(135) ASIAN STUDIES: TRADITION AND CHANGE IN CONTEMPORARY ASIA

Asian Studies aims to introduce students to the history, traditions and beliefs of a region that claims two-thirds of the world’s population. Special attention will be paid to exploring the areas of China, Japan, and India as students will learn the foundations of non-Western cultures and apply these perspectives to analyzing contemporary challenges facing the region in modern history, Central to the course will be questions concerning the relationships between tradition and change in Asia. What are some of the most significant Asian Traditions? How are they changing? What are their impacts in Asia today?

A feature of the course in the use of experiential learning and experimentation to cultivate an appreciation for different values and multiple perspectives that are increasingly important in a globalized world. Such activities could include trying on Chinese brush painting or calligraphy, yoga, or even taking a field trip into Boston to participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. In-class activities are varied and include discussions, lectures, large and small group activities, debates, and simulations. Course materials will be drawn from a variety of sources including primary texts, novels, diaries, art, music, ritual, and film. Assessments are diverse and reflect the varied skills used in the course. Creative art projects and analytical history essays, tests and reflection papers form the bulk of what students produce, in addition to the 3rd quarter research paper. (1-3)