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East Asian Languages & Literatures

About the Department

Chair: Tom Rohlich

China, Japan and Korea date back thousands of years, yet all three are poised to be major players in the globalization of economics and culture in the 21st century. The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures offers students the exciting opportunity to study East Asia through language, literature, linguistics and culture. Knowledge of Asian languages and cultures is increasingly important for working in many fields in the humanities, social sciences, technology, business and international relations.

In the major in East Asian languages and literatures, students may concentrate on the language, linguistics and literature of either China or Japan. Students may also choose to study up to two-and-a-half years of the Korean language, although it is not offered as a major. The flexible East Asian major encourages students to broaden their cultural studies by including courses in other fields and departments as well. Students are strongly encouraged to consider study abroad, and each year Smith students travel to China, Japan or Korea. On campus, the department joins with student groups to sponsor cultural activities focusing on East Asian countries. Students who intend to major in other areas are welcome to enroll in the department's courses.