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 Chinese, Japanese, or Korean (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. Up to three upper level (700-999) may count as electives for concentration credit.
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
and Intermediate Chinese
|Elementary to Intermediate Chinese for Advanced Beginners|
and Advanced Chinese for Heritage Learners
|Advanced Modern Chinese I|
and Advanced Modern Chinese I
and Basic Japanese
and Intermediate Japanese
|Advanced Japanese I|
and Advanced Japanese I
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)
|Two Sides of the Coin: Advanced Chinese Conversation|
|Stories from the Chinese Empire: Scholars, Demons and Swindlers|
|Modern Chinese Literature|
|Advanced Japanese II|
and Advanced Japanese II (either course may be taken for one semester)
|Japanese Linguistics: Communication and Understanding Utterances|
The concentration requires that students complete a total of eight electives tied to their course of study, which may be defined in linguistic, chronological, thematic, or cultural terms. Students should choose their courses with the following three requirements in mind.
- EAST Requirement: At least three of the eight electives must be East Asian Studies (EAST) courses at any level; Chinese (CHIN), Japanese (JAPN), or Korean (KREA) courses at the 1000-level and above may also count toward this requirement.
- Breadth Requirement: At least one of the eight electives must focus on an East Asian country or culture other than those associated with the language the student is using to satisfy the concentration's language requirement. A concentrator studying Chinese, for example, must choose at least one course that focuses on Korea and/or Japan.
- Senior Seminar Requirement: At least one of the eight elective courses must be an advanced research seminar, taken in the senior year.
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 American Studies, Art History, Economics, International Relations, and many others.
|Sample Electives offered by East Asian Studies|
|Childhood and Culture in Japan 2|
|Language, Culture, and Society: Korea 3|
|Words on Things: Literature and Material Culture in Early Modern China 1|
|China Modern: An Introduction to the Literature of Twentieth-Century China 1|
|The Korea “Brand”: Understanding KPop, Film, and Culture of the Two Koreas in the Global Context 3|
|For additional elective choices, visit http://brown.edu/academics/east-asian-studies/courses/more-course-offerings.|
Advanced Research Seminars
At least one of the eight elective courses must be an advanced research seminar, taken in the 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 the East Asian Studies 1950 series as well as designated seminars offered by faculty in such departments as History, Religious Studies, and Comparative Literature among others. 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 Director of Undergraduate Studies at the start of the semester.
|Sample advanced seminars offered by East Asian Studies|
|EAST 1951B||From Desktop to Stage: Drama and Performance in Late Imperial China||1|
|EAST 1950G||Market Economy, Popular Culture, and Mass Media in Contemporary China||1|
East Asian Studies offers qualified students, in their senior year, the opportunity to undertake a sustained research and writing project that, ideally, will result not merely in a long term paper, but in a piece of original scholarship. To enroll in the Honors Program, the student must be a senior East Asian Studies concentrator, with at least a high B average in concentration courses. Candidates for Honors are required to have developed a competence in an East Asian language sufficient to allow them to use East Asian language materials in carrying out their research. Students must also successfully obtain the support of at least two faculty members who will agree to serve as primary and secondary advisors for the thesis. Prospective writers submit a thesis prospectus, brief bibliography, and completed application forms (with signatures), ordinarily late in the student’s six semester, to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, who provides the final permission to proceed. Synopses of successful thesis proposals will be distributed to Department faculty.
Thesis writers enroll in advisor-specific sections of the thesis-writing course EAST 1930 (Fall) and EAST 1940 (Spring), meet regularly with their advisors over the course of both semesters, and submit final versions of their theses to the Department in mid-April. Advisors and students are required to provide updates of their progress to the Director of Undergraduate Studies at regular intervals.
The completed thesis is evaluated for Honors by the thesis director and by a second reader. In case of a difference of judgment between the two readers, a third opinion may be sought. The awarding of Honors in East Asian Studies will occur only if the Honors Thesis receives a final grade of A. If an A is not received, the student will still receive academic credit for EAST 1930-1940. Students are notified in mid-May whether the Department has recommended the awarding of Honors. Copies of readers’ comments are provided to the student.
All graduating concentrators will present the results of their senior theses in the department’s Senior Project Forum. The Forum will usually take place at the end of the spring semester, but may also occur at the end of the fall semester to accommodate mid-year graduates.
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.
Summary of requirements:
- Language study through the level of 0600 or the equivalent of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean
- Eight elective courses
- At least three of the eight must be East Asian Studies (EAST) courses at any level or Chinese (CHIN), Japanese (JAPN), or Korean (KREA) courses at the 1000-level and above
- At least one of the eight electives must focus on an East Asian country or culture other than those associated with the language the student is using to satisfy the concentration's language requirement. A concentrator studying China, for example, would choose at least one course that focuses on Korea and/or Japan.
- At least one of the eight must be an advanced research seminar, taken in the senior year.
- EAST 1930 (Senior Thesis, Semester 1)- EAST 1940 ( Senior Thesis, Semester 2) for Honors candidates only