Asian Studies

ASIA 2417: Religious Traditions of Asia (5)


This course will investigate major religious traditions of Asia including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism and Shintoism from an historical and doctrinal standpoint. Students will be introduced to the major thinkers and philosophical/theological developments of each tradition. Primary texts will be used to introduce students to how the tradition defines and understands itself. Through specific course requirements including site visitations, students will gain exposure to the practices and doctrines of each faith studied while considering the cultural context and current trends of the tradition. Students will be asked to apply the practical knowledge gained during the course toward informed dialogue and sensitive but critical engagement with the non-Christian traditions studied.

Equivalents: HIS 2417 Attributes: Cultural Understand&Engagement, WK Social Sciences

ASIA 2418: Modern Expressions of Asian Religions (5)


“Modern Expressions of Asian Religions" will investigate the modern development of religious expression regionally through India, China, Korea and Japan. The course will thematically investigate questions stemming from classic areas of religious concern in Asia including: the female and the divine (goddess traditions in India and female shamanism in Korea), mind-body unity (Tendai Buddhist “marathon monks” of Mt. Hiei and the Shugendo tradition in Japan), messianic movements and healing (Chinese Falun Gong), peace and prosperity (Soka Gakkai Buddhism) and apocalyptic “new new” religions (Aum Shinrikyo/Aleph).” Typically offered: Winter.

Equivalents: HIS 2418 Attributes: Cultural Understand&Engagement, Ways of Engaging

ASIA 3387: Christianity in Asia (3)


This course explores the rise of Christianity in Asia as it grew exponentially with the advent of European Christian missions in the fifteenth century. This course examines the ways that Asians have seen Christianity as a foreign religion affiliated with imperial powers and conversely as a universal religion that has been associated with modernity and transformative social institutions. Typically offered: Winter.

Equivalents: HIS 3387 Attributes: Upper-Division, Writing "W" Course

ASIA 3419: Asian Religion, Art and Culture (5)


This course will consider material artifacts, ritual and the use of space in Asian religions as represented in local Seattle places of worship (temples) and as curated by local Seattle museums and public spaces (including gardens). Students will consider how material religion functions to create meaning in the worship space and students will analyze how material artifacts convey meaning and significance and cultural awareness in public spaces. Typically offered: Spring.

Attributes: Cultural Understand&Engagement, Honors Course

ASIA 3765: Family, State and Patriarchy in East Asia (5)


This course explores the making of East Asian family, state and patriarchal traditions from the historical perspective. We will introduce the key belief systems, institutions, and historical developments from classical times to 1800 and how they have shaped the fundamental features of East Asia. The course also examines the ways in which the interactions of family and state were expressed similarly and differently in East Asian countries like China, Japan and Korea.

Equivalents: HIS 3765 Attributes: Upper-Division, Ways of Engaging, Writing "W" Course Restrictions: Freshman students are excluded.

ASIA 3767: Religion, Revolution and Social Change in China (3)


This course discusses the relation of religion and society in the late imperial China through the examination of historical materials on the subject. It aims to help students understand the role of religion in the discourse of China’s social and cultural transformation on the eve of modernization, responses to the spread of Christianity and Western imperialism, and consequential changes of personal and national identities. As a research seminar, the course stresses analysis of primary sources and advanced, integrative historical understanding. Students will read core texts, analyze primary sources, write reading reflections, and then complete a research proposal. No previous knowledge of this subject is assumed. Typically offered: Spring.

Equivalents: HIS 3767 Attributes: Upper-Division, Writing "W" Course

ASIA 3785: Trade, War, and The Making of East Asian Modernities (5)


What roles did Trade and War play in the rise of East Asian powers? To what extent did they shape their identities and political ambitions? The course traces the history from the Opium Wars to the rise of Asian economic powers within the capitalist world-system. The course helps students to understand East Asia's struggles with the Western imported meta-narratives of progress, revolution, socialism, race, equality and Christianity and search for their modern identities in the past 150 years.

Equivalents: HIS 3785 Attributes: Upper-Division, Ways of Engaging, Writing "W" Course

ASIA 3786: Nation, City and Identity in China: From Opium Wars to Megacities (5)


In the past three decades rapid economic development and modernization programs have significantly altered the traditional urban system in China. The country now has the largest number of megacities but the vast “floating population” of migrants continue to struggle with their lack of residency rights in the cities. This course traces China’s urban development since the late 19th century at the backdrop of China’s re-staging itself as a modern power in a global world. It explores how Chinese cities and its urban system have shaped in ideology and practice, and changes to social life and cultural identity in the modern history.

Equivalents: HIS 3786 Attributes: Upper-Division, Ways of Engaging Restrictions: Freshman students are excluded.

ASIA 3788: Pandemics, Empire and Survival of Asia and the World (5)


In this course professor and students will explore how epidemics have played a critical role in shaping the history of empire/state-building in Asia and its global impacts. From the ancient Silk Road to the Covid-19 pandemics, the course tracks the links between history, geopolitics, and the spread of diseases. It highlights the interdependencies of pandemics with urbanization, revolution, nationalism, migration, trade and ultimately the rise and fall of empires in Asia and the world. Typically offered: Spring.

Equivalents: HIS 3788 Attributes: Cultural Understand&Engagement, Honors Course, Upper-Division, Ways of Engaging

ASIA 4899: Asian Studies Capstone: Religion, Culture and Society in China and Asia (3)


This course provides a summative experience for our Asian Studies students. In this course, students will reflect on the interaction of religion, culture and society in China and Asia through comparison. It incorporates the diversity of interdisciplinary approaches in history, religion, linguistic and cultural studies. Students will read and discuss the three books respectively written through the lens of history, East Asian Languages, and literature. The reading and discussion will serve as a base for students to engage more broadly with Asian regions beyond China, such as Japan and Korea. Students are required to develop a research proposal on the topic of religion, culture and society on a chose area of their focus that help them to draw on knowledge from previous learnings. Typically offered: Spring.