The course must cover at least three distinct geo-cultural areas. The course may be arranged chronologically or by period, geographically or by region, thematically, and/or by major forms of expression including mythology, poetry, the novel; visual arts, film, theater, music and dance; religion and philosophy.
Topics include but are not limited to:
I. Traditional practices in the artistic life of Asian nations such as:
A. Effect of belief systems and worldviews on cultural production.
B. India: Impact of religious and folk idioms and folk art on courtly art.
C. Classical dance forms, representing regional culture and ethos and religious roots based in Vedic or Hindu folk traditions.
D. Japan: Samurai and geisha traditions, ceramics, sword making, architecture, calligraphy.
E. China: Development of calligraphy and block printing, social stratification and the arts.
II. Tragedy and comedy in performing arts, music and film such as:
A. India: The tradition of folk theatre, puppet theatre in rural India.
B. Japan: Kabuki and Noh drama.
C. China: Opera traditions both classical and contemporary.
D. Contemporary Asian film genres such as Bollywood (Indian) contemporary film industry or Kurosawa in Japan.
III. Central ideas and beliefs associated with the religious and philosophical practices in Asia and interactive with cultural production such as:
A. Principle religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Judaism, Islam, and Shinto.
B. The influence of Zen Buddhism on arts such as the tea ceremony, haiku, and the Japanese garden.
C. The influence of animism and Hinduism on sculpture, temple art and architecture.
IV. Styles of Asian visual arts such as:
A. Representative visual arts, including the beginnings of developed Japanese art, the art of the Kamkura, Muromachi, Momoyama, and Edo Periods.
B. Castles and tea houses of the Japan shogunate, Japanese screens and the woodblock prints of Edo Japan.
C. Representative visual arts in India including Hindu arts and relation to Southeast Asia, including Cambodia and Champs (Vietnam).
E. Representative visual arts, including rise of painting and ceramics in China, the Song Dynasty, and/or later Chinese Art of the Yuan,Ming and Qing Dynasties. Art and architecture of the Forbidden City.
F. Class and examination of the structures of the family in Indian culture via film.
V. Asian literature; myths, legends, and lore such as:
A. Representative Japanese literary and philosophical texts, such as The Tale of the Genji and the haiku of Matsuo Basho.
B. Representative Indian literary and philosophical texts, such as Upanishads, the Mahabharata, or Ramayana, classical Sanskrit lyrics, or devotional poetry.
C. Representative Chinese literary and philosophical texts, such as Confucianism and Daoism.
D. Representative Eastern philosophers, such as Lao Tzu, Chuant Zi, Confucius, Mencius, The Buddha,Nagarjuna, Zhu Xi, Wang Yangming. Class and examination of the structures of the family in Indian literature.
E. Contemporary Asian writers.
VI. Cultural borrowings and interactions between Asia and the West such as:
A. Indus culture and the encroachment of the Aryans.
B. Impact of European Imperialism: ways in which Asia was changed by European contacts, including decline, destruction, replacement, modification, assimilation, and renewal.
C. Interactive impact of the Silk Road.
D. Class gender and other sociolpolitical concerns between East and West.
Assignments will include:
1. Reading and analysis of assigned primary texts and supplemental readings to establish
cultural context (20-40 pp. per week).
2. Two to five examinations, which may include quizzes, midterm exams, and a final exam.
3. One to three written essays (500 to 750 words) requiring students to analyze representative
works of literature, visual art, music, and philosophical/religious thought. Students may
be asked to compare and contrast, examine ideas, values and beliefs, and integrate materials
from more than one discipline.
4. Optional participation in cultural activities, museum and field trips, creative projects.
REPRESENTATIVE GENERAL TEXTS:
A Brief History of Chinese and Japanese Civilization. Schirokauer, C. and et al. Wadsworth: 2005. (Classic)
A History of Far Eastern Art. Lee, Sherman. Prentice Hall: 1994.(Classic)
Asian Mythology: Myths & Legends of China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia. (Classic)
CONTEMPORARY ASIAN AREA STUDIES:
Gandhi An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Gandhi, M.K. Beacon Press: 1993. (Classic)
The Mahabharta: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic. Narayan, R. K. University of Chicago Press: 2000. (Classic)
The Ramayana: A Modern Retelling of the Great Indian Epic. Valmiki, Menon, Ramesh. North Point Press: 2004. (Classic)
Rig Veda. Clamp. Tokyopop: 2005. (Classic)
Taipei People (Hong Kong, China and Taiwan). Hsien-yung, Pai. Columbia U. Press: 2002. (Classic)
CONTEMPORARY INDIAN LITERATURE:
The God of Small Things. Roy, Arundhati. Harper Perennial: 1998. (Classic)
Nectar in a Sieve. Markandaya, Kamala. Signet: 1998. (Classic)
Lun Yu (ANALECTS). Confucius and Lau, D. C. Penguin: 1973. (Classic)
Sources of Chinese Tradition, Vols I-II. de Bary, William and et al. Columbia: 2001. (Classic)
Tai Te Ching. Tzu, Lao (Laozi), Edwards, M. University CA Press: 2001. (Classic)
CONTEMPORARY CHINESE LITERATURE:
A Private Life. Chen, Ran. University Press: 2003. (Classic)
The True Story of Ah Li. Xun, Lu. Columbia U Press: 1981. (Classic)
Will the Boat Sink: The Life of Chinese Peasants. Guidi, Chen and Chuntao, Wu . Westview Press: June, 2006. (Classic)
CONTEMPORARY TAIWANESE LITERATURE
Wild Kids. Ta-chun, Chang. Columbia U Press: 2002 (Classic)
Wintry Night (Modern Chinese Literature from Taiwan). Qiao, Li and et al. Columbia University: 2002. (Classic)
Anthology of Japanese Literature. Keene, D. Tuttle: 2004. (Classic)
Diary of Lady Murasaki. Shikibu, Murasaki and Bowring, Richard (Trans.). Penguin Classics: 1999. (Classic)
Selected Poems of Matsuo Basho. Basho, M. State University of N.Y.: 2004. (Classic)
The Tale of Genji. Shikibu, Murasaki and Tyler, Royall (Trans.). Penguin Classics: 2002. (Classic)
The Tale of the Heike. McCullough, Helen C. (Trans.). Stanford University Press: 1999. (Classic)
CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE LITERATURE:
Five Modern Japanese Novelists. Keene, Donald. Columbia University Press: 2003. (Classic)
Snow Country. Kawabata, Y. Knopf: 2000. (Classic)
CONTEMPORARY KOREAN LITERATURE:
A Shijo Poet at the Court of King Sonjo. Ch'ol, Chong. Columbia University Press: 2005. (Classic)
An Introduction to Vietnamese Literature. Nguyen, Huan and Trans., Durand, Maurice M. Columbia University Press: 1985. (Classic)
Behind the Red Mist: Short Fiction by Ho Anh Thai (Voices from Vietnam). Anh Thai, Ho. and Karline, Wayne (editor). Curbstone Press: 1998. (Classic)
My Land and My People: The Original Biography of His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet. Dalai Lama, HH. Warnerbooks: 1997. (Classic)
The Snow Lion's Turquoise Mane: Wisdom Tales from Tibet. Das, Surya. Harper Collins: 1992. (Classic)
From the Mango Tree and Other Folktales from Nepal. Shrestha, Kavita Ram and Lamstein, Sarah. Libraries Unlimited: 1997. (Classic)
Vapour Trails: Tales from Rural Thailand. Rajasaari, Tarmo. Orchid Press: 2004. (Classic)