Chair’s Welcome

Picture of Mayfair Yang
Mayfair Yang, Department Chair

The societies of East Asia today (China, Japan, and Korea), comprise an area of the world that is an economic powerhouse, a fountain of dynamic cultural and media creations, a producer of technological innovations, with a long and continuous recorded history going back to ancient times. The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies tries to do justice to this very important corner of the globe with a vibrant and diverse curriculum and world-class academic research.

We offer the B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degree programs in Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, and Asian Studies, with plans to build up our Korean Studies program.

Our Department faculty are rigorously trained in a variety of academic disciplines: literature and literary history, popular culture and media studies, drama and theater, social and art history, gender studies, religious history and religious studies of contemporary societies, environmental humanities, translation studies, anthropology, and sociology. We teach elementary, intermediate, and advanced Chinese, Japanese, and Korea language courses, as well as translation classes. We also offer content classes on medieval Daoism and Chinese and Japanese Buddhism, as well as the anthropology of religion in modern times. Classes on premodern Chinese and Japanese literature, calligraphy, and painting provide students with a good grasp of the cultural sophistication of these civilizations. Gender studies is covered by courses on women’s literature, masculinity, and gendered power relations in East Asian societies. We also have courses on modern Chinese and Japanese history, and contemporary Chinese, Japanese, and Korean literature and film. Courses on the anthropology of modern East Asian societies and East Asian environmental humanities immerse students in the modern transformation of East Asia.

We look forward to welcoming some of you to our Department for a physical visit, once the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines have been deemed sufficient. Meanwhile, we welcome you to peruse our Department website digitally at a safe distance.