Spring 2014 Course Offerings

Asian Studies Course Offerings - Spring 2014
Our program offers a well-rounded interdisciplinary approach to the study of Asia, as well as more specialized training in each student's particular area of interest. Courses cover a broad range of topics including history, economics, politics, society, geography, art and art history, business, film, and literature. The program faculty has rich and diverse interests that span from pre-modern times to the present day. Variety and depth are added to our students' regular coursework through experiential learning, including study abroad in Asia and internships in St. Cloud and the Twin Cities. Further, we understand that language is critical to understanding Asia: our students have access to three years of Chinese and Japanese language classes through the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

Disciplinary Courses include:

ASIA 200 Into to Asian Studies
Wednesday Evening, 6:15-9:15  (open to all students)
This colloquium course, required of every Asian Studies major and minor, introduces the academic discipline of Asian Studies.  Through modules taught by four faculty members from across the multidisciplinary spectrum, students will acquire an interdisciplinary understanding of Asia's enduring traditions, modern transformations, and recent emergence as a central player in global affairs. 

A Mod:  Understanding Hmong History and Culture in Minnesota
Dr. Deborah Pembleton, W, 6:15-9:15 pm, SJU
Minnesota has the largest population of Hmong people in the U.S How did this come to be and why is this valuable to know? In this mod, students will learn about Hmong history and culture particularly with respect to Hmong people residing in Minnesota.  Through readings, guest lectures, videos, and meal sharing, students will gain an understanding and develop an appreciation for the essence of culture and sense of history of the Hmong in Minnesota in contexts that pertain to daily life.

B Mod:  Gender Inequalities in Asian Economies

Dr. Sucharita Mukherjee, W, 6:15-9:15 pm
The analysis and experience of gender inequalities in any society is critical for complete understanding of human development within it. This mod focuses on studying gender inequalities between women and men in Asian economies that have had recent or continuing experiences of otherwise rapid economic development. Through a study of issues from academic papers, newspaper articles and other media we seek to understand and question the persistence of deep seated patriarchal norms which continue to create an unequal playing field for women in these parts of the world even as manifold opportunities for economic prosperity emerge with growing global integration.

C Mod:  History and Philosophy of Aikido
Dr. Charles Wright, W, 6:15-9:15 pm, SJU
People familiar with contemporary movies, television, and computer games are apt to think that they have some idea of what Asian martial arts are about.  For the most part this idea will be mistaken.  The highest aspiration for traditional practitioners of Asian martial arts is wisdom, not victory.  Consequently, these arts frequently embody the teachings of the region's philosophical systems.  In this mod students will first be introduced to some of the philosophical ideas that have shaped the cultural values and beliefs of many Asian societies - the teachings of Confucius, the Tao Te Ching, Buddhism and Shinto.  Then they will examine how these philosophical traditions are woven together in the teachings of the Founder of the Japanese martial art Aikido.  During this unit of the course students will be required to gain direct experience of this philosophy-in-action through weekly practice of Aikido.

Mod D: The United States and China: A Century of Engagement
Joseph Rogers, W, 6:15-9:15 pm
This mod will focus on the history of the interaction between Americans and Chinese over the past century, examining 3 main phases of engagement: engagement during the late colonial period (1919-1949); the Communist era (1949-1978); and Reform and Opening (1978-present).  Particular emphasis will be placed on how Americans and Chinese differ in their interpretation and understanding of this engagement (or lack of engagement).  Students will also be challenged to view this interaction from different cultural and theoretical perspectives.  For example, students will read excerpts from Orientalism by Edward Said, and will reflect on their own motivation and interest in studying China and, more generally, Asia.  Finally, students will focus on the contemporary relationship between the U.S. and China, which is increasingly interdependent while at the same time fraught with competing agendas and potential conflicts.  Students will be exposed to various opportunities available to them for engagement with China (and Asia generally) and will reflect on how these opportunities fit into their overall educational experience at CSB/SJU.

ASIA 399 Senior Capstone (required for majors)
Dr. Richard Bohr, Time TBA (agreed upon between student/instructor)
In this final course of the Asian Studies major, students will generate a capstone paper or project that demonstrates their understanding of the Asian Studies discipline by focusing in depth on one topic selected in consultation with their adviser and/or the Director of Asian Studies.  Students will research and prepare a high-quality project suitable for presentation at Celebrating Scholarship and Creativity Day.

Interdisciplinary courses include:


ART 240F-01A Topics: China in Focus: Photography in China 1850-Present (FA)
Dr. Carol Brash, T/TH, 9:35, CSB
By the 1840s the medium of photography had arrived in China.  Early photographers in China included Lai A Fong in Hong Kong, and Englishman John Thomson, whose later works document the plight of the poor in Victorian London.  The early years were followed by years of upheaval and then of propaganda-oriented images and exhibitions, particularly during the Cultural Revolution under Mao Zedong.  Since the 1980s, photography in China has emerged as a powerful tool for documenting and challenging the dramatic changes there.  During this course, you will explore some of the major themes addressed by Chinese photographers, such as urban problems, the shift from a rural to an urban environment, the transient nature of cities and their residents, and the fragile coexistence of tradition and popular culture in daily life.  The class will be a combination of lecture and discussion, focusing on the history of photography in China, visual analysis of the powerful images, and discussion of how the viewers' context plays a role in the understanding of the works.  Although the primary topic will be the history of photography as art in China by Chinese artists, the course will include a brief history of photography as art in the west and will also examine western photographers who focus on China as a subject.  In addition to doing close readings of primary texts (the photographs), the class will also investigate secondary texts with the aim of placing the photographs and the themes explored in the works in context. 


ENGL 381: Literature by Women (HM, Gender)
Dr. Madhu Mitra, T/TH, 1:05, CSB
This course is designed to introduce students to the diversity of women's writings from Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent. Mainly through novels, but supplemented by poetry, essays and memoirs, we will explore the ways in which women writers have articulated their concerns, challenged or re-inscribed societal and familial roles, responded to political and cultural pressures, and formulated a literary and feminist aesthetic.

A major objective of the course is to examine some of the central issues in the field of gender/women's studies: the socio-cultural construction of femininity and masculinity; the meanings and practices of hegemonic patriarchy; the politics and economics of gender relations/identities.

Some of the writers we will read are Nawal El-Saadawi (Egypt), Huda Barakat (Lebanon), Alia Mamoudi (Iraq), Majane Satrapi (Iran), Sahar Khalifeh (Palestine), and Kamila Shamsie (Pakistan).


ENVR 200A: Environmental Art/Architecture (FA)
Richard Bresnahan, T/TH, 9:35, and Lab on TH, 1:00-3:55
This course focuses on a range of issues addressing art, architecture and their relationship to a sustainable environment. Through analysis of critical theory, students will gain an understanding of the language and critical issues of art, architecture and their impact upon the environment. Through a hands-on approach, students will apply these concepts to make ceramic artwork in the SJU Pottery studio. Students will critically analyze readings, discuss examples of art and architecture and meet with artists in order to expand their understanding of the relationship between art, architecture and the environment.


GBUS 300: Global Enterprise
Prereq GBUS 210, 220, 230 & 240
Sanford Moskowitz, T/R, 8:00  and 9:35, SJU
This course covers the fundamental concepts, issues, and structure of 21st century global business. It explores the historical, cultural, economic, and political underpinnings of the basic themes of, and critical actors operating within international business today. The student learns about the nature of and relationships between the major components (or systems) that make up the international business system as a whole.


HI 115: East Asian History (HM)
Dr. Richard Bohr, T/TH, 9:55, CSB
A survey of continuity and change in the modern transformation of China (including the PRC, Hong Kong and Taiwan), Korea, Japan and Vietnam. This course examines each country's role in the other's development; the impact of Western imperialism on the "modernization" of the region since 1800; and the implications of the "Asian Century."

HI 118: Islam & The West (HM)
Dr. Jeffrey Diamond, M/W/F 10:40, CSB
This class will provide an introductory history of the Islamic World through a comparative analysis of Muslim societies in the Middle East and Asia. We will study the rise and spread of Islam, the emergence of the great early modern Islamic empires, and contemporary Islamic social movements. We also will concentrate on the interactions between Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, highlighting issues that include the influence of colonialism, Muslim-Christian-Jewish relations and Islam as a political, social, and religious force in the contemporary world.

HI 317: Peoples Republic of China (HM)
Dr. Richard Bohr, T/TH, 1:05, CSB
An evaluation of China's socialist revolution since 1949.  Explores the rise of Communism in China; the China of Mao, Deng and beyond; and U.S.-China relations since 1972.  Previews the integration of the PRC,  Hong Kong and Taiwan into a post-communist "Greater China" during the twenty first century." 

HI 381: Readings Seminar - Asia and Empire
Dr. Jeffrey Diamond, Tuesday, 8:20-11:20 am (3 hour block)
While academics and pundits debate if the 21st Century will be the Asian Century -- due to the rise of the economic, military, and political power of India and China, it is important to understand the historical roots that both helped and hindered the rise of Asian countries. During the later 18th century through the early 20th century, European nations were the rising economic, military, and political powers and Europeans used this influence to assert direct colonial control and indirect influence on various Asian societies. Although research historically has often centered on the rhetoric and actions of the colonizers, contemporary historical works have also emphasized how different Asian societies and individuals responded in a variety of ways to European influence -- as collaborators, resistors, and nationalists. We will explore these perspectives through a variety of books in the field that highlight topics such as nationalism, subaltern studies, and gender.

As we explore the history of colonialism and nationalism in Asia, we will read recent historical monographs as well as 'classics' in the field that exemplify different approaches and methods of historical analysis. We will evaluate the methodology, arguments, and evidence of each monograph in order to develop critical historical skills through detailed seminar discussions and a series of essays. Learning how to "read a history book" is an important and rewarding skill to master, and we will discuss and analyze engaging topics in modern Asian history as we develop that skill.


HONR 320: Security: Defense, Diplomacy and Development
Dr. Christi Siver, T/R, 12:45, SJU
In this course, students will explore issues of international security from different perspectives. The course will start by looking at traditional security issues involving violence and warfare, but then move on to economic security, environmental security, and human security. Students will examine the role of states, international institutions, and non-governmental actors in seeking to understand and increase security.

LANGUAGES AND CULTURES (formerly Modern and Classical Languages)

CHIN 112 Elementary Chinese II
Limei Danzeisen, M/W/F, 10:40, CSB
Introduction to the basic elements of the Chinese language. Practice in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, including work with grammar, pronunciation, and culture.

CHIN 212 Intermediate Chinese II (GLP)
Limei Danzeisen, M/W/F, 11:50, CSB
Review and continued study of grammar together with additional training in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. 211 and 212 emphasize Chinese culture and civilization. Satisfactory completion of Chinese 211 fulfills the global language proficiency requirement.

Limei Danzeisen, T/TH, 8:20, CSB
Designed to help students solidify and further their communicative and writing ability in Chinese through contact with various written styles of modern Chinese. Advanced Chinese also provides a basic introduction to contemporary Chinese literature and culture.

JAPN 112 Elementary Japanese II
Masami Limpert, M/W/F, 9:30, CSB
Introduction to the basic structure of the Japanese language. Practice in speaking, listening, reading and writing, with a focus on an accurate command of grammar and culturally appropriate communication skills.

JAPN 212 Intermediate Japanese II (GLP)
Masami Limpert, M/W,F, 11:50, CSB
Review and continued study of grammar together with additional training in speaking, listening, reading and writing.

JAPN 312 Advanced Japanese SPEAK/READ/WRIT (Prereq JAPN 311 or permission of instructor)
Masami Limpert, M/W/F, 1:00, CSB
Review and continued development of grammar together with development of skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing.


PCST 333 :  Theology Violence/Nonviolence (Cross-listed with THEO 345)
Dr. Jon Armajani,  T/R, 1:05, CSB
This course examines theological perspectives on violence and nonviolence ranging from absolute pacifism to just war theory to the celebration of "redemptive violence." Students have the opportunity to do service learning in an organization related to violence and nonviolence.


POLS 121:  Introduction to International Relations  (IC, SS)
Dr. Manju Parikh, T/R, 1:05, CSB
In this course, students will analyze the structure of the international system and explore concepts including power, economic development, war and peace. We will compare different theoretical explanations of significant international events and examine actors and their influence at the international and national levels. We will consider issues of security, global poverty, environmental challenges and cultural exchange. By the end of the course, students should be able to critically analyze international events and approach foreign policy issues with a more developed view of the world.

POLS 223:  Comparative Politics 
Dr. Christi Siver, M/W/F, 1:50, SJU
In this course, students will learn to understand and compare different styles of political and economic organization around the globe. We will research concepts, including democracy and nationalism, and gain greater understanding of what they mean in different contexts. We will also discuss the emergence of new forms of political and economic organization and discuss their implications for international relations. Students will also learn about social science methods commonly used in comparative politics and prepare individual research designs.

POLS 358: Topics:  International Relations/Comparative Politics - Security
Dr. Christi Siver, T/R, 12:45, SJU
In this course, students will explore issues of international security from different perspectives. The course will start by looking at traditional security issues involving violence and warfare, but then move on to economic security, environmental security, human security and human rights. Students will examine the role of states, international institutions, and non-governmental actors that define the contemporary meaning of security.


THEO 345: Theology Violence and Nonviolence (TU. Cross-listed with PCST 333)
Prereq THEO 111 or HONR 240A
Dr. Jon Armajani, T/R, 1:05, CSB
This course examines theological perspectives on violence and nonviolence ranging from absolute pacifism to just war theory to the celebration of "redemptive violence." Students have the opportunity to do service learning in an organization related to violence and nonviolence.

THEO 363:  Religions of the World (TU) 
Dr. Jon Armajani, T/R, 2:40, CSB
This course focuses on major religions of the world cross-culturally in terms of categories such as sacred text, sacred time, sacred space, myth, ritual, symbol, ethics, and politics. The relationships among the religions and topics pertaining to inter-religious dialogue are examined.

THEO 369B:  Modern Islam Political Movements (TU)
Dr. Jon Armajani, T/R, 8:20, CSB

After providing an introduction to the beliefs, practices, and history of Islam, this course will analyze some of the relationships between Islam and politics in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries among Islamist (or "fundamentalist Islamic groups") in the Middle East, South Asia, and other parts of the world. Specifically, the course will examine the histories, ideologies, and structures of groups. This course will examine the religious, theological, and political, foundations of these groups while analyzing their work in education, literacy, social service to people in many sectors of societies (including the underprivileged), religious and political instruction, and community-building. The course will also explore the various perspectives of members of these groups and movements toward peace and violence as well as their religiously- and politically-based reasons for attacking various targets. Finally, the course will compare and contrast those Islamist trends with those represented by some liberal Muslims.