In this seminar the student, is introduced to a set of theoretical topics that are relevant to the comparative and critical study of Asia. Rather than focusing on a particular region, historical period, or disciplinary perspective, the course seeks to equip students with tools essential for a sophisticated and compelling analysis of a variety of regions, historical periods, and disciplinary perspectives. These tools will allow them to move more easily across the disciplines of Asian studies by, among other things, exploring the historical foundations of those disciplines. The readings will offer a variety of strategies for understanding Asian cultures, pairing readings in social theory with monographs that concern specific Asian materials. Students will thereby gain a purchase on critical theory and productive ways of using it in the study of cultures across national and/or disciplinary boundaries.