East Asian Studies
Departmental Guidelines and Goals
To graduate with a degree in East Asian Studies requires a balance of courses in Chinese or Japanese language study with courses selected from a variety of departments, focusing on the East Asian region (normally defined as China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam). Study in China or Japan for a semester or a year on an approved program is encouraged. Every senior major will research a topic chosen by the student in consultation with professors from two disciplines.
Xinda Lian, Chair
Wei Cheng (Music), John Cort (Religion), John Davis, (Anthropology and Sociology), Xinda Lian (Chinese), Catherine Stuer (Art History), Taku Suzuki (International Studies), Michael Tangeman (Japanese), Shao-Yun Yang (History), Cong Li (Chinese), Yumiko Tashiro (Japanese)
East Asian Studies Major
Majors will choose courses in consultation with a faculty advisor. In their senior year students will apply the methodologies of two disciplines to a research topic normally focusing on China, Japan, or their interaction. The major requires:
- two semesters of intermediate Chinese or Japanese,
- two core survey courses, one from II.a. and one from II.b.,
- five area studies courses with a maximum of two from III.b and c combined, and
- a senior research project, that in conjunction with the other requirements, will total forty credit hours.
Advisors can help the student select which courses in approved study-abroad programs will meet the requirements below:
- Language requirement: two semesters of intermediate Chinese or Japanese course work, or the equivalent. Majors are encouraged to begin their language work at Denison during their first year.
- Two Core Courses surveying both:
Course List Code Title EAST/HIST 141 Traditional East Asian Civilization (normally offered in the spring) EAST/CHIN 206 Dream and Fantasy in East Asian Literature (normally offered in the fall) EAST/JAPN 219 Voices from the Dark Valley: East Asians Under Japanese Fascism (1910-1945) EAST/AHVC 231 Art of Japan or EAST/AHVC 232 Art of China 1
Students who take both "Art of Japan" and "Art of China" will fulfill their traditional core course requirement and satisfy one of the five Area Studies (III.A.) requirements. Note that students choosing this option must take both EAST 231 - Art of Japan/AHVC 231 - Art of Japan and EAST 232 - Art of China/AHVC 232 - Art of China to meet the traditional core requirement.
- Modern East Asian Civilization
Course List Code Title EAST/HIST 142 Modern East Asian Civilization (normally offered in the fall) EAST/JAPN 235 Introduction to Modern Chinese and Japanese Literature (normally offered in the spring)
- Five East Asian area studies courses, which may include the following:
- East Asian Area Studies
Course List Code Title EAST/AHVC 131 Asian Art and Visual Culture EAST/AHVC 232 Art of China EAST/AHVC 231 Art of Japan EAST/AHVC 333 Art and Revolution in 20th Century China EAST/CHIN 206 Dream and Fantasy in East Asian Literature EAST/JAPN 239 Introduction to Japanese Genre Fiction EAST/CHIN 305 Spontaneity: Taoism and Chinese Literature EAST/JAPN 309 Japan's Modern Canon CHIN 340 Chinese Cinema in English: A Cultural and Literary Study EAST/JAPN 273 Modern Japan in Film and Literature HIST 211 Modern East Asia at War HIST 312 China’s Golden Age? The Tang Dynasty EAST/JAPN 235 Introduction to Modern Chinese and Japanese Literature EAST/REL 216 Religions of China
- Independent and Directed Study (maximum of two from B and C combined) - Examples:
Course List Code Title CHIN 361 Directed Study CHIN 362 Directed Study JAPN 361 Directed Study JAPN 362 Directed Study EAST 361 Directed Study EAST 362 Directed Study EAST 363 Independent Study EAST 364 Independent Study
- Comparative Courses (Maximum of two from B and C combined):
Course List Code Title East Asia in comparison with another region of the world EAST/AHVC 131 Asian Art and Visual Culture EAST/COMM 409 International Communication ECON 412 Economics of the Developing World ECON 423 International Trade POSC 332 Politics in Latin America, Africa, and Asia POSC 355 International Political Economy EAST/REL 105 Buddhism
- East Asian Area Studies
- Senior Research Project
EAST 450 - Senior Research Project: East Asian Studies: Senior Project in East Asian Studies. Selecting two disciplines, students choose a topic in East Asian Studies and utilize the skills of both disciplines to analyze that topic in a major research paper, directed by faculty members in those disciplines. This research project culminates the major and can be proposed for either semester of the senior year. The student must have signatures from the two advisors in the course registration period preceding the semester when the project will be written. Only students completing a yearlong research project are eligible for special recognition.
East Asian Studies Minor
The twenty-eight credits to fulfill the East Asian Studies minor include: two semesters of intermediate Chinese or Japanese, the two core courses, and three additional courses chosen from East Asian area studies courses chosen from category III (see below). Only one independent study course, or one comparative course will count towards the minor.
Additional Points of Interest
Approved programs of study in the People’s Republic of China include programs in Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai, and Xian. In Japan, students may study in programs in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagasaki. The availability of semester-long, year-long or summer courses depends on the respective program.
Summer Research Through Denison's Young Scholar Awards
No separate East Asian awards exist. Guidelines are on the Gilpatrick Center's homepage under student research. The research must culminate in a written or artistic project and a presentation to other summer scholars. Student scholars will live on Denison's campus and the student stipend is $3,700. Dormitory housing is provided. Meals are excluded. Applications: Submit by late January for the coming summer.
There are no special grants for East Asian Studies internships. However, the Center for Career Exploration can be a resource for students interested in searching and applying for internships. There are also internship stipend programs meant to support students in their respective internship experiences. Contact the Austin E. Knowlton Center for Career Exploration by phone (740-587-6656) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more about Denison internship resources and how stipend funding works.
The Language and Culture Program
This is an exciting residential option that gives students the opportunity to hone their language skills and to participate in special cultural events. Students who choose this residential option will live in a small community of their peers who share their enthusiasm for foreign languages and cultures. Extracurricular activities and programming in the Language House support language acquisition and permit a closer relationship with professors and languages assistants from the Department of Modern Languages.
EAST 105 - Buddhism (4 Credit Hours)
A historical and thematic survey of the Buddhist tradition from the time of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, until the present. Emphasis upon the way in which Buddhist teachings and practices have interacted with and been changed by various cultures in Asia, and more recently in North America.
EAST 131 - Asian Art and Visual Culture (4 Credit Hours)
An introduction to the art and visual culture of India, China, Japan and Southeast Asia focusing on historical, religious and social issues and the function of both art and visual culture.
EAST 141 - Traditional East Asian Civilization (4 Credit Hours)
The civilization of China, Japan and Korea from classical times to 1600 C.E. Themes include: the earliest Chinese schools of social and political thought; the genius of political and economic organization which contributed to the unusual longevity of Chinese dynastic institutions; the Japanese adaptation of Confucian and Buddhist practices in different eras; the unique development of Japan's unified feudalism; the Korean development of Neo-Confucianism.
EAST 142 - Modern East Asian Civilization (4 Credit Hours)
Beginning from an insider's view of how both prince and peasant saw the world around them before the encroachment of the West, this course analyzes the modern transformation of East Asia. Topics include: the conflict of Sinocentrism with modern nationalism in the Chinese revolution, the Japanese road to Pearl Harbor, and the colonization of Vietnam and Korea.
EAST 199 - Elementary Topics in East Asian Studies (1-4 Credit Hours)
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
EAST 200 - International Problems (4 Credit Hours)
EAST 206 - Dream and Fantasy in East Asian Literature (4 Credit Hours)
Through close analysis of some of the most important recurrent themes, this course will examine how the Chinese and Japanese literary traditions reinvent and revitalize themselves in their development. Students will also study the distinctive features of the major genres in the two traditions.
EAST 211 - Modern East Asia at War (4 Credit Hours)
This seminar covers in depth the history of East Asia (including Vietnam) in 1937–1954, a period characterized by violence, upheaval, suffering, and death on an almost unimaginable scale. The Japanese empire’s cataclysmic clash with the Republic of China and (eventually) the United States left Japan in ruins and under American occupation, China and Vietnam in the grip of Communist revolutions, and Korea divided between American and Soviet spheres of influence. The consequences of these events led to America’s war in Vietnam and still define and bedevil East Asia’s geopolitics today. Our readings will include some of the most significant recent scholarship on five conflicts: the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Pacific War, the Chinese Civil War, the French Indochina War, and the Korean War. Although we will read much about politics, diplomacy, and military campaigns, our focus will just as often be on the experiences and stories of ordinary people caught in extraordinarily harrowing times.
EAST 216 - Religions of China (4 Credit Hours)
This course explores the basic teachings and historical development of the most influential religious traditions and schools of thought in East Asia, including Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, and Shinto. Attention is given to classical texts, popular practice and the recent impact of Western culture on East Asian religion.
EAST 219 - Voices from the Dark Valley: East Asians Under Japanese Fascism (1910-1945) (4 Credit Hours)
This course provides students an introduction to the written cultural products (available in translation) from Japan, and two countries – China and Korea – occupied by Japan during the Pacific War (1931-1945). Although Japan’s occupation of Korea began in 1910, this course will begin its consideration of this topic in 1890 because the Japanese political and social mechanisms that led to fascist militarist control in the 1930s have their origins at least as far back as 1890. This course fulfills the Modern Core requirement for the East Asian Studies major/minor.
EAST 221 - Contemporary Japan: In Search of the “Real” Japan (4 Credit Hours)
Japan often conjures images steeped in tradition such as samurai warriors, sumo wrestlers, and geisha clad in kimono. At the same time, however, contemporary Japan is just as easily associated with businessmen, anime, automobiles, and high technology. How have "tradition" and "change" fueled competing visions of Japan what it means to be "Japanese"? How does one go about reconciling these conflicting views? How have these debates evolved over time? How have variously situated individuals and groups in society negotiated shifting circumstances? These questions will be at the heart of this seminar as we consider case studies from different segments of Japanese society. A range of material will be treated as "texts" for analysis and discussion including anime, manga, literary works, and films as well as ethnographic scholarship on Japanese society.
EAST 231 - Art of Japan (4 Credit Hours)
An introduction to Japanese architecture, sculpture, painting and the decorative arts from prehistoric times to the 20th century, with an emphasis on the works in their cultural and religious context.
EAST 232 - Art of China (4 Credit Hours)
This course is an introduction to Chinese visual culture from prehistoric times through the Mao era. Organized around a selection of key objects and images, this course explores a variety of art forms from China through diverse contexts such a ritual, gender, imperial patronage, literati ideals, and political icons.
EAST 235 - Introduction to Modern Chinese and Japanese Literature (4 Credit Hours)
This course is designed to provide an introduction to modern Chinese and Japanese fiction for the student who has little or no background in the language, history, or culture of these countries.
Crosslisting: JAPN 235.
EAST 239 - Introduction to Japanese Genre Fiction (4 Credit Hours)
Genre fiction (sometimes called “commercial fiction”) around the world has been broadly categorized as less-refined, or less literary. Postmodern thinkers have demonstrated, however, that popular fiction can serve as a fascinating lens through which to read place (society, race, gender, etc.) and time (historical period). This class will serve as an introduction to Japan’s long, rich tradition of genre fiction. In addition to reading recent criticism of the genres discussed, we will consider representative works, primarily by twentieth-century authors, in three genres: historical/period fiction, mystery/detective fiction, and horror fiction. This course is taught in English. No Japanese language required.
Crosslisting: JAPN 239.
EAST 240 - Chinese Economy (4 Credit Hours)
EAST 241 - The Mandate of Heaven in Classical China (4 Credit Hours)
Classical China left two legacies of lasting importance: a political system that maintained the same tradition for the next two thousand years, and the Confucian ethical system that spread to Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. The course begins with the origins of Chinese history and moves through the first Empire from 220 B.C.E. to 220 C.E.
EAST 263 - World Views: Spatial Imagination in East Asia (4 Credit Hours)
This course explores visual modes employed in the expression of time and space in the construction of narratives in Asian Art. A variety of pictorial formats including: Wall Painting, Hand-Scrolls, Film, and anime; from southeast Asia, China, and Japan will be examined as case studies to explore and analyze narrative structure.
EAST 264 - Special Topics (4 Credit Hours)
EAST 273 - Modern Japan in Film and Literature (4 Credit Hours)
This course uses film and modern literature to consider responses to political, economic, and sociological changes in Japanese society over the course of the twentieth century. This course is taught in English.
EAST 305 - Spontaneity: Taoism and Chinese Literature (4 Credit Hours)
This course examines a special group of Chinese texts that will not only enlighten, but also delight modern readers: ancient Taoist text written in fascinating literary style, and a variety of literary works informed with Taoist spirit. No knowledge of Chinese is required.
EAST 309 - Japan's Modern Canon (4 Credit Hours)
In this course we will read extensively from the works of the four twentieth-century Japanese authors who have been elevated to the status of canonized writers, that is, whose works are regarded both in and out of Japan as essential in the history of Japanese letters. Note that readings will vary from semester to semester. This course is taught in English.
EAST 333 - Art and Revolution in 20th Century China (4 Credit Hours)
This advanced-level course examines the complicated relationship between art and politics in China through key debates and developments in Chinese visual culture during the 20th century. The class explores competing narratives that negotiate the tensions between "tradition and modernity," "East and West," "local and global" and their implications for revolutions in art. Particular attention will be paid to interrogating the ideological underpinnings of artistic mediums and formats, the historiographical stakes of modernity, and the assertion of cultural memory in art and text.
EAST 341 - The Confucian Classics (4 Credit Hours)
An examination of the basic Confucian texts of the East Asian cultural tradition that define the distinctive traits of what makes us human, and what norms define healthy and happy human relations. We shall read the Four Books of the Neo-Confucian tradition. In plumbing the subtleties of these texts we shall replicate the learning techniques employed in classical Confucian academies. Research essays concluding the course may focus on a Confucian thinker or concept in the Chinese, Korean, Japanese, or Vietnamese cultural traditions of East Asia.
EAST 342 - China's Golden Age (4 Credit Hours)
This course is an in-depth introduction to the history and culture of the Tang empire (618–907), widely regarded as China’s “golden age.” Modern Chinese historical memory idealizes the Tang as an age of great military conquests, exotically “cosmopolitan” tastes in art and music, religious tolerance and cultural diversity, brilliant poets, and free-spirited, polo-playing women. A primary goal of the class is to enable students to take an informed and critical perspective on this romanticized popular image by studying a wide range of historical scholarship and translated primary sources, which they will use to write a major research paper on a topic of their choice.
EAST 345 - Studies in Contemporary East Asian Studies (4 Credit Hours)
EAST 348 - Cold War in East Asia (4 Credit Hours)
Japan’s military occupation of most of Pacific Asia halted with Japan’s unconditional surrender in 1945. Indigenous nationalism naturally emerged in each country or region Japan had occupied: China, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. In many countries the post-colonial hatred of outside domination was the greatest force at play. The freezing winds of the Cold War generated by the United States and the USSR had to find support within this nationalist anger. The course will end with a look at today’s post-Cold War trade networks in East Asia that are less dependent on Japan and its inseparable ally, the United States.
EAST 361 - Directed Study (1-4 Credit Hours)
EAST 362 - Directed Study (1-4 Credit Hours)
EAST 363 - Independent Study (1-4 Credit Hours)
EAST 364 - Independent Study (1-4 Credit Hours)
EAST 408 - Art History Senior Seminar: Research (4 Credit Hours)
In this required course, senior majors will research and prepare the senior thesis.
EAST 409 - International Communication (4 Credit Hours)
This seminar examines the nature of information flows within and between nations, the issues raised by such communication, and the institutions involved and patterns evident in the development of and relations between nation-states. The course explores issues surrounding the constituent role that the news and entertainment media have played in the formation and maintenance of the nation-state. Topics raised will include uses of information in domestic and foreign policy, the extension of cultural imperialism, corporate invasion of privacy, and incursions upon sovereignty and national security. In examining the resolution of such issues, the course analyzes how nations' power is distributed and utilized among multiple forces.
EAST 450 - Senior Research Project: East Asian Studies (4 Credit Hours)
Senior Project in East Asian Studies. Selecting two disciplines, the student chooses a topic in East Asian Studies and utilizes the skills of both disciplines to analyze that topic in a major research paper, directed by faculty members in those disciplines. This research project culminates the major and is completed in either semester of the senior year.
EAST 451 - Senior Research (4 Credit Hours)
EAST 452 - Senior Research (4 Credit Hours)