Asian Studies Interdisciplinary Program

Course Descriptions

1105 Introduction to Chinese Culture
3 credit hours

This course surveys aspects of Chinese culture in their historical and social contexts. Topics will be selected by the instructor and may include folklore, literature, language and material culture. No previous study of China or the Chinese language is required.
The Asian Studies Program does not allow students to register or remain in ASNT 1105 if it is judged that the student already knows the course content. The final decision will rest with the Program Coordinator. The course is intended as an introduction for students with little or no previous exposure to Chinese culture.


1106 Introduction to Japanese Culture
3 credit hours

This course surveys aspects of Japanese culture in their historical and social contexts. Topics will be selected by the instructor and may include folklore, literature, language and material culture. No previous study of Japan or the Japanese language is required.

The Asian Studies Program does not allow students to register or remain in ASNT 1106 if it is judged that the student already knows the course content. The final decision will rest with the Program Coordinator. The course is intended as an introduction for students with little or no previous exposure to Japanese culture.


2303 Contemporary Japan: Institutions and Culture
3 credit hours

This course will introduce modern Japan, accentuating the institutions of family, school, and workplace. Emphasis will be placed on values, social participation, and the individual’s position within the context of contemporary Japanese society. No knowledge of the Japanese language is required.


2305 Contemporary China: Institutions and Culture
3 credit hours

This course will introduce modern China, accentuating the institutions of family, school, and workplace. Emphasis will be placed on values, socio-cultural practices, and the individual’s position within contemporary Chinese society. No knowledge of the Chinese language is required.


3300 Multidisciplinary Study of Asia
3 credit hours

This course will introduce students to the study of Asia from a multidisciplinary perspective. Using various disciplines in the humanities, social science and commerce fields, students will review how various disciplines intersect to create a fuller understanding of Asia.


3302 Japanese Film and Literature
3 credit hours

This course will explore the cultural representation of traditional and modern Japanese culture through film and literature. Focus will be on major works of Japanese literature, ranging from pre-modern poetry to modern fiction, as well as their cinematic adaptations. All selected works of literature are in English translation. No knowledge of the Japanese language is required.


3310 Chinese Film and Literature
3 credit hours

This course will explore the rich Chinese culture through representative major works of modern literature, as well as new film and contemporary art in China and Taiwan. Major themes to be considered include the family, the changing role of women, Western influences, modernization, and national identity. All selected works of literature are in English translation. No knowledge of the Chinese language is required.


3800 - 3825 Selected Topics in Asian Studies
6 credit hours

The subject matter of these courses will be announced from time to time. They will cover various aspects of Asian Studies and will be multi-disciplinary in nature. The topics to be examined will be determined by the instructor and/or Department.


3826 – 3849 Selected Topics in Asian Studies
3 credit hours

The subject matter of these courses will be announced from time to time. They will cover various aspects of Asian Studies and will be multi-disciplinary in nature. The topics to be examined will be determined by the instructor and/or Department.


4400 Seminar in Asian Studies
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ASNT 3300 and twelve (12) core credit hours in Asian Studies.

This half course will provide an opportunity for Asian Studies students to integrate their knowledge of Asia in a multidisciplinary fashion. This course may include case studies, specific area studies and comparative approaches to regions in Asia. Both students and faculty involved in the Asian Studies program will participate in this course.


4500 Honours Thesis
6 credit hours
Prerequisite: admission to final year of the honours program.

Asian Studies students are required to submit and defend a thesis to be selected and prepared in conjunction with a faculty advisor.


4800 - 4825 Selected Topics in Asian Studies
6 credit hours

The subject matter of these courses will be announced from time to time. They will cover various aspects of Asian Studies and will be multi-disciplinary in nature. The topics to be examined will be determined by the instructor and/or Department.


4826 – 4849 Selected Topics in Asian Studies
3 credit hours

The subject matter of these courses will be announced from time to time. They will cover various aspects of Asian Studies and will be multi-disciplinary in nature. The topics to be examined will be determined by the instructor and/or Department.


4876 - 4899 Directed Study
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: permission of ASNT Coordinator and instructor.

Intended to supplement or provide an alternative to the regular courses in Asian Studies in order to meet the special needs and interests of students, the course provides an opportunity to study a particular subject in detail and requires from the student some measure of independence and initiative.


Asian Studies Core Courses

Note: With the Coordinator’s permission, relevant courses not listed below may be acceptable for credit towards the Major or Minor in Asian, Chinese or Japanese Studies.

Anthropology (ANTH)

1202 Introduction to Socio-Cultural Anthropology 
2326 Contemporary East Asia
2327 Japanese Society
3309 Peasant Society and Culture

Asian Studies (ASNT)

1105 Introduction to Chinese Culture 
1106 Introduction to Japanese Culture
1107 Introduction to Korean Culture
2210 Indigenous Voices in Modern Asia
2303 Contemporary Japan: Institutions and Culture 
2305 Contemporary China: Institutions and Culture 
3300 Multidisciplinary Study of Asia
3302 Japanese Film and Literature 
3310 Chinese Film and Literature 
3826-3849 Selected Topics in Asian Studies 
4400 Seminar in Asian Studies4500 Honours Thesis
4826-4849 Selected Topics in Asian Studies 
4876-4899 Directed Study

Geography (GEOG)

1100 Global Perspectives on Land and Life 
1200 People, Place and Environment

History (HIST)

1208 Global History: 1450 to the Present
1222 Introduction to East Asian History
2354 Japan before 1800
2355 Late Tokugawa and Imperial Japan 1800-1945
2356 Japan since 1945
2381 China before 1800
2382 China in Revolution: 1800-1949
2383 China since 1949
2393 History of Vietnam
2394 History of Korea
3371 The Chinese Cultural Revolution in History and Memory
3416 Love and Family in China 
4572 Memories of WW II in China
4573 The Rise and Fall of the Japanese Empire

Arabic (ARBC)

1100 Introduction to Arabic: Language and Cultures

Chinese (CHNS)

1101 Introductory Modern Chinese I
1102 Intermediate Modern Chinese II
3300 Advanced Oral and Written Chinese I
3301 Advanced Oral and Written Chinese II

Japanese (JPNS)

1100 Introductory Japanese
2200 Intermediate Japanese
3300 Advanced Oral and Written Japanese I
3301 Advanced Oral and Written Japanese II

Religious Studies (RELS)

1220 Introduction to Comparative Religions I 
1221 Introduction to Comparative Religions II 
2323 The Islamic Religious Tradition
2326 The Hindu Religious Tradition 
2327 The Buddhist Religious Tradition
3010 Vietnamese Religious Traditions
2401 Religions of China and Japan 
3010 Vietnamese Religious Traditions  
3312 Theologies of Liberation
3337 Religions and Art: The East 
3358 Religious Diversity in Canada 
3359 Buddhist Paths
3360 Engaged Buddhism
3370 Introduction to the Qur’an 
3373 Islam in South Asia
3374 Islam in North America since 9/11 
4387 Religious Pluralism
4500 Religions and Orientalism

Basic Arts Requirements

Students may find it useful to note that the following introductory courses available for credit towards degrees in Asian Studies also fulfill Basic Arts requirements:

Requirement 3b
JPNS 1100 Introductory Japanese
CHNS 1101 Introductory Modern Chinese I

Requirement 3c
ASNT 1105 Introduction to Chinese Culture
ASNT 1106 Introduction to Japanese Culture
HIST 1208 Global History: 1450 to the Present
HIST 1222 Introduction to East Asian History
RELS 1220 Introduction to Comparative Religions I
RELS 1221 Introduction to Comparative Religions II

Requirement 3d
ANTH 1202 Introduction to Socio-Cultural Anthropology


Minor in Chinese Studies

Students in the undergraduate Arts program who are not Asian Studies majors can complete a minor in Chinese Studies by completing the following courses: CHNS 1101; ASNT 3300 and 4400; and twelve (12) other credit hours on China in at least two different disciplines taken from the following list:

ANTH 2326, ASNT 1105, ASNT 2305, ASNT 3310CHNS 2200, CHNS 3300, HIST 1222, HIST 2381, HIST 2382, HIST 2383, HIST 3371, HIST 3416HIST 4572, RELS 2327, RELS 3359, RELS 3360.

Transfer credits from other academic institutions may be recognized.