Courses

Asian Studies Courses

Course descriptions listed on this page for the Department are from the 2021-2022 College Catalog. For more information on the courses offered during the fall and spring semesters, please log in to the course schedule through STAR.

ANTH 170 — Contemporary Asia

This course examines contemporary Asia as an interconnected region that influences world events and as diverse societies, cultures, and nation states that face particular problems as they struggle with issues of globalization, modernity, and neoliberalism while trying to maintain a sense of national or cultural identity. Readings focus on India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Philippines, and the Asian diaspora. Topics include religion, aging, family, gender, politics, economics, class, labor migration, consumerism, ethnicity, and Orientalism.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

ANTH 269 — Fashion & Consumption

A comparative, cultural anthropological exploration of fashion and consumption as tools for the creation, expression, and contestation of social, cultural, economic, political and individual identities. Topics include: anthropological and semiotic theories of materialism and consumption, subcultural styles, colonialism, race, gender, religious dress, globalization and ethnic chic.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Social Science
Typically Offered: Every Third Year

ANTH 274 — Art and Power in Asia

How does art interrelate to political power and to wealth? This course examines such questions in regard to the art of ancient kingdoms in Asia such as Cambodia's Angkor Wat and Indonesia's Borobudur. Also at issue are the contemporary arts of Southeast Asia, seen too through this anthropology of art lens. Additionally, this course looks at the power dynamics of international art collecting of Asian art and artifacts; the politics and aesthetics of putting Asian art into worldwide museums is also studied. Includes museum study tours.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Social Science

ASTD 110 — Asian American Studies

This course explores Asian American experiences and histories from 1776 to the present with a special emphasis on labor, war, and activism. We will explore how Asian laborers have been racialized in relation to other groups in the United States and its territories; how American wars in the Pacific influence both the demographic make-up and critical outlook of Asian America; and how different Asian American groups have organized in response to U.S. racism and imperialism. Rather than take Asian America as a given, we will probe the contours of who is considered a part of Asian American history, challenging the field to acknowledge under-represented groups such as Pacific Islanders, South Asians, Southeast Asians, and Arab Americans. We will explore how questions of race and ethnicity intersect with those of class, gender, and sexuality. This course utilizes an interdisciplinary approach, combining archival analyses with theory, poetry, memoir, and film.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies
Typically Offered: Annually

ASTD 200 — Tutorial

GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

ASTD 494 — Directed Research

Students may undertake independent research projects under the direct supervision of a faculty member. Individuals contemplating a research project should make inquiries during their third year, since the project is usually initiated by the beginning of the fourth year.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

ASTD 495 — Directed Research

Students may undertake independent research projects under the direct supervision of a faculty member. Individuals contemplating a research project should make inquiries during their third year, since the project is usually initiated by the beginning of the fourth year.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

CHIN 101 — Elementary Chinese 1

An introduction to spoken Mandarin and written Chinese. Providing a foundation in speaking, listening, reading, writing, and communication skills and an introduction to the Chinese culture.
GPA units: 1.25
Common Area: Language Studies
Typically Offered: Fall

CHIN 102 — Elementary Chinese 2

An introduction to spoken Mandarin and written Chinese. Providing a foundation in speaking, listening, reading, writing, and communication skills and an introduction to the Chinese culture.
GPA units: 1.25
Common Area: Language Studies
Typically Offered: Spring

CHIN 103 — Introduction to Chinese Culture

An introduction to the history, geography, literature, and social issues of China through readings, films, music, poetry, and web-based resources. Taught in English. Three class hours weekly. One unit.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies

CHIN 192 — Tutorial

GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

CHIN 201 — Intermediate Chinese 1

Continued focus on the development of oral and written communication skills and on the strengthening of cultural competency in Chinese through the use of written texts and multimedia resources. Five class hours weekly. One and one-quarter units each semester.
GPA units: 1.25
Common Area: Language Studies
Typically Offered: Fall

CHIN 202 — Intermediate Chinese 2

Continued focus on the development of oral and written communication skills and on the strengthening of cultural competency in Chinese through the use of written texts and multimedia resources. Five class hours weekly. One and one-quarter units each semester.
GPA units: 1.25
Common Area: Language Studies
Typically Offered: Spring

CHIN 250 — Traditional Chinese Literature

Introduction to major works in traditional Chinese literature. One Unit.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Literature

CHIN 251 — China and the Environment

GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies

CHIN 255 — Chin Cult Through Camera's Eye

An exploration of Chinese culture through 20th- and 21st-century Chinese cinema. Taught in English. One unit.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies

CHIN 260 — Chinese Linguistics

An overview of the history and structure of the Chinese language.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science

CHIN 270 — The Legend of the Monkey King

GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Literature

CHIN 292 — Tutorial

GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

CHIN 299-F01 — Modern Chinese Literature

This course will explore the complex forces at work in the emergence of modern China through a selection of Chinese literary texts. How was modernity perceived at the turn of the century? How did women's liberation change the face of China? How did we understand colonialism in Taiwan? How did May Fourth literature, New Sensationalism, and leftist literature negotiate questions of age, race, gender and class as well as nationally? Introducing iconic writers such as Lu Xun, Xiao Hong, Eileen Chang, and Wu Zhuoliu, and films such as New Women and Spring in Small Town, this course will chart the course of modern expressions and concerns in the Sinophone worlds of the late 19th to mid-20th centuries. All readings in English translation. No prerequisite.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Literature

CHIN 299-R01 — Chinese Food Odyssey

Have you eaten yet? As one of the most common greetings among people in China, it suggests the important role food plays in Chinese culture and society. This course examines the Chinese culinary tradition and practice from antiquity to the present and explores diverse representations of food in historical accounts, literature, traditional arts, and the modern media. In this journey to Chinese cultures heart through its stomach, we will savor every bite: both food for thought and food for stomach. While digging into our food, we will also discuss a variety of topics related to the subject of Chinese food, such as food and culture values, food and identity, food and hunger, and Chinese food in the West. Students will develop critical eating skills and will further embrace cultural diversity through food.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Literature

CHIN 301 — Third Year Chinese 1

Continued focus on the development of oral and written communication skills and cultural competency through the use of traditional Chinese readings and multimedia resources. Five class hours weekly. One and one-quarter units each semester.
Prerequisite: CHIN 202 or permission of the instructor. Students who have taken any higher level CHIN course may not enroll in CHIN 301
GPA units: 1.25
Common Area: Language Studies
Typically Offered: Fall

CHIN 302 — Third Year Chinese 2

Continued focus on the development of oral and written communication skills and cultural competency through the use of traditional Chinese readings and multimedia resources. Five class hours weekly. One and one-quarter units each semester.
Prerequisite: CHIN 301.
GPA units: 1.25
Common Area: Language Studies
Typically Offered: Spring

CHIN 392 — Tutorial

GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

CHIN 401 — Fourth Year Chinese 1

Continued development of oral and written communication skills and cultural competency through the use of readings, videos, and other multimedia resources. One unit each semester.
Prerequisite: CHIN 302 or Study Abroad in China, or permission of the instructor.
GPA units: 1.25
Common Area: Language Studies
Typically Offered: Fall

CHIN 402 — Fourth Year Chinese 2

Continued development of oral and written communication skills and cultural competency through the use of readings, videos, and other multimedia resources. One unit each semester.
Prerequisite: CHIN 401 or Study Abroad in China
GPA units: 1.25
Common Area: Language Studies
Typically Offered: Spring

CHIN 403 — Topics in Contemp Chin Society

This course continues its focus on the development of higher level skills in spoken Mandarin and formal, written Chinese.
Prerequisite: CHIN 302 or permission of instructor.
GPA units: 1.25
Common Area: Language Studies

CHIN 404 — Introduction to Literary Chinese 1

An introduction to the classical literary language of China.
Prerequisite: Any 400 level Chinese class or permission from the instructor.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Language Studies
Typically Offered: Annually

CHIN 491 — Tutorial

GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

CHIN 492 — Tutorial

GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

CLAS 188 — Alexander the Great and Asia

Considers the political, religious, and cultural encounters between the ancient Greek world and Asia generated by the expedition of Alexander the Great and the interpretations of the story of Alexander found in different cultural traditions from antiquity to the present day, from religious texts to heavy metal music.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Historical Studies, Literature
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

ECON 221 — Econ Development Modern China

Aims to provide the student with a sophisticated understanding of economic development in China. The historical circumstances and resource endowments which have constrained Chinese economic development are examined as a basis for analyzing the intentions and success of policies adopted since 1949.
Prerequisite: ECON 110, ECON 111, or ECON 112.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

ECON 309 — Comparative Economic Systems

First segment develops an analytical framework for the comparison of economic systems. Second segment uses this framework to examine and compare the economic systems of various countries including the United States, Germany, France, Japan, China, the former Soviet Union and other East European states.
Prerequisite: ECON 255 and ECON 256
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

ENGL 299-F01 — Writing Globally

What can you learn from the worlds literatures for your own creative writing? In this course, you will read contemporary literature (prose) in translation to learn about writing craft for your own fiction. You will write and workshop your own stories; if you have another language you wish to use for creative work, you have the option to do so and to present a literary translation for workshop. As globalization transforms our worldincluding its literary cultureby reading beyond English language literature your perspective of what fiction can be is enlarged. You will likely discover writing techniques from other cultures that are less common in English to apply to your own creative work. Reading assignments include translated literatures, about 60% to 65% from Asian languages the other 35% to 40% from Western languages, along with examples from less-translated Asian languages. Written assignments include creative work and critical essays responding to and comparing the reading assignments and a reflective journal; a final portfolio of writing is required.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Literature

ENGL 375 — Asian American Literature

A survey of representative Asian American literature from early twentieth-century immigrant narratives to contemporary writings. Examines Asian American literary production and its main literary themes.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Literature
Typically Offered: Every Third Year

HIST 105 — Asia in Western Fiction and Film

Examines and compares descriptions of Asia and portrayals of Asian societies found in Western novels, short stories and films produced since the mid-19th century, and relates them to colonial and post-colonial historical encounters between Asia and the West. Fulfills non-Western requirement for the major. One unit.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Historical Studies

HIST 229 — The Asian American Experience

This course presents a survey of Asian American history from the mid-19th century to the present, a period marked by multiple waves of immigration, imperialism, world wars, and social revolutions across the pacific. The course aims to place contemporary issues of Asian American identity, cultural belonging, politics, and social justice in historical and transnational perspective. Major themes will include the experience of immigration and the formation of enclaves, the legacy of settler colonialism and imperialism, racism and relations with ethnic groups, labor and social mobility, negotiations over identity and cultural production, the role of Asian Americans in social movements and political activism, as well as the influence of global politics and transpacific networks.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Historical Studies
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

HIST 280 — Modern India

This course takes us on an intellectual journey through India's past and present. The course begins with important vignettes of Indian society, culture, and politics prior to the arrival of the British. We will examine how and why various facets of Indian society, namely: economic, legal, religious, and gender relations underwent radical transformation during the British rule. In the second segment of the course, we will study the causes and consequences of the Indian struggle for Independence that ended the British rule, but also led to a violent partition of India in 1947. The third segment of the course will look at some key individuals who sought to implement differing visions of India in the post-colonial era. By following the stories of the historical actors, events, and ideas we will seek to understand how colonial legacy, caste and gender relations, political corruption, and religious fundamentalism have shaped the contemporary Indian society.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Historical Studies

HIST 281 — Imperial China

Surveys Chinese political history from the formative era of the imperial system in the fourth century B.C. through the Communist revolution in 1949. Themes demonstrate how the tradition has shaped and is reconstructed to suit contemporary forces in China. Films, biographies, historical and philosophical writings, and western interpretations of events and personalities offer a variety of perspectives. Fulfills non-Western requirement and one pre-modern/pre-industrial requirement for the major.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Historical Studies
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

HIST 282 — Modern China

This course presents a survey of Chinese history from 1800 to the present, a period marked by multiple reforms, rebellions, revolutions, and wars as China transformed from an empire to a modern nation-state in search of a coherent identity and a new global role. Major themes will include shifting state-society relations; cultural and intellectual movements; responses to imperialism and modes of nationalism; war and revolution; industrialization and urbanization; changing gender relations; evolving ethnic tensions; scientific culture and environmental challenges; as well as the legacy of history, reform, and revolution in the contemporary era.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Historical Studies
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

HIST 286 — Modern Japan

This course begins by surveying political, social, economic and cultural developments during the so-called "early modern" period of Japanese history (1600-1850), when the country was governed by the samurai military class. The focus then shifts to the period between the 1850 and 1930, when Japan undertook a thoroughgoing "modern" revolution that transformed it into a major military, industrial and colonial power that rivaled Europe and the United States. While modernization resolved some of the challenges facing the country in the 19th-century, it also posed a new set of challenges for Japanese -that culminated in the Pacific War.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Historical Studies
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

HIST 399-F05 — Law and Power in South Asia

This course examines the history of legal traditions in South Asia. After getting acquainted with the various Hindu and Islamic legal traditions, we will next evaluate the influences and outcomes of the British colonial interventions in the development of a particularly unique legal world in South Asian. We will specifically look at how the reshaping of property, gender, religious, and familial relations under the various British legal codifications continue to profoundly shape manifold socio-cultural-economic relations across the region today. In doing so, we will also closely analyze continuities and changes between the colonial and the post-colonial legal systems of to assess range of challenges mixed legal systems pose to democratic governance and justice in South Asia.
Prerequisite: HIST 200. Non-history majors must request permission to enroll in this course.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Historical Studies

MUSC 231 — Music Of Bali-Gamelan 1

Introduces students to Balinese music through the performance of selected pieces from the Gong Kebyar repertory. Instruction provided in the technique of playing the instruments that make up the Gamelan.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts, Cross-Cultural Studies
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

MUSC 232 — Music Of Bali-Gamelan 2

Introduces students to more advanced techniques of playing the instruments in the Gamelan.
Prerequisite: MUSC 231
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts, Cross-Cultural Studies
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

MUSC 233 — World Music

Introduction to music of selected African, Asian, and American cultures. Each culture is approached through its social and cultural context, its theoretical systems and musical instruments, as well as its major musical and theatrical genres.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts, Cross-Cultural Studies
Typically Offered: Annually

PHIL 112 — Chinese Political Philosophy

Whether your interest is Chinese culture, history, economics, international relations, politics, human rights, or environmental thought, this introductory course on Chinese Political Philosophy will help you understand China today. The U.S. and China must deal with one another regardless of whether the dealings are friendly or hostile. How can we better understand China and what underlies its economic and political aspirations? In President Xi Jinpings own words, Studying Confucius and Confucianism is key to understanding the national characteristics of the Chinese. Xi points to the rival schools of thought during the Warring States period that include the Confucians, Mohists, Daoists and Legalists, saying that the development of Chinese ideology and culture has been plural and multi-dimensional. In his recent speech to the World Economic Forum Conference in Davos, Xi alludes to Chinas Legalism saying, we should stay committed to international law and international rules instead of seeking ones own supremacy. Ancient Chinese believed that the law is the very foundation of governance. This introductory course considers Chinese Political Philosophies from Confucianism, Mohism and Daoism to Legalism. We will examine how these political ideas are related to their respective accounts of ethics, social, economic and cultural concerns, as well as justifications for political norms. Well question what resources these political philosophies can offer to contemporary concerns regarding international law, justice, freedom, human rights, and flourishing in the face of conflicting values and environmental challenges.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Philosophical Studies
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

PHIL 255 — Asian Philosophy

What is the ultimate goal of human existence, if any? Are there qualities of persons or actions that promote harmony with the community or with nature at large? Is there a soul that exists beyond this life? Is there really a 'self' at all? Is there a permanent reality beneath the visible world of change - or is the motley of change all there is to the world? We shall explore these fundamental philosophical questions through key Asian traditions of wisdom such as Confucianism, Daoism, Hinduism and Buddhism. Not only is an understanding of these wisdom traditions valuable in themselves, it'll also help us understand better the Asian nations which social, political, ethical and cultural practices are founded on Asian philosophy.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Philosophical Studies
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

PHIL 320 — Self-Realization & Transcendence

What is the nature of the self? Is there really a 'self' or is what we call a "self" an illusion? If the self exists, how is it related to reality? Is there a permanent reality beneath the visible world of change - or is the motley of change all there is to the world? Is there a self/soul that exists beyond this life? What is the ultimate goal of human existence, if any? Is it to realize oneself or to transcend oneself? Are there qualities of selves or actions that promote harmony with the community or with nature at large? These are philosophical questions that Eastern and Western traditions have asked and answered in different ways. We will consider how Western thinkers (Plato, Aristotle, Heraclitus, and Epictetus) regard the self. These will be paired with Asian views of the self in Hinduism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism. Though the East and West pairings are designed to facilitate comparison, we shall be alert for differences as much as similarities in the ways our focal issues are asked and answered. Comparisons will expose strengths and weaknesses that may not have appeared without them. Quite different traditions may even offer solutions to each other's problems. Above all, this is a course that provides the resources as well as the occasion for cross-cultural understanding of the self at a fundamental, philosophical level.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Philosophical Studies

PHIL 361 — Confucian Values & Human Rights

Discourse about Confucian values, frequently known as "Asian Values," provided strong resistance to Western rights. Arguing that human rights are not universal because of their origin in the West, Asian nations urge that consideration be given to their cultural and historical situations which justify their own brand of human rights. Confucian values are being invoked by the Chinese government in political discussions with the U.S. This seminar focuses on primary texts by Confucius, Mencius and two other early Confucian texts, in order to understand the philosophical concepts which constitute Confucian values. We will survey some contemporary literatures on human rights to come to an understanding of the highly contested concept of human rights. Ultimately, we examine what values are Confucian, whether they are compatible with human rights, (especially the first- and second-generation rights), and if one of these is prior to the other for Confucianism. We ask if there are resources within Confucian values which can contribute to a better understanding of human rights.
Prerequisite: One previous Philosophy course. Enrollment is limited to 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies

POLS 274 — China from Mao to Market

Explores the history of modern China from the Opium Wars of the 1840s to the present. Two central themes are the tension between reform and revolution as alternative paths for the modernization of China and whether, in order to emerge as a great power, China should embrace or reject Western models and values. This course focuses on the following questions: (1) the rise of the Communist Party and the reasons for its victory over the Nationalists; (2) Mao's ideological campaigns of the 1950s and 1960s, culminating in the Cultural Revolution; (3) the dynamics and dilemmas of post-Mao economic and political reform; (4) the 1989 Democracy Movement and the prospects for democratization in present-day China. Comparative Politics.
Prerequisite: POLS 102
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Historical Studies
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 275 — International Political Economy

This course is designed to be an introduction to international political economy. Provides an overview of theories of international political economy, a historical review of the international political economy in light of these theories, and an application of the theoretical approaches to issues of trade, monetary relations, finance, and development. Readings and discussion focus on issues of conflict and cooperation; the relationship between the international system and domestic politics; economic growth, development, and equity; and the connections between the study of economics and politics. International Relations.
Prerequisite: POLS 103 or International Studies major.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 276 — South Asian Politics

This course offers an introduction to the politics of South Asia, broadly understood to consist of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the Maldives, Myanmar, and Bhutan. A core organizing principle of the course is the concept of the state and variations in state strength as observed in the South Asian region. Why are some states able to better provide for the needs of their populations than others? This organizing principle is leveraged to illuminate several key themes pertinent to the study of South Asia, including democracy and authoritarianism, civil-military relations, gender politics, and nuclear proliferation.
Prerequisite: POLS 102 or POLS 103
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

POLS 278 — East Asia in World Politics

This course examines China's emergence as a major power, and surveys the relationships of East Asian states with each other and with external powers including the United States. In addition to China, substantial attention is given to Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Topics covered include military competition and regional security, trade relations, globalization, human rights, and potential conflict flashpoints such as North Korea and Taiwan. International Relations.
Prerequisite: POLS 103 or permission of instructor.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Social Science
Typically Offered: Annually

RELS 106 — Buddhism

Survey of the Buddhist tradition, from its origins in ancient India through its evolution as a pan-Asian faith. Topics include the legends of the Buddha, the early monastic community, the emergence of Theravada and Mahayana teachings, Buddhist ethics and social philosophy, meditation traditions, and the later development of distinctive Tibetan, Chinese, and Japanese schools. Utilizes textual and anthropological sources.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Studies in Religion
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

RELS 108 — Hinduism

An examination of Hinduism and the Hindu tradition from the Vedas to the present day. Among the subject considered: the Upanishads; the Ramayana and Mahabharata; village Hinduism; Gandhi; and contemporary Hindu political thought. Evaluation will include both examinations and essays.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Studies in Religion
Typically Offered: Annually

RELS 120 — Comparative Religions/World View

Systematic exploration of similarities and differences within and among several traditions (Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam) and an examination of several key issues within the academic study of religion.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Studies in Religion
Typically Offered: Spring

RELS 165 — Ancient and Medieval Hinduism

Introduction to key themes in ancient and medieval Hinduism. Considers the sacrificial worldview of the Vedas and Brahmanas and then moves to discuss the significance of the Upanishads and yoga. Special attention will be given to the two chief Hindu epics: the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Also examines key elements in Hindu law through a reading of The Laws of Manu. Concludes with a consideration of Hindu devotional theism in the worship Shiva, Krishna, and the goddess Kali.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Studies in Religion
Typically Offered: Spring

RELS 216 — Readings: Asian Sacred Texts

Focuses on critical and analytical readings of sacred writings in translation from the Asian religious traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daosim. The genres sampled include law codes, works of ascetic mysticism, religious biography, popular narrative, and scholastic treatises. Also examines the cross-cultural definition of "text," the idea of a "scriptural canon," and the construction of tradition in the western historical imagination.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Studies in Religion
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

RELS 255 — Ecology & Religion

Explores various perspectives on nature articulated in the history of the world¿s religions beginning with hunter-gatherer and tribal peoples. Distinctive doctrines derived from sacred texts and by philosophers/ theologians, as well as the impact of ritual practices, are reviewed to understand the impact of religion on human ecology. After considering the perspective of Enlightenment thought on the natural world, the course surveys early North American exponents of ecological spirituality (Thoreau; Emerson; Muir), the writings of Eco-theologians (Fox; Berry; Schweitzer; McFague), and how cosmologies articulated by modern ecologists (Leopold; Lovelock) and activists (Earth First! And Greenpeace) have sought to define as sacred the human connection with the natural world.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Studies in Religion
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

RELS 260 — Comparative Mysticism & Human Ecology

A phenomenological analysis of mystical experience, both theory and practice, and an investigation of the epistemological and ontological status of this experience. Approach is pluralistic considering mysticism from the following perspectives: psychological, religious, anthropological, philosophical and scientific. Examines various conceptions of ultimate reality and a variety of practices constituting the mystic path or way. Mystical experience is broadly conceived as a state of consciousness whose dominant symbols and structures of thought, behavior and expression relate to the ultimate transformation of self and world.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Studies in Religion
Typically Offered: Fall

RELS 311 — Zen Buddhism

Examination of Zen Buddhism and its influences on East Asian civilizations. Surveys the texts and monastic practices that define Zen spiritual cultivation and the history of the Soto and Rinzai schools¿ evolution. Special attention is also devoted to the distinctive poetic (haiku), fine arts (painting, gardening, tea ceremony)) and martial arts (swordsmanship) disciplines that this tradition has inspired in China and Japan.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Studies in Religion
Typically Offered: Spring

RELS 312 — Theravada Buddhism

Seminar examining the prominent texts, doctrines and practices of the Theravada Buddhist tradition. Surveys the historical development of the tradition in India, with attention to major schools of interpretation and practice. Theravada social philosophy and ethics are studied, as are the patterns of accommodation with non-Buddhist religions. The second half of the course focuses upon the distinctive practices of Burma, Sri Lanka, and Thailand as well as reformist modern movements.
Prerequisite: RELS 206 or permission of instructor.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Studies in Religion
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

RELS 340 — Gardens & World Religions

A survey of the historical and cultural backgrounds of the major garden traditions of the world associated with religions. This course moves from considerations of human aesthetic and spiritual experience in the natural world to a survey of the major garden traditions associated with the western Mediterranean and Europe: in classical Greece and Rome, Christianity, and Islam. The course then moves to East Asia and classical traditions of China and Japan. Special focus will be given to elements of the campus Japanese Garden Initiative: teahouse gardens and monastic viewing gardens. Field trips to regional gardens will be made. For the final project, students design small virtual contemplative gardens for possible construction at specific campus sites.
Prerequisite: One previous course in Religion, Asian Studies or Middle East Studies
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies, Studies in Religion
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

SOCL 299-F01 — Social Stratification in India

The course explores Indias caste system, an ancient hierarchical system that imposed roles, status and responsibilities on the basis of birth, family and community, touching on almost every form of human interaction. Though many claim that caste is a thing of the past, evidence is strong that it plays an ongoing role in social life today.This course explores the systems origins and theoretical foundations, its development over time, its characteristics and practices, and attempts at eradicating it.
GPA units: 1

THEA 126 — Asia on Stage

Asia on Stage focuses on the intricate classical performance traditions of theatre, dance, and music of South and Southeast Asia and how contemporary artists have borrowed from these traditions to create new or avant-garde work. Students develop analytical skill through observation of similarities and differences between counterparts in other Asian nations and the West.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts, Cross-Cultural Studies
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

THEA 131 — Balinese Dance 1 - 2

Balinese Dance is a dance performance class which surveys the rich classical, contemporary, and folk traditions of music, mask, dance, and theatre from Bali, Indonesia. Hinduism plays a significant role in the performing arts of Bali and will be discussed in relationship to performance. Students rehearse and perform with Gamelan Gita Sari, the Holy Cross gamelan orchestra. This course can be taken for two semesters.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts, Cross-Cultural Studies
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

THEA 232 — Balinese Dance 3 - 4

Advanced Balinese Dance builds on the background and techniques covered in Balinese Dance 1-2. Students delve more deeply into the traditions of Bali and perform more advanced repertoire in a concert setting. Students may take this course for two semesters with the permission of the instructor, progressing to advanced repertoire of both traditional and contemporary Balinese dances, including solos.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts, Cross-Cultural Studies
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

VAHI 203 — Arts of Asia

This course aims to familiarize students with works of art and architecture from South and Southeast Asia (including India and Pakistan) and East Asia (including China and Japan), from prehistory to the contemporary world. We will examine many types of objects, from jades and ritual bronzes, to ink paintings and textiles, to gilded sculptures within temples and palaces. We will also use the historical reality and metaphor of the silk roads -- the textile and its portability -- to draw threads across cultures connecting works of art, their makers, and (sometimes far distant) users. Finally, we will concentrate not only on the objects but also on the cultural and religious surroundings which enable us to understand their various meanings, realizing that meaning may be created through production and use. No background in art history required.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts, Cross-Cultural Studies
Typically Offered: Alternate Years