syllabus - Humanities 1914 (CRN 97204), Fall 2010...

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Humanities 1914 (CRN 97204), Fall 2010 Explorations in Traditional Asian Cultures Class times and location: Tuesday and Thursday 11-12:15; McBryde 226 Instructor: Dr. Peter L. Schmitthenner Office: 111 Lane Hall (enter through 114) Accessibility: Because I’m a department chair, I’m regularly in my office almost every day. Please call 231-6551 if you wish to speak with me or make an appointment. If you need to reach me in the evenings or on weekends, call 552-0687. Please don’t call after 10 p.m. I respond to e-mail ( pschmitt@vt.edu ) regularly during daytime hours on weekdays, but more sporadically at night and on weekends. Catalog Description This course will introduce you to the salient cultural characteristics of the major pre-modern Asian civilizations of the Middle East, South Asia (India, etc.), East Asia (China, Japan, and Korea), Southeast Asia, and Central Asia. Differing visions of the human condition represented by these traditions are compared in case studies incorporating historical, literary, philosophical, and artistic works. Texts (All are available at Tech, University, and Volume Two bookstores. The first text is required by all. The remaining texts are if you pursue certain requirements. See Requirements and Evaluation for details.) * Kevin Reilly. Worlds of History, A Comparative Reader, Volume One: To 1500 . 4th ed. Bedford/St. Martins, 2010. * As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams: Recollections of a Woman in Eleventh- Century Japan . Translated by Ivan Morris. Penguin, 1971. * Women Writing in India , 600 B.C. to the Present. Volume I: 600 B.C. to the Early Twentieth Century. Edited by Susie Tharu and K. Lalitha. The Feminist Press, 1991. * Stewart Gordon. When Asia was the World: Travelling Merchants, Scholars, Warriors, and Monks who created the “Riches of the East.” Da Capo Press, 2008. * Joann Faung Jean Lee. Asian Americans: Oral Histories of First to Fourth Generation Americans from China, the Philippines, Japan, India, and Pacific Islands, Vietnam, and Cambodia . New Press, 1991. Curricular Value of Course This course has no prerequisites. It is intended for students from all disciplines with no or
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little systematic knowledge of pre-modern Asian civilizations. It is an approved Area 2 (Ideas, Cultural Traditions, and Values) course in the University’s Curriculum for Liberal Education. It can also be used towards completing an 18-hour interdisciplinary minor in Asian Area Studies (see instructor for details). Objectives By successfully completing this course the participant will: * gain familiarity with various explanations of traditional Asian human experiences as manifested in selected literary, historical, philosophical-religious, and artistic creations * become acquainted with similarities and differences among several major Asian cultural traditions as well as between those cultures and those of the West * gain a heightened sensitivity toward the global dimensions of major cultural issues * become more aware of the complex inter-relationship among various disciplinary
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syllabus - Humanities 1914 (CRN 97204), Fall 2010...

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