Introduction

The program in East Asian Studies is dedicated to the study of the civilizations, cultures, and contemporary importance of East Asia. The rich cultural heritages and the political and economic significance of the region are covered by courses in anthropology, art history, history, government, literature, and religious studies. To achieve in-depth and critical understanding of East Asia, the East Asian Studies major combines the study of Chinese or Japanese language to the advanced intermediate level with breadth of coursework on East Asia taught in English. Majors typically further strengthen their Chinese or Japanese language skills by studying in China or Japan through an off-campus program. In addition to improving language skills and filling out the student’s program in regionally specific courses, studying abroad in China or Japan enhances the students’ academic program through firsthand cultural experience in East Asia.

Beginning with foundational coursework in traditional and modern East Asian history, students gain an understanding of the basic historical development of East Asian political and cultural traditions. Students then draw from this historical knowledge in their subsequent seminars to analyze in depth how these traditions have evolved with modernization, and to examine contemporary areas of social change. Through a disciplinary focus as well as coursework that situates East Asia in a global context, majors also learn how to relate the relevance of the study of China, Japan, or South Korea to a broader international or academic context.

The major in East Asian Studies thus seeks to prepare students intellectually, linguistically, and personally for further graduate work or professional careers as East Asian specialists.


Required for the major in East Asian studies

Students who major in East Asian studies will demonstrate an understanding of the basic historical development of East Asian political and cultural traditions and use this knowledge to analyze how these traditions, in either China, Japan, or Korea, have evolved with modernization, which may include analysis of contemporary areas of social change. Students will be able to relate the relevance of the study of East Asia to a broader international or academic context. In the culmination of the major, students will critically analyze an aspect of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean history, philosophy, art, culture, society, economics or politics in a clearly written, thesis-driven project, and will utilize some target language sources, as primary or secondary literature, in carrying out their research.

The major in East Asian studies requires the following:

  1. At least one language course: CHJA 301: Advanced Intermediate Chinese or CHJA 311: Advanced Intermediate Japanese, or higher
  2. EAST 140/HIST 160: Traditional East Asian Civilization, 1800 B.C.-1600
  3. EAST 150/HIST 165: Modern East Asian Civilization, 1600-1990
  4. Three 6-unit elective courses in EAST, one of which must be a mid-level seminar or higher (300-level or higher). One elective course taken on an off-campus program may, upon approval of an EAST faculty advisor, count for one of these three courses.
  5. One course that situates East Asian culture in a broader academic, comparative or international context, such as:
    • ANTH 110: Cultural Anthropology
    • ANTH 364/EAST 364: Ethnography of East Asia
    • ANTH 377: Culture and Aging
    • ANTH 552: Disability and Culture
    • ARHI 285/EAST 285: The Transformation of the Modern City: Tokyo, Seoul, and Shanghai (1860-1945)
    • ARHI 345/EAST 345: Theorizing the Female Body in East Asian Art
    • EAST 380: Asian Women and Feminism
    • GOVT 215: Democracy in Comparative Perspective
    • GOVT 245: Comparative Politics of Less-Developed Countries
    • GOVT 340: International Politics
    • GOVT 480: International Organizations
    • HIST 105/EAST 105: Cross-Cultural Interactions Along the Silk Road, 200 BCE - 1400 CE
    • HIST 206: Perchance to Dream: A Comparative History of Dreams from Antiquity to Present
    • HIST 295: Nationalism in the Modern World

    (Note: EAST courses listed above may satisfy either this requirement or the elective requirement, but not both.) Courses in other disciplines than those listed can also fulfill this requirement. Students should consult with the East Asian studies program director to select a course appropriate to their interests. See the East Asian studies Advising page for additional course suggestions.

  6. EAST 699: Independent Study in East Asian Studies (6 units) or other 600-level course with approval of the East Asian studies program director, resulting in the completion of a substantial research paper or project. Students should consult with their East Asian studies faculty advisor in spring term of their junior year to develop a plan for their senior experience.
  7. At least nine 6-unit courses should be taken at the Appleton campus.

In addition to the requirements listed above, majors are strongly advised to have a disciplinary focus to frame their Senior Experience. EAST coursework in a discipline of interest such as anthropology, art history, history, religious studies, government, linguistics, economics, or literature, as well as additional coursework in methods and theory in that same discipline, should be completed prior to the Senior Experience course.

Majors are also encouraged to further strengthen their Chinese or Japanese language skills by studying in China or Japan (see Off-Campus Programs) and/or in one of several intensive summer language programs offered in the U.S.


Senior Experience in East Asian studies

EAST 699: Independent Study in East Asian Studies (6 units): Individualized senior-level advanced research under the guidance of an East Asian studies faculty advisor, culminating in the completion of a substantial paper or project derived from previous coursework in the discipline or related fields or field experience.

Students with sufficiently advanced Chinese or Japanese language skills are encouraged to use some target language sources in carrying out their research. Students are encouraged to share the results of their work in a public forum prior to graduation.


Required for the minor in East Asian studies

  1. Six courses, as follows:
    1. EAST 140: Traditional East Asian Civilization
    2. EAST 150: Modern East Asian Civilization
    3. Four 6-unit elective courses in EAST
  2. One additional advanced course (400-level or higher) on East Asia or a 6-unit independent study (EAST 399 or 599) in an area of interest