The purpose of this course is to ensure that Asian Studies concentrators (or upperclass students with a strong interest in Asian Studies) gain competence (and confidence) in the discipline of Asian Studies through analyzing and presenting arguments concerning topics that have generated debate in the field or that illustrate important aspects of the field. To that end, we will be reading and comparing a wide variety of shorter writings and doing a number of class and written exercises. For the purposes of this class, it is better to concentrate on shorter types of writing rather than entire books in that the former present a complete and stand-alone approach to a topic and, thus, are a better model for the students’ own writing at this point. Their shortness allows, as a practical matter, to look at a wider variety of approaches to the same basic subject matter. Articles will be examined not only for their content but, more particularly, for how they marshal evidence and the costs and benefits attached to different ways of presenting evidence. Students will have some input in selecting some of the topics to be covered in class. Many of the exercises and readings for the class are designed to make students be more self-conscious about the practice of doing Asian Studies and their own relationships to how knowledge is generated in the field.