Skip to main content



For the college's course catalog, please visit the Courses section. For courses currently offered, please visit the Schedule of Classes.

A historical and thematic survey of the Buddhist tradition from the time of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, until the present. Emphasis upon the way in which Buddhist teachings and practices have interacted with and been changed by various cultures in Asia, and more recently in North America.
An introduction to the art and visual culture of India, China, Japan and Southeast Asia focusing on historical, religious and social issues and the function of both art and visual culture.
The civilization of China, Japan and Korea from classical times to 1600 C.E. Themes include: the earliest Chinese schools of social and political thought; the genius of political and economic organization which contributed to the unusual longevity of Chinese dynastic institutions; the Japanese adaptation of Confucian and Buddhist practices in different eras; the unique development of Japan's unified feudalism; the Korean development of Neo-Confucianism.
Beginning from an insider's view of how both prince and peasant saw the world around them before the encroachment of the West, this course analyzes the modern transformation of East Asia. Topics include: the conflict of Sinocentrism with modern nationalism in the Chinese revolution, the Japanese road to Pearl Harbor, and the colonization of Vietnam and Korea.
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
Through close analysis of some of the most important recurrent themes, this course will examine how the Chinese and Japanese literary traditions reinvent and revitalize themselves in their development. Students will also study the distinctive features of the major genres in the two traditions.
This course explores the basic teachings and historical development of the most influential religious traditions and schools of thought in East Asia, including Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, and Shinto. Attention is given to classical texts, popular practice and the recent impact of Western culture on East Asian religion.
Japan often conjures images steeped in tradition such as samurai warriors, sumo wrestlers, and geisha clad in kimono. At the same time, however, contemporary Japan is just as easily associated with businessmen, anime, automobiles, and high technology. How have "tradition" and "change" fueled competing visions of Japan what it means to be "Japanese"? How does one go about reconciling these conflicting views? How have these debates evolved over time? How have variously situated individuals and groups in society negotiated shifting circumstances? These questions will be at the heart of this seminar as we consider case studies from different segments of Japanese society. A range of material will be treated as "texts" for analysis and discussion including anime, manga, literary works, and films as well as ethnographic scholarship on Japanese society.
An introduction to Japanese architecture, sculpture, painting and the decorative arts from prehistoric times to the 20th century, with an emphasis on the works in their cultural and religious context.
This course is designed to provide an introduction to modern Chinese and Japanese fiction for the student who has little or no background in the language, history, or culture of these countries. No prerequisite. This course cross-listed with JAPN 235.
Genre fiction (sometimes called "commercial fiction") around the world has been broadly categorized as less-refined, or less literary. Postmodern thinkers have demonstrated, however, that popular fiction can serve as a fascinating lens through which to read place (society, race, gender, etc.) and time (historical period). This class will serve as an introduction to Japan's long, rich tradition of genre fiction. In addition to reading recent criticism of the genres discussed, we will consider representative works, primarily by twentieth-century authors, in three genres: historical/period fiction, mystery/detective fiction, and horror fiction. This course is taught in English. No Japanese language required. This course is cross-listed with JAPN 239.
Classical China left two legacies of lasting importance: a political system that maintained the same tradition for the next two thousand years, and the Confucian ethical system that spread to Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. The course begins with the origins of Chinese history and moves through the first Empire from 220 B.C.E. to 220 C.E.
This course explores visual modes employed in the expression of time and space in the construction of narratives in Asian Art. A variety of pictorial formats including: Wall Painting, Hand-Scrolls, Film, and anime; from southeast Asia, China, and Japan will be examined as case studies to explore and analyze narrative structure.
This course uses film and modern literature to consider responses to political, economic, and sociological changes in Japanese society over the course of the twentieth century. This course is taught in English.
This course examines a special group of Chinese texts that will not only enlighten, but also delight modern readers: ancient Taoist text written in fascinating literary style, and a variety of literary works informed with Taoist spirit. No knowledge of Chinese is required. (Normally offered in the spring)
In this course we will read extensively from the works of the four twentieth-century Japanese authors who have been elevated to the status of canonized writers, that is, whose works are regarded both in and out of Japan as essential in the history of Japanese letters. Note that readings will vary from semester to semester. This course is taught in English.
This course is an introduction to Chinese visual culture from prehistoric times through the Mao era. Organized around a selection of key objects and images, this course explores a variety of art forms from China through diverse contexts such a ritual, gender, imperial patronage, literati ideals, and political icons.
An examination of the basic Confucian texts of the East Asian cultural tradition that define the distinctive traits of what makes us human, and what norms define healthy and happy human relations. We shall read the Four Books of the Neo-Confucian tradition. In plumbing the subtleties of these texts we shall replicate the learning techniques employed in classical Confucian academies. Research essays concluding the course may focus on a Confucian thinker or concept in the Chinese, Korean, Japanese, or Vietnamese cultural traditions of East Asia.
This course is an in-depth introduction to the history and culture of the Tang empire (618-907), widely regarded as China's "golden age." Modern Chinese historical memory idealizes the Tang as an age of great military conquests, exotically "cosmopolitan" tastes in art and music, religious tolerance and cultural diversity, brilliant poets, and free-spirited, polo-playing women. A primary goal of the class is to enable students to take an informed and critical perspective on this romanticized popular image by studying a wide range of historical scholarship and translated primary sources, which they will use to write a major research paper on a topic of their choice.
Japan's military occupation of most of Pacific Asia halted with Japan's unconditional surrender in 1945. Indigenous nationalism naturally emerged in each country or region Japan had occupied: China, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. In many countries the post-colonial hatred of outside domination was the greatest force at play. The freezing winds of the Cold War generated by the United States and the USSR had to find support within this nationalist anger. The course will end with a look at today's post-Cold War trade networks in East Asia that are less dependent on Japan and its inseparable ally, the United States.
In this required course, senior majors will research and prepare the senior thesis.
This seminar examines the nature of information flows within and between nations, the issues raised by such communication, and the institutions involved and patterns evident in the development of and relations between nation-states. The course explores issues surrounding the constituent role that the news and entertainment media have played in the formation and maintenance of the nation-state. Topics raised will include uses of information in domestic and foreign policy, the extension of cultural imperialism, corporate invasion of privacy, and incursions upon sovereignty and national security. In examining the resolution of such issues, the course analyzes how nations' power is distributed and utilized among multiple forces.
Senior Project in East Asian Studies. Selecting two disciplines, the student chooses a topic in East Asian Studies and utilizes the skills of both disciplines to analyze that topic in a major research paper, directed by faculty members in those disciplines. This research project culminates the major and is completed in either semester of the senior year.

Contact Us

East Asian Studies
100 West College Street
Granville, OH 43023

Xinda Lian

Chair of East Asian Studies

What's Happening

More From Denison
Denison Seminars
Denison Seminars
Denison Seminars
Study Abroad
Study Abroad
Living at Denison
Living at Denison
Living at Denison
Career Exploration
Career Exploration