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Course Description:
This course will introduce students to various regions in Asia and some of the fundamental components of Asian civilizations as they have evolved historically and persist in the modern world. Regions might include, for example, East, South and Southeast Asia.

Students read representative literary, philosophical, theological and historical texts. They also study significant works of visual art. Instructors point out cross- cultural linkages and influences within Asia, as a whole, as well as the distinctive characteristics of individual societies. As part of their broader encounter with Asia, students will study Asian forms of artistic and literary expression.

For example, students may study Zen and the art of archery, Zen and the Japanese tea
ceremony, Indian Bharat Natyam dance and its connection to Hindu theistic beliefs, or Chinese dance as an expression of Chinese cosmological beliefs. Students will study social, political and economic changes during the late traditional and the modern periods (16th to 20th centuries). Topics in popular and material culture might include popular art and folk beliefs.

Topics in history and culture might include Indus valley civilization and the rise of Brahmanical Hinduism, the Maoist revolution in China, the colonial and postcolonial periods in
South Asia and the transition to democracy in India. Students may read Midnight’s Children in the