Course Descriptions Asian Studies Furman University

Asian studies courses | Chinese courses | Japanese courses

Asian Studies Courses

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. May Experience ONLY. 2 credits.

211 Media in Asia
GER: VP (Visual and Performing Arts) and WC (World Cultures)
Media, primarily from and about South Korea, Japan, China, and India, is used to examine globalizing and local images, texts and sounds including the examination of news media coverage, flows of media forms like Japanese manga and Hong Kong martial arts, and interpretations of Asian media forms in the United States and throughout the world.Students will learn how to interpret and analyze visual images. 4 credits.

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.

221 South Asian Music and Popular Culture
GER: VP (Visual and Performing Arts) and 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.

225 Premodern Literature of India
GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts) 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.

250 Human Development in Contemporary 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.

255 Poverty, Gender and Development in India
GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior) and WC (World Cultures)
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.

260 Environment and Health in India
GER: NE (Humans and the Natural Environment)
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.

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.

300 Colloquium
The course allows majors to investigate “Asia” as a conceptual and geopolitical space and to critically investigate the discipline. Preparation for upper-level courses across the geographic and disciplinary distributions. 2 credits.

470 Seminar in Asian Studies
Capstone experience for majors in the discipline. Varied topics. 4 credits.

504 Directed Independent Study
Variable credit.

Chinese Courses

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.

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.

201 Intermediate Chinese I
GER: FL (Foreign Language)
Prerequisite: CHN-120
Continuation of development of proficiency in listening and speaking of Mandrian Chinese, while expanding reading and writing skills, using materials of a literary or cultural nature. Includes a review of grammar. 4 credits.

202 Intermediate Chinese II
GER: FL (Foreign Language)
Prerequisite: CHN-201
Continuation of Mandrian Chinese language development with emphasis on communication skills, expansion of vocabulary and idiomatic expression. Cultural activities and outside readings required. 4 credits.

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.

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.

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.

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.

240 Chinese Civilization
GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts) and WC (World Cultures)
Surveys the social and cultural topography of China from earliest times to the present. Special attention is given to the intersections of intellectual traditions, social customs, visual arts, architecture, literature, and popular culture. 4 credits.

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.

246 Twentieth Century Chinese Popular Fiction
GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts) and WC (World Cultures)
Introduction to twentieth century Chinese popular fiction and to the critical theories informing their study. Detailed readings of selected works -such as romance, martial arts, and detective fiction- that occupied a conspicuous place in discussions during the twentieth century. Investigation of how authors rewrite themes of traditional domestic fiction and Western literary works into a discourse on transforming modern storytelling. Texts will be discussed in terms of past and present reception, characterization, structure, genre, and the cultural/historical context. 4 credits.

265 Chinese Language House
Prerequisite: at least one Chinese course numbered 200 or greater and residential assignment to language house
Using media such as newspapers, magazines (accessible through the Internet), film, TV and textbooks, students living in the language house meet regularly to discuss topics concerning Chinese culture and society. In relation to these discussions, they are also given language practicum assignments (such as to interview Chinese speakers on given topics). They keep a journal throughout the year and present a project at the conclusion of the course orally and in writing. The target language is used for all discussions and written work. 2 credits.

266 Chinese Language House
GER: WC (World Cultures)
Prerequisite: CHN-265 and residential assignment to language house
Using media such as newspapers, magazines (accessible through the Internet), film, TV and textbooks, students living in the language house meet regularly to discuss topics concerning Chinese culture and society. In relation to these discussions, they are also given language practicum assignments (such as to interview Chinese speakers on given topics). They keep a journal throughout the year and present a project at the conclusion of the course orally and in writing. The target language is used for all discussions and written work. 2 credits.

301 Intermediate Chinese III
Prerequisite: CHN-202
A continuation of Mandrian Chinese language development 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.

302 Intermediate Chinese IV
Prerequisite: CHN-301
A continuation of Mandrian Chinese language development emphasizing reading of formal documents, writing and oral communication skills. Additional materials will be used to further develop ability to read, discuss, understand and write. 4 credits.

320 Travel Study in Chinese Culture
Study of the Chinese people, society, culture and civilization. 4 credits.

401 Advanced Chinese I
Prerequisite: CHN-302
Continued study of Mandrian Chinese emphasizing advanced conversation skills. Special focus on effective exchange of more complex ideas in daily life and topics of interest. 4 credits.

402 Advanced Chinese II
Prerequisite: CHN-401
Continued emphasis on advanced skills of conversation and discussion in Mandrian Chinese. Special focuses include effective exchange of evolved ideas concerning various cultural topics of interest. 4 credits.

403 Chinese through Film and Media
Prerequisite: CHN-402
Utlizing a textbook on Chinese language films, students will encounter original Chinese texts related with films and TV shows. Emphasis on developing high level of reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension, and on greater sophistication in utilizing appropriate discourse strategies. 4 credits.

404 Classical Chinese
Prerequisite: CHN-402 or instructor permission
Using a set of texts and textual excerpts from the early and medieval periods, students will increase familiarity with key vocabulary, syntactic, and rhetorical patterns of texts written in classical Chinese. Through close reading, prepares students for a deeper understanding of various styles of writing, themes, and literary genres that were fundamental for Chinese tradition. 4 credits.

470 Chinese Studies Thesis
Prerequisite: instructor permission
Guided research, translation, and writing on a topic in a field of Chinese Studies in which the student has had previous course work. The student will propose a thesis project to a faculty member in the field of Chinese Studies who by approving it becomes the thesis advisor. 4 credits.

504 Directed Independent Study
Variable credit.

Japanese Courses

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.

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.

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.

202 Intermediate Japanese II
GER: FL (Foreign Language)
Prerequisite: JPN-201
A sequence to JPN 201, with emphasis on communication skills, expansion of vocabulary and idiomatic expression. Cultural activities and outside readings required. 4 credits.

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.

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.

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.

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 throughout the year 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.

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.

301 Intermediate Japanese III
Prerequisite: JPN-202
A continuation of JPN 202, emphasizing oral skills and idiomatic usage. Required to speak extensively in class. Supplementary materials will be added to the text. 4 credits.

302 Intermediate Japanese IV
Prerequisite: JPN-301
A continuation of JPN 301, 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.

401 Advanced Japanese I
Prerequisite: JPN-302
A continuation of JPN 302, emphasizing reading of advanced materials, substantially complex writing and advanced oral skills. 4 credits.

402 Advanced Japanese II
Prerequisite: JPN-401
A continuation of JPN 401, 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.

403 Advanced Japanese III
Prerequisite: JPN-402
A continuation of JPN 402, emphasizing all four language skills. Students will read from a wide range of genres and write compositions in varied modes, and continue to work on their communicative skills through group discussion, presentations, as well as interviewing native/advanced speakers of Japanese. 4 credits.

404 Advanced Japanese IV
Prerequisite: JPN-403
A continuation of JPN 403, emphasizing all four language skills. Students will read from a wide range of genres and write compositions in varied modes, and continue to work on their communicative skills through group discussion, presentations, as well as interviewing native/advanced speakers of Japanese. 4 credits.

470 Japanese Studies Thesis
Prerequisite: instructor permission
Guided research, translation, and writing on a topic in a field of Japanese Studies in which the student has had previous course work. The student will propose a thesis project to a faculty member in the field of Japanese Studies who by approving it becomes the thesis advisor. 4 credits.

504 Directed Independent Study
Prerequisite: two Japanese courses numbered 201 or greater.
Variable credit.​​​

Connect with Admission

Furman University is one of the nation's premier undergraduate liberal arts colleges. We offer outstanding academics, opportunities for a broad range of talented students with a passion for learning, a robust arts program, and NCAA Division I athletics.

Want more information about the admission process at Furman?

Contact us

Once you see our campus, making the right college decision will be so much easier.

Plan a visit

Undergraduate Evening Studies provides adults the opportunity to receive an education from one of the premier liberal arts universities in the nation.

Whether you are starting or continuing your education, or have been away from the classroom for a few months or several years, our program provides many services to assist you with accomplishing your educational and professional goals.

Apply now

Our graduate studies program is designed for the professional educator.

We know the challenges teachers and administrators face every day, and we are committed to helping you become a leader within your school system or district.

Apply now
  • Furman University