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Courses

We offer Asia-focused content courses in the College of Arts and Sciences, including topics in history, pop culture, gender, literature, film, and more! We work with departments and programs throughout the college to cross list courses with 50% or more Asia content. If you see a class on campus that you think should qualify as an Asian Studies course – let us know! We are happy to contact the instructor for details. Each semester more of our courses are in the Pathways – check out AS 221, AS 333 Bollywood, AS 338 Islam and Literature, and AS 347 Anime, our popular and Pathways listed courses. You will find Asian language courses in the Department of Linguistics.


Fall 2019 Courses | August 26-December 17, 2019

100 Level

  • AMS 102 The Asian American Experience
  • AS 101 Introduction to Asian Studies
    • Are you interested in a career related to Asia, or considering studying abroad in Asia? Or maybe you just want to know more about its cultures and histories because your classmates, neighbors, and coworkers are from there? What is Asia, anyway, and who and what should we consider Asian? This class is designed to introduce students to the diversity of Asia and to the resources at UB and beyond for studying Asia and Asian diasporas. Students will develop critical thinking and writing skills while exploring the fields of Asian and Asian-American studies. The class will hear from distinguished UB professors who will discuss the latest research, trends, and resources in the field of Asian and Asian-American studies. Students also will start thinking about the impact of developments in Asia on their career goals and be encouraged to consider study abroad opportunities in Asia.
  • AS 181/HIS 181 Asian Civilization I
    • Introduction to major themes and events in the histories of China, Korea, Japan, the Indian subcontinent, and Southeast Asia in early times. Considers the developments of ways of thought, the emergence of and interactions among states and empires, and artistic and literary movements. Our goal is to understand the historical forces and transformations shaping Asia before about 1600. This course is the same as HIS and course repeat rules will apply. Students should consult with their major department regarding any restrictions on their degree requirements.
  • AS 199 SEM Remaking Stories in East Asia

200 Level

  • AS 221 Survey of Asian Literature
    • This course will introduce students to narratives of romance that span Asia’s wide variety of religious, literary, theatrical, and cinematic traditions. Rather than defining romance by what it contains, we will instead consider what romance as a genre does. Through this approach, it becomes possible to examine why certain narratives were compelling enough to be transmitted across and preserved within a diverse range of cultures and historical periods. Texts include English translations of Sanskrit drama, a Hindi Sufi mystical work, an early Japanese novel, recent Bollywood cinema, Korean television melodramas, and the worldwide Harlequin Romance phenomenon. There are no prerequisites for this class. We will be covering a wide range of materials, and it is essential that students complete assigned readings before class and actively participate in class discussions. All are welcome in this class, regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, ethnicity, or religion. I ask that you keep an open mind towards the course materials and be tolerant and respectful of the opinions expressed by your fellow classmates. This course is the same as ENG 222 and course repeat rules will apply. Students should consult with their major department regarding any restrictions on their degree requirements.
  • CHI 280 Survey of Chinese Culture
  • GGS 234 Women in the Middle East

300 Level

  • APY 326 Near East and Mid East Prehistory
    • Archaeology of the prehistoric Near and Middle East from the peopling of the region through the emergence of the first villages and the domestication of plants and animals to the emergence of city-states in the 3rd millennium BC.
  • AS 333 South Asia Cinema: Bollywood and Beyond
    • This course is a chronological exploration of Hindi cinema, stretching from the 1940s to the present. With its flashy “item numbers,” “chocolate” heroes, “masala” films, and “playback singers,” Bollywood films offer delights that no other genre can. But beneath its flashy exterior, Bollywood also offers moral lessons for social uplift, provides examples of changing class and family dynamics, tracks the influence of the West on a decidedly South Asian art form, and has its finger perennially on the cultural pulse of India.
  • AS 345 Contemporary Korean Popular Culture and the Korean Wave
    • This course explores contemporary Korean popular culture by engaging in social and cultural representations from the Korean War to the present day. This course will help students to understand current Korean popular culture as well as the Korean Wave (Hallyu) that is spreading across the globe. This course will also help students to grasp contemporary Korean culture and Korean identity; as well as the values and images depicted in modern Korea. It explores diverse topics including music (K-pop), movies, K-dramas, K-beauty, fashion, food, gaming culture, leisure activities, as well as sports. **NOTE: this is currently listed in HUB as AS 396 – will change to AS 345 soon!
  • AS 347 The Fantastical World of Japanese Anime
    • This course introduces students to this unique subculture and introduces an academic approach to viewing the anime art form. In addition to the focus on specific genres of anime, this course will pay special attention to four influential anime directors; Oshii Mamoru, Satoshi Kon, Hosoda Mamoru and Miyazaki Hayao. This course is designed to be interactive, while it builds a rigorous understanding of the anime medium through its history, its artists, and its institutions. Not only will the course focus on critical analysis of films, it will use anime as a medium by which to study Japanese culture at large, with some attention given to production. Taught in English.
  • AS 390 / HIS 392 History of Chinese Medicine
    • What is Chinese medicine? Many of us today associate it with the exotic practices of acupuncture and herbal remedy, and the all-encompassing concepts of yin-yang and qi/chi. These impressionistic views of Chinese medicine, however, belie a more sophisticated understanding of the long-lasting system of healing. We may ask further: How does Chinese medicine actually work? What are the cultural milieus in which it develops and flourishes? And how do we evaluate it in juxtaposition with modern biomedicine? Overall, this course seeks to not only enrich our understanding of Chinese medicine in the past, but also to utilize historical knowledge to illuminate our ways of living today. [No prior knowledge in Chinese language or history is required.] This course is the same as HIS 392, and course repeat rules will apply. Students should consult with their major department regarding any restrictions on their degree requirements.
  • AS 391 / HIS 391 China and the World
    • Survey of Chinese views of the world order, exchanges in material culture across China’s borders, and the ways in which Chinese governments and people have interacted with the world from the imperial era to the present era of the rise of China. This course is the same as HIS 391, and course repeat rules will apply. Students should consult with their major department regarding any restrictions on their degree requirements.
  • AS 396 Special Topics in Asian American Studies: Buffalo’s Refugees  CANCELED
    • This course will introduce students to recent Asian migrant and refugee communities that have settled in the Buffalo area. By focusing on the politics and history of particular regions of Asia (these may include Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, Iraq, Somalia, and/or Yemen), students will gain insights into the wide range of cultures that make up the fabric of Buffalo today. Guest speakers representing these communities will offer students their perspectives on both international and domestic issues.

400 Level

  • AS 496 Asian Studies Internship
    • Are you interested in developing skills in public outreach, online content, podcasting, and social media? Do you want or need 1 to 3 internship credits? Please email Asian-Studies@buffalo.edu to ask about AS internship options for fall or spring 19-20.
  • AS 498 Senior Research in Asian Studies
  • ECO 418 Economics in East Asia
  • HIS 482 Problems in Japanese History

Spring 2020 Courses | January 27 – May 16, 2020

100 Level

  • HIS 143 Global Inequality and Power
    • 50% Asia content SP20:The increasing interaction of peoples and nations we call globalization benefits some more than others. This course focuses on the historical origins and consequences of a world divided between the rich and poor, the privileged and excluded, the mainstream and the marginalized. Students will consider, among various topics, the emergence of racial and ethnic categories, which accompanied the divergence of a small number of wealthy nations, primarily in the northern hemisphere, from many more poor ones, primarily in the south. They will examine resulting hierarchies that structure other realms of social life, including gender relations, religious conflict, access to education and technology, and environmental degradation. The course also explores how individuals, communities, and societies have challenged dominant understandings of the world, advanced alternative perspectives, and struggled for social justice.
  • AS 182 / HIS 182 Asian Civilization II
    • Introduction to major themes and events in the histories of China, Korea, Japan, the Indian subcontinent, and Southeast Asia in recent centuries. Considers the impacts of colonialism and imperialism, the emergence of nationalist and revolutionary movements, decolonization and the Cold War. Our goal is to understand the historical forces and transformations shaping contemporary Asia, the common experiences that different areas of Asia have shared in the recent past, and what distinguishes the histories of particular Asian nations within a comparative perspective.

200 Level

  • AS 229 Contemporary Asian Societies
    • Introduces students to major features of societies in East, Southeast, and South Asia, and may incorporate material on Central and Southwest Asia depending on the instructor. Discusses the ways in which social scientists analyze contemporary societies and survey theories developed by social scientists to explain social phenomena in contemporary Asian societies.
  • AS 252 Eastern Philosophy
    • Examines selected views, traditions or issues in Chinese, Japanese, Indian or Southeast Asian philosophies.

300 Level

  • AS 317 Japanophilia
    • Did you know that the oldest extant novel in the world was written in Japan over a millennium ago?  This course examines Japanese literature from the dawn of literature to the development of today’s cell phone novels and manga.
  • SSC 317 The Politics of Sustainability – (*with 50% content relating to Asia, satisfies an AS upper level elective requirement!)
    • Focuses on the relationship between environmental problems and the political process. Explores definitions of an environmentally sustainable society. Then we attempt to answer the question of “how to get there from here.” This involves developing a theory of social change by examining a number of case studies. We also study local environmental controversies from a political perspective through firsthand involvement or guest speakers. We also look at national and international environmental conflicts, such as the backlash against mainstream environmentalism created by the “Wise Use” movement and contemporary political forces championing property rights and states’ rights.
  • AS 327 Asia in Motion: Migration and Refuge *FORTHCOMING, pending SUNY approval cancelled
  • AS 329 Politics in Contemporary Asia *FORTHCOMING, pending SUNY approval cancelled
  • AS 333 South Asian Cinema: Bollywood and Beyond
    • This course is a chronological exploration of Hindi cinema, stretching from the 1940s to the present. With its flashy “item numbers,” “chocolate” heroes, “masala” films, and “playback singers,” Bollywood films offer delights that no other genre can. But beneath its flashy exterior, Bollywood also offers moral lessons for social uplift, provides examples of changing class and family dynamics, tracks the influence of the West on a decidedly South Asian art form, and has its finger perennially on the cultural pulse of India.
  • AS 338 Islam and Literature
    • The purpose of this course is to expose students to the wide variety of poetic and prose literary forms associated with Islam, including contemporary English-language novels and translations from Arabic, Bengali, Persian, Tamil, and Urdu originals. We will explore literature through a variety of themes and genres common to the literary traditions of these languages. This will serve to frame larger questions central to the study of Islamicate literatures.
  • AS 350 Japanese Media, enrolling as AS 393 Special Topics: Japanese Culture: From Samurai to Salaryman pending approval of new course number
    • A cultural survey of modern Japan, this course examines how Japanese culture, as seen in the media of animation, comics, music and clothing, evolved over the course of the modern period.  Students will consider how the Japanese people have used popular media to debate political issues such as uniformity and independence, as well as the sociopolitical roles of women and men, in the modern era.
  • AS 367 Food in Asia cancelled
  • AS 368 Modern Japan Since 1600
    • Japan’s emergence as a modern state.
  • AS 376 Buddhist Philosophy, enrolling as PHI 356 pending approval of new course number
  • AS 380 Chinese Tradition and Guanxi
    • Surveys major cultural and traditional elements that have influenced various aspects of contemporary Chinese life. Topics include Chinese philosophical ideals, religion, women, family, education, Chinese language and symbolic reference, literature and art in both traditional and modern China. This course is intended to introduce Chinese culture at its deep level or philosophical value of the Chinese culture. Taught in English; requires no knowledge of Chinese language.
  • AS 395 – END 395 Special Topics: Urban China in Transition
    • This course offers a multi-dimensional exploration of the new urban China. Through projects, students will learn about the unprecedented transformation of contemporary Chinese cities by investigating a diversity of trends in the areas of migration, transportation, suburbanization, walkability and public health because of the new policies and technology advances.

400 Level