Fall 2010 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
In Western sciety the rights of the individual are held to be of the utmost importance. The Declaration of Independence extols the value of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" for each person. In East Asia, there was not even a word for "individual rights" until the late 19th century. The interests of the individual were subordinated to the group. One's social role reflected a concern with place in a social hierarchy. This class will explore the relationship of the individual to society in China, Japan and Korea by focusing on five cultural ideals, the ideal of emperor, the warrior, the wife, the revolutionary, and the businessman.
Film will be an integral part of the course. Students will have the opportunity to view several film classics, The 47 Ronin (the national legend of Japan), The Last Emperor (China), Shiri (a spy thriller from S. Korea) and the modern comedy Shall We Dance (Japan).
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Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh
Jonathan Spence, Emperor of China
John Allyn, The Story of the 47 Ronin
Ha Jin, In the Pond
Ogai Mori, Wild Geese
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
3 in class essay tests and 2 response papers. Students will also contribute to an online film review discussion board.