Two new courses are being introduced to the Asian studies curriculum:
Samurai History and Cinema HIST 3635, examines the history of the samurai as a warrior elite in Japanese history and, most especially, film representations of the samurai and Japanese history. The course seeks to show how Japanese history has been interpreted, often romantically if not ideologically, via depictions of the samurai, either positively, negatively, or accurately. In addition to developing a critical perspective on claims about the samurai in Japanese history, the course provides a good introduction to the larger field of Japanese history from ancient times to the present.
Passion and Sex in Asian History HIST 2300 explores Asian understandings of human passion and sexuality by the study of a series of pivotal texts including the Kama sutra, the Gita Govinda, Conference of the Birds, Dream of the Red Chamber, Tale of Genji, and Memoirs of a Geisha. The course covers a spectrum of attitudes toward passion and sexuality from the highly spiritual Hindu and Muslim traditions, to the more secular and humanistic perspectives of China and Japan. In addition to reading classic texts, the course features lectures and class discussions on these topics. Students learn more about human nature and human sexuality, plus considerably more about Asia than is taught in most survey courses.