Syllabus & Courses

You may view and download the course syllabi for the JD Transcultural Studies below. The PDFs contain the name of the lecturer(s), date and time as well as an abstract for the courses’ content where available.

You can access more detailed descriptions of courses offered at the GSL via the Kyoto University Student Affairs Information System (KULASIS) and via the Information System of Heidelberg University (LSF) for courses at the HCTS (You do not have to log-in to view the course information on the LSF).

Course Rooms at KU
Most classrooms are located on the 2nd floor of the Faculty of Letters Main Building (no. 8 on the campus map). Some, however, e.g., seminar rooms 8-12 or lecture rooms 8-9 are in Research Building No. 2 (総合研究2号館), no. 34 on the campus map (opposite the Letter’s building). Most of the seminar rooms there are on the first floor, and the lecture rooms are in the basement. Please check this excerpt from the student handbook (Japanese only with some English notes).

Current Academic Year
Courses for Spring and Fall Terms 2024: PDF.
Course Schedule for Spring and Fall Terms 2024: PDF.
CATS (Courses on Asian and Transcultural Studies) leaflet 2024: PDF.

First Semester Modules

Please find descriptions of the program’s first semester modules below. Please be advised, that individual courses as well as rooms and times may be subject to change! Check KULASIS for up-to-date information.
You may also look for courses in a particular study focus via the links below:

Introduction to Transcultural Studies

Skills for Transcultural Studies

Focus 1 – Foundations

Scripts, Languages and Buddhist Scriptures

What Is Transcultural History?

Philosophy of Science in Japanese Context: Advanced Introduction to Philosophy of Science

Welfare Regime and Cross-Border Migration in Asia: labor, marriage and evacuation

Cinema and Media Studies Seminar: Women and Documentary in East Asia and Documentary Writing

Feminist Theory


Millennial Zeitgeist & Auteurs of Korean Cinema

Comparative Development Studies B


Learning the Power of Observation: How and Why I Make “Observational” Documentaries



Second and Third Semester Modules

For courses during a student’s stay at Heidelberg University, please refer to the syllabus on the LSF platform (choose “Centre for Asian and Transcultural Studies (CATS)” > “MA Transcultural Studies.”
Students in Kyoto can choose courses from the list below.

Research and Advanced Studies

Transcultural Cinema Forum 2024

An Introduction to Bioethics

Queer Film Theory and Criticism

Contemporary Japanese Philosophy in a Global Context

Heidi in Japan

Selected Readings in Classical Japanese Literature

A History of Tantric Yoga

Digital games in a transcultural perspective

Critical Consumption Studies

Japan’s early diplomacy during the last decade of the Tokugawa Shogunate

SocSci Research Methods in Education

Comparative Development Studies A

Decisions, Orderings, and the Nation: Japan at Play

Historical Seminar: Animals and Borders

East Asian Origins: Ancient History and Material Culture

Transcultural Problem Solving

Actors, Processes, and Networks: Studying (Sub-) Cultural Practices

International Development Assistance Policy

Weekly Writing Practicum

Buddhist Art and Manuscript Cultures along the Silk Road

Issues in Environmental History: Nature, Knowledge, Place, and Surroundings

Global Neorealism

Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian Cinema: Frames of Identity and Alterity

Migration and integration in contemporary Japan


Pain Culture and Pain Literature

Transformative Experience

Documentary Traditions


マンガ研究ことはじめ 方法論を学ぶ

Fourth Semester Modules

The fourth semester focuses on writing the MA theses and includes a colloquium, where students present the progress of their research and receive feedback from supervisors and peers.

Past Academic Years
CATS Courses for Spring & Fall Terms 2023
CATS (Courses on Asian and Transcultural Studies) leaflet 2023
CATS Courses for Spring & Fall Terms 2022
CATS (Courses on Asian and Transcultural Studies) leaflet 2022
CATS Courses for Spring & Fall Terms 2021
CATS (Courses on Asian and Transcultural Studies) leaflet 2021
CATS Syllabus for Spring & Fall Terms 2020
CATS Syllabus for Spring & Fall Terms 2019
CATS Syllabus for Spring & Fall Terms 2018
CATS Syllabus for Spring & Fall Terms 2017
CATS Syllabus for Spring & Fall Terms 2016
CATS Syllabus for Fall Term 2015