Topics in Religion and Culture in East Asia:


This reading seminar introduces students to texts on and by women in East Asia from the earliest extant writings to the nineteenth century. Texts covered in the first half of the course include philosophical and doctrinal writings that deal with the role of women in society, their fitness for self-cultivation, and their access to salvation. The second part of the course focus is on narrative texts, memoirs and diaries that portray women or that were written by women, drawn from the literary traditions of China, Korea and Japan. Some of the issues students will grapple with are: Are Confucianism and Buddhism, some of the great intellectual traditions of East Asia, inherently misogynistic? Or can they function as liberating forces for women in their search for agency and meaning? More broadly, how can boundaries and constraints contribute to self-cultivation, growth, and even salvation? Previous coursework on East Asia and/or Buddhism is strongly recommended, but no prior knowledge of Chinese, Korean, or Japanese language is required. Undergraduates enroll in the 400-level section; 500-level section is for graduate students only. Prerequisite: junior level or above or permission of instructor.
Course Attributes: AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM; AR HUM; EN H

Section 01

Topics in Religion and Culture in East Asia:
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