East Asian Languages & Literatures
China, Japan and Korea have vast histories spanning thousands of years. In the 21st century these countries have emerged as major players in our global economy. Knowledge of Asian languages and cultures is becoming increasingly important for working in many fields in the humanities, social sciences, technology, business and international relations.
Through studying East Asian languages, linguistics and literatures at Smith, you get the exciting opportunity to grasp the culture and impact of one of our world's largest populations. Whether you major or minor in Chinese or Japanese, minor in Korean or take classes to complement another major, you have the chance to study abroad, participate in events, engage in research projects that expand your cultural knowledge, and, most importantly, broaden your view to better understand and explore this rapidly changing region that is influencing the world in new and important ways.
EAS Merging with EALL in Fall 2020
In the fall of 2020, the Program in East Asian Studies (EAS) and the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures (EALL) will merge into a new department, East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC). Students will be able to pursue both majors (EAL and EAS) within the new department, and there are no changes to major requirements. The departments are excited to move forward together!
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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.
The first year of Chinese (CHI 110 and 111) or Japanese (JPN 110 and 111) is a prerequisite for admission to the major. A language placement test is required prior to registration for students who have previously studied the language.
Students are expected to concentrate in China or Japan and take a total of 11 courses (46 credits), distributed as follows:
Language (four courses in total, 18 credits):
- Second-year language courses (10 credits): JPN 220 and 221 or CHI 220 and 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).
- Third-year language courses (8 credits): JPN 301 and 302 or CHI 301 and 302 (two courses). In consultation with their major advisers, students whose proficiency places them beyond the third year should substitute advanced language or literature courses for this requirement.
Literature (four courses in total, 16 credits):
At least three EAL-prefix courses (12 credits) in the literature or culture of the student's concentration, including a departmental seminar or equivalent. Students concentrating on China are strongly encouraged to take EAL 231, 232 and/or 234 early, and they must take at least one of these three courses. Students focusing on Japan are encouraged to take EAL 241 and 242 early, and they must take at least one of these courses.
At least one EAL-prefix course (4 credits) focusing principally on the literature of another East Asian country.
Electives (three courses in total, 12 credits):
- Three additional courses (12 credits) may be chosen from other advanced language, literature and culture courses in the department, or, with the approval of the adviser, from East Asia-related courses in other departments.
Of the 11 required courses, no more than five normally shall be taken in other institutions, such as the Five Colleges, Junior Year 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. Native speakers of a language must consult with the major adviser regarding the language requirement.
The course requirements are designed so that a student will concentrate on one of the East Asian languages but will have the option of being exposed to other courses in the department.
The first year of Chinese (CHI 110 and 111), Japanese (JPN 110 and 111) or Korean (KOR 101 and 102) is a prerequisite for admission.
The minor consists of a total of six courses in the following distribution:
Chinese II (CHI 220 and 221), Japanese II (JPN 220 and 221) or Korean II (KOR 201 and 202)
Four courses, at least two of which must be EAL-prefix courses in the literature and culture of the student's concentration (see course offerings)
In addition to the courses offered at Smith, courses offered at the other four colleges or through the Junior Year Abroad program may be taken for credit toward the requirement, with the restriction that only three courses (counted toward the minor) taken outside of Smith are allowed. Students planning on spending their junior year abroad should consult the department and get approval for courses that will be credited toward the East Asian languages and literatures minor. They must also seek final approval for those courses upon their return. Some EAL courses not listed in the course offerings may be eligible.
Director: Sujane Wu
430d Thesis (8 credits)
Full year course; Offered each year
431 Thesis ( 8 credits)
Offered each Fall
Same as for the departmental major plus the thesis, normally written in both semesters of the senior year (430d), with an oral examination on the thesis. In special cases, the thesis may be written in the first semester of the senior year (431).
The courses within the Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures are designed to introduce you to the spoken and written word in the Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages. Students progress to greater proficiency in speaking, reading and writing as they continue in advanced courses, building on their skills and vocabulary. In addition to our languages courses, we offer a variety of classes to explore the literature, history and culture of these fascinating countries. All EAL courses are taught in English unless otherwise noted.
EALL Open House
- Dewey Common Room, 3-5 p.m.
Come and enjoy an open house to learn more about the EALL department.
Joint Presentation of the EAS and EALL major and minor
- Campus Center 205 Lounge, 12-1 p.m.
- Joint Presentation of the Major and Minor in East Asian Studies and East Asian Languages and Literatures
Associated Colleges in China
Smith Consortium Program
Associated Kyoto Program
Smith consortium program
Hong Kong Ph.D. 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. More than 230 fellowships will be awarded for doctoral studies commencing in the 2018/19 academic year. The deadline for the initial application is December 1, 2017. For further information, contact HKPF@ugc.edu.hk.
Intensive Summer Language Study Grant
The application form for this program is available on the class deans website.
TUSA Ambassador Scholarship
The Taiwan-United States Sister Relations Alliance (TUSA) Summer Scholarship Program is an ambassador program—a unique program designed for students who will be representing their state, as well as the United States, and acting as ambassadors to Taiwan. The guidelines and application forms are available on the the Taiwan-United States Sister Relations Alliance website.
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.
Taiwan Scholarship Program & Huayu Enrichment Scholarship (HES)
TSP is designed for students to seek a degree program, including a bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs, in Taiwan. HES sponsors those who study Mandarin language courses in Taiwan. The guidelines and application forms are available on the Taiwan Scholarship website.
Asian Studies Grants and Fellowships
The Association for Asian Studies offers a listing of grants and fellowships.
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.
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.
18 Henshaw Avenue B1-204
Northampton, MA 01063
Adminstrative Assistant: Kathleen Gauger
Office hours are Monday–Friday,
8 a.m.–4 p.m.
Individual appointments may be arranged directly with the faculty.