East Asian Humanities


East Asian Humanities I: The Classical Foundations

An introduction to the literature, art, religion and philosophy of China, Japan and Korea from antiquity to ca. 1400. Readings focus on primary texts in translation, complemented by museum visits and supplementary materials on the course website. The course aims to allow students to explore the unique aspects of East Asian civilizations and the connections between them through an interactive web-based platform (see a screenshot here), in which assignments are integrated with the texts and media on the website. No prior knowledge of working with digital media is required. No knowledge of East Asian languages or history is required. First-year students are welcome. This course fulfills a requirement for the certificate in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities.

Sample Readings:

Sima Qian, Records of the Grand Historian The Great Age of Chinese Poetry
Confucius, The Analects
Selection of Classical Japanese, Korean, and Tang Poems
Korean Mythology
Bai Juyi, The Song of Lasting Pain
Genshin, The Essentials of Salvation
Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji
The Tale of the Heike



East Asian Humanities II: Traditions and Transformations

This course builds on HUM/EAS/COM 233, but there are no prerequisites. Freshmen and students with no previous experience of East Asian studies are welcome to enroll.
This course explores East Asia in the global context of imperialism, colonialism, the Cold War, capitalism, and neoliberalism. We will traverse a wide range of East Asian texts (literature, music, film, anime, photography…) to understand how they are connected by global forces. Open to anyone interested in learning about modern East Asian cultures in a transnational context, this course offers an interdisciplinary introduction to East Asian history, culture, film and media studies.This course begins roughly around the fourteenth century and covers the arts, history, music, literature, popular culture, film and media in transnational China, Japan, and Korea up to the contemporary period. Special focus will be given to the question of modernity in East Asia. Lectures are given by specialists in the departments of East Asian Studies, Comparative Literature, Music, and Art and Archaeology.

Click here for more detailed information about the Spring 2019 course.

Sample readings:

Lu Xun, Medicine
Cao Xueqin, Dream of Red Chamber
Wu Zhuoliu, Orphan of Asia
Fruit Chen, The Midnight Arter (film, 2014)
Hayao Miyazaki, Nausica of the Valley of the Wind (animation)
Abe Kobo, Woman in the Dunes


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