East Asian Culture: From Zen to K-Pop

Figures reflected in a Chinatown shop window, in Boston, MA.

Figures reflected in a Chinatown shop window, in Boston, MA. (Image courtesy of Daniel Bersak.)


MIT Course Number

21G.030 / 21G.193 / WGS.236

As Taught In

Spring 2015



Cite This Course

Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This subject is an introduction to various forms of culture in East Asia (focusing on China, Japan and Korea), including both traditional and contemporary examples. Critically examines the shared cultural elements that are widely considered to constitute "East Asian culture," and also the diversity within East Asia, historically and today. Examples include religious and philosophical beliefs (Confucianism and Buddhism), literature, art, food, architecture, and popular culture. The study of gender will be an integral part of this subject. The influence and presence of Asian cultural expressions in the U.S. are also considered.

This class is suitable for students of all levels, and requires no Asian language background. Students who wish to fulfill the MISTI-Singapore requirement may do the final project on Singapore. Taught in English.

The course includes field trips to the Museum of Fine Arts and the Peabody Essex Museum.

Other Versions

Related Content

Emma Teng. 21G.030 East Asian Culture: From Zen to K-Pop. Spring 2015. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, https://ocw.mit.edu. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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