East Asian Studies Major

Goals for the East Asian Studies Major

  • To familiarize students generally with the, arts, histories, languages and literatures, religions, and the social, political, and cultural systems of East Asia
  • To develop fuller expertise in a specific area of study, whether by country, or scholarly discipline
  • To ensure a firm foundation in at least one of three East Asian languages: Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, or Korean

Requirements for the East Asian Studies Major

Prospective East Asian Studies majors should begin study of an East Asian language as soon as possible in their first year. The program also recommends that students take one or more courses that explore East Asia (such as HIST 274, REL 108, or EALC 225) in their first two years to attain familiarity with the region. The program encourages students to:

  • Familiarize themselves with several East Asian societies and cultures.
  • Choose an area of concentration that is country/culture-based or based on an academic discipline. For example, students may select a focused study of one country or culture (e.g. China, Japan, Korea(s)), or select a disciplinary or interdisciplinary focus (see below).

Prospective majors should consult with a member of the East Asian Studies faculty as early as possible to discuss their academic plans. Majors devise their own programs of study in consultation with an advisor from the student's area of concentration. Both the major advisor and the program director must approve proposals for the major.

Ten units are required for the major, consisting of the following:

  1. Language courses: four units.

All students must complete at least four language courses above the 100 level in the language most appropriate to their area of concentration. (Students will not receive credit toward the major for the first year of language study.) Those who begin their language study at Wellesley in a 300–level language class must still complete at least four language courses. Students with native or near-native fluency in an East Asian language must also complete at least four units of language, possibly in a different Asian language, in consultation with their advisor.

Language study beyond what is required for the major is strongly recommended.

    All majors are also encouraged to spend at least a summer or a semester studying abroad in China, Japan, Korea, or Taiwan. The East Asian Languages and Literatures Department, through the chairperson of EALC, must approve plans for language study taken away from Wellesley and to be applied toward the major.

    Non-language courses: six units.
  1. All majors must also take at least one non-language course on East Asia in each of the following categories:
    i. Humanities
    ii. History and Social Sciences
  2. A minimum of three non-language courses are required to fulfill a selected concentration, and two must be at the 300 level.
    i. Country/culture-based concentrations may focus on one of the following: China, Japan, Korea(s).
    ii. Discipline or focused interdisciplinary-based concentrations that are normally possible at Wellesley include arts and visual studies, history, linguistics, literature, politics, religion, and women's and gender studies. Under unusual circumstances, and with the approval of her advisor and the program director, a student may design her own disciplinary concentration. Majors normally declare their concentration no later than the spring semester of their junior year.
  3. A minimum of four non-language courses must be taken at Wellesley, including the required two units of 300-level courses. Of the two required 300-level courses, only one may be a 350, 360, or 370.
  4. A maximum of two non-language courses taken outside Wellesley can count toward the major.
  5. Some courses can count as a language or non-language course for the purpose of fulfilling requirements for the major. Each course unit can be credited only once toward the major. No double-counting (e.g. as both a language course and non-language course) is permitted.
  6. One course in Asian American studies may be counted toward the major, provided that the course addresses a significant aspect of East Asian traditions, culture, or society in its global, cross-cultural contexts. Students should consult with their advisors.

Honors in East Asian Studies

The only route to honors in the major is writing a thesis and passing an oral examination. A grade point average of at least 3.5 in the major, above 100-level courses, is the minimum requirement for application. Students must also submit a dossier of required material, including a thesis proposal, to the EAS director and the Faculty Advisory Committee, which will approve students for admission. The director will inform students of the dossier requirements and submission deadlines. The Faculty Advisory Committee may petition on behalf of a student whose GPA in the major is between 3.0 and 3.5, if her dossier is particularly strong. See Academic Distinctions.

Transfer Credits in East Asian Studies

In order to obtain Wellesley credit for any EAS-related course taken at another institution during the academic year or summer, the student must obtain approval from the College Registrar and the program director prior to enrolling in the course. First the Registrar must award the appropriate college credit for each unit. Second, the approval of the course/s to be credited to the EAS major must be granted by the program director. Students should present relevant syllabi and other materials about the prospective course to the director. Students, especially those taking EAS courses abroad, may be required to contact the course instructor in order to obtain specific details about the course in cases where the online course description may be insufficient to make an informed decision.

Courses for Credit Toward the East Asian Studies Major

Language Courses (Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Korean):

See offerings in Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC)

Humanities:

AMST 212Korean American Literature and Culture

1.0

ARTH 238Chinese Art and Architecture

1.0

ARTH 240Asian Art and Architecture

1.0

ARTH 248Chinese Painting: Masters and Principles

1.0

ARTH 255Twentieth-Century Chinese Art

1.0

ARTH 341Seminar. The Landscape Painting of China, Korea, and Japan

1.0

ARTH 346Seminar. Poetic Painting in China, Korea, and Japan

1.0

CAMS 203/CHIN 243Chinese Cinema (in English)

1.0

CHIN 208Writing Modern China (in English)

1.0

CHIN 211Dream of the Red Chamber in Chinese Literature and Culture (in English)

1.0

CHIN 212Speaking What's On My Mind: Classical Chinese Poetry and Song

1.0

CHIN 223When Women Rode Horses: The Tang Dynasty, China's Golden Age (in English)

1.0

CHIN 231Chinese and the Languages of China (in English)

1.0

CHIN 243/CAMS 203Chinese Cinema (in English)

1.0

CHIN 244Classical Chinese Theatre (in English)

1.0

CHIN 311Dream of the Red Chamber in Chinese Literature and Culture (in English)

1.0

CHIN 312Speaking What's On My Mind: Classical Chinese Poetry and Song

1.0

CHIN 326The City in Modern Chinese Literature and Film (in English)

1.0

CHIN 331Chinese and the Languages of China (in English)

1.0

CHIN 338Reading in Modern Chinese Literature

1.0

CHIN 339Popular Culture in Modern China (in English)

1.0

CHIN 381Eileen Chang (in English)

1.0

EALC 225Traditional Romances of East Asia (in English)

1.0

EALC 245The Book in East Asia: From the Beginning to World War II (in English)

1.0

EALC 325Traditional Romances of East Asia (in English)

1.0

JPN 130/THST 130Japanese Animation (in English)

1.0

JPN 251/THST 251Japanese Writers Explore Their World (in English)

1.0

JPN 252Supernatural Japan (in English)

1.0

JPN 255/THST 255Japan on Stage

1.0

JPN 256/CAMS 205History of Japanese Cinema (in English)

1.0

JPN 257Magic, Monsters, and Miniatures: Japanese Children’s Culture through the Centuries (In English)

1.0

JPN 312/THST 312Literary Japanese: Reading the Classics

1.0

JPN 314Contemporary Japanese Narrative

1.0

JPN 315Everyday Japanese through Children’s Books

1.0

JPN 351/THST 351Seminar. Theatres of Japan (in English)

1.0

JPN 352Seminar. Postwar Japan in Word and Image (in English)

1.0

JPN 353/THST 353Lady Murasaki and The Tale of Genji (in English)

1.0

JPN 355/THST 355Japanese Writers Explore Their World

1.0

KOR 206An Introduction to Korean Language and Culture (in English)

1.0

KOR 256Gender and Language in Modern Korean Culture (in English)

1.0

REL 108Introduction to Asian Religions

1.0

REL 253Buddhist Thought and Practice

1.0

REL 254Chinese Thought and Religion

1.0

REL 255Japanese Religion and Culture

1.0

REL 257Contemplation and Action

1.0

REL 259Christianity in Asia

1.0

REL 290Kyoto: Center of Japan's Religion and Culture (Wintersession in Kyoto)

0.5

REL 353Seminar. Zen Buddhism

1.0

REL 354Seminar. Tibetan Buddhism

1.0

REL 357Seminar. Issues in Comparative Religion

1.0

CHIN 338, JPN 312, JPN 314: Fulfill either Language or Humanities requirement for the major.

History and Social Sciences:

HIST 269Japan, the Great Powers, and East Asia, 1853-1993

1.0

HIST 274China, Japan, and Korea in Comparative and Global Perspectives

1.0

HIST 277China and America: Evolution of a Troubled Relationship

1.0

HIST 278Reform and Revolution in China, 1800 to the Present

1.0

HIST 280Topics in Chinese Commerce and Business

1.0

HIST 346Japan's East Asian Empire in Comparative Perspective, 1879-1951

1.0

HIST 352Seminar. The Origins of Modernity in East Asia and Europe

1.0

HIST 372Seminar. Chinese Nationalism and Identity in the Modern World

1.0

KOR 256Gender and Language in Modern Korean Culture (in English)

1.0

POL2 208Politics of China

1.0

POL2 304State and Society in East Asia

1.0

POL2 308State and Society in China

1.0

POL3 227The Vietnam War

1.0


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