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Courses and Requirements

Asian Studies concentrators gain an understanding of the diversity of cultures in Asia through multiple disciplinary practices in the humanities, languages, and social sciences. They gain an in-depth understanding of Asia through the study of Asian languages, with opportunities to study in China, Japan, or India, and learn multidisciplinary approaches to the study of Asia in courses in at least three disciplines, culminating in the senior project.

The Asian Studies Program offers an interdisciplinary approach to studying the cultures, societies, and languages of Asia. Concentrators may study one of three tracks that focus on China, Japan, or India. Students may, in consultation with the program director, elect to develop a comparative course of the study of Asia.

A concentration in Asian Studies consists of nine courses distributed among at least three departments: Anthropology, Art History, EALL (Chinese, Japanese), English, Government, History, Religious Studies, and Theatre. Concentrators must (1) successfully complete AS 180, (2) take at least three courses at the 300 level or above, and (3) study an Asian language through the intermediate level in coursework at Hamilton or appropriate language study off campus. Concentrators fulfill the College SSIH requirement through successful completion of AS 180 and are encouraged to pursue the study of structural hierarchies in the senior project. Students fulfill the senior project requirement through successful completion of AS 550. Honors in Asian Studies will be awarded to concentrators with at least an 3.3 (88) average in the concentration and who complete 550 with a grade of at least A-.

A minor in Asian Studies consists of five courses, including 180 and four electives approved by the program director.

Building upon this interdisciplinary approach, Asian Studies concentrators are well-prepared for study in an Asian country. In the senior year, concentrators draw together their knowledge from coursework and experiences in Asia to complete senior projects.


Students double majoring in Asian Studies and East Asian Languages and Literatures (EALL) may use upper-level Chinese or Japanese language courses to satisfy the Asian Studies requirements, providing they are not used to count toward the EALL concentration.

There are three tracks within the Asian Studies concentration: China Studies, Japan Studies, and India Studies. Ordinarily, students choose to focus their coursework and language study in one of these three regional areas. Students with thematic interests in Asia may pursue a comparative course of study in consultation with the Director. A partial list of courses regularly offered in each of these three areas follows a list of requirements for each track.

China Studies track
1. AS 180 Exploring Cultures in Asia
2. Asian Language: The completion of intermediate language study, Chinese 140. In consultation with the program director, students may fulfill this requirement through appropriate language study abroad or through an intensive summer program. Chinese language courses numbered 140 and higher may be used to meet this requirement. (Language courses numbered 140 and above may also be counted toward the 7 core courses.) Students are strongly encouraged to pursue advanced language courses beyond the intermediate level.
3. Core Courses: In consultation with the program director, students design their concentration through the completion of seven courses chosen from at least two departments. Besides Asian Studies 180, one other 100-level course may be counted toward the concentration. At least three of these courses should be at the 300 level or above.
4. Senior Project: Students complete the senior project by enrolling in AS 550.

Japan Studies
1. AS 180 Exploring Cultures in Asia
2. Asian Language: The completion of Japanese 140. In consultation with the program director, students may fulfill this requirement through appropriate language study abroad or through an intensive summer program. Japanese language courses numbered 140 and higher may be used to meet this requirement. (Language courses numbered 140 and above may also be counted toward the 7 core courses.) Students are strongly encouraged to pursue advanced language courses beyond the intermediate level.
3. Core Courses: In consultation with the program director, students design their concentration through the completion of seven courses chosen from at least two departments. No more than two 100-level courses may be counted towards the concentration. At least three of these courses should be at the 300 level or above.
4. Senior Project: Students complete the senior project by enrolling in AS 550.

India Studies
1. AS 180 Exploring Cultures in Asia.
2. Asian Language: The completion of intermediate level Hindi, offered through Critical Languages. (Language courses numbered 140 and above may also be counted toward the 7 core courses.) In consultation with the program director, students may fulfill this requirement through appropriate language study abroad or through an intensive summer program. Hindi language courses numbered 140 and higher may be used to meet this requirement. Students are strongly encouraged to pursue advanced language courses beyond the intermediate level.
3. Core Courses: In consultation with the program director, students design their concentration through the completion of seven courses chosen from at least two departments. Besides Asian Studies 180, one other 100-level course may be counted toward the concentration. At least three of these courses should be at the 300 level or above.
4. AS 550 Senior Project.

China Studies

Anthropology
232 Comparative Ethnographic Study of Asia
248 Peoples of China
338 The Anthropology of Globalization and Transnationalism

Art History
154 Arts and Cultures of Asia
258 Political Power and Cultural Authority: The Arts of China
352 Contemporary Chinese Art in the Global Cultural Economy

Asian Studies
218 Smart Films for a Smart World

East Asian Languages and Literatures - Chinese
160 Modern China Through Film
200 Third-Year Chinese I
210 Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature: Traditions and Modernists
215 Chinese Literature in Translation
220 Third-Year Chinese II
240 Exploring the Roots of Contemporary Issues in China
260 Place, Memory, and Empathy: Japan and Its Others
380 Transcultural Chinese-Language Cinema and Hollywood
420 Introduction to Taiwanese Society and Culture
425 Current Issues in Greater China
430 Masterpieces of Chinese Literature
442 Cinematic Heroes and Heroines in Post-Mao China
450 Remembering the Chinese Revolution through Film

Government
211 Politics in China
329 Authoritarian Politics

History
180 Exploring Cultures in Asia
233S Laozi and Confucius in History
235 Women in Modern Asia
280 Chinese Culture in Imperial Times
285 Modernity and Nationhood in China
305 Nomads, Conquerors and Trade: Central and Inner Asia
[337 Confucian Traditions]
[309 Seminar on Asian Temples in a Virtual World}
363 Seminar: Colonial Encounters in Asia
396 History of Gods

Literature and Creative Writing
283 Introduction to Asian American Literature

Religious Studies
225 Buddhist Worlds in the USA
425 Seminar in Mahayana Buddhism

Japan Studies

Anthropology
232 Comparative Ethnographic Study of Asia

Art History
254 Courtier, Samurai, Priests and Chonin: Japanese Art
340 The Arts of Zen Buddhism

Asian Studies
218 Smart Films for a Smart World

Comparative Literature
356 Introduction to Japanese Film

East Asian Languages and Literatures - Japanese
160 Modern Selves and Ways of Seeing: Japanese Film, Animation, and Literature
200-220 Advanced Japanese
205 Topics in Japanese Linguistics
219 Language Acquisition
239 Modern Life and War in Japanese Literature
255 The Languages of East Asia
260 Place, Memory, and Empathy: Japan and Its Others
356 Introduction to Japanese Film
401 Selected Readings in Japanese
402 Japanese Textural Analysis and Translation

History
180 Exploring Cultures in Asia
235 Women in Modern Asia
[309 Seminar on Asian Temples in a Virtual World]
[360 Mythical Histories in China and Japan]
363 Seminar: Colonial Encounters in Asia

India Studies

Anthropology
220 Contemporary Politics and Culture in India
232 Comparative Ethnographic Study of Asia

Asian Studies
180 Exploring Cultures in Asia
209 Islamic History and Culture
218 Smart Films for a Smart World
256 Islam and Modernity in South Asia

Art History
154 Arts and Cultures of Asia
266 Art of the Islamic World

History
180 Exploring Cultures in Asia
220 Culture & Politics of India
235 Women in Modern Asia
239 The Making of Modern India, 1526-1947
[247 "Cracking India:" Historical and Literary Perspectives on Partition]
305 Nomads, Conquerors and Trade: Central and Inner Asia
[309 Seminar on Asian Temples in a Virtual World]
363 Seminar: Colonial Encounters in Asia
375 Gandhi: His Life and Times
396 History of Gods

Literature and Creative Writing
230 Bollywood Film
283 Introduction to Asian American Literature

Religious Studies
143 Sacred in South Asia
144W Indian Buddhism
244 Religious Conflicts
357W Death, Dying and Afterlife
256 Islam and Modernity in South Asia

Asian Diaspora and Other Courses
History 124 Silk Road
English 283 Introduction to Asian American Literature

180 S Exploring Cultures in Asia.
History of South and East Asian cultures beginning in ancient times, emphasizing both their commonalities and distinctive features in comparative context. Critical examination of structural hierarchies that have shaped Asian societies, focusing on ritual and kingship, the spread and transformation of Buddhism throughout Asia, Islamization of South Asia, gender, and the formation of empire. Students read secondary and primary sources, including selections from epic traditions, ritual and mythic sources, and literary texts. (Writing-intensive.) (Social, Structural, and Institutional Hierarchies.) (Same as History 180.) Maximum enrollment, 18. Trivedi and Wilson.

209 F Islamic History and Culture.
An interdisciplinary exploration of Muslim societies from the 7th century to the present. Beginning with the origins of Islam, the history of the Quran, and the biography of the Prophet, the course examines how questions of political authority, religious practice, and cultural exchange were navigated as the Muslim community developed. We read texts from Islam’s rich literary heritage and pay close attention to the ways in which the Muslim past continues to animate contemporary debates, practices, and imagination. (Same as History 209 and Religious Studies 209.) Usman Hamid.

218 F Smart Films for a Smart World.
Can your smartphone become a partner to picture your world differently? What do technologies of seeing in cinema and anthropology have in common? How do alternative modes of filmmaking inform how we view others? The course uses readings in anthropology to think about viewing films, primarily by filmmakers from Asia and its neighbors. Students will design ethnographic projects and use smartphone apps to produce their own short documentaries. No previous expertise in Asian studies, award winning cinematics, or advanced geeky tech required. Ideas, energy, and an open mind are mandatory. (Same as Art 218.) Maximum enrollment, 16. Emiko Stock.

256 F Islam and Modernity in South Asia.
This course develops a nuanced understanding of Islam and its role in shaping socio-religious and political landscape of modern and pre-modern South Asia. Questioning misconceptions of Islam, it examines its mideast origins, Qur’an, theology, law, religious practices, Shi’i and Sufi traditions, expansion in South Asia, colonialism, and modernity. Readings include secondary, literary, architectural and archaeological sources. Next offered Fall 2019. (Same as Religious Studies 256 and History 256.) Usman Hamid.

550 F Senior Project.
Seminar in which concentrators develop individually-designed research projects in consultation with the instructor and one other member of the Asian Studies Program Committee. Students discuss their ongoing research with their peers throughout the semester, culminating in formal presentations of the final projects, which demonstrate mastery of interdisciplinary approaches to the study of Asia. Prerequisite, at least one Asian Studies course offered at the 300-level. Maximum enrollment, 20. Program Director.

(from the Hamilton Course Catalogue)

Contact Information


Asian Studies Program

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
315-859-4236 315-859-4390 asianstudies@hamilton.edu
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