NOTE: Students must register for a discussion section ASCE V2371

A survey of important events and individuals, prominent literary and artistic works, and recurring themes in the history of Japan, from prehistory to the 20th century.

Spring 2017: ASCE UN1361
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1361 001/10261 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
702 Hamilton Hall
Gregory Pflugfelder 4 54/80
Fall 2017: ASCE UN1361
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1361 001/70734 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
310 Fayerweather
David Lurie 4 90/90

ASCE UN1365 Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: Tibet. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This course seeks to introduce the sweep of Tibetan civilization and its history from its earliest recorded origins to the present. The course examines what civilizational forces shaped Tibet, especially the contributions of Indian Buddhism, sciences and literature, but also Chinese statecraft and sciences. Alongside the chronological history of Tibet, we will explore aspects of social life and culture.

Fall 2017: ASCE UN1365
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1365 001/15813 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
312 Mathematics Building
Gray Tuttle 4 90/90

ASCE UN1367 Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: Vietnam. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This course provides a survey of Vietnamese civilization from prehistoric origins to the French colonization in the 19th century, with special emphasis on the rise and development of independent kingship over the 2nd millennium CE.  We begin by exploring ethnolinguistic diversity of the Red River plain over the first millenium BCE, culminating in the material bronze culture known as the Dong Son.  We then turn towards the introduction of high sinitic culture, and the region's long membership within successive Chinese empires.  We pay special attention to the rise of an independent state out of the crumbling Tang Dynasty, and the specific nation-building effects of war with the Mongols and the Ming Dynasty, in the 14th and 15th centuries respectively.  Our class ends with the French colonization of the region, and the dramatic cultural and intellectual transformations that were triggered as a result.  Our course will interrogate Vietnamese culture as a protean object, one that is defined and redefined at virtually every level, throughout a history marked by foreign interest, influence, and invasion.

Fall 2017: ASCE UN1367
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1367 001/22696 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
253 Engineering Terrace
John Phan 4 13/30

ASCM V2001 Introduction to Major Topics in the Civilizations of the Middle East and India. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

A general introduction to major cultures in the Middle East and South Asia. The range of cultural issues, institutional forces, textual sources, and figures of authority who have historically defined and symbolically distinguished Asian and Middle Eastern cultures, from their earliest origins to our own time. A representative sample of sacred and secular sources is closely examined in order to guide the students toward a comprehensive conception of what constitutes these distinct cultures and how they have been redefined in the process of their contemporary adaptations. Required of all majors.

ASCM UN2003 Introduction to Islamic Civilization. 4 points.

Lecture and recitation. Islamic civilization and its characteristic intellectual, political, social, and cultural traditions up through 1800.

Fall 2017: ASCM UN2003
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCM 2003 001/73490 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
310 Fayerweather
Mana Kia 4 90/90

ASCM UN2357 Introduction to Indian Civilization. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

Introduction to Indian civilization with attention to both its unity and its diversity across the Indian subcontinent. Consideration of its origins, formative development, fundamental social institutions, religious thought and practice (Vedic, Buddhist, Jain, Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh), literary and artistic achievements, and modern challenges.

Fall 2017: ASCM UN2357
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCM 2357 001/02812 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Rachel McDermott 3 70/70

ASCE UN1363 Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: Korea. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

The evolution of Korean society and culture, with special attention to Korean values as reflected in thought, literature, and the arts.

Asian Art Humanities

AHUM UN2604 Art In China, Japan, and Korea. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

Introduces distinctive aesthetic traditions of China, Japan, and Korea--their similarities and differences--through an examination of the visual significance of selected works of painting, sculpture, architecture, and other arts in relation to the history, culture, and religions of East Asia.

Spring 2017: AHUM UN2604
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2604 001/68097 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
612 Schermerhorn Hall
Dawn Delbanco 3 61/66
AHUM 2604 002/77396 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
832 Schermerhorn Hall
Miriam Chusid 3 23/22
AHUM 2604 003/76282 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
832 Schermerhorn Hall
Talia Andrei 3 19/22
Fall 2017: AHUM UN2604
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2604 001/14476 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
612 Schermerhorn Hall
Dawn Delbanco 3 66/66
AHUM 2604 002/11638 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
832 Schermerhorn Hall
Talia Andrei 3 22/22

AHUM UN2800 Arts of Islam: The First Formative Centuries (circa 700-1000). 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This introductory course attempts to cover the first 300 years, from circa 700-1000 AD, stressing the birth of Islam as the birth of a new aesthetic phenomenon in the Mediterranean Basin, Near East and Central Asia and its appropriations and innovations in creating a novel imperial style, while, at the same time, questioning the modern historiographies and narratives for these masterpieces.

Fall 2017: AHUM UN2800
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2800 001/66583 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
612 Schermerhorn Hall
Avinoam Shalem 3 66/66

AHUM UN2901 Masterpieces of Indian Art and Architecture. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement, Discussion Section Required

Introduction to 2000 years of art on the Indian subcontinent. The course covers the early art of Buddhism, rock-cut architecture of the Buddhists and Hindus, the development of the Hindu temple, Mughal and Rajput painting and architecture, art of the colonial period, and the emergence of the Modern.

Spring 2017: AHUM UN2901
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2901 001/25796 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
832 Schermerhorn Hall
Siddhartha Shah 3 22/22
Fall 2017: AHUM UN2901
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2901 001/23435 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
612 Schermerhorn Hall
Vidya Dehejia 3 66/66

AHUM V3343 Masterpieces of Islamic Art and Architecture. 3 points.

Asian Humanities

AHUM UN1400 Colloquium on Major Texts: East Asia. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This course explores the core classical literature in Chinese, Japanese and Korean Humanities. The main objective of the course is to discover the meanings that these literature offer, not just for the original audience or for the respective cultures, but for us. As such, it is not a survey or a lecture-based course. Rather than being taught what meanings are to be derived from the texts, we explore meanings together, informed by in-depth reading and thorough ongoing discussion.

Spring 2017: AHUM UN1400
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 1400 001/25120 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
522c Kent Hall
Paul Anderer 4 16/22
AHUM 1400 002/11851 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
507 Philosophy Hall
Wei Shang 4 19/22
AHUM 1400 003/23430 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Hl-2 Heyman Center For Humanities
Conrad Schirokauer 4 22/22
AHUM 1400 004/66938 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Itsuki Hayashi 4 21/20
AHUM 1400 005/16505 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
420 Pupin Laboratories
Seong-Uk Kim 4 17/20
AHUM 1400 006/81397 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
522c Kent Hall
Charles Woolley 4 16/20
Fall 2017: AHUM UN1400
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 1400 001/05400 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
304 Hamilton Hall
David Moerman 4 22/22
AHUM 1400 002/67259 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Seong-Uk Kim 4 22/22
AHUM 1400 003/64631 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
607 Hamilton Hall
Paul Anderer 4 22/22
AHUM 1400 004/24981 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
424 Kent Hall
John Phan 4 22/22

AHUM UN3830 Colloquium On Modern East Asian Texts. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

Prerequisites: AHUM V3400 is recommended as background.

Introduction to and exploration of modern East Asian literature through close reading and discussion of selected masterpieces from the 1890s through the 1990s by Chinese, Japanese, and Korean writers such as Mori Ogai, Wu Jianren, Natsume Soseki, Lu Xun, Tanizaki Jun’ichiro, Shen Congwen, Ding Ling, Eileen Chang, Yi Sang, Oe Kenzaburo, O Chong-hui, and others. Emphasis will be on cultural and intellectual issues and on how literary forms manifested, constructed, or responded to rapidly shifting experiences of modernity in East Asia.

Fall 2017: AHUM UN3830
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 3830 001/72674 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
411 Kent Hall
Charles Woolley 4 20/20

AHUM UN3399 Colloquium on Major Texts: Middle East and South Asia. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

Readings in translation and discussion of texts of Middle Eastern and Indian origin. Readings may include the Qur'an, Islamic philosophy, Sufi poetry, the Upanishads, Buddhist sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, Indian epics and drama, and Gandhi's Autobiography. 

Fall 2017: AHUM UN3399
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 3399 001/22856 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
411 Kent Hall
Wael Hallaq 3 20/20
AHUM 3399 002/07658 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Nathanael Shelley 3 0/20

AHUM W4027 Colloquium On Major Works of Chinese Philosophy, Religion, and Literature. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: AHUM V3400, ASCE V2359, or ASCE V2002.

Extends the work begun in AHUM V3400 by focusing on reading and discussion of major works of Chinese philosophy, religion, and literature, including important texts of Confucian, Daoist, Mohist, Legalist, Huang-Lao, and neo-Daoist traditions and recently discovered texts. Forms a sequence with AHUM W4028, but may also be taken separately. 

Asian Music Humanities

AHMM UN3321 Introduction To the Musics of India and West Asia. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART)., CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

A topical approach to the concepts and practices of music in relation to other arts in the development of Asian civilizations.

Fall 2017: AHMM UN3321
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHMM 3321 001/21487 M W 6:10pm - 7:25pm
622 Dodge Building
Alessandra Ciucci 3 25/25
AHMM 3321 002/70858 M W 6:10pm - 7:25pm
620 Dodge Building
Eben Graves 3 25/25
AHMM 3321 003/17449 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
622 Dodge Building
Andres Garcia Molina 3 25/25

African History

CLME GU4031 Cinema and Society In Asia and Africa. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

Introduction to Middle Eastern cinema as a unique cultural product in which artistic sensibilities are mobilized to address, and thus reflect, significant aspects of contemporary society, Arab, Israeli, Turkish, and Iranian cinema. Cultural and collective expressions of some enduring concerns in modern Middle Eastern societies. No P/D/F or R credit is allowed for this class.

Fall 2017: CLME GU4031
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLME 4031 001/13647 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
501 Schermerhorn Hall
Hamid Dabashi 4 5/90