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Information on this website is posted for historical reference only. Please visit the Office of the Registrar for current requirements.

Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


1. Hindi-Urdu as a Cultural System

10F: 10A

Hindi and Urdu are virtually identical in terms of grammar and basic vocabulary, but they use two writing systems, and vocabulary on the advanced level differs almost completely. Yet Hindi and Urdu have been considered one language at various times throughout their history. Students will learn both writing systems, master basic grammar and conversation, and explore texts and contexts that elucidate the cultural history of the language. Rockwell.

4. Introduction to Arab Culture (Identical to, and described under, Arabic 10)

11W: 12 12W: 2

Dist: LIT; WCult: NW. Abouali.

5. Thought and Change in the Middle East and Central Asia (Identical to, and described under, Anthropology 27)

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

Dist: SOC; WCult: NW. Eickelman.

6. Islam: An Anthropological Approach (Identical to, and described under, Anthropology 19)

11F: 10A

Dist: SOC; WCult: CI. Eickelman.

8. Introduction to Islam (Identical to, and described under, Religion 8)

12S: 12

Dist: TMV; WCult: NW. Reinhart.

9. Hinduism (Identical to, and described under, Religion 9)

11W: 2

Dist: TMV; WCult: NW. Ohnuma.

10. The Religions of China (Identical to, and described under, Religion 10)

12W: 10

Dist: TMV; WCult: NW. Raz.

11. Introduction to Korean Culture (Identical to Korean 10)

11S: 2A

A multi-disciplinary introduction to Korean history, society, and culture, this course covers pre-modern and modern periods, tracing issues such as Confucian statecraft and the consolidation of a “Korean” state, modernity and imperialism (colonization), the Korean War and national division, and the post-war democratization process. In addition to historical texts, the course examines modern Korean life through literature, religion, education, family life, gender relations, and popular media, in conjunction with political and economic transformations. Asking how and why historical events, periods, or people are represented in the way that they are will allow a critical perspective as we examine the formation of Korean culture and identity. All readings are in English. No prior knowledge of Korea or Korean language assumed. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI. Choi.

12. Introduction to Chinese Culture (Identical to, and described under, Chinese 10)

11W, 12W: 12

Dist: LIT; WCult: NW. Blader.

13. Introduction to Japanese Culture (Identical to, and described under, Japanese 10)

11S, 12S: 11

Dist: LIT; WCult: NW. Washburn, Dorsey.

14. The Eye of the Beholder: Introduction to the Islamic World (Identical to, and described under, History 5.2)

10F: 12

Dist: TMV. WCult: NW. Garthwaite.

15. Modern Islam (Identical to, and described under, Religion 16)

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

Dist: TMV; WCult: NW. Reinhart.

17. Introduction to Hebraic and Israeli Culture (Identical to Hebrew 10 and Jewish Studies 16, and described under, Hebrew 10)

12S: 10A

Dist: LIT; WCult: NW. Glinert.

18. History and Culture of Indonesia

11S, 12S: 12

The history and contemporary issues of the island nation of Indonesia—home to the world’s fourth largest population—will be examined in religion, politics, literature and language, with particular attention to the independence movement and the development of a national identity. Course resources will include readings in fiction and non-fiction, work-shops in performing arts, guest instructors, and multi-media materials both by and about Indonesians. WCult: NW. Diamond.

19. Introduction to South Asia

11S: 10A

This course is interdisciplinary, exploring interactions of music, religion, politics, film, and society in the formation of cultures in South Asia. These topics will be analyzed as separate but interconnected facets of contemporary regional identity. While not comprehensive of all aspects of South Asia’s rich and complex cultures, this course will introduce important themes and debates from a wide range of geographical, social, and temporal locations in South Asia and their impact on the world. WCult: NW. Ayyagari.

20. Japan’s Linguistic Modernity: The Anthropology of Japanese Language and Society (Identical to, and described under, Anthropology 50.6)

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

Dist: SOC; WCult: CI. Ball.

21. Topics in Korean Studies

Not offered in the period from 10F through 11S

Selected subjects at the discretion of the instructor. Each course offering will examine a theme, author, period or genre in the context of Korean cultural history, often from a multidisciplinary and comparative perspective.

Dist: SOC; WCult: NW.

24. Asian Performance Traditions (Identical to, and described under, Theater 24)

11S, 12S: Arrange.

Dist: ART; WCult: NW. Chin.

26. Anthropology of Tibet and the Himalayas (Identical to, and described under, Anthropology 32)

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

Dist: SOC, WCult: NW. Gerke.

27. Gender and Modern Media in India

11W, 12W: D.F.S.P. WCult: NW.

28. Contemporary Social Movements in India

11W, 12W: D.F.S.P. WCult: NW.

29. The Spatial Impacts of Globalization in India

11W: D.F.S.P. WCult: NW. Fluri.

30. Global Sounds (Identical to, and described under, Music 4.)

11W: 10A

Dist: ART; WCult: NW. Levin.

33. Discovering an Islamic City

11S, 12S: D.F.S.P.

This course analyzes the historical and contemporary urban life of a traditional Islamic city as seen through the eyes of the town’s scholars, planners, educators, writers, and crafts people, as well as scholarly readings that have shaped discussions in anthropology, history, and the history of religions. Fez is the locus of classical discussions of urbanism, public space, and civic life in the Muslim world. Participating in the life of the city, students have an opportunity to experience first hand its educational, economic, religious, kinship, and political institutions. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW. Reinhart, Green.

40. Topics in Interregional Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

11W: 3A 11F: 2A

In 11W, The Silk Road—the ancient trans-Eurasian network of trade routes that linked Asia with Europe—spawned the world’s first great era of globalization. In our own time, the Silk Road has become a highly visible symbol of transnationalism and cross-cultural exchange. This course examines the Silk Road and its cultural legacy from a variety of perspectives: history, art, music, religion, travel literature, politics, and current affairs. Class sessions will feature frequent guest lecturers and will be augmented by a cultural program of films and concerts. No prerequisite. Dist: INT; WCult: NW. Levin.

In 11F, Magic and Supernaturalism in Asian Literature and Film. This course examines magical and supernatural elements in literature and films from China, Japan, India and Southeast Asia. It studies artistic, psychological and political implications and interregional traditions of folklore and fiction. Literary texts include Pu Song Lin’s Strange Tales from a Studio, Catherine Lim’s They Do Return, Batin Long bin Hok’s Jah Hut Tales and Othman Wok’s Malayan Horror. Films may include Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams, Masaki Kobayashi’s Kwaidan and contemporary works such as Chan Wook Park’s Extremes. Dist: LIT; WCult: NW. Chin.

45. Ethnomusicology (Identical to, and described under, Music 45)

11W: 3A

Dist: ART; WCult: NW. Ayyagari.

54. Arabic as a Cultural System

11S, 12S: D.F.S.P.

Examines the historical and cultural factors and forces that have molded and continue to mold colloquial Moroccan Arabic. This course includes an appreciation of the nonverbal aspects—gestures and body language—of communication and identity in the Moroccan setting. It also offers a minimal functional mastery of practical communicative skills—the sound system, basic sentence patterns, and everyday vocabulary of colloquial Moroccan Arabic—as well as a knowledge of the Arabic script, a key element of Islamic civilization and identity. WCult: NW. Reinhart, Green.

85. Independent Research

All terms: Arrange

Independent research under the direction of members of the staff. Students should consult with a member of the staff in the term preceding the term in which the independent work is to be done.

86. Advanced Independent Research

All terms: Arrange

Advanced independent research under the direction of members of the staff. Proposals must be developed by the student in consultation with a faculty advisor and must be approved by the Steering Committee by the fifth week in the term preceding the term in which the independent study is to be taken. This course is a possible substitute for AMES 91.

87. Honors Thesis

All terms: Arrange

Open only to AMES majors who are participating in the Honors Program. See guidelines under “AMES Honors Program.”

91. Senior Seminar: Research Topics in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

11S: 10A 12S: 2A

Open to AMES majors, this is the normal culminating course for majors. All participants will complete research projects related to their specialization within AMES. If space per-mits, non-AMES majors may enroll after obtaining permission of the instructor.

In 11S, Family and Society in Asia and the Middle East, 1500 to the Present. Abouali.

In 12S, China and the World. WCult: NW. Dimitrov.


All departmental and program courses that have been approved for credit toward the AMES major are listed by area of concentration on the AMES web site:, or on the planning sheets available outside the AMES/DAMELL office in Bartlett Hall or downloadable from the web site.