East Asian and Japanese Studies (EALC)
2018 Spring Semester
EALC002 – Introduction to Japanese Civilization
Survey of the civilization of Japan from prehistoric times to the present.
Instructor: David Spafford
EALC013 – Art and Civilization in East Asia
Survey of the major artistic traditions of East Asia from Neolithic times through the 18th century. Will serve as an introduction to upper level lecture courses that deal with the arts and civilizations of China, Korea, and Japan. Students study and handle objects during weekly session in the Museum.
Instructor: Nancy R. S. Steinhardt
EALC015 – Introduction to Buddhism
This course seeks to introduce students to the diversity of doctrines held and practices performed by Buddhists in Asia. By focusing on how specific beliefs and practices are tied to particular locations and particular times, we will be able to explore in detail the religious institutions, artistic, architectural, and musical traditions, textual production and legal and doctrinal developments of Buddhism over time and within its socio-historical context. Religion is never divorced from its place and its time. Furthermore, by geographically and historically grounding the study of these religions we will be able to examine how their individual ethic, cosmological and soteriological systems effect local history, economics, politics, and material culture. We will concentrate first on the person of the Buddha, his many biographies and how he has been followed and worshipped in a variety of ways from Lhasa, Tibet to Phrae, Thailand. From there we touch on the foundational teachings of the Buddha with an eye to how they have evolved and transformed over time. Finally, we focus on the practice of Buddhist ritual, magic and ethics in monasteries and among aly communities in Asia and even in the West. This section will confront the way Buddhists have thought of issues such as “Just-War,” Women’s Rights and Abortion. While no one quarter course could provide a detailed presentation of the beliefs and practices of Buddhism, my hope is that we will be able to look closely at certain aspects of these religions by focusing on how they are practiced in places like Nara, Japan or Vietnam, Laos.
Instructor: Justin Mcdaniel
EALC064 – Sushi & Ramen: Making Japanese Food Global
Who defines Japanese food? Is it the chef at a top establishment in Tokyo, a home cook in Osaka, a tea master in Kyoto, the ancient capital? Or is it the midwestern American who thinks sushi means raw fish? Is it the person who scarfs cup noodles, or the devotee of artisan ramen stock? Perhaps it is the Japanese government, which in 2006 sent undercover agents abroad to guard against inferior Japanese food outlets. In this class we will consider how Japanese food came to be defined in distinction to Western and Chinese foods beginning in the nineteenth century, and how Japanese food became a global cuisine. Among our questions: What makes a dish Japanese? How did Portuguese or Spanish frying habits (tempura) and Chinese lamian (ramen) become hallmarks? How traditional is the diet of rice and fish, and in what ways does it interact with the environment? How did Buddhist vegetarians justify sukiyaki? What relationship does food have to the longevity of Japanese today? How does gender affect Japanese food cultures? What are the origins of Iron Chef and bento? We will survey the Philadelphia Japanese food scene and learn to make our own sushi. Some controversies we will discuss include the consumption of whale meat in Japan. We will also investigate Japanese government controls of food to combat obesity and to make food safe. after the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. Materials include essays, films, novellas, menus, and cookbooks.
Instructor: Linda H. Chance
EALC071- Modern Japanese History
This course will survey the major political, economic, social and intellectual trends in the making of modern Japan. Special emphasis will be given to the turbulent relationship between state and society from 1800 to the present.
Instructor: Edward Wang
EALC111- East Asian Digital Humanities
Are you interested in cutting-edge digital methods for the humanities in East Asia, but don’t know where to start? This course covers a wide range of current and emerging digital projects and topics in East Asian studies. Students will engage with digital projects focused on East Asia (encompassing Japan, China, Korea, and Taiwan) as well as research being done on digital methodologies for the humanities in those areas. Coursework consists of project and research analysis, active discussion, and learning about the implementation of various digital projects. Example topics include text analysis, APIs, network analysis, digital literary studies, and mapping. No technical expertise is required but students must have reading knowledge of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean at the high-intermediate or advanced level. Class presentations, discussions, and all course readings will be in English, but midterm and final projects involve reading articles and/or critiquing projects in the language and geographic area of students’ expertise.
Instructor: Molly C. Des Jardin
EALC116 – East Asian Gardens
Explore the beauty of gardens (and associated buildings) in Japan, China, and Korea from ancient times to the present. Lectures will be illustrated by photographs from dozens of sites in East Asia, and by a field trip to the Japanese House and Garden in Fairmount Park. The main body of the course will be a historical survey of the evolution of East Asian garden art forms from the sixth century to the present. Discussion will touch on geographic and climatic parameters, spiritual and aesthetic principles, practical limitations and creative innovations of East Asian gardens. There will be an additional fee for the Japanese House visit, and possibly for other field trips.
Instructor: Frank L. Chance
EALC151 – Contemporary Fiction & Film in Japan
This course will explore fiction and film in contemporary Japan, from 1945 to the present. Topics will include literary and cinematic representation of Japan s war experience and post-war reconstruction, negotiation with Japanese classics, confrontation with the state, and changing ideas of gender and sexuality. We will explore these and other questions by analyzing texts of various genres, including film and film scripts, novels, short stories, manga, and academic essays. Class sessions will combine lectures, discussion, audio-visual materials, and creative as well as analytical writing exercises. The course is taught in English, although Japanese materials will be made available upon request. No prior coursework in Japanese literature, culture, or film is required or expected; additional secondary materials will be available for students taking the course at the 600 level. Writers and film directors examined may include: Kawabata Yasunari, Hayashi Fumiko, Abe Kobo, Mishima Yukio, Oe Kenzaburo, Yoshimoto Banana, Ozu Yasujiro, Naruse Mikio, Kurosawa Akira, Imamura Shohei, Koreeda Hirokazu, and Beat Takeshi.
Instructor: Ayako Kano
EALC154 – Topics in Japanese Art: Ukiyo-E
This course will focus on Japanese woodblock prints, printed books, and paintings from the seventeenth through the mid-nineteenth century in the genre of ukiyo-e. Among questions we will consider are: How did Ukiyo-e or the pictures of the floating world emerge as a genre and what was at stake for its makers and consumers? What are new approaches that we can use for the field? Topics will include themes shown in prints ( celebrity actors and courtesans, the landscape and others), specific artists and their works. We will study original works held in the Kislak Collection and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as well as other local collections as available, and we will work with emerging digital humanities tools for individual and group projects.
Instructor: Julie Davis
EALC176 – Japan: The Age of the Samurai
Who (or what) where the samurai? What does it mean to say that Japan had an “Age of the Samurai”? In popular imagination, pre-modern Japan has long been associated with its hereditary warrior class. Countless movies have explored the character and martial prowess of these men. Yet warriors constituted but a tiny portion of the societies they inhabited and ruled, and historians researching medieval Japan have turned their attentions to a great range of subjects and to other classes (elite and commoner alike). This class is designed to acquaint students with the complex and diverse centuries that have been called the “Age of the Samurai”-roughly, the years between ca. 1110 and 1850. In the course of the semester, we will explore the central themes in the historiography of warrior society, while introducing some of the defining texts that have shaped our imagination of this age (from laws to epic poems, from codes of conduct to autobiographies).
Instructor: David Spafford
EALC253 – The Politics of Shinto
Shinto-derived images and ideas frequently appear in Japanese anime and film, and journalists and academics frequently mobilize the term Shinto as a way of explaining Japan s past or envisioning its future. The environmentalist left champions a green Shinto while Shinto-derived ideas serve as red meat for politicians pandering to Japan s nationalist right. While the influential position Shinto occupies in Japanese sociopolitical life is therefore clear, the term Shinto itself is actually not. Depending on who one asks, Shinto is either the venerable indigenous religion of the Japanese archipelago, the irreducible core of Japanese culture, a tiny subset of Japanese Buddhism, an oppressive political ideology linked to the emperor system, an environmentalist ethic, or some combination of these. This course investigates the multifarious types of Shinto envisioned by these competing interest groups.
Instructor: Jolyon Thomas
EALC260 – History of the Book in East Asia
From handscrolls to manga, books play a vital role in East Asian societies. In this course we will introduce the spread of book cultures across East Asia and reconsider the role and impact of material texts on societies in China, Korea, and Japan. Among the questions we ll engage are: What is a book, an author, or an edition? How do readers affect books? How do publishers decide when to use illustrations, woodblock printing, or movable type? How has the history of books differed in China, Japan, and Korea from the history of the book in the West? We will consider various media (bamboo, paper, silk, and the digital), formats (scrolls, folded books, bound books, small to oversize), and the tensions between handwritten manuscript and printed pages. Hands-on sessions may include paper-making, bookbinding, and printing. This is an Objects-Based Learning course, using materials from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, and the Penn Museum, with visits to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Free Library of Philadelphia. Requires no knowledge of any Asian language.
Instructor: Linda H. Chance, Julie Davis
EALC502 – Japanese History and Civilization
This seminar introduces students to the graduate-level study of Japan. In addition to getting a broad overview of Japanese culture, students in the course will develop familiarity with major debates in the history of the field of Japanese studies. The course also provides basic training in using primary and secondary sources in Japanese, Japanese bibliographic conventions, and other skills necessary for pursuing advanced research or a teaching career in the field. Open to all graduate students and to undergraduates with permission from the instructor. Familiarity with Japanese language is a plus but is not required.
Instructor: Ayako Kano
EALC718 – Buddhist Texts & Contexts: Advanced Topics in Buddhism
This is an advanced course for upper level undergraduates and graduate students on various issues in the study of Buddhist texts, art, and history. Each semester the theme of the course changes. In recent years themes have included: Magic and Ritual, Art and Material Culture, Texts and Contexts, Manuscript Studies.
Instructor: Justin Mcdaniel