Asian Studies Program

Fall Term 2013 Courses


AST 101 Introduction to Japanese I (JPN)

Instructor: Nathan Patton

Prerequisite: None

Offered: Typically every Fall Term

Introduction to Japanese as it is spoken in Japan today. Speaking and listening comprehension will be emphasized.

1 Course

AST 103 Introduction to Japanese III (JPN)

Instructor: Nathan Patton

Prerequisite: JPN 102 with a grade of C or higher, or permission of instructor

Offered: Typically every Fall Term

Continued development of Japanese speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.

1 Course

AST 122 History of China (HIS)

Instructor: Robert Foster


Offered:Typically every Fall Term

China has one of the foundational civilizations in human history. It gave rise to social structures, political systems, and philosophies that deeply influenced the development of East Asia. Through close reading of documents, focused analytical writing, open discussion, and lecture, students will develop their own understanding of the evolution of China from its Neolithic origins to its present status as a world power. Fulfills International (Non-Western) Perspective requirement.

1 Course

AST 135 Religions of Japan (REL)

Instructor: Jeffrey L. Richey


Offered:Typically alternate years (next offered in 2014-2015)

A study of the principal religious traditions of China: Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shinto. The course includes readings in the classical primary texts of each tradition as well as attention to ritual and practice.  Fulfills International (Non-Western) and Religion Perspective requirements.

1 Course

AST 186 Arts of Buddhism (ARH)

Instructor: Ashley Elston

Offered:Typically as student interest and faculty availability allow.

This course explores the broad span of art and architecture connected to Buddhism in Asia from its initial development in the fifth century BCE to the seventeenth century CE. We will study the major monuments and examples of Buddhist art and architecture in India, China, Tibet, Korea, the Himalayas and Japan. Emphasis will be placed on understanding this religion’s visual culture within its historical, political, and social contexts. In addition, we will consider Buddhist art’s ability to connect various Asian and non-Asian cultures.  Fulfills International (Non-Western) and Religion Perspective requirements.

1 Course

AST 204 Yoga (PED)

Instructor: Sarah Downs

Prerequisite: PEH 100 or permission of instructor

Offered: Typically alternate years

A study of the asanas (poses) included in the practice of Hatha Yoga. The focus will be on connecting breath with movement, developing ease and comfort in poses and developing skills in using yoga as a tool for increased self-awareness. The content will include basic history of yoga, and asanas. Students will be required to purchase a yoga mat that they will keep throughout the term.

1/4 Course

AST 286 Kinship and Gender in Southeast Asia (SOC/WGS)

Instructor: Gordon Gray

Prerequisite: Determined by instructor

Offered: Typically as student interest and faculty availability allow

Southeast Asia is perhaps one of the most fascinating, yet often misunderstood, areas of the world. For instance, during the 1970s, US academics and policymakers predicted that the area would be one of the world’s trouble spots. Southeast Asia, it was predicted, would be wracked with strife between its constituent countries. While there has been much internal strife (Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia/Kampuchea, Indonesia, the Philippines, …), there have been few international incidents. Much of the basis for the aforementioned prediction is the array of peoples, religions, economies, and lifestyles that are located in Southeast Asia. This course seeks to introduce the students to this diversity through the issues that make up the title. Southeast Asia has certain social and cultural bonds that unify the area, and these too will be analyzed in this course.

1 Course

AST 401  Senior Seminar in Asian Studies

Instructor: Robert Foster

Prerequisite: Senior standing, or permission of instructor

Offered: Annually

Through common readings and independent work, students will explore various views of Asia, past and present, from within Asia and from without. Through the common readings, students will deal with central questions regarding geographic visions of Asia, the reality or unreality of “Asia,” key issues for the region, etc. Through regular presentations of ongoing individual projects, students will learn from each other about diverse Asia-related issues. For example, one day, students might all read an address written by the President of the American Association of Asian Studies, followed by individual presentations on aspects of Shinto religion, followed by the politics of the partition of India, followed by current concerns with North Korea. The course is intentionally open-ended and free-flowing both to encompass specific student interests and to develop the ability to think broadly about Asia.

1 Course

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