East Asian Studies Department

Courses of Study

EA120s    Nature in East Asian Literature and Culture Combines readings of traditional literature with an exploration of the perceived relationship between nature and man, as reflected in the literary, visual, and material culture of China, Japan, and Korea. Students will improve writing skills through weekly writing reflections, two short essays, and one research paper. Other goals include, hone analytical skills through close reading of East Asian texts; reflect critically on the relationship between the natural world and man in East Asian culture, and how these views might enrich our own; and acquire an understanding of how literature and art can both shape and reflect our world view. Four credit hours. L, W1. Besio
[EA144]    Patterns in East Asian History, to 1600 Listed as History 144. Four credit hours. H.
[EA146]    Modern East Asian History, 1600-Present Listed as History 146. Four credit hours. H.
EA150fs    Foundations in East Asian Studies We explore the foundations of East Asian civilization, with a focus on reading the classical texts of ancient China, Korea, and Japan. As an introduction to East Asian studies as an interdisciplinary field of study, this course considers these foundational texts from a number of perspectives (philosophical, historical, artistic, political, etc.). Students will work on improving writing and research skills. Designed for potential or actual EAS majors and minors; not intended for non-major students with deep exposure to East Asian history and philosophy in primary and secondary school. Four credit hours. H, I. Weitz
[EA212]    Religions of China, Japan, and Tibet Listed as Religious Studies 212. Four credit hours. S.
[EA220]    Contemporary Chinese Art Examines the artistic expressions of China, from the early 20th century to the present day. We explore the roles played by artists and their art in defining and articulating change; consider both traditional and new forms of art (woodcuts, film, fashion, performance); and learn about Chinese art's global identity today. Attending to the complex interactions between art, history, politics, and culture, we investigate focused topics such as: environment issues, society, politics and the state, and popular culture. Three credit hours. A.
[EA221]    Second Language Pedagogy An introduction to current research and theory in the area of second language acquisition (SLA). Students will gain an understanding of theories of SLA; the similarities and differences across first and second language acquisition; and the role of individual differences in language learning (including age, first language, and aptitude, among others). Students will also become familiar with the implications for SLA of sociolinguistic differences for English across time and space in the United States. A humanities lab intended for students who are interested in second language learning and teaching. Four credit hours.
[EA222]    Contemporary US-Japan Relations The US-Japan relationship is one of the most intriguing in modern history. These two disparate nation-states fought an extremely destructive war that lef to a seven-year occupation by the US, and yet they have developed one of the world's most stable and positive political, military, economic, and social relationships. This class will examine how that relationship looks 68 years after the end of the occupation in the age of global communications. American isolationism, and the increased power of China. Topics will include the military alliance in light of a strengthen China and the Japanese government's attempt to cahnge the Constitution, ecnomic relations in a post-Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) world, the fate of cross-cultural programs such as the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. Three credit hours.
[EA223]    Asian Science and Society Listed as Science, Technology, and Society 223. Four credit hours.
[EA224]    Music and Culture in Modern China Explores Chinese music in relation to China's modern history (1911-to-present)and key cultural elements. Surveys a wide range of genres from traditional to modern, from colonial Shanghai to Mao's proletarian art, and from folk to rock. Examines the unique role of music in Chinese society through wars, nation building, and idealogical conflicts. Knowledge of Chinese language is not required. Three credit hours. A.
EA225s    China in Transition Listed ae Anthropology 225. Four credit hours. S, I. Hriskos
EA228s    Language, Gender, and Sexuality: East Asian Languages Explores the relationship between language and gender in three East Asian cultural contexts (Japan, China, Korea). We examine: (1) the linguistic treatment of diverse genders; (2) the linguistic performance by people with diverse gender identities; (3) the normative ideology of language and gender and its implications; (4) the historical development of gendered speech norms and their associated ideology; and (5) the relation between the normative ideology and the range of real speaking practices that constitute verbal lives. Previously offered as East Asian Studies 298 (Spring 2022). Four credit hours. S, I. Abe
[EA231]    The Chinese Novel: Vignettes of Life in Imperial China A critical examination of the development of classical Chinese literature of various genres such as poetry, popular songs, philosophical discourse, historical narrative, prose, fiction, tales of the supernatural and the fantastic, romance, and drama. All readings are in English translation. Prerequisite: W1 course. Four credit hours. L.
EA232s    Male Friendship in Chinese Literature A survey of Chinese literature through the prism of male friendship. Friendship, particularly among men, was a theme that resonated powerfully in traditional Chinese literature. We will read and discuss a variety of literary works on friendship and famous friends from philosophical and historical prose, poetry, fiction, and drama, as well as related scholarship on these works. Among the issues explored: the search for a soul mateƱ as a search for self, the primacy of male homosocial relationships over other ties, and shifting definitions of masculinity. Students will hone critical reading and writing skills, along with intercultural awareness. Four credit hours. L, D. Besio
EA235f    A Shrimp Between Whales: The Making of Modern Korea, 1800-1945 Listed as History 235. Four credit hours. H, I. Diederich
EA242s    Development and Environmental Issues in Contemporary China Although China is the second largest economy in the world, it is still a developing country on the per capita basis. As China is undergoing rapid urbanization and industrialization in the past four decades, it faces a diverse range of developmental and environmental challenges. This course adopts a multidisciplinary approach to study the environmental governance and challenges in China. Students explore complex issues concerning developmental rights and environmental protection, human costs of cheap labor and rapid urbanization, and of rising inequality, environmental (in)justice, various forms of environmental activism, and environmental policy-making and implementation in China. Four credit hours. S, I. Zhang
EA244s    Brothers at War: The Two Koreas, 1945-Present Listed as History 244. Four credit hours. H, I. Diederich
[EA250]    History of Modern China: Everyday Life and Revolution Listed as History 250. Four credit hours. H, I.
[EA252]    Hell on Earth? Chinese Writers on Modern Chinese Society An examination of how Chinese writers used literature and film to address the political and social crises their country faced during the 20th century. Through close readings of literary and cinematic works, students will reflect critically on the experiences of the Chinese people as they struggled to modernize and reform society. Students will reflect on what these experiences might teach us about our own society as well as contemporary China, and they will develop their ability to express insights both orally and in writing. Four credit hours. L, I.
EA253f    Three Kingdoms in Chinese Literature China's Three Kingdoms Period (220-280 BCE) inspired thrilling stories that were told and retold in the following centuries, in China and throughout Asia. By tracing the migration of the Three Kingdoms story cycle over time and space, students will acquire an understanding of the continuing legacy of traditional Chinese culture up until the present, and will become familiar with the defining characteristics and formal requirements of the major genres within Chinese literature. Course goals include the development of critical thinking and research skills, as well as the ability to communicate insights effectively, orally and in writing. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. L. Besio
EA254f    Global-Local Asia Listed as Anthropology 254. Four credit hours. S, I. Mills
EA256s    Introduction to East Asian Politics Listed as Government 256. Four credit hours. S. Martin
[EA261]    Japanese Language and Culture An introductory course on Japan in which we explore a global perspective of how Japanese people interact and see the world through knowledge of their own culture and language. Examines cultural patterns of Japanese society by looking at various political, social, economic, and gender relations among people in current times. Analyzes the variety of ways in which culture is consumed, reconstructed, reproduced, and manipulated in various local contexts. All readings are in English, but students are expected to memorize Japanese terms that signify Japanese culture and language. Four credit hours. S.
[EA263]    Buddhism across East Asia Introduces students to the histories, texts, material culture, and practices of Buddhism in East Asian cultural settings. The spring 2021 offering will focus on Chan/Son/Zen traditions in China, Korea, and Japan. Is there really such a thing as Zen? To answer this question we will do intensive reading of key primary texts (such as the Platform Sutra) and important historical and critical secondary works. Four credit hours. L.
[EA265]    Chinese Philosophy Listed as Philosophy 265. Four credit hours.
EA266f    Buddhist Philosophy Listed as Philosophy 266. Four credit hours. L. Behuniak
[EA268]    Politics of Satire and Humor in Modern China Explores the evolving role of satire, jokes, and comics in modern China from the Republican Period (1912-48) to Maoist China (1949-78) and reform-era China (1978-present). Particular attention to new and historical forms and targets of Chinese political humor as a way to understand changing state-society relations. Should the proliferation of political humor on the Internet be seen as a sign of new political openness or a part of everyday forms of resistance under authoritarian rule in contemporary China? Four credit hours. S, I.
[EA273]    Survey of East Asian Art, to 1300 Introduces the arts and cultures of Asia from the prehistoric period to 1300 CE, with due attention paid to basic art-historical methods and techniques. Lectures focus on critical analysis of artistic style, technique, expression, subject matter, iconography, and patronage. Students learn about the history and beliefs of East Asia, including Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto. At the same time, they enhance their visual literacy skills, including recognizing the cultural forces underlying viewing expectations and experiences. Students develop and demonstrate these skills through weekly quizzes, a paper, and two examinations. Four credit hours. A.
EA274s    East Asian Art and Architecture, 1300 to the Present Introduces the arts and cultures of East Asia from 1300 CE to the present, with due attention paid to basic art-historical methods and techniques. Lectures focus on critical analysis of artistic style, technique, expression, subject matter, iconography, and patronage. Students learn about the history and beliefs of East Asia, including Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto. At the same time, they enhance their visual literacy skills, including recognizing the cultural forces underlying viewing expectations and experiences. Students develop and demonstrate these skills through weekly quizzes, a paper, and two examinations. Four credit hours. A. Weitz
EA275fs    Cultured Tough Guys: Samurai Devotion, Music, Poetry, and Art Listed as Music 275. Four credit hours. A, I. Nuss
EA276f    Zen and the Arts in Asia Introduction to Zen philosophy, history, and practice, with an emphasis on the ways in which the religion has transformed the aesthetic outlook and artistic production in China, Japan, and the United States. Through class discussions, group projects, and individual writing assignments, students hone their textual and visual analysis skills by actively reading a variety of art forms through the lens of Zen concepts and practices. Students achieve a basic competency in East Asian historical development and Buddhist religious thought, and learn about the aesthetic implications of belief, including an examination of how their own cultures and belief systems color their experiences of the arts. Four credit hours. A. Weitz
EA277f    Culture of Cuteness: Japanese Women (in English) Surveys the diverse experiences of Japanese womanhood. While the stereotypical image of Japanese women being humble and reserved persists, we will challenge these images by examining how Japanese women manipulate their gender roles to negotiate their power and status both within and outside the family system. We will also examine the complex factors that frame the phenomena of "cuteness" in Japan. By exploring the diversity of Japanese women's everyday lives, we will analyze how the notion of cuteness has been explored and/or rejected and how a broader band of girl culture extends to adult women and their power as consumers. All readings are in English. Four credit hours. S, D, I. Abe
[EA279]    Economic Rise and Future of China Listed as Economics 279. Four credit hours. I.
[EA280]    Topics in Global Cinema: Contemporary Japanese Cinema Listed as Cinema Studies 280. Four credit hours.
EA298As    China and the Middle East: Commodities, Ecology, Infrastructure Listed as History 298A. Four credit hours. H. Li
[EA339]    Asian Pacific Modernities Listed as Anthropology 339. Four credit hours.
EA346s    China and the World Listed as Sociology 346. Four credit hours. S, I. Fang
EA351f    Desiring Asia: Gender and Sexuality in East Asia Listed as History 351. Four credit hours. H, I. Diederich
[EA353]    Globalization and the Rise of China Globalization refers to a variety of political, economic, cultural, and social changes transforming our world. Countries are increasingly interconnected by flows of information and technology, capital and labor, ideas and culture. We will use China as a case study to address some major issues concerning globalization: its problems and prospects; terms of trade between and among nations; sweatshop labor; the role of states, markets, and global institutions; human rights and cultural preservation. Prerequisite: Anthropology 112 or East Asian Studies 150 or Government 131 or History 250. Four credit hours. S.
[EA355]    Aging and Public Policy in East Asia Students will combine ethnographic studies with demographic data to compare and analyze how East Asian countries cope with challenges of rapid population aging and to explore public policy shifts regarding state and private responsibility for the wellbeing of the elderly. Utilizing interactive data from the United Nation Population Division to compare and project aging trends including fertility rates, life expectancy, median age, and dependence ratio in East Asia. Students will also make two field trips to local eldercare facilities to gain comparative insight on the challenges of aging and eldercare provision in Maine, one of the grayest states in the United States. Four credit hours. S, I.
[EA356]    Winners and Losers in Japanese Politics Listed as Government 356. Four credit hours. I.
[EA357]    Winners and Losers in Chinese Politics Listed as Government 357. Four credit hours. S, I.
[EA358]    Political Economy of Regionalism Listed as Government 357. Four credit hours.
[EA359]    History of Chinese Feminism Listed as History 359. Four credit hours. H, I.
[EA377]    Japanese Visual Culture Introduces students to conducting art-historical research on an aspect of Japanese visual culture. While the topic changes from year to year, students learn about Japanese cultures of representation, visuality, and display. Topic for Fall 2019: Japanese Woodblock Prints. Prerequisite: Art 101, East Asian Studies 150, or any course on East Asian art history. Four credit hours.
[EA378]    Chinese Visual Culture Introduces students to art-historical research on an aspect of Chinese visual culture. Students learn about Chinese cultures of representation, visuality, and display; they identify and propose innovative research questions; and they write a series of papers answering those questions. Topic for Fall 2018: Natural Science in Chinese Painting. A large segment of Chinese paintings consists of carefully rendered botanical and avian subjects, often generically referred to as "bird and flower" paintings. We will investigate the scientific and cultural context for these images and identify the specific birds and plants. Prerequisite: Art 101, East Asian Studies 150, or any course on East Asian art history. Four credit hours.
[EA483]    Honors Project An interdisciplinary analysis of an aspect of East Asian culture employing diverse sources and methods. Independent study, extensive readings, consultations, and a thesis. Successful completion of the honors project and of the major will result in the degree being awarded with "Honors in East Asian Studies." Prerequisite: Senior standing, a 3.5 major average, and permission of a faculty mentor. Three or four credit hours.
[EA483J]    Honors Project Noncredit.
EA491f, 492s    Independent Study Individual study of special problems in East Asian civilization, offered in the departments that participate in the program. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. One to four credit hours. Faculty
EA493f    Seminar: Advanced Research in East Asia An examination of methods for researching East Asia. Introduces students to the major debates that have come to define the field of East Asian studies, from John Fairbank's "response to the West" to Edward Said's "orientalism," and prepares them with the skills necessary to engage Asian sources for independent research. Students will develop an independent research project on East Asia in any area of the humanities or social sciences, which, with approval from the student's major department, may be developed into a senior honors thesis. Prerequisite: East Asian Studies 150 or relevant course work in East Asia, and permission of the instructor. Four credit hours. Zhang