Barnard Faculty:

Professor and Chair: David Max Moerman

Professor: Rachel McDermott
Assistant Professors: Nicholas Bartlett (on leave for the year),  Matthew L. Keegan
Associate Professor of Professional Practice: Hisham Matar (Fall only)
Term Assistant Professor: Nathanael Shelley, Emily Ng

Other officers of the University offering courses listed below:

Professors: Muhsin Al-Musawi (Arabic Studies/MESAAS), Gil Anidjar (Religion/MESAAS), Charles Armstrong (History), Partha Chatterjee (Anthropology/MESAAS), Myron Cohen (Anthropology), Hamid Dabashi (MESAAS), Vidya Dehejia (Art History), Mamadou Diouf (African Studies/MESAAS), Laura Fair (MESAAS--ON LEAVE), Bernard Faure (EALAC & Religion), Carol N. Gluck (History), Najam Haider (Religion), Wael Hallaq (MESAAS), Robert E. Harrist Jr. (Art History), John S. Hawley (Religion), Gil Hochberg (MESAAS, CHAIR), Theodore Hughes (EALAC), Robert P.W. Hymes (EALAC), Sudipta Kaviraj (MESAAS), Rashid Khalidi (MESSAS/History), Dorothy Ko (History), Eugenia Lean (EALAC), Feng Li (EALAC), Lydia Liu (History--on leave Fall 2021), Lening Liu (EALAC), Mahmood Mamdani (Anthropology/MESAAS--ON LEAVE), Joseph Massad (MESAAS), Matthew McKelway (Art History), Brinkley M. Messick (Anthropology/MESAAS), Timothy Mitchell (MESAAS--Director of Undergrad Studies), Sheldon Pollock (MESAAS--ON LEAVE),  Jonathan M. Reynolds (Art History), Wei Shang (EALAC -- Chair), Haruo Shirane (EALAC, Vice-Chair), Michael Stanislawski (History), Tomi Suzuki (EALAC), Gray Tuttle (EALAC -- on leave Fall 2021), Gauri Viswanathan (English & Comparative Literature),  Marc Van De Mieroop (History), Syed Akbar Zaidi (Intr'l & Public Affairs/MESAAS), Madeleine Zelin (EALAC)

Associate Professors: Manan Ahmad (History), Michael Como (EALAC and Religion), Aaron Andrew Fox (Music), Mana Kia (MESAAS), David Lurie (EALAC.), Lien-Hang Nguyen (EALAC and History), Gregory Pflugfelder (EALAC), Anupama Rao (History/MESAAS), Jennifer Wenzel (English & MESAAS)

Assistant Professors: Sarah R. bin Tyeer (MESAAS--ON LEAVE), Jungwon Kim (EALAC), Seong Uk Kim (EALAC), Paul Kreitman (EALAC -- on leave Fall 2021 and Spring 2022), Debashree Mukherjee (MESAAS), John Phan (EALAC -- on leave Fall 2021 and Spring 2022), Ying Qian (EALAC), Takuya Tsunoda (EALAC -- on leave Spring 2022), Elaine van Dalen (MESAAS), Zhaohua Yang (Religion and EALAC), Elleni Centime Zeleke (MESAAS)

Requirements for the Major

You need a total of 45 points, minimum, across all three tracks of our major.  Note that most students, especially if you are not already at an advanced level of language study, will need to take far more courses, and hence points.

6 points for two language classes
4 points for Asian Humanities
8 points for two Civilization classes
4 points for a required theory course
5 x 3 point courses = 15 points for five courses in the major
8 points total for the thesis

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 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 N - CHNS UN3004 THIRD YEAR CHINESE N II 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 INTRO EAST ASIAN CIV: JPN
ASCE UN1363 Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: Korea
ASCE UN1365 Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: Tibet
ASCE UN1367 Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: 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 20% 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 UN2003 Introduction to Islamic Civilization
  • Asian Civilizations-Middle East: ASCM UN2008 CONTEMP 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, Bengali, Hebrew, Hindi, Persian, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Turkish, or Urdu 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 office of Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies 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,  Islamic Civ, or Tibetan 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

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 2021: EAAS UN3999
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 3999 001/10913 M 5:10pm - 7:00pm
507 Hamilton Hall
Jungwon Kim, Yifan Zhang, Mairead Hynes 1 7/15

HIST GU4923 NARRATIVES OF WWII. 4.00 points.

Spring 2021: HIST GU4923
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4923 001/10088 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Carol Gluck 4.00 15/15

East Asian, General and Comparative

EAAS UN2342 Mythology of East Asia. 4 points.

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

Through close readings of major myths of China, Japan, and Korea, this course provides a survey of significant themes of East Asian culture. Inclusion of selected comparative readings also leads students to reconsider the nature of ‘world mythology,’ a field often constituted by juxtaposing Greek and Latin classics with oral texts collected during anthropological fieldwork. The core materials for this class are from ancient written traditions, but they speak with force and clarity to modern readers, as is underlined by our attention to latter-day reception and reconceptualization of these narratives. This is an introductory, discussion-based class intended for undergraduates. No prior knowledge of East Asian history or culture is required, and all course readings are in English. Satisfies the Global Core requirement.

Fall 2021: EAAS UN2342
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 2342 001/10910 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
401 Chandler
David Lurie 4 22/20

HIST UN2580 THE HISTORY OF UNITED STATES RELATIONS WITH EAST ASIA. 4 points.

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

This lecture course examines the history of the relationship between the United States and the countries of East Asia in the 19th and 20th centuries. The first half of the course will examine the factors drove the United States to acquire territorial possessions in Asia, to vie for a seat at the imperial table at China’s expense, and to eventual confrontation with Japan over mastery in the Pacific from the turn of the century leading to the Second World War. The second half of the course will explore the impact of U.S. policy toward East Asia during the Cold War when Washington’s policy of containment, which included nation-building, development schemes, and waging war, came up against East Asia’s struggles for decolonization, revolution, and modernization.  Not only will this course focus on state-to-state relations, it will also address a multitude of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese perspectives on the United States and American culture through translated text, oral history, fiction, and memoir.


Participation in weekly discussion sections, which will begin no later than the third week of classes, is mandatory. 

Fall 2021: HIST UN2580
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2580 001/10368 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Pb Faculty House
Lien-Hang Nguyen 4 101/120

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 2021: AHUM UN2604
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2604 001/16858 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Online Only
Xu Tingting 3 19/21
AHUM 2604 002/16713 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Naomi Kuromiya 3 23/21
AHUM 2604 003/16714 T Th 7:40pm - 8:55pm
Online Only
Jeewon Kim 3 21/21
AHUM 2604 004/16715 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
Online Only
Chen Jiang 3 18/21
Fall 2021: AHUM UN2604
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2604 001/11402 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
807 Schermerhorn Hall
Xu Tingting 3 21/21
AHUM 2604 002/18161 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
807 Schermerhorn Hall
Andrea Horisaki-Christens 3 23/21

EAAS UN3844 CULTURE, MENTAL HEALTH, AND HEALING IN EAST ASIA. 4.00 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

Fall 2021: EAAS UN3844
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 3844 001/00460 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
207 Milbank Hall
Emily Ng 4.00 24/22

HIST UN3866 WARS OF INDOCHINA. 3.00 points.

Saigon and Hanoi served as competing capitals of the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) in the south and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) in the north (1954-1975). They were symbols of warring states, one home to a fledgling republic, the other the seat of communist power. Since the late 19th century, they have also been sites of Vietnam’s most dramatic transformations. As such, they occupy an important place in the historiography of modern Vietnam, not least in ongoing debates over the Indochina wars, Vietnamese nationalism, and regional difference. This course examines Saigon and Hanoi as social, political, and cultural spaces, and as representations of their respective states during the war. We first consider the significance of regionalism in fashioning “new ways of being Vietnamese” and examine how colonial rule reinforced those distinctions. We devote the rest of the semester to reading an array of works on the history of these cities. For the colonial period, we examine colonial urbanism, the lives of the poor, intellectuals and their ideas, as well as currents of political agitation and cultural iconoclasm. For the post-World War II period, we will focus on the distinct political cultures that took shape in the RVN and DRV. Finally, we end by looking at Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) and Hanoi in the post-war era, particularly after the Socialist Republic of Vietnam instituted sweeping economic reforms in the 1980s. Each week, we will discuss works social, cultural, and political history of Saigon and Hanoi, all the while keeping in mind their divergent trajectories in the three decades following World War II

EAAS UN3990 Approaches to East Asian Studies. 4 points.

Enrollment is limited to EALAC and AMEC majors and concentrators only.

This course is intended to provide a focal point for undergraduate majors in East Asian Studies. It introduces students to the analysis of particular objects of East Asian historical, literary, and cultural studies from various disciplinary perspectives. The syllabus is composed of a series of modules, each centered around an object, accompanied by readings that introduce different ways of understanding its meaning.

Fall 2021: EAAS UN3990
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 3990 001/10912 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
424 Kent Hall
Gregory Pflugfelder 4 26/25

EARL GU4011 LOTUS SUTRA/E ASIAN BUDDHISM. 4.00 points.

Fall 2021: EARL GU4011
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EARL 4011 001/00379 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Ll103 Diana Center
David Moerman 4.00 16/20

RELI GU4120 GENDER IN ANC CHRISTIANITY. 4.00 points.

This seminar considers the difference gender makes in interpreting ancient Christian texts, ideas, and practices. Topics will include gender hierarchy and homoeroticism, prophecy and authority, outsiders’ views of Christianity, bodily pieties such as martyrdom and asceticism, and gender politics in the establishment of church offices. Emphasis will be placed on close readings of primary sources and selected scholarly framings of these sources

RELI GU4513 Buddhism and Neuroscience. 4 points.

With the Dalai Lama's marked interest in recent advances in neuroscience, the question of the compatibility between Buddhist psychology and neuroscience has been raised in a number of conferences and studies. This course will examine the state of the question, look at claims made on both sides, and discuss whether or not there is a convergence between Buddhist discourse about the mind and scientific discourse about the brain.

Fall 2021: RELI GU4513
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RELI 4513 001/11440 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
101 80 Claremont
Bernard Faure 4 16/25

East Asian, China

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 UN1360

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

Spring 2021: ASCE UN1359
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1359 003/00038 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Jue Guo 4 80/90
Fall 2021: ASCE UN1359
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1359 001/10905 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Aud Earl Hall
Gavin Healy 4 48/60

HIST BC2865 Gender and Power in China. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).

This course explores the power dynamics of gender relations in Chinese history and contemporary society. Specifically, we seek to understand how a range of women--rulers, mothers, teachers, workers, prostitutes, and activists--exercised power by utilizing available resources to overcome institutional constraints.

Fall 2021: HIST BC2865
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2865 001/00046 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Ll104 Diana Center
Dorothy Ko 3 49/58

EAAS UN3423 Discovering Everyday Life in Modern China. 4 points.

This course introduces students to the everyday experiences of individuals, families, and communities in rural and urban China from the late Qing to the contemporary era. Based on extensive reading and discussion on academic literature, selected primary sources, and contemporary visual materials, the course will equip the students with the knowledge and skill to appreciate the dynamics and craft of history from the perspective of the everyday. There are no prerequisites to the course. All course materials are in English. Knowledge of Mandarin is useful but not required.

EAAS UN3435 Chinese Revolution, Asian Revolution, World Revolution: Revolution and Radicalism in the Long Twentieth Century. 4.00 points.

This course examines the Chinese Revolution as a global event, one that provided new possibilities for understanding the future not only of China, but Asia and the world. In doing so, it refuses any notion of the Chinese Revolution as a merely "Chinese" event and instead marks the ways in which diverse sets of activists and revolutionaries from across Asia not only contributed towards the formation of Chinese revolutionary politics but also responded on their own terms. The Chinese Revolution thereby emerges as a truly global event and one that transformed political imagination. The course focuses largely on the responses and trajectories of Asian revolutionaries, especially from Vietnam and Japan, whose intellectual and political paths intersected with those of Chinese activists. Students can expect to work through the diverse intellectual interventions of pan-Asian diasporic communities in Japan at the beginning of the twentieth century, read interwar proletarian fiction from Chinese and Japanese authors, compare Chinese and Vietnamese conceptualizations of "people's war" as an anti-colonial military strategy. They will emerge with a new understanding of the porousness and complexity of basic categories such as China, Asia and revolution

Fall 2021: EAAS UN3435
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 3435 001/18520 F 12:10pm - 2:00pm
507 Philosophy Hall
Benjamin Kindler 4.00 7/25

EAAS UN3844 CULTURE, MENTAL HEALTH, AND HEALING IN EAST ASIA. 4.00 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

Fall 2021: EAAS UN3844
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 3844 001/00460 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
207 Milbank Hall
Emily Ng 4.00 24/22

HIST BC3864 Feast/Famine: Food Environment China. 4.00 points.

Food has always been a central concern in Chinese politics, religion, medicine, and culture. This course takes an ecological approach to the provision, preparation, and consumption of food in Chinese history, from the Neolithic times to the post-socialist era today. In examining Chinese approaches to soil fertility, healthy diet, and culinary pleasures, we explore alternative food systems for a more sustainable future

Fall 2021: HIST BC3864
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3864 001/00052 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
227 Milbank Hall
Dorothy Ko 4.00 15/14

HIST UN3866 WARS OF INDOCHINA. 3.00 points.

Saigon and Hanoi served as competing capitals of the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) in the south and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) in the north (1954-1975). They were symbols of warring states, one home to a fledgling republic, the other the seat of communist power. Since the late 19th century, they have also been sites of Vietnam’s most dramatic transformations. As such, they occupy an important place in the historiography of modern Vietnam, not least in ongoing debates over the Indochina wars, Vietnamese nationalism, and regional difference. This course examines Saigon and Hanoi as social, political, and cultural spaces, and as representations of their respective states during the war. We first consider the significance of regionalism in fashioning “new ways of being Vietnamese” and examine how colonial rule reinforced those distinctions. We devote the rest of the semester to reading an array of works on the history of these cities. For the colonial period, we examine colonial urbanism, the lives of the poor, intellectuals and their ideas, as well as currents of political agitation and cultural iconoclasm. For the post-World War II period, we will focus on the distinct political cultures that took shape in the RVN and DRV. Finally, we end by looking at Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) and Hanoi in the post-war era, particularly after the Socialist Republic of Vietnam instituted sweeping economic reforms in the 1980s. Each week, we will discuss works social, cultural, and political history of Saigon and Hanoi, all the while keeping in mind their divergent trajectories in the three decades following World War II

EAAS UN3927 China in the Modern World. 3 points.

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

The rise of China has impacted world politics and economy in significant ways. How did it happen? This course introduces some unique angles of self-understanding as suggested by Chinese writers, intellectuals, and artists who have participated in the making of modern China and provided illuminating and critical analyses of their own culture, history, and the world. Readings cover a wide selection of modern Chinese fiction and poetry, autobiographical writing, photography, documentary film, artworks, and music with emphasis on the interplays of art/literature, history, and politics. Close attention is paid to the role of storytelling, the mediating powers of technology, new forms of visuality and sense experience, and the emergence of critical consciousness in response to global modernity. In the course of the semester, a number of contemporary Chinese artists, filmmakers, and writers are invited to answer students’ questions.   This course draws on cross-disciplinary methods from art history, film studies, anthropology, and history in approaching texts and other works. The goal is to develop critical reading skills and gain in-depth understanding of modern China and its engagement with the modern world beyond the cold war rhetoric. Our topics of discussion include historical rupture, loss and melancholy, exile, freedom, migration, social bonding and identity, capitalism, nationalism, and the world revolution. All works are read in English translation.

EAAS UN3990 Approaches to East Asian Studies. 4 points.

Enrollment is limited to EALAC and AMEC majors and concentrators only.

This course is intended to provide a focal point for undergraduate majors in East Asian Studies. It introduces students to the analysis of particular objects of East Asian historical, literary, and cultural studies from various disciplinary perspectives. The syllabus is composed of a series of modules, each centered around an object, accompanied by readings that introduce different ways of understanding its meaning.

Fall 2021: EAAS UN3990
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 3990 001/10912 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
424 Kent Hall
Gregory Pflugfelder 4 26/25

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 2021: EAAS UN3999
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 3999 001/10913 M 5:10pm - 7:00pm
507 Hamilton Hall
Jungwon Kim, Yifan Zhang, Mairead Hynes 1 7/15

CHNS GU4019 HISTORY OF CHINESE LANGUAGE. 3.00 points.

The evolution of the Chinese language. Topics include historical phonology, the Chinese script, the classical and literary languages, the standard language and major dialects, language and society, etc

Spring 2021: CHNS GU4019
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CHNS 4019 001/10379 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Zhirong Wang 3.00 13/15
Fall 2021: CHNS GU4019
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CHNS 4019 001/10984 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
522d Kent Hall
Zhirong Wang 3.00 13/15

EAAS GU4226 Gender, Class and Real Estate in Urbanizing China. 4 points.

This is a seminar for advanced undergraduates and master’s degree students, which explores the socioeconomic consequences of China’s development of a boom, urban residential real-estate market since the privatization of housing at the end of the 1990s. We will use the intersecting lenses of gender/sexuality, class and race/ethnicity to analyze the dramatic new inequalities created in arguably the largest and fastest accumulation of residential-real estate wealth in history. We will examine topics such as how skyrocketing home prices and state-led urbanization have created winners and losers based on gender, sexuality, class, race/ethnicity and location (hukou), as China strives to transform from a predominantly rural population to one that is 60 percent urban by 2020. We explore the vastly divergent effects of urban real-estate development on Chinese citizens, from the most marginaliz4d communities in remote regions of Tibet and Xinjiang to hyper-wealthy investors in Manhattan. Although this course has no formal prerequisites, it assumes some basic knowledge of Chinese history. If you have never taken a course on China before, please ask me for guidance on whether or not this class is suitable for you. The syllabus is preliminary and subject to change based on breaking news events and the needs of the class.

Fall 2021: EAAS GU4226
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 4226 001/10918 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
507 Philosophy Hall
Leta Hong Fincher 4 21/24

EAAS GU4236 CHINA'S LONG 1980's: INTERROGATING THE CULTURAL POLITICS OF REFORM AND OPENING. 4 points.

This course examines the experiences and legacies of China’s “long 1980s” (1978-1992), a time characterized by a state-led turn from central planning to a market approach to economic and social governance, an increasing integration of China into the world economy, and the emergence of a “cultural fever” characterized by artistic experimentations at all levels of society.

RELI GU4307 BUDDHISM & DAOISM IN CHINA. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: one course on Buddhism or Chinese religious traditions is recommended, but not required, as background.
In recent decades, the study of the so-called “Buddho-Daoism” has become a burgeoning field that breaks down the traditional boundary lines drawn between the two Chinese religious traditions. In this course we will read secondary scholarship in English that probes the complex relationships between Buddhism and Daoism in the past two millennia. Students are required not only to be aware of the tensions and complementarity between them, but to be alert to the nature of claims to either religious purity or mixing and the ways those claims were put forward under specific religio-historical circumstances. The course is organized thematically rather than chronologically. We will address topics on terminology, doctrine, cosmology, eschatology, soteriology, exorcism, scriptural productions, ritual performance, miracle tales and visual representations that arose in the interactions of the two religions, with particular attention paid to critiquing terms such as “influence,” “encounter,” “dialogue,” “hybridity,” “syncretism,” and “repertoire.” The course is designed for both advanced undergraduate and graduate students in the fields of East Asian religion, literature, history, art history, sociology and anthropology. One course on Buddhism or Chinese religious traditions is recommended, but not required, as background

EAAS GU4572 Chinese Documentary Cinema. 4 points.

What defines a “documentary” film? How do documentaries inform, provoke and move us?  What formal devices and aesthetic strategies do documentaries use to construct visions of reality and proclaim them as authentic, credible and authoritative? What can documentary cinema teach us about the changing Chinese society, and about cinema as a medium for social engagement?    This seminar introduces students to the aesthetics, epistemology and politics of documentary cinema in China from the 1940s to the present, with an emphasis on contemporary films produced in the past two decades.  We examine how documentaries contended history, registered subaltern experiences, engaged with issues of gender, ethnicity and class, and built new communities of testimony and activism to foster social change. Besides documentaries made by Chinese filmmakers, we also include a small number of films made on China by western filmmakers, including those by Joris Ivens, Michelangelo Antonioni, Frank Capra and Carma Hinton.  Topics include documentary poetics and aesthetics, evidence, performance and authenticity, the porous boundaries between documentary and fiction, and documentary ethics. 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.  

Fall 2021: EAAS GU4572
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 4572 001/13533 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
413 Hamilton Hall
Ying Qian 4 16/18

HIST GU4812 The People’s Republic of China and the World. 4 points.

This seminar will examine the history of the People’s Republic of China’s relations, struggles, and interconnections with the wider world since its founding in 1949. Spanning the dramatic upheavals of revolution and the Cold War, the profitable transformations of “reform and opening,” and China’s reemergence as a global power, this course centers on the ways in which China’s leaders have understood and interacted with the world outside their borders since 1949. It focuses primarily on: (1) diplomatic and security engagements, (2) international economic interactions, and (3) transnational intellectual and cultural exchanges. The seminar is designed to enable students to examine major themes in the history of socialism, development, and globalization; to discuss methods in the study of modern Chinese history and international and transnational history, and to develop a deeper historical understanding of China’s rise at a moment when it is dramatically reshaping the world.

EAAS GU4840 China and the Politics of Desire. 4 points.

A recent American newspaper headline announced that China has become “the most materialistic country the world.” Globally circulating narratives often interpret Chinese consumers’ demand for commodities as an attempt to fill a void left by the absence of the Maoist state, traditional religious life, and Western-style democracy. But things aren’t as simple as they appear. This course explores the intertwined questions of “Chinese” desire and the desire for China. Avoiding reductionist understandings of desire as either a universal natural human attribute or a particular Chinese cultural trait, we will track the production and management of desire within a complex global field. Drawing on ethnographies, films, short stories, and psychoanalytic and postcolonial theory, this course will explore the shifting figure of desire across the Maoist and post-Maoist eras by examining how academics, government officials, intellectuals, and artists have represented Chinese needs, wants and fantasies. From state leaders’ attempts to improve the “quality” of the country’s population to citizens’ dreams of home ownership, from sexualized desire to hunger for food, drugs and other commodities, we will attend to the continuities and disjunctures of recent Chinese history by tracking how desire in China has been conceptualized and refracted through local and global encounters.

Spring 2021: EAAS GU4840
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 4840 001/00644 W 10:00am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Nicholas Bartlett 4 16/18

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 2021: HSEA GU4880
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 4880 001/10930 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
413 Kent Hall
Madeleine Zelin 3 46/50

HSEA GU4893 Family in Chinese History. 3 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 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 2021: HSEA GU4893
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 4893 001/14039 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
313 Hamilton Hall
Robert Hymes 3 13/20

East Asian, Japan

ASCE UN1361 INTRO EAST ASIAN CIV: JPN. 4.00 points.

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

Prerequisites: NOTE: Students must register for a discussion section ASCE UN1371
Prerequisites: NOTE: Students must register for a discussion section ASCE UN1371 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 2021: ASCE UN1361
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1361 001/10282 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Online Only
Paul Kreitman 4.00 92/90
Fall 2021: ASCE UN1361
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1361 001/10906 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Aud Earl Hall
Ye Yuan 4.00 54/60

AHIS UN2601 The Arts of Japan. 3 points.

Introduction to the painting, sculpture, and architecture of Japan from the Neolithic period through the present. Discussion focuses on key monuments within their historical and cultural contexts.

JPNS UN3401 JAPANESE POP CULTURE. 2 points.

This course examines various aspects of Japanese pop culture including but not limited to manga, anime, pop idols, and otaku (primary consumers of Japanese pop culture). The course will also discuss why Japanese pop culture is popular outside Japan such as the US and how it has been tailored to the local culture.

HSEA UN3871 Modern Japan: Images and Words. 3 points.

This course relies primarily on visual materials to familiarize students with the history of Japan from the beginning of the nineteenth century through the present. It follows a chronological order, introducing students to various realms of Japanese visual culture—from woodblock prints to film, anime, and manga—along with the historical contexts that they were shaped by, and in turn helped shape. Special attention will paid to the visual technologies of nation-building, war, and empire; to historical interactions between Japanese and Euro-American visual culture; to the operations of still versus moving images; and to the mass production of visual commodities for the global marketplace. Students who take the course will emerge not only with a better understanding of Japan’s modern historical experience, but also with a more discerning eye for the ways that images convey meaning and offer access to the past.

EAAS GU4022 Japanaese Buddhist Visual Culture. 3 points.

This course explors the principal modes, media, and contexts of visual culture in Japanese Buddhist history.  Through the analysis of selected case studies, the course examines of the modalities of perception, materiality, and reception that distinguish the form and function of visual media in Japanese Buddhist contexts.  Students are expected to have completed preliminary coursework in relevant areas of East Asian history, religion, or art history.

Spring 2021: EAAS GU4022
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 4022 001/00633 T 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
David Moerman 3 6/20

EAAS GU4122 Japanese New Wave and Cinematic Modernism. 4 points.

This course will delve into an analytical reconsideration of postwar Japanese cinema specifically from the perspective of the Japanese New Wave.  While we will aim to capture the exhilaration of the Japanese New Wave by closely analyzing existing studies on some of its key makers and their works, special attention will be given to what is left out of the category as it is conventionally understood, drawing on marginalized works and genres, such as educational and industrial films as well as pink films.

Fall 2021: EAAS GU4122
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 4122 001/10916 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
405 Kent Hall
Takuya Tsunoda 4 23/21

JPNS GU4519 Kanbun. 3 points.

Prerequisites: JPNS W4007 or the equivalent.

Introduction to the fundamentals of reading Chinese-style Japanese and related forms, using literary and historical texts. CC GS EN CE GSAS

EAAS GU4810 WOMEN AND LITERARY CULTURE IN JAPAN. 4.00 points.

Japan has a long tradition of highly sophisticated vernacular literature (poetry, prose fiction, essays and poetic memoirs) by aristocratic court women, particularly from the tenth- and eleventh-century, including The Tale of Genji, often considered the world’s first psychological novel. Writings by women in the early period had a deep impact on subsequent cultural production, and these vernacular writings (as well as the figure of these early women writers) acquired a new, contested significance from the end of the nineteenth century as part of the process of modern nation-building. Gender became a major organizing category in constructing discourse on literature, literary language, and literary modernity, particularly with regard to the novel. This seminar engages in close readings and discussion of selected works from the eleventh-century to twentieth-century Japan with particular attention to the genealogy of women’s writings and changing representations of women, gender, and social relations. Issues include: genre, media, intertextuality, and literary communities; body and sexuality; and in the modern period, the “woman question” and global feminisms as well as authorship and authority. All readings are in English. Original texts will be provided for those who can read in the original

Fall 2021: EAAS GU4810
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 4810 001/10919 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
507 Philosophy Hall
Tomi Suzuki 4.00 15/15

East Asian, Korea

EAAS UN3215 KOREAN LITERATURE & FILM. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: weekly film screening required.
This course traces the history of Korean cinema and literature from the 1930s to the early 2000s. Particular attention is given to colonialism, national division, war, gender relations, authoritarianism, urbanization, consumer culture, and diaspora. What kinds of familial, social, economic, and political relations do these films and literary works envision? We will link films and literary texts to their historical context, noting how representations of people, places, and ideas have changed over time—from colonialism, through poverty and malaise in the aftermath of the Korean War, to North Korea’s continuing search for autonomy in the world system and South Korea’s current position as global economic power and maker of the “Korean Wave ”

Fall 2021: EAAS UN3215
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 3215 001/10911 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
255 International Affairs Bldg
Theodore Hughes 3.00 20/20

EAAS UN3217 Korean Popular Cinema. 4 points.

This course surveys modern Korean culture and society through Korean popular cinema. Drawing from weekly screenings and readings on critical film and Korean studies, we will explore major topics and defining historical moments in modern Korean history post-1945.

EAAS GU4160 CULTURES IN COLONIAL KOR. 4 points.

This course examines the processes of colonization that played a central role in locating Korea in an integrated world in the first half of the twentieth century. We will analyze the ways in which the intersections among an array of contemporary global issues and concerns (to name a few- social Darwinism, migration, urban space, gender, sexuality, militarism, race, liberalism, socialism, capitalism) shaped the modern experience in Korea under Japanese rule (1910-1945). Our approach will be multidisciplinary. We will look, for example, at art, architecture, literature, film, philosophy, religion, and historiography. Throughout, we will pay special attention to the place of Korea and Koreans in the expanding Japanese empire and, more broadly, in the global colonial context. Class will be held as a discussion seminar based on close reading of primary-source documents and recent scholarship.

EARL GU4320 Buddhism and Korean Culture. 4 points.

Since Buddhism was introduced to Korea 1,600 years ago, the religion has had great impact on almost all aspects of the Korean society, making significant contributions to the distinct development of Korean culture. In this course, we will explore how Buddhism has influenced and interacted with various fields of Korean culture such as art, architecture, literature, philosophy, politics, religions, and popular culture. Buddhist scriptures, written in classical Chinese, with their colorful imaginations, have stimulated the development of Korean literature. Buddhist art, sculpture, and architecture have also catalyzed the Korean counterparts to bloom. The sophisticated philosophy and worldview of Buddhism, along with its diverse religious practices and rituals have added richness to the spiritual life of Korean people. Buddhism also attracted a significant number of followers, often playing important roles in politics. Throughout the course, we will not only investigate the influence of Buddhism on diverse aspects of Korean culture on their forms and at their depths, but also examine the interactions between Buddhism and other religions, as well as politics. Students will learn how Korean people have formed and reformed Korean culture through the medium of Buddhism

EARL GU4322 Enlightenment or Salvation: Practices and Rituals of Korean Buddhism. 4 points.

In this course, we will explore basic doctrines and practices of Korean Buddhism.  Since Buddhism was first introduced to Korea 1,600 years ago, it has attracted and inspired almost all classes of people in the peninsula with its diverse and sophisticated philosophy and rituals. Korean Buddhists not only transformed this imported tradition to meet their own religious needs, but also contributed to the development of pan-East Asian Buddhist traditions such as Huayan/ Hwaŏm/ Kegon Buddhism. In this course, we will explore Hwaŏm and Sŏn as well as Maitreya and Amitābha worships and death rituals in Korea. In particular, we will examine how Korean Buddhists integrated Hwaŏm and Sŏn traditions into a unified system; how they developed unique Sŏn theories of meditation; and how devotional/ worship practices interacted the indigenous traditions of Korea. Throughout the course, we will also pay careful attention to the close interactions between Korean and other East Asian Buddhist traditions.

EARL GU4328 Texts, Paintings, and Images of Korean Religions. 3.00 points.

The course explores the doctrines, practices, and rituals of Korean religions through iconic texts, paintings, and images. The texts, paintings, and images that the course covers include ghost stories, doctrinal exegeses and charts, missionary letters, polemical and apologetic writings, catechism, folklores, and ritual paintings

Fall 2021: EARL GU4328
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EARL 4328 001/11574 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
401 Hamilton Hall
Seong-Uk Kim 3.00 11/15

East Asian, Tibet

TIBT UN1600 First Year Modern Colloquial Tibetan I. 5 points.

This is an introductory course and no previous knowledge is required. It focuses on developing basic abilities to speak as well as to read and write in modern Tibetan, Lhasa dialect. Students are also introduced to modern Tibetan studies through selected readings and guest lectures.

Fall 2021: TIBT UN1600
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
TIBT 1600 001/11029 M T W Th 12:10pm - 1:00pm
707 Hamilton Hall
Sonam Tsering 5 6/15

TIBT UN3611 Third Year Modern Colloquial Tibetan I. 4 points.

For those whose knowledge is equivalent to a student who’s completed the Second Year course. The course develops students’ reading comprehension skills through reading selected modern Tibetan literature. Tibetan is used as the medium of instruction and interaction to develop oral fluency and proficiency.

Fall 2021: TIBT UN3611
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
TIBT 3611 001/11031 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
201d Philosophy Hall
Sonam Tsering 4 2/15

TIBT UN2710 ADVANCED LITERARY TIBETAN. 4 points.

Prerequisites: 2nd Year Classical Tibet II or equivalent with the permission of the instructor

This course focuses on helping students gain greater proficiency in reading Tibetan Buddhist philosophical and religious historical texts. Readings are selected primarily from Tibetan Buddhist philosophical texts (sutras) such as shes rab snying po, thu’u bkan grub mtha’ and other Tibetan canonical texts.

Fall 2021: TIBT UN2710
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
TIBT 2710 001/11028 T Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
351a International Affairs Bldg
Sonam Tsering 4 1/15

EAAS GU4017 Ethnography and Representation in Tibet. 4.00 points.

This course introduces contemporary Tibetan society through the lens of anthropology and how various representations have produced different understandings of Tibet within China and beyond

EARL GU4312 Tibetan Sacred Space (in Comparative Context). 4 points.

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

Through interdisciplinary theoretical approaches (mostly in the fields of religion, anthropology, literature, and history), this course engages the genre of writing about sacred space in Tibetan Buddhist culture, addressing the micro (built environment) and macro (natural environment) levels of this important sphere of Tibetan literature. Through Tibetan pilgrimage accounts, place (monasteries, temples, etc) based guidebooks, geographically focused biographies, and pictorial representations of place, the class will consider questions about how place-writing overlaps with religious practice, politics, and history. For comparative purposes, we will read place based writing from Western and other Asian authors, for instance accounts of the guidebooks to and inscriptions at Christian churches, raising questions about the cultural relativity of what makes up sacred space.

EARL GU4410 TIBETAN MONASTIC INSTITUTIONS. 4 points.

Through interdisciplinary theoretical approaches (mostly in the fields of religion, anthropology, and history), this course examines THE key institution in Tibetan culture, namely monasteries. We will address the monastery from many different angles, from the physical infrastructure and soteriological justification to its governing documents as well as economic and educational roles.

HSEA GU4814 Space and Place in Urbanizing Tibet: Indigenous Experiences in China. 4 points.

This course engages with approaches from anthropology, geography, and indigenous studies to analyze contemporary urban transitions on the Tibetan plateau.


East Asian, Vietnam

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

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

Corequisites: ASCE UN1377

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.

South Asian

MDES UN2042 South Asia at the Crossroads of Empires. 3.00 points.

In this course we will study the late colonial and early post-colonial periods of South Asian history together. Some of the events we will cover include: the climax of anti-colonial movements in South Asia, WWII as it developed in South and Southeast Asia, the partition of British India, the two Indo-Pakistan wars, and the 1971 Bangladesh War. While we will read selected secondary literature, we will focus on a range of primary sources, including original radio broadcasts and oral history interviews. We will also study artistic interpretations of historical developments, including short stories and films. In this course, we will strive to remain attentive to the important changes engendered by colonialism, while simultaneously recognizing the agency of South Asians in formulating their own modernities during this critical period. We will also seek to develop a narrative of modern South Asian history, which is attentive to parallel and/or connected events in other regions

Fall 2021: MDES UN2042
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 2042 001/14050 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
C01 Knox Hall
Isabel Huacuja Alonso 3.00 20/25

ASCM UN2357 Introduction to Indian Civilization. 4 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. Discussion section is required.

Fall 2021: ASCM UN2357
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCM 2357 001/00385 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
202 Altschul Hall
Rachel McDermott 4 84/90

MDES UN2641 Cinemas of India. 3 points.

This course offers an expansive journey through the forms, pleasures, and meanings of Indian cinema. It explores the plural beginnings of popular film; the many competing cinemas produced across India; the diverse protagonists (from vamps to vigilantes) that populate the imagined entity named ‘national cinema’; and the varied audiences addressed by these cinemas. Over the course of the semester, we will watch 15 of the most iconic narrative films produced in India, including Diamond Queen (1940), Awara (1951), Deewar (1975), Roja (1992), Mahanagar (1963), and Bandit Queen (1994). As we voyage with the dynamic, shifting codes and priorities of India’s fiction filmmaking, we also shadow the emergence of the Indian nation and contestations of its coherence.

AHUM UN2901 Masterpieces of Indian Art and Architecture. 4 points.

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

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 2021: AHUM UN2901
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2901 001/17486 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Seher Agarwala 4 16/21

ASRL BC3115 WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE?. 4.00 points.

This course is an introduction to the field of inquiry called The Problem of Evil, or Theodicy – that is, the investigation of God in the face of evil and suffering in the world. How do we justify God? How do we reconcile disaster, pain, and suffering with an all-good, all-knowing, all-compassionate God? This question arises in all religious traditions, but here we will study only four: the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Hindu traditions, each of which proposes its own array of answers. Our emphasis will be on primary texts from each tradition, with introductory and interpretive secondary sources brought in as supplementary. These primary sources will be discussed in class, but especially in required section meetings. A sub-theme of the course is the “pastoral” dimension of answers to the Problem of Evil: to what extent are the answers we study comforting? This course has been created with the many crises presently afflicting our world – COVID-19, climate change, and the injustice of racism, to name a few – in mind

Spring 2021: ASRL BC3115
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASRL 3115 001/00632 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
Room TBA
Rachel McDermott 4.00 68/90

RELI UN3317 Deep Tantra: Sex, Violence, Ritual. 4.00 points.

This course is an introduction to the tantric traditions of premodern India (c. 300 - 1000 CE) with a particular emphasis on the history of Śaivism (pronounced “Shaivism”) – that is, religious currents associated with scriptures called tantras that were believed to have been revealed by the god Śiva (pronounced “Shiva”). Śaivism is generally considered to be one of the many strands that make up Hinduism, but we will explore, both historically and thematically, the aspects that made tantric Śaivism unique, including its ritual use of sex and violence. Our exploration into the tantric world will seek to make sense of these and other types ofpractices within the broader religious context of traditional South Asia. We will also examine how aspects of tantric religion became an important religious context for a variety of communities and the ways in which tantric Śaivism transformed other religious groups

Fall 2021: RELI UN3317
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RELI 3317 001/13362 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
101 80 Claremont
Guy St Amant 4.00 10/15

RELI UN3321 Religion and Climate Crisis: India. 4 points.

Connections between dramatic climate assaults and religious practices and perspectives, taking Hindu India as an example: glaciers and floods, extreme weather, overpopulation, air and water pollution, deforestation. Hindu contexts, causes, and responses.

Fall 2021: RELI UN3321
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RELI 3321 001/00713 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
214 Milbank Hall
John Hawley 4 9/15

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.

Fall 2021: RELI GU4304
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RELI 4304 001/00638 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
113 Milstein Center
John Hawley 4 10/12

MDES GU4601 Politics in India. 4 points.

This course will combine study of long-term historical sociology with more short term understanding of policies and their possible effects. Though its main purpose will be to provide students with an understanding of politics after independence, it will argue, methodologically, that this understanding should be based on a study of historical sociology – plotting long-terms shifts in the structure of social power.  The course will start with analyses of the structures of power and ideas about political legitimacy in pre-modern India, and the transformations brought by colonialism into that order. After a brief study of the nature of political order under the colonial state, the courses will focus primarily on the history of the democratic state after independence.

Fall 2021: MDES GU4601
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 4601 001/10619 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
104 Knox Hall
Sudipta Kaviraj 4 14/25

MDES GU4654 Gender, Power and Culture in Early Modern India. 4 points.

Explores gender, culture, power in India, c. 1500-1800 by reading theoretical works on gender and sexuality, historical scholarship relevant to early modern India, and a variety of primary sources. Topics include morality, mysticism, devotion, desire, kingship, heroism, homosocial relations, and homoerotic practices. The focus is largely on Persianate contexts, in conversation with broader South Asian and Islamic studies. This discussion seminar is designed for graduate and advanced undergraduate students, with some previous background in South Asian, Islamic, or gender studies.

Fall 2021: MDES GU4654
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 4654 001/13249 F 12:10pm - 2:00pm
302 Hamilton Hall
Mana Kia 4 18/20

Middle Eastern

HIST UN1002 Ancient History of Mesopotamia and Asia Minor. 4 points.

A survey of the political and cultural history of Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and Iran from prehistory to the disappearance of the cuneiform documentation, with special emphasis on Mesopotamia. Groups(s): A

MDES UN1030 “Game of Thrones”: On Epics and Empires. 4.00 points.

This undergraduate course offered in the context of the Global Core component of the Core Curriculum is an examination of the globally popular HBO series “Game of Thrones” as a prototype for a comparative understanding of the larger question of epics and empires. In this course we expand the domains of our interests and inquiries far wider and divide our syllabus into four parts: (1) Westeros: The Mythic Empire; (2) Persia: The First Empire, (3) America: The Last Empire; and (4) On Epics and Empires. Our objective will be to examine the main themes and overall arch of “Game of Thrones” into wider mythic, heroic, and transhistorical dimensions of our contemporary history

Fall 2021: MDES UN1030
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 1030 001/13536 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
309 Havemeyer Hall
Hamid Dabashi 4.00 191/210

AHUM UN1399 COLLOQUIUM ON MAJOR TEXTS. 4.00 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 Quran, Islamic philosophy, Sufi poetry, the Upanishads, Buddhist sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, Indian epics and drama, and Gandhis Autobiography

Spring 2021: AHUM UN1399
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 1399 001/00629 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Rachel McDermott 4.00 22/25
AHUM 1399 002/00630 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Nathanael Shelley 4.00 17/25
Fall 2021: AHUM UN1399
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 1399 001/00459 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
214 Milbank Hall
Matthew Keegan 4.00 10/20
AHUM 1399 002/00387 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
111 Milstein Center
Nathanael Shelley 4.00 18/22
AHUM 1399 003/10511 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
104 Knox Hall
Wael Hallaq 4.00 13/20

MDES UN2000 Ethnicity, Race, Identity in the Pre-Modern Middle East . 4 points.

This seminar investigates the concepts of ethnicity, race, and identity, in both theory and practice,

through a comparative survey of several case studies from the Pre-Modern history of the Middle East.

The course focuses on symbols of identity and difference, interpreting them through a variety of

analytical tools, and evaluating the utility of each as part of an ongoing exploration of the subject. The

survey considers theories of ethnicity and race, as well as their critics, and includes cases from the

Ancient World (c. 1000 BCE) through the Old Regime (c. 1800 CE).


Students in this course will gain a familiarity with major theories of social difference and alterity, and

utilize them to interpret and analyze controversial debates about social politics and identity from the

history of the Middle East, including ancient ethnicity, historical racism, Arab identity, pluralism in the

Islamic Empire, and slavery, among others. In addition, students will spend much of the semester

developing a specialized case study of their own on a historical community of interest. All of the case

studies will be presented in a showcase at the end of the semester.


All assigned readings for the course will be in English. Primary sources will be provided in translation.

The course meets once a week and sessions are two hours long.

Spring 2021: MDES UN2000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 2000 001/00634 W 3:30pm - 5:20pm
Room TBA
Nathanael Shelley 4 12/20

ASCM UN2003 Introduction to Islamic Civilization. 4 points.

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

Lecture and recitation. Islamic civilization and its characteristic intellectual, political, social, and cultural traditions up through 1800. Note: Students must register for a discussion section, ASCM UN2113.

Fall 2021: ASCM UN2003
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCM 2003 001/10498 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
329 Pupin Laboratories
Elaine van Dalen 4 64/90

MDES UN2004 Conflicts: Race, Region, Religion. 4.00 points.

Prior to “conflict resolution,” there is conflict. But what is conflict and how do we understand it? This introductory lecture course proposes to explore established objects in their presumed ties to the fact and concept of “conflict.” We will inquire into the nature of conflict as well as into the kinds of conflicts that operate, or seem to operate, perhaps even to structure, the understanding of race, of region, and of religion. We will attend to the solidity and fragility of geographic divisions (regional and trans regional conflicts), their history (modern / premodern, colonial / pre- and post-colonial), the emergence of race (racial and ethnic conflicts), the pertinence of religions (religious strife and violence), their relation to political associations (religion and politics, religion and nationalism) and to other social and/or economic divisions (class, gender). We will interrogate the analytic and descriptive value of keywords like war, enmity, dispute, division, partition. We will also reflect on disciplinary tensions and divisions toward an understanding and perpetuation of conflict. Finally, we will think about the possibility and impossibility of “speaking with the enemy.”

Spring 2021: MDES UN2004
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 2004 001/12313 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Gil Anidjar 4.00 14/30
Fall 2021: MDES UN2004
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 2004 001/10615 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
644 Seeley W. Mudd Building
Gil Anidjar 4.00 24/30

ASCM UN2008 CONTEMP ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION. 4.00 points.

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

Lecture and recitation. No previous study of Islam is required. The early modern, colonial, and post-colonial Islamic world studied through historical case studies, translated texts, and recent anthropological research. Topics include Sufism and society, political ideologies, colonialism, religious transformations, poetry, literature, gender, and sexuality

Spring 2021: ASCM UN2008
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCM 2008 001/10760 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Matthew Keegan 4.00 45/90

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.  

RELI UN2306 Intro to Judaism. 3 points.

A historical overview of Jewish belief and practice as these have crystallized and changed over the centuries. Special attention to ritual and worship, the forms of religious literature, central concepts, religious leadership and institutions, Israel among the nations.

Fall 2021: RELI UN2306
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RELI 2306 001/00633 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
504 Diana Center
Beth Berkowitz 3 64/60

MDES UN2399 ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN LITERATURE. 4 points.

This colloquium is a course on many influential texts of literature from Ancient Near Eastern cultures, including Sumerian, Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Hittite, Canaanite, and others. The emphasis is on investigating the literary traditions of each culture – the subject matter, form, methods, and symbolism– that distinguish them from one another and from later traditions of the Middle East. The course is not a “civilization” course, nor is it a history class, although elements of culture and history will be mentioned as necessary. The course is intended to provide a facility with, and an awareness of, the content and context of ancient works of literature in translation from the Ancient Middle East. Students in this course will gain a familiarity with the major cultures of the Ancient Middle East, the best known and most remarked upon stories, and the legacy of those works on some later traditions. The course is organized thematically in order to facilitate comparison to the materials in similar courses at Barnard and Columbia. The approach will be immediately familiar to students who have previously taken Asian Humanities (AMEC) or Literature-Humanities (Core), but the course does not require any previous experience with literature or the Ancient Near East and is open to everyone. All assigned readings for the course will be in English. The course meets once a week and sessions are two hours long.

HIST UN2611 Jews and Judaism in Antiquity. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Students must also enroll in required discussion section.

  Field(s): ANC

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 2021: HIST UN2719
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2719 001/10389 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
309 Havemeyer Hall
Rashid Khalidi 4 144/200
HIST 2719 AU1/20379 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
Room TBA
Rashid Khalidi 4 15/15

MDES UN3000 Theory and Culture. 4 points.

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

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. 

Spring 2021: MDES UN3000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 3000 001/10766 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Online Only
Gil Hochberg 4 80/100
Fall 2021: MDES UN3000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 3000 001/10510 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
310 Fayerweather
Debashree Mukherjee 4 75/90

MDES UN3003 Babylon-Baghdad: An Urban History. 4 points.

This seminar investigates the metropolitan site of Babylon-Baghdad as the focal center and built

environment at the center of 4000 years of social history. Through a consideration of the historical and

archaeological sources available, the course proceeds chronologically and surveys the urban history of

the site from its ancient origins, c. 2000 BCE, all the way to the present day. The survey explores how

the communities residing in the city shaped, and were shaped by, the city.


Students in this course will gain a familiarity with the major periods of Middle Eastern History — Ancient, Islamic, and Modern — and a detailed awareness of the metropolitan region of Babylon-Baghdad. In addition to the historical survey and engagement with primary sources and theoretical works, students will develop a research paper on a specialized topic of interest associated with the city. This investigation requires a synthesis of the ideas discussed in class, and presents an opportunity to

investigate a specific feature or characteristic of the city in detail.


All assigned readings for the course will be in English. Primary sources will be provided in translation.

The course assumes that you have taken at least one introductory course on either the Ancient Near

East or the Islamic Middle East to use as a foundation for further development. Students without a

background in the Middle East may take the course if they are willing to do a little preparatory reading.

The course meets once a week and sessions are two hours long.

Fall 2021: MDES UN3003
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 3003 001/00378 W 3:30pm - 5:20pm
306 Milbank Hall
Nathanael Shelley 4 10/20

MDES UN3048 Pandemics: A Global History. 3.00 points.

With an interdisciplinary perspective, this course seeks to expand the understanding of past pandemic crises and recent, lived pandemics such as COVID-19. COVID-19 has brought up urgent questions about how we can understand and historicize pandemics and trace the changing relationship between disease and its vectors, humans and their environments. This course seeks to expand the understanding of past and recent pandemics through a historical lens that traces the deep seated racial and class disparities, social and cultural stigma, and political responses and control that they were expressed and deployed during these historical crises. It seeks to understand and analyze pandemics as representing complex, disruptive and devastating crises that effect profound transformations in ideas, social and economic relations and challenge interdependent networks and cultures. Pandemics are balanced in a global-local flux between dramaturgic, proliferating, contagious outbreaks; and endemic, chronic infections that have prolonged periods of latency before again remerging through new transmissions. They also serve as a crucial lens to analyze a range of historical connections, ensions and movements ranging from colonialism and the politics of borders, global capitalism and labor, migration and mobility, decolonization and development, and neoliberalism and global health politics

Spring 2021: MDES UN3048
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 3048 001/13828 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
Online Only
Kavita Sivaramakrishnan 3.00 15/40
Fall 2021: MDES UN3048
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 3048 001/13524 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
417 Mathematics Building
Kavita Sivaramakrishnan 3.00 22/40

RELI UN3311 Islam in the Post-Colonial World. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC II).

This course focuses on the multiple manifestations of the Islamic vision in the modern world. It begins with a survey of core Muslim beliefs before shifting to an examination of the impact of colonization and secular modernity on contemporary formulations of Islam.

Fall 2021: RELI UN3311
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RELI 3311 001/11413 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
201 80 Claremont
Verena Meyer 3 8/20

CPLT BC3551 The Arabian Nights and Its Influences. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Completion of one college-level literature course. Permission of instructor.

This course examines the enduring power of The Arabian Nights and some of the wide range of literary authors, genres and variations that it has influenced. The focus is, therefore, on this marvelous work—one of the earliest examples of the short story and the novel—but also on a selection of classical and contemporary works of fiction from around the world that have been informed by it. In this regard, this is a class interested in literary influence, reciprocity and exchange across time and languages.  

CPLT BC3552 The Arabic Novel. 4.00 points.

The novel in Arabic literature has often been the place where every attempt to look within ends up involving the need to contend with or measure the self against the European, the dominant culture. This took various forms. From early moments of easy-going and confident cosmopolitan travellers, such as Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, to later author, such as Tayeb Salih, mapping the existential fault lines between west and east. For this reason, and as well as being a modern phenomenon, the Arabic novel has also been a tool for translation, for bridging gaps and exposing what al-Shidyaq—the man credited with being the father of the modern Arabic novel, and himself a great translator—called ‘disjunction’. We will begin with his satirical, deeply inventive and erudite novel, published in 1855, Leg Over Leg. It is a book with an insatiable appetite for definitions and comparisons, with Words that had been lost or fell out of use (the author had an abiding interest in dictionaries that anticipates Jorge Louis Borges) and with locating and often subverting moments of connection and disconnection. We will then follow along a trajectory to the present, where we will read, in English translation, novels written in Arabic, from Egypt, Syria, Sudan, Morocco and Palestine. We will read them chronologically, starting with Leg Over Leg (1855) and finishing with Minor Detail, a novel that was only published last year. Obviously, this does not claim to be a comprehensive survey; for that we would need several years and even then, we would fall short. Instead, the hope is that it will be a thrilling journey through some of the most facinating fiction ever written. Obviously, this does not claim to be a comprehensive survey; for that we would need several years and even then, we would fall short. Instead, the hope is that it will be a thrilling journey through some of the most fascinating fiction ever written

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.

MDES UN3923 Central Questions in Islamic Law. 3 points.

Through detailed discussions of certain landmarks in Islamic legal history (e.g., origins; early formation; sources of law; intellectual make-up; the workings of court; legal change; women in the law; legal effects of colonialism; modernity and legal reform, etc.), the course aims at providing an introductory but integrated view of Islamic law, a definition, so to speak, of what it was/is. Please note, this course must be taken for a letter grade.

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 2021: CLME UN3928
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLME 3928 001/10620 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
207 Knox Hall
Muhsin Al-Musawi 3 25/25

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.

MDES UN3960 HONORS THESIS SEMINAR PART 1. 1.00 point.

Prerequisites: minimum GPA of 3.5 in MESAAS courses. The MESAAS honors seminar offers students the opportunity to undertake a sustained research project under close faculty supervision. The DUS advises on general issues of project design, format, approach, general research methodologies, and timetable. In addition, students work with an individual advisor who has expertise in the area of the thesis and can advise on the specifics of method and content. The thesis will be jointly evaluated by the adviser, the DUS, and the honors thesis TA. The DUS will lead students through a variety of exercises that are directly geared to facilitating the thesis. Students build their research, interpretive, and writing skills; discuss methodological approaches; write an annotated bibliography; learn to give constructive feedback to peers and respond to feedback effectively. The final product is a polished research paper in the range of 40-60 pages. Please note: This is a one-year course that begins in the fall semester (1 point) and continues through the spring semester (3 points). Only students who have completed both semesters will receive the full 4 points of credit

Fall 2021: MDES UN3960
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 3960 001/10608 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
114 Knox Hall
Hamid Dabashi 1.00 7/12

CLME GU4221 Literary Encounters and Reading across the Wor(l)ds. 4.00 points.

The focus of this seminar will be exploring the conception of encounters, and contact zones, throughout a selection of Arabic literary works. The course will explore the history of translation in Arabic literary history, the introduction of prose and its development; the Arabic readerly culture; the colonial encounter and its effect on language and form of literature. We will not read encounter as one-way traffc only, but we will also read it as a two-way process. We will read non-Arabic works that were influenced by the texts we are reading and their literary reception in other literary traditions. We will also consider the institution of literary prizes as a form of encounter and analyze the power of celebrity culture on the readership of the contemporary Arabic novel

Fall 2021: CLME GU4221
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLME 4221 001/13705 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
207 Knox Hall
Sarah bin Tyeer 4.00 2/20

CLME GU4241 Sufism: Primary Texts and Contexts. 4 points.

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

This course studies Sufism as it has emerged, developed, and assumed its presence in Sufi autobiographies and religious and literary writings. The Sufi Path is traced in these writings that include poems like ibn al-Farid’s Poem of the Way. Sufi States and Stations are analyzed to understand this Path that reaches its culmination in an ecstatic sense of Oneness. Sufism is also a social and political phenomenon that unsettles formal theologies and involves Sufis in controversies that often end with their imprisonment and death.

MDES GU4259 War Narrative: The Arab World. 4 points.

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

This course works along a number of axial structures that   aim to let texts voice their informing theoretical, political, and poetic strategies. It draws on war narratives in other parts of the world, especially Vietnam, insofar as these find their way into Arabic writing. A poetics of prose gives these narratives the power of literary production that makes them more readable, appealing, and provocative than ordinary journalistic reporting.


Through close readings  of  a number of  Arabic war novels and  some long narrative poems, this course  proposes to  address war in its varieties  not only as liberation movements in  Algeria and Palestine,  but also  as an engagement with  invasions, as in  Iraqi narratives of war, or  as conflict as was the case between Iran and Iraq, 1980-1988,  as proxy wars in other parts of the region , or ‘civil’ wars generated and perpetuated by big powers. Although writers are no longer the leaders of thought as in the first half of the 20th century, they resume different roles of exposition, documentation, reinstatement of identities, and geographical and topographical orientation. Narrators and protagonists are not spectators but implicated individuals whose voices give vent to dreams, desires, intimations, and expectations. They are not utterly passive, however. Behind bewilderment and turbulence, there is a will to expose atrocity and brutality. Writing is an effort to regain humanity in an inhuman situation.


The course is planned under thematic and theoretical divisions: one  that takes  writing as a deliberate exposure  of the censored and repressed; another as  a counter shock and awe strategy [ implemented under this name in the wars on Iraq]   whereby brutalities are laid bare; and a third  that claims reporting  in order to explore its limits and complicity. On the geographical level, it takes Algeria, Palestine as locations for liberation movements; Iraq as a site of death; Egypt as the space for statist duplicity  and camouflage; and Lebanon as an initial stage for a deliberate exercise in a seemingly civil war.


A number of films will be shown as part of students’ presentations.

MDES GU4266 Decolonizing the Arabian Nights. 4.00 points.

In a unique revival of interest, the Arabian Nights has made its way to the academy as the handiest and most approachable cultural commodity. Courses are given on its history, translation, media reproduction, Walt Disney’s appropriation, and, occasionally, narratology. By the end of the 19th century, it was available in translation or abridgement in every written language. This course resituates its advent and vogue in specific cultural contexts that closely relate to the rise of the bourgeoisie and the colonial enterprise. It also explores popular and intellectual or critical responses in terms of the rise of literary theory and modes of literary production. Its massive presence gives way in time to pantomime, parody, and pastiche, before engaging again the attention of prominent writers and theorists of ‘prose poetics’ and the fantastic. Its referential popular presence undergoes fluctuations to fit media stereotypes and hegemonic regimes of thought. This course attempts to dislodge originals from adaptations, highlight the nature of entry in terms of a commoditizing enterprise that reproduces the Arabian Nights as a ‘western text’, a point that in turn incites a counter search for manuscripts, and ‘authentication’ processes. Originals and translations will be compared and cinematic or theater productions will be studied, along with paintings, covers, and tourist guides that present the Nights as a commodity in a post-industrial society

Fall 2021: MDES GU4266
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 4266 001/13583 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
208 Knox Hall
Muhsin Al-Musawi 4.00 25/25

ANTH GU4282 ISLAMIC LAW. 3.00 points.

Fall 2021: ANTH GU4282
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4282 001/10237 F 10:10am - 12:00pm
963 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Brinkley Messick 3.00 13/15

RELI GU4322 Exploring the Sharia: Topics in Islamic Law. 4 points.

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

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.

MDES GU4629 Transregional. 4.00 points.

History, Politics, Literature, Society -- all these are studied as within national, or, at best, regional frames. What other scales and approaches might be appropriate to the study of particular phenomena or categories in the past, as well as some of the challenges of the present? This course introduces advanced undergraduates and graduate students to transregional studies. We explore topics, approaches, methods, problems, and disciplines through which we can cross the regions, particularly the regions of MESAAS. Case studies will consider thinking through and with oceanic studies, circulation, diaspora, shared hermeneutical traditions, lingua francas and their stories (world literatures?), and connected histories to rethink concepts of societies, collective affiliations, cosmopolitanism, and world history. Undergraduates must have taken at least one of the following: Intro to Islamic Civ (UN 2003), Intro to Indian Civ (UN 2357), African Before Colonialism (UN 2915), Societies and Cultures across the Indian Ocean (UN 3445), or some equivalent (check with me)

MDES GU4718 Persian Poetry (In Translation). 4 points.

The purpose of this seminar is to introduce students to the long history and multiple genres of Persian poetry. The seminar will begin with the classical period and come down to the contemporary periods. The geographical span of the course extends from Central Asia to the Indian subcontinent to Iran.

HIST GU4743 MANUSCRIPTS OF THE MUSLIM WORLD. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: Knowledge of a relevant research language (Arabic, Persian, or Ottoman Turkish) is required to be able to work on a particular manuscript to be chosen by the student. Students who lack the necessary skills of any of these languages but are interested in pre-modern book culture are still encouraged to contact the course instructor.
This course is designed to provide the foundations for exploring the rich and fascinating history of Islamic manuscripts from the 9th through the 19th century. Its structure is shaped mainly by thematic considerations in a notable chronological fashion. The meetings amount to a series of “cuts” through the topic and cover themes such as the paper revolution, authorship, scribal culture, technologies of book production, readers and their notes, libraries and book collections, or textual as well as extra-textual components of manuscripts. Over the semester, we will study key material, textual, and visual elements of Islamic book culture spanning many centuries and continents, and visit major historiographical questions on the millennium-long history of Islamic manuscript tradition before the widespread adoption of print technology

Asian Civilizations

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 UN1360

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

Spring 2021: ASCE UN1359
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1359 003/00038 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Jue Guo 4 80/90
Fall 2021: ASCE UN1359
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1359 001/10905 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Aud Earl Hall
Gavin Healy 4 48/60

ASCE UN1361 INTRO EAST ASIAN CIV: JPN. 4.00 points.

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

Prerequisites: NOTE: Students must register for a discussion section ASCE UN1371
Prerequisites: NOTE: Students must register for a discussion section ASCE UN1371 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 2021: ASCE UN1361
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1361 001/10282 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Online Only
Paul Kreitman 4.00 92/90
Fall 2021: ASCE UN1361
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1361 001/10906 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Aud Earl Hall
Ye Yuan 4.00 54/60

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.

Spring 2021: ASCE UN1365
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1365 001/10284 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Online Only
Patrick Booz 4 56/60
Fall 2021: ASCE UN1365
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1365 001/10907 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
520 Mathematics Building
Anna Sehnalova 4 42/40

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

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

Corequisites: ASCE UN1377

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.

ASCM UN2003 Introduction to Islamic Civilization. 4 points.

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

Lecture and recitation. Islamic civilization and its characteristic intellectual, political, social, and cultural traditions up through 1800. Note: Students must register for a discussion section, ASCM UN2113.

Fall 2021: ASCM UN2003
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCM 2003 001/10498 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
329 Pupin Laboratories
Elaine van Dalen 4 64/90

ASCM UN2357 Introduction to Indian Civilization. 4 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. Discussion section is required.

Fall 2021: ASCM UN2357
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCM 2357 001/00385 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
202 Altschul Hall
Rachel McDermott 4 84/90

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 2021: AHUM UN2604
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2604 001/16858 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Online Only
Xu Tingting 3 19/21
AHUM 2604 002/16713 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Naomi Kuromiya 3 23/21
AHUM 2604 003/16714 T Th 7:40pm - 8:55pm
Online Only
Jeewon Kim 3 21/21
AHUM 2604 004/16715 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
Online Only
Chen Jiang 3 18/21
Fall 2021: AHUM UN2604
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2604 001/11402 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
807 Schermerhorn Hall
Xu Tingting 3 21/21
AHUM 2604 002/18161 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
807 Schermerhorn Hall
Andrea Horisaki-Christens 3 23/21

AHUM UN2901 Masterpieces of Indian Art and Architecture. 4 points.

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

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 2021: AHUM UN2901
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2901 001/17486 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Seher Agarwala 4 16/21

AHIS UN3101 The Public Monument in the Ancient Near East. 4 points.

This seminar will focus on the invention of the public monument as a commemorative genre, and the related concepts of time, memory and history in the ancient Near East and Egypt. Public monuments will be studied in conjunction with readings from ancient texts (in translation), as well as historical criticism, archaeological and art historical theories.

AHIS UN3503 Contemporary Arts of Africa. 4 points.

This course takes up a question posed by Terry Smith and applies it to Africa: "Who gets to say what counts as contemporary art?" It will investigate the impact of modernity, modernism, and increasing globalism on artistic practices with a special focus on three of the major centers for contemporary art in sub-Saharan Africa: Senegal, South Africa, Nigeria.

Some of the topics covered will be: the emergence of new media (such as photography or cinema), the creation of "national" cultures, experiments in Pan-Africanism, diasporic consciousness, and the rise of curators as international culture-brokers. The course will examine the enthusiastic embrace by African artists of the biennial platform as a site for the production of contemporary art. What differential impact has French vs. British colonialism left on the arts? How are contemporary artists responding to calls for restitution on African cultural heritage?

AHIS UN3611 Korean Art in the Age of Global Encounters. 4 points.

This seminar explores the artistic developments in Korea with a focus on its encounter with the arts of China, Japan, and Europe from the fifteenth century to the present. Each class examines case studies the works of a particular artist—to examine the way in which Korean artists developed their distinctive style and established the aesthetic values in response to specific historical junctures. There will be two field trips to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum.

AHIS UN3614 Landscape and the Visual Arts in China. 4.00 points.

The landscape of China is marked by sites that have acquired lasting cultural significance the interactions of the visual arts and myth, ritual, and literature. Representations of these sites, which include sacred mountains, scenic areas, and tourist destinations, promoted habits of viewing that directed visitors to seek out unusual vistas, strange rock formations, or ancient monuments. Memories of historical events or famous people associated with the sites added to their mystique. Among the most notable sites that will be covered in the seminar are Mt. Tai, a mountain sacred in both Confucian and Daoist thought; Mt. Huang, an area of spectacular, rugged peaks that became a popular tourist site in the seventeenth century; Tiger Hill, a frequent destination of literati visitors from the Suzhou area; and the Orchid Pavilion, a site in Zhejiang Province that gained fame through its association with a famous calligrapher. The seminar will introduce students to a broadly interdisciplinary approach to the visual arts drawing on methodologies from art history, anthropology, the history of religion, and other fields. No knowledge of Chinese is expected, but students who do know the language will be guided to appropriate sources. Readings in the history and theory of landscape in the West also will be included in the seminar in order to broaden the range of questions that can be asked about the experience of landscape in China

Fall 2021: AHIS UN3614
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3614 001/13213 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
612 Schermerhorn Hall
Robert Harrist 4.00 9/8

AHIS UN3615 Imperial (Re)Visions: Art and Empire in India. 4.00 points.

This seminar aims to teach students how to look at, think about, and engage critically with the visual culture of British India. Together, we will examine the repercussions of the Anglo-Indian colonial encounter on the disciplines of painting, decorative arts, photography, and architecture. We shall not only study the objects themselves, but interrogate the cultural, political, and intellectual circumstances under which they were produced, circulated, collected, and displayed. Finally, we will explore the legacy of the British empire today—its influence on contemporary art, the politics and practices of museum displays, repatriation debates, and beyond

Fall 2021: AHIS UN3615
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3615 001/13930 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
832 Schermerhorn Hall
Tara Kuruvilla 4.00 11/12

AHIS GU4110 Japanese Architecture from the Mid-19th Century to the Present. 3 points.

This course will examine Japanese architecture and urban planning from the mid-19th century to the present. We will address topics such as the establishment of an architectural profession along western lines in the late 19th century, the emergence of a modernist movement in the 1920's, the use of biological metaphors and the romanticization of technology in the theories and designs of the Metabolist Group, and the shifting significance of pre-modern Japanese architectural practices for modern architects.  There will be an emphasis on the complex relationship between architectural practice and broader political and social change in Japan.

Fall 2021: AHIS GU4110
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 4110 001/11278 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
807 Schermerhorn Hall
Jonathan Reynolds 3 44/60

Asian Humanities

AHUM UN1399 COLLOQUIUM ON MAJOR TEXTS. 4.00 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 Quran, Islamic philosophy, Sufi poetry, the Upanishads, Buddhist sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, Indian epics and drama, and Gandhis Autobiography

Spring 2021: AHUM UN1399
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 1399 001/00629 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Rachel McDermott 4.00 22/25
AHUM 1399 002/00630 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Nathanael Shelley 4.00 17/25
Fall 2021: AHUM UN1399
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 1399 001/00459 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
214 Milbank Hall
Matthew Keegan 4.00 10/20
AHUM 1399 002/00387 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
111 Milstein Center
Nathanael Shelley 4.00 18/22
AHUM 1399 003/10511 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
104 Knox Hall
Wael Hallaq 4.00 13/20

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 2021: AHUM UN1400
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 1400 001/10277 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Online Only
Seong-Uk Kim 4 19/22
AHUM 1400 002/10278 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
Online Only
Michael Como 4 20/22
AHUM 1400 003/10279 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Joshua Rogers 4 20/22
AHUM 1400 008/00631 Th 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
David Moerman 4 16/22
Fall 2021: AHUM UN1400
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 1400 001/00386 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
903 Altschul Hall
David Moerman 4 21/20
AHUM 1400 002/10904 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
401 Hamilton Hall
Seong-Uk Kim 4 22/20
AHUM 1400 003/15694 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
509 Hamilton Hall
Michael Como 4 19/22
AHUM 1400 004/18666 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
316 Hamilton Hall
Nhat-Phuong Ngo-Vu 4 20/20

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 2021: AHUM UN2604
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2604 001/16858 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Online Only
Xu Tingting 3 19/21
AHUM 2604 002/16713 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Naomi Kuromiya 3 23/21
AHUM 2604 003/16714 T Th 7:40pm - 8:55pm
Online Only
Jeewon Kim 3 21/21
AHUM 2604 004/16715 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
Online Only
Chen Jiang 3 18/21
Fall 2021: AHUM UN2604
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2604 001/11402 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
807 Schermerhorn Hall
Xu Tingting 3 21/21
AHUM 2604 002/18161 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
807 Schermerhorn Hall
Andrea Horisaki-Christens 3 23/21

AHUM UN2901 Masterpieces of Indian Art and Architecture. 4 points.

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

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 2021: AHUM UN2901
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2901 001/17486 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Seher Agarwala 4 16/21

Asian Music Humanities

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 2021: MUSI UN2030
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MUSI 2030 001/10251 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
814 Dodge Building
Tina Fruehauf 3 14/25

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

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 2021: AHMM UN3321
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHMM 3321 001/10244 M W 6:10pm - 7:25pm
620 Dodge Building
Alessandra Ciucci 3 25/25
AHMM 3321 002/10245 M W 6:10pm - 7:25pm
622 Dodge Building
Mario Cancel-Bigay 3 19/25
AHMM 3321 003/10246 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
622 Dodge Building
Daniel Ferguson 3 21/25
AHMM 3321 004/10247 M W 6:10pm - 7:25pm
814 Dodge Building
George Murer 3 17/25

African History

HIST UN2438 POLITICAL HISTORY OF CONTEMPORARY AFRICA. 4 points.

This course offers a survey of the poltiical history of contemporary Africa, with a focus on the states and societies south of the Sahara. The emphasis is on struggle and conflict—extending to war—and peace.

HIST BC2440 Intro to African American History. 3 points.

Major themes in African-American History: slave trade, slavery, resistance, segregation, the "New Negro," Civil Rights, Black Power, challenges and manifestations of the contemporary "Color Line."General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).

Fall 2021: HIST BC2440
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2440 001/00044 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
203 Diana Center
Celia Naylor 3 29/30

HSME UN2915 Africa Before Colonialism: From Prehistory to the Birth of the Atlantic World. 4 points.

This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of the precolonial history of the African continent. It investigates in-depth the political, social, cultural and economic developments of different Africa communities, covering various regions and periods, from prehistory to the formation of the Indian Ocean and Atlantic worlds. Its focus is the intersection of politics, economics, culture and society. Using world history and Africa’s location in the production of history as key analytical frames, it pays special attention to social, political and cultural changes that shaped the various individual and collective experiences of African peoples and states and the historical discourses associated to them.

HSME UN2916 AFRICA BEFORE COLONIALISM: DISCUSSION SECTION. 0 points.

Not offered during 2021-22 academic year.

Discussion sections for HSME UN2915, Africa Before Colonialism: From Prehistory to the Birth of the Atlantic World.

MDES UN3130 E AFRICA & THE SWAHILI COAST. 3.00 points.

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

*This course provides an introduction to the social and cultural history of the Swahili coast and an overview of some of the major debates that have dominated this historiography.*

Fall 2021: MDES UN3130
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 3130 001/10621 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
834 Seeley W. Mudd Building
Laura Fair 3.00 20/35

AHIS UN3503 Contemporary Arts of Africa. 4 points.

This course takes up a question posed by Terry Smith and applies it to Africa: "Who gets to say what counts as contemporary art?" It will investigate the impact of modernity, modernism, and increasing globalism on artistic practices with a special focus on three of the major centers for contemporary art in sub-Saharan Africa: Senegal, South Africa, Nigeria.

Some of the topics covered will be: the emergence of new media (such as photography or cinema), the creation of "national" cultures, experiments in Pan-Africanism, diasporic consciousness, and the rise of curators as international culture-brokers. The course will examine the enthusiastic embrace by African artists of the biennial platform as a site for the production of contemporary art. What differential impact has French vs. British colonialism left on the arts? How are contemporary artists responding to calls for restitution on African cultural heritage?

HIST BC3776 Mapping the Ekopolitan Project: A Spatial Approach to Pan-African Circulations. 4 points.

*In this course, we will be studying African migrations to Africa, and within the continent, in the 19th and 20th centuries. We will be reading scholarly works on spatial history, African migrations, and ‘Back-to-Africa’ movements.


*We will also be analyzing primary sources on African migrations, which shall form the bases of a series of digital scholarship workshops.  These workshops will cover mapping with ArcGIS, translating qualitative knowledge into quantitative data, and effective digital storytelling.

HIST BC3788 GENDER,SEXUALITY,POWER,AFRICA. 4.00 points.

This course deals with the scholarship on gender and sexuality in African history. The central themes of the course will be changes and continuities in gender performance and the politics of gender and sexual difference within African societies, the social, political, and economic processes that have influenced gender and sexual identities, and the connections between gender, sexuality, inequality, and activism at local, national, continental, and global scales

ANTH GU4066 Hydropolitics in Madagascar. 4.00 points.

GIS course with training in landscape analysis, digital mapping and web-based presentations of geospatial data. We will draw on archaeological and historical evidence, aerial photographs and satellite imagery to map and explore the history and politics of the irrigated landscape around Madagascar’s capital city. We will critically assess what different mapping techniques offer, and what kind of narratives they underpin or foreclose upon

Fall 2021: ANTH GU4066
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 4066 001/13513 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Othr Other
Eric Glass, Zoe Crossland 4.00 8/15

RELI GU4207 Religion and the Afro-Native Experience. 4 points.

African Americans and Native Americans have a shared history of racial oppression in America. However, the prevailing lenses through which scholars understand settler colonialism, religion, and black and indigenous histories focus overwhelmingly on the dynamics between Europeans and these respective groups. How might our understanding of these subjects change when viewed from a different point of departure, if we center the history of entanglements between black and native lives? How does religion structure the overlapping experiences of Afro-Native peoples in North America?

From political movements in Minneapolis, Oakland, and New York City to enslavement from the Cotton Belt to the Rio Grande, this class will explore how Africans, Native Americans, and their descendants adapted to shifting contexts of race and religion in America. The course will proceed thematically by examining experiences of war, dislocation, survival, and diaspora.

RELI GU4213 Islam and the Secular: Rethinking Concepts of Religion in North-Western Africa and the Middle East. 4.00 points.

The class offers a critical discussion of the conceptual apparatus of the anthropology of Islam and secularism and of the ways in which it shapes recent interventions in history and theory but also in Islamic studies with a particular focus on North-Western Africa and the Middle East. The questions that will be examined during the class read as follows: 1. What is Islam: a religion or a cultural formation, a discursive tradition or a way of life? How is one to construct a definition of Islam beyond orientalist legacies? Can one define Islam anthropologically outside the tradition itself? 2. How did French and British Empires transform or destroyed Islamic institutions while governing Muslims in the Middle East and North-West Africa? Are these colonial technologies Christian or secular and is there a significant difference between Christian slavery and secular colonialism? To what extent is secularism reducible to an imperial ideology or to Christianity itself? 3. How did Muslims respond to the challenge of modernity and to European imperial hegemony? How can one think philosophically within the Islamic tradition after the hegemony of Europe and colonialism?

Spring 2021: RELI GU4213
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RELI 4213 001/12380 M Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Mohamed Ait Amer Meziane 4.00 2/20

Cross Listed Courses

FYSB BC1734 CULTURE, IDENTITY, & THE SELF. 3 points.

In this First Year Seminar, we explore how people discover themselves and others in the frameworks of different cultures and times. Our focus is on the idea of the self (who are you?) and the other (who are you not?), and we investigate these concepts as they appear in six great books from Western and Non-Western sources. The texts include: The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Aeneid, The Golden Legend, Austin's Emma, Satrapi's Persepolis, and Woolf's A Room of One's One. Additionally, we will contrast these with their movie versions and a visit to a museum. Students in this class will develop key fundamental skills, such as active reading and analysis, how to write in different rhetorical modes, and how to verbalize and present ideas effectively.

ASCM UN2003 Introduction to Islamic Civilization. 4 points.

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

Lecture and recitation. Islamic civilization and its characteristic intellectual, political, social, and cultural traditions up through 1800. Note: Students must register for a discussion section, ASCM UN2113.

Fall 2021: ASCM UN2003
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCM 2003 001/10498 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
329 Pupin Laboratories
Elaine van Dalen 4 64/90