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Course Catalog

Asian Studies

The University offers a broad range of courses dealing with Indian, Chinese and Japanese cultures. The Asian Studies Committee, headed by the director of Asian Studies, oversees both a major in East Asian Studies and a minor in Asian Studies. Students with a special interest in Asia are urged to take advantage of opportunities to study, either for a term or a full academic year, in India, China or Japan. Graduates of the Asian studies program typically go on to employment in business and education or enter professional and graduate schools. In addition to a major in East Asian Studies and a minor in Asian Studies, a minor in Japanese language is offered. Consult the Modern Languages section of the catalog. The Asian Studies Committee periodically reviews the list of courses that may be applied to both the East Asian Studies major and the Asian Studies minor.


Requirements for a major

East Asian Studies

Total courses required Nine to eleven
Core courses Two to four semesters of Chinese or Japanese language beyond the 100 level, including: JAPN 251, JAPN 252, CHIN 261, CHIN 262, JAPN 351, JAPN 352, CHIN 361, JAPN 451

Two of the following introductory courses: HIST 107, HIST 108, REL 130E (a course that always includes sections on China and Japan)

ASIA 480

Other required courses Four courses from the following (two of the four courses must be at the 300-400 level): CHIN 361, ASIA 140, ASIA 250, ASIA 281, ASIA 282, ASIA 290 (when an East Asian topic), ASIA 390, ASIA 470, ANTH 277, HIST 252, HIST 290 (when an East Asian topic), HIST 350, HIST 351, HIST 353, HIST 490 (Seminar: East Asia), HIST 491, JAPN 351, JAPN 352, JAPN 451, PHIL 218, POLS 253, REL 258, REL 352, REL 491. (A number of other courses apply toward the Asian Studies program. See the Schedule of Classes each semester for a complete listing.)
Number 300 and 400 level courses Three
Senior requirement and capstone experience A student usually takes ASIA 480 in the fall semester of the senior year; in it, the student will complete a substantial essay, including an oral examination.
Additional information A maximum of two non-language courses per term may be counted toward the major from off-campus programs.
Writing in the Major The writing in the major requirement for East Asian Studies includes three components: 1. the evaluation of a student-writing portfolio; 2. the assessment of a major's self-reflective statement to be carried out in the summer before a student undertakes work in the senior seminar; and 3. the evaluation of a student's senior thesis and defense. Declared majors are required to submit a portfolio of written work in Asian Studies courses before being admitted to the Senior Seminar. Before taking the seminar, students select three papers from three different courses that count toward the Asian Studies major and that demonstrate the student's intellectual trajectory in the field. The portfolios are reviewed by at least two members of the Asian Studies steering committee. The portfolio papers form the basis of a discussion between the student and advisors regarding writing strengths and weaknesses to be addressed as the student undertakes his/her senior-writing project. During the portfolio review students are given an opportunity to identify their authorial voice and to reflect upon how their written work coheres within the major and sets the stage for work in the Senior Seminar. This process is designed to assist students in the identification of an intellectual project for the senior thesis.

Subsequent to conversations during the portfolio review and before undertaking their senior seminar projects students are required to submit personal reflections, ranging from 750 to 1200 words, that bridge their portfolios to the topics of their senior theses. In their reflections, students discuss their academic interests and address issues raised in conversations about papers selected for their portfolios. Like the portfolios, the reflections are read by at least two faculty members in Asian Studies. The faculty members provide written comments on the reflections before the students embark upon their senior thesis projects.

The Asian Studies Senior Seminar is designed to develop and assess the overall writing skills of our majors. It is the capstone course of the Asian Studies program. The seminar utilizes brainstorming, in-class and out-of-class writing, outlining, drafting, peer-review, instructor consultation, and final presentations to accomplish the developmental and assessment goals of the course. The initial proposals and final drafts of senior theses are read by two readers: the faculty member who guides the seminar and another faculty member whose special field is related to the thesis topic. Final papers range between 30-40 pages.


Requirements for a minor

Asian Studies

Total courses required Five
Core courses Approved courses chosen from those listed for the major, drawn from at least two disciplines
Other required courses In addition to the courses listed under the East Asian Studies major, the following courses may be applied toward the minor: ANTH 290 (when an appropriate topic), ANTH 277, JAPN 151, JAPN 152, CHIN 161, CHIN 162, REL 130, REL 253, REL 257, POLS 150. No more than two courses in Asian language and no more than two courses from an off-campus program may be included in the minor. The 300-400 level course must be taken on campus and may not be an independent study course.
Number 300 and 400 level courses One