Asian Studies Fall 2013 Courses
ANTH 340/440: Issues in the Arts of China: Chinese Contemporary Art
Cleveland Museam of Art
This course explores the artists, works, ideas, and reception of Chinese contemporary art from 1979 to the present. We examine the creation, expression, and performance of Chinese identity in painting, sculpture, ceramics, performance, photography, video/film, and installations. Key issues we will discuss include cultural and artistic history; trauma and memory; political activism and censorship; the body, gender and sexuality; globalization and transnationalism; the rapidly changing urban and natural environment; global audiences and the international art market; and the role of expatriate artists. We will examine art movements and exhibitions as well as individual works and artists through contemporaneous primary and critical sources (in translation) as well as through later scholarship. Visits to the Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals: Zodiac Heads at the Cleveland Museum of Art, attendance at guest lectures, and regular viewing documentary, artist, and feature films are all integral to the course.
Artists included are: Ai Weiwei, Cai Guo-Qiang, Chen Qiulin, Gu Wenda, Huang Yongping, Li Huayi, Lin Tianmiao, Liu Dan, Ji Yunfei, Qin Feng, Wang Guangyi, Wang Qingsong, Ah Xian, Xu Bing, Yin Xiuzhen, Yang Fudong, Yue Minjun, Zeng Xiaojun, Zhan Wang, Zhang Huan, and Zhang Xiaogang. Held at the CMA, open to museum auditors.
FSSY 152: Activism and Identity in Chinese and Japanese Contemporary Art
TuTh 2:45 - 4:00 and Wed. 12:30-1:45
How and why do artists express personal, social, and cultural identity in their art and ideas? In what ways, and to what ends, do artists engage in political, environmental, and social activism? We will explore these questions through the lens of contemporary Chinese and Japanese art from 1979 to 2013. We consider painting, sculpture, ceramics, performance, photography, video/film, and installations. Key issues in our examinations include cultural and artistic history; trauma and memory; political activism and censorship; the body, gender and sexuality; globalization and transnationalism; the rapidly changing urban and natural environment; global audiences and the international art market; and the role of expatriate artists. Visits to Circle of Animals: Zodiac Heads installation by Ai Weiwei and viewing of other works at the Cleveland Museum of Art, attendance at guest lectures, and regular viewing of documentary, artist, and feature films are integral to the course.
HSTY 288: Imperial China: The Great Qing
TuTh 10:30 - 11:20
This course is an introduction to the history of Imperial China, from the fall of the Ming Dynasty in 1644 to the creation of the Chinese republic in 1912. We will explore the major historical transformations (political, economic, social, and cultural) of the last imperial dynasty, the Qing (1644-1911), and develop an understanding of the major social, political, economic, and intellectual cultural forces shaping the formation of modern China. Contrary to commonly-held ideas in both West and in China that traditional Chinese society was timeless or stagnant, historians now see dramatic and significant changes during this period--to the economy, to gender relations, to religion, and to many other aspects of life. This course surveys the social, political, economic, and cultural history of this era, with emphasis on recent research. The main goals of the course will be to acquaint students with the key changes and to show the interplay between economic, social, and cultural changes on the one hand and political developments on the other. By the end of the semester you should have a good sense of how Chinese society was transformed over the course of the 17th through early 20th centuries. The topics we will discuss include urbanization and commerce; gender, family and kinship; education and the examination system; opium and free trade; and ethnicity and nationalism. Offered as ASIA 288 and HSTY 288
POSC 370H: China's Foreign Policy
MWF 11:30 - 12:20
The rise of China as a world power is evident in the country’s more forward foreign policy that began in 1979. At every turn, the United States must consider China wherever American interests are at stake, be it Korea and Northeast Asia, Indochina and Southeast Asia, India/Pakistan and South Asia, or Afghanistan and Iran in the Middle East. As well, the United States is confronted with a China that is consistently aggressive in international trade. This course describes the key factors that make up Chinese foreign policy, including its cultural tradition of dealing with foreigners, its policy-making institutions, the role of the Chinese military, domestic determinants of foreign policy, and China’s growing involvement in international regimes and issues.
The course will examine China’s ever-changing foreign policy strategies, from an aggressive posture to charming its neighbors only to become more strident. The course will also examine China’s role in the global economy, including issues involving perceived mercantilism, currency manipulation, alternative energy manufacture, and China’s role in Africa in the growing competition for energy resources. Throughout the course we will pay attention to how China’s foreign policy relates to international relations theories and what strategies might be used to manage China’s growing role in international affairs.
POSC 353: China's Political Thought and Transition
MWF 2:00 - 2:50
"No state is forever strong or forever weak," said Han Feizi, China's great legalist philosopher. "If those who uphold the law are strong, the state will be strong; if they are weak, the state will be weak." Han believed that as a country's conditions changed, the law and institutions must change to meet those new circumstances. China today faces new circumstances that have caused numerous monumental problems that impact the lives of its people. This course provides a fuller understanding of China's potential for political change -- and the direction it might take. The course examines Chinese political thought from Confucius, Mencius and Han Feizi through Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. Further, what does China's ancient philosophy tell us about China's rise in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries? Does Confucianism remain? These and other political philosophies have influenced China's political culture, which will give shape to what any change might look like. As well, Chinese history may be a guide in how the country has embraced political reform and how it has turned the idea away, often with drastic results.