Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.
Director, 2011-12: Karil Kucera (Asian Studies/Art History), East Asian visual culture
Faculty, 2011-12: Robert Entenmann (Asian Studies/History), Chinese History; Rika Ito (Asian Studies), Japanese language and linguistics
The goal of the Asian Conversations program is to provide students with an opportunity to incorporate an off-campus learning experience as well as language study into an extended discussion of the peoples and places that make up Asia. Offered as a sophomore-year sequence, Asian Conversations is open to all majors interested in studying Asia and Asian languages. Students who are studying Chinese or Japanese language are invited to apply for this three-course sequence, which includes an Interim program in China and Japan.
Those accepted into the Asian Conversations program embark on a series of linked courses that explore "Journeys through Asia." Asian Conversations is a learning community that introduces students to some of the key texts of Asia as well as key historical, cultural, political and linguistic constructs through an integrated sequence of three courses. Over that time students pursue conversations with three different faculty members about the issues that have shaped the development of Asian societies over the centuries, ending in the spring term with contemporary Asia.
overview of the program
Asian Conversations is an interdisciplinary program integrating study of the Chinese and Japanese languages with investigations into the culture, history, language and societies of Asia (China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam and more). Whether you plan to major in biology, economics, history, Asian studies, or anything else, the Asian Conversations program offers you an integrated, innovative way to complete required study in foreign language and the liberal arts.
Course Equivalents for General Education Requirements
By successfully completing courses 210, 215/216, and 220 of Asian Conversations, a student fulfills the following general education requirements:
Multicultural Global Studies [MCG] (one course)
Artistic Studies [ALS-A] (one course)
Literary Studies ([ALS-L] (one course)
Studies in Human Behavior and Society [HBS] (one course)
Writing [WRI] (one course)
Oral Communication [ORC] (one course)
How do pilgrims, travelers and migrants make sense of their journeys in Asia? Students explore maps, histories, tales, and guides that define Asia today and in years past, including several classic Asian texts; study how cultural, linguistic, economic, religious, social, and political connections and divisions create and sustain communities in Asia; and plan related projects for their Interim course. Prerequisite: Chinese 112 or Japanese 112 or permission of instructor. Offered annually in the fall semester.
Students pursue guided fieldwork experience in the country whose language they study, either Japan or China. Activities and readings in this course build on the topics from Asian Studies 210 and three semesters of language study. Students continue to explore their understanding of Asia through ethnographic observation, interviews, and site visits. Students develop projects and follow a process of inquiry that will help them understand how ordinary people construct "Asian" culture and society today. Prerequisite: Asian Studies 210. Offered during Interim.
Students pursue guided fieldwork experience in the United States. Activities and readings in this course build on the topics from Asian Studies 210 and three semesters of language study. Students reflect on the experience of Asians in America through readings, site visits, and local interviews. Students develop projects and follow a process of inquiry that will help them understand how ordinary people construct "Asian" culture and society today. Prerequisite: Asian Studies 210. Offered during Interim.
Having looked at how people journey through Asia, this final semester in Asian Conversations considers how ideas travel over time and space. Students examine a range of interpretations of Asia, including the spiritual, literary, philosophical and linguistics. Students are required to publicly present the ideas gathered from contacts made during Interim at the beginning of the semester. Additional materials include memoirs, novels, and films that share individualized interpretations of Asian journeys. Prerequisite: Chinese 231 or Japanese 231 and Asian Studies 215 or 216. Offered annually in the spring semester.