Courses

The following information is from the 2016-17 Vassar College Catalogue.

Chinese/Japanese: I. Introductory

120b. Introduction to Chinese and Japanese Literature 1

China and Japan have rich cultures that have deeply influenced one another. This course introduces some of the major works of Chinese and Japanese literature, including philosophical works, novels and films. Thematically, the course is organized around the way that major intellectual trends (including Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism) resonate in text from both cultures. Among the readings are novels dealing with love and sexuality (including China's Dream of the Red Chamber and Japan's The Tale of Genji), works about martial virtues (such as the Chinese novel Three Kingdoms and the Japanese play Chushingura), as well as selected poetry, short stories and films. All readings and discussions are in English. Mr. Van norden.

Chinese/Japanese: II. Intermediate

290a or b. Field Work 0.5 or 1

One-half or one unit of credit given only in exceptional cases and by permission of the chair. Offered only pass/fail. The department.

two units of Chinese or Japanese.

298a or b. Independent Study 0.5 or 1

One-half or one unit of credit given only in exceptional cases and by permission of the chair. Offered only pass/fail. The department.

2 units of Chinese or Japanese.

Chinese/Japanese: III. Advanced

300a. Senior Thesis 0.5

The department.

Open only to majors. Permission required.

Yearlong course 300-CHJA 301.

301b. Senior Thesis 0.5

The department.

Open only to majors. Permission required.

Yearlong course CHJA 300-301.

302a or b. Senior Project 1

The department.

Open only to majors. One-unit project done in one semester. Permission required.

303a. Senior Project 0.5

The department.

Open only to majors. One-unit project done in two semesters. Permission required.

Yearlong course 303-CHJA 304.

304b. Senior Project 0.5

The department.

Open only to majors. One-unit project done in two semesters. Permission required.

Yearlong course CHJA 303-304.

351 Special Topics in Chinese and Japanese Literature and Culture 1

(Same as ASIA 351) Topics vary each year. Can be repeated for credit when a new topic is offered.

two courses in a combination of language, linguistics, literature, culture, or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2016/17.

Two 75-minute periods.

361 Chinese and Japanese Drama and Theatre 1

(Same as DRAM 361) A study of Chinese and Japanese culture and society through well-known dramatic genres - zaju, chuanqi, kunqu, Beijing Opera, modern Spoken Drama, noh, kyogen, bunraku, kabuki, and New Drama; a close reading of selected plays in English translation. Scheduled films of performances convey Chinese and Japanese theatrical conventions and aesthetics. Discussions focus on major themes based on research presentations. All readings and discussions are in English. Wenwei Du.

one 200-level course in language, literature, culture, drama or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2016/17.

362 Senior Seminar: Women in Japanese and Chinese Literature 1

(Same as ASIA 362 and WMST 362) An intercultural examination of the images of women presented in Japanese and Chinese narrative, drama, and poetry from their early emergence to the modern period. While giving critical attention to aesthetic issues and the gendered voices in representative works, the course also provides a comparative view of the dynamic changes in women's roles in Japan and China. All selections are in English translation. Peipei Qiu.

one 200-level course in language, literature, culture or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2016/17.

One 2-hour period.

366b. Seminar in Transcending the Limit: Literary Theory in the East-West Context 1

(Same as ASIA 366) This course examines various traditional and contemporary literary theories with a distinct Asianist---particularly East Asianist---perspective. At least since the eighteenth century, Western theoretical discourse often took into serious consideration East Asian literature, language and civilization in their construction of "universal" theoretical discourses. The comparative approach to literary theory becomes imperative in contemporary theoretical discourse as we move toward ever greater global integration. Selected theoretical texts from the I Ching, Hegel, Genette, Barthes, Derrida, Todorov, and Heidegger as well as some primary literary texts are among the required readings. All readings are in English. Haoming Liu.

one literature course or permission of the instructor.

399a or b. Senior Independent Work 0.5 or 1

One-half or one unit of credit given only in exceptional cases and by permission of the Chair. Offered only pass/fail. The department.

four units of Chinese or Japanese.

Chinese: I. Introductory

105a. Elementary Chinese 1.5

An introduction to Mandarin Chinese (putong hua or guo yu). While the approach is aural-lingual, reading and writing skills are introduced early in the program. The two semesters cover about 700 characters. Grammatical analysis, pattern drills, and conversational practices are stressed throughout. Mr. Liu.

Open to all students.

Yearlong course 105-CHIN 106.

Five 50-minute periods.

106b. Elementary Chinese 1.5

An introduction to Mandarin Chinese (putong hua or guo yu). While the approach is aural-lingual, reading and writing skills are introduced early in the program. The two semesters cover about 700 characters. Grammatical analysis, pattern drills, and conversational practices are stressed throughout. Mr. Du.

Open to all students.

Yearlong course CHIN 105-106.

Five 50-minute periods.

107a. Advanced Elementary Chinese 1.5

An elementary Chinese language course designed for students who have acquired some oral Mandarin Chinese from home or other sources but did not reach the level of CHIN 205. It capitalizes on sudents' already acquired knowledge to further develop the skills of listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing in Mandarin Chinese. Mr. Liu.

open to students who have previous exposure to Chinese.

Five 50-minute periods.

108b. Advanced Elementary Chinese 1.5

An elementary Chinese language course designed for students who have acquired some oral Mandarin Chinese from home or other sources but did not reach the level of CHIN 205. It capitalizes on students' already acquired knowledge to further develop the skills of listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing in Mandarin Chinese. Mr. Du.

open to students who have completed CHIN 107 or permission of the instructor.

Five 50-minute periods.

160a. Introduction to Classical Chinese 1

This course is an introduction to Classical Chinese (the Chinese equivalent of Latin) for students with no previous training or background in Chinese. Classical Chinese is the literary language in which almost all of Chinese literature was written prior to the twentieth century. This course introduces students to the rudiments of reading Classical Chinese, with an emphasis on early Chinese philosophical texts. No previous background in Chinese language, history, or culture is required. Among the texts to be studied are passages from the sayings of Confucius and Taoist works. Mr. Van Norden.

Open to all students. Does not satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Chinese: II. Intermediate

205a. Intermediate Chinese 1.5

Further practice in conversation and learned patterns; acquisition of new grammatical structures, vocabulary, and about 700 additional characters. Emphasis on communicative skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Mr. Du.

CHIN 105-CHIN 106 or permission of the instructor.

Yearlong course 205-CHIN 206.

Five 50-minute periods.

206b. Intermediate Chinese 1.5

Further practice in conversation and learned patterns; acquisition of new grammatical structures, vocabulary, and about 700 additional characters. Emphasis on communicative skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Ms. Zhu.

CHIN 105-CHIN 106 or permission of the instructor.

Yearlong course CHIN 205-206.

Five 50-minute periods.

207a. Advanced Intermediate Chinese 1.5

A one-year sequential Intermediate Chinese language course designed for students who have completed CHIN 108 or acquired an equivalent level of oral and written proficiencies in Chinese from home or other sources but did not reach the level of CHIN 305. It capitalizes on students' already acquired knowledge to further develop the skills of listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing in Mandarin Chinese. Mr. Du.

Open to students who have completed CHIN 108 and its equivalent.

208b. Advanced Intermediate Chinese 1.5

A one-year sequential Intermediate Chinese language course designed for students who have completed CHIN 207 or acquired an equivalent level of oral and written proficiencies in Chinese from home or other sources but did not reach the level of CHIN 305. It capitalizes on students' already acquired knowledge to further develop the skills of listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing in Mandarin Chinese.Ms. Zhu.

Open to students who have completed CHIN 207 and its equivalent.

Five 50-minute periods.

214 The Tumultuous Century: Twentieth-Century Chinese Literature 1

(Same as ASIA 214) This is a survey/introduction to the literature of China from the late Qing Dynasty through the present day. Texts are arranged according to trends and schools as well as to their chronological order. Authors include Wu Jianren, Lu Xun, Zhang Ailing, Ding Ling, Mo Yan and Gao Xingjian. All major genres are covered but the focus is on fiction. A few feature films are also included in association with some of the literary works and movements. No knowledge of the Chinese language, Chinese history, or culture is required for taking the course. All readings and class discussions are in English. Mr. Liu.

one course in language, literature, culture or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2016/17.

218 Chinese Popular Culture 1

(Same as MEDS 218) The course analyzes contemporary Chinese entertainment and popular culture. It provides both historical coverage and grounding in various theoretical and methodological problems. Topics focus on thematic contents and forms of entertainment through television, radio, newspaper, cinema, theatre, music, print and material culture. The course also examines the relations between the heritage of traditional Chinese entertainment and the influences of Western culture. All readings and class discussions are in English. Wenwei Du.

one course in language, literature, culture, film, drama, or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2016/17.

220b. Chinese Film and Contemporary Fiction 1

(Same as FILM 220) An introduction to Chinese film through its adaptations of contemporary stories. Focus is on internationally well-known films by the fifth and sixth generation of directors since the late 1980s. Early Chinese films from the 1930s to the 1970s are also included in the screenings. The format of the course is to read a series of stories in English translations and to view their respective cinematic versions. The discussions concentrate on cultural and social aspects as well as on comparison of themes and viewpoints in the two genres. The interrelations between texts and visual images are also explored. Wenwei Du.

one course in language, literature, culture, film, drama, or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor.

276b. Experiencing the Other: Representation of China and the West 1

(Same as ASIA 276) This course examines representation of China in Western Literature and the West in Chinese Literature from the end of the 17th Century. Through such an examination, issues such as identity, perceptions of the other, self-consciousness, exoticism, and aesthetic diversity are discussed. Readings include Defoe, Goldsmith, Voltaire, Twain, Kafka, Malraux, Sax Rohmer, Pearl Buck, Brecht, and Duras on the Western side as well as Cao Xueqin, Shen Fu, Lao She, and Wang Shuo on the Chinese side. Some feature films are also included. All readings are in English or English translation, foreign films are subtitled. Haoming Liu.

one course on Asia or one literature course.

Two 75-minute periods.

290a or b. Field Work 0.5 to 1

One-half or one unit of credit given only in exceptional cases and by permission of the chair. Offered only pass/fail. The department.

Two units of Chinese.

298a or b. Independent Study 0.5 to 1

One-half or one unit of credit given only in exceptional cases and by permission of the chair. Offered only pass/fail. The department.

two units of Chinese.

Chinese: III. Advanced

300a. Senior Thesis 0.5

The department.

Permission required.

Open only to majors.

Yearlong course 300-CHIN 301.

301b. Senior Thesis 0.5

The department.

Open only to majors. Permission required.

Yearlong course CHIN 300-301.

302a or b. Senior Project 1

The department.

Open only to majors. One-unit project done in one semester. Permission required.

303a. Senior Project 0.5

The department.

Open only to majors. One-unit project done in two semesters. Permission required.

Yearlong course 303-CHIN 304.

304b. Senior Project 0.5

The department.

Open only to majors. One-unit project done in two semesters. Permission required.

Yearlong course CHIN 303-304.

305a. Advanced Chinese 1

Intensive instruction in the reading of Chinese language materials, reflecting aspects of a changing China. Emphasis is on communicative skills. Ms. Zhu.

CHIN 205-CHIN 206 or permission of the instructor.

306b. Advanced Chinese 1

Intensive instruction in the reading of Chinese language materials, reflecting aspects of a changing China. Emphasis is on communicative skills. Ms. Zhu.

CHIN 205-CHIN 206 and CHIN 305 or permission of the instructor.

350a. Advanced Readings in Chinese: Genres and Themes 1

This course is equivalent to a fourth-year Chinese course or beyond, and may be repeated for credit if topic changes. The course aims to further develop the advanced students' speaking, reading and writing proficiency. The course explores different genres of texts from various journalistic and literary writings. Readings are arranged according to thematic topics. Course discussions and lectures are conducted in Chinese. Ms. Parries.

CHIN 306 or permission of the instructor.

351b. Advanced Readings of Original Literary Works 1

This course is equivalent to a fourth-year Chinese course or beyond, and may be repeated for credit if topic changes. This course involves close reading of a single literary work of an extensive length, shorter texts of a single author, or texts which have a common thematic interest. Emphasis is on baihua literature while samples of semi-wenyan texts are introduced. Through close reading and classroom discussion of the material, students are trained to approach authentic texts with linguistic confidence and useful methods. Course discussions and lectures are conducted in Chinese. Ms. Parries.

CHIN 306 or permission of the instructor.

355b. Special Topics in Chinese 1

Advanced study of Chinese Culture in Chinese; an examination of selected topics in recent culture or of a single topic across different time periods. Designed for students with sufficient knowledge of Chinese beyond the fourth-year level. May be taken more than once for credit when topic changes. Ms. Parries.

CHIN 351, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

360a. Classical Chinese 1

This course is for students with at least two years of modern Chinese or the equivalent. It introduces students to the rudiments of reading Wenyan, or Classical Chinese (the Chinese equivalent of Latin), with an emphasis on early Chinese philosophical texts. In addition to learning Classical Chinese, students in this course work with and are tested on modern Chinese translations of the classical texts. Mr. Van Norden.

CHIN 205-CHIN 206 or equivalent.

368 The Court, Consorts, and Courtesans 1

(Same as ASIA 368) The course is designed to serve the increasing needs among students with very high or near native Chinese proficiency who want to read more sophisticated literary texts in the original and thereby to benefit their Chinese literary reading and writing as well as their knowledge of traditional Chinese literature and culture. The course chooses primary texts mainly from the Three Kingdoms, Six Dynasties and the Tang times in medieval China and frames them in historical and literary continuum. These texts include Cao Zhi, Xie Lingyun, Liu Yiqing, Gan Bao, Du Fu, Li Shangyin and Tang romances. Some relevant modern texts and criticisms such as Lu Xun, Chen Yinke, and Qian Zhongshu are also incorporated to make up such continuum. Students are required to submit a series of writing exercises in Chinese that analyse, discuss and rewrite the original texts. Students gain great familiarity with how meanings were generated in medieval Chinese poetry and fiction, acquire insights into more personal and intimate perspectives of historical events and social mores, and improve their own Chinese reading and writing. Haoming Liu.

advanced Chinese or its equivalent, or permission of the instructor.

Most of the readings are in Chinese.

Not offered in 2016/17.

Two 75-minute periods.

399a or b. Senior Independent Work 0.5 to 1

One-half or one unit of credit given only in exceptional cases and by permission of the chair. Offered only pass/fail. The department.

four units of Chinese.

Japanese: I. Introductory

105a. Elementary Japanese 1.5

An introduction to modern Japanese. Students develop communicative skills based on the fundamentals of grammar, vocabulary and conversational expressions. Emphasis is placed on both oral and written proficiency. The course introduces hiragana and katakana syllabaries as well as approximately 150 kanji (Chinese characters). Ms. Qiu.

Open to all students.

Yearlong course 105-JAPA 106.

Five 50-minute periods.

106b. Elementary Japanese 1.5

An introduction to modern Japanese. Students develop communicative skills based on the fundamentals of grammar, vocabulary and conversational expressions. Emphasis is placed on both oral and written proficiency. The course introduces hiragana and katakana syllabaries as well as approximately 150 kanji (Chinese characters). Ms. Dollase.

Open to all students.

Yearlong course JAPA 105-106.

Five 50-minute periods.

Japanese: II. Intermediate

205a. Intermediate Japanese 1.5

This course puts equal emphasis on the further development of oral-aural proficiency and reading-writing skills with an intense review of basic grammar as well as an introduction of more advanced grammar, new vocabulary, expressions, and another 350 kanji (Chinese characters). Ms. Matsubara.

JAPA 105-JAPA 106 or permission of the instructor.

Yearlong course 205-JAPA 206.

Five 50-minute periods.

206b. Intermediate Japanese 1.5

This course puts equal emphasis on the further development of oral-aural proficiency and reading-writing skills with an intense review of basic grammar as well as an introduction of more advanced grammar, new vocabulary, expressions, and another 350 kanji (Chinese characters). Ms. Matsubara.

JAPA 105-JAPA 106 or permission of the instructor.

Yearlong course JAPA 205-206.

Five 50-minute periods.

220 The Masterpieces of Japanese Literature 1

An exploration of Japanese literary and aesthetic traditions through the major works from the eighth century to the present. Works studied cover a wide range of genres, including Japan's oldest extant myths, poetry, the tenth century lyrical prose, the earliest long novel in the world, the medieval prose, the dramatic theory and classical plays, and modern novels. Issues addressed include the cultural traditions, the aesthetic principles, and the characteristics of different literary forms and individual authorial/narrative voices. Ms. Qiu.

one course in literature, or Chinese/Japanese, or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2016/17.

222b. Narratives of Japan: Fiction and Film 1

(Same as ASIA 222) This course examines the characteristics of Japanese narratives in written and cinematic forms. Through selected novels and films that are based on the literary works or related to them thematically, the course explores the different ways in which Japanese fiction and film tell a story and how each work interacts with the time and culture that produced it. While appreciating the aesthetic pursuit of each author or film director, attention is also given to the interplay of tradition and modernity in the cinematic representation of the literary masterpieces and themes. No previous knowledge of Japanese language is required. Peipei Qiu.

one course in language, literature, culture, film or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor.

223 The Gothic and the Supernatural in Japanese Literature 1

(Same as ASIA 223) This course introduces students to Japanese supernatural stories. We interpret the hidden psyche of the Japanese people and culture that create such bizarre tales. We see not only to what extent the supernatural creatures - demons, vampires, and mountain witches - in these stories represent the "hysteria" of Japanese commoners resulting from social and cultural oppression, but also to what extent these supernatural motifs have been adopted and modified by writers of various literary periods. This course consists of four parts; female ghosts, master authors of ghost stories, Gothic fantasy and dark urban psyche. Hiromi Dollase.

one course in language, literature, culture or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2016/17.

Two 75-minute periods.

224 Japanese Popular Culture and Literature 1

(Same as ASIA 224) This course examines Japanese popular culture as seen through popular fiction. Works by such writers as Murakami Haruki, Yoshimoto Banana, Murakami Ryu, Yamada Eimi, etc. who emerged in the late 1980s to the early 1990s, are discussed. Literary works are compared with various popular media such as film, music, manga, and animation to see how popular youth culture is constructed and reflects young people's views on social conditions. Theoretical readings are assigned. This course emphasizes discussion and requires research presentations. This course is conducted in English. Hiromi Dollase.

one course in Japanese language, literature, culture or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2016/17.

290a or b. Field Work 0.5 or 1

One-half or one unit of credit given only in exceptional cases and by permission of the chair. Offered only pass/fail. The department.

two units of Japanese.

298a or b. Independent Study 0.5 to 1

One-half or one unit of credit given only in exceptional cases and by permission of the chair. Offered only pass/fail. The department.

two units of Japanese.

Japanese: III. Advanced

300a. Senior Thesis 0.5

The department.

Open only to majors. Permission required.

Yearlong course 300-JAPA 301.

301b. Senior Thesis 0.5

The department.

Open only to majors. Permission required.

Yearlong course JAPA 300-301.

302a or b. Senior Project 1

The department.

Open only to majors. One-unit project done in one semester. Permission required.

303a. Senior Project 0.5

The department.

Open only to majors. One-unit project done in two semesters. Permission required.

Yearlong course 303-JAPA 304.

304b. Senior Project 0.5

The department.

Open only to majors. One-unit project done in two semesters. Permission required.

Yearlong course JAPA 303-304.

305a. Advanced Japanese 1

This course is designed to develop each student's ability to read contemporary Japanese text from newspapers, magazines, and literary works, with a solid grammatical foundation and mastery of kanji, as well as gaining proficiency in writing at an advanced level. Continued training in aural-oral proficiency in spoken Japanese through exercises, classroom interactions and audio-visual materials. Ms. Matsubara.

JAPA 205-JAPA 206 or permission of the instructor.

306b. Advanced Japanese 1

This course is designed to develop each student's ability to read contemporary Japanese text from newspapers, magazines, and literary works, with a solid grammatical foundation and mastery of kanji, as well as gaining proficiency in writing at an advanced level. Continued training in aural-oral proficiency in spoken Japanese through exercises, classroom interactions and audio-visual materials. Ms. Qiu.

JAPA 205-JAPA 206, and JAPA 305 or permission of the instructor.

324 Japanese Popular Culture and Literature for Majors 1

JAPA 224 and 324 students attend the same class, but Japanese 324 students engage in various language related projects (such as translation of original texts, reaction papers in Japanese, etc.) in addition to class participation in English. Ms. Dollase.

JAPA 306 or above, or permission of the instructor.

Not open to students who have previously taken JAPA 224.

Not offered in 2016/17.

350a. Advanced Readings in Japanese: Genres and Themes 1

This course is equivalent to a fourth-year Japanese course or beyond, and may be repeated for credit if topic changes. The aim of this course is to further develop the advanced students' speaking, reading, and writing proficiency. The course explores different genres of texts ranging from contemporary Japanese media sources to literature. Readings are arranged according to thematic topics. Discussions and lectures are conducted entirely in Japanese. Ms. Matsubara.

JAPA 306 or permission of the instructor.

351b. Advanced Readings of Original Literary Works 1

This course is equivalent to a fourth-year Japanese course or beyond, and may be repeated for credit if topic changes. This course involves close reading of a single literary work of an extensive length, shorter texts of a single author, or texts which have a common thematic interest. Through close reading and classroom discussion of the material, students are trained to approach authentic texts with linguistic confidence and useful methods. Discussions and lectures are conducted entirely in Japanese. Ms. Dollase.

JAPA 306 or permission of the instructor.

364 The West in Japanese Literature since the Nineteenth Century 1

(Same as ASIA 364). This course examines the influence of the West on Japanese literature after the nineteenth century and follows the process of the construction of modern Japanese identity. Authors may include: Natsume Sôseki, Akuagawa Ryûnosuke, Tanizaki Junichirô, Kojima Nobuo, Murakami Ryû and Yamada Amy. Translated Japanese literary works are closely read, and various theoretical readings are assigned. This course emphasizes discussion and requires research presentations. This course is conducted in English. Ms. Dollase.

one 200-level course in language, literature, culture or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2016/17.

399a or b. Senior Independent Work 0.5 to 1

One-half or one- unit of credit given only in exceptional cases and by permission of the chair. Offered only pass/fail. The department.

four units of Japanese.