Chinese and Japanese

Associate Professors: Wenwei Du, Peipei Qiu, Bryan Van Norden; Assistant Professors: Hiromi Tsuchiya Dollase, Haoming Liu; Instructors: Yuko Matsubara, Anne Parries.

Requirements for Chinese or Japanese Concentration:* Students who start language study with Chinese 105-106 or Japanese 105-106 must complete a total of 13 units, 8 of which are to be language study including Chinese 306 or Japanese 306 and 305 of which are to be content courses as outlined below. Students who start language study with Chinese 205-206 or Japanese 205-206 must complete Chinese 305-306 or Japanese 305-306, and seven other courses selected from departmental or approved courses that must fulfill the specific requirements outlined below. A student’s program of study should be designed in close consultation with the advisor according to the target concentration. NRO option is not allowed after the declaration of major for courses counting toward the concentration. For students seeking to double major in Chinese, Japanese, and/or Asian Studies, no more than two units may be double counted.

Content Courses:

Introductory-level study: Chinese-Japanese 120: Introduction to Chinese and Japanese Literature: Traditions, Genres, and Methodology.

Intermediate-level study: 2 units of departmental or approved 200-level courses.

Advanced-Level Study: Two 300-level courses.

High advanced-level language study: 2 units chosen from Chinese 350, 351 and 360 and Japanese 350 and 351 can be counted toward the requirements of one intermediate and one advanced level content course.

Courses offered by other departments may be elected with approval to fulfill the requirements.

Junior Year Study Away and summer courses may substitute for the required courses with department approval. The department strongly encourages students to study abroad in China or Japan and commits to providing the students with supervised study away programs.

Honors’ Requirements: Same as those for the majors except for replacing an intermediate-level course with a thesis/culminating project. The thesis is normally written in both semesters of the senior year. The senior project can be done either as a one unit course in one semester, or a 1/2 unit course in each of two semesters.

Requirements for the Correlate Sequence in Chinese or Japanese Language: 6 1/2 units chosen among Chinese 160/360 and Chinese or Japanese 105, 106, 205, 206, 305, 306, 350, 351, and 399; at least 5 units must be taken above the 100-level and two courses must be taken at the 300-level. Junior Year Study Away and summer courses may be substituted with department approval. 4 units must be taken at Vassar. Courses available for letter grades must be taken for letter grades.

Departmental courses are arranged in three groups: 1) courses in Chinese-Japanese literary studies (CHJA); 2) courses in Chinese language and literary studies (CHIN); 3) courses in Japanese language and literary studies (JAPA).

* Pending approval by the New York State Department of Education.

Chinese-Japanese (CHJA)

120a. Introduction to Chinese and Japanese Literature: Traditions, Genres and Methodology (1)

This course is an introduction to the literary traditions of China and Japan. It focuses on the exploration of the literary principles through the representative works in different genres, including myths, poetry, drama, and classical and vernacular narratives. Thematic comparison between the two traditions is drawn in the discussion and cinematic adaptations of chosen works and contextual materials are viewed during the course. Assignments emphasize the development of basic skills on writing about literary and cultural topics and texts. All readings and discussions are in English. Ms. Qiu.

Open to all classes.

[250. Special Topics in Chinese and Japanese Literatures] (1)

Topics vary each year. Can be repeated for credit when a new topic is offered.

Future topics include:

1) Experiencing the Other: Representation of Each Other in Chinese and Western Literature Since the Eighteenth Century. Mr. Liu

2) Masterpieces of Classical Japanese Literature. Ms. Qiu.

3) Chinese Popular Culture. Mr. Du.

4) Introduction to Chinese Literature: Poetry and Fiction. Mr. Du.

5) Japanese Poetry. Ms. Qiu

Not offered in 2004/05.

290a or b. Field Work ( 1/2 or 1)

Prerequisites: 2 units of Chinese or Japanese and permission of the chair. The department.

298a or b. Independent Study ( 1/2 or 1)

Prerequisites: 2 units of Chinese or Japanese and permission of the chair. The department.

300a-301b. Senior Thesis ( 1/2, 1/2)

Open only to majors. The department.

Permission required.

302a or b. Senior Project (1)

Open only to majors. One unit project done in one semester. The department.

Permission required.

303a-304b. Senior Project ( 1/2, 1/2)

Open only to majors. One unit project done in two semesters. The department.

Permission required.

350a. Seminar in Chinese Philosophy-Comparative Methodology (1)

(Same as Philosophy 350). An exploration of some of the methodological issues raised by the prospect of one culture understanding and making judgments about another. The course considers essays on ethical and cognitive relativism, incommensurability, and the hermeneutics of suspicion and faith. Although the focus is primarily methodological, recent Western approaches to understanding Chinese philosophy provide test cases for some of the theories examined. Mr. Van Norden

Prerequisites: a 200-level course in Chinese, Japanese, Asian Studies or Philosophy.

[361b. Chinese and Japanese Drama and Theatre] (1)

A study of Chinese and Japanese culture and society through well-known dramatic genres-zaju, chuanqi, kunqu, Beijing Opera, modern Spoken Drama, noh, bunraku, kabuki, and New Drama; a close reading of selected plays in English translation. Scheduled films of performances convey Chinese and Japanese theatrical conventions and aesthetics. Discussions focus on major themes based on research presentations. All readings and discussions are in English. Mr. Du.

Prerequisite: one 200-level language/literature/culture/drama or Asian Studies course or permission of instructor.

Not offered in 2004/05.

[362. Women in Japanese and Chinese Literature] (1)

An intercultural examination of the images of women presented in Japanese and Chinese narrative, drama, and poetry from their early emergence to the modern period. While giving critical attention to aesthetic issues and the gendered voices in representative works, the course also provides a comparative view of the dynamic changes in women’s roles in Japan and China. All selections are in English translation. Ms. Qiu.

Prerequisite: one 200-level course in language, literature, culture or Asian Studies, or permission of instructor.

Not offered in 2004/05.

363b. Seminar: Transcending the Limit: Literary Theory in the East-West Context (1)

This course examines various traditional and contemporary literary theories with a distinct Asianist-particularly East Asianist-perspective. At least since the eighteenth century, Western theoretical discourse often took into serious consideration East Asian literature, language and civilization in their construction of “universal” theoretical discourses. The comparative approach to literary theory becomes imperative in contemporary theoretical discourse as we move toward ever greater global integration. Selected texts from Hegel, Segalen, Barthes, Derrida, Todorov, and Said as well as some primary texts are among the required readings. All readings are in English. Mr. Liu.

Prerequisite: one literature course or by permission.

399a or b. Senior Independent work ( 1/2 or 1)

Prerequisite: 4 units of Chinese or Japanese or by permission of the chair. The department.

Chinese (CHIN)

105a-106b. Elementary Chinese (1 1/2)

An introduction to Mandarin Chinese (putong hua or guo yu). While the approach is aural-lingual, reading and writing skills are introduced early in the program. The two semesters cover about 600 characters. Grammatical analysis, pattern drills, and conversational practices are stressed throughout. Mr. Liu ; Ms. Parries.

Open to all classes.

Five 50-minute periods.

[160. Introduction to Classical Chinese] (1)

(Same as Asian Studies 160) Classical Chinese is the literary language in which almost all of Chinese literature was written prior to the twentieth century. This course introduces students to the rudiments of reading Classical Chinese, with an emphasis on early Chinese philosophical texts. No previous background in Chinese language, history, or culture is required. Among the texts to be studied are passages from the sayings of Confucius and Taoist works. Mr. Van Norden.

Open to all classes.

Does not satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Not offered in 2004/05.

205a-206b. Intermediate Chinese (1 1/2)

Further practice in conversation and learned patterns; acquisition of new grammatical structures, vocabulary, and about 800 additional characters. Emphasis on communicative skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Mr. Du; Ms. Parries.

Prerequisite: Chinese 105-106 or permission of instructor.

Five 50-minute periods.

[212. Chinese Film and Contemporary Fiction] (1)

An introduction to Chinese film through its adaptations of contemporary stories. Focus is on internationally well-known films by the fifth and sixth generation of directors since the late 1980s. Early Chinese films from the 1930s to the 1970s are also included in the screenings. The format of the course is to read a series of stories in English translations and to view their respective cinematic versions. The discussions concentrate on cultural and social aspects as well as on comparison of themes and viewpoints in the two genres. Mr. Du.

Prerequisite: one language/literature/culture/film or Asian Studies course, or permission of instructor.

Not offered in 2004/05

214a. The Tumultuous Century: Twentieth Century Chinese Literature (1)

This is a survey introduction to the literature of China from the late Qing Dynasty through the present day. Texts are arranged according to trends and schools as well as to their chronological order. Authors include Wu Jianren, Lu Xun, Zhang Ailing, Shen Congwen, Lao She and Gao Xingjian. All major genres are covered but the focus is on fiction. A few feature films are also included in association with some of the literary works and movements. No knowledge of the Chinese language, Chinese history, or culture is required for taking the course. All readings and class discussion is in English. Mr. Liu.

Prerequisite: one language/literature/culture or Asian Studies course, or permission of instructor.

215b. Masterpieces of Traditional Chinese Literature (1)

(Same as Asian Studies 215) Selected works of classical Chinese literature from a variety of periods and genres, such as the Book of Odes (early lyric poetry), the Tang Dynasty poems of Li Bo and Du Fu, historical narratives, including selections from the Book of Documents and the Zuo Zhuan, and the classic Chinese novels, such as Romance of the Three Kingdoms, The Scholars, and Dream of the Red Chamber. We shall discuss and interpret these texts from a variety of perspectives, including historical, structuralist, philosophical, feminist and “hermeneutics of suspicion.” Assignments include brief weekly essays. Mr. Van Norden.

Prerequisite: one course in any humanities discipline, or Asian Studies, or permission of instructor.

[216. Classics, Canon, and Commentary in China] (1)

(Same as Asian Studies 216) Studying classic or canonical texts through commentarial traditions is a near universal form of education in pre-modern cultures. This course examines the nature, development and evolution of canons and commentaries, focusing on the immensely influential Five Classics and the Four Books of the Chinese tradition. We also read and discuss seminal Western discussions of canonicity and hermeneutics, including works by Emerson, Jaroslav Pelikan, and Alasdair MacIntyre. Mr. Van Norden.

Prerequisite: one course in any humanities discipline, or Asian Studies, or permission of instructor.

Not offered in 2004/05.

290a or b. Field Work ( 1/2 or 1)

Prerequisites: 2 units of Chinese and permission of the chair. The department.

298a or b. Independent Study ( 1/2 or 1)

Prerequisites: 2 units of Chinese and permission of the chair. The department.

300a-301b. Senior Thesis ( 1/2, 1/2)

Open only to majors. The department.

Permission required.

302a or b. Senior Project (1)

Open only to majors. One unit project done in one semester. The department.

Permission required.

303a-304b. Senior Project ( 1/2, 1/2)

Open only to majors. One unit project done in two semesters. The department.

Permission required.

305a/306b. Advanced Chinese (1)

Intensified instruction in the reading of original Chinese language materials, reflecting aspects of a changing China. Emphasis is on communicative skills. Mr. Du; Mr. Liu.

Prerequisite: Chinese 205-206 or permission of instructor

350a. Advanced Readings in Chinese: Genres and Themes (1)

This course is equivalent to a fourth-year Chinese course or beyond, and may be repeated for credit if topic changes. The course aims to further develop the advanced students’ speaking, reading and writing proficiency. The course explores different genres of texts from various journalistic and literary writings. Readings are arranged according to thematic topics. Course discussions and lectures are conducted in Chinese. Ms. Parries.

Prerequisite: Chinese 306 or permission of instructor.

351b. Advanced Readings of Original Literary Works (1)

This course is equivalent to a fourth-year Chinese course or beyond, and may be repeated for credit if topic changes. This course involves close reading of a single literary work of an extensive length, shorter texts of a single author, or texts which have a common thematic interest. Emphasis is on baihua literature while samples of semi-wenyan texts are introduced. Through close reading and classroom discussion of the material, students are trained to approach authentic texts with linguistic confidence and useful methods. Ms. Parries.

Prerequisite: Chinese 306 or permission of instructor.

[360. Classical Chinese] (1)

This course is for students with at least two years of modern Chinese or the equivalent. It introduces students to the rudiments of reading Classical Chinese, with an emphasis on early Chinese philosophical texts. Students in this class attend the same lectures as, and do all the assignments of students in Chinese 160, but they also attend an extra session every week, in which they work with and are tested on modern Chinese translations of the Classical Chinese texts. Mr. Van Norden.

Prerequisite: Chinese 205-206 or equivalent.

Not offered in 2004/05.

399a or b. Senior Independent work ( 1/2 or 1)

Prerequisite: 4 units of Chinese or by permission of the chair. The department.

Japanese (JAPA)

105a-106b. Elementary Japanese (1 1/2)

An introduction to modern Japanese. Students develop communicative skills based on the fundamentals of grammar, vocabulary and conversational expressions. Emphasis on both oral and written proficiency. The course introduces hiragana and katakana syllabaries as well as approximately 150 kanji (Chinese characters). Ms. Qiu; Ms. Dollase.

Open to all classes.

Five 50-minute periods.

182b. Introduction to Japanese for Visitors ( 1/2)

(Same as Asian Studies 182) This six-week course is especially designed for faculty and students who are going to participate in a spring study trip to Japan. The aim of this course is to give the participants an opportunity to establish a basic understanding of Japanese language and culture. It is an immersion-style course and focuses on verbal communication. The participants of the course learn basic Japanese conversational phrases and grammar. The course is conducted mainly in Japanese, but handouts in Western alphabet are distributed in class. Those enrolled are required to attend two 50-minute sessions per week. The course is open to students who have not studied Japanese before. Ms. Matsubara.

By permission of instructor.

205a-206b. Intermediate Japanese (1 1/2)

This course puts equal emphasis on the further development of oral-aural proficiency and reading-writing skills with an intense review of basic grammar as well as an introduction of more advanced grammar, new vocabulary, expressions, and another 350 kanji (Chinese characters). Ms. Dollase; Ms. Qiu.

Prerequisite: Japanese 105-106 or permission of instructor.

Five 50-minute periods.

[222. Narratives of Japan: Fiction and Film] (1)

This course examines the characteristics of Japanese narratives in written and cinematic forms. Through selected novels and films that are based on the literary works or related to them thematically, the course explores the different ways in which Japanese fiction and film tell a story and how each work interacts with the time and culture that produced it. While appreciating the aesthetic pursuit of each author or film director, attention is also given to the interplay of tradition and modernity in the cinematic re-presentation of the literary masterpieces and themes. No previous knowledge of Japanese language is required. Ms. Qiu.

Prerequisite: one language/literature/culture/film or Asian Studies course, or permission of instructor.

Not offered in 2004/05

223b. The Gothic and the Supernatural in Japanese Literature (1)

(Same as Asian Studies 223) This course introduces students to Japanese supernatural stories. We interpret the hidden psyche of the Japanese people and culture that create such bizarre tales. We see not only to what extent the supernatural creatures - demons, vampires, and mountain witches - in these stories represent the “hysteria” of Japanese commoners resulting from social and cultural oppression, but also to what extent these supernatural motifs have been adopted and modified by writers of various literary periods. This course consists of four parts; female ghosts, master authors of ghost stories, Gothic fantasy and dark urban psyche. Ms Dollase.

Prerequisite: one language/literature/culture course or Asian Studies course, or permission of instructor.

[224. Japanese Popular Culture and Literature] (1)

This course examines Japanese popular culture as seen through popular fiction. Works by such writers as Murakami Haruki, Yoshimoto Banana, Murakami Ryu, Yamada Eimi, etc. who emerged in the late 1980’s to the early 1990’s, are discussed. Literary works are compared with various popular media such as film, music, manga, and animation to see how popular youth culture is constructed and reflects young people’s views on social conditions. Theoretical readings are assigned. This course emphasizes discussion and requires research presentations. This course is conducted in English. Ms. Dollase.

Prerequisite: one language/literature/culture or Asian Studies course, or permission of instructor.

Not offered in 2004/05

290a or b. Field Work ( 1/2 or 1)

Prerequisites: 2 units of Japanese and permission of the chair. The department.

298a or b. Independent Study ( 1/2 or 1)

Prerequisites: 2 units of Japanese and permission of the chair. The department.

300a-301b. Senior Thesis ( 1/2, 1/2)

Open only to majors. The department.

Permission required.

302a or b. Senior Project (1)

Open only to majors. One unit project done in one semester. The department.

Permission required.

303a-304b. Senior Project ( 1/2, 1/2)

Open only to majors. One unit project done in two semesters. The department.

Permission required.

305a/306b. Advanced Japanese (1)

This course is designed to develop each student’s ability to read contemporary Japanese text from newspapers, magazines, and literary works, with a solid grammatical foundation and mastery of kanji, as well as gaining proficiency in writing at an advanced level. Continued training in aural-oral proficiency in spoken Japanese through exercises, classroom interactions and audio-visual materials. Ms. Dollase, Ms. Qiu.

Prerequisite: Japanese 205-206 or permission of instructor.

350a. Advanced Readings in Japanese: Genres and Themes (1)

This course is equivalent to a fourth-year Japanese course or beyond, and may be repeated for credit if topic changes. The aim of this course is to further develop the advanced students’ speaking, reading, and writing proficiency. The course explores different genres of texts ranging from contemporary Japanese media sources to literature. Readings are arranged according to thematic topics. Discussions and lectures are conducted entirely in Japanese. Ms. Matsubara.

Prerequisite: Japanese 306 or permission of instructor.

351b. Advanced Readings of Original Literary Works (1)

This course is equivalent to a fourth-year Japanese course or beyond, and may be repeated for credit if topic changes. This course involves close reading of a single literary work of an extensive length, shorter texts of a single author, or texts which have a common thematic interest. Through close reading and classroom discussion of the material, students are trained to approach authentic texts with linguistic confidence and useful methods. Ms. Matsubara.

Prerequisite: Japanese 306 or permission of instructor.

[364. The West in Japanese Literature since the Nineteenth Century] (1)

This course examines the influence of the West on Japanese literature after the nineteenth century and follows the process of the construction of modern Japanese identity. Since Japan opened its gates to other countries in the mid-nineteenth century, it has devoured Western culture with great enthusiasm. Nevertheless, Japanese people have always expressed uneasiness toward the forced dilution of their old Japanese cultural identity. Translated Japanese literary works are closely read, and various theoretical readings are assigned. This course emphasizes discussion and requires research presentations. This course is conducted in English

Prerequisite: one 200-level course in language, literature, culture or Asian Studies, or permission of instructor.

Not offered in 2004/05.

399a or b. Senior Independent work ( 1/2 or 1)

Prerequisite: 4 units of Japanese or by permission of the chair. The department.

Summer Program in China

The summer program in Qingdao University, China is open to all Vassar students. Each session of the program lasts eight weeks from late May to late July. Based on the level of language instruction needed by participating students, the program offers, in a particular year, the following intensive elementary, intermediate, and advanced courses. For information, please consult the department.

101-102. Elementary Chinese (3)

An introduction to Mandarin Chinese (putonghua or guoyu). While the approach is aural-lingual, reading and writing skills are introduced early in the course. This 3-unit intensive course covers the content similar to that of the on-campus Chinese 105-106. Grammatical analysis, pattern drills and conversational practice are stressed throughout.

Open to all classes.

201. Special Topics (1)

When necessary, students may petition for approval to enroll in university course work or special academic internships associated with an advanced language course.

205-206. Intermediate Chinese (3)

Further practice in conversation and learned patterns; acquisition of new grammatical structures, vocabulary, and about 800 additional characters. Emphasis on communicative skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Prerequisite: Chinese 105-106 or permission of instructor.

305-306. Advanced Chinese (2)

Intensified instruction in the reading of original Chinese language materials, reflecting aspects of a changing China. Emphasis is on communicative skills.

Prerequisite: Chinese 205-206 or permission of instructor.

340-341. Advanced Readings in Modern Chinese (2)

This sequence course is equivalent to fourth-year Chinese or beyond. The course aims to further develop the advanced students’ speaking, reading and writing proficiency. Readings include modern and contemporary literary works, journalistic writings, and other nonliterary texts. Readings are arranged according to topics and the course may be repeated if topics are different.

Prerequisite: Chinese 306 or permission of instructor.

Approved Courses

Anthropology 240. Cultural Localities (when topics include East Asia) (1)

Anthropology 360. Problem in Cultural Analysis (when topics include East Asia) (1)

Art 257. The Arts of China (1)

Art 258. The Arts of Japan (1)

Art 259. Warriors, Deities and Tea Masters: Japanese Art of the Momoyama Period (1)

Art 260. Mirrors of Emperors, Vehicles of Pleasure: Japanese Art of the Edo Period (1)

Art 358. Seminar in Asian Art (1)

Asian Studies 152. Religions of Asia (1)

Asian Studies 232. Imagining the Dao: Daoism and Chinese Culture (1)

Asian Studies 233. Buddhist Traditions (1)

Asian Studies 235. Religions of China (1)

Asian Studies 240. Women in China (1)

Education 285. Comparative Education (when topics include East Asia) (1)

English 170. Approaches to Literary Studies (if Chinese and Japanese 363 Seminar is not taught in a cycle of two and half years) (1)

English 217. Literary Theory and Interpretation (if Chinese and Japanese 363 Seminar is not taught in a cycle of two and half years) (1)

English 228. Asian-American Literature (when topics include East Asia) (1)

English 317. Studies in Literary Theory (if Chinese and Japanese 363 Seminar is not taught in a cycle of two and half years) (1)

Geography 236. East Asia: People, Culture, and Economic Development (1)

Geography 238. China: Political-Economic Transformation (1)

Geography 340. Advanced Regional Studies (when topics include East Asia) (1)

History 112. Modern Asia: Tradition and Transformation (1)

History 222. Modern China (1)

History 224. Modern Japan (1)

History 324. Politics and Wars in East Asia (1)

Philosophy 110. Early Chinese Philosophy (1)

Philosophy 210. Neo-Confucianism and Chinese Buddhism (1)

Political Science 363. Decolonizing International Relations (when topics include East Asia) (1)

Religion 250. Across Religious Boundaries: Understanding Differences (when topics include East Asia) (1)

Religion 350. Comparative Studies in Religion (when topics include East Asia) (1)

Sociology 236. Women, Men, and Social Change in East Asia (1)

Sociology 380. Women’s Movement in Asia (1)

Sociology 382. Re-envisioning Women in the Third World (when topics include East Asia) (1)