GSI - ASIAN 325 (Winter 2022)

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How to Apply

In addition to applying via the University of Michigan Careers website, applicants are required to fill out the departmental application: https://webapps.lsa.umich.edu/Apply/1510. In order to be considered for this position, both applications must be completed by the deadline. The departmental application includes:

  • Basic academic and professional information
  • A resume/CV
  • An unofficial transcript

Graduate Student Instructor positions are only open to current or matriculating University of Michigan graduate students.

Questions may be directed to alc-gradservices@umich.edu.  

Course Description

ASIAN 325: Zen: History, Culture, and Critique  

The term “Zen” has entered the American lexicon as a sort of synonym for words like “relaxing,” “peaceful,” “healthy,” and “focused.” We now have Zen breakfast cereals, Zen pipe cleaners, Zen singles services, and all manner of books beginning “Zen and the art of…” But what is Zen? Where did it come from? What does it teach? What does it mean to be a Zen Buddhist? In this course we will look at the Zen tradition from a variety of perspectives. We will begin by familiarizing ourselves with some of the most common features of the tradition: dharma transmission, the lives of eminent monks, meditation, and koans—especially as these things are represented from within the tradition itself. From this foundation we will take a more critical look at the historical and philosophical development of Zen as it spread throughout East Asia. Taking broader cultural contexts into account, we will re-examine some of the previous themes in light of recent scholarship on Zen. This course will also introduce students to the various forms Zen has taken in the ancient and modern world. Along the way, we will have the opportunity sample some of the key texts, teachings, and critiques of both Zen masters and contemporary Zen scholars.

ADDITIONAL COURSE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND ON THE LSA COURSE GUIDE (lsa.umich.edu/cg).

Responsibilities*

Students who apply to this posting will be considered for a 35% or 50% GSI position.

Key Responsibilities: lead two (2) or three (3) discussion sections weekly, create and implement lesson plans in consultation with the lead instructor, hold a minimum of two (2) office hours weekly in the South Thayer Building, grade assignments, proctor exams, and meet regularly with the lead instructor.

Required Qualifications*

Previous coursework in Chinese studies. An interest in questions of race and ethnicity. Students whose undergraduate degree is from an institution where the language of instruction is not English must have already taken or be currently enrolled in the English Language Institute’s ELI 994. The student must have a passing score of 4 on the Oral English Test (OET). 

Desired Qualifications*

Undergraduate degree in Asian Studies or History.  Enrollment in a graduate program focused on Asian studies.

Contact Information

Contact alc-gradservices@umich.edu with any questions related to your application.

Decision Making Process

All applications will be forwarded to the primary instructor of ASIAN 325. The instructor will make a hiring recommendation. Once the recommendation is reviewed, an offer letter will be authorized.

Selection Process

All applications will be forwarded to the primary instructor of ASIAN 325. The instructor will make a hiring recommendation. Once the recommendation is reviewed, an offer letter will be authorized.

GEO Contract Information

The University will not discriminate against any applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, marital status, familial status, parental status or pregnancy status, sex, gender identity or expression (whether actual or perceived), sexual orientation, age, height, weight, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, HIV antibody status, political belief, membership in any social or political organization, participation in a grievance or complaint whether formal or informal, medical conditions including those related to pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, arrest record, or any other factor where the item in question will not interfere with job performance and where the employee is otherwise qualified. The University of Michigan agrees to abide by the protections afforded employees with disabilities as outlined in the rules and regulations which implement Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Information for the Office for Institutional Equity may be found at https://oie.umich.edu/ and for the University Ombuds at https://ombuds.umich.edu/


Unsuccessful applications will be retained for consideration in the event that there are last minute openings for available positions. In the event that an employee does not receive their preferred assignment, they can request a written explanation or an in-person interview with the hiring agents(s) to be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time.


This position, as posted, is subject to a collective bargaining agreement between the Regents of the University of Michigan and the Graduate Employees' Organization, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO 3550.


Standard Practice Guide 601.38, Required Disclosure of Felony Charges and/or Felony Convictions applies to all Graduate Student Assistants (GSAs). SPG 601.38 may be accessed online at https://spg.umich.edu/policy/601.38 , and its relation to your employment can be found in MOU 10 of your employment contract.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

U-M COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

COVID-19 vaccinations are now required for all University of Michigan students, faculty and staff across all three campuses, including Michigan Medicine.  This includes those working or learning remotely.  More information on this policy is available on the Campus Blueprint website or the U-M Dearborn and U-M Flint websites.