2010-11 Catalog

Decorative graphic

Offering Description

Asian Studies: Education, Culture and Contemporary Life

Winter quarter

Faculty: Helena Meyer-Knapp politics and government, Tomoko Hirai Ulmer

Fields of Study: cultural studies, international studies, language studies and sociology

Winter: CRN (Credit) Level 20261 (10)  

Credits: 10(W)

Class Standing: Freshmen - Senior

Offered During: Evening and Weekend

Prerequisites: Because of the the content of this program, students need to be ready to think empathically. Because of the schedule, students must be self-motivated between classes and avoid any but emergency schedule conflicts with the weekend class times. Students will need reliable internet access for work between classes.


In this program we will be focusing on language, culture, history, and social relations, using them to examine relations across Asia today. Our central focus will be Japan and Korea, exploring how they are both similar and different and how each one explains the other in textbooks, newspapers, and popular media.

Japan and Korea each existed for centuries quite isolated from global trade and politics. Both underwent industrial modernization at a rapid pace under pressure from external powers. They co-existed for half a century in a colonizer-colonized relationship. These days they compete head-to-head on the skating rink at the Olympics and on the soccer field. Many Japanese are devoted to Korean soap operas and film stars. Inter-Korean conflicts between North and South are tangible threats to Japan. And all of these issues circulate through the daily lives of Korean and Japanese young people in school textbooks and the popular media, affecting everything from recreation to their views of the wider world.

Each time we meet in this intensive weekend program, we will take up a distinctive cross cultural theme.  Topics will include modernization, colonization, and cosmology. Individual student research projects will take up similar issues, using them to explore relations today between either Japan or Korea, and one other nation in Asia or on the Pacific Rim.

This program is designed for students considering careers in education, business, international relations, or public life with a focus on Asia and the Pacific. Students considering a year abroad teaching English as a Second Language in Asia are particularly encouraged to take this course.

Maximum Enrollment: 25

Advertised Schedule: 9:30a-5:30p Sat (Jan 8, Mar 12) for first and last classes with four intensive weekends in between: 5:15-9:15p Fri & 9:30a-5:30p Sat/Sun (Jan 21-23, Feb 4-6, 18-20, Mar 4-6) ( Note: This schedule changed as of 13 October 2010.)

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: Enhanced Online Learning

Books: www.tescbookstore.com