Non-Western and Comparative Studies

Last updated: July 10, 2019 at 1:37 PM

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Objectives

The non-Western and comparative studies requirement is designed to encourage students to explore societies, cultures and experiences beyond those of the Western tradition. The common goal of the courses in the program is to acquaint students with world views, indigenous intellectual traditions, historical narratives and social institutions that have developed largely outside European and North American society.

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Requirement Prior to Fall 2019

For students entering Brandeis prior to fall 2019, students must satisfactorily complete one non-Western and comparative studies course. Courses that satisfy the requirement in a particular semester are designated "nw" in the Schedule of Classes for that semester.

There is no non-Western and comparative studies requirement for students entering Brandeis beginning fall 2019.

Courses of Instruction

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Non-Western and Comparative Studies

AAAS 60a Economics of Third World Hunger
[ nw ss ]
Employs the tools of social science, particularly economics, to study causes and potential solutions to problems in production, trade, and consumption of food in the underdeveloped world. Usually offered every second year.
Wellington Nyangoni

AAAS 80a Economy and Society in Africa
[ nw ss wi ]
Perspectives on the interaction of economic and other variables in African societies. Topics include the ethical and economic bases of distributive justice; models of social theory, efficiency, and equality in law; the role of economic variables in the theory of history; and world systems analysis. Usually offered every third year.
Wellington Nyangoni

AAAS 102a African Cinema
[ nw ss ]
Explores the foundation and development of African cinema in the context of African history, culture and politics. Examines issues of social change, gender, class, tradition, and modernization through various African cinematic genres. Usually offered every second year.
Salah Hassan

AAAS 115a Introduction to African History
[ djw nw ss ]
Explores the history of African societies from their earliest beginnings to the present era. Topics include African participation in antiquity as well as early Christianity and preindustrial political, economic, and cultural developments. Usually offered every year.
Staff

AAAS 120a African History in Real Time
[ djw nw oc ss ]
This information literacy-driven course equips students with the skills to place current events in Africa in their historical context. Collectively the class builds 5-6 distinct course modules which entail sourcing and evaluating current newstories from a range of media outlets, selecting those that merit in-depth historical analysis, and developing a syllabus for each one. Usually offered every second year.
Carina Ray

AAAS 122a Politics of Southern Africa
[ nw ss ]
Study of clashing nationalisms, alternative patterns of development, and internationalization of conflict in southern Africa. The political economy of South Africa in regional context and its effect on the politics of its neighbors, particularly Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. Usually offered every third year.
Wellington Nyangoni

AAAS 123a Third World Ideologies
[ nw ss wi ]
Analyzes ideological concepts developed by seminal Third World political thinkers and their application to modern political analysis. Usually offered every second year.
Wellington Nyangoni

AAAS 126b Political Economy of the Third World
[ nw ss wi ]
Development of capitalism and different roles and functions assigned to all "Third Worlds," in the periphery as well as the center. Special attention will be paid to African and African American peripheries. Usually offered every year.
Wellington Nyangoni

AAAS 132b Introduction to African Literature
[ hum nw ss wi ]
Examines the cultural production of African writers and filmmakers and their critiques of the postcolonial state. Topics include their exploration of gender, sexuality, language choice, the pressures placed on "authentic" identities by diasporic communities, and the conflicting claims of tradition and modernity. Usually offered every third year.
Faith Smith

AAAS 133b The Literature of the Caribbean
[ hum nw ss wi ]
An exploration of the narrative strategies and themes of writers of the region who grapple with issues of colonialism, class, race, ethnicity, and gender in a context of often-conflicting allegiances to North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Usually offered every second year.
Faith Smith

AAAS 134b Novel and Film of the African Diaspora
[ hum nw ]
Writers and filmmakers, who are usually examined separately under national or regional canonical categories such as "(North) American," "Latin American," "African," "British," or "Caribbean," are brought together here to examine transnational identities and investments in "authentic," "African," or "black" identities. Usually offered every third year.
Faith Smith

AAAS 146b African Icons
[ djw nw oc ss wi ]
From Walatta Petros, a seventeenth century Ethiopian nun turned anticolonial agitator to Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, this course introduces a broad range of iconic figures in Africa's history to students who also acquire the investigative and analytical skills associated with sound historical research and writing. Usually offered every year.
Carina Ray

AAAS 158a Theories of Development and Underdevelopment
[ nw ss wi ]
Humankind has for some time now possessed the scientific and technological means to combat the scourge of poverty. The purpose of this seminar is to acquaint students with contending theories of development and underdevelopment, emphasizing the open and contested nature of the process involved and of the field of study itself. Among the topics to be studied are modernization theory, the challenge to modernization posed by dependency and world systems theories, and more recent approaches centered on the concepts of basic needs and of sustainable development. Usually offered every second year.
Wellington Nyangoni

AAAS 161b African Diaspora Theory
[ nw ss ]
Examines the contributions of African and African Diaspora intellectuals to critical theory, cultural studies, and the humanities in general. Usually offered every second year.
Salah Hassan

AAAS 162a Assassination: A History of 20th Century Africa
[ djw nw oc ss ]
Examines the assassinations of a range of different political, cultural, and activist figures, such as Patric Lumumba, Steve Biko, and Ken Saro-Wiwa, and assesses the social, political, economic, and cultural implications and legacies this particular form of murder has had on twentieth-century Africa. Usually offered every second year.
Carina Ray

AAAS 163b Africa in World Politics
[ nw ss ]
Explores the impact of African states in world affairs; the African and Afro-Asian groups in the United Nations; relations with Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and the Americas; the Afro-Asian movement; nonalignment; the Organization of African Unity; and Pan-Africanism. Usually offered every second year.
Wellington Nyangoni

AAAS 175a Comparative Politics of North Africa
[ nw ss ]
Explores the formation and development of political cleavages and cleavage systems, and of mass-based political groups, analyzing the expansion of mass political participation, elections, the impact of the military on political groups, and international factors. Usually offered every third year.
Wellington Nyangoni

AAAS/FA 74b Introduction to African Art
[ ca nw ss ]
Surveys the visual artistic traditions of Africa. Investigates the different forms of visual art in relation to their historical and socio-cultural context. Symbolism and complexity of Africa's visual art traditions are explored through analysis of myth, ritual, cosmology, and history. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

ANTH 1a Introduction to the Comparative Study of Human Societies
[ djw nw ss ]
Examines the ways human beings construct their lives in a variety of societies. Includes the study of the concept of culture, kinship, and social organization, political economy, gender and sexuality, religion and ritual, symbols and language, social inequalities and social change, and globalization. Consideration of anthropological research methods and approaches to cross-cultural analysis. Usually offered every semester.
Jonathan Anjaria, Elizabeth Ferry, Sarah Lamb, or Janet McIntosh

ANTH 7a Great Discoveries in Archaeology
[ nw ss ]
Delves into the origins of great civilizations of the ancient world - Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, Africa, and the Americas - and explores how these cultures set the stage for the modern world. Examines the history and prehistory of politics, economy, warfare, art, science, and more through archaeological discoveries. Usually offered every year.
Charles Golden

ANTH 55a Anthropology of Development
[ nw ss ]
Examines efforts to address global poverty that are typically labeled as "development." Privileging the perspectives of ordinary people, and looking carefully at the institutions involved in development, the course relies on ethnographic case studies that will draw students into the complexity of global inequality. Broad development themes such as public health, agriculture, the environment, democracy, poverty, and entrepreneurship will be explored. Usually offered every second year.
Richard Schroeder

ANTH 80a Anthropology of Religion
[ nw ss ]
An introduction to the anthropological study of human religious experience, with particular emphasis on religious and ritual practice in comparative perspective. Examines the relationship between religion and society in small-scale, non-Western contexts as well as in complex societies, global cultures, and world historical religions. Usually offered every second year.
Sarah Lamb or Ellen Schattschneider

ANTH 107a Wealth, Value, and Power in a World without Money
[ djw nw ss ]
Examines the relationships of value, wealth, power, and authority in the Aztec Empire, Inka Empire and Classic period Maya kingdoms of the Prehispanic Americas. In so doing it raises questions about the origins of these relationships in modern states. Usually offered every third year.
Charles Golden

ANTH 111a Aging in Cross-Cultural Perspective
[ nw ss wi ]
This course offers a 2-credit optional Experiential Learning practicum.
Examines the meanings and social arrangements given to aging in a diversity of societies, including the U.S., India, Japan and China. Key themes include: the diverse ways people envision and organize the life course, scholarly and popular models of successful aging, the medicalization of aging in the U.S., cultural perspectives on dementia, and the ways national aging policies and laws are profoundly influenced by particular cultural models. Usually offered every second year.
Sarah Lamb

ANTH 119a Conquests, Resistance, and Cultural Transformation in Mexico and Central America
[ nw ss wi ]
Examines the continuing negotiation of identity and power that were at the heart of tragedy and triumph for indigenous peoples in colonial Mexico and Central America, and which continue in the modern states of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. Usually offered every second year.
Charles Golden

ANTH 121b Archaeology and Environment
[ nw ss ]
Provides an introduction to environmental archaeology, exploring how human history and prehistory have been defined by moments when political, cultural, economics, and ecological systems collide. Topics include climate change, food systems, plant and animal relations, and natural resources. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

ANTH 127a Medicine, Body, and Culture
[ djw nw ss ]
Examines main areas of inquiry in medical anthropology, including medicine as a sociocultural construct, political and economic dimensions of suffering and health, patients and healers in comparative medical systems, and the medical construction of men's and women's bodies. Usually offered every year.
Sarah Lamb or Anita Hannig

ANTH 134a South Asian Culture and Society
[ dl nw ss ]
May be repeated for credit if taught by different instructors.
Examines the diversity and richness of the cultures and societies of South Asia, with a focus on India. Concentrates on the lived experiences of class, caste, gender, religion, politics, and region in people's everyday lives. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Anjaria or Ms. Lamb

ANTH 136a Archaeology of Power: Authority, Prestige, and Inequality in the Past
[ nw ss ]
Anthropological and archaeological research and theory provide a unique, long-term perspective on the development of inequality and rise of hierarchical societies, including the earliest ancient states such as the Moche, Maya, China, Sumerians, Egyptians, and others through 5000 years of human history. A comparative, multidisciplinary seminar examining the dynamics of authority, prestige, and power in the past, and the implications for understanding the present. Usually offered every second year.
Charles Golden

ANTH 140b Critical Perspectives in Global Health
[ nw ss ]
What value systems and other sociocultural factors underlie global public health policy? How can anthropology shed light on debates about the best ways to improve health outcomes? This course examines issues from malaria to HIV/AIDS, from tobacco cessation to immunization. Usually offered every third year.
Elanah Uretsky

ANTH 144a The Anthropology of Gender
[ djw nw ss wi ]
This course offers a 2-credit optional Experiential Learning practicum.
Examines gender constructs, sexuality, and cultural systems from a comparative perspective. Topics include the division of labor, rituals of masculinity and femininity, the vexing question of the universality of women's subordination, cross-cultural perspectives on same-sex sexualities and transsexuality, the impact of globalization on systems, and the history of feminist anthropology. Usually offered every year.
Anita Hannig, Sarah Lamb, Keridwen Luis, or Ellen Schattschneider

ANTH 147b Mesoamerican Civilizations and Their Legacies
[ nw ss ]
Traces the development of social complexity in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, from initial colonization in the Late Pleistocene to the Spanish conquest in the sixteenth century. Reviews major societal transformations like food production, the role of competitive generosity and warfare in promoting social inequalities, and the rise of urban societies. It also examines indigenous social movements against Spanish colonialism, and considers the legacies and role of indigenous peoples in the contemporary nations of Middle America. Usually offered every third year.
Javier Urcid

ANTH 153a Writing Systems and Scribal Traditions
[ nw ss ]
Explores the ways in which writing has been conceptualized in social anthropology, linguistics and archaeology. A comparative study of various forms of visual communication, both non-glottic and glottic systems, is undertaken to better understand the nature of pristine and contemporary phonetic scripts around the world and to consider alternative models to explain their origin, prestige, and obsolescence. The course pays particular attention to the social functions of early writing systems, the linkage of literacy and political power, and the production of historical memory. Usually offered every second year.
Javier Urcid

ANTH 156a Power and Violence: The Anthropology of Political Systems
[ deis-us nw ss ]
Political orders are established and maintained by varying combinations of overt violence and the more subtle workings of ideas. The course examines the relationship of coercion and consensus, and forms of resistance, in historical and contemporary settings. Usually offered every second year.
Elizabeth Ferry

ANTH 163b Economies and Culture
[ djw nw ss ]
Prerequisite: ANTH 1a, ECON 2a, ECON 10a, or permission of the instructor.
We read in newspapers and books and hear in everyday discussion about "the economy," an identifiably separate sphere of human life with its own rules and principles and its own scholarly discipline (economics). The class starts with the premise that this "common sense" idea of the economy is only one among a number of possible perspectives on the ways people use resources to meet their basic and not-so-basic human needs. In the course, we draw on cross-cultural examples, and take a look at the cultural aspects of finance, corporations, and markets. Usually offered every second year.
Elizabeth Ferry

ANTH 164a Medicine and Religion
[ djw nw ss ]
Prerequisite: ANTH 1a or equivalent.
Considers the convergence of two cultural spheres that are normally treated as separate: medicine and religion. The course will examine their overlap, such as in healing and dying, as well as points of contention through historical and contemporary global ethnographies. Usually offered every second year.
Anita Hannig

ANTH 165b Anthropology of Death and Dying
[ djw nw ss wi ]
Explores how different societies, including our own, conceptualize death and dying. Topics include the cultural construction of death, the effects of death on the social fabric, mourning and bereavement, and medical issues relating to the end of life. Usually offered every second year.
Anita Hannig

ANTH 168a The Maya: Past, Present and Future
[ nw ss wi ]
Explores the culture of the Maya in Mexico and Central America through nearly 3000 years of history. Using archaeology, ethnohistory, and ethnography, studies their ancient past and their modern lives. Usually offered every second year.
Charles Golden

ANTH 178b Culture, Gender and Power in East Asia
[ nw ss ]
Examines the role of culture in changing gender power relations in East Asia by exploring how the historical legacy of Confucianism in the region influences the impact of changes such as the constitutional proclamation of gender equality and rapid industrialization. Usually offered every third year.
Elanah Uretsky

ANTH 184b Cross-Cultural Art and Aesthetics
[ nw ss ]
A cross-cultural and diachronic exploration of art, focusing on the communicative aspects of visual aesthetics. The survey takes a broad view of how human societies deploy images and objects to foster identities, lure into consumption, generate political propaganda, engage in ritual, render sacred propositions tangible, and chart the character of the cosmos. Usually offered every second year.
Javier Urcid

CHIN 100a Introduction to Chinese Literature: Desire and Form
[ hum nw oc ]
Taught in English. No Chinese language capabilities required.
Introduces Chinese literature, focusing primarily on Chinese "classical" literary traditions and their metamorphosis in modern times. Usually offered every second year.
Pu Wang

CHIN 106b Business Chinese and Culture
[ fl nw wi ]
Prerequisite: CHIN 40b or equivalent. Does not meet the requirement in the school of humanities.
An advanced Chinese course where students develop their language proficiency and cultural knowledge in professional settings such as the workplace. The course is conducted entirely in Chinese and is designed for students who want to sharpen their language skills and reach a higher level of proficiency in which they are able to read newspapers, magazines, or professional documents, as well as to improve their communicative ability and enhance their self-confidence in Chinese workplaces. Usually offered every second spring.
Staff

CHIN 130b China on Film: The Changes of Chinese Culture
[ hum nw ]
Taught in English. All films viewed have English subtitles.
Focuses on the enormous changes under way in Chinese society, politics, and culture. Helps students to identify and understand these fundamental transformations through a representative, exciting selection of readings and films. Usually offered every second spring.
Staff

CHIN 136b Chinese Modernism in International Context
[ hum nw ]
Taught in English.
Examines the origins, recurrences, and metamorphosis of modernistic styles and movements in twentieth-century Chinese literature, film, fine art, and intellectual discourses. Usually offered every second year.
Pu Wang

CHIN 140a Yin Yu Tang Documents, Decoding the Late Qing and Early Republic Writings (I)
[ fl hum nw ]
Prerequisites: CHIN 120a and 120b, or permission of the instructor.
Teaches fundamental skills to decode the late Qing and early Republic writings in print or in hand-writing by recognizing and translating the Yin Yu Tang documents. Students of this course will also gain knowledge of Chinese society and culture of this period. Usually offered every year.
Yu Feng

COML 122b Writing Home and Abroad: Literature by Women of Color
[ hum nw ]
Examines literature (prose, poetry, and memoirs) written by women of color across a wide spectrum of geographical and cultural sites. Literature written within the confines of the "home country" in the vernacular, as well as in English in immigrant locales, is read. The intersections of race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, and class as contained by the larger institutions of government, religion, nationalism, and sectarian politics are examined. Usually offered every third year.
Harleen Singh

COML 146b Classical East Asian Poetics
[ hum nw ]
An introduction to the classical poetic forms of China, Japan, and Korea. Special consideration is paid to issues of canonization, classical theories of literature, and the development of multilingual literary traditions. All readings are in English. Usually offered every third year.
Matthew Fraleigh

ECON 30a The Economy of China
[ nw ss ]
Prerequisite: ECON 2a or 10a.
Analysis of China's economic transformation with particular emphasis on China's economic reforms since 1978, including the restructuring of its enterprise, fiscal, financial, and political systems and the roles of trade, foreign investment, and technology in driving China's economic advance. Usually offered every year.
Gary Jefferson

ECON 122b The Economics of the Middle East
[ nw ss ]
Prerequisite: ECON 2a or 10a or the equivalent. Does not count toward the upper-level elective requirement for the major in economics.
Examines the Middle East economies – past experiences, present situation, and future challenges – drawing on theories, policy formulations and empirical studies of economic growth, trade, poverty, income distribution, labor markets, finance and banking, government reforms, globalization, and Arab-Israeli political economy. Usually offered every year.
Nader Habibi

ECON 176a Health, Hunger, and the Household in Developing Countries
[ djw nw ss ]
Prerequisites: ECON 80a and ECON 184b or permission of the instructor.
Examines aspects of poverty and nutrition that are confronted by households in low-income countries. Examines these issues primarily from a microeconomic perspective, although some macroeconomic angles are explored as well. Usually offered every second year.
Nidhiya Menon

ENG 20a Bollywood: Popular Film, Genre, and Society
[ hum nw ]
An introduction to popular Hindi cinema through a survey of the most important Bollywood films from the 1950s until today. Topics include melodrama, song and dance, love and sex, stardom, nationalism, religion, diasporic migration, and globalization. Usually offered every third year.
Ulka Anjaria

ENG 32a 21st-Century Global Fiction: A Basic Course
[ djw hum nw oc ]
Offers an introduction to 21st-century global fiction in English. What is fiction and how does it illuminate contemporary issues such as migration, terrorism, and climate change? Authors include Zadie Smith, Amitav Ghosh, Chimamanda Adichie, Mohsin Hamid, J.M. Coetzee and others. Usually offered every third year.
Ulka Anjaria

ENG 52a Refugee Stories, Refugee Lives
[ hum nw ]
Examines the functions of storytelling in the refugee crisis. Its main objective is to further students understanding of the political dimensions of storytelling. The course explores how reworking of reality enable people to question State and social structures. Usually offered every third year.
Emilie Diouf

ENG 62b Contemporary African Literature, Global Perspectives
[ hum nw ]
What is "African" in African literature when the majority of writers are somehow removed from the African societies they portray? How do expatriate writers represent African subjectivities and cultures at the intersection of Diaspora and globalization? Who reads the works produced by these writers? Usually offered every third year.
Emilie Diouf

ENG 72a The Caribbean's Asias: Asian Migration & Heritage in the Caribbean
[ dl hum nw ]
Studies fiction and theory by and about Caribbean people of South Asian origin, and Caribbean people of Chinese origin from the late nineteenth century to the present. Examines how they have been implicated in discussions of nationalism, hybridity, diaspora, and neoliberalism. Usually offered every third year.
Faith Smith

ENG 127a The Novel in India
[ hum nw ]
Survey of the novel and short story of the Indian subcontinent, their formal experiments in context of nationalism and postcolonial history. Authors may include Tagore, Anand, Manto, Desani, Narayan, Desai, Devi, Rushdie, Roy, Mistry, and Chaudhuri. Usually offered every second year.
Ulka Anjaria

ENG 127b Migrating Bodies, Migrating Texts
[ hum nw ]
Beginning with the region's representation as a tabula rasa, examines the textual and visual constructions of the Caribbean as colony, homeland, backyard, paradise, and Babylon, and how the region's migrations have prompted ideas about evolution, hedonism, imperialism, nationalism, and diaspora. Usually offered every second year.
Faith Smith

ENG 152a Indian Love Stories
[ hum nw ]
Introduces students to writings on love, desire and sexuality from ancient India to the present. Topics include ancient eroticism, love in Urdu poetry, Gandhi's sexual asceticism, colonial regulation of sexuality, Bollywood, queer fiction and more. Usually offered every third year.
Ulka Anjaria

ENG 170a The Globalization of Nollywood
[ hum nw ]
Introduces students to Nigeria's film industry, one of the world's largest. It focuses on both the form and the content of Nollywood films. Examines how Nollywood films project local, national, and regional issues onto global screens. Usually offered every third year.
Emilie Diouf

ENG 171b African Feminism(s)
[ hum nw ]
Examines African Feminism(s) as a literary and activist movement that underlines the need for centering African women's experiences in the study of African cultures, societies, and histories. Usually offered every third year.
Emilie Diouf

ENG 172b African Literature and Human Rights
[ hum nw ]
Human rights have been central to thinking about Africa. What do we mean when we speak of human rights? Are we asserting a natural and universal equality among all people, regardless of race, class, gender, or geography? Usually offered every third year.
Emilie Diouf

FA 33b Islamic Art and Architecture
[ ca nw ]
Through case studies of cities, sites, and monuments, the course presents an overview of the art and the architecture of the Islamic world beginning from the seventh century up to the present. Some of the themes include, but are not limited to, Islamic material culture, orientalist imaginations, systems of governance and the colonial present, search for the local identity, urban modernity and nationalism, and globalization. Usually offered every second year.
Muna Guvenc

FA 34a History of Asian Art
[ ca nw ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FA 12a in prior years.
A selective survey of the art of the three major Asian areas: India, China, and Japan. Usually offered every second year.
Aida Wong

FA 70b The Art of China
[ ca nw ]
A survey of Chinese art from antiquity to the modern period. Usually offered every second year.
Aida Wong

FA 71b The Art of Japan
[ ca nw ]
A survey of Japanese art from antiquity to the modern period. Usually offered every second year.
Aida Wong

FA 72b Introduction to Korean Art
[ ca nw ]
Surveys Korean arts and material culture, from the Neolithic to the mid-20th century. Covers archaeology, religious and secular arta/artifacts of the Three Kingdoms, United Silla, and Koryo periods. Covers Choson dynasty and Colonial period. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

FA 77b Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Latin American Art
[ ca nw ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FA 24b in prior years.
This course is a selective survey of the outstanding figures and movements that have made significant contributions to the history of Latin American art. Special focus will be on Mexican, Argentinean, Brazilian, Venezuelan and Cuban artists. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

FA 170a Arts of the Ming Dynasty
[ ca nw ]
Examines a broad array of arts from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The first half of the course focuses on activities in and around the Chinese court. The second half concentrates on monuments related to literati and popular cultures. Usually offered every second year.
Aida Wong

FA 172b Ink Painting in Taiwan
[ ca nw ]
Prerequisite: One course in Fine Arts or East Asian Studies.
Examines the evolution of modernism in Taiwan through the lens of art history, especially ink painting between the 1950s and 1990s. Issues to be studied include cultural orthodoxy, abstraction, exhibitions and education, postcoloniality, nativism, and calligraphic interventions. Usually offered every third year.
Aida Wong

FA 173b Art in Shanghai
[ ca nw ]
Examines the art and visual culture of Shanghai–China's symbol of modernity–from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries, encompassing painting, architecture, calligraphy, fashion, advertising, among other topics. Usually offered every third year.
Aida Wong

FA 176a Fashion History of China
[ ca nw ]
Examines the evolution of garments, ornaments, accessories, shoes, and other bodily adornments in China through the lens of art history. Students learn about the importance of dress and fashion (and their visual representations) in shaping identities through the ages. Usually offered every third year.
Aida Wong

FA 178a Frida Kahlo: Art, Life and Legacy
[ ca nw ]
Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) has become an international cultural icon. Her innovative paintings brilliantly re-envision identity, gender and the female body, inspiring celebrities from Madonna to Salma Hayek. This course explores the art and life of Frida Kahlo, as well as her immense influence on contemporary art, film and popular culture. Usually offered every second year.
Gannit Ankori

FA 178b Seminar on Chinese Calligraphy and Practice
[ ca nw oc ]
Prerequisite: Some knowledge of reading Chinese. May not be taken for credit by students who took FA 191a in prior years.
Introduces the major scripts and canonical works of Chinese calligraphy. Besides studying historical developments, students gain hands-on experience with producing their own works. The class combines theory and practice to advance understanding of the aesthetic, critical language, and the functions of this enduring art. Usually offered every third year.
Aida Wong

FA 197a Studies in Asian Art
[ ca nw oc ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FA 184a in prior years.
Usually offered every third year.
Aida Wong

HBRW 162b Translation Practice and Theory
[ hum nw ]
Focuses on the practice and theory of Hebrew to English translation. Students will translate and edit authentic materials (literary texts, television series, film, internet sites, speeches and newspapers.) We will also use short texts on the theory and practice of translation in order to reflect on our own translation practices. Usually offered every year.
Staff

HISP 111b Introduction to Latin American Literature and Culture
[ djw dl fl hum nw ]
Prerequisite: HISP 106b, or HISP 108a, or permission of the instructor.
Examines key Latin American texts of different genres (poems, short stories and excerpts from novels, chronicles, comics, screenplays, cyberfiction) and from different time periods from the conquest to modernity. This class places emphasis on problems of cultural definition and identity construction as they are elaborated in literary discourse. Identifying major themes (coloniality and emancipation, modernismo and modernity, indigenismo, hybridity and mestizaje, nationalisms, Pan-Americanism, etc.) we will trace continuities and ruptures throughout Latin American intellectual history. Usually offered every semester.
Jerónimo Arellano, Lucía Reyes de Deu, or Fernando Rosenberg

HISP 142b Literature, Film, and Human Rights in Latin America
[ hum nw ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took HECS 42b in prior years. May be taught in English or Spanish.
Examines literature, film (fiction and non-fiction) and other artistic expressions from Latin America, in conversation with the idea of human rights—from the colonial arguments about slavery and the 'natural rights' of the indigenous, to the advent of human rights in the context of post-conflict truth and reconciliation processes, to the emergence of gender and ethnicity as into the human rights framework, to the current debates about rights of nature in the midst of a global ecological crisis. Usually offered every third year.
Fernando Rosenberg

HISP 152b Monsters and Creatures in Latin American and Latinx Culture
[ hum nw ]
Taught in English.
Explores the role of the monstrous and the creaturely in Latin American and Latinx genre cinema, literary fiction, visual and performance art, and biomedia. We pay particular attention to the ways in which Latin American and Latinx monsters reflect and wrestle with systems of racial inequality, ethnic and sexual difference, and the rise of new technologies on the peripheries of global capitalism. Usually offered every second year.
Jerónimo Arellano

HISP 160a Culture and Social Change in Latin America
[ fl hum nw wi ]
Prerequisite: HISP 109b or HISP 111b, or permission of the instructor.
Examines the relationship between the arts (including literature, film, and fine arts) and society in Latin America during the twentieth century by focusing on three historical conjunctures when this relationship was particularly rich: the political and artistic vanguards of the 1920s (with particular attention to the Mexican Revolution and its aftermath); the 1960s, marked by the historical turning point of the Cuban Revolution; and the decade of the 1990s, characterized by the transition to democracy, the emergence of human rights and other social movements. Usually offered every second year.
Fernando Rosenberg

HISP 165b The Storyteller: Short Fiction in Latin America
[ fl hum nw ]
Prerequisite: HISP 109b or HISP 111b, or permission of the instructor.
Through a study of Latin American short stories, we will reflect on the power of storytelling and fictional narrative to shape subjectivity and community. We will also examine some culturally specific topics reflected in these stories, such as conflictive cultural filiations (pre-Columbian, European, etc), the tension between literacy and oral traditions, the dynamics of modernity in the periphery, and the formation of the reading public and citizenship. This class has an experiential-creative component, as students will have the chance to write fiction applying techniques studied in class. In addition, when the practicum is offered students will have the opportunity to organize a story-telling event working with Waltham's Spanish-speaking community. Usually offered every third year.
Fernando Rosenberg

HISP 167b Twice-Told Tales: Colonial Encounters and Postcolonial Fiction in the Americas
[ hum nw wi ]
Taught in English.
A wide range of modern and contemporary writers and artists in the Americas have examined the legacies of European colonialism in the continent. This course explores this persistent engagement with colonialism in narrative fiction and cinema from Latin American and the United States. The first part of the course introduces key texts from the colonial period, written by European and indigenous chroniclers of the colonization of the New World. In the second part of the course we look at fiction, film, and visual art by Latin American, African American and Native American artists who set out to retell colonial histories in the present, oftentimes in controversial ways. Materials discussed include works by Juan José Saer, Octavia Butler, Coco Fusco, Guillermo Gómez Peña, Gerald Vizenor, Peter Greenaway, and Nelson Pereira dos Santos, among others. Usually offered every second year.
Jerónimo Arellano

HISP 182a Narco Cultures in Latin America and the United States
[ fl hum nw ]
Prerequisite: HISP 109b or HISP 111b, or permission of the instructor.
Explores literature, cinema, visual art, and music that engage with narco cultures and the war on drugs in contemporary Latin America and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. We will situate these narratives and artworks in relation to the history of the commerce and prohibition of mind- and mood-altering substances (e.g. coca, tobacco, mescaline, chocolate) in the colonial Americas. Usually offered every second year.
Jerónimo Arellano

HISP 192b Latin American Global Film
[ hum nw ]
May be taught in English or Spanish.
Studies films that re-imagine Latin America’s place in the world, focusing on how images are produced and consumed transnationally. ‘Traditional’ topics like cultural identity are refashioned for international consumption, and local issues are dramatized as already crisscrossed by global flows of which the films themselves partake. Close analysis of visual representation and film techniques will be complemented in each case by a study of historical and cultural background. Usually offered every second year.
Fernando Rosenberg

HIST 56b World History to 1960
[ djw nw ss ]
An introductory survey of world history, from the dawn of "civilization" to c.1960. Topics include the establishment and rivalry of political communities, the development of material life, and the historical formation of cultural identities. Usually offered every second year.
Govind Sreenivasan

HIST 66a History of South Asia (2500 BCE - 1971)
[ djw nw ss ]
Introduces South Asian history from the earliest civilizations to the independence of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Surveys the formation of religious traditions, the establishment of kingdoms and empires, colonialism and its consequences, and post-independence political and economic development. Usually offered every second year.
Govind Sreenivasan

HIST 71a Latin American and Caribbean History I: Colonialism, Slavery, Freedom
[ djw hum nw ss ]
Studies colonialism in Latin America and Caribbean, focusing on coerced labor and struggles for freedom as defining features of the period: conquest; Indigenous, African, and Asian labor; colonial institutions and economics; Independence and revolutionary movements. Usually offered every year.
Gregory Childs

HIST 71b Latin American and Caribbean History II: Modernity, Medicine, Sexuality
[ djw hum nw ss ]
Studies the idea of "modernity" in Latin America and Caribbean, centered on roles of health and human reproduction in definitions of the "modern" citizen: post-slavery labor, race and national identity; modern politics and economics; transnational relations. Usually offered every year.
Gregory Childs

HIST 80a Introduction to East Asian Civilization
[ djw dl hum nw ss ]
A selective introduction to the development of forms of thought, social and political institutions, and distinctive cultural contributions of China and Japan from early times to the beginning of the nineteenth century. Usually offered every year.
Heyward James

HIST 80b East Asia in the Modern World
[ hum nw ss ]
Surveys East Asian history from the 1600 to the present. Compares Chinese, Korean, and Japanese encounters with forces of industrial capitalism, including colonialism, urbanization, and globalization, resulting in East Asia’s distinctive cultural and social modernity. Usually offered every year.
Heyward James

HIST 111a History of the Modern Middle East
[ djw nw ss ]
An examination of the history of the Middle East from the nineteenth century to contemporary times. Focuses on political events and intellectual trends, such as imperialism, modernity, nationalism, and revolution, that have shaped the region in the modern era. Usually offered every second year.
Naghmeh Sohrabi

HIST 111b The Iranian Revolution: From Monarchy to the Islamic Republic
[ djw dl nw ss ]
An examination of the roots of the Iranian revolution of 1979, the formation of the Islamic Republic, and its evolution over the past 30 years. Usually offered every second year.
Naghmeh Sohrabi

HIST 112a Nationalism in the Middle East
[ djw nw ss ]
Seminar examining the history of nationalism in the modern Middle East. Covers divergent theories and practices of nationalism in the region, and explores the roles of gender, memory, historiography, and art in the formation and articulation of Middle East nationalisms. Usually offered every second year.
Naghmeh Sohrabi

HIST 135b The Middle East and Its Revolutions
[ djw nw ss ]
An examination of the various revolutions that have shaped the modern Middle East since the late 19th century. The course focuses on four different revolutionary moments: The constitutional revolutions of the turn of the century, the anti-colonial revolutions of mid-century, the radical revolutions of the 1970's, and most recently, the Arab Spring revolutions that have affected the region since 2011. Usually offered every second year.
Naghmeh Sohrabi

HIST 174a U.S. Relations with Latin America and the Caribbean
[ nw ss wi ]
Explores United States economic, political, and cultural relations with the major Caribbean nations in the context of U.S. relations with Latin American nations. Topics include interventions, cultural understandings and misunderstandings, migration, and transnationalism. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

HIST 175b Resistance and Revolution in Latin America and the Caribbean
[ djw nw ss wi ]
Focuses on questions of race, gender and modernity in resistence movements and revolutions in Latin American and Caribbean history. The Haitian Revolution, Tupac Amaru Rebellion, and Vaccination Riots in Brazil are some topics that will be covered. Usually offered every second year.
Gregory Childs

HIST 176b Japan and Korea in Modern World History
[ nw ss ]
Investigates the long and problematic history of interactions and exchanges between Japan and Korea from early times to the present. Topics include language, migration, art, architecture, material culture, popular culture, propaganda, and warfare. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

HIST 178a The Middle East and the West: Historical Encounters
[ djw nw ss wi ]
Examines Middle Eastern and Western encounters from nineteenth century to the present. Topics include: travel, Orientalism, modernity, spectacles and world fairs, gender and sexuality, notions of sovereignty, and the immigrant experience. Usually offered every second year.
Naghmeh Sohrabi

HIST 179b India and the Superpowers (USA, USSR, and China): 1947 and Beyond
[ nw ss ]
Examines the history of modern India through its relationships with the "superpowers," USA, USSR, and China. Covering the period between 1947-2018, the course analyses ideological, economic, foreign policy shifts and subcontinental conflict in a constantly changing geo-political scene. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

HIST 180a The Global Opium Trade: 1755-Present
[ nw ss ]
Investigates the history of the opium trade from early times to present. Coverage will include the Anglo-Indian opium trade, the Opium Wars; the political economy of the legal trade; and the complex ramifications of its prohibition. Usually offered every third year.
Heyward James

HIST 182b Modern China
[ djw nw ss ]
Surveys Chinese history from the Ming to Mao, with an emphasis on political, social, cultural, and literary trends; and attention toward ethnic minorities and overseas communities and diaspora. Usually offered every year.
Xing Hang

HIST 183a Empire at the Margins: Borderlands in Late Imperial China
[ djw nw ss wi ]
Explores Ming and Qing China's frontiers with Japan, Korea, Inner Asia, Vietnam, and the ocean from the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries, examining the role of borderlands in forging the present-day multiethnic Chinese state and East Asian national identities. Usually offered every third year.
Xing Hang

HIST 184a Silk, Silver, and Slaves: China and the Industrial Revolution
[ djw nw ss wi ]
Examines why industrial capitalism, which underpins the current world order, first developed in Western Europe rather than China. Comparative treatment of commercialization, material culture, cities, political economies, and contingencies on both ends of Eurasia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Usually offered every second year.
Xing Hang

HIST 184b Swashbuckling Adventurers or Sea Bandits? The Chinese Pirate in Global Perspective
[ nw ss wi ]
Explores the commercial role, political economy, social structure, and national imaginations of the Chinese pirate situated in both world history and in comparison to "piracies" elsewhere. Usually offered every third year.
Xing Hang

HIST 185a The China Outside China: Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Diaspora in the Making of Modern China
[ djw nw ss wi ]
Studies the history of Chinese outside Mainland China, from Hong Kong and Taiwan to Siberia and Africa, from fifteenth century to present day. Ambivalence to ancestral and adopted homelands made these communities valuable agents of transnational exchange and embodiments of Chinese modernity. Usually offered every third year.
Xing Hang

HIST 187b Unequal Histories: Caste, Religion, and Dissent in India
[ djw nw ss ]
Examines the religious, political, and social dimensions of discrimination in India. In order to study caste, power, and representation, we will look at religious texts, historical debates, film, and literature from the Vedic Age to contemporary India. Usually offered every second year.
Avinash Singh

IGS 136b Contemporary Chinese Society and Culture
[ nw ss ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took ANTH 136b in prior years.
Introduces students to contemporary Chinese society, with a focus on the rapid transformations that have taken place during the post-Mao era with a focus on family, gender, sexuality, migration, ethnicity, and family planning. Usually offered every third year.
Elanah Uretsky

IGS 142b Global Pandemics: History, Society, and Policy
[ nw ss ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took ANTH 142b in prior years.
Takes a biosocial approach to pandemics like HIV/AIDS, SARS, and Ebola as shaped not simply by biology, but also by culture, economics, politics, and history. Discussion focuses on how gender, sexuality, religion, and folk practices shape pandemic situations. Usually offered every fourth year.
Elanah Uretsky

IGS 165a Revolution, Religion, and Terror: Postcolonial Histories
[ djw nw ss ]
Examines religious conflict, revolutionary violence, and civil war in modern South Asia. It looks at Jihad, Maoist militancy, rising fundamentalism, and the recent refugee crisis. Usually offered every second year.
Avinash Singh

IGS/SAS 160a The Rise of India
[ nw ss ]
Examines how India rose to become a world power. With one-seventh of the world's population and a booming economy, India now shapes all global debates on trade, counter-terrorism and the environment. How will it use its new influence? Usually offered every second year.
Staff

IMES 104a Islam: Civilization and Institutions
[ hum nw ]
Provides a disciplined study of Islamic civilization from its origins to the modern period. Approaches the study from a humanities perspective. Topics covered will include the Qur'an, tradition, law, theology, politics, Islam and other religions, modern developments, and women in Islam. Usually offered every year.
Carl El-Tobgui

IMES 140a Photology of the Syrian Uprising
[ hum nw ]
Examines how different media use photography and video to depict the evolution of the 2011 Syrian Uprising. It's uses "photology" as a theoretical tool to analyze political and social changes in Syria within the context of other historical, economic, and religious factors. Special one-time offering, fall 2018.
Hassan Almohammed

JAPN 120a Topics in Contemporary Japanese Culture and Society
[ fl hum nw oc wi ]
Prerequisite: A grade of C- or higher in JAPN 105b or the equivalent.
Provides advanced students of Japanese an opportunity to develop reading and writing skills through class discussion, presentation, group work and writing in different genres as a preparation for further advanced studies in Japanese. Familiarizes students with different facets of contemporary Japanese culture and society. Readings are supplemented by films and related visual materials. Usually offered every fall.
Hisae Fujiwara

JAPN 120b Readings in Modern Japanese Literature
[ fl hum nw oc wi ]
Prerequisite: JAPN 120a or the equivalent.
Students read, analyze, discuss, and write about Japanese short fiction by a wide range of modern and contemporary authors. Screening of film adaptations and television programs complement class discussion, which is conducted in Japanese. Usually offered every year.
Matthew Fraleigh

JAPN 125b Putting Away Childish Things: Coming of Age in Modern Japanese Literature and Film
[ hum nw ]
Explores the ways in which modern Japanese writers and filmmakers have represented childhood, youth, and coming of age. A variety of short stories, novels, and memoirs from the 1890s to the present day are read, and several recent films are also screened. Usually offered every third year.
Matthew Fraleigh

JAPN 130a The Literature of Multicultural Japan
[ hum nw ]
"Multicultural" may not be an adjective that many associate with Japan, but as we will find in this class, Japan's modern literary and cinematic tradition is rich with works by and about resident Koreans, Ainu, Okinawans, outcasts, and sexual and other marginalized minorities. Why then does the image of a monocultural Japan remain so resilient? Usually offered every third year.
Matthew Fraleigh

JAPN 135a Screening National Images: Japanese Film and Anime in Global Context
[ hum nw ]
All films and readings are in English.
An introduction to some major directors and works of postwar Japanese film and anime with special attention to such issues as genre, medium, adaptation, narrative, and the circulation of national images in the global setting. Usually offered every third year.
Matthew Fraleigh

JAPN 140a The World of Early Modern Japanese Literature
[ hum nw ]
A survey of the most celebrated works of literature from Japan's early modern period (1600-1868). Explores a wide range of genres, including fiction, travelogues, memoirs, dramatic forms such as the puppet theater and kabuki, as well as poetry in Japanese and Chinese. All readings are available in English translation; Japanese knowledge is not required. Usually offered every third year.
Matthew Fraleigh

JAPN 145a The World of Classical Japanese Literature
[ hum nw ]
A survey of some of the most important works of Japanese literature from its origins to the late sixteenth century, including a wide range of genres: fiction, essays, travelogues, poetry, and drama. All readings are in English. Usually offered every third year.
Matthew Fraleigh

JAPN 150a Desire and Morality in Early Modern Japanese Novels
[ hum nw ]
Examines the diverse short fiction of Ihara Saikaku, a seventeenth-century merchant writer from Osaka. Saikaku's novels and short stories insightfully and vividly explore such themes as homosexuality, vengeance, filial piety, jurisprudence, and the nouveau riche. All readings in English. Special one-time offering, fall 2019.
Motoi Katsumata

JAPN 165a The Tale of Genji
[ hum nw oc ]
Often called "the world's first novel," The Tale of Genji has captivated readers with its narrative of love, rivalry, friendship, and loss for centuries. This class explores what has given the text its prominent place in Japanese and world literature. Usually offered every third year.
Matthew Fraleigh

KOR 100a Introduction to Korean Culture
[ hum nw ]
Taught in English.
Introduces students to major aspects of traditional and contemporary Korean culture. By exploring various socio-cultural elements and issues in traditional and modern Korea, students will be able to identify uniqueness of Korean culture and fully appreciate the roots of Korean culture. Usually offered every second year.
Eun-Jo Lee

LALS 1a Introduction to Latin American and Latino Studies: History, Politics, and Culture
[ nw oc ss ]
Provides a broad overview of the histories, cultures, and politics that continue to shape the Americas, from Tierra del Fuego to the United States. This requires a truly interdisciplinary approach, drawing on all of the disciplines that constitute Latin American and Latino Studies, including anthropology, politics, history, Hispanic studies, and more. Usually offered every year.
Staff

LGLS 124b Comparative Law and Development
[ nw ss ]
Surveys legal systems across the world with special application to countries in the process of political, social, or economic transition. Examines constitutional and rule-of-law principles in the context of developing global networks. Usually offered every second year.
Daniel Breen

MUS 3b World Music: Performing Tradition through Sound
[ ca nw ]
Open to all students. Required of all Cultural Studies track majors.
What are we listening to? Applies engaged listening skills and critical analysis for a deeper appreciation of (non-Western) music as a cultural expression. Focuses on particular traditions as well as social context, impact of globalization, cultural production, cultural rights, etc. Usually offered every year.
Judith Eissenberg

NEJS 6a Jewish History: From Ancient to Modern Worlds
[ hum nw ]
Surveys ideas, institutions, practices and events central to critical approaches to the Jewish past and present. Dynamic processes of cross-fertilization, and contestation between Jews and their surroundings societies will be looked, as well as tradition and change, continuity and rupture. No background in the subject matter is required. Usually offered every second year.
Eugene Sheppard

NEJS 104a Comparative Semitic Languages
[ hum nw ]
An introduction to and description of the Semitic languages, the internal relationships within this linguistic family, and the distinctive grammatical and lexical features of the individual languages. Usually offered every second year.
David Wright

NEJS 113b Law in the Bible and the Ancient Near East
[ hum nw ss ]
Open to all students.
A study of laws and legal ideas in biblical and Near Eastern law "codes," treaties, contracts; economic documents and narratives; the development and function of the documents and ideas; the meaning of the laws; and their significance for the various societies. Usually offered every third year.
David Wright

NEJS 114a Death, Memorial, and Immortality in Biblical Literature
[ hum nw ]
Surveys biblical concepts of death in its social, historical, and literary context. Topics include human mortality and divine immortality, dying as a social process,the afterlife and the 'soul', and communication with the dead. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

NEJS 116a Ancient Near Eastern Religion and Mythology
[ hum nw ]
Open to all students.
An introduction to the religion, mythology, and thought of the ancient Near East. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

NEJS 122a Magic and Witchcraft in the Ancient Near East
[ hum nw ]
Examines magical literature, rituals, and beliefs in the ancient Near East, especially Mesopotamia. Topics such as demonology, illness, prayer, and exorcism are covered; special attention is paid to witchcraft. This course is organized around the close reading of ancient texts. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

NEJS 144a Jews in the World of Islam
[ hum nw ]
Examines social and cultural history of Jewish communities in the Islamic world. Special emphasis is placed on the pre-modern Jewish communities. Usually offered every second year.
Jonathan Decter

NEJS 185b The Making of the Modern Middle East
[ hum nw ss wi ]
Open to all students.
Discusses the processes that led to the emergence of the modern Middle East: disintegration of Islamic society, European colonialism, reform and reaction, and the rise of nationalism and the modern states. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

NEJS 186a Introduction to the Qur'an
[ dl hum nw ]
Traces the history of the Qur'an as text, its exegesis, and its role in inter-religious polemics, law, theology, and politics. Examines the role of the Qur'an in Islamic teachings and its global impact. Usually offered every second year.
Suleyman Dost

NEJS 188a The Rise and Decline of the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1800
[ hum nw ss ]
A historical survey of the Middle East from the establishment of the Ottoman Empire as the area's predominant power to 1800. Topics include Ottoman institutions and their transformation, and the Ottoman Empire as a world power. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

NEJS 194b Sufism: Mystical Traditions in Classical and Modern Islam
[ hum nw ]
An examination of the teaching and practices of the Sufi tradition. Explores the foundations of Sufism, its relation to other aspects of Islam, the development of Sufi teachings in both poetry and prose, and the manner in which Sufism is practiced in lands as diverse as Egypt, Turkey, Iran, India, Malaysia, and Europe. Usually offered every second year.
Suleyman Dost

NEJS 195b Early Islamic History from Muhammad to the Mongols
[ hum nw ]
Introduces Islamic history from the birth of Islam in the 7th century to the Mongol invasions of the 13th century. Students will examine trends in political, social, and intellectual history, focusing on three main periods; Islamic Origins, The High Caliphate, and Fragmentation/Efflorescence. Readings will include primary sources in translation, as well as academic analyses from traditional, critical, and revisionist perspectives. Usually offered every second year.
Suleyman Dost

POL 128a The Politics of Revolution: State Violence and Popular Insurgency in the Third World
[ nw ss ]
Introduction to twentieth-century revolutionary movements in the Third World, focusing on the emergence of peasant-based resistance and revolution in the world beyond the West, and on the role of state violence in provoking popular involvement in protest, rebellion, and insurgency. Usually offered every year.
Ralph Thaxton

POL 144a Latin American Politics
[ djw nw ss wi ]
Examines the development and deepening of democracy in Latin America, focusing on the role of political institutions, economic development, the military, and U.S.-Latin American relations. Usually offered every year.
Alejandro Trelles

POL 147a The Government and Politics of China
[ nw ss ]
Introduction to major themes of Chinese politics, emphasizing the rise of the Chinese Communists and the post-1949 trends in domestic politics, while also surveying historical, sociological, and cultural influences in Chinese politics. Attention to the nature of the traditional state, impact of colonialism, national revolution, and the course of contemporary state development. Usually offered every second year.
Ralph Thaxton

POL 148a Seminar: Contemporary Chinese Politics
[ nw ss ]
A broad and in-depth critical analysis of key issues in contemporary Chinese politics. Emphasis on the role of the state in promoting economic development, social change, and political stability. Focus on struggles for social justice under authoritarian rule. Special attention to the state response to popular efforts to use social media to hold the government accountable for past injustice and to promote open, pluralist discourse. Usually offered every second year.
Ralph Thaxton

POL 162b Middle East Crisis: Competing Explanations
[ nw ss ]
Explores how political developments in the Middle East (e.g. the Arab Spring, ISIS, the Iranian nuclear program) can be seen from a number of different disciplinary perspective. The class provides students a toolbox for understand current and future developments. Usually offered every second year.
Shai Feldman

POL 179a Seminar: China's Global Rise: The Challenge to Democratic Order
[ nw ss wi ]
Explores the implications of China's global rise for the global democratic order constructed by the United States in the aftermath of World War II. Among other issues, we will ask whether China's international strategy in Asia, Africa, and Latin America poses a serious challenge to democratic nations and their support for democratization. Usually offered every second year.
Ralph Thaxton

REL 107a Introduction to World Religions
[ hum nw ]
An introduction to the study of religion; this core course surveys and broadly explores some of the major religions across the globe.
Kristen Lucken

REL 151a The Buddha: His Life and Teachings
[ hum nw ]
Few human beings have had as much impact on the world as Siddhartha Gotama Shakyamuni, known to us as Buddha. This course explores his life and teachings as reflected in early Buddhist literature and Western scholarship. Usually offered every year.
Staff

REL 161a Chinese Religion and Thought: Understanding Confucianism and Daoism (Taoism)
[ hum nw ]
This course aims at widening and deepening students' knowledge of world religions by introducing to them distinctive Chinese religions and schools of thought with emphasis on two most significant ones, namely, Confucianism and Taoism. Usually offered every second year.
Yu Feng

REL/SAS 152a Introduction to Hinduism
[ hum nw ]
Introduces Hindu practice and thought. Explores broadly the variety of forms, practices, and philosophies that have been developing from the time of the Vedas (ca. 1500 BCE) up to present day popular Hinduism practiced in both urban and rural India. Examines the relations between Hindu religion and its wider cultural, social, and political contexts, relations between the Hindu majority of India and minority traditions, and questions of Hindu identity both in India and abroad. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

SAS 100a India and Pakistan: Understanding South Asia
[ djw hum nw ss ]
An exploration of the history, societies, cultures, religions, and literature of South Asia--India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Uses perspectives from history, anthropology, literature, and film to examine past and contemporary life in South Asia. Usually offered every year.
Jonathan Anjaria, Ulka Anjaria, or Harleen Singh

SAS 101a Women Writers from South Asia
[ hum nw ]
Includes literature by South Asian women writers such as Amrita Pritam, Ismat Chugtai, Jhumpa Lahiri, Kamila Shamsie, Tahmina Anam, and Chandini Lokuge. Some of the works were originally written in English, while others have been translated from the vernacular. Usually offered every second year.
Harleen Singh

SAS 110b New Nations, New Stories: Postcolonial Literature
[ hum nw ]
Examines the postcolonial novel written in English within the shared history of colonialism, specifically British imperialism, for South Asia. Writers include R.K. Narayan, Salman Rushdie, Anita Desai, Arundhati Roy, Mohsin Hamid, Romesh Gunesekera and Daniyal Mueenudin. Usually offered every second year.
Harleen Singh

SAS 130a Film and Fiction of Crisis
[ hum nw ]
Examines novels and films as a response to some pivotal crisis in South Asia: Independence and Partition, Communal Riots, Insurgency and Terrorism. We will read and analyze texts from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka in an effort to examine how these moments of crisis have affected literary and cinematic form while also paying close attention to how they contest or support the narrative of the unified nation. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Singh

SAS 150b Love, Sex, and Country: Films from India
[ djw hum nw ]
A study of Hindi films made in India since 1947 with a few notable exceptions from regional film, as well as some recent films made in English. Students will read Hindi films as texts/narratives of the nation to probe the occurrence of cultural, religious, historical, political, and social themes. Usually offered every third year.
Harleen Singh

SQS 160a Transnational Sexualities 
[ nw ss ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took WMGS 160a in prior years.
Explores the transnational production of gender and sexualities across cultures. This course examines how the acceleration of the circulation of information, people, and capital across borders intersects with the development of gender and sexual identities, practices and communities. Usually offered every third year.
Staff