KSGA 13181-01: Love and Romance in Modern Asia

Instructor: Julia Kowalski

Social Science University Seminar

While we tend to think of love and romance as individual experiences, models of romantic love vary across time and place. Nowhere is this more evident than contemporary Asia, where ideas about love, romance, and sex are changing rapidly in the face of social, economic, and demographic transformations. In this course, we will explore love and romance across Asia. As we do so, we will use studies of romantic love as lenses onto key theories and debates in Asian Studies.  We will ask if “love” and “romance” are truly universal categories; explore how ideas about who and how to love inform geopolitical discussions of cultural differences between Asia and the West; ask what an Asia-centric perspective has to teach us about the diverse roles of romance; and examine how people love in China, India, Japan, and beyond. 

This class will use the topics of love and romance to introduce you to key issues in Asian Studies from a social science perspective. You will learn how to put individual experiences and desires into comparative historical context. As you do so, you will develop writing skills that enable you to analyze empirical research on love from a range of popular and expert sources.

 

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