Asian Studies | Course Catalogue

2020-2021 Catalogue

The Asian Studies minor provides students with a foundational understanding of the politics, history, economy, and culture of the region, with particular emphasis on East Asia, as well as intermediate proficiency in one of its major languages. Intermediate language proficiency is required to enroll in some of the minor's upper-level course work. Asian Studies minors are encouraged to take advantage of Wesleyan's study abroad offerings in Asia, as well as the rich cultural programming offered through the Wesleyan College Confucius Institute. Students who graduate with a minor in Asian Studies will be able to pair this course of study with studies in their major field to be prepared for a number of graduate programs and career options.

Minor Requirements: Asian Studies (15 hours)

Required Courses (6 hours)
CHN 212 Intermediate Chinese (3 hours)
or 
JPN 212 Intermediate Japanese (3 hours)
HIS 346 History of East Asia (3 hours)

Electives (9 hours; minimum of 3 hours of 300-level or 400-level coursework)
ARH 216 Age of the Spirit (3 hours)
AST 199 Field Study (up to 3 hours)
AST 250 Introduction to Chinese Culture (3 hours)
AST 296 Special Topics in Asian Studies (up to 3 hours)
AST 350 Contemporary Asia (3 hours)
AST 396 Special Topics in Asian Studies (up to 6 hours)
AST 451 Directed Independent Study (up to 3 hours)
AST 452 Field Study (up to 6 hours)
COM 216 Intercultural Communication (3 hours)
HIS 120 Early Civilizations (3 hours)
or
HIS 125 Emerging Modern World (3 hours)
AST/ENG 205 Perspectives on World Literature (3 hours)*
AST/ENG 347 Seminar in World Literature (3 hours)*
REL 225 Exploring the World's Religions (3 hours)
HIS 305 Twentieth Century Genocides (3 hours)
HIS 323 Empires and Diaspora (3 hours)
POL 335 Politics of the Developing World (3 hours)
TRA 240/242/244/246 Travel Study Seminar (up to 3-4 hours)**

*ENG 205, and ENG 347 will occasionally be offered without sufficient Asian content, at which times they will not be cross-listed as Asian Studies courses.

** TRA course must include travel to an Asian country.

Asian Studies (AST) Course Descriptions

AST 205: Perspectives on World Literature.
Goal:
Through close reading and discussion of literature from primarily non-Western cultures, students explore such topics as the legacy of colonialism in world literature, challenges of cross-cultural literary analysis, and strategies writers use to shape their identities or engender social change. Students will identify issues arising from increasingly complex global connections; analyze how components such as socio-economic status, ethnicity, race, and religion shape beliefs and behaviors; and communicate and interact effectively across cultures.
Content: Each semester this class selects a particular perspective from which to consider authors' use of creative writing to address issues in their lives and the lives of their communities. Such perspectives may include a particular geographical region, cultural phenomenon, or component of writers' identity (for example, African literature, globalization, or expatriated writers).
Taught: Alternative years.
Gen. Ed. Category: Synthesizing Perspectives; Diverse & Interdependent World; (HUM).
Credit: 3 hours; cross listed as ENG 205.

AST 250: Introduction to Chinese Culture.
Goal: This course introduces students to selected topics in contemporary Chinese culture, such as popular culture, food, family structures, daily life, education, and business.
Content: By studying different aspects of Chinese culture students will become more knowledgeable about Chinese life today and how the Chinese participate in the global circulation of culture, identity, tradition, and modernity.
Taught: Annually.
Gen. Ed. Category: Synthesizing Perspectives; Diverse & Independent World; (SBS/PS).
Credit: 3 hours.

AST 296: Special Topics in Asian Studies.
Goal:
To provide an opportunity for exploration of a topic not offered as part of the established curriculum or to explore in greater detail a subject covered by another course.
Content: An in-depth examination of a special topic in Asian Studies. Topics vary. A student may take no more than three semester hours in 296 special topics courses.
Taught: Offered occasionally. (Contact program director for details.)
Prerequisite: Depends on course content; permission of program director.
Credit: 3 hours.

AST 350: Contemporary Asia.
Goal:
To provide an opportunity to complete an in-depth, Asia-focused research project.
Content: Assignments and discussions relevant to completing an in-depth, Asia-focused research project, the nature and content of which will vary.
Taught: Offered occasionally. (Contact program director for details.)
Prerequisite: CHN 212 or JPN 212 or equivalent proficiency in another Asian language; satisfaction of the general education writing requirement; and permission of program director.
Credit: 3 hours.

AST 347: Seminar in World Literature.
Goal:
To study a movement, theme, genre, era or writer(s) focusing primarily on works outside the American and English traditions. The focus of each seminar will vary. Representative topics might include Chinese poetry, the African novel, revolutions in world literature, the Russian novel.
Content: Texts by poets, dramatists, essayists, and/or novelists as appropriate to topic. Critical essays pertaining to relevant works.
Taught: Alternate years.
Prerequisites: ENG 210.
Credit: 3 hours; cross listed as ENG 347.

AST 396: Special Topics in Asian Studies.
Goal:
To provide an opportunity for exploration of a topic not offered as part of the established curriculum or to explore in greater detail a subject covered by another course.
Content: An in-depth examination of a special topic in Asian Studies. Topics vary. A student may use up to six credit hours of AST 396 to fulfill the Asian Studies minor's requirements.
Taught: Offered occasionally. (Contact program director for details.)
Prerequisite: Depends on course content.
Credit: 3 hours. No more than six hours of AST 396 may be used to fulfill the minor's requirements.

AST 451: Directed Independent Study.
Goal:
To enable an intensive exploration of a topic in Asian studies of special interest.
Content: Directed independent work of a on a topic in Asian studies. A student may use up to three credit hours of AST 451 to fulfill the Asian Studies minor's requirements.
Taught: Upon request of student, with approval of sponsoring faculty.
Prerequisite: CHN 212 or JPN 212 or equivalent proficiency in an Asian language and permission of program director. (Contact program director for details.)
Credit: 1-3 hours.

AST 452: Field Study.
Goal:
To provide the student with intensive, specialized work experience in the area of Asian studies.
Content: Observation and participation in the work of Asian studies. A student may use up to six credit hours of AST 452 to fulfill the Asian Studies minor's requirements.
Taught: Upon request of student, with approval of Asian Studies program director and Director of Career Development.
Prerequisite: CHN 212 or JPN 212 or equivalent proficiency in another Asian language required for AST 452; adequate coursework for the placement selected and permission of the faculty advisor; approval of the Director of Career Development.
Credit: 1-6 hours.

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