East Asian Studies is a multidisciplinary concentration designed for students wishing to attain reasonable fluency in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean with specialized exposure to selected East Asian subjects. It serves students with two types of interests: those who aim to pursue active professional careers related to the East Asian region; and those who want to pursue graduate study in the humanities or social sciences with particular emphasis on China, Japan or Korea. Students in East Asian Studies will gain language proficiency and familiarity with East Asia through advanced courses in a variety of disciplines. Concentrators are strongly encouraged, but not required, to study in East Asia for one or two semesters. The concentration requires students to demonstrate a basic proficiency in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean.
The Language Requirement
The concentration requires students to demonstrate a basic proficiency in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. For the purposes of the concentration, proficiency is determined to be consistent with successful completion of the Department’s third-year course sequence in either Chinese or Japanese (0500-0600), or its equivalent. Native speakers of these languages may, for example, demonstrate competency such that language courses may be unnecessary. Department language instructors may also determine that course work completed at one of the language-intensive study abroad programs attended by our undergraduates is comparable to courses offered at Brown. Because the Department normally only offers the first two years of Korean, students wishing advanced instruction in that language would normally do so as part of a study abroad program. Note that we do not equate completion of third-year Chinese, Japanese, or Korean with fluency in these languages. Rather, we believe that students who have demonstrated the skills associated with third-year Chinese, Japanese, or Korean have acquired a foundational understanding of the languages’ grammar, vocabularies, and conversational patterns, such that they are able to make themselves understood in everyday situations, and to understand both spoken and written communication.
For the purposes of the concentration, language courses through the third-year are treated as an accompanying requirement.
|Language Prerequisites (demonstrating proficiency through the third-year or 0600 level in one of the three languages below)|
and Basic Chinese
|Advanced Beginning Chinese|
and Advanced Beginning Chinese
and Intermediate Chinese
|Advanced Modern Chinese I|
and Advanced Modern Chinese I
and Basic Japanese
|Advanced Beginning Japanese|
and Advanced Beginning Japanese
and Intermediate Japanese
and Advanced Japanese
and Intermediate Korean
and Advanced Korean
|Language Electives (language courses that may be counted for concentration credit)|
|Advanced Modern Chinese II|
and Advanced Modern Chinese II (either course may be taken for one semester)
|Introduction to Classical Chinese|
|Introduction to Modern Chinese Prose|
|The Changing Face of China: Advanced Reading in Chinese Media|
|Modern Chinese Literature|
|Advanced Readings in Japanese|
and Advanced Readings in Japanese (either course may be taken for one semester)
|Japanese Cities: Tokyo and Kyoto|
|Readings in Contemporary Japanese Fiction|
|Japanese Linguistics: Communication and Understanding Utterances|
|Korean Culture and Society|
Required Introductory Surveys
All concentrators are required to complete successfully both "Histories of East Asia: China" and "Histories of East Asia: Japan". Both courses are normally offered by the History Department; HIST 0410 in the fall, and HIST 0420 in the spring. These courses offer chronologically broad surveys of Chinese and Japanese history. They are required for concentrators in order to provide them with common frameworks for thinking about historical change in East Asia, and to raise an awareness of issues and developments outside of their particular geographical or temporal areas of focus. Department faculty are also aware that many undergraduates come to Brown with backgrounds in “Western Civilization” and North American history, but little if any exposure to the histories and cultures of East Asia, and believe that these courses play an important role in addressing those deficits. We encourage students to take these introductory courses early in their careers at Brown.
& HIST 0420
|Histories of East Asia: China|
and Histories of East Asia: Japan (these courses do not have to be taken consecutively)
The revised concentration requires seven courses in addition to HIST 0410 and HIST 0420. At least one elective must fall outside the primary focus of the concentrator’s course of study, which may be defined in linguistic, chronological, thematic or cultural terms. One of the seven electives may, with the consent of the concentration advisor, be a course topically unrelated to East Asia, but beneficial to the student’s disciplinary and/or theoretical interests.
As is common for interdisciplinary concentrations, a wide range of courses, including many taught by faculty in other departments, may be counted toward the concentration. These include courses offered by East Asian Studies faculty, faculty with courtesy appointments in the Department, and courses with a significant focus on East Asia offered in such disciplines as Archeology, Anthropology, Economics, International Relations, and others.
|Sample Electives offered by East Asian Studies|
|EAST 0180||Japan: Nature, Ritual, and the Arts||1|
|EAST 0950A||Turning Japanese: Constructing Nation, Race and Culture in Modern Japan (First Year Seminar)||1|
|EAST 1010||From Basho to Banana: Four Centuries of Japanese Literature||1|
|EAST 1012||Expanding the Canon: A Survey of 20th Century Japanese Literature||1|
|EAST 1070||China Modern: An Introduction to the Literature of Twentieth-Century China||1|
|EAST 1100||Korean Culture and Film||1|
|EAST 1170||Women's Literature in Japan and Korea||1|
|EAST 1200||Pop, Political and Patrician: Culture in Japan and the Koreas||1|
|EAST 1270||China Through the Lens: History, Cinema, and Critical Discourse||1|
|EAST 1420||The Confucian Mind||1|
At least one of the seven elective courses must be an advanced research seminar, typically taken in the junior or senior year. The research seminar will normally provide students with the opportunity to develop a project or paper focusing on one or more of their areas of inquiry within the concentration. Students are strongly encouraged to find ways to incorporate the use of Chinese, Japanese or Korean language materials in their research and learning in these courses. Courses falling into this category include but are not limited to the East Asian Studies 1950 series and History 1970 series. The Department will provide a list of pre-approved advanced seminars every semester. Students wishing to add courses to that list must submit their requests in writing to the Undergraduate Advisor at the start of the semester.
|Sample advanced seminars offered by East Asian Studies|
|EAST 1950B||Chinese Women, Gender and Feminism from Historical and Transnational Perspectives||1|
|EAST 1950D||Crime, Justice and Punishment in Modern Japan||1|
|EAST 1950F||The Karma of Words||1|
|EAST 1950G||Market Economy, Popular Culture, and Mass Media in Contemporary China||1|
|EAST 1950H||Japanese Short Fiction, Film and Anime: Reading and Translation||1|
|EAST 1950I||Revolution and Culture, East Asia and Beyond||1|
|EAST 1950O||The Art of Dissent||1|
|EAST 1950Q||Early Chinese Poetry||1|
|EAST 1950U||South Korean Cinema: From Golden Age to Korean Wave||1|
|EAST 1950X||Queer Japan: Culture, History and Sexuality||1|
Summary of requirements:
- Language study through the level of 0600 or the equivalent of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean (normally as part of a study abroad program)
- HIST 0410 Histories of East Asia: China
- HIST 0420 Histories of East Asia: Japan
- Seven elective courses
- At least one of the seven must be an advanced seminar
- At least one of the seven must fall outside the primary focus of the concentrator's course of study
- EAST 1930 - EAST 1940 (Senior Thesis seminar) for Honors candidates only
Students who are interested in developing a double concentration, including East Asian Studies as one of the two concentrations, should bear in mind that normally no more than two courses may be double-counted toward satisfying the course requirements of either of the two concentration programs involved.
Concentrators are strongly encouraged, but not required, to study in East Asia for one or two semesters during their undergraduate years. Course credits earned abroad are generally transferable to Brown. However, a maximum of three courses taken abroad, of genuine intellectual substance and significantly related to East Asian Studies, may be considered for concentration credit.