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East Asian Languages & Cultures

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures offers multiple pathways for students to develop their knowledge of the vibrant cultures of China, Japan and Korea. While developing linguistic and cultural fluency through our language, literature and culture courses, students will engage with a diverse array of genres from traditional poetry to popular fiction and will explore issues such as translation, identity and gender within traditional and modern contexts. Students can choose to further expand their knowledge of East Asia through courses in anthropology, art history, economics, government, history, music, religion and world literatures.

Within the major, students can choose tracks in either Chinese, Japanese or East Asian studies and take a combination of language, literature, culture or other classes in the humanities and social sciences. The minor allows for concentrations in Chinese, Japanese, Korean or East Asian studies. We also encourage students to take advantage of our outstanding study abroad programs, where they accelerate their language studies and learn firsthand about contemporary Chinese, Japanese or Korean society and culture.

Department Update

Have A Question? Ask Our Student Liaisons!

2023–24 Liaisons: 

Mia Pego mpego@smith.edu, Chinese  
Sophie Weaver, sweaver@smith.edu, Japanese  
Jingyi Sze jsze@smith.edu, Korean

Requirements & Courses

Goals for Majors in East Asian Languages and Cultures

To develop linguistic and cultural fluency, students will:

  • Be able to use Chinese, Japanese or Korean to navigate a variety of social and professional situations appropriately and confidently.
  • Grasp of both language and culture will allow them to have nuanced discussions about social and cultural issues, as well as professional and academic topics that are of interest to them, in Chinese, Japanese or Korean.
  • Learn to analyze and interpret texts in an informed and critical way, both orally and in writing.
  • Be able to conduct research on topics of their choice utilizing primary and secondary sources.
  • Have an understanding of East Asian literature and culture—modern and premodern—that will lead them to develop historical and comparative perspectives on the world that go beyond simple East-West binaries.
  • Engage with the international community at Smith and abroad, learning to communicate respect and understanding across cultures, preparing for—and beginning—lives of ongoing influence in today’s global world.

East Asian Languages and Cultures Major

Chinese Track

The first year of Chinese (CHI 110 and CHI 111) is a prerequisite for admission to the major. 

Requirements

Eleven courses (46 credits)

  1. Second-year language courses (10 credits): CHI 220 and CHI 221 (two courses). Students who place into the third year or above will have this credit requirement waived (that is, such students need only nine courses or 36 credits for the major).
  2. Third-year language courses (8 credits): CHI 301 and CHI 302 (two courses). In consultation with their adviser, a student whose proficiency places them beyond the third year must substitute advanced language or literature courses for this requirement.
  3. At least three EAL-prefix courses (12 credits) in Chinese literature or culture, including a departmental seminar. Students concentrating on China are strongly encouraged to take EAL 231EAL 232/ WLT 232, and/or EAL 234 early, and they must take at least one of these three courses. 
  4. At least one EAL-prefix course (4 credits) focusing principally on the literature of another East Asian country.
  5. Three additional courses (12 credits), which may be chosen from other advanced language or literature courses in the department or, at the recommendation of the adviser, from related courses in other departments.
  • No more than five of the 11 required courses shall normally be taken in other institutions, such as through the Five Colleges, study abroad programs or summer programs. Students should consult their advisers prior to taking such courses.
  • S/U grading option is not allowed for courses counting toward the major.
  • Students with native fluency of a language are encouraged to take another East Asian language.
Japanese Track

The first year of Japanese (JPN 110 and JPN 111) is a prerequisite for admission to the major.

Requirements

Eleven courses (46 credits)

  1. Second-year language courses (10 credits): JPN 220 and JPN 221 (two courses). Students who place into the third year or above will have this credit requirement waived (that is, such students need only nine courses or 36 credits for the major).
  2. Third-year language courses (8 credits): JPN 301 and JPN 302 (two courses). In consultation with their adviser, a student whose proficiency places them beyond the third year must substitute advanced language or literature courses for this requirement.
  3. At least three EAL-prefix courses (12 credits) in Japanese literature or culture, including a departmental seminar. Students concentrating on Japan are strongly encouraged to take both EAL 241 and EAL 242, but they must take at least one of the two.
  4. At least one EAL-prefix course (4 credits) focusing principally on the literature of another East Asian country.
  5. Three additional courses (12 credits), which may be chosen from other advanced language or literature courses in the department or, at the recommendation of the adviser, from related courses in other departments.
  • No more than five of the 11 required courses shall normally be taken in other institutions, such as through the Five Colleges, study abroad programs or summer programs. Students should consult their advisers prior to taking such courses.
  • S/U grading options are not allowed for courses counting toward the major.
  • Students with native fluency of a language are encouraged to take another East Asian language.
East Asian Studies Track

The major track in East Asian studies reflects the emergence of East Asia politically, economically and culturally onto the world scene, especially during the last century, and anticipates the continued importance of the region in the future. It also offers students an opportunity to develop a coherent and comprehensive understanding of the great civilizations of the Asia Pacific region.

The major track in East Asian studies combines language study with courses in anthropology, art, economics, government, history and religion. Majors graduate from the program with a firm grasp on the culture and history of the region, as well as a command of at least one language. Thus, the program prepares students for post-graduate endeavors ranging from graduate school to careers in the public and private sectors dealing with East Asia.

Requirements

Ten courses

  1. Two East Asian language courses: The second year of an East Asian language, which can be fulfilled by CHI 220 and CHI 221JPN 220 and JPN 221, or KOR 201 and KOR 202, or any higher-level courses. Extensive language study is encouraged, but only two courses at the second-year level or higher will count toward the major. Normally, language courses will be taken at Smith or within the Five Colleges. Students with native or near-native fluency in an East Asian language must take a second East Asian language. Native and near-native fluency is defined as competence in the language above the fourth-year level.
  2. Two survey courses
    1. One survey course on the premodern civilization of an East Asian country: HST 222ppHST 223atEAL 231EAL 233EAL 234EAL 235EAL 241ARH 200 or ARH 352ce
    2. HST 200, normally taken by the second year
  3. Six elective courses, which shall normally be determined in consultation with the adviser from the list of approved courses.
    • Four of the elective courses shall constitute an area of concentration, which can be an emphasis on the civilization of one country (China, Japan or Korea) or a thematic concentration (comparative modernization, religious traditions, women and gender, political economy, thought and art). Other concentrations may be formulated in consultation with an adviser.
    • Electives must include courses in both the humanities and the social sciences.
    • Electives must include courses on more than one East Asian country.
    • One of the elective courses must be a Smith seminar on East Asia.
    • One elective may be a non-seminar course, approved by the adviser, offering a broader comparative framework for East Asian studies.
Major Requirement Details
  • At least half of the course credits toward the major must be taken at Smith.
  • No more than two 100-level courses shall count as electives.
  • No course taken for a satisfactory/unsatisfactory grade counts toward the major.
  • Normally students with a second major may count a maximum of three (3) courses from the department of that other major toward the EAS major.

Honors

Please consult the director of honors for specific requirements and application procedures.

East Asian Languages and Cultures Minor

Minor requirements are designed so that a student concentrates on one of the East Asian languages but has the option of being exposed to the other courses in the department.

Track 1: Chinese

The first year of Chinese (CHI 110 and CHI 111) is a prerequisite for admission to the minor.

Requirements

Six courses

  1. Second-year language courses (10 credits): CHI 220 and CHI 221 (two courses)
  2. Four courses, at least two of which must be EAL-prefix courses in Chinese literature and culture.
Track 2: Japanese

The first year of Japanese (JPN 110 and JPN 111) is a prerequisite for admission to the minor.

Requirements

Six courses

  1. Second-year language courses (10 credits):  (JPN 220 and JPN 221) (10 credits).
  2. Four courses, at least two of which must be EAL-prefix courses in Japanese literature and culture.
Track 3: Korean

The first year of Korean (KOR 101 and KOR 102) is a prerequisite for admission to the minor.

Requirements

Six courses

  1. Second year Korean courses (KOR 201 and KOR 202) (8 credits)
  2. Four courses, at least two of which must be EAL-prefix courses in Korean literature and culture.
Track 4: East Asian Studies

The minor track in East Asian studies provides a coherent understanding of and basic competence in the civilizations and societies of China, Japan and Korea. It may be undertaken to broaden the scope of any major; to acquire, for comparative purposes, an Asian perspective within any of the humanistic and social-scientific disciplines; or as the basis of future graduate work or careers related to East Asia.

Requirements

Six courses

  1. HST 200, normally taken by the second year
  2. Five elective courses, chosen in consultation with the adviser. One year of an East Asian language is strongly encouraged and may constitute two elective courses. (One semester of a language may not be counted as an elective.)
  3. The S/U grading option is not allowed for courses counting toward the EAS minor. 
Minor Requirement Details
  • No more than three courses counting toward the minor may be taken in other institutions. Students should consult the department prior to taking courses in other institutions.
  • The S/U grading option is allowed for only one course counting toward the minor for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean tracks. The S/U grading option is not allowed for courses counting toward the EAS minor.

East Asian Literature Courses

EAL 231 The Culture of the Lyric in Traditional China (4 Credits)

China grounds its literary tradition in lyric poetry. One enduring definition of lyric, or shi, in the Chinese tradition is the natural, direct expression and reflection of one’s inner spirit as a result of a unique encounter with the world. This course is an introduction to masterworks of the Chinese lyric tradition from its oral beginnings through the Qing dynasty. Through close, careful readings of folk songs, poems, prose and excerpts from the novel Dream of the Red Chamber, students inquire into how the spiritual, philosophical and political concerns dominating the poets’ milieu shaped the lyric language through the ages. All readings are in English translation; no knowledge of Chinese required. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 232/ WLT 232 Modern Chinese Literature (4 Credits)

Offered as WLT 232 and EAL 232. Can literature inspire personal and social transformation? How have modern Chinese writers pursued freedom, fulfillment, memory and social justice? From short stories and novels to drama and film, we explore class, gender and the cultures of China, Taiwan, Tibet and the Chinese diaspora. Readings are in English translation and no background in China or Chinese is required. Open to students at all levels. {L}

Fall, Spring, Alternate Years

EAL 233 Chinese Travel Writing (4 Credits)

Who travels in China and for what reasons? What does a traveler write about--the scenery of a particular location or the experience of a journey itself; the homesickness or the joy of traveling; the philosophical and spiritual insights or the political implications? Much of Chinese literature is composed from the perspective of one who is, or has been, on the road: whether as exile, pilgrim, soldier, pleasure traveler, or even shaman. Through close reading of selected poems, diary entries, essays, and fictional writings, and visual images selected from across the centuries, we explore how various writers define such notions as "place" and "home." All readings are in English translation. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 234 Self and Society in Chinese Fiction and Drama (4 Credits)

This survey of traditional Chinese fiction and drama from roughly 800-1900 reads classical tales of the strange, vernacular stories, novels, zaju and chuanqi drama alongside official narratives such as histories and biographies, as well as popular genres like ballads, baojuan (precious scrolls) and tanci (plucking songs). The class considers the ways individuals, family, community and government appear in literature, along with the conflicting loyalties presented by romance, family and the state. All readings are in English translation; no previous knowledge of Chinese required. {L}

Spring

EAL 235 Class, Gender and Material Culture in Late Imperial China (4 Credits)

This class examines the continuum between subject and object in Chinese fiction, drama, and poetry from the 16th through the 18th centuries, discussing how individuals participate as agents and objects of circulation; how objects structure identity and articulate relationships; the body as object; and the materiality of writing, illustration, and the stage. We analyze historical constructions of class and gender and reflect on how individuals constructed social identities vis-à-vis objects and consumption. All readings in English translation. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 237 Chinese Poetry and Other Arts (4 Credits)

Poetry, painting, calligraphy and other visual and plastic arts are ways of expressing oneself and forms of communication. In this course, we explore the relationships between words and images and the issues such as how poetry and other arts are inextricably linked; What makes a painting a silent poem? and a poem a lyrical painting? and how do poetry and painting inspire one another? How do they respond to one another? All readings are in English translation. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 239/ WLT 239 Intimacy in Contemporary Chinese Women’s Fiction (4 Credits)

Offered as EAL 239 and WLT 239. How do stories about love, romance and desire (including extramarital affairs, serial relationships and love between women) challenge our assumptions about identity? How do pursuits, successes and failures of intimacy lead to personal and social change? An exploration of major themes through close readings of contemporary fiction by women from China, Taiwan and Chinese diasporas. Readings are in English translation and no background in China or Chinese is required. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 240 Japanese Language and Culture (4 Credits)

This course introduces the historical, social and ideological background of "standard Japanese" and the Japanese writing system. The course looks at basic structural characteristics of the language and interpersonal relations reflected in the language, such as politeness and gender. The course also addresses fluidity and diversity of linguistic and cultural practices in contemporary Japan. This course is suitable for students with little knowledge about the language as well as those in Japanese language courses. All readings are in English translation. Enrollment limited to 30. {S}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 241 Literature and Culture in Premodern Japan: Court Ladies, Wandering Monks and Urban Rakes (4 Credits)

A study of Japanese literature and its cultural roots from the eighth to the 19th century. The course focuses on enduring works of the Japanese literary tradition, along with the social and cultural conditions that gave birth to the literature. All readings are in English translation. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 242 Modern Japanese Literature (4 Credits)

A survey of Japanese literature from the late 19th century to the present. Over the last century and a half, Japan has undergone tremendous change: rapid industrialization, imperial and colonial expansion, occupation following its defeat in the Pacific War, and emergence as a global economic power. The literature of modern Japan reflects the complex aesthetic, cultural and political effects of such changes. Through our discussions of these texts, we also address theoretical questions about such concepts as identity, gender, race, sexuality, nation, class, colonialism, modernism and translation. All readings are in English translation. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 244 Japanese Women’s Writing (4 Credits)

This course focuses on the writings of Japanese women from the 10th century until the present. We examine the foundations of Japan’s literary tradition represented by such early works as Murasaki Shikibu’s Tale of Genji and Sei Shonagon’s Pillow Book. We then move to the late 19th century to consider the first modern examples of Japanese women’s writing. How does the existence of a "feminine literary tradition" in pre-modern Japan influence the writing of women during the modern period? How do these texts reflect, resist and reconfigure conventional representations of gender? We explore the possibilities and limits of the articulation of feminine and feminist subjectivities, as well as investigate the production of such categories as "race," class and sexuality in relation to gender and to each other. Taught in English, with no knowledge of Japanese required. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 245 Writing, Japan and Otherness (4 Credits)

An exploration of representations of "otherness" in Japanese literature and film from the mid-19th century until the present. How was (and is) Japan’s identity as a modern nation configured through representations of other nations and cultures? How are categories of race, gender, nationality, class and sexuality used in the construction of difference? This course pays special attention to the role of "otherness" in the development of national and individual identities. In conjunction with these investigations, we also address the varied ways in which Japan is represented as "other" by writers from China, England, France, Korea and the United States. How do these images of and by Japan converse with each other? All readings are in English translation.

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 253 Korean Cinema: Cinema and the Masses (4 Credits)

This course offers a survey of Korean film history in light of cinema's relationship to the masses. As a popular art form, cinema has always been in close contact with its audiences. Cinema has contributed to the emergence of modern masses. By examining how cinema has shaped its audiences and vice versa, this course charts the development of Korean cinema as a popular entertainment as well as an art form during the last hundred years. This course starts from the globalization of Korean cinema and its transnational audiences and chronologically harks back to the colonial period. {H}{L}

Fall, Spring

EAL 254 Modern Korean Literature in Translation (4 Credits)

This course is a survey of modern Korean literature from the 1990s to the present. It charts the formal and thematic development of Korean literature by examining how literature illuminates Korea's history and politics. We will be engaged in the close reading of medium and full-length fictions in English translation, while considering their historical and cultural contexts. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 261 Gender and Sexuality in Late Imperial Chinese Literature (4 Credits)

This class will examine Chinese literary traditions in various different genres such as fiction, poetry and drama from the 16th through the 18th centuries from perspectives of gender and sexuality. Through the class, you will learn to examine Chinese literary tradition from the perspective of gender, discussing the gendering of new modes of expression in de/constructing men and women as social categories over the long course of Chinese literary history. We will pay special attention to how women were represented in classical literature, primarily poetry and fiction, both through their own writing and in the writing of men. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 263 Romance and Martial Arts in Chinese Popular Fiction (4 Credits)

Do you like love stories? Kung fu movies? Feel embarrassed admitting it and wonder why? This course investigates the cultural, political and aesthetic significance of romance and martial arts in Chinese popular fiction and some films from the 16th to the 20th centuries. Students read works in these two major genres, learn key frameworks from cultural studies and explore scholarship on the aesthetic and political interventions of Chinese romantic and martial arts fiction in local, national and global contexts. Students end the course as more knowledgeable, aware consumers of popular culture in general. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 273 Colloquium: Women and Narration in Modern Korea (4 Credits)

This class explores modern Korean history from women's perspectives. It charts the historical and cultural transformation in modern Korea since the 1920s by coupling key terms of modern history with specific female figures: (1) Colonial modernity with modern girls in the 1920s and 30s; (2) colonization and cold-war regime with "comfort women" and "western princesses" from the 1940s to the 1960s; (3) industrial development under the authoritarian regime in the 1970s with factory girls; and (4) democratization and multiculturalism with rising feminists in the new millennium. {H}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 274 Voices From Japan's Margins (4 Credits)

Reflecting their marginalized status in Japanese society, minority groups in Japan, including Ainu, burakumin, Korean-Japanese, and Okinawans, have until recently received minimal recognition in modern Japanese literature. This course will examine “minority literature” in Japan in order to develop students’ knowledge of the experiences of ethnic minorities in Japan as well as the ways in which these experiences have been reflected in literature and film. We will consider how this literature has been received in Japan and how “minority” subjects have utilized the media of film and literature to present their own voices. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 281 Colloquium: Revising the Past in Chinese and Taiwanese Film and Literature (4 Credits)

This colloquium explores how China and Taiwan recollect, reflect and reinterpret their past and how multifaceted traditions are represented in a new light on the world stage. We will reflect on our perceptions and receptions of the past through close readings of films and literature from China and Taiwan. We will explore what aspects of the past are erased, re-packaged, or re-imagined and why. These preeminent figures and events – in history or fiction – presented in film and literature include, but are not limited to, Confucius, the First Emperor of China, Mulan, Qiu Jin, and Nie Yinniang. All readings are in English translation. Chinese text will be provided upon request. Enrollment is limited to 20. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 291 Writing Empire: Images of Colonial Japan (4 Credits)

This course explores the development of Japanese and colonial identities in literature produced in and about Japan’s colonies during the first half of the 20th century. We read literary works written during and about the Japanese empire by Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Okinawan and Taiwanese writers. By bringing together different voices from inside and outside of Japan’s empire, students gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of colonial hegemony and identity. Taught in English: no knowledge of Chinese, Japanese or Korean required. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 292sh Topics in Japanese Popular Culture-The Shojo (Girl) (4 Credits)

This course examines representations of the figure of the Shōjo (girl) in Japanese popular culture from the mid-1900s to the present. Enrollment limited to 20. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 292tc Topics in Japanese Popular Culture-Traditional Context (4 Credits)

This course studies features of contemporary Japanese popular culture by placing it in the context of tradition. Students gain a working knowledge of traditional Japanese literature and culture in order to examine the ways in which this tradition is re-worked and re-invented in contemporary popular works of literature, manga, anime and film. Enrollment limited to 20.<span style="font-size:12px"> {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 360bh Seminar: Topics in East Asian Languages and Literatures-Book History and Print Culture in East Asia (4 Credits)

This course explores print and media cultures of the 16th through the 20th centuries in China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Students read literary and popular works in the context of the cultural, intellectual and technological transformations that defined these texts' creation, circulation and reception. Students study historical and theoretical scholarship on topics such as language reform, the book market and changing literacies for men and women. The course also considers how media developments shape the experience of Asian modernity. All readings in English translation. Prerequisite: one 200-level EAL course or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 12. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 360rw Seminar: Topics in East Asian Languages and Literature-Notorious Trailblazers: Reading Women's Lives, Past and Present (4 Credits)

The seminar is for students who want to design and deeply engage in their own independent research project to explore the following questions on East Asian Women’s life experiences: What do we really know about the social, political and literary roles that women play in pre-modern society? Do women throughout history always occupy a position inferior to their male counterparts? And when they rise to a powerful position, how are they perceived and through what lens? How about their self-perceptions and self-representations through writing? In modern society, how do we understand women’s voices when the traditional perspective still has its impact? Are we still accustomed to reading women’s life experiences in a stereotypical and narrow way? Are they represented to fit into a modern prejudiced agenda? This seminar focuses on women’s experiences, past and present in East Asia through critical exploration of representation, reception, and agency. Enrollment limited to 12. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 400 Special Studies (1-4 Credits)

For students engaged in independent projects or research in connection with Japanese, Chinese or Korean language and literature.

Fall, Spring

EAL 430D Honors Project (4-8 Credits)

Fall

EAL 431 Honors Project (8 Credits)

Fall

Chinese Language Courses 

A language placement test is required prior to registration for students who have previously studied the language. With the instructor's permission, advanced language courses (CHI 350 and CHI 351md) may be repeated when the content changes. A grade of C or higher in the preceding level is required to enter the next level language course.

CHI 110 Chinese I (Intensive) (5 Credits)

An intensive introduction to spoken Mandarin and modern written Chinese, presenting basic elements of grammar, sentence structures and active mastery of the most commonly used Chinese characters. Emphasis on development of oral/aural proficiency, pronunciation, and the acquisition of skills in reading and writing Chinese characters. This course is suitable for students with no prior study of Chinese. Students with prior language experience should take the placement test before registering. Enrollment limited to 15.

Fall

CHI 111 Chinese I (Intensive) (5 Credits)

A continuation of CHI 110. Students extend and develop confidence in all four communicative skills, culminating in a creative digital project. Prerequisite: CHI 110 or by placement test. Enrollment limited to 15. {F}

Spring

CHI 120 Chinese I for Novice High Speakers (4 Credits)

Designed for students with previous Chinese language experience who have at least a Novice High oral proficiency, but whose reading and writing proficiency is at Novice Low or Novice Mid level. The course will cover the same material as CHI 110 at an accelerated pace, helping students build grammar knowledge and reading and writing skills through interactive, communicative and task-based activities. This introductory course does not fulfill the foreign language requirement for Latin honors. CHI 120 and CHI 121 together fulfill the foreign language requirement for Latin honors. Enrollment limited to 15. Placement test and instructor permission required.

Fall, Annually

CHI 121 Chinese I for Intermediate Low Speakers (4 Credits)

This continuation of CHI 120 is designed for students with previous Chinese language experience who have at least an Intermediate Low oral proficiency and a Novice High reading and writing proficiency. The course covers the same material as CHI 111 at an accelerated pace, focusing on helping students build grammar knowledge and reading and writing skills through interactive, communicative and task-based activities. CHI 120 and CHI 121 together fulfill the foreign language requirement for Latin honors. Enrollment limited to 15. Prerequisite: CHI 120 or placement test. {F}

Spring, Annually

CHI 220 Chinese II (Intensive) (5 Credits)

Continued emphasis on the development of oral proficiency and functional literacy in modern Mandarin. Conversation and narrative practice, reading exercises, short composition assignments and work with multi-media content, culminating in a creative digital project. Prerequisite: CHI 111 or placement test. Enrollment limited to 15. {F}

Fall

CHI 221 Chinese II (Intensive) (5 Credits)

A continuation of CHI 220. Students transition from functional communication skills to expressing and supporting opinions about topics including modernization, health, the environment and economics, ending by creating a digital narrative exploring a culturally or socially significant topic. Prerequisite: CHI 220 or by placement test. Enrollment limited to 15. {F}

Spring

CHI 301 Chinese III (4 Credits)

Building on the skills and vocabulary acquired in Chinese II, students learn to read simple essays on topics of common interest and develop the ability to understand, summarize and discuss social issues in contemporary China. Readings are supplemented by digital materials, and the semester ends with a creative digital project. Prerequisite: CHI 221 or placement test. Enrollment limited to 15. {F}

Fall

CHI 302 Chinese III (4 Credits)

A continuation of CHI 301, with a focus on developing narrative and storytelling skills, cultural knowledge, and increased use of authentic language materials. Projects include, but are not limited to, blog posts, podcasts and magazines. Prerequisite: CHI 301 or by placement test. Enrollment limited to 15. {F}

Spring

CHI 350 Advanced Chinese through Film and Literature (4 Credits)

Development of advanced proficiency in four skills through the study and discussion of selected modern Chinese literary and cinematic texts. Students explore literary and formal expression in original works, including fiction, short stories, prose, novellas and screenplays. With the instructor’s permission, advanced language courses may be repeated when the content changes. Prerequisite: CHI 302 or by placement test. {F}

Fall, Spring, Variable

CHI 351md Topics in Advanced Readings in Chinese-Modern Lens (4 Credits)

This course mainly focuses on readings of cultural, political and social import. Through in-depth study and discussion of modern and contemporary texts and essays drawn from a variety of sources, students develop advanced reading, writing and discussion skills in Chinese and increase their understanding of modern and contemporary China. Prerequisite: CHI 302 or placement test. {F}

Fall, Spring, Variable

CHI 352 Food for Thought: Chinese Language, Culture, Environment, and Health (4 Credits)

This course focuses on Chinese food culture and its relationship with environment and health. This course is an advanced-high Chinese language course that contextualizes learning through textual-visual analysis of food-related topics. The materials integrate different disciplines and genres to help students speak and write in Chinese coherently and critically. Through activities in and out of class, this course aims to develop students' deeper understanding of how language, along with food, both shapes and mirrors culture. Students explore cultural complexities and subtleties through literary-based online videos and compare with their own cultures on how flavors and tastes are used metaphorically. Prerequisites: CHI 302 and above at Smith College or equivalent, or by placement. Instructor permission required. {F}

Fall, Spring, Variable

CHI 353 Talking Point: Epidemics and Their Controversies in China and Beyond (4 Credits)

This course is designed to help students to deepen their understanding of China’s culture and society through the controversies and debates surrounding the epidemics, and Covid-19 in particular, while developing their Chinese language skills in the process. In this course, students attempt to understand people’s experiences and feelings in the locked-down cities, analyze gender issues in the medical care workplace and study discrimination against people who are from high-risk districts. Students explore topics such as whether or not people feel comfortable covering their faces; the role of NGOs in epidemics; and so on. Enrollment limited to 15. {F}

Fall, Spring, Variable

Japanese Language Courses

A language placement test is required prior to registration for students who have previously studied the language. With the instructor's permission, advanced language courses (JPN 350 and JPN 351) may be repeated when the content changes. A grade of C or higher in the preceding level is required to enter the next level language course.

JPN 110 Japanese I (Intensive) (5 Credits)

An introduction to spoken and written Japanese. Emphasis on the development of basic oral proficiency, along with reading and writing skills. Students acquire knowledge of basic grammatical patterns, strategies in daily communication, hiragana, katakana and about 90 Kanji. Designed for students with no background in Japanese. Enrollment limited to 15.

Fall

JPN 111 Japanese I (Intensive) (5 Credits)

A continuation of JPN 110. Development of utilization of grammar and fluency in conversational communication. About 150 more kanji are introduced for reading and writing. Prerequisite: JPN 110 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 15. {F}

Spring

JPN 220 Japanese II (Intensive) (5 Credits)

Course focuses on further development of oral proficiency, along with reading and writing skills. Students attain intermediate proficiency while deepening their understanding of the social and cultural context of the language. Prerequisite: JPN 111 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 15. {F}

Fall

JPN 221 Japanese II (Intensive) (5 Credits)

A continuation of JPN 220. Prerequisite: JPN 220 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 15. {F}

Spring

JPN 301 Japanese III (4 Credits)

Development of high intermediate proficiency in speech and reading through study of varied prose pieces and audio-visual materials. Prerequisite: JPN 221 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 15. {F}

Fall

JPN 302 Japanese III (4 Credits)

A continuation of JPN 301. Prerequisite: JPN 301 or equivalent. {F}

Spring

JPN 350 Contemporary Texts I (4 Credits)

This course focuses on contemporary texts from different genres including newspaper and magazine articles, fiction and short essays from print and electronic media. This course further develops advanced reading, writing and discussion skills in Japanese and enhances students’ understanding of various aspects of contemporary Japanese society. Students work on group and individual projects such as translation of a text from Japanese to English. Prerequisite: JPN 302 or equivalent. With the instructor’s permission, advanced language courses may be repeated when the content changes. {F}

Fall

JPN 351 Contemporary Texts II (4 Credits)

Continued study of selected contemporary texts including fiction and short essays from print and electronic media. This course further develops advanced reading, writing and discussion skills in Japanese and enhances students’ understanding of various aspects of contemporary Japanese society. With the instructor’s permission, advanced language courses may be repeated when the content changes. Prerequisite: JPN 302 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 15. {F}

Spring

Korean Language Courses

A language placement test is required prior to registration for students who have previously studied the language. A grade of C or higher in the preceding level is required to enter the next level language course.

KOR 101 Korean I (4 Credits)

Beginning Korean I is the first half of a two-semester introductory course in spoken and written Korean for students who do not have any previous knowledge of Korean. This course improves students’ communicative competence in daily life, focusing on the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Some of the activities include oral dialogue journals (ODJ), expanding knowledge of vocabulary, conversation in authentic contexts, in-depth study of grammar, listening comprehension, pronunciation practice, mini- presentations, Korean film reviews and Korean film making. Enrollment limited to 15.

Fall

KOR 102 Korean I (4 Credits)

Beginning Korean II is the second half of a two-semester introductory course in spoken and written Korean for students who have some previous knowledge of Korean. This course improves students’ communicative competence in daily life, focusing on the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Some of the activities include vocabulary-building exercises, conversation in authentic contexts, in-depth study of grammar, listening comprehension and pronunciation practice, mini-presentations, Korean film reviews and Korean film making. Prerequisite: KOR 101 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 15. {F}

Spring

KOR 201 Korean II (4 Credits)

Intermediate Korean I is the first half of a two-semester intermediate course in spoken and written Korean for students who already have a basic knowledge of Korean. This course reinforces and increases students’ facility with Korean in the four language areas: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Students are encouraged to expand their knowledge and take confidence-inspiring risks through such activities as expanding knowledge of vocabulary, role play in authentic contexts, in-depth study of grammar, students mini-presentations, various types of writing, Korean film reviews, skits and Korean film making. Prerequisite: KOR 102 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 15. {F}

Fall

KOR 202 Korean II (4 Credits)

Intermediate Korean II is the second part of a one-year intensive course for students who have already completed the intermediate-level Korean course, Intermediate Korean I, or who have the equivalent language competence in Korean. Designed for students seeking to become bilingual (or multilingual), this course provides numerous and varied opportunities to develop and practice speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Activities include expanding vocabulary, conversing in authentic contexts (conversation cafe), studying grammar intensively, reading stories and news articles, reviewing Korean films and Korean film making. Prerequisite: KOR 201 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 15. {F}

Spring

KOR 301 Korean III (4 Credits)

This course helps students become proficient in reading, writing and speaking at an advanced level of Korean. This course is particularly appropriate for Korean heritage language learners, that is, those who have some listening and speaking proficiency but lack solid reading and writing skills in Korean. In addition, this course would fortify and greatly expand the skills of those who have studied Korean through the intermediate level or who have equivalent language competence in Korean. Class activities include (1) reading of Korean literature and current news sources; (2) writing assignments such as Korean-film responses, journal entries and letters; (3) expanding vocabulary knowledge; (4) practicing translation skills; (5) understanding Korean idioms; (6) learning basic Chinese characters. Prerequisite: KOR 202 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 15. {F}

Fall

KOR 302 Korean III (4 Credits)

This course is the second part of a one-year intensive course for students who have already completed the advanced-level Korean course, KOR 301, or who have the equivalent language competence in Korean. Designed for students seeking to become bilingual (or multilingual), this course provides numerous and varied opportunities to develop and practice speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Activities include expanding vocabulary, learning basic Chinese characters, conversing in authentic contexts, studying grammar intensively, reading stories and news articles, reviewing Korean soap operas and debating contemporary social issues. Enrollment limited to 15. {F}

Spring

Crosslisted Courses

ANT 223 ​ In Sickness and in Health: Biopolitics, Public Health, and Medicine in East Asia (4 Credits)

Same as EAS 223. What happens when states focus on their citizen’s potential productivity and discipline to serve the interests of the nation? Biopolitics or the regulation and optimization of populations relies on biomedicine, science, statistics, laws, and policies to ensure the health and future of the nation. Using an anthropological lens the course examines how trajectories of East Asian history, politics, and science intersect with health in our globally connected futures. From SARS, AIDS, and Avian Flu, the dynamics of public health and medicine in East Asia offer an opportunity to develop insights into the relations between states, populations, and citizens. {S}

Fall, Spring, Variable

ANT 342bb Seminar: Topics in Anthropology-Biopower, Biopolitics and Governance (4 Credits)

The obesity epidemic, personalized cancer treatments, and the commercialization of surrogate pregnancy represent manifestations of Foucault's conception of biopower or the regulation of the lives of individuals and populations. While institutions like law, medicine, and public health can make visible state interests in bodies and population, more indirect social processes operate to the same ends.  For example, advertising and consumer products indirectly shape norms and ideals convergent with government interests.  This seminar explores the workings and limitations of biopower, biopolitics, and governance through case studies drawn from anthropology. Enrollment limited to 12. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission only.

Fall, Spring, Variable

ARH 200 China in Expansion (4 Credits)

During the formative periods when the local and global forces simultaneously took actions in shaping Chinese civilization, the functions of images and objects, the approaches to things and the discourses around art underwent significant shifts, not only responding to but also mapping out the "Chinese-ness" in visual and material culture. This course of early Chinese art investigates diverse media bronze vessels, sculptures, murals, textiles, architecture and other visual and material forms in relation to political and military conquest, cross-cultural exchange, the dissemination of ordinary practices and the formation of identities. Key terms/issues for the course will include expansion, connection and materiality. Counts for ARU. {A}{H}

Fall, Spring, Alternate Years

ARH 290ib Colloquium: Topics in Art Historical Studies-Playing with Ink and Brush (4 Credits)

For more than a thousand years, ink has been maintained as the principal medium of painting and calligraphy in East Asia. This course surveys the continuities and ruptures of East Asian ink art seen through the formal, cultural and political factors. It also unravels the constant re-appropriation of the “archaic” medium. The course embraces art works in various media—paintings, calligraphy, books, woodblock prints, installation, performance and animation—that were created by premodern and modern artists. Sessions are organized both thematically and according to a rough, chronological sequence. Enrollment limited to 20. {A}{H}

Fall, Spring, Variable

ARH 290mc Colloquium: Topics in Art Historical Studies-Meditations in Caves (4 Credits)

The course is an introduction to Buddhist grottoes of East Asia. We will learn the historical trajectories of Buddhist grottoes, including the development of cave architecture, mural painting, and sculpture. It pays special attention to the site specificity of the visual imageries, and their transmissions, commissions, and functions. The case studies in this course range from the Kizil Caves and Mogao Caves in Northwestern China, to the Yungang Caves and Longmen Caves in the central plains, and the Seokguram Caves in the Korean Peninsula. We will also consider the collecting, preserving and displaying of Buddhist grottoes in the contemporary world. Enrollment limited to 20. {A}{H}

Fall, Spring, Variable

ARH 352ce Seminar: Topics in Art History-Imperial Matter: The Arts of China's Early Empires (4 Credits)

Why did the First Emperor of China build his grand mausoleum as a microcosm? What foreign motifs and luxury goods were brought to the Chinese proper and by whom? How did trade and war affect the making of the arts 2,000 years ago? These are some of the core questions embedded in this seminar, which investigates the power of things that made a difference in shaping the conditions of the Qin and the Han, Chinese first empires. Throughout the semester, students closely examine art objects and read leading scholars of early imperial Chinese art around the world. Enrollment limited to 12. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required. Counts for ARU. {A}{H}

Fall, Spring, Variable

BUS 254 Buddhist Culture and Thought of Japan (Global FLEX Program) (3 Credits)

This Global FLEX program will bring students to Kyoto University for a three week intensive studyfocused on Buddhist Studies, widely understood doctrine, history, art and architecture, performing arts(tea, Noh), martial arts, contemporary philosophy, Buddhist psychology, ritual and contemplativepractice, and visits to temples and other sites. Classes will be taught by a team of Kyoto Universityfaculty and colleagues along with the Smith faculty member who accompanies the group. We will alsooffer opportunities for students to stay longer in Kyoto, either enrolling in other Kyoto University programs and/or engaging in Summer Intern programs. Enrollment limited to 15. {A}{H}{L}

Spring

EAL 232/ WLT 232 Modern Chinese Literature (4 Credits)

Offered as WLT 232 and EAL 232. Can literature inspire personal and social transformation? How have modern Chinese writers pursued freedom, fulfillment, memory and social justice? From short stories and novels to drama and film, we explore class, gender and the cultures of China, Taiwan, Tibet and the Chinese diaspora. Readings are in English translation and no background in China or Chinese is required. Open to students at all levels. {L}

Fall, Spring, Alternate Years

EAL 239/ WLT 239 Intimacy in Contemporary Chinese Women’s Fiction (4 Credits)

Offered as EAL 239 and WLT 239. How do stories about love, romance and desire (including extramarital affairs, serial relationships and love between women) challenge our assumptions about identity? How do pursuits, successes and failures of intimacy lead to personal and social change? An exploration of major themes through close readings of contemporary fiction by women from China, Taiwan and Chinese diasporas. Readings are in English translation and no background in China or Chinese is required. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

ECO 219 The Chinese Economy (4 Credits)

This course offers an analysis of the recent development of the Chinese economy, its rapid transformation in the post-Mao period, and the implications of this transformation for the welfare of Chinese households. Topics to be discussed include economic reform, trade liberalization, demography, inequality, health and environmental challenges. Fundamental topics in principles of economics will be covered in an intuitive way through topics pertaining to China. Course performance will be assessed through participation, in-class quizzes, literature critiques, and a final paper plus presentation. Prerequisite: ECO 150 and ECO 153. {S}

Fall, Spring, Annually

ENG 171/ WLT 272 Composing a Self: Chinese and English Voices (4 Credits)

Offered as ENG 171 and WLT 272. Is the self a story? How do we translate ourselves into multiple personas in different locations and contexts? How do we speak to others with diverse beliefs or ourselves at new times? To learn, students read and compose short texts in Chinese, translate them into English, and consider the art and politics of translation. Working in public-facing genres (memoir, narrative nonfiction, journalism, short stories, social media and multimedia projects), students develop their creative writing in both Chinese and English, as well as understandings of Chinese cultures and of literary and cultural translation. Discussion in Chinese and English. Chinese fluency required. One WI course highly recommended. Enrollment limited to 16. {F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Alternate Years

FYS 150 Writing and Power in China (4 Credits)

This course examines the many ways in which writing has been used to gain, maintain and overturn power throughout Chinese history, from the prognosticating power of oracle bone script to the activist potential of social media. We examine writing as a tactic of agency, a force for social change, and an instrument of state power; analyze the changing role of literature; and consider the physical forms of writing and the millennia-long history of contemporary issues like censorship and writing reform. Finally, students work to make their own writing as powerful as possible. No knowledge of Chinese required. Enrollment limited to 16 first years. WI {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

FYS 183 Geisha, Wise Mothers, and Working Women (4 Credits)

This course examines images of Japanese women that are prevalent in the West, and to some extent Japan. Our focus will be on three key figures considered definitive representations of Japanese women: the geisha, the good wife/wise mother, and the working woman. We will read popular treatments including novels, primary sources, and scholarly articles. Our task will be to sort through these images, keeping in mind the importance of perception versus reality and change over time. Enrollment limited to 16 first years. WI

Fall, Spring, Variable

GOV 230 Chinese Politics (4 Credits)

The People’s Republic of China represents approximately one quarter of the world’s population, sustains the largest bureaucracy in the history of the world, and currently possesses of a system of political economy that combines elements of both communism and capitalism. This course introduces students to the basic concepts of political processes, political institutions, and political events in China, primarily focusing on the reform era (1978-present). Specifically, we examine China’s political institutions, political economy, state-society relations, and the politics of Hong Kong and Taiwan. Designation: Comparative. {S}

Fall, Spring, Variable

HST 200 Modern East Asia (4 Credits)

This introductory course looks comparatively at the histories of China, Japan and Korea from the late 18th century to the present. It examines the struggles of these countries to preserve or regain their independence and establish national identities in a rapidly emerging and often violent modern world order. Although each of these countries has its own distinctive identity, their overlapping histories (and dilemmas) give the region a coherent identity. We also look at how individuals respond to and are shaped by larger historical movements. {H}

Fall

HST 213 History of Modern China (4 Credits)

This course examines the history of China, primarily from the 18th century until today. The course covers topics ranging from the expansion of the Qing, the transition from empire to nation, and economic development and environmental disasters in the PRC. The readings and lectures establish a framework of critical analysis for issues of both historical and contemporary importance. Having completed the course, students are expected not only to understand the major events and themes in the history of Modern China, but also to be aware of the ways in which contemporary politics make use of different historical narratives. (E) {H}

Fall, Spring, Variable

HST 217 World War Two in East Asia: History and Memory (4 Credits)

Examination of the factors leading to the war in Asia, the nature of the conflict and the legacy of the war for all those involved. Topics include Japan’s seizure of Korea, the invasion of China, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the war in the Pacific, the racial dimensions of the Japanese empire, the comfort women, biological warfare, the dropping of the atomic bombs and the complicated relationship between history and memory. {H}

Fall, Spring, Variable

HST 222pp Colloquium: Topics in Japanese History-The Place of Protest in Japan (4 Credits)

Histories of social conflict, protest and revolution in early modern and modern Japan. In the early modern period (1600–1867), peasant resistance and protest, urban uprisings, popular culture, “world-renewal” movements and the restorationist activism of the Tokugawa period. In the modern period, the incipient democratic movements and the new millenarian religions of the Meiji era (1868–1912), radical leftist activism, mass protest and an emerging labor movement in the Taisho era (1912–26), anti-imperialist movements in China during the prewar years and finally, a range of citizens’ movements in the postwar decades. Enrollment limited to 18. {H}{S}

Fall, Spring, Variable

HST 223at Colloquium: Topics on Women and Gender in Japanese History-Ancient Times to the 19th Century (4 Credits)

The dramatic transformation in gender relations is a key feature of Japan’s premodern history. How Japanese women and men have constructed norms of behavior in different historical periods, how gender differences were institutionalized in social structures and practices, and how these norms and institutions changed over time. The gendered experiences of women and men from different classes from approximately the seventh through the 19th centuries. Consonant with current developments in gender history, exploration of variables such as class, religion and political context that have affected women’s and men’s lives. Enrollment limited to 18. {H}{S}

Fall, Spring, Variable

HST 301 Calderwood Seminar: Writing about Twentieth-Century Wars in Asia (4 Credits)

How is historical memory made—and lost? Students in this Calderwood seminar will reflect upon and intervene in this process as they consider how the major wars of the mid-twentieth century have been remembered or forgotten in the public sphere. The focus is on wars in Asia, most notably the Asia-Pacific theater of World War II followed by the supposedly “forgotten” war in Korea. Yet public knowledge about these wars is extremely limited in the United States. At the same time, war memories, particularly those surrounding World War II, are more contentious than ever across East Asia today. Enrollment limited to 12. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required. {H}{S}

Spring, Variable

HST 313ap Seminar: Topics in East Asian History-Remembering the Asia-Pacific War (4 Credits)

Examines recent historical controversies over World War II in East Asia, also known as the Asia-Pacific War. Focuses on the Japanese empire and includes studies of government policies, narratives of life on the homefront and in the colonies, and the critical transition from a "hot" war to the Cold War. Topics include war crimes, total war, "Comfort Women," atomic bombs, and biological warfare.   There are no specific disciplinary prerequisites, but the course is well-suited for juniors and seniors with a background in History or East Asian Studies. Although the course focuses on East Asia, students are welcome to research other theaters of the war. Enrollment limited to 12. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required. {H}

Fall, Spring, Variable

REL 164 Buddhist Meditation (4 Credits)

This course will explore classical and contemporary forms of Buddhist meditation theory and practice. It will examine both classical formulations and contemporary expositions with an eye to seeing how the theory and practice of Buddhist meditation are being adapted to fit the needs of people today. Enrollment limited to 25. {H}

Fall, Spring, Variable

REL 270 Zen Buddhism and Japanese Culture (4 Credits)

The development of Buddhism and other religious traditions in Japan from prehistory through the 19th century. Topics include doctrinal development, church/state relations, and the diffusion of religious values in Japanese culture, particularly in the aesthetic realm (literature, gardens, tea, the martial arts, etc.) {H}

Fall, Spring, Variable

WLT 270 Colloquium: Health and Illness: Literary Explorations (4 Credits)

From medieval Chinese tales to memoirs about SARS and COVID-19, this cross-cultural literary inquiry explores how conceptions of selfhood and belonging inform ideas about well-being, disease, intervention and healing. How do languages, social norms and economic contexts shape experiences of health and illness? From depression and plague to aging, disability and death, how do sufferers and their caregivers adapt in the face of infirmity or trauma? Our study will also consider how stories and other genres can help develop resilience, compassion and hope. Enrollment limited to 20. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

Additional Programmatic Information

Special Studies

Before the semester begins, students should consult with their EALC major or minor adviser, and the instructor with whom they would like to do the special studies. After consulting with their adviser and instructor, students must apply for departmental approval from the EALC curriculum committee and chair. Specifically, the student should submit a 1-2 paragraph description of the special studies, along with a schedule of readings and assignments. Once the student receives approval from the EALC curriculum committee and chair, the student will submit an application for special studies to the Registrar's office. Students who wish to count a special studies in another department toward their EAS track major or minor must get approval from the instructor, the department of that special studies, and their major or minor adviser.

Honors

Students who wish to pursue an Honors Thesis should meet with a faculty member in the department to discuss ideas and develop a proposal with the assistance of the potential thesis supervisor during the spring semester of their junior year.

Students should also consult with the Honors Director of the department no later than the spring semester of their junior year. 

Director: Irhe Sohn

EAL 430D Honors Project
Credits: 4-8
Normally offered each fall

EAL 431 Honors Project
Credits: 8
Normally offered each fall. Please consult the director of honors for specific requirements and application procedures.

Faculty

Yalin Chen

East Asian Languages & Cultures

Senior Lecturer in Chinese

Yalin Chen

Kimberly Kono

East Asian Languages & Cultures

Professor of Japanese Language & Literature

Kim Kono

Yuri Kumagai

East Asian Languages & Cultures

Senior Lecturer in Japanese

Yuri Kumagai

Suk Massey

East Asian Languages & Cultures

Senior Lecturer in Korean

Suk Massey

Yuko Mizutani

East Asian Languages & Cultures

Drill Instructor in Japanese

Yuko Mizutani

Jessica Moyer

East Asian Languages & Cultures

Associate Professor of Chinese Language & Literature

Jessica Moyer

Irhe Sohn

East Asian Languages & Cultures

Assistant Professor of Korean Language & Literature

Irhe Sohn

Sujane Wu

East Asian Languages & Cultures

Professor of Chinese Language & Literature

Sujane Wu

Lu Yu

East Asian Languages & Cultures

Lecturer in Chinese

Lu Yu

Other East Asianists on Campus

Marnie S. Anderson 
Professor of History; Chair of EALC 2022-24

Ernest Benz 
Associate Professor of History

Suzanne Gottschang 
Professor of Anthropology

Yanlong Guo 
Assistant Professor of Art

Jamie Hubbard 
Professor of Religion & Yehan Numata Professor in Buddhist Studies; Jill Ker Conway Chair in Religion & East Asian Studies

Sabina Knight 
Professor of Chinese and of Comparative Literature, Program in World Literatures

Sara Newland 
Assistant Professor of Government

Margaret Sarkissian 
Professor of Music

Research Affiliate

Ling Zhao
Research Affiliate in Chinese

Emeriti Faculty

Daniel K. Gardner
Dwight W. Morrow Professor of History Emeritus

Maki Hubbard
Professor Emerita of Japanese Language & Literature

Thomas Rohlich
Professor Emeritus of Japanese Language & Literature

Dennis Yasutomo
Esther Cloudman Dunn Professor Emeritus of Government

Class Projects

Professor Sujane Wu’s EAL 231 The Culture of the Lyric in Traditional Chinese class created an exhibit for the 2020 Virtual Mum Show.

Yellow flower in the annual Mum Show

This JPN 350 translation project was done in collaboration with students at Doshisha Women’s College in Kyoto.

Video still from a translation class project for JPN 350

Elizabeth Carney ’21 created a video for CHI 221 to explore the idea of lobster as a delicacy. 

Video still of a lobster image from a CCH 221 class project by Elizabeth Carney ’21

For KOR 102, Naomi Ostriker ’21 created a video titled “Cake for Grandpa.”

Video still from "Cake For Grandpa" for a KOR 102 class project

Chinese Class Projects

View a playlist of three recent Chinese class projects: Chinese Character Literacy project, Chinese Podcast Project, and Chinese Food Project

Kimchi Workshop 2023

Students studying Korean recently participated in a kimchi making workshop, where they prepared the popular Korean dish.

Opportunities & Resources

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures awards two yearly prizes.

Ettie Chin Hong ’36 Prize

The Ettie Chin Hong ’36 prize awarded to a senior majoring in East Asian Languages and Cultures who has demonstrated leadership and academic achievement and who intends to pursue a career in education or service to immigrant and needy communities.

Mary Maples Dunn Prize

The Mary Maples Dunn Prize is awarded annually for an essay written in English (normally 4-8 pages) within the current or three preceding semesters in a regular course in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, including approved cross-listed courses for the EAS track. Essays originally submitted in seminars, for special studies or as honors theses are not eligible. If an essay was written in response to a specific question or problem posed by an instructor, the stated assignment should be submitted along with the essay. All essays should indicate for which course and in which semester they were originally written. Students may submit only one (1) essay for the competition per year. Students who have not competed in the past for this prize are strongly encouraged to apply. Essays should be submitted via email as a clearly marked pdf document to Kathleen Gauger, kgauger@smith.edu by Monday, April 1, 2024 at 4:30 pm and clearly identified as a submission for the Mary Maples Dunn Prize. English language submissions only.  

Overview

There are a number of Smith-approved programs in Asia. Learn more about study abroad on the Office for International Study website. Be sure to consult with your major adviser as you make your study abroad plans.

Advisers: Jessica D. Moyer (Chinese); Atsuko Takahashi (Japanese); Suk Massey (Korean)

Junior Year Abroad programs are encouraged at approved institutions in East Asia; we recommend the Associated Kyoto Program (AKP) for Japan and Ewha Women’s University for Korea. Approved programs in China and Taiwan include Middlebury (Beijing and Taiwan), CET (Taiwan), and TISLP (Taiwan). Students planning on studying abroad should consult the department concerning the list of courses to be credited toward the major or minor and must seek final approval for the courses upon their return.

Requirements

Courses taken abroad, as well as courses taken away from Smith at other domestic institutions, may count toward the major or minor under the following conditions:

  • For major, no more than five courses and for minor, no more than three courses shall normally be taken in other institutions, such as through the Five Colleges, study abroad programs or summer programs. Students should consult their advisers prior to taking such courses. 
  • The courses are reviewed and approved by the advisers and curriculum committee upon completion.

China

Middlebury Schools Abroad

Immersion language programs in Beijing, China. Click on the link above for more information.

Japan

Smith Consortium Program
Smith in Japan: Associated Kyoto Program
Term: Year
Location: Kyoto
Language of Instruction: Japanese, English
Prerequisites: One year of Japanese and one Japan-related course other than language.
Program Highlights: AKP emphasizes Japanese language acquisition, and elective courses include Japanese history, culture, literature, politics and economics taught in English by consortium faculty. AKP is based at Doshisha University, and students live with host families. Students may join Doshisha student clubs and circles or study traditional arts with local teachers and artists through AKP's network in Kyoto.
Smith Representative: Atsuko Takahashi

Korea

Summer Program at Ewha Woman's University (Seoul)
Each year, Smith College selects six students to attend Ewha International Summer School tuition free. Applicants with a strong interest in studying the Korean language and culture, one year of Korean study and a 3.0 GPA are preferred. Korean nationals are not generally eligible. Students may also apply for International Experience Grants for financial assistance. Students who are selected by Smith are responsible for applying directly to Ewha International Summer School for admission and for obtaining the proper visa.
Smith Representative: Suk Massey

Taiwan

CET Taiwan Study Abroad Program
CET Intensive Language Program in Taipei, Taiwan. Click on the link above to apply.

Immersion language program in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Click on the link above for more information.
 
Immersion language program in Taipei, Taiwan. Click on the link above for more information.

Internal Smith College Grants

Intensive Summer Language Study Grant

The application form for this program is available on the class deans website.

Mary Maples Dunn Fund Grants for Summer Language Study or Research

A limited number of small travel grants (up to $1,200) are available to students who are planning to study an East Asian Language (Chinese, Korean or Japanese) in a Summer 2024 study abroad program or conduct advanced research on East Asia through travel to the region. In the latter case, the student should already have studied an East Asian language (normally at Smith) and the research program should include that language. If human subjects are part of the research, the student must receive IRB approval. Applications should include a personal statement about how the summer plan fits into the student’s academic program. Priority will be given to EALC majors and minors (including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and EAS tracks) and to students who have not received previous funding. Our goal is to support students who have a demonstrated commitment to long-term language study and/or research using East Asian languages.

 Successful awardees are expected to continue their language study upon their return to Smith. Those conducting research will give a short presentation to students and faculty in the Fall semester. Send a personal statement, an itemized budget that includes other funding sources (e.g. IEG), and an unofficial transcript as a single pdf file labeled as “Your surname Dunn Fund Summer 2024" to Kathleen Gauger (kgauger@smith.edu) by 4:30 pm on April 1, 2024 (Monday)

Students will be notified by early May of the results.  All funds must be spent and receipts received by June 17, 2024. Note: Make sure your application meets the requirements laid out in the call for proposals. We do not fund applications for language study that do not include a specific language program. We can only reimburse expenses for which you have a receipt (such as an airline ticket or a tuition bill). We do not fund research proposals when a student has not studied the relevant language at Smith College.

External Grants & Scholarships

Hong Kong Fellowship Scheme

The Research Grants Council of Hong Kong offers the Hong Kong Ph.D. Fellowship Scheme. This program aims to attract top international students to pursue doctoral studies in Hong Kong’s world-class research universities. The fellowship provides a monthly stipend and a conference and research-related travel allowance per year for a period of three years. For further information, contact HKPF@ugc.edu.hk.

Blakemore Fellowship

The Blakemore Foundation was established in 1990 by Thomas and Frances Blakemore to encourage the advanced study of Asian languages and to improve the understanding of Asian fine arts in the United States. Since 1990, the foundation, with the support of The Freeman Foundation, has awarded over $17 million in grants to college graduates and young professionals for an academic year abroad in full-time intensive language study. The fellowships cover tuition and a stipend for related educational expenses, basic living costs and transportation. See https://blakemorefoundation.communityforce.com for details on the Blakemore Freeman Fellowships for an academic year of advanced language study in East and Southeast Asia. 

Ministry of Education (MOE) Taiwan Scholorships

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has established two scholarship programs: Taiwan Scholarship Program (TSP) and Huayu Enrichment Scholarship (HES). The TSP provides those who seek bachelor, master and doctoral degree programs in Taiwan with grants that include tuition, fees and a monthly stipend. The HES program is designed for students to learn the Mandarin language in Taiwan. The award period may be 3, 6, 9 or 12 months from September 2023 to August 2024. The scholarship provides a monthly stipend of NT $25,000, which equals US $810 approximately. Deadline for both programs is March 31, 2023. For details and application materials, please visit the MOE website.

Critical Language Scholarships

A program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. The application and further information can be found on the Critical Language Scholarship website.

Asian Studies Grants & Fellowships

The Association for Asian Studies offers a listing of grants and fellowships.

Boren Scholarships and Fellowships

Boren Awards provide funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to study in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East, where they can add international and language components to their education. Boren scholars and fellows represent a variety of academic backgrounds but all are interested in studying less commonly taught languages, including, but not limited to, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Swahili.

Study Abroad in Japan

The United States-Japan Bridging Foundation offers scholarships to American undergraduate students participating in study abroad programs in Japan. Scholarships assist students with the travel and living expenses they will incur while studying abroad in Japan for a semester or an academic year. Applications are accepted twice a year.

LeadNext: Ambassadors for a Global Future

Asia Foundation Call for Applications for the new virtual program (with an in-person summit) that will run from January-August. The program requires only occasional virtual commitments and a one-week summit in August in San Francisco. Further details here, including clarification of eligibility and application routes (different for U.S. applicants and international students from Asia).

Contact East Asian Languages & Cultures

East Asian Languages & Cultures
22 Green Street, Room 104
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: 413-585-3591

Administrative Assistant: Kathleen Gauger
Office hours are Monday–Friday,
8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Lunch 12–1 p.m.

Department Chair: Marnie Anderson

Individual appointments may be arranged directly with the faculty.