line line line

Tallinn University: Courses about Asian societies and politics in spring 2017

The new semester (spring 2017) is starting very soon, so it is the right time to introduce the Asian related courses offered by Tallinn University:

Taru 2_participationPOLITICAL PARTICIPATION IN CONTEMPORARY CHINA (HIL7643.HT), MA
Course by Taru Salmenkari

One of the main questions about developments in China has been whether China will democratize and how this might happen. This course investigates how the Chinese people actually participate in politics and will provide theoretical tools to analyze how this participation relates to popular voice, political stability, regime legitimacy, and governance. The course takes seriously not only the forms of participation first developed in Western countries, but also the possibility that there can be other culturally or ideologically shaped ways to influence policy. It examines critically actual experiences of democratization outside China and takes into account various traditions of democracy.

 

Taru_everydayEVERYDAY LIFE IN CONTEMPORARY CHINA (HIL7964.HT), MA
Course by Taru Salmenkari

This course is an introduction to everyday politics in the People’s Republic of China. Economic, political and social changes in last decades have impacted ordinary Chinese lives. Chinese lifestyles, family structures and working environments have seen many changes due to political decisions and more general forces of modernization. The course explores how the personal, the political and the economic has been negotiated in China.

 

RESEARCHING ASIA: SOURCE ANALYSIS AND ACADEMIC ARGUMENTATION (HIL7419.HT) , MA
Course by Taru Salmenkari

TaruHow to do research about Asian topics? What is a good research question for my MA thesis? How to structure my thesis? What kind of sources can I use? How to read these sources produced for non-academic use in different culture and in different historical situations? For questions like these, this course will provide practice and instructions. We will practice critical analysis and write a research plan, among other things.

EXPLORING CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE SOCIETY (HIL6413.HT), BA 6 EAP
Course by Maret Nukke

The course introduces several important socio-cultural issues in contemporary Japanese society that are often considered almost a taboo and therefore rarely opened for a public discussion in Japan, such as hikikomori, homeless, discrimination of mixed-race people, children’s rights, high suicide rate and new religions. Each theme will be represented with a documentary that is followed by a seminar where the theme will be discussed critically using various materials, including Internet sources and academic literature.

Alex2MEDIA, MONKS, AND MONEY: POPULAR BUDDHISM IN ASIA (HIL7632.HT), MA 4EAP
Course by Alexander Horstmann

If you are interested in the popular culture, practices and beliefs of Buddhism in Southeast Asia, Tibet, China and Japan, this is your course. The course offers a solid introduction to Asian Buddhism, focusing on religion as lived practice and experience. Alexander Horstmann has lived in Buddhist civilizations for decades and will share his current research project on the rise of Theravadin saints- so-called Khuba in the upper Mekong region.

2011-09-06 22.24.48EXODUS: REFUGEE LIVES AND REFUGEE POLITICS IN ASIA (HIL7223.HT), MA 5EAP
Course by Alexander Horstmann

If you are interested to understand the current humanitarian crisis, this is your course this semester. The course gives a detailed account of the crisis in Syria. The course compares the current situation in the Mediterranean to the refugee crisis that followed the Vietnam American War. Starting with a social history of refugees from Southeast Asia, the course kicks off with a social history of Vietnamese boat people as well as the ethnic minority refugees from Laos and the Khmer from Cambodia. Reflecting on Alexander Horstmann’s own study on refugee livelihood from Myanmar, the course examines and makes fruitful states, agendas and theories of refugee studies.

Horstmann, Alexander and Jin-heon Jung (eds.) 2015. Building Noah’s Ark for Migrants, Refugees and Religious Communities. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

READING ASIAN ETHNOGRAPHIES (HIL7200.HT), MA
Course by Alexander Horstmann

In this course we will read monographs on aspects of Asian society, culture, and history, books that made a difference in scholarship and that are widely known for its influence. The course is organized as a seminar. The course instructor will provide you with a detailed introduction to the books, their context, and how they are embedded in wider scholarship on the topic. We will read the monograph chapter by chapters and discuss them in small groups. The students are free to select a book of their field and interest. It is necessary for the groups to prepare the chapters and to meet among themselves to discuss the chapters. The course instructor will prepare questions to facilitate the discussion. The students will prepare short summaries of the chapters every week and send them to the course instructor. The intention is that you develop a rhythm of reading and that you learn reading efficiently.