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1. Karl H. Potter, Presuppositions of India's Philosophies, Chapters 1, 2
2. M. Hiriyanna, Outlines of Indian Philosophy, Chapters 3,5,7
3. Hamilton, S., A Very Short Introduction to Indian Philosophy (Oxford UP)
4. Matilal, B.K., Epistemology, Logic and Grammar in Indian Philosophical Analysis, Chapter 1.
5. Radhakrishnan & Moore, A Source Book of Indian Philosophy

Introduction to Indian Philosophies and Religions
In this course, the following themes will be discussed:

1. Indian Philosophy: Initial 'maps'
2. The notion of 'freedom' as an ideal
3. Ritual, action and atheism: the Veda and the Mīmāmsā school of philosophy
4. The notions of dharma and karma
5. The notion of 'Self' in the Upanişads
6. The Buddhist revolution and the rejection of a 'Self' notion
7. Indian epistemology
8. Argumentation in Indian philosophy
9. Indian Skepticism

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  • ' ' 04/07/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 08/08/2010 9:00

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Introduction to Chinese Philosophy and Religion

The course focuses on the idea of change as a distinctive feature of Chinese philosophy. The notion of dao as "Way" in Confucianism and in Daoism signifies a doctrine, law, and method, yet it is also the process of walking, and walking is changing. Changing is central in both Confucianism and Daoism in different ways: Daoism is about spontaneous change and Confucianism is about intentional moral change. It is therefore a curiosity that despite some strongly opposing attitudes, both philosophies accept the authority of The Book of Changes (Yijing). The course introduces the idea of constant change as the uniqueness of Chinese philosophical schools. In the course we look into the wisdom of the Chinese philosophy of change in the Yijing, through its understandings in both major Chinese schools.

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  • ' ' 02/02/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 09/04/2010 9:00

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Arindam Chakrabarti, 'Is Liberation (mokşa) Pleasant?', Philosophy East and West, Vol. 33 no.2 (1983), pp. 167-182.
Ben-Ami Scharfstein, 'Immanent-Transcendent Holism: Śankara and Spinoza', in his A Comparative History of World Philosophy: From the Upanişads to Kant, Albany: SUNY, PP.367-405.

Introduction to Indian Philosophy: Part II

The course focuses on the main features of several philosophical schools in India: Nyāya, Mīmāmsā, Advaita Vedānta, Sānkhya and Yoga. We shall also discuss Bhartŗhari's philosophy of language and touch on the Rasa theory of aesthetics. The 'tutorial' (Targil) will be dedicated to Buddhist epistemology, focusing on the philosophies of Nāgārjuna and vasubandhu, and to the debate between the Nyāyikas and the Buddhists.

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Chinese Philosophy Advanced

The advanced level course focuses on revolutionary perspectives in Chinese philosophy. In the class and the section we will explore the philosophies of Confucianism and of Daoism, through a pragmatistic prism.
The class will focus on Daoism as a philosophy of deed: Can "knowing not to know" (zhi wuzhi) be relevant in a philosophical discourse on practical knowledge? And how do "forgetting" (wang) and "without wills" function within its framework? Can "walking back" (fan), "in itself-so" (ziran) and "doing without doing" serve as a foundation for a philosophy of praxis, or could they be stagnating or even dangerous? And finally, can "chaos" (hundun") teach something about world order?

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Contemporary Indian Philosophy
Some argue that Indian philosophy died long back, toward the end of the first millennium A.D., after ankara. In this class I will argue and attempt to illustrate the very opposite, i.e. that philosophy is very much alive and breathing, innovative as ever, to this very day. We will read together prominent contemporary thinkers such as K.C. Bhattacharyya, Pandit Badrinath Shukla, Kalidas Bhattacharyya, Daya Krishna, J.N. Mohanty and Bimal Matilal, to find out what are they dealing with and how they correspond with classical Indian philosophy on the one hand and western philosophy, old and new, on the other. We will also discuss the teaching of four Neo-Hindu thinkers (M.K. Gandhi, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo) and their social and political interpretation of the Upaniadic moka-notion.

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Identity vs. Identification: Hindu Perspectives

In this class we shall focus on a variety of perspectives with regard to self and identity. These different perspectives will be encountered as expressed in the Vedic and the Upanişadic texts, the great epics, the Dharma literature (mostly Manu, with a short reference to the Kāmasūtra), the Sānkhya-Yoga tradition, the Ardhakathānaka a surprising autobiography of Banarsidās, a 17th century Jain merchant, the vision of Rabindranath Tagore, dialogues with Ramana Mahararishi, and finally, contemporary Indian Cinema. If identity is usually seen as consisting of a conglomeration of identifications, then some of the philosophical positions which are to be discussed here posit the very opposite assertion in an attempt to establish a totally different notion of identity, devoid of identification as such.


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Cessation of Suffering Verses Knowledge

In Indian philosophical discourse, the question of liberation from samsric existence was often raised in relation to the question of knowledge. The main objective of this course is to examine that relationship. The debate between Buddhist thinkers and their Nyya counterparts will be used as a case study. Buddhists claim that liberation from samsric existence can be achieved only through correct understanding and knowledge. Nyya thinkers oppose the Buddhist claims. Do they mean to deny the specific way in which their adversaries link liberation and knowledge, or perhaps to cast an over-all doubt as to the meaningfulness of the question of liberation in the context of the epistemological discourse?

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Between Confucius and Don Quixote

In search of a common human voice: Comparative reading in The Analects (Confucius) and Don Quixote.

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Contemplative Life: Studies in Comparative Philosophy

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Personal Identity in Indian Philosophy: Buddhist Perspectives
Seminar
Dr. Khen Lampert

The seminar deals with Indian philosophical discourse of personal identity, while emphasizing its reaction to the Buddhist radical claim of no-self (anatman). We will examine the presuppositions underlying early Indian philosophical understanding of subjectivity (in the Upanishads, Samkhya) and its development in response to the Buddhist challenge. Readings in the philosophical works of the Middle way and Mind only schools as will serve to outline the no-self doctrine and its implications on the understanding of intersubjectivity and the notion of the other.


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Yoga Philosophy: A Close Reading

The seminar focuses on Patajali's Yogasūtra, a central text of the yoga tradition composed around the second or third century AD, and its numerous commentaries, ancient and modern. After a preliminary discussion of the Sānkhya Kārikā, We shall closely read Patajali's short (merely 196 verses) yet extremely condensed yoga-treatise (in my own Hebrew translation) to examine the philosophical and often psychological questions which the author endeavors to deal with. In the process of reading the text, class after class, we will get acquainted with basic yoga notions such as puruşa (Selfhood), prakŗti (the 'objective' world around and within us) and kaivalya ('aloneness', freedom), and follow Patajali's 'correspondence' with the Sānkhya tradition and the Buddhists. I will argue that for Patajali, freedom is an acquired capacity of disengaging objects; of disconnecting or withdrawing the senses from their objects; of suspending ordinary sense-perception (pratyakşa) in favor of 'yogic perception' (prajā). To clarify my argument, I will spotlight Patajali's clear-cut distinction between puruşa and prakŗti, one's 'true selfhood' opposite everything which-is-not-the-self or everything which can be objectified. Together we shall try to figure out what it means to objectify/be objectified, a mechanism closely related in Patajali's thought to the notions of identification and 'appropriation'. Finally, we shall make an attempt at understanding the prajā-notion, replacing sense-perception in the yogi's consciousness, and consequently to sketch the yogi's 'empty world' derived from this non-conventional knowledge-mode. As an appendix to the extended discussion of Patajali's Yogasūtra, we will briefly discuss the contemporary yoga philosophy of Sri Aurobindo, and perhaps even touch on the role and place of yoga in the present-day encounter between India and the west.

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Texts, Riddles, Life

Sometimes philosophical texts embody obscurities that cannot be defined well or be given an explanation. The seminar suggests that rather than be considered a lacuna, some of these obscurities may be considered "riddles" which are resolved in practice. This research seminar asks how we can understand texts from various philosophical and religious traditions as reflecting a "Living Riddle", which is manifested in texts by means of obscurities and paradoxical expressions.
Targeted at this practical aspect, each participant will choose a text that can be put in riddle-language, and analyze what it implies about life.

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  • ' ' 27/07/2010 12:30

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Introduction to Japanese History and Culture

This course traces the development of civilization in Japan from its ancient times to Japan's WWII defeat in the 20th Century.
The course examines the prehistoric beginnings of the Japanese culture. Surveys the political, social, economic and cultural dimensions of Japan Early history (710-1185) and the way this dealt with both original and development of Chinese culture influences while introduced into Japan, by way of Korea. Emphasis is given to the various responses Japan had towards the Chinese civilization.
We will study Japan's Medieval history (1185-1600), as governed by a warrior class, learn about the experiences of nobles, warriors and merchants through lectures and discussion of readings of Japanese poets, female authors, monks, in translation.
Study about the pre-modern history (1600-1867) including the unification of Japan towards a centralized country, modernization process from the end of Tokugawa feudal era and the Meiji Restoration that followed will provide tools to understand the formal period of imperialism, the creation of state-sponsored nationalism, and pre-war society and culture (1868-1945). Where the American dreams for a "New Japan" to concretize in 1952?

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  • ' ' 10/03/2010 18:00
  • ' ' 28/06/2010 12:30
  • ' ' 03/08/2010 12:30

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First Year Japanese

The aim of the course is the acquisition of basic Japanese grammar, the two phonetic syllaberies and a few hundred kanji in order to develop the ability to read unseen texts using a dictionary. In the first year we learn about half of the basic Japanese grammar and kanji. There are weekly kanji tests and intermittent grammar tests. Attendance and homework are compulsory. The final grade is composed of the grades of the two final exams (semester A and B), kanji tests, class participation and homework.

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  • ' ' 26/01/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 26/02/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 15/06/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 19/07/2010 9:00

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First Year Chinese

The course focuses on foundation works of Chinese language, which means an intensified training of Chinese pronunciation, basic Chinese grammars and some 600 Chinese characters. The course features web assisted Chinese learning and aims at a good foundation for students to continue their studies in the future, as well as giving students basic daily communication ability in Chinese.

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  • ' ' 26/01/2010 12:30
  • ' ' 26/02/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 15/06/2010 12:30
  • ' ' 19/07/2010 12:30

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Ritual, Belief, and State: Religion in Traditional Japan

In this Course we will examine the history of religions in Traditional Japan,
from the ancient period to the 16th century. The course will examine social
changes, development of thought, and the creation of various schools and
sects in Japanese religious history. Several major topics central to
understanding Japanese religiousity will be discussed, among them:
"Japanese religion or religions"; What is "Shinto" in traditional Japan; The
relations between local rites and the imported traditions - Taoism, Buddhism,
Confucianism and Christianity; The complex relations of Religion and State,
Religion and Society, Religion and Art; and the religious influences on forming
Japanese culture across the ages.

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  • ' ' 30/04/2010 9:00

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Traditional Architecture in Japan

The course deals with the historic development of Japanese architecture and gardens, from an architectural and aesthetic perspective.
The lectures will demonstrate the way in which Japanese architecture was shaped by the Japanese climate and environment and by its contacts with other cultures.
Lectures are accompanied with a great amount of visual information from Japan and Asia.

Main Themes:

1. Climate and Nature in Japan
The Japanese environmental conditions as the background to the central role of nature in the human culture of Japan.

2. The Japanese House
- East Asian ancient dwellings in relation to environmental conditions
- The Japanese Traditional House and the Japanese Spatial conception reflected in its architecture.

3. Religious Architecture
- Buddhist Architecture form India to Japan
- Chinese waves of influence on Japan through the history and the ways of their adoption and adaptations.

4. The Way of Tea
- The social and aesthetic revolution of the 16th century Japan and its influence on its time and on the next centuries.

5. Japanese Gardens
- The development of the Japanese gardens throughout the centuries, focusing on the sources of inspiration and the aesthetic approaches reflected in the gardens.
- The Japanese Gardens as an example of a design for movement in space.

6. From Edo to Tokyo
- The development of Edo from a provincial town to the Capital City, its spatial organization and its reasons and consequences.

Students' duties:
Students should chose one specific masterpiece and submit a written analytic report on it.
The work should include about 2000 words and sketches, diagrams and photos to accompany the analysis.

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An Introduction to Political Hinduism

This course introduces some pivotal aspects underlying modern India's political and public spheres, via the combined perspectives of political science, comparative religion and classical Indology. Among the topics discussed: India's sacred geography and the Goddess Bharat Mata; the question of history; social structures; Dalits Politics; the concept of Hindutva and the Hindu Right.

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  • ' ' 07/02/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 21/04/2010 18:00

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Modern Japanese Prose

The course is an introduction to prose masterpieces of Japan's modern era. Each of the literary works is widely read and taught in Japan and at the same time world wide known.


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  • ' ' 29/01/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 28/04/2010 18:00

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In the Footsteps of the Buddha:
Philosophy, Psychology and Practice in Early Buddhism

The course will critically examine the philosophy, history, psychology and practice of early Buddhism: from the Buddha's discourses in the Pali canon to early Mahayana Sutras.
The course will examine basic philosophical issues and practices, as they appear in the Pali canon, the earliest Buddhist texts. Furthermore, we will survey the origination of the early Buddhist schools and their relationship to the development of the Mahayana.
We will attend to such issues as the religious, philosophical and cultural background of early Buddhism in India; the story of the historical Buddha; the four noble truths; Buddhist cosmology; the notion of "not-self" and the doctrine of the five aggregates; the doctrine of dependent origination; lay people, monasticism, and the role of women in the early texts; the un-awakened mind and the awakened mind; Buddhist meditation theory; the notion of Nibbana (nirvana) during life and after death; and the central ideas of the Abhidhamma.
The last part of the course will be devoted to reviewing the origination of the Buddhist schools after the death of the Buddha. We will try to understand why the Buddhist tradition was divided, by considering the possible points of disagreement. Furthermore, we will consider the hypothesis that the "Mahayana" cannot be discerned as a separate tradition at such an early stage, while discussing the question whether early Mahayana texts were complete innovation or a continuation to the ideas presented in the Pali sutta.

Every class will be based on close reading of primary texts in English and Hebrew.


The course is not open to those who already took the course "Early Buddhism: from the Buddha's Discourses to the Theravada tradition". (0687.2160.01)

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Death, Birth and the Bardo
Death as it is reflected in Buddhist theories and practices

The subject of this class will be the concept of death, as it appears in Buddhism in general, and specifically in Tibetan Buddhism. What is the meaning of death? Why is it something we should talk about openly, and not hide? What are the specific practices meant for dealing with death, and for the time of death? What happens before death, after it and during it? The concept of reincarnation in Tibetan Buddhism, and it's practical implication - the finding of the new incarnation of spiritual teachers.

The class will include theoretical discussions, reading texts in English and Hebrew translations, watching movies and a taste of the relevant meditative practices.

Exam - there will be an exam at the end of the semester, with questions relevant to the material we have read in class, the movies we have seen, and the material that was read at home.
Assignments - during the semester there will be three assignments. Two if these assignments will be marked and these marks will be worth 40% of the class mark. A student will not be allowed to attend the exam without handing all the assignments on time.

The reading material will be, during the course, in the course's website in virtualtau.

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  • ' ' 28/01/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 24/03/2010 18:00

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This course will examine different aspects of the belief in the main objects of worship in Chinese popular religion. Special attention will be given to examine the role played by gods, ghosts and ancestors in Chinese religion as well as the cultural and social background that shaped their characteristics.
During the course we will discuss issues such as: What is the role or the status ascribed to these beings in the world or the cosmic order? What role do they play in the lives of the worshippers? What is their status in relation to the believers and to other beings? What characterizes the rituals performed on their behalf? In what way and to what extent were they incorporated into Chinese Buddhism and the Daoist Religion? In what spheres are they believed to be most efficacious? Why?

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  • ' ' 18/02/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 12/05/2010 18:00

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China and Europe: A Cultural and Social History

The course surveys the relations of China with European countries, from first encounters to the present time. We shall see what the Chinese thought and imagined about France, Germany, Britain, Russia, Italy, Portugal and the nations described as the oppressed peoples of Europe (among them the Jews). We shall find out how communities of Chinese emigrants in Europe were formed, and in what ways ideas like Darwinism and Communism reached China; ask what was similar and different between the May Fourth movement, the Renaissance and the Enlightenment; and also compare the political regime in China with some other regimes in the 20th century.

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  • ' ' 30/06/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 05/08/2010 9:00

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Hindu Femininity in Classical and Popular Culture

In this course we will closely examine various representations of Hindu women both in popular Indian culture (cinema, Indian literature and visual media) and classical culture (poetry, mythology, art and folk tales). These representations frequently clash with traditional concepts of womanhood and hence enable us some unique glimpses at women's most decisive and fascinating moments of choices. Our lessons would focus on main issues in Hindu women's life, namely the ideal of the married woman, the dilemmas around purity ordeals, the arguments on Sati (death by fire) and Dowry, widowhood and the celibacy of temple women.

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  • ' ' 16/02/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 05/05/2010 18:00

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Men and Masculinity in Modern Japan

One of the most widespread stereotypes of modern Japan is that of the "typical Japanese man" as the "salariman" white-collar office worker who works endlessly for his corporation and returns home drunk late at night. Our course endeavors to understand this stereotype in a new manner: as hegemonic model of masculinity in Japan. We try to deconstruct the its' underlying assumptions and to introduce some alternatives in order to realize there is no "typical Japanese man", but rather a wide variety of identities and experiences of masculinity in nowadays Japan.

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  • ' ' 07/02/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 21/04/2010 18:00

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From feudal market to the worlds second largest economy: theoretical and practical aspects in modern Japanese management

The course will unveil the roots of the Japanese management and discuss their practical aspects in todays Japanese management in general and decision making process in particular.

It will discuss the background and look into the Japanese management methodology referring to:
- Historic background the construction of modern Japan and the rapid acceptance of Western disciplines and technologies since the mid nineteenth century.
- Social and Sociological elements in classic Japanese management the group concept from the individual level and up to the national level; the perception of being isolated (an Island country); the notion of success; cycle of goodness and more.
- The structure of the Japanese economy and the role the government has with it. The development of the cross holding structure and company groupings.
- Classic management elements such as promotion according to seniority and life time employment and their development with respect to the challenges faced by the Japanese companies, the Japanese economy and Japan as a nation.


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  • ' ' 27/01/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 05/03/2010 9:00

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Masters and Subjects: British India, 1757-1947

The political and democratic structure of modern India was largely shaped as a direct continuity of the British colonialist regime. The British governance, which for some 200 years dictated the Indian political agenda, has left its mark on its cultural, national and spiritual spheres as well. This class will follow the steps of the British Raj, evaluate the importance of its legacy in modern India, and introduce a variety of relevant sources, both from the colonialist era and from the post-colonialist field.

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  • ' ' 10/02/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 30/04/2010 9:00

קוסמולוגיה ורפואה בסין מהשאנג ועד החאן‏ (06872172)

שיעור 2 ש"ס

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Cosmology and Medicine in Early China
The course deals with the evolution of the cosmological approach from the Shang era up till the formation of a medical model during the Han Dynasty. The course will focus on the various cosmological models that were developed during this period, their cultural and their ideological context. We will examine closely the transformations of cosmological thought in the following scripts: Yi jing, Dao de jing, Mengzi, Lushi Chunqiu, Chunqiu Fanlu, Huainanzi and Huangdi Neijing.

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  • ' ' 03/02/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 19/03/2010 9:00

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Zen Buddhism: Religion? Philosophy? Psychotherapy? Or what?

What is the challenge of Zen Buddhism? Zen Buddhism is one of the most intriguing phenomena among the spiritual movements of East Asia, and, during the last one hundred years, in the West as well. It is present as philosophy, aesthetics as spiritual practice, in artistic contexts, in the world of psychotherapy and in many other fields. The course will survey the history and philosophy of Zen Buddhism from its beginning in China, then Japan, and its emergence in the West. It will also investigate the question of the meaning of its presence in so diverse aspects of life in both East and West.

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  • ' ' 04/02/2010 12:30
  • ' ' 14/04/2010 18:00

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Regional Identities in Modern China

Within the enormous human tapestry that makes up China, how do the residents of different provinces, the speakers of different dialects, define their local culture and relation to the country in which they live? What are the constituent elements of the small identity? What relations exist between it and the large identity, and when do contradictions between the two loyalties arise? Beyond the familiar division of China to north and south, in this course we shall study the complex identities of selected provinces, cities and regions of modern China.

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  • ' ' 18/06/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 25/07/2010 9:00

‏ (06872190)

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  • ' ' 20/06/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 26/07/2010 9:00

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A Cultural History of Science in China: From the Encounter with the Jesuits to the Exploration of Space

The core of this course deals with the two first significant encounters of China with Western science, via the Jesuits (16th to 18th c.) and Protestants (19th c.). We will discuss the major differences between these two types of encounters, and their consequences, both on and beyond what today we call today science. We will examine the role of science in China within the variety of scholarly fields, and the role of the scientists. The nexus of society, culture, and science, as well as that of science and technology (military, for example), will be at the center of discussion. We will also look at the ways in which the status of science has changed during the 20th c. until today, at modernization processes in China, and how these processes have been perceived in China and around the world. We will examine and question axioms such as China did not have the scientific revolution through a broad outlook of the global history of science

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  • ' ' 16/06/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 29/07/2010 9:00

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The History of the Formation of Modern China Since 1800

How did modern China come into being? What were the processes that caused the collapse of imperial China and to the construction of China as a modern nation state? Is China a modern nation state? What were the drastic changes that China endured during the past two centuries, and what brought them about? Where does China stand today? We will discuss transformations in Chinas political thought, modernization a-la-China, changes in the self perception of the Chinese during the period since 1800, and Chinas status in Asia and the world. We will further examine the heritage of the Qing dynasty, and try to ascertain the fundamental question what is China? While doing so, we will review the major events of the period, wars, rebellions, revolutions, and ways in which these events tied into global history.

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  • ' ' 27/06/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 02/08/2010 9:00

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When the Gods Play - India's Folk and Classical Traditions of Theater and Dance

We will study the various aspects of Natya - folk and classical theater and dance; its' modes of expression, narratives and plays, the history of texts and styles, street and social theater forms, the classical influences on Indian cinema and the language of gestures using eyes, brows, body postures and hands. We will explore the Hindu notions of "Darshan" and "Lila" as they are expressed in the classical Sanskrit theater, in the narrative Abhinaya dance, in the Southern Indian dances of the "possessed", by the storytellers using narrative scrolls and by a Traveling theater specializing in mythological subjects.

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The ineffable in Indian philosophy and Religion

Indian classical thought is characterized by a strong ambivalence towards language. On the one hand language is allocated an important role in the creation and maintenance of the world, and is pivotal for both religious and aesthetic existence. On the other hand, liberation (Moksha) which is ineffable, is often viewed as a release from the bonds of language. We will examine the ways in which Indian thinkers have understood and managed the tension between language and liberation, and the desire to describe what can not be conveyed in words.

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‏ (06872195)

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The Foreign Policy of China in the Modern Era

The course will focus on the sources of China's foreign policy since the establishment of The People's Republic of China in 1949. It will review the traditional attitude of Imperial China to foreigners, the reaction to one hundred years of humiliation during the Western and Japanese colonial era, the struggle between the Nationalists and the Communists and the formulation and implementation of the foreign policy of the Communist regime. Special attention will be devoted to the restoration of lost territories, Sino-Soviet relations and the rapprochement with the United
States since the late 1960's.

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  • ' ' 14/02/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 05/05/2010 18:00

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National Identity and Mass Media in Contemporary India

This course offers a close look at some central issues of national and cultural identity as discussed via Indian mass media films, video-clips of pop songs, adds, and TV series. Through analyzing mass media texts, as well as contemporary literary texts

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Korean Culture in Modern Times

By the end of the 19th century fast modernization began in Korea, a kingdom that until then was secluded and culturally independent. Today, after more than a hundred years South Korea is a world leader in technology with its lively cities, economic growth, and export of popular culture, while North Korea has become notorious for its voluntary isolation and nuclear threats. The modern shift has created two nation-states. In one, elaborate preservation of the ancient lives side by side with aspiring innovativeness, and in its neighbor a unique culture of leaders worship and alienation toward the West has been created. The course will survey the contemporary Korean cultures in the North and in the South, their development, and the ways they have been influenced by regional powers and the West. The course will discuss mainly topics such as values, morals, art, religion, organizational culture, family life, leisure culture, media, fashion, and gender.

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  • ' ' 04/07/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 12/08/2010 9:00

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China: Society, Civilization, Language

The course will focus on various sociological and cultural aspects interrelating with language in China. Among the themes that will be dealt with are: Sino-Tibetan language family versus other language families in East Asia; dialects and the "common language" in China; language policy in China; the Chinese writing system its development and characteristics in comparison to the Japanese writing system and to the Korean one; diverse relations between language and thought in China; different aspects of pragmatics in China and Japan.

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  • ' ' 08/07/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 11/08/2010 9:00

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The Leap Forward and the Left Behind:
Society and Marginality in Modern China
in Literature and Cinema

Social revolutions, new ideologies, wars, struggles, oppression, and development the society in modern China went through many complicated changes. These changes influenced the whole society, but more than all, they affected those who were left behind: the 'others', the oppressed, the weak, the poor, the remote, the non-educated, women, children.
The course examines the influences of the changes in modern China on society and marginal groups in it, through learning of literary works and cinema of the 20th century. We will learn of the end of the imperial age; life in modernized colonized Shanghai; social gaps; society in marginal remote regions; and of the social influence of the political steps under Mao's leadership.

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  • ' ' 06/07/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 08/08/2010 9:00

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Folk Religion in Japan

In this course we will discuss some basic issues in the study of Japanese
Folk Religion. Among the topics to be examined: The folk religious
worldview and the concept of divinity; the divine pantheon; rites and
festivals; Japanese shamanism; the concept of death and its rituals; the
concept of Time in folk religion; sacred space and sacred time; religion in
everyday life; mountain worship and the Shugendo movement; rice
culture and fishing culture; the folk performing arts; folklore studies and
the status of folk religion in Japan today.

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Wisdom and Compassion: An introduction to the Indian Mahyna Buddhism

The course serves as an introduction to Indian Buddhism, with an emphasis on the Mahyna movement. The first part of the course is dedicated for a survey of early Indian Buddhism, its central doctrines and institutions. The second part focuses on the Mahyna its origins, and the theoretical and practical innovations it presented in respect to the image of the Buddha, liberation, meditative practices, etc. The course will include readings in several Mahayana-sutras and in the philosophical treatises of the Middle Way and Mind Only schools.

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Chinese Literature in the 20th and 21st Century

This pro-seminar considers the main schools and currents of modern Chinese literature, through the reading and discussion of texts in translation. Our programme will include, in part: the writer Lu Xun, and the May Fourth movement of the 1920s; modernist literature; regionalist literature; the work of women writers; the Chinese essay and contemporary literature since the 1980s.

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Japan and the Middle East

The course will provide the basic history of Japanese politics in the Middle East and will analyze all aspects related to the development of this relationship: historic-diplomatic; economic; strategic-military and cultural. Attention is given to Japan's current involvement in the Middle Eastern theater; it's attitude towards Islam, and it's energy policy given the fact that Japan is almost totally dependent on foreign energy sources (such as oil and natural gas) mostly found in the Middle East.
The course, a methodological Proseminar will focus on how to gather, analyze and write academic research from the focus of International Relations.

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Cinema with a "Way"

The presupposition in the pro-seminar is that Chinese cinema can give its viewers some hints regarding different perspectives on Dao.
Throughout the pro-seminar the participants will be asked to watch films of several directors such as Chen Kaige, Dai Sijie, Zhang Yimou, Tian Zhuangzhuang, Wang Xiaoshuai, Ning Hao and others. In our meetings we will discuss the main ideas in the movies. Against the movies, we will discuss the main ideas in Confucian and Daoist philosophies.
We will discuss whether the way can be taught and by what means? Can academic methodologies enhance this learning? How? and finally, can Dao be relevant in the West of the 21st century?
All participants have to develop their own analysis and criticism on a cinematic text of their choice.


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Family and Lineage Organizations in China

This pro-seminar will deal with religious and ritual aspects of family and lineage organizations in China. The everyday family life in China is characterized by a rich variety of rituals and religious symbols which play important roles in shaping the family's internal hierarchy, community organization and shared values. During the course we will dedicate special attention to family rituals set against the background of the wide range of different kinship organization forms in China. The course will explore in great detail the role of rituals and beliefs related to the worship of the ancestors' souls as well as its historical origins, its actual practice, and its social, religious and political role past and present. In addition we will look at the consequences of the practice of ancestor worship regarding related issues such as: rituals of burial, marriage and the employment of Feng Shui techniques. We will also discuss other important aspects of religion in family life such as: domestic altars and the worship that takes place at them for various gods and Buddhist and Daoist rituals and their effect on the family's structure.
Participation in the pro-seminar requires regular preliminary readings of primary and secondary sources, leading a class discussion on a specified topic and writing a pro-seminar paper.

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Classical Indian Literature

Classical Indian culture, religion, values and philosophy are all reflected in the great Sanskrit literary tradition. The heroes of this literature embody the basic conflicts of man as these were envisioned and experienced in ancient India. In this literature the gods are weak and cunning and the great men heartbroken and confused, while the lovers are adroit and sophisticated and the demons spiritually superior. This class will explore the different heroes of Sanskrit literature and define the ideals and the questions they enact, based on reading in mythology, drama, the great epics, Buddhist literature and a number of other Sanskrit literary genres.

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  • ' ' 06/07/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 08/08/2010 9:00

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Men , Women and Gender in Premodern Japan

Participants in this course will use a focus on gender to explore important aspects of Japanese social history. The course introduces theoretical issues as well as covers a broad sweep of the past, starting in prehistoric Japan and stretching up until the Meiji Restoration. We will go back to the early period of Japan's history to discover the beginnings of those cultural institutions and characteristics which are still operative today, influencing behavior. We will read from various Japanese sources (in translation), consider theories that claim that that Japan was originally a matriarchy, and try to understand how by the time the histories were written it had become sexist, and in what ways.

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  • ' ' 03/02/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 19/03/2010 9:00

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To cut with the sword of wisdom Zen in Japanese martial arts

In this course we shall examine the meditative and practical aspects of Zen which appealed to the Samurai: simplicity, spiritual practice, abandonment of the intellect, the embrace of change, precise timing, an acute awareness of the senses, intuition, equanimity and the elimination of the fear of death.
We shall look into the relation between the world of Buddhist iconography (warrior Boddhisattvas) and the world of Japanese martial arts, and try to fathom the great paradox of the practitioner of Budo: skillful use of implements of killing coupled with a severe ethic that puts emphasis on the repudiation of the human urge for violence.
We will read Zen stories in which Zen masters and warriors meet, and examine a unique tradition that was created out of these encounters "the warrior koans".
We shall also see how the ideals of the Zen warrior came alive in the lives and teachings of three modern martial artists: Jigoro Kano the founder of Judo, Gichin Funakoshi the father of modern Karate and Moirhei Ueshiba the originator of Aikido.
The main texts of the course are the writings of the Zen master Takuan, and the Saumari manuals "Hidden Leaves" (Hagakure) by Yamamoto Tsunetomo and "The Book of Five Rings" (Go Rin no Sho) by Miyamoto Musashi. Additionally we shall watch scenes from the documentary "The Way of the Warrior" and from the movies "Seven Samurai", "Miyamoto Musashi" and "After the Rain".

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  • ' ' 07/07/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 09/08/2010 9:00

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Second Year Japanese

In this course we continue to learn Japanese grammar using the book Japanese for College Students Vols 2 and 3. In addition we read various unseen texts. The students are expected to develop the skill to read , understand and analyze relatively long texts. There are weekly kanji tests and intermittent grammar tests. Class participation and homework are compulsory. The final grade is composed of final exams (semester A and B), kanji tests , class participation and homework

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  • ' ' 26/01/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 26/02/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 15/06/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 19/07/2010 9:00

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Second Year Chinese

The course focuses on students abilities of communication in Chinese. It features a Chinese language only classroom and web assisted Chinese learning, aims at significantly improving students abilities of speaking, writing, listening and reading daily life Chinese language, as well as understanding Chinese language on advanced level with assistance of dictionaries.

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  • ' ' 26/01/2010 12:30
  • ' ' 26/02/2010 9:00
  • ' ' 15/06/2010 12:30
  • ' ' 19/07/2010 12:30

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Ming-Qing Intellectual History

During the nearly six centuries of imperial rule, the intellectual character of China changed dramatically. While many scholars began doubting Song dynasty notions, some of these, latter, notions became part of the imperial ideology, and fierce debates ensued. Concurrently, social, economic, and political changes played a major role in the thought of scholars, and in the ideological and methodological revolutions that took place during the Ming and Qing. In this seminar we will discuss the nexus of society, culture and power and the intellectual transformations. We will examine critically the ways in which Ming-Qing intellectual history has been constructed heretofore, and try, through close reading of primary and secondary sources to evaluate and question various prevailing notions of Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism. Almost everything we know today about ancient China has been mediated by Ming and Qing scholars; and our ability to comprehend today some of the recently discovered archeological and textual materials comes from the achievements of these scholars. What motivated Ming-Qing scholars? What did they look for and how? And what did they find? These questions will be at the core of the seminar.

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Japanese Cinema

The seminar deals with narrative patterns and the unique aesthetic of the Japanese cinema, with the aim of analyzing the traditional/cultural roots of this cinema and the way it consolidates these traditional elements into an original and paradigmatic art that has influenced cinematic artists throughout the world. We will examine how this cinema develops existential themes, such as the appearance of ghosts and the vanquishing of demonic creatures, as well as themes dealing with human family and societal relationships, while adapting earlier literal and dramatic sources along with developing completely new narratives for these themes. We will examine how additional elements, such as eroticism, nature, humor, death scenes, acting styles, movement, singing, costumes, spatial design, filming and editing techniques, all derive their originality from elements that have been developed throughout the history of Japanese aesthetic of the various arts and cultural phenomena, and are then molded into innovational forms in the films.
We will examine these subjects for all periods of Japanese cinema, starting from the films of classical directors, such as Kurosawa, Ozu and Mizoguchi, and up to the films of modern directors, such as Morita, Itami, Kitano and Miike.

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Manchuria in the Meeting of Empires

This seminar treats the history of the relations between the two largest neighbours in Asia, China and Russia, from the mid-17th century, and their impact on the unique region of Northeast China (Manchuria). We shall discuss the rise and fall of the Manchu people, leaders of the last dynasty of imperial China; the mass migration to Manchuria, from the mid-19th century, of northern Chinese villagers; the sweeping change introduced into the region by the construction of the Russian and Japanese railways. Other topics include Russian settlement in and emigration to Manchuria, and the history of Harbin; the conquest of Northeast China by Japan and creation of the puppet Manchukuo state under the last emperor, Puyi; the Chinese resistance to and collaboration with the occupation until Japans defeat in World War Two

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Not Just Zazen: Teaching and Practice in Japanese Buddhism

The seminar offers a critical and thematic view of central topics in
Japanese Buddhism, as a culture-building force. Among the issues to be
discussed: The charisma of the religious founder and the holy man in
Japanese Buddhism; the centrality of structured space (mountain, temple)
to the understanding of Japanese Buddhism; the relation between
Buddhism and kami-cults (the Honji-suijaku thought); Buddhist ritual and
its social and political role; the profound connection between Buddhism,
wealth, and government in Japan; Women in Japanese Buddhism;
Aesthetics in Japanese Buddhism, and the influence of Buddhism on
Japanese Arts; and Buddhism in folk culture.

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Confucian Humanism

Humanism is a rational way of life, in which the human being, one's development and motivations, give explanation to the world and the life we live. The major humanistic interest is moral realization. It searches the welfare of all humans in this life through grace and wisdom, it is free from superstition, and accepts facts as a way to solve human dilemmas in a constructive and practical way.
In this seminar we will examine weather Confucianism is a humanism.
We will see in what extent Confucianism responds to the above requirements, and weather Dao can be regarded as a basis for "secular humanism". We will refer to the philosophies Mengzi, the Doctrine of the Mean, Zhou Dunyi, Zhang Zai, Cheng brothers, Zhuxi, and to contemporary Confucian thinkers.

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The Great Indian Epics

The seminar is dedicated to India's 'great epics', the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyana. We shall read key-episodes and discuss existential questions which they raise regarding human nature and the tension between dharma ('life and living in the world') and mokşa ('freedom', 'trans-worldliness'). We shall further discuss literary techniques and storytelling 'secrets', philosophical and psychological dimensions of the 'great stories' and modern versions of the epics in cinematic and contemporary literature forms. Peter Brook's Mahabhharata, Subhash Ghai's Khal Nayak ('The Villain') and Vikram Chandra's Red Earth and Pouring Rain are three examples of modern interpretations of 'epic India'.

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Crazy Cloud: Craziness and Spirit in the Religions and Arts of China and Japan
Crazy cloud is the name given to himself by Ikkyu, one of the greatest Japanese Zen Maters [14th C.]. The presence of craziness, crazy master, crazy painting, and crazy wisdom, is a well known phenomena in all world religions, as well as arts, music, and so on. The type of madness that is the subject of this seminar is the clinical, but cultural madness: the space of a variety of phenomena of behavior, art works, or wisdom that is out of mind or cause one to lose ones mind in order to expose the limits of the known and to explore new realms of beings. The students papers will investigate this phenomenon in the religions and arts of China and Japan.

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Japan in World Affairs

This Seminar explores and analyzes Japan foreign relations and politics since the end of the American occupation (1952) to the present.
Emphasis will be given to the understanding of the different domestic and international political factors behind Japan's foreign, security and energy policy formulation.
Chosen foreign, security and energy policies illustrate decision-making process and particularities.

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Classical Japanese for research and academic writing

This course is designed for students who have learnt basic classical Japanese grammar.
In this course we will develop the ability to read classical Japanese texts in accordance with the students academic interests.

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Modern Japanese for research and academic writing .

This course aims to improve the ability to read and write materials in Japanese for academic research, preparing lectures, writing articles and for general discussion.
In this course, along with advancing the comprehension of texts necessary for Japan related research, we will also work on the writing of research proposals in Japanese
and on the discussion of academic subjects in Japanese. The articles to be read in this course will be determined by the academic interests of the students. However there will be certain preset subjects such as: the advancement of feminism in Japan; the Hikikomori problem (children who lock themselves away in their rooms); economic gaps among social classes, and modern literature.

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To Forget Yourself Time, Being, and Selfhood in the teachings of Zen Mater Dogen

the seminar will explore the teachings of Dogen Zenji who is considered the greatest spiritual Buddhist teacher in Japan, and one of her greatest and most original thinker. The seminar will explore Dogens approach to the questions of self, time, being and liberation, and will investigate the connection among them. How do we read to forget oneself? what is its connection to the experience of time and its meaning? How can Dogens ideas assist the one who is a spiritual practitioner? What is the link between forgetting, the existence [or non-existence] if the self, and spiritual liberation? This will be done while reading in Dogens philosophical and poetic writings.

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Diplomacy and Foreign Policy of Japan and China

This M.A. Seminar is designed to explore the dynamics of Japan-China bilateral relationship within North East Asian sub-system from the late 19th Century to the present.
In order to achieve this goal, emphasis will be given to the study and understanding of the development of the different domestic political, economical and security factors in the two countries and the way these interrelated in the region and in the international arena. Emphasis will be given also to the present historical, territorial and political disputes between the countries, in an era characterized by dramatic economic dynamism and change.

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Kudiyattam: The Traditional Theater of South India and its Asian Contexts

In Kerala, on the south-west coast of India, a rich dramatic tradition of performing classical Sanskrit dramas has survived-- the last living representative of the ancient Sanskrit theater, one of the major theatrical traditions of human civilization. Kudiyattam is performed by professionals of the Cakyar and Nambiar castes trained over many years according to the precepts of the Natya-sastra, the classical Indian textbook on theater, on the one hand, and the particular, very demanding forms of performance unique to Kudiyattam, on the other. Performances tend to be very long-- from six nights to 41 nights. They are based on a repertoire of ancient Sanskrit plays and on plays composed in medieval times in Kerala specifically for Kudiyattam performance. Although the texts are in Sanskrit, most of the expressive and communicative force of the performance depends upon stylized hand movements and, above all, eye movements.
We will examine this classical tradition and view extended video clips from recent performances, in the course of seven 3-hour sessions (on Friday mornings). Two sessions will be devoted to ritualized theatrical traditions in Asia generally and in Japan in particular. Other sessions will focus on the specificity of Kudiyattam in the Kerala ecology of performative genres, on its relation to the ancient sources, on the language of gesture, and on selected passages from the repertoire of texts. This seminar is also part of the preparation of a select, small group of students from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem who will be sent to Kerala in the summer of 2010 to study a full-scale Kudiyattam performance in the village of Muzhikkulam.

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India Fantasizes the Islamicate

This Graduate Seminar traces the ways via which Hindu India fantasizes Islam, and the conflicting depictions of Islam as a cultural asset and a menacing threat within contemporary India. The seminar offers discussions and readings of Urdu love poetry (Ghazals), excerpts from partition literature, and contemporary films and TV series.

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Approaches to the Writing of Modern Chinese History

What problems are there in historiography (the writing of history) in general, and how can they be overcome? What approaches exist to the study of modern Chinese history (from the mid-19th century to our time)? This seminar discusses these problems, presenting different solutions to them by the thorough examination and demonstration of such approaches as political, social, cultural and comparative history; the focus on regions and towns (regional and urban history), or the comprehensive analysis of the single case (micro-history).

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The course is an introduction to the language of classical India, the language in which many masterpieces were composed in the fields of yoga, Buddhist and Hindu philosophy, and enormously rich fine literature, prose and poetry, both religious and secular, including the Vedas, the epics and the myths. Besides that, Sanskrit is an important tool in linguistical research. The course introduces a writing system of Sanskrit, its phonetics and basic grammar and syntax and provides practice of reading in simple original texts and translation exercises.

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Speaking Japanese- part one

The course target is to improve the speaking and listening skills of modern Japanese.
To participate in this course, you need at least one year experience in Japanese language study.
The study materials include Japanese popular songs, videos, DVD and etc..
Every student is required to make a short speech in Japanese.
The score of this course will be considered by the attendance/participations to the class, home works and conversations based on your speech.

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Speaking Japanese- part two

The course target is to improve the speaking and listening skills of modern Japanese.
To participate in this course, you need at least one year experience in Japanese language study.
The study materials include Japanese popular songs, videos, DVD and etc..
Every student is required to make a short speech in Japanese.
The score of this course will be considered by the attendance/participations to the class, home works and conversations based on your speech.
It is possible to take this course without taking the Speaking Japanese-part one.

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Third-Year Chinese (Part I).

The primary aim of this course is to enhance the students' level of spoken Chinese. Great attention is given to the enrichment of vocabulary and dialogue. At the same time we do not neglect the written language, reading a large variety of literary texts, essays, and newspaper reports.

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The course is a continuation of the first-year course. It completes the grammar and syntax and focuses on guided reading in the Ramayana and in Buddhist and Hindu religious and philosophical writings of Buddhism and Hinduism.
third year Sanskrit: The course offers guided reading in classical Sanskrit poetry and in religious, philosophical and esthetical treatises of classical India.
Bevirkat shana tova,

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Third Year Japanese A

The aim of this course is to develop reading, writing and speaking in Japanese from a basic level to a more advanced level. The students are expected to read many long texts in Japanese in accordance with their own academic interests and to write various compositions including a diary, letter and book report.
Class attendance and assignments are compulsory.
The final grade is composed of a final exam (unseen text), class assignments and attendance.

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Third Year Japanese B

In this course we will read texts advanced Japanese texts in accordance with the academic fields of students and write academic compositions (such as research proposals) in Japanese.
Class attendance and assignments are compulsory.
The final grade is composed of a final exam (unseen text), class assignments and attendance.

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Classical Chinese the second semester

The course focuses on enriching students knowledge on Chinese language as well as improving their abilities of understanding Classical Chinese texts in cultural contexts. The reading of selected biographies of interesting and usually important Chinese historical figures is accompanied by in depth discussions of the cultural connotation of the texts.

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Third-Year Chinese (Part II).

In this course particular attention is given to composition, practiced through the regular submission of essays. Attention is also given to the spoken language, as classes are conducted in Chinese only.

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Classical Japanese

This course is designed for students who have learnt modern Japanese grammar for at
least 2 years.
Classical Japanese grammar sometimes appears in modern Japanese texts and is therefore essential for a better understanding of modern Japanese texts. In this course we will learn basic classical Japanese grammar, and practice
classical text reading. For example: parts from The Tale of Genji; The Pillow Book;
Matsuo Bashos texts; novels from Meiji period and more.

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Introduction to the modern Hindi. Basics of the Hindi grammar.

The students will learn to read, write and speak Hindi in the framework of the topics of daily usage. Hindi is the national language of India and the mother tongue of 400 million people. It is a means of communication among the Indians speaking different languages. Hindi is a vital instrument for understanding the cultural and social life of modern India. The final grade includes the marks of exams, tests and homeworks. Attendance of the lessons is mandatory.

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Further progress in the grammar.

The emphasis will be made on semantical and syntactical subjects. The vocabulary of the students will be widened by means of texts, Hindi films, literary works and songs. The course enables the students to deal with any text in modern standard Hindi (with the help of a dictionary). The final grade includes the marks of exams, tests and homeworks

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Practical application of the knowledge acquired during two years.

In the first semester the students will acquaint the present-day Hindi press; they will read and translate articles from Hindi daily newspapers and Internet sites in Hindi.

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Practical application of the knowledge acquired during two years

In the second semester, acquaintance will be made with the electronic media the radio and the television in Hindi. The emphasis will be made on the language of news. At the same time the study of grammar will be consummated. The final grade includes the marks of exams, tests and homeworks. Only one semester can be taken.

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JAPANESE THEATRES

The course engages with the development and the rich aesthetics of the various forms of Japanese theatre from its beginnings to the present day. The traditional theatresNoh and Kyogen (the aristocratic theatres), Kabuki (the popular theatre) and Bunraku (the puppet theatre) each consolidated a very developed and rich aesthetic in every element of the theatre, which have served as models for imitation and application by many artists in the modern era. In the field of Japanese modern theatre, emphasis will be placed on the avant-garde theatre and Butoh dance, which reflect a protest against the Japanese theatrical and dance traditions as well as against their parallel Western modern forms. We will analyze all these theatres various components, as well as explore the cultural, philosophical, historical, social and artistic contexts in which these theatre styles were consolidated. The lectures include various illustrative elements such as live demonstrations of acting segments and video clips.

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Mythical Images in Indian Art

Indian mythic art conveys beliefs and abstract conceptions through images that appear to be concrete and legible, but the interpretation of the visual language of myth is dependent upon the study of Indian concepts regarding the world and questions of existence in its multiple and complex facets. We will view depictions of mythic narrative, representations of the gods, semi-gods and demons, loving couples that ornament the temples, and other traditional motifs in an effort to interpret their significance in cultural, social and religious contexts.

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Hollywood in Mumbai: On Mimicry, Cultural Identity and Hindi Films


This seminar offers an acquaintance with India's dominant film industry, Bollywood, stressing its mimicking strategies and discussing the significance they may bear within postcolonial India. Cultural icons like Charlie Chaplin, James Dean, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and the Femme Fatale, as well as full-length features such as the Bollywood adaptations for "Tarzan" and "Sleeping with the Enemy" will serve as a basis for the examination of the charged dialogue with the West and its greatest cinematic epitome Hollywood.

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