Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

ANS 301M • Ghost/God/Ancst: Rlg E Asia

31600 • Cox, Benjamin
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm CMA 5.190
(also listed as R S 312)
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Course Description:

The religious landscape of East Asia is not defined solely by its great named traditions, but by a stunning diversity of local religious beliefs and practices as well. Ghosts, goblins, ancestors, and spirits of local concern weave in and out of these great traditions, influencing and being influenced by them in turn. By investigating the historical and cultural interface between the pragmatic and the sublime, the local and the universal, we will ask ourselves what we when when we talk about "religions" in China and Japan, and how that understanding can inform our ideas about religion and religious pluralism. Taking the spread of Buddhism into East Asia as its central narrative frame, this course will introduce students to the four main religious traditions of East Asia--Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, and Shinto--and the ways they overlap both historically and today.



There are no required textbooks for this course. Assigned readings are all available either online through the University library website (especially JSTOR), or will be available in scanned PDF form on the course's Canvas site.



  • Geographic/Historical Quiz (5%)
  • Unit Quiz 1: China (15%)
  • Unit Quiz 2: Japan (15%)
  • Reading Journal (40%)
  • Reflection Paper (20%)
  • Participation (5%)


ANS 301M • Mdrn Chinese Econ/Busn Hist

31603 • Zeng, Zhaojin
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm GAR 1.126
(also listed as HIS 306N)
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Please check back for updates.

ANS 301M • Intro To Japanese Film

31605 • Cather, Kirsten
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BUR 212
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This course will offer a broad survey of Japanese cinema, including early silent films, fictional feature films, documentaries, and anime (animated films). The goals of this course are: to gain a familiarity with and appreciation for Japanese films and culture, to learn the basic history of Japanese cinema, to acquire the necessary vocabulary and tools for analyzing films as cinematic texts, and to develop critical thinking skills when viewing, discussing, and writing about film. This class requires no background in Japanese language, film, or history; all films are subtitled in English. Classes will include a lecture component, but will be heavily focused on whole class and small group discussions. Your consistent attendance and active participation are essential to the success of this class and your grade in it.


The basic general format will be as follows: each Tuesday, we will watch a new film beginning at 5 p.m. (exact time/location TBD). In Thursday’s class, we will discuss the film, our reactions to it, the key issues it raises, etc. as an entire class and in small groups. On the following Tuesday, most weeks you will be assigned to read an article that relates to this film and/or the issues it raises; occasionally, you will instead or in addition have a homework assignment due in class (as indicated on the class schedule). In Tuesday’s class, we will discuss the film in the context of the readings and/or the assignment. Pop quizzes will often be held at the beginnings of class on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays to make sure that you’ve completed the viewings/readings and are in attendance. In addition, you will do frequent in-class assignments individually or in groups that help you develop the necessary skills of film analysis.


Most weeks there will be film screenings on Tuesdays starting at 5 p.m. (exact time/location TBD) which is your homework for the next class. You should plan on attending these, but if you have a legitimate excuse may watch the films on your own before class on Thursday.


Films will likely include:

Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai, Kurosawa Akira, 1954, 200 min., DVD 5759)

Tampopo (Itami Juzō, 1985, 114 min., DVD 107)

Fireworks (Hana-bi, Kitano “Beat” Takeshi, 1997, 103 min., DVD 713)

Sisters of the Gion (Gion no kyōdai, Mizoguchi Kenji, 1936, 66 min., VC 2762)

Late Spring (Banshun, Ozu Yasujiro, 1949, 108 min., DVD 4924)

Crazed Fruit (Kurutta kajitsu, 1956, Nakahira Kō, 86 min., DVD 4185)

Millenium Actress (Sennen joyū, 2001, Satoshi Kon, 87 min.)

The Neighbor’s Wife and Mine** (Madamu to nyōbō, Gosho Heinosuke, 1931)

Page of Madness (Kurutta ippeiji, Kinugasa Teinosuke, 1926, 60 min., VC 9429)

China Nights (Shina no yoru, Osamu Fushimizu, 1940, 124 min.)

The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On (Yukiyukite shingun, Hara Kazuo, 1987, 120 min., DVD 6094)

Death by Hanging (Kōshikei, Ōshima Nagisa,1968, 117 min.)


ANS 301R • History Of Religions Of Asia

31610 • Freiberger, Oliver
Meets MWF 900am-1000am UTC 3.122
(also listed as CTI 310, R S 302)
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This course offers a survey of the major religious traditions of Asia (Hinduism, Buddhism in South and East Asia, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto). It focuses on the historical development of their beliefs, practices, rituals, and customs in social context. The course will combine lectures with class discussions on readings.

Course materials:

  1. Willard G. Oxtoby, Roy C. Amore, eds. World Religions: Eastern Traditions. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.
  2. R. K. Narayan, The Mahabharata: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2000.
  3. Zhuangzi: Basic Writings, translated by Burton Watson. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.
  4. Readings provided as PDF files on CANVAS


  • Attendance/participation: 20%
  • Two quizzes: 20% (10% each)
  • Two short essays: 20% (10% each)
  • Midterm exam: 20%
  • Final exam: 20%

ANS 302D • Intro To Korean Cul And Hist

31620 • Oppenheim, Robert M
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BUR 212
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Introduction to Korea's history, culture, and civilization from antiquity to the present.  Asian Studies 301M (Topic 10) and 302D may not both be counted.

ANS 321M • Politics In Japan

31635 • Maclachlan, Patricia
Meets TTH 930am-1100am MEZ B0.306
(also listed as GOV 321M)
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Politics in Japan: GOV 321M (#38405)/ ANS 321M (#31635)

Patricia L. Maclachlan

Spring 2017


This upper division course surveys key themes in the domestic politics and political economy of postwar Japan.  After briefly exploring the politics and institutions of the pre-war era, we will examine the impact of the American Occupation (1945-52) on the Japanese political economy, the secrets of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) dominance in postwar elections, voting trends, legislative and policymaking processes, gender politics, and interest group and social movement politics. We will devote our final weeks to the analysis of developments in contemporary Japan, including the movement toward political-economic reform—particularly in the public sector, defense and agriculture.  These and related topics will be examined from a comparative perspective and with reference to relevant political science theories.


 Grading Criteria:


            1.  Quizzes on readings:                                                        15%

            2.  First midterm exam:                                                        20%

            3.  Second midterm exam or short research paper:                 25%

            4.  Final examination:                                                           40%



  1. David Pilling, Bending Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival.  Penguin Books, 2015.
  2. Jacob M. Schlesinger, Shadow Shoguns: The Rise and Fall of Japan’s Postwar Political Machine. Sanford University Press, 1999.
  3. Ethan Scheiner, Democracy Without Competition in Japan: Opposition Failure in a One-Party State. Cambridge University Press, 2005.
  4. Robin LeBlanc, Bicycle Citizens: The Political World of the Japanese Housewife. University of California Press, 1999.


            Additional readings will be provided to students at the beginning of the semester via Canvas.

ANS 340 • Muslim Sainthood Practices

31645 • Mohammad, Afsar
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm WCH 4.118
(also listed as ISL 372, R S 341)
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ANS 340 • Intro To Comparatv Religion

31660 • Freiberger, Oliver
Meets M 300pm-600pm MEZ 1.206
(also listed as R S 375S)
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Religions have emerged and developed in different cultural settings. Each individual religious expression – beliefs, practices, literature, artwork, institutions, etc. – is shaped by its historical, cultural, political, and economic context and much more. Also, most religious actors would insist that at least some aspects of their own beliefs or practices are entirely unique. On the other hand, some religious expressions in historically unrelated cultures seem strikingly similar to the observer – in their conceptual presentation, in their performance, in their social functions, or in other ways. Carefully considering both differences and similarities, this course introduces students to comparative approaches in the study of religion. Drawing on classical and contemporary studies we will critically discuss various motivations for comparing religions; techniques of comparison; risks such as decontextualizing and essentializing certain religious phenomena; and benefits such as finding blind spots through comparison and being able to classify religious expressions in insightful ways. Numerous examples from Asian and other religions will enrich the discussions. During the course of the semester, students will also develop individual comparative projects.

Course packet

Attendance/participation: 25%
Oral presentation: 20%
Response papers: 25%
Research project: 30%

ANS 341M • Imperial Japan

31665 • Stalker, Nancy K.
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 201
(also listed as HIS 341M)
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ANS 361 • Governments/Politics Se Asia

31675 • Liu, Amy
Meets TTH 800am-930am MEZ 1.102
(also listed as GOV 365L)
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Unique: 38535/31675

GOV 365L/ANS 361: Governments/Politics SE Asia

Closing limit: 30

Flag: GC

TTH 8:00am-9:30am, MEZ 1.102




Students wishing to enroll in this class must have taken a foundational course in government or Asian studies. The course also assumes basic knowledge of world history and geography.


Course Description

This course is designed to introduce students to the politics of Southeast Asia. The course is divided into three parts. In the first part, we will study the democracies in the region – post-Suharto Indonesia, pre-National Front Malaysia, and post-Marcos Philippines – and how they compare to the United States. In the second part, we will learn about the different institutions employed by dictators to stay in power, whether it is the royal family (Brunei), the military (Suharto Indonesia), the party structure (National Front Malaysia), or personal charm (Sukarno Indonesia and Marcos Philippines). In the final part, we will examine whether democracies or dictatorships are better at facilitating economic development.


Grading Policy

Your final grade is composed of the following four parts:

  1. Weekly quizzes: 25%
  2. Midterm examination: 25%
  3. Final examination: 25%
  4. Short writing assignment or coding project: 25%



D.R. SarDesai. 2012. Southeast Asia: Past and Present. 7th Edition. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Note: Student Economy 7th Edition (2015) acceptable.



ANS 361 • State Build In China/Taiwan

31680 • Lü, Xiaobo
Meets MW 230pm-400pm SZB 524
(also listed as GOV 365L)
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GOV 365L/ANS 361: State Building in China and Taiwan


Course Description:


This course compares and contrasts the state building process in mainland China and Taiwan from 1950 to today. While both regimes were under the authoritarian rule at the beginning of the 1950s, why did Taiwan democratize but not China? Meanwhile, does the democratic politics in Taiwan generate any implications for the democratic future of China? By comparing the state building process under the Chinese

Communist Party (CCP) and Kuomingtang (KMT), students will gain a better understanding of the theories and implications of the interaction between political development and economic development. This course aims to provide students a deeper understanding of theories of state building with regional knowledge of greater China.






Grading Policy


Course attendance   20%

In-class debate        25%

Midterm exam         25%

Final exam              30%


Flags: Global Cultures.

ANS 361 • Urban Experiences In East Asia

31685 • Oh, Youjeong
Meets MW 1000am-1130am MEZ 1.120
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Selected topics in south and east Asian anthropology, economics, history, geography, government, art, music, and philosophy.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Asian Studies 320 and 361 may not both be counted unless the topics vary.  Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 361 • Intl Rels Of E/Stheast Asia

31687 • Maclachlan, Patricia
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CLA 0.112
(also listed as GOV 365L)
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International Relations of East and Southeast Asia

GOV 365L-3 (#38544)/ANS 361 (#31687)

Global Cultures Flag


Fall 2016


Prof. Patricia L. Maclachlan

TTH 2:00-3:30, CLA 0.112




6 semester hours of lower-division Government courses.  Graduate students may take this course for graduate credit.


Course Description:


This upper division undergraduate course introduces students to some of the major themes and topics in the post-Cold War international relations of East and Southeast Asia: “Great Power” (China, Japan, and the United States) contributions and challenges to the military and economic security of the region, the objectives and processes of economic globalization and institutional integration in the Asia-Pacific, and the impact of nationalism and historical memory on intra-regional affairs.  Along the way, we will explore the ongoing North Korean nuclear threat, tensions between China and Taiwan, and the United States’ so-called Asia Pivot, as well as basic theoretical approaches to the study of international relations.


Grading Policy:


         1.    Quizzes on readings: 15%

         2.    First mid-term exam: 20%

         3.    Second mid-term exam or short research paper:  25%

         4.    Final exam: 40%




         1.    Susan L. Shirk, China: Fragile Superpower (2008)

         2.    Victor Cha, The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future (2012)

         3.    Daniel Chirot, Gi-Wook Shin, and Daniel Sneider, eds., Confronting

                 Memories of World War II: European and Asian Legacies (2014)


 Additional readings will be provided to students via Canvas at the beginning of the semester.

ANS 362 • Research In Asian Studies

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Individual instruction for Asian studies majors and nonmajors. Discussion, research, and the writing of papers about various general and specialized Asian subjects.  Prerequisite: Six semester hours of coursework in Asian studies and
written consent of instructor on form obtained from the undergraduate adviser.

ANS 372 • Formation Of Indian Art

31704 • Leoshko, Janice
Meets TTH 500pm-630pm DFA 2.204
(also listed as R S 341)
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May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.  Some topics partially fulfill legislative requirement for American history.  Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 372 • Pop Lit/Cul Modern China

31705 • Tsai, Chien-hsin
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 2.102
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May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.  Some topics partially fulfill legislative requirement for American history.  Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 372 • Mod Japanese Lit In Trans

31710 • Cather, Kirsten
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm MEZ 1.202
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This course looks at literature written by key Japanese authors in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We will learn to read, think, discuss, and write about Japanese literature critically and analytically with attention to a work’s content, style, and form. Equally importantly, we will think about our own individual tastes in literature - why we read fiction and how. We'll also consider the socio-historical context of the production and reception of literature and how it deals with themes like the breakdown of tradition and the crisis of individualism; nostalgia and nationalism; war and cultural amnesia; “women’s literature”; sexuality, gender, and power; and the dynamics of cross-cultural influence. This is a small discussion-based class that requires the active and engaged participation of all class members to ensure its success.

This course carries the Global Cultures flag. Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the culture of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present.

See also JPN 130D, a one-credit add-on course in which we read and translate portions of our ANS 372 texts in the original Japanese to get a sense of the linguistic and stylistic choices made by the author and the translator. Recommended for students in their 3rd, 4th, and beyond years of Japanese. 


Required Texts/Readings:

1) The following books (** on schedule) are available for purchase at the Co-op. You are welcome to purchase them from used bookstores or on-line instead, but be sure to get the same version (cross-check the ISBN #) so that we can all refer to the same page numbers for class discussions and papers.

**Sōseki, Natsume. Kokoro (Gateway Editions). ISBN: 978-089-526-7153 ($14.95)

**Goossen, Theodore W., ed. The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories (Oxford UP). 9780199583195 ($19.95)


2) Additional required readings will be available for purchase at Jenn’s Copy Shop NORTH branch (2518 Guadalupe St, 482-0779). 


ANS 372 • Japanese Concepts Body/Self

31715 • Traphagan, John W.
Meets MWF 900am-1000am BUR 220
(also listed as ANT 324L, R S 352)
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In this course, we will endeavor to navigate some of the extensive anthropological literature that has been written on Japanese conceptualizations of self and body and explore how these concepts intersect with ideas about religion and morality.  The "self" has been one of the central themes in ethnographic writing about Japan since Ruth Benedict's work The Chrysanthemum and the Sword was published in the 1940's.  We will consider how Japanese educational approaches contribute to the formation of paritcular forms of behavior; how selves change over the life course; Japanese conceptualizations of the body and person; and how Japanese ideas about self and body are expressed in medical practices.  The course is discussion-based and will incorporate films in addition to ethnographic writings.  Grading will be based upon five response papers and mid-term take-home and final take-home exams.



  • Midpterm exam: 20%
  • Final exam: 30%
  • Five 2-page response papers: 50%

ANS 379 • Transnational Korea

31725 • Oppenheim, Robert M
Meets TTH 500pm-630pm CLA 0.118
(also listed as AAS 330, ANT 324L)
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May be repeated for credit when topics vary.  Asian Studies 378 and 379 may not both be counted.  Prerequisite: For Asian studies and Asian cultures and languages majors, twelve semester hours of upper-division coursework in Asian studies or Asian languages; for others, upper-division standing.

ANS 379 • Cuisine And Culture In Asia

31730 • Stalker, Nancy K.
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm MEZ 1.204
(also listed as AAS 325)
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May be repeated for credit when topics vary.  Asian Studies 378 and 379 may not both be counted.  Prerequisite: For Asian studies and Asian cultures and languages majors, twelve semester hours of upper-division coursework in Asian studies or Asian languages; for others, upper-division standing.