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A Culture of Care >> Read Smith’s plans for the fall 2021 semester.

East Asian Languages & Cultures

Great Wall of China

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.

Announcements

Have A Question? Ask Our Student Liaisons!

2021–22 Liaisons: Chinese: Caty Maloney ’21; Japanese: Ruoyi Yan ’21; Korean: Eryn Lee ’21.  

Requirements

Students will:

  • Explore and analyze texts, arguments and social phenomena relating to East Asia.
  • Integrate general and specialized knowledge with appropriate disciplinary frameworks to ask productive questions and solve problems in their study of China, Japan or Korea.
  • Design and carry out an independent, thesis-driven research project (the seminar).
  • Develop an understanding of East Asian language, literature and culture—modern and premodern—that will give them 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.
  • Majors and minors in the Chinese, Japanese and Korean tracks will learn to use Chinese, Japanese or Korean to navigate a variety of social and professional situations appropriately and confidently, and to have nuanced discussions about social and cultural issues, as well as professional and academic topics that are of interest to them. They will gain a deep understanding of and fluency in one language and culture.
  • Majors and minors in the East Asian studies track will achieve at least intermediate proficiency in Chinese, Japanese or Korean, including listening, speaking, reading and writing. They will develop a multidimensional, interdisciplinary understanding of the arts, beliefs, societies and traditions of either one East Asian country or of a specific theme across East Asia as a region.

Track 1: Chinese

Prerequisites: The first year of Chinese (CHI 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.

Advisers: Yalin Chen, Jessica Moyer, Sujane Wu

Requirements: Students take a total of 11 courses (46 credits), distributed as follows:

  1. Second-year language courses (10 credits): 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).
  2. Third-year language courses (8 credits): CHI 301 and 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 231, 232, and/or 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.

Of the 11 required courses, no more than five 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.


Track 2: Japanese

Prerequisites: The first year of 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.

Advisers: Kimberly Kono, Yuri Kumagai, Atsuko Takahashi

Requirements: Students are expected to concentrate in Japan and take a total of 11 courses (46 credits), distributed as follows:

  1. Second-year language courses (10 credits): JPN 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).
  2. Third-year language courses (8 credits): JPN 301 and 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 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.

Of the 11 required courses, no more than five 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.


Track 3: East Asian Studies

Please see the EAS Major Advising Worksheet.

Advisers: Marnie Anderson, Ernest Benz, Kimberly Kono, Suzanne Gottschang, Jessica Moyer, Irhe Sohn, Sujane Wu, Dennis Yasutomo

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: 

I. Basis Courses

An East Asian language: The second year of an East Asian language, which can be fulfilled by CHI 220 and 221, JPN 220 and 221, or KOR 201 and 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.

II. Survey Courses

  • One survey course on the premodern civilization of an East Asian country: HST 211, HST 212, HST 220, HST 221, HST 222, HST 223, EAL 231, EAL 233, EAL 234, EAL 235, EAL 241, ARH 200, ARH 352.
  • HST 200 (formerly EAS 100) Modern East Asia (normally by the second year).

III. Electives

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.
  • 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.

Additional Approved Courses in the Humanities (in addition to EALC courses) for the East Asian Studies Track

ARH 200 China in Expansion

ARH 280 Art Historical Studies
Manga in A Thousand Years: Critical Approaches to Manga and Anime
Playing with Ink and Brush (900 CE to Present): A Material, Cultural and Political History of East Asian Art
Meditation In Caves: Buddhist Grottoes in East Asia 

ARH 352 Studies in Art History
Naturalism & Amateurism: The Aesthetics of the Song Dynasty (960-1276) Paintings

BUS 240 Buddhism and Gender

DAN 142 Dance Forms I
Korean Traditional Dance

FYS 150 Writing and Power in China

MUS 220 Topics in World Music
The Music of Japan

PHI 112 Chinese Philosophy

REL 110 Colloquia: Thematic Studies in Religion
Politics of Enlightenment

REL 161 Introduction to Buddhist Thought

REL 264 Buddhist Meditation

REL 270 Zen Buddhism and Japanese Culture

REL 360 Seminar: Problems in Buddhist Thought
Enlightenment

WLT 232 Modern Chinese Literature

WLT 239 Intimacy in Contemporary Chinese Women's Fiction

WLT 270 Health and Illness: Literary Explorations

WLT 272 Composing a Self: Chinese and English Voices 


Additional Approved Courses in the Social Sciences for the East Asian Studies Track

ANT 223 In Sickness and in Health: Biopolitics, Public Health, and Medicine in East Asia

ANT 252 The City and the Countryside in China

ANT 253 Introduction to East Asian Societies and Cultures

ANT 342 Seminar: Topics in Anthropology
Biopower, Biopolitics, and Governance

ECO 219 The Chinese Economy

ENV 230 Colloquium: Environment and Society in Contemporary China

FYS 183 Images of Japanese Women

GOV 228 Government and Politics of Japan

GOV 230 Chinese Politics

GOV 235 Government and Politics in East Asia

GOV 251 Foreign Policy of Japan

GOV 253 Colloquium: Culture and Diplomacy in Asia

GOV 327 East Asian Politics Seminar

GOV 328 Rising China

GOV 329 Comparative Politics of Northeast Asia

GOV 340 Seminar: Taiwan--Internal Politics and Cross-Strait Relations

GOV 348 Seminar in International Politics
Conflict and Cooperation in Asia

HST 200 (L) Modern East Asia

HST 211 (L) The Emergence of China

HST 212 (L) China in Transformation, A.D. 750–1900

HST 213 History of Modern China

HST 214 (C) Aspects of Chinese History
The World of Thought in China

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

HST 220(C) Japan to 1600 

HST 221 (L) Samurai to Sony: The Rise of Modern Japan

HST 222(C) Aspects of Japanese History
The Place of Protest in Early Modern and Modern Japan

HST 223 (C) Women and Gender in Japanese History
Women in Japanese History From Ancient Times to the 19th Century

HST 301 Calderwood Seminar on Public Writing
Writing about Twentieth-Century Wars in Asia

HST 313 Seminar: Problems in East Asian History
Remembering the Asia-Pacific War
Writing Gender Histories of East Asia

Course 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

Advisers: Yalin Chen, Jessica Moyer, Sujane Wu

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

Requirements: A total of six courses in the following distribution, no more than three of which shall 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.

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

Track 2: Japanese

Advisers: Kimberly Kono, Yuri Kumagai, Atsuko Takahashi

Prerequisites: A total of six courses in the following distribution, no more than three of which shall 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.

  1. Japanese II (JPN 220 and 221) (10 credits).
  2. Four courses, at least two of which must be EAL-prefix courses in Japanese literature and culture.

Track 3: Korean

Advisers: Suk Massey, Irhe Sohn

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

Requirements: A total of six courses in the following distribution, no more than three of which shall 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.

  1. Korean II (KOR 201 and 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 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.

Advisers: Marnie Anderson, Ernest Benz, Kimberly Kono, Suzanne Gottschang, Jessica Moyer, Irhe Sohn, Sujane Wu, Dennis Yasutomo

Requirements: The minor consists of a total of six courses, no more than three of which shall be taken at other institutions. Courses taken away from Smith require the approval of the East Asian Studies adviser.

  1. HST 200 (formerly EAS 100) Modern East Asia (normally by the second year).
  2. Five elective courses, which shall be determined in consultation with the adviser.
  3. 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.)
  4. No course taken for a satisfactory/unsatisfactory grade counts toward the minor.

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 contact the Honors Director of the department.

Director: Kimberly Kono

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.


Courses

Check the Smith College Course Catalog for current offerings, times and locations.

Fall 2021 Courses in East Asian Languages & Cultures

CHI 110 Chinese I (Intensive)
Yalin Chen, Huizi Gao, Sujane Wu

CHI 220 Chinese II (Intensive)
Jessica D. Moyer, Lu Yu

CHI 301 Chinese III
Yalin Chen

CHI 353 Talking Point: Epidemics and Their Controversies in China and Beyond
Lu Yu

JPN 110 Japanese I (Intensive)
Kimberly Kono, Atsuko Takahashi, Yuko Takahashi

JPN 220 Japanese II (Intensive)
Yuri Kumagai, Yuko Takahashi

JPN 301 Japanese III
Atsuko Takahashi

 

JPN 350 Contemporary Texts I
Yuri Kumagai

KOR 101 Korean I
Shihyun Kim, Suk Massey

KOR 201 Korean II
Shihyun Kim

KOR 301 Korean III
Suk Massey

EAL 245 Writing, Japan and Otherness
Kimberly Kono

EAL 263 Romance and Martial Arts in Chinese Popular Fiction
Jessica D. Moyer

 

To see the spring semester departmental and cross-listed courses, go to the Smith College Course Search

Spring 2022 Courses in East Asian Languages & Cultures

CHI 111 Chinese I (Intensive)
Huizi Gao, Lu Yu

CHI 221 Chinese II (Intensive)
Yalin Chen, Lu Yu

CHI 302 Chinese III
Yalin Chen

CHI 352 Food for Thought: Chinese Language, Culture, Environment and Health
Lu Yu

EAL 232/WLT 232 Modern Chinese Literature
Sabina Knight 

EAL 234 Self and Society in Chinese Fiction and Drama
Jessica D. Moyer

EAL 244 Japanese Women's Writing
Kimberly Kono

EAL 253 Korean Cinema: Cinema and the Masses
Irhe Sohn

EAL 360 Seminar: Topics in East Asian Languages and Literatures: Spring 2022 Topic: Notorious Trailblazers
Sujane Wu

JPN 111 Japanese I (Intensive)
Kimberly Kono, Yuko Takahashi

JPN 221 Japanese II (Intensive)
Yuri Kumagai, Yuko Takahashi

JPN 302 Japanese III
Yuri Kumagai

KOR 102 Korean I
Suk Massey

KOR 202 Korean II
Shihyun Kim

KOR 302 Korean III
Irhe Sohn

Featured Events

Featured Event
Oct
20

Presentation of the Major and Minor

  • 4:30–5:30 p.m.
  • Please join us for the Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures Presentation of the Major and Minor. Meet our faculty, current majors and minors and our liaisons!

Other East Asianists on Campus

Marnie S. Anderson
Professor of History

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

Maggie Y. Liu
Assistant Professor of Economics

Sara Newland
Assistant Professor of Government

Margaret Sarkissian
Professor of Music

Dennis Yasutomo
Esther Cloudman Dunn Professor of Government

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

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 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 essay for the competition per year.

Contact

East Asian Languages & Cultures
18 Henshaw Avenue B1-204
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: Sujane Wu

Individual appointments may be arranged directly with the faculty.