Butler Semester in East Asia GALA, Spring 2012
Program Overview - Visit Japan, South Korea, China,
Vietnam, and Hong Kong
In what is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a group of up
to 20 Butler students will spend an entire semester traveling
through several countries of East Asia while taking five Butler
core courses (or electives) and participating in an optional
week-long service learning activity. The classes will be a blend of
classroom and on-site lectures, discussion, visits to sites of
historical, cultural or contemporary importance, and opportunities
to interact with members of local communities.
The program will begin in Japan with a two-week course on
"Japan's Past and Present/Presence," taught by Dr. Elise Edwards.
In Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima you will explore an array of
historical and contemporary cultural practices and forms - Shinto
shrines, stomping sumo wrestlers, and hyper-modern expressions of
popular culture. Next, you will spend a week in South Korea, where
you will visit the ancient capital of Gyeongju as well as the
metropolis of Seoul. Dr. Xiaorong Han will begin teaching the GHS
course, "East Asian Interactions."
You will then spend about nine weeks in China, visiting Beijing,
Xi'an, Lhasa (Tibet), Shangrila, Lijiang and Kunming. You will
visit the Great Wall and Imperial Palace, the Terra Cotta Warriors
of China's First Emperor, the Potala Palace (formerly the residence
of the Dalai Lama) and will experience the incredible scenic beauty
of Yunnan Province. You will study "Tibet: History, Culture, and
Politics," also be taught by Dr. Han, and "Social Change and Social
Issues in Contemporary China," taught by Dr. Monte Broaded. During
a weeklong spring break you can remain in Kunming for an optional
one-credit service learning course or you can travel independently.
Dr. Paul Hanson will then join the group in Kunming to teach
"Daoism, Poetry and Art in China." Excursions to famous Daoist
sites in the region will be a highlight of this course. The
semester will conclude with an excursion to northern Vietnam and a
few days of wrap-up and reflection activities in Hong Kong.
You can earn a total of 15 or 16 credit hours and fulfill core
or general elective requirements as well as waive one semester of
the Global and Historical Studies requirement by successfully
completing the GALA program.
Japan's Past and Present/Presence: Understanding Japan
on the Ground
the Social World requirement), 3 credits. Professor of Anthropology
With the world's third largest economy, a rich cultural
tradition and a thriving popular culture industry, Japan is a
fascinating site to study the historical and anthropological
underpinnings of an array of cultural products and practices -
Shinto shrines, Buddhist prayer practices, anime fan groups,
stomping sumo wrestlers. You will visit centers of youth culture in
Tokyo, some of the most famous temples of the old capital of Kyoto,
and sites in Hiroshima memorializing Japan's singular experience of
nuclear attack and devastation.
East Asian Interactions
the Global and Historical Studies requirement), 3 credits.
Professor of History Xiaorong Han
This course explores the cultural, political and
economic-technological interactions (including cooperation,
competition, and conflict) among the four traditional political
cultural entities in East Asia from ancient times to the present.
It will examine how each of the East Asian states has contributed
to the evolution of a common regional tradition while maintaining
its own culture and identity.
Tibet: History, Culture and Politics
the Text and Ideas requirement), 3 credits. Professor Xiaorong
This course explores Tibet as a geographical, cultural and
political unit and covers its history from the seventh century to
the present. In Lhasa and its surrounding areas, students will
experience firsthand such important sites as the Potala Palace and
Jokhang Temple, and will visit rural villages to learn about the
lifestyles of Tibet's nomadic communities.
Social Change and Social Issues in Contemporary
the Social World requirement), 3 credits. Dr. Monte Broaded,
Director of the Center for Global Education
In this course, we will investigate many of the challenges
currently faced by the Chinese government and people during a
period of very rapid social and economic change - population
pressures, environmental degradation, gender inequalities, access
to education and health care, wealth and poverty, and human rights
through background readings as well as site visits and intensive
field observations in rural and urban Chinese settings.
Daoism, Poetry and Art in China
the Creative Expression requirement), 3 credits. Professor of
History Paul Hanson
This course will familiarize students with the basic concepts of
the ancient Chinese philosophy of Daoism, which has for centuries
been the inspiration for much of Chinese poetry and visual art. We
will explore Chinese aesthetic values through the poetry of five
Tang Dynasty poets (regarded as the greatest poets of the Chinese
tradition). Students will record some of the great scenic beauty of
Yunnan Province in photography and write poetry about what they
see. They will also be able to try their hands at the arts of
Chinese calligraphy and/or painting.
Students will also be able to participate in a 1-credit service
learning activity working with an NGO in Kunming, capital city of
China's Yunnan Province. Participation in this opportunity is