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New Courses on Music and Politics, Southeast Asia and the Global Economy, China Policy, and Chinese Dance

Four new Asian studies courses offered at UCLA this Winter

UCLA students can explore Asia through a wide variety of courses. Below are three new offerings for winter 2006. Course descriptions and schedules are available in the UCLAsia section of the Asia Institute website.

Music and Politics in East Asia

(Ethnomusicology 193, M 1-3 pm)

Taught by Prof. Helen Rees [email]

This two-unit course is aimed primarily at undergraduates majoring in any field of music (ethnomusicology, music, musicology), world arts and cultures, or East Asian studies, although others with general interest in any of these areas are also welcome. Designed in a "journal club" format to maximize discussion, the class will investigate the intersection of music, politics, and diplomacy in several countries that take their cultural capital very seriously. Most case studies will focus on contemporary issues in mainland China, both Koreas, Japan, Taiwan, and Tibet, although the 2500-year history of ideological manipulation of music in the region will also be considered. Working from a variety of websites, readings, films, and sound recordings, we shall explore both primary sources (such as the speeches of Kim Jong Il, documents of the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan, and the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts website) and scholarly publications. Each student will keep a journal commenting on the materials read and viewed, and each student will lead one class discussion.

There are no pre-requisites, and the grading is P/NP. Consistent attendance and timely completion of the reading assignments are essential. Click here for additional information.

Nation, Class, and Gender in the Global Economy

(Southeast Asian Studies 88, T 3-6 pm)

Taught by Prof. Thu-Huong Nguyen-vo

Starting from Benedict Andersons thesis of imagined communities, the course uses interdisciplinary approaches to explore how imaginings of nation continue to be produced in Southeast Asia as the region fully participates in the global economy. How has the current phase of globalization with its heightened movement of people, capital, goods, ideas and images across national borders complicated the production of nation? How is nation reproduced in relation to ethnic and regional, or gender and class identities? The course examines the commodification of nation and culture, governmental subject-making, and transnational diasporic participation in cultural production.

U.S. -- China Relations: Current Political and Economic Issues

(Public Policy 290, T 2-5 pm)

Taught by Robert Wang, Diplomat in Residence

This graduate course focuses on the major issues that underline U.S. relations with China and will examine prospects and strategies for the future. The course will start with a review of bilateral relations since the Nixon years and will examine how U.S. foreign policy is made. Current issues will be examined through an exploration of differing and common interests as well as the factors that are likely to affect resolving these issues. Students will draft an information memo, highlighting key policies, factors, and interests of both countries. At the end of the course, students will draft a comprehensive �China Strategy� memo that incorporates the various issues, sets priorities, and recommends courses of action. Robert Wang is a State Department officer who has worked on China policy for a decade.

Chinese Dance

(World Arts and Cultures 10, 2 units, MW 1- 2:30 pm)

Taught by Jia Wu [email]

This course will introduce two kinds of Chinese traditional dance: Sword Dance and Yangge (also known as the Handkerchief Dance). Students will first acquire the basic movements and will then move onto mastering steps. These two dances provide a solid foundation for learning about traditional Chinese dance.

The Sword Dance
The Sword Dance originated in the Tang Dynasty in A.D. 633. It is a combination of dance and Chinese martial arts. In the class, students use taichi principles to move the sword, and learn to inhale and exhale to best facilitate movement. This dance emphasizes timing, rhythm, and flow.

Yangge is the main dance form of the Han people (the majority ethnic group in China). In Yangge, people dance with two handkerchiefs, or with one handkerchief and one fan. Normally Yangge is performed during holiday festivals. There are four regionally distinct styles of Yangge in China. Students in this course will learn the form popular in Northeastern China. Yangge is often used to express different emotions and identify specific characters.The images created by the movements of the handkerchief and combined with particular rhythms, signal different personality traits. For example: Rao hua (a movement where the arms to create a circle) is used to express a young woman�s (17-20 years old) delicate beauty and shyness; Xiao Yang Fei is usually used to represent a teenager(12-16 years old) who is a bold teaser. The purpose of the handkerchief dance is to develop the technique of using the wrist and to express the different characters.

Asia Institute