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HUMCORE 22: Humanities Core: Everybody Eats: The Language, Culture, and Ethics of Food in East Asia (CHINA 118, JAPAN 118, KOREA 118)

Many of us have grown up eating "Asian" at home, with friends, on special occasions, or even without full awareness that Asian is what we were eating. This course situates the three major culinary traditions of East Asia--China, Japan, and Korea--in the histories and civilizations of the region, using food as an introduction to their rich repertoires of literature, art, language, philosophy, religion, and culture. It also situates these seemingly timeless gastronomies within local and global flows, social change, and ethical frameworks. Specifically, we will explore the traditional elements of Korean court food, and the transformation of this cuisine as a consequence of the Korean War and South Korea¿s subsequent globalizing economy; the intersection of traditional Japanese food with past and contemporary identities; and the evolution of Chinese cuisine that accompanies shifting attitudes about the environment, health, and well-being. Questions we will ask ourselves during the quarter include, what is "Asian" about Asian cuisine? How has the language of food changed? Is eating, and talking about eating, a gendered experience? How have changing views of the self and community shifted the conversation around the ethics and ecology of meat consumption?
Last offered: Spring 2020 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, Writing 2

HUMCORE 52: Global Humanities: The Grand Millennium, 800-1800 (DLCL 52, HISTORY 206D, JAPAN 52)

How should we live? This course explores ethical pathways in European, Islamic, and East Asian traditions: mysticism and rationality, passion and duty, this and other worldly, ambition and peace of mind. They all seem to be pairs of opposites, but as we'll see, some important historical figures managed to follow two or more of them at once. We will read works by successful thinkers, travelers, poets, lovers, and bureaucrats written between 800 and 1900 C.E. We will ask ourselves whether we agree with their choices and judgments about what is a life well lived.
Last offered: Winter 2020 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

HUMCORE 111: Texts that Changed the World from the Ancient Middle East (COMPLIT 31, JEWISHST 150, RELIGST 150)

This course traces the story of the cradle of human civilization. We will begin with the earliest human stories, the Gilgamesh Epic and biblical literature, and follow the path of the development of law, religion, philosophy and literature in the ancient Mediterranean or Middle Eastern world, to the emergence of Jewish and Christian thinking. We will pose questions about how this past continues to inform our present: What stories, myths, and ideas remain foundational to us? How did the stories and myths shape civilizations and form larger communities? How did the earliest stories conceive of human life and the divine? What are the ideas about the order of nature, and the place of human life within that order? How is the relationship between the individual and society constituted? This course is part of the Humanities Core: https://humanitiescore.stanford.edu/
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

HUMCORE 112: Great Books, Big Ideas from Ancient Greece and Rome (CLASSICS 37, DLCL 11)

This course will journey through ancient Greek and Roman literature from Homer to St. Augustine, in constant conversation with the other HumCore travelers in the Ancient Middle East, Africa and South Asia, and Early China. It will introduce participants to some of its fascinating features and big ideas (such as the idea of history); and it will reflect on questions including: What is an honorable life? Who is the Other? How does a society fall apart? Where does human subjectivity fit into a world of matter, cause and effect? Should art serve an exterior purpose? Do we have any duties to the past? This course is part of the Humanities Core, a collaborative set of global humanities seminars that brings all of its students and faculty into conversation. On Mondays you meet in your own course, and on Wednesdays all the HumCore seminars (in session that quarter) meet together: https://humanitiescore.stanford.edu/.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Krebs, C. (PI)

HUMCORE 113: Looking for the Way (Dao) in East Asia (CHINA 163A)

This course looks at foundations of East Asian thought, including Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism as well as other cultural traditions. The ideologies were first articulated in ancient China (or India) and from there spread to Korea, Japan, and throughout Southeast Asia, where they remain important today. We will read selections from seminal texts including The Confucian Analects, Daode jing, Zhuangzi, and The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch. Attention is also given to other perennial (and often problematic) themes of Asian life and society, including those of conflicting loyalties and violent revenge. Finally, the course examines aesthetic expression in painting and calligraphy that became the embodiment of classical philosophical values and their own articulation of an aestheticized Way, still widely practiced and admired. This course is part of the Humanities Core, a collaborative set of global humanities seminars that brings all of its students and faculty into conversation. On Mondays you meet in your own course, and on Wednesdays all the HumCore seminars (in session that quarter) meet together: https://humanitiescore.stanford.edu/.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Egan, R. (PI)

HUMCORE 121: Ancient Knowledge, New Frontiers: How the Greek Legacy Became Islamic Science (CLASSICS 47, COMPLIT 107A)

What contributions did Arabic and Islamic civilization make to the history of science? This course will read key moments in Greek and Islamic science and philosophy and ask questions about scientific method, philosophy, and religious belief. We will read Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Ibn Haytham, and Baha al-Din al-Amili, among others. What is the scientific method and is it universal across time and place? What is Islamic rationality? What is Greek rationality? Who commits to empiricism and who relies on inherited ideas? This course is part of the Humanities Core: https://humanitiescore.stanford.edu/
Terms: Win | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

HUMCORE 123: Beauty and Renunciation in Japan (JAPAN 163A)

Is it okay to feel pleasure? Should humans choose beauty or renunciation? This is the main controversy of medieval Japan. This course introduces students to the famous literary works that created a world of taste, subtlety, and sensuality. We also read essays that warn against the risks of leading a life of gratification, both in this life and in the afterlife. And we discover together the ways in which these two positions can be not that far from each other. Does love always lead to heartbreak? Is the appreciation of nature compatible with the truths of Buddhism? Is it good to have a family? What kind of house should we build for ourselves? Can fictional stories make us better persons? Each week, during the first class meeting, we will focus on these issues in Japan. During the second class meeting, we will participate in a collaborative conversation with the other students and faculty in Humanities Core classes, about other regions and issues. This course is taught in English. This c more »
Is it okay to feel pleasure? Should humans choose beauty or renunciation? This is the main controversy of medieval Japan. This course introduces students to the famous literary works that created a world of taste, subtlety, and sensuality. We also read essays that warn against the risks of leading a life of gratification, both in this life and in the afterlife. And we discover together the ways in which these two positions can be not that far from each other. Does love always lead to heartbreak? Is the appreciation of nature compatible with the truths of Buddhism? Is it good to have a family? What kind of house should we build for ourselves? Can fictional stories make us better persons? Each week, during the first class meeting, we will focus on these issues in Japan. During the second class meeting, we will participate in a collaborative conversation with the other students and faculty in Humanities Core classes, about other regions and issues. This course is taught in English. This course is part of the Humanities Core, a collaborative set of global humanities seminars that brings all of its students and faculty into conversation. On Mondays you meet in your own course, and on Wednesdays all the HumCore seminars (in session that quarter) meet together: https://humanitiescore.stanford.edu/.
Terms: Win | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

HUMCORE 131: Modernity and Novels in the Middle East (COMPLIT 43)

This course will investigate cultural and literary responses to modernity in the Middle East. The intense modernization process that started in mid 19th century and lingers to this day in the region caused Arabic, Persian, and Turkish literary cultures to encounter rapid changes; borders dissolved, new societies and nations were formed, daily life westernized, and new literary forms took over the former models. In order to understand how writers and individuals negotiated between tradition and modernity and how they adapted their traditions into the modern life we will read both canonical and graphic novels comparatively from each language group and focus on the themes of nation, identity, and gender. All readings will be in English translation. This course is part of the Humanities Core: https://humanitiescore.stanford.edu/
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

HUMCORE 133: Humanities Core: How to be Modern in East Asia (CHINA 24, COMPLIT 44, JAPAN 24, KOREA 24)

Modern East Asia was almost continuously convulsed by war and revolution in the 19th and 20th centuries. But the everyday experience of modernity was structured more profoundly by the widening gulf between the country and the city, economically, politically, and culturally. This course examines literary and cinematic works from China and Japan that respond to and reflect on the city/country divide, framing it against issues of class, gender, national identity, and ethnicity. It also explores changing ideas about home/hometown, native soil, the folk, roots, migration, enlightenment, civilization, progress, modernization, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, and sustainability. All materials are in English. This course is part of the Humanities Core: https://humanitiescore.stanford.edu/
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

HUMCORE 134: Freedom Fighters, Terrorists, and Social Justice Warriors: Protest and Decolonization in South Asia (RELIGST 118)

The South Asian region comprises the contemporary nations of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives. Racially, linguistically, politically, religiously, and in every way diverse, this region has also experienced the challenge of European colonialism, the effects of global climate change, the impact of rapid industrialization and urbanization, and internal conflicts within and between nations. It is also a creatively and intellectually vibrant region in which principles of non-violent resistance, award winning arts and literature, stunning natural environments, and scientific discovery are integral and celebrated. How have South Asians engaged the rapid social change of the twentieth century with decolonization and regional conflicts? What artistic and literary formations emerged from and drove the freedom movements against colonial rule and the nation forming projects that ensued? How have globalization and internal debates about national identities shaped contemporary South Asian societies?
Last offered: Spring 2021 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI
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