East Asian Languages and Cultures
The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC) offers a major and a minor that allow for cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of East Asia. Students can choose either to focus on one of our three linguistic and cultural traditions — Chinese, Japanese, and Korean — or to explore different traditions and societies by taking courses about multiple regions. Our major opens up career opportunities in diplomacy, business, law, journalism, and higher education, in addition to providing preparation for further study in the relevant languages and cultures. The major entails advanced training in the chosen language and a sound background in the respective literature and culture. Students are encouraged to enhance their cultural knowledge by enrolling in relevant courses offered through other departments and programs such as Anthropology, Art History, Film and Media Studies, History, Global Studies, Performing Arts, and Religious Studies.
The major requires the completion of 24 upper-level units. Specific requirements include one 200-level foundational course, at least two years of language study, and two or more courses in the relevant literary tradition. In addition, prime majors are required to fulfill the EALC capstone requirement and to participate in the EALC Senior Symposium.
The minor requires the completion of 18 units, 9 units of which must be at the 300 level or above. Specific requirements include the equivalent of one year of language study and two courses in the relevant literary tradition.
Language Placement: Placement tests are required for all students entering our language programs, with the exception of those students who have had no previous exposure to the language and wish to enroll in the first semester of the first year of instruction. Students who test into second-year Chinese/Japanese/Korean and satisfactorily complete (with a grade of B- or better) at least one semester of language study may petition for 3 units of retroactive credit; students who test into the third-year level or above and satisfactorily complete (with a grade of B- or better) at least one semester of language study may petition for 6 units of retroactive credit. Retroactive credit is limited to 3 units for those testing into the second-year level and 6 units for those testing into the third-year level or above. Please note that students with native language proficiency, as determined by the language section, and students who enroll in courses below their placement level are ineligible for retroactive credit units. Students who misrepresent their language proficiency to gain entrance into a course at the elementary or intermediate level will be dropped from that course.
The Major in East Asian Languages and Cultures
Total units required: 24 upper-level units (300 level or above)
- First and second levels of the chosen language: Modern Chinese, Japanese, or Korean (or the equivalent)
- One Civilization course: Chinese 227C Chinese Civilization, Japan 226C Japanese Civilization, or Korean 223C Korean Civilization
Eight courses for a minimum of 24 advanced units (300 level or above), including the following:
- One 300-level EALC Topics course: EALC Seminar (EALC 3900; topic varies by semester)
- Two courses focusing on the premodern era: one course to be chosen from Chinese 341 Early and Imperial Chinese Literature, Japan 332C Japanese Literature: Beginnings to 19th Century, or Korean 370 When Tigers Smoke: Songs and Stories from Traditional Korea
- Two courses focusing on the modern era: one course to be chosen from Chinese 342 Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature, Japan 333C The Modern Voice in Japanese Literature, or Korean 352 Literature of Modern and Contemporary Korea
- One approved 400-level Capstone course (prime majors)
- Senior Capstone Experience (prime majors): Students may satisfy the capstone requirement in one of two ways, both of which require a presentation at the EALC Senior Symposium, which is held in the spring:
- Successful completion of a senior honors thesis. This option, which also entitles the student to Latin Honors, requires a minimum of a 3.65 grade-point average. The thesis is researched and written over two semesters, for a total of 6 units; this requirement is in addition to the 24 upper-level units required for the major.
- Successful completion of the approved 400-level Capstone seminar course (to be taken during the senior year). This course may be included among the required upper-level courses for the major. The Capstone course must be an EALC home-based course within the student's area of focus. Writing-intensive courses and language courses cannot fulfill the Capstone requirement.
- Senior Capstone Experience (prime majors): Students may satisfy the capstone requirement in one of two ways, both of which require a presentation at the EALC Senior Symposium, which is held in the spring:
- Remaining upper-level courses are elective and chosen in consultation with the advisor.
EALC majors have the option of concentrating their major requirements in one of three East Asian civilizations:
- Concentration in Chinese
- Concentration in Japanese
- Concentration in Korean
Concentrations recognize a student’s proficiency in one language or their extensive knowledge of one East Asian civilization. EALC majors may concentrate in a civilization of East Asia by taking (as part of their major requirement) 15 upper-level units (five courses) in one of the three civilizations (Chinese, Japanese, or Korean) and submitting a concentration form to the department. Students may earn a concentration in one civilization. Upper-level language and study abroad courses may be used to complete a concentration. The successful completion of a concentration will appear on the student's transcript after graduation and may be particularly helpful for students interested in graduate or professional school. The concentration form submission deadline is March 1 of the senior year for spring graduates and November 1 of the senior year for fall graduates.
- With advisor approval, students may include two courses in a related area offered outside of the department among the 24 advanced units. (For example, a student may take one course in Film and Media Studies or Art History that focuses on East Asia.)
- Language courses require a grade of B- or better to continue to the next level. Students must also maintain a B- average in all required courses for the major. Those who do not meet this requirement may either repeat the course(s) in question or earn at least a B- in an approved equivalent course or courses (either during the summer or in a study abroad program).
- Courses for the major and minor may not be taken credit/no credit.
- Up to 6 units of credit may be applied toward the major from one semester abroad, and up to 12 units of credit may be applied from two semesters abroad.
- No more than 3 units of independent study may be counted toward the required 24 upper-level units.
- The 300-level EALC Seminar course and the 400-level Capstone course may also fulfill the premodern or modern requirement.
The Minor in East Asian Languages and Cultures
Total units required: 18 units
- Two semesters of one of the chosen languages: Chinese, Japanese, or Korean
- One Civilization course: Chinese 227C Chinese Civilization, Japan 226C Japanese Civilization, or Korean 223C Korean Civilization
- One 300-level EALC Topics course: EALC Seminar (EALC 3900; topic varies by semester)
- One course focusing on the premodern era to be chosen from Chinese 341 Early and Imperial Chinese Literature, Japan 332C Japanese Literature: Beginnings to 19th Century, or Korean 370 When Tigers Smoke: Songs and Stories from Traditional Korea
- One course focusing on the modern era to be chosen from Chinese 342 Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature, Japan 333C The Modern Voice in Japanese Literature, or Korean 352 Literature of Modern and Contemporary Korea
- At least 9 units must be from 300-level courses or above
- Students must earn at least a B- or better in language courses to continue to the next level. They must also maintain at least a B- average in all courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements. Students who do not meet this requirement may either repeat the course(s) in question or earn at least a B- in an approved equivalent course or courses (either during the summer or in a study abroad program).
- Courses for the minor may not be taken credit/no credit.
- No more than 3 units of transfer or study abroad non-language courses may be applied to the minor.
- For Chinese courses, visit the Chinese Courses page of this Bulletin.
- For Japanese courses, visit the Japanese Courses page of this Bulletin.
- For Korean courses, visit the Korean Courses page of this Bulletin.
Visit online course listings to view semester offerings for L81 EALC.
L81 EALC 1070 Ampersand: Encountering Chinese Culture: A Performative Perspective on Chinese Culture and Identity
This course examines the diversified and rich history of Chinese visual and performance cultures from the Chinese mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and throughout the Chinese diaspora. A collaboration between the East Asian Languages and Cultures and Performing Arts departments, this course explores Chinese cultural narratives in relation to how they have been performed -- on stage in traditional forms of dance-drama, on screen in film, and as lived in the practice of everyday life -- from the late Imperial period to the present. It includes a practice component that introduces the students to movement disciplines such as Tai' Chi and opera, and it allows students to pursue creative assignments such as interview, stage plays, and filmmaking that demonstrate their developing knowledge of historical and contemporary Chinese culture. Building bridges of understanding between the United States and the Republic of China in Taiwan, the course will culminate in a spring break trip to Taiwan. This course is only for first-year, non-transfer students in the Ampersand: Encountering China program.
Same as L61 FYP 107
L81 EALC 1080 Ampersand: Encountering Chinese Culture: Performing Tradition, Engendering Transformations
This course examines the development of modern Chinese culture and its dynamic relationship with traditions and renovations. During the past century, China has gone through a series of political, cultural, economic, and technological transformations that constantly reshaped the form and content of Chinese culture. Tracing the drastic changes in Chinese language, performance and media forms from the late 19th century to contemporary time, this course guides the student through the pivotal moments in modern Chinese history and analyzes their impacts on literature, drama, dance, film and internet culture. What transformative promise did new media and art forms deliver? How do we make sense of the intricate connection between tradition and renovation? The purpose of this course is to foster an understanding of Chinese culture as a dynamic process of formation rather than a static, homogeneous entity. However, instead of seeing this formation as a linear progression with one form or style replacing the other, we will study how past traditions -- both ancient and recently constructed ones -- are reconfigured in new cultural representations and practices.
Same as L61 FYP 1080
L81 EALC 144 FYS: Collecting Art/Excluding People: The Contradictions of Chinese Art in U.S. Museums
Tomb raiders, curators, archaeologists, politicians, dealers, and collectors all contributed to the arrival of Chinese art in the United States since the late nineteenth century. But at the same time as Chinese objects arrived in great quantities, Chinese people were actively excluded from the U.S. In this course we consider the contradiction between U.S. enthusiasm for collecting Chinese art and negative U.S. responses to Chinese immigrants, from the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act to contemporary anti-Asian racism. Through the lens of museums, private collections, and public exhibitions, we study what the movement of Chinese art into the United States says about changes in U.S.-China relations from the nineteenth century through today. No prerequisite: enrollment limited to first-year students.
Same as L01 Art-Arch 144
L81 EALC 150 First-Year Seminar: Exploring East Asian Classics
This first-year seminar introduces students to major works of the Chinese, Korean, and Japanese traditions. Although written centuries in the past, these texts still reverberate with meaning today and offer important means to understand the often chaotic and confusing events occurring daily around us. What is the self? What is the relationship between the individual and society? How do we live an ethical life? What is literature and for whom is it intended? In grappling with these questions, students will directly engage with the texts through close reading and in-class discussion. Students will, at the same time, also ask broader questions that concern how knowledge is produced, spread, and consumed: what is a canon? Who are the gatekeepers? What does it mean to approach East Asia through a set of "canonical" texts? Among the texts considered will be The Analects, Daodejing, Lotus Sutra, Tale of Genji, Tales of the Heike, Tales of Moonlight and Rain, Samguk yusa, and Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong. Prerequisite: first-year, non-transfer students only.
Same as L04 Chinese 150
L81 EALC 223 Korean Civilization
This course introduces Korean civilization from earliest times to the present. While a broad survey, the course emphasizes cultural themes and social institutions, and explores the Korean past in East Asian and global perspectives. To help with building this comprehensive view, the class follows a chronological progression of history using a textbook. But throughout, students also learn from diverse media-including film, drama, music, games, and primary historical sources-to make their own sense of Korea and Korean culture. In terms of methodology, the class adopts various approaches, from source criticism and material studies to critically engaging modern-day representations of Korea in print and new media. Some of the topics covered include: foundation myths, ancient literature, colonialism, civil war, authoritarianism, rapid industrialization, and democratization in Korea.
Same as L51 Korean 223C
L81 EALC 226 Japanese Civilization
This course will present a comprehensive overview of Japan, its history, its institutions and cultural products, and its society and people. The first half of the course will comprise a survey of Japanese history, with an emphasis on its social and cultural aspects, from the earliest period to the present day. Having established the historical framework- with its interweave of native and foreign elements, Kyoto-based imperial aristocracy, the samurai class and their crucial role, Zen-inspired meditative arts, and exquisitely diverse cultural products- the class will move on, in the second half, to an examination of recent and contemporary trends and issues. These will center on Japanese education, social and family structures, urban centers and the rural periphery, economic and socio-political trends, Japan's distinctive and vibrant popular culture, contemporary problems and challenges, and the nation's dramatically shifting position in East Asia and in the 21st-century global order.
Same as L05 Japan 226C
L81 EALC 227 Chinese Civilization
This course is an introduction to Chinese culture through selected topics that link various periods in China's past with the present. Ongoing concerns are social stratification, political organization, and the arts, gender relationships and the rationales for individual behavior, and the conceptions through which Chinese have identified their cultural heritage. Readings include literary, philosophical, and historical documents as well as cultural histories. There will be regular short writing assignments. No prerequisites.
Same as L04 Chinese 227C
L81 EALC 270 Sophomore Seminar: U.S.-China Relations: Perceptions and Realities
The United States and China are the two most important global powers today, and the bilateral relationship is one of the most comprehensive, complex, consequential, and competitive major-power relations in the world. The course aims to examine the attitudes, ideas, and values that have shaped the relationship, from the era of colonial expansion in the 1800s to the rise of China as a major political and economic power in the 21st century. Drawing upon visual images, literature, films, policy statements, and other materials, the course will analyze the patterns of perceptions that have informed and shaped the understanding of realities. This course, which uses an interdisciplinary approach, will include discussions and debates from both American and Chinese perspectives. Prerequisite: sophomore level only.
Same as L04 Chinese 270
L81 EALC 2980 Undergraduate Internship in East Asian Languages and Cultures
Students receive credit for a faculty-directed and approved internship. Registration requires the completion of the Learning Agreement, which the student obtains from the Career Center and which must be filled out and signed by the Career Center and the faculty sponsor prior to beginning internship work. Credit should correspond to actual time spent in work activities (e.g., eight to ten hours a week for thirteen or fourteen weeks to receive 3 units of credit; 1 or 2 credits for fewer hours). Credit/no credit only. Prerequisite: permission of department or DUS.
Credit variable, maximum 3 units.
L81 EALC 307 Literary Modernities in East Asia: Text & Traditions
This course will explore the complex forces at work in the emergence of modern East Asia through a selection of literary texts spanning fiction, poetry, and personal narrative. Our readings-- by Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese writers and poets-- will point to the distinctively different and dramatically-shifting circumstances of modern East Asian nations and peoples, as well as to their shared values and aspirations.
Same as L93 IPH 307
L81 EALC 3166 A History of Modern China
This course explores the 19th- and 20th-century history of China. Its purpose is to provide students with a historical foundation to understand the momentous changes the country underwent during its traumatic transition from an empire to a nation-state. We start the course at the height of the empire's power in the late 18th century, when the Qing dynasty (1637-1912) conquered vast swathes of lands and people in Inner Asia. We then move on to the Qing's troubled relationship with Western capitalism and imperialism in the 19th century, which challenged the economic, social, and ideological structures of the imperial regime, culminating in the emergence of "China" as a nation-state. By situating China's national history within a global context, the course outlines in detail the transformations that took place in the 20th century, from the rise of communism and fascism to the Second World War to Maoism and cultural revolution. We end the semester with yet another major change that took place in the 1980s, when a revolutionary Maoist ideology was replaced with a technocratic regime, the legacies of which are still with us today.
Same as L22 History 3166
L81 EALC 3211 Contemporary Chinese Popular Culture
With the rise of the Chinese economy and global capitalism, popular culture has proliferated in mainland China in recent years. This course traces the development of Chinese popular and youth culture and society from the 1990s to the present. It also refers back to modern times and ancient Chinese Confucian philosophy for historical background information. The course covers various forms of Chinese popular culture, such as movies, music, television programs, Internet literature, religion, sports, and food. Students observe primary resources and read academic articles to engage in a multiperspective and multimedia view of present-day China in the age of globalization and East Asian regionalization.
Same as L04 Chinese 3211
L81 EALC 3250 Topics in Early Modern Korea: Guns, Tobacco, and Sweet Potato: A History of Material Culture
This course is an introduction to both material culture studies and early modern Korea, through the use of compelling objects-from guns and ceramics, to drugs, foods, and artwork-as an entry point into Korean cultural history (with a focus on the period between 1592 and 1910). It starts with objects in times of crises, from the matchlock guns which wreaked havoc across the Korean peninsula, to the ondol heated floors which warmed Korean homes through the Little Ice Age. Then, it delves into a period of cultural efflorescence, when new material cultures emerged, by the hands of Buddhist papermakers, up-and-coming chungin ("middle people") painters, and aristocratic women. It ends with stories from the nineteenth century, when these "Korean" material cultures became closely entangled with their foreign counterparts-especially Western European-and how they were put on display at the world's fairs and expositions around the globe-in Japan, Chicago, Hanoi, and Paris. The overarching questions that run throughout the course are: What is material culture? How does the "material turn" change the nature of humanistic inquiry and expand the horizons of Korean/cultural studies? How may attention to "things" transform our understanding of the past and present, ourselves, and of the material world that we inhabit today?
L81 EALC 330 Topics in Chinese Literature & Culture: The Cultural Lives of the Environment in China, 1949-Present
This course invites students to assess China's rise from an environmental perspective. Since the founding of PRC, China has transformed the natural landscape through the accelerating extraction of resources to facilitate the country's pursuit of power and wealth. While China redirected its rivers, levelled its mountains, and cultivated expanses of barren land, a set of cultural expressions also emerged to compel, reflect, and document the environmental changes and their impact on human life. Focusing on Chinese fictions and films, this course investigates rural industrialization, infrastructural construction, species extinction, air pollution, and toxic waste. Students will discuss cultural materials together with critical scholarship that bridges humanistic analysis and environmental concerns in lived experience. Interdisciplinary in nature, this course equips students with a fresh eye to understand the environment not only as an issue for government leaders, engineers, or scientists but also a platform for cultural contestation that problematizes state policy, everyday lifestyle, labor management, and consumption habits. Students will have the chance to develop creative projects (i. e. podcasts or video essays) to articulate their ideas. All class materials will be available in English. No prerequisites for knowledge of environmental humanities or Chinese history.
Same as L04 Chinese 330
L81 EALC 332 Japanese Literature: Beginnings to 19th Century
This survey of Japanese literature covers antiquity to the early 19th century. Emphasis is on the ideological and cultural contexts for the emergence of a variety of traditions, including poetry, diaries, narrative, and theater. Fulfills premodern literature requirement for EALC degrees. No knowledge of Japanese language is required.
Same as L05 Japan 332C
L81 EALC 333 The Modern Voice in Japanese Literature
This survey explores the emerging modern voice in Japanese literature, with emphasis on prose fiction. After a brief introduction to earlier centuries, the class focuses on the short stories and novels of the 20th century. Among the authors considered are Natsume Soseki, Nagai Kafu, Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, and Nobel laureates Kawabata Yasunari and Oe Kenzaburo. Discussions center on issues of modernity, gender, and literary self-representation. Fulfills modern literature requirement for EALC degrees. No knowledge of Japanese language required.
Same as L05 Japan 333C
L81 EALC 3340 Topics in East Asian Religions: The Lotus Sutra in East Asia: Buddhism, Art, Literature
This course is an introduction to the Lotus Sutra, the most popular and influential scripture in the history of East Asian Buddhism. After a close reading of the entire text and a discussion of its major ideas, it's contextualized within the history of Buddhism and, more broadly, of East Asia, by examining its contributions to thought, ritual, literature and art in China, Korea and Japan, from its first translations into literary Chinese - the canonical language of East Asian Buddhism - to modern times. Topics covered include: the ontological status of the Lotus and, more broadly, of Mahayana scriptures; commentarial traditions on the meaning of the Lotus and its place within Mahayana Buddhism; practices associated to the worship of the Lotus - e.g., copying, reciting, burying; the worship of buddhas and bodhisattvas appearing in the sutra; Lotus-inspired poetry, and visual and material culture; Lotus-centered Buddhist traditions. Readings (all in English) are drawn from Buddhist scriptures and commentaries, tale literature, hagiographic narratives, poetry, archeological materials, and other literary genres. Given the importance that the Lotus has played in East Asia, this course functions broadly as an introduction to East Asian Buddhism. Previous coursework on Buddhism or East Asia is recommended but not required, and no prior knowledge of any East Asian languages is required.
L81 EALC 340 Writing New Horizons: Explorers, Envoys, and Other Encounters in Korean Travel Narratives
Whether physical or imagined, travel evokes notions of center, periphery, boundary and identity that shape the world we live in. This seminar course uses travelogues as well as literary, visual and cinematic representations of travels relating to Korea to explore how travel, art and imagination together help constitute one's sense of place. The course approaches travel from three angles. First, it examines writings by Korean authors on domestic, interregional, and international travels from premodern to modern times. Such works offer a frame for tracing conceptualizations of self and other through topics including diaspora, refugee crisis, migrant workers, political exile, prisoners of war, and others. The course also looks at stories of travel to Korea by non-Korean authors in order to see how "Korea" was perceived in various times by people outside the country. Lastly, through imagined journeys typically labelled as "sci-fi" or "fantasy", it examines notions of "truthful" and "realistic," and considers the function of the fantastic and storytelling and their relation to the world we live in. For their final project, students will create a map of real or fictional travels based on material covered in class. Using Digital Humanities tools such as StoryMaps (ArcGIS), Carto, or MyMaps (Google), they will also produce itineraries and narratives to accompany the maps, and present these results online. Necessary technical assistance will be provided by the GIS team at Olin Library throughout the semester. All reading in English. Prior knowledge of Korean language or culture may be helpful but is not required.
L81 EALC 341 Early and Imperial Chinese Literature
An introduction to important genres and themes of Chinese literature through the study of major writers. Brief lectures on the writers' personal, social, intellectual, and historical contexts; most class time will be devoted to student discussions of their masterworks as an avenue for understanding Chinese culture during selected historical periods. Fulfills premodern literature requirement for EALC degrees. No prerequisites; all readings will be in English translation.
Same as L04 Chinese 341
L81 EALC 342 Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature
This course provides an introduction to the major writers and works of Chinese literature from the turn of the 20th century to the present, including fiction, poetry and film. It looks at these works in their relevant literary, sociopolitical, and cultural contexts (including Western influences). Fulfills modern literature requirement for EALC degrees. All readings in English translation.
Same as L04 Chinese 342
L81 EALC 346 Japanese Literature in Translation: Mystery Fiction
In this course students explore the tantalizing, thrilling, and sometimes macabre genre of mystery fiction in Japan. Emerging in the late 19th century, largely in response to the disruptions of industrialization, the mystery genre offered writers a way to make sense of a chaotic, unfamiliar world. The genre has also allowed a means of social critique and radical experimentation. The class considers the works of Edogawa Rampo, Matsumoto Seicho, Miyabe Miyuki, Kirino Natsuo, and others. All readings in English. No prior knowledge of Japanese required.
Same as L05 Japan 346
L81 EALC 3482 The Floating World of Japanese Prints
The relationship between Japanese printmaking and popular culture from 1600 to 1900. Woodblock and copperplate printmaking techniques, key masters, kabuki drama, pleasure quarters, fiction, travel, modernization will be explored. Prerequisite: L01 111, Intro to Asian Art, or background in printmaking or Japanese culture.
Same as L01 Art-Arch 3482
L81 EALC 350 U.S.-China Relations from 1949 to the Present
The United States and China are the two most important global powers today, and the relationship between them is one of the most comprehensive, complex, and consequential major-power relations in the world. The tangled relationship is at times turbulent, and its future remains uncertain. This course studies the bilateral relationship from the Chinese Civil War to the rise of China as a major political and economic power in the 21st century. It invites students to explore the following questions: What have China and the U.S. done to confront or accommodate each other in global politics? How has foreign policy in both countries balanced the often competing goals of state security, economic stability, domestic political order, and international influence? What are the impacts of a rising China on geopolitics in the Asia-Pacific region and on the U.S.'s global leadership in the 21st century? By drawing on scholarship in political and social history and area studies, this course helps students better understand both the historical context and current developments of U.S.-China relations.
Same as L04 Chinese 350
L81 EALC 352 Literature of Modern and Contemporary Korea
This undergraduate course surveys the major writers and works of 20th century Korean literature. During the 20th century Korea went through a radical process of modernization. From its colonization by Japan, to its suffering of a civil war within the cold war order, to its growth into a cultural and economic powerhouse, Korea's historical experience is at once unique and typical of that of a third-world nation. By immersing themselves in the most distinctive literary voices from Korea, students examine how the Korean experience of modernization was filtered through its cultural production. The course pays special attention to the writers' construction of the self and the nation. How do social categories such as ethnicity, class, gender, and race figure in the varying images of the self? And how do these images relate to the literary vision of the nation? Along the way, students observe the prominent ideas, themes, and genres of Korean literature. This class combines lecture with discussion, in which students are strongly encouraged to participate. All literary texts are in English translation and no previous knowledge of Korean is required.
Same as L51 Korean 352
L81 EALC 3520 Topics in American Culture Studies:
Topics vary by semester; see semester listing for course description.
Same as L98 AMCS 3520
L81 EALC 355 Topics in Korean Literature and Culture
Topics course on Korean literature and culture. Subject matter varies by semester; consult current semester listings for topic.
Same as L51 Korean 355
L81 EALC 365 Topics in Modern Japanese Literature: Japanese Fiction in the Postwar Period
This course explores the broad spectrum of Japanese postwar fiction, ranging from the end of the Pacific War to the early 1970s. Readings include the works of established authors such as Kawabata Yasunari, whose career resumed following the war, together with new writers, including Abe Kôbô, Mishima Yukio, Ôe Kenzaburô, Kôno Taeko, and Tsushima Yuko. The course considers the literary response to the spiritual and economic upheaval following Japan's defeat in WWII, conditions under the US Occupation and the rise of new prosperity. Particular attention will be given to changing notions of family, identity, history, gender, sexuality, marginality, myth, and nationalism. Readings will be in English.
Same as L05 Japan 365
L81 EALC 3650 Topics in Modern Korean Literature
A topics course on modern Korean literature. Subject matter varies by semester; consult current semester listings for topic.
Same as L51 Korean 365
L81 EALC 370 When Tigers Smoke: Songs and Stories from Traditional Korea
This course has two purposes: (1) to introduce major works and topics in Korean classical literature and the cultural world in which they were produced and (2) to explore modern reimaginings of these historical works and events and wider context through contemporary literature and film. The former involves a journey through various genres, including foundation myths, songs, biographies, essays, poetry, fiction, memoirs, letters and oral performance, all produced before the 20th century. For a modern perspective, the course turns to films, dramas, cartoons and short stories, which serve as the basis for discussing the modern recreations of historical events, characters, and Korean culture more broadly. In addition to details of the works themselves, topics will include Korea's place in the context of a Sino-centric world order; the significance of two writing systems, hanmun (literary Chinese) and han'gul (Korean vernacular writing); gender and literary practice; and the dynamic relationship between tradition and creativity. No knowledge of Korean history or language is required. All readings in English.
Same as L51 Korean 370
L81 EALC 3750 Imagined Pasts: Traditional Korea through Film
This course is an introduction to traditional Korean culture through a selection of contemporary South Korean feature films and dramas. Films and dramas with historical themes have been very popular in Korea and across the globe. As powerful representations of the past, these contents have not just made Korean culture more accessible, but posed new issues and problems in learning about that culture. This course sets out to examine the content of historical films and dramas, investigating how "true" or "false" their representation of the past is, how they imagine and invent that past, and the ways they are useful-and not-in better understanding Korean culture and history. Some of the topics to be introduced are: kingship and court culture; Confucianism; social structure and people on the margin; gender relations and family; war and violence; science and technology; food and medicine; and the quotidian lives of people. This is also a media literacy course and students learn to engage critically with period pieces by writing comparative film essays and historical film critiques/scripts.
L81 EALC 388 Asian and Asian Diaspora Theatre
It is often falsely assumed that Asian and Asian American theatre is a theatre for specific ethnic communities. However, its significance in the US and in broader world theatre scenes has reverberated with audiences of diverse backgrounds, leading to a production of vibrant artistic and scholarly discussions on its power in shaping cultures and politics in America and in other global regions. This course engages with these very discussions, centering on understanding the complexity of contemporary Asian and Asian American theatre by situating them in the context of Asian diasporas. Key inquiries include the following questions: What causes the circulation of peoples from Asia and people of Asian descents from their "home" countries to another country?; how do experiences of war, international marriage, adoption, political oppression, refugee, and marginalization in "new" countries impact the psyche of diasporic subjects?; the notion of "Asia" as Other has been integral to the formation of the US national identity from the country's inception, but what exactly is "Asia," and what is the role of theatre in challenging the relentless othering of Asians?; and finally, how might the framework of Asian diasporic theatre and performance help us move beyond the bifurcation between Asian Studies and Asian American Studies? In exploring these questions, we will engage in analyzing plays, production videos, interviews with artists, and scholarly writing, learning from artists who examine lives and histories of Asian descents (Chinese, Filipino, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Taiwanese among others), as well as from thinkers that have been foundational to the development of Asian and Asian American theatre and performance studies. By the end of the semester, students will have read plays, documentaries, musicals, and interdisciplinary arts from the contemporary Asian and Asian diaspora theatre and be able to engage in an informed debate on the role of Asian and Asian American theatre in shaping contemporary cultures in the US and in other parts of the world. All readings are in English or in English translation and are available on Canvas.
Same as L15 Drama 388
L81 EALC 3900 EALC Seminar: Screening East Asia: From Scroll Painting to Haptic Interface
This course introduces students to East Asian media cultures by focusing on a specific topic - the "screen." Students will explore how screen is not only an architectural construct (the painted screen) or a projection surface, but an electronic display, interface, or game console. Through examining a selection of scroll paintings, films, and digital artworks in Japan, South Korea, China, and Taiwan, they will learn to be attentive to the material, infrastructural, and formal conditions of how mass media is produced, exhibited, and consumed. Other media objects and phenomena to be discussed include manga and anime, console games, advertising walls, immersive installations, TikTok/Douyin short videos, digital filters and selfies, touch-based interfaces, among others. The class will also scrutinize the employment of the screen as motifs and metaphors in East Asian visual cultures and discuss how these metaphors and motifs negotiate questions of national identity, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, socialism/post-socialism, colonialism/post-colonialism, global expansion of capitalism. This class will also offer students a chance to explore multimedia productions as a new mode of critical thinking and creative expression. This course is primarily for sophomores and juniors with a major or minor in the Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures. Other students may enroll with permission. No prior knowledge of East Asia is required.
L81 EALC 3901 Mao and the World
Was Mao Zedong an uncompromising tyrant who caused the death of millions, or was he a revolutionary leader who was daring enough to imagine an alternative existence? This course is a close investigation of Mao and his world through a global perspective. The students will be exposed to primary sources written by Mao himself, and they will situate Mao within the turbulent decades of China's engagement with Western colonialism, imperialism, and revolutionary thought in the 20th century. Putting Maoism at the center of world history, students will learn the intimate links between China, Southeast Asia, Africa, and North America, and they will examine in detail how Maoism shaped a variety of political and infrastructural transformations around the world, from the Black Panthers to Tanzanian railroads. By the end of the course, students will have a strong grasp of the contradictions that Mao himself faced throughout his life -- contradictions that changed nothing less than the world itself.
Same as L22 History 39UK
L81 EALC 420 Nature, Technology, and Medicine in Korea
This course examines the cultural history of modern Korea with a focus on science, technology, and medicine. From about 1500 to the present, a number of hugely consequential things happened in Korea that have been called revolutionary-or what historians dub "early modern" and "modern." Confucian kings planned large-scale projects that changed nature, rustic scholars made inventories of flora and fauna, colonial Koreans became biologists, nurses, and "Edisons," and in North and South Korea, new professionals created distinctive-and in some cases, globally-competitive-regimes of knowing, making, and healing. Students will interrogate these developments as an opportunity to revisit the history of modernity, which has been told predominantly from the perspective of the West. What does it mean to be "modern" in Korea? How did that modernity intersect with Korean science, technology, and medicine? Students will find and articulate their own answers by writing the final research paper. Recommended to have taken Korean Civilization or equivalent course that provides basic working knowledge of Korean history. Course also counts as an EALC capstone course. Prerequisite: junior level or above or permission of instructor.
L81 EALC 4242 Culture and Politics in the People's Republic of China: New Approaches
This course inquires into the political, ideological, and social frameworks that shaped the cultural production and consumption in the People's Republic of China (PRC). In the realm of literature, film, architecture, and material culture and everyday life, this course pays a close attention to the contestation and negotiation between policy makers, cultural producers, censors, and consumers. Understanding the specific contour of how this process unfolded in China allows us to trace the interplay between culture and politics in the formative years of revolutionary China (1949-1966), high socialism (1966-1978), the reform era (1978-1992), and post-socialist China (1992 to present). The course examines new scholarship in fields of social and cultural history, literary studies, and gender studies; and it explores the ways in which new empirical sources, theoretical frameworks, and research methods reinvestigate and challenge conventional knowledge of the PRC that have been shaped by the rise and fall of Cold War politics, the development of area studies in the U.S., and the evolving U.S.-China relations. Graduate students should be proficient in scholarly Chinese, as they are expected to read scholarly publications and primary materials in Chinese. Prerequisite: Undergraduate students must have taken L04 227C; junior level or above or permission of instructor.
Same as L04 Chinese 4242
L81 EALC 425 Topics in Religion and Culture in East Asia: The Buddhist Culture(s) of Japan
This course explores the interaction between Buddhism and its cultural heritage (texts, ideas, deities, practices) and other aspects of premodern Japanese culture, in particular those traditions of kami worship today known under the term Shinto. After some introductory sessions covering the inception of Buddhism in the Indian subcontinent and its eastward expansion to China and the Korean peninsula, the course will focus on Japan and, the interactions between Buddhism, other continental traditions, and, in particular local traditions of kami. Through a largely chronological (but at times thematic) examination of key moments, ideas, and practices spanning over a thousand years, this course attempts to investigate the modalities and implications of cultural transmission, including questions of identity, hybridization and appropriation. Basic historiographical and methodological issues, as well as the modern implications of the study of pre-modern histories, will also be discussed. Students will also be introduced to some basic issues in the area of iconology and museology. Previous coursework on East Asia and/or Buddhism is recommended but not required, and no prior knowledge of Chinese, Korean, or Japanese history or language is required. Prerequisite: junior level or above or permission of instructor.
L81 EALC 430 Topics in Chinese Media Culture: Charting Identity in the Digital Age
In contemporary society, global computational media have come to shape the new form and function of identity. As the users of these digital technologies, we have been conscripted into systems of compulsory identification ranging from fingerprint scanning and biometric facial recognition to big data documenting and calculating our age, gender, race, nationality, and even health conditions and shopping preferences. These technologies of identification promise to measure a truthful and core identity from the surface of a human body for the purposes of authentication, verification, and tracking in service of a mixture of commercial, state, and military interests. One dire consequence of the proliferation of these technologies of identification is the failure to recognize non-normative, minoritarian groups, and thereby replicating or even amplifying racial hierarchies, gender stereotypes, social division, and global inequality. This course asks what identity is and what function identity serves in the contemporary society in East Asia and on a global scale. Recognizing the changing scope of "Asia" as a vital concept and method, students will read extensively contemporary works in Asian Studies, Asian-American Studies, critical race and gender theory, and media theory that deal with the intersection of digital media, race and gender, and global socio-political transformation. Alongside these readings, students will explore contemporary films, artworks, social media events, and online activisms in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and beyond that reflect the questions of technologized identity and subjectivity. The class will also go back to western philosophies of technology, cybernetics, and media theories to rethink how the universalized prototype of the human (which is a white man) was constructed in scholars' inquiries into mind and body, the self and the other, and the then-new relationship between human and machine. Prerequisites: junior level or above or permission of instructor.
L81 EALC 445 Japanese Fiction: Meiji Women Writers (Writing-Intensive Seminar)
The Meiji Period (1868-1912) in Japan was a time of tumultuous change. During the era Japan made sweeping reforms to its government, educational system, and social structures. Meiji men were encouraged to "modernize" along Western lines, while women were expected to serve as "repositories of the past." Most women prized the elegant traditions and saw these as important markers of cultural identity. But not all were willing to completely abdicate their place in the modernizing impulse. This writing intensive course will examine these women's literary works, paying attention to the way they developed strategies to both "serve the nation" and find an outlet for their own creative voice. Works to consider include the short fiction of Higuchi Ichiyo, Shimizu Shikin, and Tamura Toshiko, the poetry of Yosano Akiko, the essays of Kishida Toshiko, and the translations of Wakamatsu Shizuko. All readings are available in English translation and students need not be familiar with Japanese, though background in Japanese Studies, Women's Studies, or literary studies will be helpful. This is a Writing-Intensive Seminar. Prerequisite: junior level or above or permission of instructor.
Same as L05 Japan 445
L81 EALC 4450 Horror in Japanese Media
Elements of the macabre and horrific have been present in Japanese culture and media since time immemorial. The 11th-century work The Tale of Genji, for example, features an elite lady's "living ghost" killing off her main rivals for the prince's affections. Tales of ghosts, demons, and the supernatural entities known as yokai continued to appear in collections of Buddhist didactic and folktale literature of the following centuries, finding renewed popularity in the 17th-19th centuries in the form of kaidan or "strange tales" which were enjoyed as printed works, parlor games, and stage plays. Some of the very first films made at the turn of the 20th century in Japan were about the popular ghosts of yore. Building on this long legacy of fearsome creatures in popular media of times now past, this course will consider selections of Japanese horror media (film, literature, anime, manga, and video games) from the mid-20th to early 21st centuries, highlighting the intertextuality that different media within the horror genre has and how the horror genre itself even bleeds into other genres. Analyzing major figures and themes in each work, this course will explore how Japanese horror -the strange realm home to ghosts with a grudge, misunderstood monsters, and merciless murderers-can function not only as thrilling entertainment but can also reflect Japanese societal and cultural anxieties present in the real world, ranging from the problems that technology may create in a changing world to the threats posed by shifts in traditional family dynamics. Although this course will focus on horror media in the Japanese context, understanding how horror can function to highlight such anxieties will prepare students to consider the deeper possibilities of horror media in their own respective cultural contexts. All readings will be in English, and visual media will be in Japanese with English subtitles. Required Screenings
Same as L53 Film 445
L81 EALC 4451 Topics in Modern Japanese Literature
A topics course on modern Japanese literature; subject matter varies by semester. Prerequisite: junior level or above or permission of instructor.
Same as L05 Japan 4451
L81 EALC 446 The Japanese Theater
This course is an investigation, using English materials, of the major developments and forms of the Japanese theater, from Noh and its antecedents to the rise of a modern drama. While less concerned with the performative aspects of theatrical arts (though these will be introduced via videos), emphasis is placed on the ways in which dramatic texts influenced and borrowed from the literary tradition. Readings are from major theatrical texts, secondary studies on Japanese theater, and literary sources. Prerequisite: junior level or above or permission of instructor.
Same as L05 Japan 446
L81 EALC 449 Topics in Comparative Literature:
Same as L16 Comp Lit 449
L81 EALC 4496 Porcelain and Lacquer Abroad: Europe Encounters Asia
From 1500 to 1800, Europeans primarily used exported porcelains and lacquers to engage with China and Japan, which were neither under colonial control, nor easily accessible by travel. Collected first in kunstkammers by rulers and nobles as emblems of power, these initially rare, exotic luxuries retained their prestige even as they became more widely available and explicitly gendered. Combining deep object studies with collectors' case studies from across Europe, this course examines how early modern Europeans used porcelains and lacquers to satisfy their curiosity about and material desire for China and Japan. In addition to practical training in essential primary sources such as inventories, it will also introduce theories of luxury and consumption, gift exchange, cross-cultural interaction, material culture, and the global movement of objects. Prerequisites: L01 111 preferred; one art history course or permission of instructor
Same as L01 Art-Arch 4496
L81 EALC 450 Masterworks of Early Japanese Literature: The Tale of Genji and its Afterlives
This course is an intensive study of one of the central texts of classical Japanese literature. Selection of texts rotate among works including: The Tale of Genji, court diaries, poetry anthologies, Noh drama, The Tale of the Heike, setsuwa collections, and medieval memoirs. In addition to exploring the historical, literary, and cultural significance of the work from its genesis to the present age, students engage in a close reading of the text and an investigation of the primary theoretical issues and approaches associated with the work both in Japan and abroad. Prior knowledge of early Japanese literature or history is recommended. Texts will be read in English translation. Prerequisite: junior level or above or permission of instructor.
Same as L05 Japan 450
L81 EALC 4510 Urban Culture in Modern China
The narrative of rural crisis and peasant revolution has dominated China's modern history for decades. But there has been a growing interest in China's urban past and present with the increased prominence of cities in China's breathtaking economic development and the opening of municipal archives in post-Mao era. The course aims to introduce students to "conventional wisdoms," new directions, and major debates in the urban history field. Topics include: the urban political economy, the cultural dynamics of modernity, the reconstruction of traditions in the making of modernity, the cultural production and consumption, colonialism and imperialism in the urban setting, nationalism, and reform and revolution. Acknowledging and understanding the nuance and difference in views and interpretations in historical writings (historiography) are essential. The course seeks to develop students' research and analytical skills, such as locating secondary sources, incorporating scholarly interpretations, and developing and sustaining a thesis based on secondary and primary sources in student research. This is an interdisciplinary seminar designed for advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Prerequisite: Undergraduate students must have taken L04 227C; junior level or above or permission of instructor.
Same as L04 Chinese 4510
L81 EALC 455 Topics in Korean Literature and Culture
Topics course in Korean literature and culture. Subject matter varies by semester; consult current semester listings for topic.
Same as L51 Korean 455
L81 EALC 464 Japanese Textual Analysis
This course introduces the advanced student of Japanese to a variety of prose narratives in the modern language. Readings, which include literary texts and topical essays on aspects of Japanese society and culture, reflect the needs and interests of the enrolled students. Focus is on close reading and syntactic analysis of the selected texts. Regular translation exercises gauge the mastery of grammar, syntax, and idiomatic usages. All readings are in Japanese, with class discussion conducted predominantly in English. A final translation project, to be chosen by the student in consultation with the instructor, is required. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
Same as L05 Japan 464
L81 EALC 467 The Chinese Theater
This course is a survey of the performance and literary traditions of the Chinese theater from their pre-Tang origins to the present day. The course focuses on three forms: 14th-century zaju plays, 16th- and 17th-century chuanqi plays, and recent films from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Background in either China studies or theater in other cultures recommended. Prerequisite: junior level or above or permission of instructor
Same as L04 Chinese 467
L81 EALC 4710 Topics in Japanese Culture: Reminiscences of Childhood and Youth
Writers in Japan, as elsewhere, have fashioned accounts of childhood and youth- both fictive and autobiographical, in prose and verse- over the centuries. This course will explore the variety of such narratives, with a focus on Japanese literary works of the modern period. Following a survey of classical and pre-modern works, students will read selections by modern writers who reflected upon their origins, their upbringing, and their world in retrospect. Among them are the following: Natsume Sôseki, Tanizaki Jun'ichirô, Shimazaki Tôson, Kôda Aya, Mishima Yukio, Uno Chiyo, Yasuoka Shôtarô, and Kita Morio. Prerequisite: junior level or above or permission of instructor
L81 EALC 486 Independent Work for Senior Honors
This course is taken in the fall semester. Prerequisite: senior standing, eligibility for Honors, and permission of the Department.
Credit 3 units.
L81 EALC 487 Independent Work for Senior Honors
This course is taken in the spring semester. Prerequisite: senior standing, eligibility for Honors, and permission of the Department.
L81 EALC 4891 Topics in Chinese Literature and Culture
Topics course in Chinese literature and culture; subject matter varies by semester. Prerequisite: junior level or above or permission of instructor.
Same as L04 Chinese 4891
L81 EALC 496 Guided Readings in East Asian Languages and Cultures
Prerequisite: senior or graduate level or permission of instructor. May be repeated once.
Credit variable, maximum 3 units.