Course Descriptions Asian Studies Furman University

Language courses | Foundations in Asian Studies | Advanced course offerings

Language courses

CHN-110 Elementary Chinese I
Introduction to the sound system and grammatical structures necessary to develop listening and speaking skills in Mandarin Chinese. Initial reading and writing exercises with basic Chinese characters. An appreciation of Chinese culture underlies the orientation of the course. 4 credits.

CHN-120 Elementary Chinese II
GER: FL (Foreign Language) for students seeking the Bachelor of Science degree ONLY
Prerequisite: CHN-110

Continuation of work on the sound system and grammatical structures necessary to develop listening and speaking skills in Mandarin Chinese, including reading and writing exercises with basic Chinese characters. An appreciation of Chinese culture underlies the orientation of the course. 4 credits.

CHN-201 Intermediate Chinese I
GER: FL (Foreign Language)
Prerequisite: CHN-120

Continuation of development of proficiency in listening and speaking, while expanding reading and writing skills, using materials of a literary or cultural nature. Includes a review of grammar. 4 credits.

CHN-202 Intermediate Chinese II
GER: FL (Foreign Language)
Prerequisite: CHN-201

Continuation of intermediate sequence with emphasis on communication skills, expansion of vocabulary and idiomatic expression. Cultural activities and outside readings required. 4 credits.

CHN-301 Intermediate Chinese III
Prerequisite: CHN-202

A continuation of intermediate Chinese sequence emphasizing oral skills and idiomatic usage. Students will be required to speak extensively in class. Supplementary materials will be added to the text. 4 credits.

CHN-302 Intermediate Chinese IV
Prerequisite: CHN-301

A continuation of intermediate Chinese sequence emphasizing reading of formal Chinese, writing and oral communication skills. Additional materials will be used to further develop the students' ability to read, discuss, understand and write Chinese. 4 credits.

CHN-401 Advanced Chinese I
Prerequisite: CHN-302

Continued study emphasizing advanced conversation skills. Special focus on effective exchange of more complex ideas in daily life and topics of interest. 4 credits.

CHN-402 Advanced Chinese II
Prerequisite: CHN-401

Continued emphasis on advanced skills of conversation and discussion in Chinese. Special focuses include effective exchange of evolved ideas concerning various cultural topics of interest. 4 credits.

CHN-265 Chinese Language House
Prerequisite: at least one Chinese course numbered 200 or greater and residential assignment to language house.

Media such as newspapers, magazines, film, and television helps focus regular discussions on current topics of concern to Chinese society. Student journals are presented in both oral and written form. Chinese is used for all discussions and written work. 2 credits.

CHN-266 Chinese Language House
GER: WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: at least one Chinese course numbered 200 or greater and residential assignment to language house

Media such as newspapers, magazines, film, and television helps focus regular discussions on current topics of concern to Chinese society. Student journals are presented in both oral and written form. Chinese is used for all discussions and written work. 2 credits.

HND-101 Beginning Hindi

Introduction to the script, phonetic and grammatical structure necessary to develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in the Hindi language. 4 credits.

JPN-110 Elementary Japanese I

Introduction to the sound system and grammatical structures necessary to develop listening and speaking skills in Japanese. Initial reading and writing exercises with some of the basic Japanese characters. An appreciation of Japanese culture underlies the orientation of the course. 4 credits.

JPN-120 Elementary Japanese II
GER: FL (Foreign Language) for students seeking the Bachelor of Science degree ONLY
Prerequisite: JPN-110

Continuation of work on the sound system and grammatical structures necessary to develop listening and speaking skills in Japanese, including initial reading and writing exercises with some of the basic Japanese characters. An appreciation of Japanese culture underlies the orientation of this course. 4 credits.

JPN-201 Intermediate Japanese I
GER: FL (Foreign Language)
Prerequisite: JPN-120

Continuation of development of proficiency in listening and speaking, while expanding reading and writing skills, using materials of a literary or cultural nature. Review of grammar included. 4 credits.

JPN-202 Intermediate Japanese II
GER: FL (Foreign Language)
Prerequisite: JPN-201

A continuation of the intermediate sequence with emphasis on communication skills, expansion of vocabulary and idiomatic expression. Cultural activities and outside readings required. 4 credits.

JPN-301 Intermediate Japanese III
Prerequisite: JPN-202

A continuation of the intermediate sequence emphasizing oral skills and idiomatic usage. Students are required to speak extensively in class. Supplementary materials will be added to the text. 4 credits.

JPN-302 Intermediate Japanese IV
Prerequisite: JPN-301

A continuation of the intermediate sequence emphasizing reading of formal Japanese, writing and oral communication skills. Additional materials will be used to further develop the ability to read, discuss, understand, and write Japanese. 4 credits.

JPN-401 Advanced Japanese I
Prerequisite: JPN-302

Advanced course in Japanese language study emphasizing reading of advanced materials, substantially complex writing and advanced oral skills. 4 credits.

JPN-402 Advanced Japanese II
Prerequisite: JPN-401

A continuation of the advanced sequence emphasizing reading of academic articles and books, writing of short academic papers, listening to advanced materials, and persuasive and rhetorical speech and discussion. 4 credits.

JPN-265 Japanese Language House
Prerequisite: at least one Japanese course numbered 200 or greater and residential assignment to language house.

Using primarily media such as newspapers, magazines (accessible through the Internet), film, and TV, students living in the language houses meet regularly to discuss current topics of concern to the societies under study. Requirements include keeping a journal and presenting a project at the conclusion of the course in oral and written form. The target language is used for all discussions and written work. 2 credits.

JPN-266 Japanese Language House
GER: WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: at least one Japanese course numbered 200 or greater and residential assignment to language house

Using primarily media such as newspapers, magazines (accessible through the Internet), film, and TV, students living in the language houses meet regularly to discuss current topics of concern to the societies under study. Requirements include keeping a journal and presenting a project at the conclusion of the course in oral and written form. The target language is used for all discussions and written work. 2 credits.

Foundations in Asian Studies

AST-150 China in Search of Sustainability
Examining the social and environmental impacts of China’s “Go West Campaign” launched in 2000. Exploring how the strategy was developed, and how it has exacerbated, rather than relieved, many social schisms as well as contributed to massive environmental concerns. Taught in China, starting in the developed financial capital of Shanghai, visiting the remote minority province Guizhou, and concluding in Beijing. 2 credits. May Experience ONLY.

ANT-204 Modern Japanese Society through Films
GER: VP (Visual & Performing Arts) and WC (World Cultures)

Survey of various facets of modern Japanese society and culture, including family, community, ethnicity, life cycle, education, gender, religion, work, popular culture, as well as cultural aspects of economic and political systems through readings and films. 4 credits.

ANT-205 Japanese Popular Culture
GER: VP (Visual & Performing Arts) and WC (World Cultures)

Introduction to contemporary popular Japanese culture that has become globally popular, including Japanese animated films, Manga cartoon, video games, Cosplay (costume play enactment of video game and anime characters), J-Pop music, and karaoke. Through watching, listening, selected readings, and discussion, issues of gender, cultural identity, sexuality, technology, hybridity and globalization will be addressed. 4 credits.

ANT-209 Gender in East Asia

ANT-210 Anthropology of China
GER: WC (World Cultures)

Key concepts and major historical developments within anthropological frameworks in twentieth-century China including ethnographic studies of social change and everyday life during the Mao and Post-Mao eras. Topics examined include nation-building, capitalist development, gender, class, ethnicity, mobility, education and labor. 4 credits.

ART-263 Arts of Japan
GER: VP (Visual and Performing Arts) and WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: ART-130 and 131

Survey of Japanese art history from archaeology through 20th century with emphasis on the evolution of style in the context of religious, social and political change. 4 credits.

AST-211 Media in Asia
GER: WC (World Cultures)

An introduction to the greatly diverse popular cultures of South Asia, including music, film, and art. Through listening, selected readings, films, and discussion, issues of religion, gender, politics, ethnic and regional identity, cultural property, globalization, and the effect of mass media on South Asian popular culture will be addressed. 4 credits.

AST-220 Ramayana
GER: UQ (Ultimate Questions) and WC (World Cultures)

Examination of various versions (text, film, television, etc.) of the Indian epic Ramayana with the intention of addressing the profound and long lasting influence this narrative has had on the religion, morals, culture, politics, and society of South and Southeast Asia. 4 credits.

AST-221 South Asian Music and Popular Culture
GER: WC (World Cultures)

An introduction to the greatly diverse popular cultures of South Asia, including music, film, and art. Through listening, selected readings, films, and discussion, issues of religion, gender, politics, ethnic and regional identity, cultural property, globalization, and the effect of mass media on South Asian popular culture will be addressed. 4 credits.

AST-225 Premodern Literature of India
GER: TA (Textual Analysis) and WC (World Cultures)

Examination of several genres of literature of premodern India, including epics such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana, Sanskrit classical works, and vernacular Bhakti and Sufi poetry. Religious themes will also be addressed while engaging with literary theory and criticism as practiced during these time periods. 4 credits.

AST-250 Human Development in Asia

Examination of the recent rise of Asia while considering the uneven growth and development across Asia including the challenges of poverty, gender inequality, human rights, energy security and environmental degradation in the most populous region of the world. 4 credits.

AST-255 Poverty, Gender & Development in India
Examing the effects of poverty on Human Development Indicators such as health, nutrition, education and the environment. Since poverty disporportionally has a greater impact on women’s lives, we will examine gender inequities, adverse sex ratios, violence against women, and the considerable social, political, economic health and legal challenges women face in India. Existing policies and programs will be evaluated in keeping with India’s progess towards the UN mandated Milliennium Development Goals. 4 credits.

AST-260 Urbanization, Environment and Health in India

An interdisciplinary framework to study and analyze the effects of urbanization, population, and environmental degradation on human health. Emphasis will be on current developments, public policy, and India’s future plans for a healthy and sustainable society. 4 credits.

AST-270 Languages of Asia
GER: HB (Empirical Studies of Human Behavior) and WC (World Cultures)

A linguistic introduction to the languages of China, India, and Japan emphasizing the structure of the languages, the divergent writing systems, lexical borrowing and development, language policy, and sociocultural considerations such as class and gender distinctions as well as honorifics. 4 credits.

AST-300 Colloquium

The course allows Asian Studies majors to investiage "Asia" as a conceptual and geopolitical space and to critically investigate the discipline. Thus, majors will be well poised to continue with upper-level courses across the geographic and disciplinary distributions. 2 credits.

AST-470 Seminar in Asian Studies
4 credits.

CHN-220 Survey of Chinese Culture

GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts) and WC (World Cultures)

Survey of aspects of Chinese culture including: Confucianism, Taoism, Souls and Ghosts, Buddhism, the Monkey King legend, Chinese modernity, and Communist totalitarianism. Topics are covered through the study of a broad array of cultural, philosophical, historical, literary and theatrical texts. 4 credits.

CHN-225 Chinese Film
GER: VP (Visual and Performing Arts) and WC (World Cultures)

Cultural, intellectual, artistic and social issues that lead to an informed understanding of Chinese film, film analysis, and China. Selected films are organized under the topics of gender, ethnicity, melodrama, and urbanism. 4 credits.

CHN-230 Survey of Chinese Literature
GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts) and WC (World Cultures)

The development of literature in China from its beginnings to the modern period. Through study of representative works in English translation, the course offers an overview of Chinese literature and examines the role of culture and society. 4 credits.

CHN-235 Classic Chinese Fiction

The classic Chinese novel and short story in English translation. Important works of all major dynasties from ancient times through the nineteenth century and their impact on the role of culture and society in Chinese literature. 4 credits.

CHN-245 Twentieth Century Chinese Literature
GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts) and WC (World Cultures)

The development of modern Chinese literature in all genres. Through the study of the most representative works in English translation this course considers the relationship between literature and society in twentieth century China. 4 credits.

CHN-246 Twentieth Century Chinese Popular Fiction
GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts) and WC (World Cultures)

General introduction to twentieth century Chinese popular fiction (popular romance, martial arts fiction, detective fiction, etc.) and to the critical theories that have informed the study of popular fiction. Investigation of how writers of modern Chinese popular fiction rewrite the themes of traditional domestic fiction and Western literary works into a discourse on transforming the "modern" into storytelling. Attention will be paid to detailed readings of selected works that have occupied a conspicuous place in discussions of Chinese popular fiction in the twentieth century. The texts will be discussed in terms of characterization, structure, genre, and the cultural/historical context. Receptions of the text past and present will also be explored. 4 credits.

HST-155 Ancient and Early South Asia
GER: HA (Historical Analysis of Human Interactions) and WC (World Cultures)

Introduction to South Asia from prehistory to the early 16th century. Focus on the transformations of human environments in the Indian subcontinent, such as rivervalley settlements, urban development, early state formation, long-distance trade, and mobility. Major themes include: interaction and integration, and diversity of ritual and cultural practices. 4 credits.

HST-156 Modern South Asia
GER: HA (Historical Analysis of Human Interactions) and WC (World Cultures)

The history of South Asia from the 16th century to present. Focus on Mughal dynasties and Indo-Islamic cultures, European traders and the British imperial projects, multiple resistors to imperial rule, and the creation of and challenges facing postcolonial South Asia. 4 credits.

HST-161 Ancient and Early Japan
GER: HA (Historical Analysis of Human Interactions) and WC (World Cultures)

Survey of Japan from its prehistoric origins to the early 17th century. Topics include: archaeology and history, origins of "Japan," the emergence of the imperial state, court rulership, and the rise of the samurai. 4 credits.

HST-162 Modern Japan
GER: HA (Historical Analysis of Human Interactions) and WC (World Cultures)

Survey of Japan from the 16th century to the present. Topics include: Tokugawa societies and cultures, economic systems, Imperial Japan and world wars, global interactions, modernity and modernization, and contemporary Japanese issue. 4 credits.

HST-165 Ancient and Imperial China
GER: HA (Historical Analysis of Human Interactions) and WC (World Cultures)

The history of Chinese civilization from its origins to 1600. Topics include: ideals of cultural unity and division, classical philosophy, religious beliefs and practices, formation of imperial institutions, economic and intellectual revolutions, conflict and accommodation with neighboring peoples, and epic transformations of state and society.4 credits.

HST-166 Modern China
GER: HA (Historical Analysis of Human Interactions) and WC (World Cultures)

China in the modern world. Examining major political, social and cultural transformations of the period from the late Qing dynasty to recent dramatic reforms in mainland China and on Taiwan. 4 credits.

JPN-225 Japanese Cinema
GER: VP (Visual and Performing Arts) and WC (World Cultures)

Survey of Japanese cinema from its beginning in 1897 to the present day. Topics include film history, the main film genres including movie sub-genres and ethnographic and other documentaries, directors, Japanese film theories and criticisms. All readings and lectures are in English and all films will be subtitled in English. 4 credits.

JPN-235 Classical Japanese Literature
GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts) and WC (World Cultures)

The development of classical Japanese literature from the seventh century to 1858, when Japan opened its doors to the West. Reading representative texts in English translation in various genres from various periods. 4 credits.

JPN-245 Modern Japanese Literature
GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts) and WC (World Cultures)

The development of modern Japanese literature from 1858, when Japan opened its doors to the west, to the present. Students read representative texts in English translation by major writers in various genres. 4 credits.

LNG-260 Languages of Asia

PHL-220 Realizing Bodymind
Prerequisite: PHL-101

Survey of "Wholeness Concepts" which promote lifetime fitness and healthy lifestyle habits. Topics include the philosophical and corporeal cultural traditions of South Asia, East Asia, and Northeast Asia. Introduction to the martial art of Ki-Aikido as well as additional disciplines (including meditation) that promote the experience of mind and body unification. 4 credits.

PHL-230 Indian Philosophy
GER: WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: PHL-101

Survey of six orthodox and three heterodox schools including Advaita Vedanta, Yoga, Samkya, Mimamsa, Nyaya, Vaisesika, Early Buddhism, Jainism, and Ajivika Materialism. Comparative (East/West) analyses are explored. 4 credits.

PHL-240 Chinese Philosophy
GER: WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: PHL-101

Survey of the development of Classical Chinese Philosophy with emphasis upon Confucian, Daoist, and Neo-Confucian traditions. 4 credits.

PHL-241 Confucian Philosophy
GER: WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: PHL-101

A comprehensive survey of Confucian philosophy including Early Confucianism (Confucius and Mencius), the Daoxue or Neo-Confucianism of the Song (960-1276) and the Ming (1368-1644) Dynasties (Zhu Xi and Wang Yangming), and the 20th Century New Confucian Movement (Mou Zongsan and Tang Junyi). 4 credits.

PHL-250 Japanese Philosophy
GER: WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: PHL-101

The development of Japanese Philosophy from the classical period to modern times with a focus upon Buddhist philosophy and its intersection with the West. Analysis includes Early Buddhism, Kukai's Shingon Buddhism, and Dogen's Soto Zen Buddhism. The encounter of Japanese Philosophy with the West is studied through modern figures such as Nishida Kitaro, Watsuji Tetsuro, and Yuasa Yasuo. 4 credits.

PSC-226 Politics of China
GER: WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: PSC-102

Examination of the political, social and economic factors affecting the Chinese Communist Party and its relationship to the Chinese citizenry. Analysis of the domestic and international challenges confronting the Chinese state. 4 credits.

PSC-229 Politics of Asia
GER: WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: PSC-102

Examination of one of the world's most dynamic regions. Common issues facing disparate regimes will be explored through case studies from Communist regimes, military and transitional systems, and restricted democracies. The region's changing international role and influence will be discussed. 4 credits.

PSC-243 Issues in Chinese Politics
Prerequisite: PSC-102

Examination of China in the post-Mao era, focusing on the pressures for reform and the central government's ongoing struggle to maintain control while liberalizing the political and economic system. Includes interviews with government officials and citizens in Shanghai. 4 credits.

REL-223 Hindu Cultures and Religious Worlds
GER: UQ (Ultimate Questions) and WC (World Cultures)

Exploration of Hindu beliefs and practices with an emphasis on major religious themes that link classical traditions with popular piety. 4 credits.

REL-224 Introduction to Buddhism
GER: UQ (Ultimate Questions) and WC (World Cultures)

Examining the doctrines, practices, and communal life of the Buddhist religious tradition. Beginning with the origins of Buddhism in India, its spread and transformation through Asia and to the West. Exploring the various interpretations about Buddhology, the meaning of Dharma and how it becomes embodied in practice. Studying the Buddhist perspectives and approaches to issues and challenges Buddhist face in the modern world. 4 credits.

REL-227 Religions of South Asia
GER: WC (World Cultures)

Introduction to contemporary religions of South Asia by examining the religions that have developed in the Indian subcontinent—Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism—as well as the influences of religions born elsewhere--Islam, Christianity, and others. 4 credits.

504 Directed Independent Study
4 credits.

Advanced course offerings

CHN-320 Travel Study in Chinese Culture

Study of the Chinese people, society, culture and civilization. 4 credits.

ECN-243 Economic Growth and Development
GER: WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: ECN-111

The theory of economic development, the historical development experiences of Western, Asian, and African nations, the problem of accelerating rates of development of less advanced nations, and the problem of maintaining economic growth rates of advanced nations. 4 credits.

ECN-249 Asian Economics
GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior) and WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: ECN-111

Examination of the development records of Asian economies, notably Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Some attention directed to the newly emerging economies of Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, China and India. A broad economic perspective and simple economic models are used to examine institutional changes, industrial policies and the role of government and the private sector in these economies. 4 credits.

ECN-251 Economics of China
GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior) and WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: ECN-111

Examining the causes and effects of economic development and structural reforms of the fastest-growing and largest developing country: China. Emphasis on a political economy approach due to the state dominance in the Chinese economy. 4 credits.

ENG-369 Gender in South Asian Literature and Film
GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts) and WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: any first year writing seminar

Introduction to the various debates over the representations of masculinity and femininity as these categories intersect with other forms of identity and belonging, such as caste/class, nation, race, and sexuality through the reading of literary and filmic texts. 4 credits.

ENG-471 South Asian Culture Studies
GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts) and WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: any first year writing seminar

Introduction to the complex array of issues essential to understanding South Asian cultures in the contemporary context. Examining literary texts and films through interpretive approaches appropriate to the pluralistic cultural traditions of the region and informed by current debates in the humanities. 4 credits.

HST-256 Gender History of South Asia
Prerequisite: one history course numbered between 100 and 166

Questions of gender in colonial and postcolonial South Asia, and its diaspora. Topics include "tradition" and "modernity," patriarchy, power and agency, sexuality, and nationalism. Thematically organized to present and critique gender, history, and South Asia, and to introduce global feminisms. 4 credits.

HST-262 Japanese Social Movements During the Cold War
Prerequisite: one history course numbered between 100 and 166

This course examines the development of Japanese social movements from the 1950s through the late 1980s, focusing on anti-American and anti-ruling party movements that prioritized local autonomy, social justice and environmental sustainability over the mobilization of people and resources to aid the Cold War in Asia. Focus is also placed on the ways in which the history of these turbulent times have been told, and the political consequences of competing narratives. 4 credits.

HST-350 Travel Study in China
GER: HA (Historical Analysis of Human Interactions) and WC (World Cultures)

Investigation of key events, movements, individuals and ideas in Chinese history. Specific topics and periods to be determined by the instructor in conjunction with the China travel study program. 4 credits.

HST-355 Travel Study in India
GER: HA (Historical Analysis of Human Interactions) and WC (World Cultures)

Focus on interactions between various players in India's complex political and sociocultural past over the last 500 years. Mughal, British, nationalist, and postcolonial periods are addressed. India as both a product and producer of long distance trade, migration, power plays, and global influence. 4 credits.

REL-325 Women and Power in Hinduism
GER: UQ (Ultimate Questions) and WC (World Cultures)

Exploration into Hindu women's religious lives and the female nature of power in Hindu cosmology, mythology, and society. Attention given to the complex interrelationships among mythic, domestic, and economic gender hierarchies, particularly in the contemporary cultural context. 4 credits.

REL-327 East Asia Buddhism: The Way of the Bodhisattva
GER: UQ (Ultimate Questions) and WC (World Cultures)

Aspects of East Asian Buddhism, focusing on the Bodhisattva model. The development of early Indian Buddhism and its role in the debate between early Buddhist schools and the emergent Mahayana views. The role of this model in the hagiographic traditions of Buddhist monks, nuns, founders, and saints. Special attention given to the pantheon of Bodhisattva Savior figures, such as Guan Yin (Kannon), Dizong (Jizo), and Milo (Maitreya). 4 credits.

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