Advanced Seminars & Honors Thesis

80s: Advanced Seminars

Advanced seminars are ASCL's capstone courses for majors. They may be discipline specific or interdisciplinary. They foreground current theoretical and methodological considerations of the field. They satisfy the culminating experience requirement.

ASCL 80.01 Colonial Photography in Asia and the Middle East

This course examines the uses of photography by colonial governments, anthropologists, commercial photographers, and tourists in nineteenth-century Asia and the Middle East. It also addresses indigenous uses of photography that conform with and/or react against colonialist uses of the medium. The primary focus of the course is on photographs, but consideration is also given to the diffusion of photographic images into other media including news publications, government documents, scientific studies, travelogues, fiction, textbooks, and museum displays.

  • Hockley
  • Dist: INT or ART; WCult: CI
  • Not to be offered in the period from 20F through 21S

ASCL 80.02/HIST 96 Asia, the Middle East, and the Cold War

Although the Cold War was a global phenomenon, it has long been viewed mostly from European and American perspectives. This seminar explores ways of thinking about the Cold War within various Asian and Middle Eastern historical contexts. It also seeks to complicate or undermine representations of Asian and Middle Eastern societies as "Cold War battlegrounds." All students will write an article-length research paper on some aspect of the Cold War in Asia and/or the Middle East.

  • Miller
  • Dist: SOC; WCult: NW
  • Not to be offered in the period from 20F through 21S

ASCL 80.03/ARTH 82.01 Arts and Culture of Korea's Last Dynasty

This course provides an introduction to the arts and culture of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), which was founded on Confucianism. We will examine Confucian philosophy and how Confucian ideas shaped the social hierarchy, gender roles, and aesthetic values through exploration of the architecture of royal palaces and aristocratic houses, paintings both sacred and secular, ceramics, textiles and other crafts. Use of color, symbolic motifs, and stories in the arts and culture will be investigated. Understanding Korea's final 500-year dynasty will deepen your comprehension of contemporary Korean culture as it manifests the legacy Joseon Korea.

  • Kim
  • Dist: INT or ART; WCult: NW
  • Not to be offered in the period from 20F through 21S

ASCL 80.04 Lu Xun and Hu Shi

Through the writings of Lu Xun (1881-1936) and Hu Shi (1891-1962), two of the most important scholar-writers of the twentieth century, this course will examine several issues that were raised during the first two decades of this century by Chinese intellectuals who felt an acute, ever-increasing inadequacy of their own cultural heritage in the face of Western democracy and technological and scientific advancements. Those issues, raised more than seven decades ago, have persistently engaged the central attention of modern Chinese intellectuals, and include discussions of China's modernization (Westernization) and of China's vernacular language movement, debates about various political and social philosophies, questions surrounding the so-called new culture movement, and other such issues.

  • Mowry
  • Dist: LIT; WCult: NW
  • 21S: 11

ASCL 80.05 Regional Identity in Modern Chinese Literature

How does the concept of "region" in contemporary Chinese literature connect to discussions of gender, ethnicity, tradition/modernity, country/city, and north/south? In this course, we will examine ways in which contemporary writers have evoked place through literature, looking at how social discussions occur across/between spaces. Students will be encouraged to explore authors, places, and subtopics related to their own interests in the final papers. No knowledge of the Chinese language is required for this course, although students who can read Chinese are encouraged to make use of Chinese-language materials.

  • Gibbs
  • Dist: LIT; WCult: NW
  • 20F: 10A

ASCL 80.06 Chinese Calligraphy and Manuscript Culture: Orchid Pavilion

Lanting (Lant'ing) 蘭亭, or the Orchid Pavilion, refers to the "No. 1 masterpiece of Chinese calligraphy" written by the Sage of Calligraphy, Wang Xizhi (Wang Hsi-chih) 王羲之 (303?—361?). As the most well-known, if not the most controversial, calligraphy work in China, Orchid Pavilion has become an extremely unique epitome of Chinese art and cultural history. In this advanced seminar course, we will investigate why the Orchid Pavilion has so many different versions, what are the stylistic and technical differences among them, and why it has been considered the No. 1 masterpiece in the history of Chinese calligraphy. Based on this first level of investigation, we will further explore the historical, literary, philosophical and political significance of the Orchid Pavilion. Whether or not the Orchid Pavilion is a forgery is not simply an art historical issue but also speaks a great deal for the Chinese literary history. The upheavals in the medieval China defined the contents of the Orchid Pavilion, which powerfully present the specific intellectual and cosmological thoughts of the time. The national debate on the Orchid Pavilion during the "Cultural Revolution" in the 20th century China interprets more political implications rather than art and cultural significances…
The Orchid Pavilion is originally simply a random draft manuscript. While it presents the best of the art of Chinese calligraphy, it also presents the representative particulars a specific cultural phenomenon, Chinese Manuscript Culture.

  • Xing
  • Dist: ART; WCult: NW
  • Not to be offered in the period from 20F through 21S

ASCL 80.07 History of Development in Asia

For more than a century, development has been a central theme in the study of Asian politics, culture, and societies. But what is "development," exactly? This seminar explores the history of development in Asia by treating development as a species of politics, rather than a socio-economic process. In the assigned readings and discussions, we will examine the complex interactions between development and empire in various places in Asia, in both colonial and postcolonial contexts. We will also compare recent efforts by scholars to develop new methodological approaches to the study of development ideas and practices in Asia. In addition to completing the assigned readings, each student will write an article-length paper about a particular topic or event in the history of development in Asia. This paper must be based on original research in primary sources.

  • Miller
  • Dist: INT or SOC, WCult:NW
  • Not to be offered in the period from 20F through 21S

ASCL 80.08/HIST 77 Imperialism in Modern East Asia

An examination of Western and Japanese imperialism in East Asia from the Opium War to the Pacific War. Subjects to be treated include the imposition of unequal treaties, the "scramble for concessions" in China, the creation of Japan's formal and informal empires, and the rise and fall of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Open to all classes.

  • Ericson
  • Dist: INT or SOC, WCult: NW
  • 21S: 2A

ASCL 89 Independent Research

Independent research under the direction of members of the staff. Students should consult with a member of the staff in the term preceding the term in which the independent work is to be done.

  • Faculty
  • F,W,S: Arrange

90s: Honors Thesis

ASCL 90 Honors Thesis I

Open only to ASCL majors who are participating in the Honors Program. See guidelines under "ASCL Honors Program."

  • F, W: Arrange

ASCL 91 Honors Thesis Ii

Second Term of Honors Thesis. Open only to ASCL majors who are participating in the Honors Program. See guidelines under "ASCL Honors Program."

  • W, S: Arrange