East Asian Studies
Professors Kemper (Anthropology), Hirai (History), J. Strong (Religion), Grafflin (History), Yang (Chinese) and S. Strong (Japanese); Associate Professors Maurer-Fazio (Economics) and Shankar (English); Assistant Professors Wender (Japanese), Nguyen (Art and Visual Culture), and Nelson (Political Science); Lecturers Miao (Chinese), Ofuji (Japanese); and Sengupta (Asian Studies)
Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary program designed to acquaint students with the cultures, economies, histories, politics, arts, languages, literatures, and religions of Asian societies. The program offers a major in East Asian studies and a secondary concentration in Asian studies (see below). Students majoring in East Asian studies may also pursue a secondary concentration in Chinese or Japanese. Double majors in East Asian studies and either Chinese or Japanese are allowed only if there is no overlap in language courses. Students interested in majoring exclusively in Chinese or Japanese should consult the descriptions of those majors in this catalog under the Department of German, Russian, and East Asian Languages and Literatures. More information on Asian studies is available on the Web site (www.bates.edu/ASIA.xml).
Majors in East Asian studies, Chinese, or Japanese may count no more than two courses (or units) as fulfilling requirements toward both the Asian studies secondary concentration and their major.
Note that unless otherwise specified, when a department/program references a course or unit in the department/program, it includes courses and units cross-listed with the department/program.
The East Asian studies major has the following requirements:
1) At least two years (four courses) of Chinese or Japanese language. Two courses of this four-course requirement may be waived for students who prove proficiency in the language in tests approved by the program. Students who obtain such a waiver must fulfill their major requirement by taking two non-language courses to substitute for the waived language courses.
2) HIST 171 or 172.
3) Two courses from two of the following four groups:
a) CHI 207 or AS/JA 125;
b) AS/EC 229 or 231;
c) AS/RE 208 or 209;
d) AV/AS 246 or 247.
4) Three more courses (or two courses and one unit) from the list of courses in East Asian studies. At most one of these courses may be a language course.
5) A senior thesis normally written under the direction of a faculty advisor in East Asian studies with one course of appropriate preparatory work to be determined in consultation with the advisor. Honors candidates must complete Asian Studies 457 and 458 and sustain an oral defense of their thesis.
6) Distribution requirements: In fulfilling their major requirements, students must make sure that they take at least one course dealing primarily with China and one dealing primarily with Japan. Students are urged to take at least one course dealing with premodern culture (China or Japan) and one course dealing with the modern period (China or Japan).
7) It is recommended that East Asian studies majors spend their junior year or at least one semester at a College-approved program in Taiwan, mainland China, or Japan. Majors interested in Japan are advised, though not required, to spend their junior year at the Associated Kyoto Program (AKP).
Students may petition the program to have courses taken during their study-abroad program applied toward the fulfillment of major requirements 1-4. The program normally approves a maximum of two language courses and two non-language courses toward this end.
Pass/Fail Grading Option
Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the major in East Asian studies.
Secondary Concentration in Asian Studies
Students may complete a secondary concentration in Asian studies by choosing six courses from the list of courses and units in Asian studies. A coherent program for each student's secondary concentration is designed in accord with program guidelines and in consultation with an Asian studies faculty member who is chosen or appointed by the Asian studies chair. Among the six courses, at least four courses should be related in a coherent group. Examples might include a group of courses related to Buddhist studies, South Asia, gender issues, environmental issues, a specific historical period, or the socioeconomic conditions or political situation of a particular region.
The secondary concentration may include one Short Term unit. With the approval of the secondary concentration advisor, students may count up to two courses taken on study-abroad programs towards their secondary concentration. Students may count at most two language courses.
Pass/Fail Grading Option
Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the secondary concentration in Asian studies.
The following courses may be taken to fulfill the East Asian studies major:
AV/AS 243. Buddhist Visual Worlds.
AV/AS 246. Visual Narratives: Storytelling in East Asian Art.
AV/AS 247. The Art of Zen Buddhism.
AVC 248. Rock-Cut Temples in Asia.
AV/AS 380. Stupas: Forms and Meanings.
AV/EN s10. A Cultural and Literary Walk into China.
AVC s36. Buddhist Objects and Their Contexts.
AS/JA 125. Japanese Literature and Society.
AS/JA 130. Japanese Film.
AS/RE 208. Religions in China.
AS/RE 209. Religions in Japan.
AS/JA 210. Heterogeneous Japan.
AS/EC 229. Economics of Greater China.
AS/EC 231. The Economic Development of Japan.
AS/RE 251. Religions of Tibet.
ASIA 280. Ethnicity and Gender: United States, Japan, and Korea.
AS/RE 308. Buddhist Texts in Translation.
AS/RE 309. Buddhism in East Asia.
AS/CI 330 (formerly 130). Chinese Culture and Agrarian Society.
ASIA 360. Independent Study.
ASIA s21. Traditional Chinese Color Ink Painting.
CHI 101-102. Beginning Chinese I and II.
CHI 201-202. Intermediate Chinese.
CHI 207. Traditional Chinese Literature in Translation.
CHI 209. Modern China through Film and Fiction.
CHI 210. Masculinity and Criminality in Chinese Literature and Cinema.
CHI 261. Self and Society in Chinese Culture: Classics and Folk Tales.
CHI 301-302. Upper-Level Modern Chinese.
CHI 401-402. Advanced Chinese I and II.
CHI 415. Readings in Classical Chinese.
CHI s30. Chinese Calligraphy and Etymology.
EC/ES s27. Sustaining the Masses.
EN/WS 121G. Asian American Women Writers.
EN/WS 395S. Asian American Women Writers, Filmmakers, and Critics.
ES/JA 290. Nature in East Asian Literature.
ES/JA 320. Haiku and Nature in Japan.
HIST 171. China and Its Culture.
HIST 172. Japan: Myths, Stereotypes, and Realities.
HIST 274. China in Revolution.
HIST 275. Japan in the Age of Imperialism.
HIST 276. Japan since 1945 through Film and Literature.
HIST 278. Taiwan.
HIST 374. Understanding Chinese Thought.
HIST 390A. Japan's War against the United States.
HIST 390T. Men and Women in Japanese History.
HIST s30. Food in Japanese History.
JPN 101-102. Beginning Japanese I and II.
JPN 201-202. Intermediate Japanese I and II.
JA/WS 255. Modern Japanese Women Writers.
JPN 301-302. Intermediate Japanese III and IV.
JPN 401, 402. Advanced Japanese I and II.
JA/WS s21. Geisha Fantasy: Representation of an Icon.
JPN s25. Haiku Poetry.
In addition to the courses and units listed above for a major in East Asian studies, the following courses may be taken to fulfill the secondary concentration in Asian studies:
ANTH 240. Peoples and Societies of South Asia.
AN/RE 263. Buddhism and the Social Order.
AV/RE 244. Visual Narratives: Lives Beyond Lives.
AV/AS 245. Monuments of Southeast Asia.
AS/RE 249. The Hindu Tradition.
AS/RE 250. The Buddhist Tradition.
ENG 260. Literature of South Asia.
ENG 395G. Literature and Cultural Critique.
FYS 307. Islam.
POLS 254. Religion and Politics in South Asia.
POLS 348. Islam and Democracy.
AS/JA 125. Japanese Literature and Society.This course examines major trends in Japanese literature and society from its beginnings to the present. Are there features of Japanese culture that continue unchanging through time? How have ideas of what is artistically valuable been linked with ideas of what is Japanese? How valid are the claims that Japanese culture is intimately involved with the appreciation of nature and the seasons? Students examine visual, literary, and historical texts, including classical narratives and painting scrolls of aristocratic culture, early modern plays and prints of samurai and geisha, and recent stories and films exploring questions of individual and national identity. All readings are in English. Offered with varying frequency. M. Wender.
AS/JA 130. Japanese Film.This course introduces students to Japanese cinema and criticism. They consider the aesthetic style and narrative themes of films from the silent era to the present day, focusing on directors such as Ozu Yasujiro, Kurosawa Akira, and Oshima Nagisa. They explore such questions as whether there is a distinctive Japanese film style, how filmic qualities such
as camera movement relate to story, and how the films relate to their particular historical and cultural moment. In addition to viewing movies, students read Japanese film history and criticism. No prior familiarity with Japan is required. Conducted in English. Normally offered every other year. M. Wender.
AS/HI 173. Korea and Its Culture.The course examines the distinctive evolution of Korean civilization within the East Asian cultural sphere, from its myths of origin through its struggles to survive amidst powerful neighbors, to the twentieth-century challenges of colonial domination and its poisonous legacies of civil war and division, and the puzzles of redefining a hierarchical Neo-Confucian state in the context of global capitalism. Not open to students who have received credit for History 173 or Asian Studies 173. Normally offered every other year. M. Wender, D. Grafflin.
AS/RE 208. Religions in China.A study of the various religious traditions of China in their independence and interaction. The course focuses on the history, doctrines, and practices of Daoism, Confucianism, and various schools of Mahayana Buddhism. Readings include basic texts and secondary sources. Not open to students who have received credit for Religion 208. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. J. Strong.
AS/RE 209. Religions in Japan.A study of the various religious traditions of Japan in their independence and interaction. The course focuses on the doctrines and practices of Shinto, folk religion, and various schools of Buddhism. These are considered in the context of Japanese history and culture and set against their Korean and Chinese backgrounds. Not open to students who have received credit for Religion 209. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. J. Strong.
AS/JA 210. Heterogeneous Japan.Scholars of Japan have long portrayed Japan as culturally homogenous. In recent years, however, people in and outside the academy have begun to challenge this assumption. In this course, students examine autobiography, fiction, and films that emphasize Japan's ethnic, regional, and socioeconomic diversity. Readings also may include historical and analytical essays and theoretical works on the relationship of modernity, national identity, and narrative. Conducted in English. Not open to students who have received credit for Japanese 210 or Asian Studies 210. Open to first-year students. Offered with varying frequency. M. Wender.
INDS 212. Writing/Righting Chinese Women.This course is a survey of major writings by Chinese women, from Ban Zhao (40-120 C.E.), whose nujie is considered the early canon of female moral virtues, to the most recent novels by women writers who pride themselves in their audacity to write about their bodies. The course emphasizes ways women writers across time have countered various masculine constructions of silenced femininity and developed their own literary sensibility, especially in the context of China's modern development. Literary works explore topics that resonate with women's experience such as family, marriage, gender identity, sexuality, revolution, nation. and modernity. Conducted in English. Cross-listed in women and gender studies, Asian studies and Chinese.New course beginning Winter 2007. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 25. Offered with varying frequency. H. Su.
AS/EC 229. Economics of Greater China.The Chinese are among the world's leading experimentalists in economics. The twentieth-century economic history of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the overseas Chinese diaspora spans the entire gamut of economic regimes from virtually unrestricted competition to rigid state management. This course surveys economic development in Greater China with emphasis on understanding how institutions and institutional change affect economic and social development. Prerequisite(s): Economics 101 or 103. Not open to students who have received credit for Economics 229. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 45. Normally offered every other year. M. Maurer-Fazio.
AS/EC 231. The Economic Development of Japan.This course surveys the development of Japan's economy. A brief historical introduction focuses on the preconditions for economic modernization and the role of the government in Japan's late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century experience. The course then concentrates on an overview of Japan's post-World War II experience of recovery, explosive growth, slowdown, and attempted reform. Students consider whether the Japanese economy operates according to principles, objectives, and structures that are substantially different from those of the West. Japan's economic impact on other East Asian countries and relatedness with the world economy are also explored. Prerequisite(s): Economics 101 or 103. Not open to students who have received credit for Economics 231. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. M. Maurer-Fazio.
AV/AS 234. Chinese Visual Culture.This course introduces Chinese visual cultures, from the Neolithic period to the present day, focusing on a period of particular cultural significance from the Han to Qing Dynasty. The course reveals interrelationships among Chinese art, literature, religious philosophy, and politics. Topics discussed include artists' places within specific social groups, theories of arts, questions of patronage, and the relation of traditional indigenous art forms to the evolving social and cultural orders from which they draw life. Principal objects include ritual objects, bronze vessels, ceramics, porcelain, lacquer ware, sculptures, rock-cut temples, gardens, painting, calligraphy, and wood-block prints. Recommended background: Asian Studies/Religion 208, Chinese 261, and History 171.New course beginning Fall 2005. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. T. Nguyen.
AV/AS 243. Buddhist Visual Worlds.The course examines the history and basic teachings of Buddhism from perspectives of visual culture. It provides an introduction to a broad spectrum of Buddhist art, beginning with the emergence of early Buddhist sculpture in India and ending with Buddhist centers in the United States. Topics covered include the iconography of principal members of the Buddhist pantheon, the effect of social and political conditions on patronage, and two important schools of Buddhism: Chan/Zen and Pure Land. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 243 or Asian Studies 243. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every year. T. Nguyen.
AV/AS 245. Monuments of Southeast Asia.This course examines the arts of Southeast Asia by focusing on significant monuments of the countries in the region. It examines the architecture, sculpture, and relief carvings on the monuments and their relations to religious, cultural, political, and social contexts. Sites covered include Borobudur, Angkor, Pagan, and the Hue Citadel. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 245 or Asian Studies 245. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. T. Nguyen.
AV/AS 246. Visual Narratives: Storytelling in East Asian Art.This course examines the important artistic tradition of narrative painting in China and Japan. Through study of visually narrative presentations of religious, historical, and popular stories, the course explores different contexts in which the works—tomb, wall, and scroll paintings—were produced. The course introduces various modes of visual analysis and art historical contexts. Topics include narrative theory, text-image relationships, elite patronage, and gender representation. Recommended background: History 171, 172, and Japanese 240. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 246 or Asian Studies 246. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. T. Nguyen.
AV/AS 247. The Art of Zen Buddhism.The art of Zen (Chan) as the unique and unbounded expression of the liberated mind has attracted Westerners since the mid-twentieth century. But what is Zen, its art, and its culture? This course considers the historical development of Zen art and its use in several genres within monastic and lay settings. It also examines the underlying Buddhist concepts of Zen art. The course aims to help students understand the basic teachings of Zen and their expression in architecture, gardens, sculpture, painting, poetry, and calligraphy. Recommended background: Art and Visual Culture/Asian Studies 243, Asian Studies/Religion 208, 209, 250, or 309. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 247 or Asian Studies 247. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. T. Nguyen.
AS/RE 249. The Hindu Tradition.An examination, through the use of primary and secondary texts, of the various traditions of Hinduism, with some consideration of their relation to Jainism and Indian Buddhism. Special attention is paid to the Vedas, Upanishads, and Bhagavad-Gita, as well as to the classical myths of Hinduism embodied in the Puranas, and to ritual and devotional practices. Not open to students who have received credit for Religion 249. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. J. Strong.
AS/RE 250. The Buddhist Tradition.The course focuses on the Buddha's life and teachings; on early Buddhism in India and the rise of various Buddhist schools of thought; on the development of Mahayana philosophies; on rituals, meditation, and other forms of expression in India and Southeast Asia. Not open to students who have received credit for Religion 250. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. J. Strong.
AS/RE 251. Religions of Tibet.Tibetan religions are a complex mixture of Indian, Chinese, and indigenous elements. This course focuses on the history, doctrines, practices, literatures, major personalities, and communities of the different religious traditions that are expressions of this mixture, including the rNying ma, bKa' brgyud, Sa skya, and dGe lugs sects of Buddhism as well as the Bön and "folk" traditions. Not open to students who have received credit for Religion 251. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. J. Strong.
AS/MU 252. Musics of Southeast Asia.Designed for students interested in performing arts cultures based outside the West, this course introduces selected historical and contemporary musical traditions of mainland and island Southeast Asia. The integration of music, dance, theater, and ritual is a unifying theme of the course. Special attention is given to historical and contemporary gong-chime cultures of the region. Several practical sessions, in which students learn to play instruments of the Bates Javanese gamelan orchestra, enhance the grasp of formal principles common to a variety of Southeast Asian musics. The study of Southeast Asian arts contributes to students' understanding of the region. Prerequisite(s): Any course in music or Asian Studies, or instructor consent.New course beginning Winter 2006. Open to first-year students. Offered with varying frequency. G. Fatone.
AS/PY 260. Cultural Psychology.This course provides an introduction to the theoretical perspectives and research findings of cultural psychology, with an emphasis on comparisons between North American and East Asian cultural groups. Topics include defining culture as a topic of psychological inquiry, the methods of conducting cultural research, the debate between universality versus cultural specificity of psychological processes, acculturation and multiculturalism, and cultural influences on thought, feeling, motivation, personality, abnormality, and social behavior. Recommended background: Psychology/Sociology 210 or Psychology 211. Prerequisite(s): Psychology 101.New Course beginning Winter 2006. Enrollment limited to 50. Normally offered every year. H. Boucher.
AS/RE 308. Buddhist Texts in Translation.This seminar involves the close reading and discussion of a number of texts representing a variety of Buddhist traditions. Emphasis is placed on several different genres including canonical sutras, commentarial exegeses, philosophical treatises, and popular legends. Prerequisite(s): Asian Studies/Religion 250, Anthropology/Religion 263 (formerly Anthropology 244/Religion 263), or Art and Visual Culture/Asian Studies 243. Not open to students who have received credit for Religion 308. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. J. Strong.
AS/RE 309. Buddhism in East Asia.This seminar focuses on the teachings, traditions, and contemplative practices of a number of East Asian schools of Buddhism, including the Tiantai (Tendai), Huayan (Kegon), Chan (Zen), Zhenyan (Shingon), and Pure Land traditions. Special consideration is given to the question of the continuities and discontinuities in the ways these schools became established in China, Korea, and Japan. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: Asian Studies/Religion 208, 209, or 250. Not open to students who have received credit for Religion 309. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every other year. J. Strong.
AS/CI 325. Modern Chinese Literature and Lu Xun.This course introduces works by major modern Chinese writers, particularly Lu Xun, who was among the first to publish literary works in modern Chinese. Students explore the formation of modern Chinese literary consciousness amidst relentless colonial pressure from Western and Japanese interests, and the radical revolutionary transformations in Chinese society in the early twentieth century. Topics include gender, class, the nation-state, law, early communism, visual and material culture, rural and urban life, a new literary high culture, and entertainment. The course provides a background on the monumental historical transition that defines modern Chinese literature, as well as the critical skills to analyze and understand important aspects of Asian culture. Prerequisite(s): a course in the literature of any language. All readings are in English. Normally offered every other year. Staff.
AS/CI 330. Chinese Culture and Agrarian Society.This course provides an introduction to contemporary scholarship on cultural and social transformations in China, beginning with the ongoing process of industrialization. Discussion and readings emphasize interdisciplinary training that draws on both humanities and social sciences, and address recent social, institutional, and representational changes that accompany the country's transformation from a rural culture to a semi-urban society. Texts include literary, historical, and cinematic works. Conducted in English. Prerequisite(s): one 200-level course on Asian literature, history, or society. Not open to students who have received credit for Chinese 130. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. Staff.
ASIA 360. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study per semester. Normally offered every semester. Staff.
AV/AS 380. Stupas: Forms and Meanings.Stupas are the most pervasive and symbolic form of Buddhist architecture in South, Southeast, and East Asia. Buddhist stupas serve as the symbols of illumination, and repositories for the relics of revered persons. They also serve as universal symbols, embodiments of metaphysical principles and multivalent meanings. This seminar not only examines different architectural forms of stupas, but also studies religious concepts and symbolic meanings expressed in stupas in Buddhist Asia. Recommended background: one of the following: Anthropology 244, Art and Visual Culture/Asian Studies 243, Asian Studies/Religion 250, 251, 308, or 309. Not open to students who have received credit for Art 380 or Asian Studies 380. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. T. Nguyen.
ASIA 457. Senior Thesis.Students register for Asian Studies 457 in the fall semester and for Asian Studies 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Asian Studies 457 and 458. Prerequisite(s): one course of appropriate preparatory work to be determined in consultation with the advisor. Normally offered every year.
ASIA 457, 458. Senior Thesis.Students register for Asian Studies 457 in the fall semester and for Asian Studies 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Asian Studies 457 and 458. Prerequisite(s): one course of appropriate preparatory work to be determined in consultation with the advisor. Normally offered every year.
Short Term Courses
ASIA 458. Senior Thesis.Students register for Asian Studies 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Asian Studies 457 and 458. Prerequisite(s): one course of appropriate preparatory work to be determined in consultation with the advisor. Normally offered every year.
ASIA s21. Traditional Chinese Color Ink Painting.A study of traditional Chinese color ink painting through practice in the use of the brush-pen on rice paper. Students explore the aesthetics as well as brush techniques and brushwork styles of this unique form of art. Techniques include gongbi (meticulous brushwork on details) and xieyi (an impressionistic way of evoking subtle moods) renditions of plant and animal images such as grapes, lotus flowers, chrysanthemums, roses, peonies, plum blossoms, chickens, butterflies, shrimp, and goldfish. There is a studio fee of $150. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 20. Offered with varying frequency. M. Maurer-Fazio.
ASIA s22. Indian Lyrical Traditions.Much of premodern literature from India consists of poignant, sensual love poetry, full of pining heroines whose bodies are "scalded by moonlight" or enamored male heroes whose feet are "pricked by thorns." This unit introduces students to translated poetry from several classical and medieval Indian traditions and languages (Sanskrit, Prakrit, Brajhbhasha, Urdu, Bengali,Tamil), accompanied by interpretive orientations and related material from visual arts, music, and dance. Students engage with the traditions creatively by composing their own poems—in English—according to various conventions. At the end of the term, the class presents a public reading of selected student works.New unit beginning ShortTerm 2005. Not open to students who have received credit for First-Year Seminar 321. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every year. S. Sengupta.
AS/HI s25. Americans in Japan.The unit considers Americans who visited Japan since the first contact between the two nations in 1853. Focusing on the period before World War II, students examine the motivations and goals of these sojourners, and what they accomplished in their travels. New course beginning Short Term 2005. Enrollment limited to 16. Normally offered every year. A. Hirai.
AS/PS s28. Sufi Saints and Muslim Missionaries.This unit offers an introduction to the study of Islam in South Asia, focusing on Chishti Sufi saints, their shrines, and the work of the Tablighi Jama'at, a distantly related movement devoted to the cause of religious revival and reform (tajdid) around the world. During four weeks in India, students attend lectures by faculty at local universities and travel to mosques, shrines, and other sites of religious and historical significance in Delhi, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. A tolerance for very high temperatures is essential. Recommended background: previous course work concerning Islam and/or non-Western countries.New unit beginning Short Term 2005. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission is required. Offered with varying frequency. M. Nelson.