Introduction

The East Asian Studies program is an interdisciplinary program with a focus on East Asia, particularly on China and Japan. East Asia plays an increasingly important role in international cultural, economic, and political affairs. East Asian Studies is intended to help students put this area in proper perspective and give a truly international dimension to a liberal arts education. A deeply rooted, and thoroughly integrated, understanding of Chinese, Japanese and other Asian civilizations and their place in the world is provided both by extensive training in language and literature and by work in other disciplines that contribute courses to the program.

Additional information can be found for Chinese and Japanese advising.  

Courses appropriate for prospective majors

EASN 101, Introduction to East Asian Studies

In addition, HIST 120 and most 200 level EASN topics courses are open to first-year students and all fulfill major and Comparative Civilization requirements. Students concerned about the level of difficulty should check with the instructors of specific courses.

Each East Asian Studies major must complete either CHIN 211, 212, Intermediate Chinese or JPNS 211, 212, Intermediate Japanese. Students interested in majoring in East Asian Studies should begin the language sequence in either Chinese or Japanese as early as possible (see Chinese and Japanese language section below). Students might also consider a summer course (when offered) in China (EASN 207, China Practicum) or Japan (EASN 208, Japan Practicum) between their first and sophomore years.

For course descriptions and requirements for the major, refer to the Academic Bulletin: East Asian Studies.

Courses that fulfill distribution requirements

Division IB:
EASN 201 & 203, Chinese Literature
EASN 202 & 203, Japanese Literature
EASN 205, Topics in East Asian Humanities

Division IC:
EASN 204, Topics in East Asian Cinima

Division II:
EASN 206, Topics in East Asian Society
EASN 236, Japanese Society
EASN 259, Law, Politics, and Society in Asia

Comparative Civilizations:
EASN 101, Introduction to East Asian Studies
EASN 201 & 203, Chinese Literature
EASN 202 & 203, Japanese Literature
EASN 205, Electives in East Asian Humanities
EASN 206, Electives in East Asian Society

Suggested curricular flow through the major

The EAS major is designed to ensure a strong foundation in East Asian languages and cultures for on-campus course work and study abroad. To that end, at least four semesters of either Chinese or Japanese (through CHIN 212 or JPNS 212) is required. Students who enter the college with prior instruction in or knowledge of Chinese or Japanese may test out of this requirement or enroll in higher level language courses suitable to their needs. EAS offers four levels of language instruction, from elementary to the advanced. Two of the electives required for the major can be advanced language courses (beyond the intermediate level). The purpose of strong language preparation and achievement is to prepare students for the option of spending one or two semesters abroad, normally during their junior year. Most students take this option at our partner institutions: Peking University in China and Nanzan University or Akita International University in Japan.

Students normally begin their major with Introduction to East Asia (EASN 101) and a selection of 200-level courses during their first and sophomore years while they are taking Japanese or Chinese. EAS also offers a range of 300-level courses designed to prepare students for the research and independent study at the core of the department’s capstone Senior Research course (EASN 490), offered in the spring of a student’s senior year. Students are also required to take electives in both the humanities (including at least one literature course) and social sciences and gain a more regional understanding of East Asia by taking at least one course on an East Asia country that is not the focus of their language instruction. Here is a guide to the kinds of suggested courses a typical EAS major takes during the four years:

First and Sophomore Years
Chinese or Japanese language courses to or beyond the intermediate level
Introduction to East Asian Studies and at least two 200-level courses in the humanities and/or social sciences

Junior Year
Study abroad for one or two semesters in Japan or China
Additional 200-level electives and requirements if on campus
300-level course if on campus during the spring semester

Senior Year
300-level course during the fall semester (if not already taken)
More 200-level courses in line with plans for completing the major requirements
490 Research Seminar in the spring

For information regarding the suggested guidelines, please feel free to contact the chair of EAS or any member of the department.

Honors

Honors within the major is determined by the quality of the senior thesis, which must display outstanding writing and analytical skills, and mastery of the research subject and its context. In addition to the written thesis, honors in East Asian Studies takes into account GPA within the major, overall GPA, the oral presentation of the thesis project, and the fielding of questions, but is neither precluded nor guaranteed by them. On the basis of a composite of these factors, the East Asian Studies faculty may decide to award honors to deserving students. Students interested in honors are encouraged to talk to their advisors no later than fall pause of their senior year for guidance to help them craft a thesis project able to meet the standards. Students who receive honors will be notified via email on the Thursday before graduation.