East Asian Studies
Calvin Chen, Chair
Denise Falk, Academic Department Coordinator
112 Ciruti Center
Overview and Contact Information
One of four interdisciplinary majors within the Asian Studies program, East Asian studies allows students to specialize in the history, languages, cultures, and politics of East Asia. Complementing course work at Mount Holyoke are extracurricular activities and study abroad programs that broaden and deepen students’ understanding of Asia.
Language study is the core component of the major. We offer four levels of instruction in Chinese, three in Japanese, and two in Korean. Our students are expected to incorporate the humanities and the social sciences fully into their studies with classes at Mount Holyoke and the other colleges in the Five College Consortium.
On campus, our students experience regional culture at many levels, including language tables and clubs, guest lectures, performing and visual arts, film, festivals, and regional cuisine. These activities are often initiated by and benefit greatly from the diverse student population of Mount Holyoke and particularly the large numbers of students from Asian countries or with an Asian background.
Most of our students spend a semester or a summer in study abroad programs. Mount Holyoke College has affiliated programs or exchanges in China at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Peking University (summer), and University of Hong Kong; in Japan at the Associated Kyoto Program (year) and the Japan Women’s University; and in South Korea at the Ewha Womans University and the Sookmyung Women’s University.
East Asian Studies majors and minors graduate to pursue graduate studies and careers in fields as varied as law, education, business, NGOs, journalism, the arts, and government service.
Minors in Chinese and Japanese are available; see their own sections of the catalog.
By majoring in East Asian Studies, students should:
- Develop proficiency in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. By "proficiency" we mean the ability to:
- Read newspapers, magazines, and popular literature.
- Converse with a native speaker on non-technical subjects.
- Write coherent paragraphs on non-technical subjects.
- Develop knowledge of the history of premodern and modern East Asia.
- Develop knowledge of the arts, literature, religions, and philosophies of East Asia.
- Develop knowledge of the geography, politics, economics, and societies of East Asia.
This area of study is administered by the Asian Studies Committee:
Satyananda Gabriel, Professor of Economics
Rie Hachiyanagi, Professor of Art, On Leave 2021-2022
Sohail Hashmi, Professor of International Relations on the Alumnae Foundation and Professor of Politics
Kavita Khory, Ruth Lawson Professor of Politics; Carol Hoffmann Collins Director of the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives
Susanne Mrozik, Professor of Religion, Teaching Spring Only
Naoko Nemoto, Professor of Asian Studies
Joshua Roth, Professor of Anthropology
Ajay Sinha, Julie '73 and Helene '49 Herzig Professor of Art History, Teaching Spring Only
Ying Wang, Felicia Gressitt Bock Professor of Asian Studies
Elif Babul, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Teaching Fall Only
Calvin Chen, Associate Professor of Politics
Amina Steinfels, Associate Professor of Religion
Lan Wu, Assistant Professor of History
Lisha Xu, Senior Lecturer in Asian Studies
Heba Arafah, Five College Lecturer in Arabic
Jinhwa Chang, Lecturer in Japanese
Kyae-Sung Park, Five College Lecturer in Korean
Richard Chu, Five College Associate Professor of History
Mohamed Hassan, Five College Senior Lecturer in Arabic
May George, Five College Lecturer in Middle East Studies
Nahla Khalil, Five College Lecturer in Arabic
Suk Massey, Five College Lecturer in Korean
Shaimaa Moustafa, Five Colleage Lecturer in Arabic
Chan Young Park, Five College Lecturer in Korean
John Weinert, Five College Lecturer in Arabic
Alice Kao, Teaching Associate in Chinese
Requirements for the Major
A minimum of 40 credits:
|Four courses (16 credits) in, equivalent to two years of college-level study of, an East Asian language: Chinese, Japanese, or Korean 1||16|
|HIST-137||Modern East Asia, 1600-2000||4|
|or POLIT-228||East Asian Politics|
|At least three non-language courses (12 credits) on East Asia, including at least one from each of the following two groups:||12|
Group One: Humanities (literature, art, history, philosophy, and religion and interdisciplinary courses in these areas) 2, 3
Group Two: Social Sciences (anthropology, economics, geography, international relations, linguistics, politics, and sociology interdisciplinary courses in these areas)
|Two additional courses (8 credits) to complete the major||8|
|At least three courses (12 credits) must be at the 300 level. One of the three 300-level courses must be a non-language and non-independent study course. 4|
Japanese, Chinese, and Korean are taught at Mount Holyoke and elsewhere in the Five Colleges. A maximum of 16 lower-level language credits and a total of 24 language credits can be counted toward the major.
Language courses are not included in this group
In order to count toward the major, Studio Art or performance courses must be supplemented with analytical written work
A course that is taught outside of Mount Holyoke College must be approved by the chair of the Asian Studies program to count as a 300-level course.
- Any course that devotes 50 percent or more of its substance to East Asian countries, peoples, or issues may be included in the major.
- One course on East Asian diasporas (e.g., Asian American studies) may count toward the major.
- Students who declare an East Asian studies major automatically fulfill the College's "outside the major" requirement.
Related Courses Counting toward the East Asian Studies Major
Most East Asian studies courses at Mount Holyoke are listed below, but students should also consult the catalog entries or websites of other departments, including art history, history, international relations, politics, and religion. East Asian Studies majors should also plan to use the rich resources of the Five College Consortium in selecting their courses (listings are available through the Five College Class Schedule or individual college websites).
Please consult the chair of Asian Studies for guidelines regarding Asian languages not taught in the Five Colleges.
|ANTHR-204||Anthropology of Modern Japan||4|
|ARTH-261||Arts of China||4|
|ARTH-262||Arts of Japan||4|
|ARTST-269||Japanese Papermaking and Aesthetics||4|
|ASIAN-110||First Year Chinese I||6|
|ASIAN-111||First Year Chinese II||6|
|ASIAN-120||First Year Japanese I||6|
|ASIAN-121||First Year Japanese II||6|
|ASIAN-160||First Year Korean I||4|
|ASIAN-161||First Year Korean II||4|
|ASIAN-212||Second Year Chinese I||6|
|ASIAN-213||Second Year Chinese II||6|
|ASIAN-215||Androgyny and Gender Negotiation in Contemporary Chinese Women's Theater||4|
|ASIAN-222||Second Year Japanese I||6|
|ASIAN-223||Second Year Japanese II||6|
|ASIAN-247||Chinese Women Writers in the 20th and 21st Centuries||4|
|ASIAN-262||Second Year Korean I||4|
|ASIAN-263||Second Year Korean II||4|
|ASIAN-310||Third Year Chinese I||4|
|ASIAN-311||Third Year Chinese II||4|
|ASIAN-312||Newspaper Reading and Journalistic Practice in China||4|
|ASIAN-313SH||Advanced Chinese Reading: 'Reading Chinese Classics: 17th Century Short Stories'||2|
|ASIAN-314||Learning Chinese Through Film||4|
|ASIAN-315||Business Culture and Communication in China||4|
|ASIAN-324||Third Year Japanese I||4|
|ASIAN-326||Third Year Japanese II||4|
|ASIAN-340||Love, Gender-Crossing, and Women's Supremacy: A Reading of The Story of the Stone||4|
|Film, Media, Theater|
|FMT-230CW||Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'Androgyny and Gender Negotiation in Contemporary Chinese Women's Theater'||4|
|GNDST-204CW||Women and Gender in the Study of Culture: 'Androgyny and Gender Negotiation in Contemporary Chinese Women's Theater'||4|
|GNDST-206CG||Women and Gender in History: 'Women and Gender in China'||4|
|GNDST-333HH||Advanced Seminar: 'Love, Gender-Crossing, and Women's Supremacy: A Reading of The Story of the Stone'||4|
|HIST-137||Modern East Asia, 1600-2000||4|
|HIST-239MC||Topics in Asian History: 'Borderlands and Ethnicity in Modern China'||4|
|HIST-239ME||Topics in Asian History: 'Cities in Modern East Asia'||4|
|HIST-296CG||Women in History: 'Women and Gender in China'||4|
|HIST-332||Environmental History of China||4|
|PHIL-212||Philosophical Foundations of Chinese Thought: The Ancient Period||4|
|POLIT-228||East Asian Politics||4|
|POLIT-359||Democratization and Civil Society in East Asia||4|
|RELIG-163||Introduction to Buddhism||4|
|RELIG-241||Women and Gender in Buddhism||4|
|Russian & Eurasian Studies|
|RES-312||Silk Roads: Ancient and Modern Highways Across the Eurasian Continent||4|