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East Asian Studies

Majors in East Asian Studies begin or continue the mastery of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. Within the humanities or social sciences, they may focus on a particular sub-region. For example: Japan; South China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan; or western China and Central Asia; or a substantive issue involving the region as a whole, such as environmental protection, public health, rural development, historiography, cultural expression, or religious beliefs. The major seeks to reduce the complexity of a region to intellectually manageable proportions and illuminate the interrelationships among the various facets of a society.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies

Potential majors must submit a Student Proposal for a Major in East Asian Studies form not later than the end of the first quarter of the junior year. Majors must complete at least 75 units of coursework on China, Japan, and/or Korea in addition to a 1 unit Senior Colloquium. Courses to be credited toward major requirements must be completed with a grade of ‘C’ or better. Course requirements are as follows:

  1. Language Requirement: proficiency in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean language at the second-year level or above, to be met either by coursework or examination. Students who meet the requirement through examination are still expected to take an additional 15 units of language at a higher level, or literature courses taught in the language, or the first year in an additional Asian language. No more than 30 units of language courses are counted toward the major.
  2. Area Courses: a minimum of three area courses, one in each category below. (Please note: courses listed are examples and by no means exhaustive. Consult the bulletin or Axess for a more complete list. If uncertain whether a particular course fits into one of these categories, please contact the department to confirm.)
    1. Humanities
      • CHINGEN 132, Chinese Fiction and Drama in Translation
      • CHINGEN 133, Literature in 20th Century China
      • CHINGEN 135, Chinese Bodies, Chinese Selves
      • CHINGEN 194, The History and Culture of Peking Opera
      • CHINGEN 198, Senior Colloquium in Chinese Studies
      • JAPANGEN 124, Manga as Literature
      • JAPANGEN 138, Introduction to Modern Japanese Literature and Culture
      • JAPANGEN 184, Aristocrats, Warriors, Sex Workers, and Barbarians: Lived Life in Early Modern Japanese Painting
      • KORGEN 101N, Kangnam Style: Korean Media and Pop Culture
      • KORGEN 121, Doing the Right Thing: Ethical Dilemmas in Korean Film
      • RELIGST 50, Exploring Buddhism
      • RELIGST 55. Exploring Zen
      • RELIGST 56, Exploring Chinese Religions
    2. History
      • HISTORY 92. Early Empires in China
      • HISTORY 11SC, How is a Buddhist
      • HISTORY 13, The Historical and Geographical Background of Current Global Events
      • HISTORY 92A, The Historical Roots of Modern East Asia
      • HISTORY 95/195, Modern Korean History
      • HISTORY 95C/195C, Modern Japanese History: From Samurai to Pokemon
      • HISTORY 106A, Global Human Geography: Asia and Africa
      • HISTORY 194B, Japan in the Age of the Samurai
      • HISTORY 292F, Culture and Religions in Korean History
      • HISTORY 295J, Chinese Women's History
    3. Social Sciences
      • JAPANGEN 51, Japanese Business Culture and Systems
      • EASTASN 217, Health and Healthcare Systems in East Asia
      • LAW 245, China Law and Business
      • IPS 244, U.S. Policy toward Northeast Asia
      • IPS 246, China on the World Stage
      • POLISCI 148, Chinese Politics: The Transformation and the Era of Reform
      • POLISCI 211, Political Economy of East Asia
      • SOC 116, Chinese Organizations and Management
      • SOC 117A, China Under Mao
      • SOC 167A, Asia-Pacific Transformation
  3. Substantive Concentration: additional courses on East Asia, one of which must be a seminar above the 100 level. Majors are encouraged to distribute their course work among at least three disciplines and two subregions in Asia. The subregions need not be traditionally defined. Examples include China, Japan, or Korea; or, in recognition of the new subregions which are emerging, South China and Taiwan, or Central Asia. At least four courses must have a thematic coherence built around a topic such as:
    • East Asian religions and philosophies
    • Culture and society of modern Japan
    • Ethnic identities in East Asia
    • Arts and literature in late imperial China
    • Foreign policy in East Asia
    • Social transformation of modern Korea
    • China’s political economy
  4. Capstone Essay: completion of a paper of approximately 7,500 words, written either in a directed reading course or for one of the courses in item 3 above, which should be built upon the student’s thematic interest. CHINGEN 198 (Senior Colloquium in Chinese Studies), JAPANGEN 198 (Senior Colloquium in Japanese Studies), or KORGEN 198 (Senior Colloquium in Korean Studies), taken for 1 unit, is required of majors during Spring Quarter of their senior year to develop and present the capstone essay or honors paper. A faculty adviser for the capstone essay must be submitted by the beginning of Autumn Quarter of the student's senior year.
  5. At least one quarter overseas in the country of focus.
  6. An East Asian Studies course that satisfies the University Writing in the Major (WIM) requirement should be completed before beginning the senior essay. CHINGEN 133 (Literature in 20th Century China), JAPANGEN 138 (Survey of Modern Japanese Literature in Translation), and KORGEN 120 (Narratives of Modern and Contemporary Korea) satisfy the WIM requirement.
  7. The courses for the major must add up to at least 76 units, comprised of the one-unit Senior Colloquium and at least 75 additional units, all taken for a letter grade. Courses must be at least three units to be counted towards the degree.