Asia 150 is an introductory course to Asian cultures, societies, and languages.  Today, Asia is home to 60% of the world’s total population and is a continent where well over 2,000 languages are spoken.  We will employ a variety of theoretical and disciplinary approaches to provide some cohesion to the study of this vast and diverse continent.  Guided by these approaches, the class will use original sources (e.g. film, literature, journalism) to situate topics such as modernity, nationalism, globalization, gender/sexuality, religion, ethnic and linguistic diversity, and the history of colonialism and imperialism within particular Asian contexts.

The course covers the major regions of Asia: East, Southeast, South Asia, West and Southwest Asia (the Middle East) while focusing on thematic issues pertaining to societies across Asia (and beyond).  The assignment of sections of the syllabus to particular countries and sub-regions is meant chiefly for pedagogical purposes rather than for implying categorical boundaries within Asia; one of the themes this class explores is global and regional exchanges and commonalities on the one hand and intranational divisions on the other.

Various professors from Asian Studies and other departments at UNC are invited to our class to share their scholarly expertise on Asia. These guest lectures provide an opportunity for students to become familiar with the wide range of classes on Asia that UNC faculty offer.  It is hoped that these encounters will whet students’ appetites for taking additional classes on Asia and traveling there.  SS, BN, GL.