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Relevant Courses

The following is a list of regularly offered ALC courses that meet the R&E requirement and/or have a focus on topics related to diversity, equity, and/or inclusion:

R&E Requirement

ASIAN 260: Introduction to Chinese Civilization

Instructor: S.E. Kile

This course provides an introduction to Chinese history from ancient times to the present, with a focus on issues of race and ethnicity. Over the course of the semester, we investigate three problems: (1) China is often seen as a racially, ethnically, and culturally homogenous society, but is this historically accurate? How might considering its heterogeneity help us better understand concepts like “China” and (Han) Chinese, and how these have changed over time? (2) To what extent was the course of Chinese history driven by contact with ethnic, religious, and cultural others, and how did people understand themselves in relation to others? (3) What role did ideas about racial and ethnic difference play in the creation of modern China?  

We draw on case studies from all of China’s major dynasties to engage in critical analysis of the concepts of race and ethnicity, exploring how they are useful as categories of analysis for the study of Chinese history, and where they fall short. By the end of the class, we will have developed a vocabulary and conceptual tools to bring historical examples to bear on contemporary conversations around these issues in China and in the US.

R&E: This course fulfills the Race & Ethnicity requirement of LSA.

Other DEI-Related Courses

200+ Level

ASIAN 200/HISTORY 203: Introduction to Japanese Civilization: Japan Before Today

Instructor: Erin Brightwell

In this class, we pay close attention to the ways that ideas of race and ethnicity are formulated and mobilized in a Japanese context, what we might think of as a mechanics of “Othering.” This will include investigating (a) the politics of national origin myths; (b) the repeated drawing of boundaries between domestic  “mainstream” and “marginal” groups; (c) definitions of national identity in a global setting; (d) the roles outsiders (ghosts, foreigners, monsters) play in the forging and maintenance of group identity; and (e) the importance of real and imagined “pasts” in narrating a culture’s present.

300+ Level

ASIAN 376: Controversies in Contemporary Korea

Instructor: Se-Mi Oh

This course examines key controversies in contemporary South Korea, in connection with North Korea and other countries in the region and the globe, to help us gain a more critical understanding of the issues that drive the debates about class, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, citizenship and diaspora, and history and memory. Topics we cover include the construction of class identity through education and conspicuous consumption and an investigation into the effects of urban revitalization movement and environmental policy. We also probe into the dynamic interplay and contestation around the notion of femininity in popular culture such as K-pop, masculinization and militarization of society, and queer and transgender activism, We also challenge the notion of the ethno-nation by shedding light on the issues of race and ethnicity in the migrant workers, North Korean defectors, and transnational adoptees. Through the discussion of mental health and suicide, and even Seweol tragedy, we highlight the youth as an underrepresented group in South Korean society. We also revisit some historical events to discuss how wars in particular are being reinterrogated in the memory production in regard to comfort women, the Korean massacre of Vietnamese in the Vietnam War, and repatriation and overseas communities such as Zainichi communities. 

ASIAN 380: Dialogue of Violence: Pacific War Cinema

Instructor: Markus Nornes

This course examines issues of race and stereotyping during the Pacific War and its long aftermath, in the United States and in Japan and its empire.

400+ Level

ASIAN 442: Topics in Japanese Studies: Literature of Empire

Instructor: Erin Brightwell

What were the boundaries of the Japanese empire during WWII? While we might most often think of them in geographic or political terms alone, the reality muddied lines of ethnicity, culture, race, and language. In this course, we will examine the continuous redrawing of the edges of the wartime Japanese empire in terms of its interaction in literature (and some film) with other Asians and Europeans. By examining materials such as short stories by colonial subjects who had to write in Japanese or “cultural introductions” by Japanese diplomats who sought to persuade their Nazi counterparts of their worth, we will come to understand how language, literature, and the arts—both German and Japanese—were important tools for creating and promoting images of imperial Japan both within and beyond the Japanese state.

500+ Level