The Department of East Asian Studies offers courses on China, Japan, and Korea. The focus of the program is primarily on language and literature and the way in which these three civilizations have interacted with the Western world to reconstitute received cultures into modern societies. By intensive study of Asian culture, the student is encouraged to reflect on the global interrelatedness of human society. Three language sequences are offered: a six-semester Chinese language sequence, a six-semester Japanese language sequence, and a six-semester Korean language sequence.
Fourth-year study is also offered in all three languages. In addition, various courses in Asian culture in history, religion, literature, film, philosophy and art are offered in the Department of East Asian Studies and in conjunction with other departments.
The program has two objectives: (1) to develop a high level of competence in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean and (2) to introduce students to Asian cultures through the study of translated literary and cultural documents (literature, history, religion, film, and philosophy) created within those societies. Ongoing study of those cultures is encouraged as a means of acquiring a broad comparative perspective. The courses are offered in conjunction with various departments, underscoring the multidisciplinary nature of the program.