Asian Studies

Home to major philosophical, religious, artistic, and political traditions that have shaped global history, Asia remains critically important in understanding the contemporary transnational marketplace and international politics. The Asian Studies Program at Holy Cross offers students a variety of courses and a multidisciplinary framework for the exploration and interpretation of the diverse societies, cultures, and politics of Asia.

The Asian Studies Program offers a major and a minor, both of which prepare students for a wide range of careers with international scope. Students interested in Asian studies can enroll in PHIL 255 Asian Philosophy; REL 106 Buddhism; or any of the other courses listed under the Asian Studies section on the First-Year Student website.

CHIN 101
Elementary Chinese 1
Common Area: Language Studies

This course is an introduction to Mandarin Chinese and the cultural contexts in which it is used. Classes involve active student participation designed to develop basic communication skills in Chinese. Homework assignments build a strong foundation in reading, writing and listening. Chinese culture is incorporated in language lessons and cultural events. Five class hours weekly.

CHIN 201
Intermediate Chinese 1
Common Area: Language Studies

This course builds upon the oral and written skills and cultural knowledge developed at the elementary level of Chinese instruction. It focuses on the strengthening of oral and written communication skills and on the continued development of cultural competency in Chinese through the discussion of written texts and multimedia resources. Five class hours weekly. Prerequisite Chinese 102 or language placement exam.

CHIN 301
Third Year Chinese 1
Common Area: Language Studies

This course continues to build upon the skills developed in earlier levels, making greater use of authentic spoken material and formal written texts. It stresses active student participation and is conducted in Chinese. Five class hours weekly. Prerequisite Chinese 202 or language placement exam.

CLAS 188
Alexander the Great and Asia
Common Area: Historical Studies or Literature

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.

MUSC 231
Music of the Bali-Gamelan 1
Common Area: Arts or Cross-Cultural Studies
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. One unit.

RELS 106
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies or Studies in Religion

An introduction to the Buddhist tradition, from its founder’s life and Indian origins, its spread to the Himalayas and East Asia, to its modern spread to the West. The course surveys basic doctrines and central practices, drawing on texts that have inspired Buddhists for millennia. This class will have a weekly plenary lecture on Monday evenings; students will also take part in a small discussion section.

RELS 120
Comparative Religions/ World View
Common Area: Studies in Religion

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.

RELS 199
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies
An examination of Hinduism and the Hindu tradition from the Vedas to the present day.  Among the subjects considered:  the Upanishads; the Ramayana and Mahabharata; village Hinduism; Gandhi; and contemporary Hindu political thought.

THEA 131
Balinese Dance 1–2
Common Area: Arts or Cross-Cultural Studies

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.


Back to First-Year Course listing »

Back to Course Schedule »