Presentation on theme: "Infusing Chinese and Japanese Religion, Art, and Literature into the Undergraduate Curriculum July 22 – August 9, 2013 At Asian Studies Development Program."— Presentation transcript:
Infusing Chinese and Japanese Religion, Art, and Literature into the Undergraduate Curriculum July 22 – August 9, 2013 At Asian Studies Development Program East-West Center University of Hawaii, Honolulu Lloyd Jansen, Ph.D. Political Science and Gender Studies Green River Community College
10,000 students (7,000 FTE) 20% foreign, majority Asian Largest group: Chinese Next: Japanese and Indonesian
My take-away goals: I: To incorporate materials from the Infusing Institute into my political science and gender studies classes to help all students expand: Knowledge Awareness Understanding Sensitivities
II: To incorporate more materials that will help Green River Community College’s significant and increasing population of East Asian students feel more included in the discourse
Islam in China Course: Intro to Politics (Radical Islam/al Qaida/Taliban, etc. Part of intro where overview of Islam and diversity of Islam is covered.) Course: Comparative Politics (China government and politics. Political history and political culture.)
Case of Queen Himeka, Japan’s first known named ruler (recorded in 297 CE). “The people agreed” to her rule. (From Noriko Aso lecture) Courses: Intro to Politics (History of Democracy) and Intro to Gender Studies
The myth of Prince Shotoku and supposed Buddhist constitution for Japan that promotes and protects free speech and criticism of government. (6 th c CE) Course: Intro to Politics (History of Democracy)
Gender Roles and Rights in China: Confucian hierarchy, New Modernism/May 4 th Movement, film, literature, Cultural Revolution, current issues of same-sex relations, marriage, etc. *Perhaps I can use Susan Mann, “The Life Course,” from Precious Records: Women in China’s Long Eighteenth Century (Stanford, 1977), provided by Shana Brown. *Possible use of literature in Hu Ying’s biblio.
*Also Hu Ying’s account of Qiu Jin (1875 – 1907), the (transgendered?) woman who adopted male attire in her roles as a feminist, intellectual, and revolutionary. Courses: Intro to Gender Studies, Comparative Politics, maybe American Government
State and Religion (“Church and State”): Belief system syncretism. Comparisons with West (Approaches to issues such as abortion or same-sex marriage in U.S. vs China and Japan). Shinto and Buddhism, historical underpinnings in modern Japanese government. Roles of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism in historical Chinese governments. PRC approaches to religion and belief systems. Courses: Intro to Gender Studies, Comparative Politics, American Government and Politics
The Unplanned: In Comparative Politics, students must complete weekly reports and analyses on assigned countries, drawing from local and foreign newspapers (news and editorials) and from Human Rights Watch reports. All manner of issues are brought to class discussions.
Fleshing out an example: Politics of same- sex marriage globally and in China.
Globally: Same-sex marriage is now legal in 18 countries Argentina Belgium Brazil Canada Denmark France Iceland Mexico (in capital city and one state) Netherlands Norway Portugal South Africa Spain Sweden United Kingdom United States (13 states plus D.C.) Uruguay
Flurry of new legalization in countries and also U.S. states so far in 2013 plus the expansion of Federal U.S. recognition with the D.O.M.A. (Defense of Marriage Act) decision by the Supreme Court in June Christianity is the overwhelmingly dominant religion in every one of the above states. No Asian state has legalized same- sex marriage.
Case study: What is the status of this issue in the world’s largest country, China?
There are accounts of apparently homosexual emperors. A “cut sleeve” is slang for homosexuality, based on the story of the Han Emperor Ai who allegedly cut off the sleeve of his robe once to avoid waking his male lover, whose sleeping body was on the sleeve. Other alleged homosexuals were also active heterosexually as well. This was likely critical for passing on male heirs – important in the Confucian patriarchy.
There are various accounts of homosexuality through the ages. The legalist philosopher Han Fei ( BCE), for example, recorded a story of “the leftover peach” shared between two male nobles who were lovers. His story has been repeated in other accounts. There are also accounts of lesbianism.
There has never been a stricture against homosexuality in the traditional religions. But there has been another imperative. The philosopher Mencius (c 372 – 289 BCE) once said, “There are three ways to be unfilial. The worst is to have no heir.” This is still a widely known quote.
According to our presenter, Hu Ying, the modern attitudes against homosexuality were brought by Westerners in the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries.
Marriage in the PRC is defined as between one man and one woman. Homosexuality itself was decriminalized in (In the U.S., not completely until Lawrence v. Texas decision of 2004.) In 2001, the Chinese Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its official list of mental disorders.
Accounts indicate that many Chinese have no problem with the issue of same-sex marriage in the abstract, but they still expect their own children to produce a male heir and therefore enter into heterosexual marriages.
The media, and some scholars, have addressed the recent phenomenon of “fake marriages.” Gays and lesbians are legally marrying each other and having children while having secret, “real but illegal” same-sex marriages with other partners.
The media has also focused on the problem of married women who discover that their husbands are gay. Women are demanding divorces and a there has even been a proposal to the CCP that such women be allowed annulments. The media has ignored the issue of lesbians keeping their identities secret from straight husbands but the scholar Lucetta Yip Lo Kam has documented this as an equally common problem.
LBGTQ groups are growing. The Chinese media acknowledges them. There is a national chapter of PFLAG – Parents and Friends of Gays and Lesbians.
A good book for my Intro to Gender Studies class: Shanghai Lalas: Female Tongzhi Communities and Politics in Urban China (Hong Kong University Press) 2013 From the inside cover: “Based on several years of in-depth interviews, the volume concentrates on lalas’ [lesbians’] struggle to reconcile same- sex desire with a dominant rhetoric of family harmony and compulsory marriage.”