Asian Studies

The Asian Studies Department provides students with the opportunity to study East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. The department offers majors in Asian studies, Chinese, and Japanese as well as a concentration in Asian studies. A concentration in Asian studies — which presumes that a student completes a major in another department — is ideal for students with an interest in Asia who are majoring in economics, environmental studies, history, religion, sociology/anthropology, art, political science, or other areas. St. Olaf offers many international programs in Asia. Incoming students with an interest in pursuing more in-depth study of China and Japan are encouraged to consider a Chinese or Japanese major. 

See also Asian Conversations ASCON 210ASCON 215, ASCON 220

Overview of the Major

The Asian studies major allows students to gain competence in either Chinese or Japanese language and the understanding of Asian societies through a selection of courses in language, linguistics, literature, film, economics, history, religion, art history, political science, sociology/anthropology, philosophy, and psychology as well as special interdisciplinary courses on Asia. Courses that count toward the major are listed under Asian Studies, Chinese, Japanese, Asian Conversations, and other departments (listed on the courses tab of this catalog section). Many Asian studies courses also fulfill one or more general education requirements. Asian studies majors are encouraged to use their language skills to experience an Asian culture firsthand through study in Asia. Level I courses provide introductions to the languages and the fields of Asian studies. Level II courses, including the Asian Conversations program, provide students a breadth of knowledge about Asia or intermediate study of language. Level III courses offer students the opportunity to do advanced study on a topic about Asia.

Please see the Chinese major or Japanese major pages for requirements specific to those majors. 

Distinction

See Academic Honors

Distinction is a formal academic honor that the Asian Studies Department may vote to bestow upon senior majors who have demonstrated high academic achievement and an ability to independently produce a work of the highest standard. The Asian Studies Department invites senior majors who seek a significant and satisfying experience as a capstone of their work in Asian studies to apply for distinction. See the Asian Studies Department website for full details.

Special Programs

Asian Conversations is an interdisciplinary program integrating study of the Chinese and Japanese languages with investigations into the culture, history, language and societies of Asia (China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and more). See Asian Conversations.

Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the many opportunities to study in Asia through St. Olaf programs and Associated Colleges of the Midwest programs. Courses taken abroad may be certified by the chair of the Asian Studies Department as fulfilling the appropriate course requirements. Language study is offered through the Term in China (Shanghai); Term in Taiwan: Japan Studies, Waseda University (Tokyo); Nagoya University (Nagoya); and Hokusei University (Sapporo). The ACM India Studies program (Pune) offers area studies courses and intensive language instruction without prerequisites. There are also programs in Asia that do not require previous language study: Global Semester, Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea; and several Interim programs. See International and Off-Campus Studies for more information.

Asian studies courses taken on St. Olaf off-campus programs can often be counted toward a major in Asian studies, Chinese, or Japanese as well as the concentration in Asian studies. Students who wish to count off-campus courses toward a major or concentration should seek approval from the chair of the Asian Studies Department before beginning their programs. Some restrictions apply.

Recommendations for Graduate Study

Students planning to pursue graduate work in an area of Asian studies are strongly advised to develop competence in one of the disciplines (such as history, literature, economics, sociology/anthropology, religion, art and art history, or political science) by taking additional courses that teach the methods of the discipline.

Requirements for the Major

For the Asian studies major, a student must complete 9 courses (9 credits):

Two courses in Chinese or Japanese above 112 or its equivalent2.00
Senior Seminar:
ASIAN 399Seminar for Asian Studies Majors1.00
or ASIAN 397 Seminar: Human Rights/Asian Context
Six electives, with the following stipulations:6.00
At least two at level II or level III, taken on campus;
Not more than two at level I;
No more than four elective courses about any one country;
No level I or level II language courses may count.
Total Credits9

Students who fulfill the language requirement through proficiency testing in an Asian language must take 8 courses (8 credits):

Senior Seminar:
ASIAN 399Seminar for Asian Studies Majors1.00
or ASIAN 397 Seminar: Human Rights/Asian Context
Seven electives, with these stipulations:7.00
At least two at level II or level III, taken on campus;
No more than two at level I;
No more than four elective courses about any one country;
No level I or level II language courses may count.
Total Credits8

Students interested in a major focused on a region of Asia other than China and Japan should contact the chair of the Asian Studies Department about the possibility of doing a contract major.

For students double-majoring in Asian Studies and Chinese or Japanese, the following rules apply: 231 and 232 can count for both the language and area studies majors; one 300-level course can count for both the language and area studies major; two level three language courses can count for both the language and area studies major; and two of the three Asian Conversations courses can count towards the language majors with the third course counting for the area studies major. 

Requirements for the Concentration

Students with a major in another department may choose a concentration in Asian studies. 

An Asian studies concentration consists of six courses focused on Asia:

  1. At least two of the six courses must be taken at level II or level III on campus
  2. Only one Asian language course may count toward this concentration

ASIAN 121: Asian Cultures in Comparative Perspectives

This course is a broad introduction to the history of East Asia as a region from the end of the nineteenth century to the 1990s. Through three spatial modules -- the Sinophone (Chinese-speaking) World, the Korean Peninsula, and the Japanese Archipelago -- students explore the interconnections and divisions between emergent nation-states and empires at a time of rapid social, cultural, and political change. Offered annually. Also counts toward Chinese and Japanese majors.

ASIAN 123: Asia in America

This interdisciplinary course introduces the field of Asian American Studies and the multiple cultural and historical productions of Asia and America, from art and film to food and lifestyles. Critical analysis of topics such as ethnic/cultural identities, stereotypes, citizenships, media/popcultures, body images, sexuality, practices of different Asian communities, and various contemporary issues are explored through interactive in-class activites, films, presentations, and field trips. Offered periodically. Also counts toward Chinese, Japanese, and race and ethnic studies majors and race and ethnic studies concentration.

ASIAN 126: Language in Japanese Society

This course explores major aspects of language use that reflect Japanese culture and society. Issues covered include the characteristics of the Japanese language, loan words, regional differences, politeness, gender differences, and communication styles. The course is taught in a combination of lectures, class discussions, subtitled Japanese films, anime (Japanese animation), and student presentations. Knowledge of Japanese helpful but not necessary. Readings, lectures, and discussions are all in English. Offered alternate years. Also counts toward Japanese major and linguistic studies concentration.

ASIAN 156: Contemporary China Through Film (in English translation)

This course examines contemporary China through Chinese-language cinema across different eras, genres, filmmakers, and geographic regions. Students explore the art of film and how visual narratives represent, reinterpret, and redefine Chinese society and culture both at home and abroad. Discussion topics include modernity and tradition, nationalism and globalization, class and race, gender and sexuality, and independent and commercial films. All readings are in English. FLAC component available. Offered periodically. Also counts toward Chinese major and film studies and media studies concentrations.

ASIAN 200: Topics in Asian Studies

The department periodically offers courses on special topics. The specific title will be listed in the class and lab schedule when it is offered. Depending on course content, can also count toward Chinese and/or Japanese majors.
Prerequisite: determined by instructor.

ASCON 210: Asian Conversations I

What is Asia? Students explore how concepts of culture, language, nation, race, and environment define Asia today and in years past and plan related projects for their Interim course. Offered annually in the fall semester. Counts toward Asian studies, Chinese, and Japanese majors and Asian studies concentration.
Prerequisite: CHIN 112 or JAPAN 112 or permission of instructor; must be accepted into Asian Conversations program to register.

ASCON 215: Asian Conversations II (abroad)

Students pursue guided fieldwork experience in China and Japan. Activities and readings in this course build on the topics from ASCON 210 and three semesters of language study. Students continue to explore their understanding of Asia through language activities, site visits, and ethnographic observations. Students develop projects and follow a process of inquiry that will help them understand how ordinary people construct "Asian" culture and society today. Offered annually during Interim. Counts toward Asian studies, Chinese, and Japanese majors and Asian studies concentration.
Prerequisite: ASCON 210.

ASCON 216: Asian Conversations IIB (on campus)

Students pursue guided fieldwork experience in the United States. Activities and readings in this course build on the topics from ASCON 210 and three semesters of language study. Students reflect on the experience of Asians in America through readings, site visits, and ethnographic observations. Students develop projects and follow a process of inquiry that will help them understand how ordinary people construct "Asian" culture and society today. Offered during Interim as needed. Counts toward Asian studies, Chinese, and Japanese majors and Asian studies concentration.
Prerequisite: ASCON 210.

ASCON 220: Asian Conversations III

In this final semester of Asian Conversations students examine modern reinterpretations of traditional Asia. Students engage with primary and secondary texts through written and oral presentation, including materials collected during Interim. Offered annually in the spring semester. Counts toward Asian studies, Chinese, and Japanese majors and Asian studies concentration.
Prerequisite: CHIN 231 or JAPAN 231, and ASCON 215 or ASCON 216.

ASIAN 230: The Philosophy of Anime

This course considers works of anime from the post-World War II period to the present. The course begins with an introduction to the language and theory of Anime Studies. In subsequent weeks, students watch and analyze a variety of anime genres. This course employs a comparative approach to the study of anime; each anime is paired with excerpts from germane works of philosophy or literature. All anime viewed for this course includes English subtitling. Foreign Language Across the Curriculum (FLAC) component course available. Also counts toward Chinese and Japanese majors and film studies and media studies concentrations.

ASIAN 235: Modern Japanese Literature (in English translation)

This course introduces students to major works of Japanese literature written from 1885 to the present. The focus of this survey is Japan's rich body of prose narratives -- novels, novellas, and short stories -- and considers works within their socio-historical contexts as well as within larger trends and developments in Japanese and literature. Offered alternate years. Also counts toward Japanese major.

ASIAN 236: Chinese Literature (in English translation)

Students explore the major genres of Chinese literature -- poetry, short story, novel and drama -- in English translation. A small number of major works are singled out for close attention. Offered annually. Also counts toward Chinese major.

ASIAN 237: Modern Chinese Literature and Society

This core course of Asian studies introduces students to modern Chinese literature and society. It examines canonical and popular works of Chinese writings including fiction, drama, autobiography, correspondences, and poetry written in classical and modern styles from the late 19th century to the early 21st century. Films also serve as supplementary material when appropriate. Students read texts in translation and approach them in the context of modern Chinese society. They also study the literature as it reflects China's interaction with the West and the country's struggle to define itself as a modern nation. Offered annually. Also counts toward Chinese major.

ASIAN 268: The Art of Calligraphy: Techniques and Appreciation

From classical form to avant garde, this course introduces students to the various artistic representations of Asian calligraphy. Students explore the aesthetic concepts, evolution of different styles, and practical techniques of brush-written writings. Class lectures complement hands-on practice in which students master the basic strokes, structures, compositions, and movements that are involved in producing calligraphic work. Asian language knowledge is not required. All readings and demonstrations will be in English. Materials fee. Offered periodically. Also counts toward Chinese and Japanese majors.

ASIAN 270: Visual Culture of Modern China

This course highlights major visual arts movements within China over the last century, from the end of the imperial era to current times. Students look at a variety of issues: class and gender; China in the world art market, Chinese art past and present, and a variety of "isms" now seen as defining Chinese art. A major theme is to define "visual culture" in all its nuances. Offered alternate years. Also counts toward Chinese major and media studies concentration.

ASIAN 282: Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy in an Asian Context

This interdisciplinary course explores principles and approaches in second language learning and teaching with the focus on Asian languages. Through debunking myths in second language learning, students will learn key factors affecting second language learning and effective language learning strategies. Skills in teaching a second language in Asian context are also discussed. However, this course focuses on the research and theoretical understanding of language acquisition rather than on pedagogical methods of language teaching. Offered periodically. Also counts toward Chinese and Japanese majors and linguistic studies concentration.

ASIAN 294: Academic Internship

ASIAN 298: Independent Study

ASIAN 300: Topics in Asian Studies

This course offers in-depth study of a topic. The specific topic depends on the instructor. May be repeated if topic is different. Offered periodically. Depending on course content may also count toward Chinese and Japanese majors.

ASIAN 310: Buddhism through Text and Image

This course examines Buddhist images and their relationship to textual sources. Beginning with a close reading of Buddhist texts in translation, students study how Buddhist images and architecture derive from textual sources -- and often move beyond them. The course considers the interrelatedness of text and image in Buddhist practice. Attention is also paid to Western notions of Buddhism and the development of Buddhist art studies in the West. Offered alternate years. Also counts toward Chinese and Japanese majors.

ASIAN 333: What is a Hero?

This interdisciplinary course explores the timeless concept of the hero from both Asian and Western traditions. Classical heroes will be analyzed along with those featured in contemporary films, fictions, comics, and pop culture. The main goal is to compare and examine how heroes have informed intellectual, artistic, and moral traditions in various cultures and how heroic ideas were spread, transformed, and re-imagined to suit the needs of their times. Offered periodically. Also counts toward Chinese and Japanese majors.

ASIAN 394: Academic Internship

ASIAN 396: Directed Undergraduate Research

This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Offered based on department decision. May be offered as a 1.00 credit course or .50 credit course.
Prerequisite: determined by individual instructor.

ASIAN 397: Seminar: Human Rights/Asian Context

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims that "the inherent dignity and ... the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family [are] the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world." Who speaks to human rights in East Asia? What ethical perspectives are voiced? Case studies presented through memoirs, films, reports, and multidisciplinary analyses provide the material for exploring diverse normative claims about individual rights in East Asia. Offered annually. Also counts toward Chinese and Japanese majors.
Prerequisites: BTS-T or permission of instructor.

ASIAN 398: Independent Research

ASIAN 399: Seminar for Asian Studies Majors

A capstone experience offering an opportunity to pursue a research project and to discuss issues of general interest to students of Asia. This seminar proceeds along two tracks: one focusing on discussion of readings of general interest to Asian Studies students, the other devoted to research,writing, and presenting findings to the class. Offered annually. Also counts toward Chinese and Japanese majors.
Prerequisites: junior or senior Asian Studies, Chinese, or Japanese major.

ART 259: The Arts of China

This course is intended as an introduction to the history of Chinese art, offering a survey of majorartistic developments from neolithic times to the present. Among the topics considered: ritual bronzes, funerary remains of the Qin and Han, Buddhist sculpture, and the evolution of landscape painting. Important issues discussed include production and patronage, function, and borrowing and influence in the evolution of artistic works across time and space. Offered annually. Also counts toward Asian studies and Chinese majors and Asian studies concentration.

ART 260: The Arts of Japan

This course introduces the history of Japanese art, offering a survey of major artistic developments from neolithic times to the present. Among the topics considered: funerary remains of the neolithic through Kofun eras; indigenous as well as imported religious traditions and their imagery, and the secular arts. Issues discussed include production and patronage, function, and borrowing and influence in the evolution of artistic works. Offered annually. Also counts toward Asian studies and Japanese majors and Asian studies concentration.

AS/ES 277: Environmental Sustainability in Japan (abroad)

Students investigate community-based approaches to environmental sustainability during this Interim course taught at the Asian Rural Institute (ARI) in northern Japan. Students explore how ARI builds on local Japanese resources to support its mission of training rural leaders from developing countries in organic agricultural practices. Activities include field trips, discussions, and symposia with Japanese students, as well as hands-on participation in the daily food life at ARI. Offered periodically during Interim. Apply through International and Off-Campus Studies. Counts toward Asian studies, Japanese, and environmental studies majors and Asian studies and environmental studies concentrations.
Prerequisites: preference given to students with prior coursework in either Asian studies or environmental studies.

AS/PS 255: Politics in Asia

How do people in Asia understand citizenship? Students learn how membership in cultural, social, and political communities shapes rights, responsibilities, and identities in Asian countries. Reading historical and social science research, students consider and compare citizenship in Asian countries, including China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Offered periodically. Counts toward Asian studies, Chinese, Japanese, and political science majors and Asian studies concentration.
Prerequisite: one previous course in Asian studies or political science is recommended.

AS/RE 250: Zen Masters and Criticism

This course invites students to examine the figure of the Zen Buddhist master as a literary and performative figure. In addition to a broad overview of the historical development of Zen Buddhism, students use case studies of Zen masters to explore questions of power, authority, and gender. Offered periodically during Interim. Counts toward Asian studies and religion majors and Asian studies concentration.
Prerequisite: BTS-B.

AS/RE 253: Hinduism

This course, surveying the general nature and assumptions of Hindu thought, focuses on the diversity of doctrines and practices within some of its major traditions. Students analyze selections from authoritative Sanskrit texts like the Upanishads and Bhagavad-gita, directing special attention to the central issues and developments in Hindu-Christian dialogue. Offered periodically. Counts toward Asian studies and religion majors and Asian studies concentration.

AS/RE 254: Jesus on the Indian Road: A Perspective on Christianity

The Indian Church, which claims the apostle Thomas as its founder, is the "home base" for this historical exploration of Christianity from the apostolic age to the present. The course considers Christian teachings about God and Jesus, biblical interpretation, worship, response to social, political, and cultural practices through encounters between Indian Christians and other churches. The multiple religions of India, its colonial experience, and its contemporary society areessential context. Offered periodically. Counts toward Asian studies and religion majors and Asian studies concentration.
Prerequisite: BTS-B.

AS/RE 256: Religions of China and Japan

This course introduces the religious and philosophical traditions of China and Japan: Confucianism, Chinese Taoism, Buddhism, Japanese Shinto, and the folk traditions. Students read classical texts such as Zhuangzi and Mencius and analyze fundamental values and concepts such as Tao, yin/yang, and humaneness. Offered periodically. Counts toward Asian studies, Chinese, Japanese, and religion majors and Asian studies concentration.

AS/RE 257: Buddhism

This course studies the Buddhist view of the human predicament and its solution. Students examine the life of the Buddha, Buddhist scriptures, and the historical and philosophical development of Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism in East and Southeast Asia. Offered periodically. Counts toward Asian studies, Chinese, Japanese, and religion majors and Asian studies concentration.

AS/RE 289: Buddhism, Peace and Justice

Students examine contemporary Buddhist moral teachings on social issues such as violence and peacemaking, human rights and social justice, and humanity and the environment. Coursework focuses on the writings of Vietnamese monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh, Tibetan leader-in-exile Tenzin Gyatso (Fourteenth Dalai Lama), American ecologist Joanna Macy, and others. Students consider the moral paradigms of Christianity and Buddhism: Christ and the Bodhisattva. Offered annually. Counts toward Asian studies, Chinese, Japanese, and religion majors and Asian studies concentration.
Prerequisite: BTS-T or permission of instructor.

HIST 250: China: Past and Present

This course introduces the history of ancient and imperial China beginning with the earliest historical records through the 19th century. In this broad sweep of history, students engage with works of literature, philosophy, religion, medicine, the arts, and political statecraft in English translation. Rather than focusing solely on political history and dynastic change, this course also explores the cultural and social lives of ordinary people as a central theme. Offered annually. Also counts toward Asian studies and Chinese majors and Asian studies concentration.

HIST 251: Revolutionary China

This course explores China across the tumultuous 20th century. Beginning in 1911, students discuss the schools of thought that changed daily life in China: fascism, nationalism, anarchism, feminism, socialism, and communism. The course examines the China post-1949 through the reform period of the 1980s. Through close readings of primary sources in English translation, students investigate what constitutes revolution as a theory and practice in modern China, and how a revolution begins, continues, declines, and rekindles. Offered annually. Also counts toward Asian studies major and Asian studies and management studies concentrations.

HIST 252: Japanese Civilization

A study of Japan from the origins of the Yamato state culture to the emergence of modern Japan, this course provides an overview of traditional Japanese thought, values, and culture. This course examines social, economic, and political change; intellectual and religious history; and the development of Japanese arts and literature; as well as Japan's relations with China, Korea, and the West. Offered periodically. Also counts toward Asian studies and Japanese majors and Asian studies concentration.

HIST 253: Modern Japan

This survey of modern Japan from 1800 to the present examines the political transformation of the Meiji Restoration, the industrial revolution and social and cultural change, the rise and fall of party government, militarism and Japanese expansionism in World War II, the American occupation, and postwar social, political, economic, and cultural developments. Offered alternate years. Also counts toward Asian studies and Japanese majors and Asian studies and management studies concentrations.

HIST 345: East Asia Seminar

This seminar covers varying topics in East Asian history. Recent topics have included "World War II in East Asia and the Pacific" and "Nationalism and Communism in Southeast Asia." May be repeated if topic is different. Offered periodically. Also counts toward Asian studies, Chinese, and Japanese majors and Asian studies concentration.

PHIL 249: Asian Philosophy

This course surveys the influential philosophical traditions of India and China. Students explore the major traditions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Confucianism, and Taoism and consider other traditions with which they have interacted. Where appropriate, comparisons are drawn to Western philosophical traditions. Offered periodically. Also counts toward Asian studies major.

PSCI 245: Asian Regionalism

Currents of nationalism, regionalism, and globalization organize political life around the world. What trends and policies promote regional integration? What forces frustrate integration? To answer these questions this course investigates security, economic, and cultural relations at the beginning of the 21st century within Asia and between Asia and Russia and the U.S. This course looks at the historical interaction of national, regional, and global forces for additional answers. Offered periodically. Also counts toward Asian studies, Chinese, and Japanese majors and Asian studies concentration.
Prerequisite: previous course in Asian studies or political science, or permission of instructor.

Chinese Language Courses

CHIN 111: Beginning Chinese I

First of two elementary courses that helps students with no prior background to develop basic Mandarin skills, such as pronunciation, pinyin, grammar, and handwriting along with knowledge of Chinese culture and society. Students should achieve the Novice Mid level on the ACTFL proficiency scale and identify about 150 characters in areas of daily life and immediate needs upon completion of this course. Students attend three classes and one laboratory weekly.. Offered annually in the fall semester.

CHIN 112: Beginning Chinese II

Second semester of the two elementary courses, designed for those who have completed CHIN 111 or with equivalent backgrounds. It aims to further develop basic Mandarin skills, such as speaking, listening, reading, writing, and knowledge of Chinese culture and society. Students should achieve the Novice High to Intermediate Low level on the ACTFL proficiency scale, identifying about 300 characters upon completion of this course. Students attend three classes and one laboratory weekly. Offered annually in the spring semester.
Prerequisite: CHIN 111 or placement.

CHIN 231: Intermediate Chinese I

This course is for students who have successfully completed CHIN 112 or students who have had at least one year of Chinese learning experience. It aims to enhance students' proficiency in all four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) as well as knowledge of various Chinese communities and cross-cultural communications. Students should achieve the Intermediate Low/Medium level on the ACTFL proficiency scale.Students attend three classes and one laboratory weekly. Offered annually in the fall semester. Also counts toward Asian studies major.
Prerequisite: CHIN 112 or placement.

CHIN 232: Intermediate Chinese II

This course is for students who have successfully completed CHIN 231 or students with equivalent previous Chinese learning experiences. It aims to further enhance students' proficiency in all four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) as well as knowledge of various Chinese communities and cross-cultural communications. Students should achieve the Intermediate Medium/High level on the ACTFL proficiency scale. Students attend three classes and one laboratory weekly. Offered annually in the spring semester. Also counts toward Asian studies major and management studies concentration.
Prerequisite: CHIN 231 or placement.

CHIN 294: Academic Internship

CHIN 298: Independent Study

CHIN 301: Third-Year Chinese I

This course provides continued practice in speaking, reading, and writing at the third-year level. Our text introduces students to Chinese geography and history and modern written style. Conducted entirely in Chinese. Offered annually in the fall semester. Also counts toward Asian studies major and management studies concentration.
Prerequisite: CHIN 232 or equivalent.

CHIN 302: Third-Year Chinese II

This course provides continued practice in speaking, reading, and writing at the third-year-level. Our text introduces students to Chinese geography and history and modern written style. Conducted entirely in Chinese. Offered annually in the spring semester. Also counts toward Asian studies major and management studies concentration.
Prerequisite: CHIN 301 or equivalent.

CHIN 320: Special Topics in Chinese

In this fourth-year-level Chinese course, students explore a specified topic or theme in language, in various text/media (literature, newspaper, television, and film), in culture/civilization, or in a combination of these, through close examination of texts (written or visual), discussion, analysis, and interpretation of selected materials. Specific topics vary by instructor and semester. May be repeated if topic is different. Taught in Chinese. Offered annually. Also counts toward Asian studies major.
Prerequisite: CHIN 302 or equivalent.

CHIN 351: Chinese Language and Society through the Media

This advanced Chinese language course aims to develop students' language proficiency and introduce students to various aspects of contemporary Chinese social life and culture. Course materials include films with excerpts of written scripts, newspapers, television, and essays related to the unit topics. Classroom activities include lectures, language drills, discussions, debates, presentations, and performances. Taught in Chinese. Offered annually. Also counts toward Asian studies major.
Prerequisite: CHIN 302 or permission of instructor.

CHIN 360: Professional Chinese

This advanced Chinese language course assists students in acquiring content knowledge and language skills in professional and business settings. Course materials include profession-related conversations, news articles, website blogs, and radio and TV news. Class activities include lectures, language drills, discussions, presentations, and group projects. Specialized knowledge in business and economics is not required to take this course. Taught in Chinese. Offered periodically. Also counts toward Asian studies major and concentration.
Prerequisite: Chinese 302 or equivalent.

CHIN 394: Academic Internship

CHIN 398: Independent Research

Japanese Language Courses

JAPAN 111: Beginning Japanese I

This course is an introduction to speaking, reading, and writing Japanese; writing includes the learning of all syllabic letters (Hiragana and Katakana) and basic Kanji (Chinese characters). Class meets four times weekly. Individual language laboratory visits are also required. Offered annually in the fall semester. Does not count toward Japanese major.

JAPAN 112: Beginning Japanese II

This course is an introduction to speaking, reading, and writing Japanese; writing includes the learning of all syllabic letters (Hiragana and Katakana) and basic Kanji (Chinese characters). Class meets four times weekly. Individual language laboratory visits are also required. Offered annually in the spring semester. Does not count toward Japanese major.
Prerequisite: JAPAN 111 or equivalent.

JAPAN 231: Intermediate Japanese I

Students continue to develop the listening, speaking, reading and writing skills that enable them to deal not only with topics of daily life, but also cultural themes and authentic materials. Class meets four times weekly. Individual language laboratory visits are also required. Offered annually in the fall semester. Also counts toward Asian studies major and concentration.
Prerequisite: JAPAN 112 or its equivalent.

JAPAN 232: Intermediate Japanese II

Students continue to develop the listening, speaking, reading and writing skills that enable them to deal not only with topics of daily life, but also cultural themes and authentic materials. Class meets four times weekly. Individual language laboratory visits are also required. Offered annually in the spring semester. Also counts toward Asian studies major and Asian studies and management studies concentrations.
Prerequisite: JAPAN 231 or its equivalent.

JAPAN 294: Academic Internship

JAPAN 298: Independent Study

JAPAN 301: Advanced Japanese I

This third-year-level course aims to increase the knowledge of Japanese people, language, and society by comparing with students' own cultures in their target language. Various authentic "texts" (images, video clips, written texts, etc.) support student learning. Offered annually in the fall semester. Also counts toward Asian studies major and Asian studies and management studies concentrations.
Prerequisite: JAPAN 232 or equivalent.

JAPAN 302: Advanced Japanese II

This course builds on Japanese 301 and aims to increase the knowledge of Japanese people, language, and society by comparing with students' own cultures in their target language. Authentic "texts" (images, video clips, written texts, etc.) support student learning. Offered annually in the spring semester. Also counts toward Asian studies major and Asian studies and management studies concentrations.
Prerequisite: JAPAN 301 or its equivalent.

JAPAN 320: Special Topics in Japanese

In this fourth-year-level Japanese course, students explore a specified topic or theme in language, in various text/media (literature, newspaper, manga, and films), in culture/civilization, or in a combination of these, through close examination of texts (written or visual), discussion, analysis, and interpretation of selected materials. Sample topics include" Best Sellers and Film Adaptations" and "Haiku and the Concept of Nature." May be repeated if topic is different. Taught in Japanese. Also counts toward Asian studies major and concentration.
Prerequisite: JAPAN 302 or equivalent.

JAPAN 394: Academic Internship

JAPAN 398: Independent Research

Courses in Other Departments Approved for Asian Studies Credit

In addition to the following, Interim courses, Carleton courses and other courses may be submitted to the chair of the Asian Studies Department for approval.

ECON 218 Economic Progress in China (abroad)

HIST 240 Major Seminar: Histories of Africa, Asia, and Latin America (depending on content)

PHIL 127 Zen and the Art of Judo

Chair, 2020-2021

Rika Ito

Professor of Asian Studies

language change and variation; sociolinguistics; language and gender; Japanese

Hiroe Akimoto

Visiting Instructor in Asian Studies

Japanese language instruction

Hui Bi

Visiting Assistant Professor of Asian Studies

Chinese language instruction

Karil J. Kucera

Professor of Art and Art History and Asian Studies; Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary and General Studies

Asian art history; text/image; sacred sites

Stephanie Montgomery

Assistant Professor of History and Asian Studies

Joanne Quimby

Assistant Professor of Asian Studies

modern Japanese literature

Barbara Reed

Professor of Religion and Asian Studies

Buddhism; East Asian religions; women and religion in Asia; religious myths and rituals; Taoist literature

Hsiang-Lin Shih

Assistant Professor of Asian Studies

Chinese literature; classical and modern eras

Christina Spiker

Visiting Assistant Professor of Art and Art History

Katherine Tegtmeyer Pak

Associate Professor of Political Science and Asian Studies

Asian politics; comparative democracy; immigration; citizenship; human rights

Thomas A. Williamson

Associate Professor of Sociology/Anthropology

Southeast Asia; theory; globalization; medical anthropology

Ka F. Wong

Associate Professor of Asian Studies

language pedagogy; cultural studies; Asian American studies; visual culture

Ying Zhou

Associate Professor of Asian Studies

second language acquistion and language pedagogy

Affiliate faculty:

Anantanand Rambachan
Professor of Religion
Hinduism