Course Descriptions

Required Courses: 9 hrs
CHIN 101: Elementary Mandarin I
For beginners. Designed to develop an elementary proficiency for communicating in Mandarin and some familiarity with the writing system.

CHIN 102: Elementary Mandarin II 
Prerequisite: CHIN 101. 
A continuation of CHIN 101, designed to develop an elementary proficiency for communicating in Mandarin and some familiarity with the writing system.

HIST 109: Asian History to 1700
This course examines the cultural traditions and transformations in Asian history from its origins to around 1700. Identifies specific historical events, political developments and philosophical, religious and social innovations in the history of East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia as well as highlights the contributions and transformations as it interacts with other world civilizations.

Choose a total of 9 hours from the following electives:
(select from two different departments)


ARTH 370: Asian Art and Architecture
A survey of the arts of China, Japan, Korea, India and South Asia. The course covers the major movements in Asian art and architecture from pre-historic cultures to the present.

HIST 212: Food, Culture and Identity in Asia
Food is a powerful cultural symbol that connects individuals and the community. This course examines the relationship between food and the history of agricultural practices, religion, social structure, rituals, family dynamics and state policies in Asia, particularly China, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

HIST 306: History and Culture of Taiwan
This course examines Taiwan from the historical, political, cultural and socioeconomic perspectives. The major issues include Taiwan's complex relationship with China, Japan and the United States, as well as its changing "relative location" throughout its history; Taiwan's democratic development; Taiwan's socioeconomic transformation; and the changing cultural identity and conflict.

HIST 325: Gender and Culture: East Asia
This course explores the complex relationships between women and culture in two major civilizations in East Asia: China and Japan.

HIST 346: History of Modern China
An in-depth study of contemporary Chinese culture and history, with an examination of revolutionary movements and modernization.

HIST 347: History of Modern Japan 
An in-depth study of contemporary Japanese history and culture examining the Meiji Restoration, Japanese expansion and interaction in Asia, World War II and the challenges faced by Japan after World War II.

HIST 374: Social History of India
Focus on the origins and development of major religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, Islamic India, imperialism, the historical role of women and gender, and Gandhi. Examination of historical texts and literature, including The Ramayana, Passage to India and Gandhi's letters and essays.

MGMT 426: International Management - China
Prerequisite: MGMT 301 and admission to the Breech School of Business. 
This course examines the impact of culture on the development of the current business environment in China. Students will complete an in-depth study on a region of China, identifying the historical, social, economic, and political background that contributed to the present-day cultural context of the citizens reflected in current international management practices.

PHIL 211: Asian Ethics
An examination of values questions from the perspective of Asian ethics. The course will include comparisons with western approaches to ethics.

PHIL 218: Confucianism 
In this course we will study the ancient pre-Qin Confucian ethical tradition, concentrating first on the classic Four Books — Confucius’ Analects, the Mengzi, the Daxue (the ‘Great Learning’) and the Zhongyong (the ‘Doctrine of the Mean’) and then moving to the last pre-Qin Confucian work, the Xunzi. Once we have completed this fundamental survey, we will turn to selected works from later neo-Confucians and then turn for the last part of the course to an application of the Confucian ethical tradition to the modern world, specifically looking at political questions emerging in modern Asian societies. Same as RELG 218.

RELG 206: Eastern Religions and Philosophies
An introduction to Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. Specifically, the course focuses on the systems of value that emerge from these traditions and, where appropriate, compares and contrasts them with the values systems of Western traditions. The conceptual framework guiding this examination incorporates the tradition's overall world view, conception of God or ultimate reality, its understanding of the origin,nature, and destiny of the cosmos and of human beings, a diagnosis of the human condition and a prescription for attaining the ultimate goal or purpose of human life. Same as RELG 206.

RELG 315: Buddhism and the Joy of Being Awake 
An in-depth study of Buddhism through the critical reading of primary source texts in translation. The course examines the conceptual framework of early Buddhist understandings of an overall world-view, ultimate Reality, the origin, nature and destiny of the cosmos, and of human beings as well, the human condition, the ultimate aim of human existence and a prescription for actualizing that goal. The course then explores the subsequent historical and doctrinal developments of Theravada, Mahayana, Zen and Vajrayana Buddhism. The course concludes with a look at contemporary Buddhism, its presence in the West, and its modern challenges, some contemporary Buddhist political leaders, and the lives and contributions of Buddhist women. Same as RELG 315.

HIST/PHIL/ RELG 390: Selected Topics in Asian Studies