Bryn Mawr

Return to current Catalog Home

2005-06 Catalog Home

Academic Calendars
2005-06 and 2006-07

About the College

Contact and Web Site Information

The Academic Program

Academic Opportunities

Libraries and Educational Resources

Student Life


Fees and Financial Aid

Scholarship Funds and Prizes

Loan Funds

Geographical Distribution of Students

Board of Trustees


Administration and Alumnae Association

Areas of Study

Africana Studies
Arts Program
Athletics and Physical Education
Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology
Comparative Literature
Computer Science
East Asian Studies
Environmental Studies
Feminist and Gender Studies
Film Studies
Fine Arts
French and French Studies
General Studies
German and German Studies
Greek, Latin and Classical Studies
Growth and Structure of Cities
Hebrew and Judaic Studies
Hispanic and Hispanic-American Studies
History of Art
International Studies
Neural and Behavioral Sciences
Peace and Conflict Studies
Political Science
Romance Languages



Search Bryn Mawr
 Admissions Academics Campus Life News and Events Visit Find

East Asian Studies

Students may complete a major or a minor in East Asian studies.


Tz’u Chiang, Lecturer
Alexei Ditter, Instructor
Youngmin Kim, Assistant Professor (on leave semester II)
Pauline Lin, Assistant Professor, in residence as of Fall 2006
Suzanne Spain, Associate Provost, Co-chair
Changchun Zhang, Instructor

At Haverford College:

Hank Glassman, Assistant Professor
Shizhe Huang, C. V. Starr Professor of Asian Studies and Associate Professor of Chinese and Linguistics, Co-chair
Yoko Koike, Senior Lecturer (on leave semester I)
Paul Jakov Smith, John R. Coleman Professor of Social Sciences and Professor of History and East Asian Studies (on leave 2005-06)
Yukino Tanaka, Lecturer
Takanobu Tsuji, Visiting Instructor
Hai Lin Zhou, Visiting Assistant Professor

The Bi-College Department of East Asian Studies links rigorous language training to the study of East Asian, and particularly Chinese and Japanese, culture and society. In addition to our intensive programs in Chinese and Japanese languages, departmental faculty offer courses in East Asian philosophy, linguistics, literature, religion and social and intellectual history. The East Asian Studies program also incorporates courses on East Asia by affiliated Bi-College faculty on East Asian anthropology, cities, economics, philosophy and sociology, as well as additional courses on East Asian culture and society by faculty at Swarthmore.

The intellectual orientation of the Department of East Asian Studies is primarily historical and text-based; that is, we focus on East Asia’s rich cultural traditions as a way to understand its present, through the study of primary sources (in translation and in the vernacular) and scholarly books and articles. All students wishing to specialize in this humanistic approach to the study of China, Japan and (with special approval) Korea are encouraged to consider the East Asian Studies major. But we also work closely with affiliated faculty in the Bi-Co and Tri-Co community who approach East Asia from the perspective of such social science disciplines as anthropology, economics, political science, sociology and the growth and structure of cities, as well as with faculty in history, music, religion and philosophy. East Asian studies majors are encouraged to take advantage of these programs to supplement their East Asian studies coursework. Students who wish to combine the study of East Asia and its languages with a major in another discipline are invited to consider the East Asian studies minor, described more fully below.

Major Requirements

Requirements for the major are:

  1. Completion of at least the third-year level of (Mandarin) Chinese or Japanese (i.e., 101-102). Students who entered college with native fluency in one East Asian language (including Korean) must complete this requirement with another East Asian language.
  2. East Asian Studies 200b (Sophomore Seminar: Methods and Approaches to East Asian Studies), which highlights the emergence of East Asia as a coherent cultural region and introduces students to basic bibliographic skills and research approaches. Required of East Asian studies majors and minors; open to history majors and others with permission of the instructors. This course should be taken in the second semester of the sophomore year.
  3. Five additional courses in East Asian cultures, as follows: one 100-level Introduction (from among East Asian Studies 120, 129, 131 or 132); two 200-level courses; and two 300-level seminars.
  4. A one-semester senior conference (East Asian Studies 398) in the Fall, culminating in the completion of a senior thesis by the end of that semester.

Minor Requirements

The Department of East Asian Studies offers a flexible six-course minor for students with varying interests in East Asian cultures and languages. All candidates for minor credit must take East Asian Studies 200 (Sophomore Seminar). In addition, they may take five additional courses in East Asian cultures and society, or any combination of culture courses and language courses in Chinese or Japanese above the first-year (001-002) level. The most typical configurations will be East Asian Studies 200 plus: five additional culture courses and no language; three additional culture courses and two language courses at the second (003-004) or third-year (101-102) level; or one additional culture course and four language courses at the second-year level and above.

Language Placement Tests

Placement tests for first-time students at all levels are conducted in the first week of the fall semester. To qualify for third-year language courses students need to have a 3.0 average in second-year language study or take a placement test in the beginning of the third-year course. In the event that students do not score 3.0 or above at the end of the second-year language study, they must consult with the director of the respective language program and work out a summer study plan that may include, but is not limited to, taking summer courses or studying on their own under supervision.


Honors in East Asian studies will be awarded by the departmental faculty on the basis of superior performance in two areas: coursework in major-related courses (including language classes), and the senior thesis. A 3.7 average in major-related coursework is considered the minimum necessary for consideration for honors.

Study Abroad

The Department of East Asian Studies strongly recommends study abroad to maximize language proficiency and cultural familiarity. Because study abroad provides an unparalleled opportunity to study a culture from the inside, students spending a semester or year in China, Japan or Korea will be required to prepare an essay of 10 pages on significant issues confronting their host country, based on information from local newspapers or magazines, television or personal interviews. No departmental credit will be granted for study abroad without satisfactory completion of this assignment, whose details should be worked out with the student’s adviser.

Formal approval is required by the study abroad adviser prior to the student’s travel. Without this approval, credit for courses taken abroad may not be accepted by the East Asian studies program.

If studying abroad is not practical, students may consider attending certain intensive summer schools approved by the East Asian studies program. These plans must be worked out in concert with the program’s study abroad adviser and the student’s dean.

EAST H120 Chinese Perspectives on the Individual and Society

A survey of philosophical, literary, legal and autobiographical sources on Chinese notions of the individual in traditional and modern China. Particular emphasis is placed on identifying how ideal and actual relationships between the individual and society vary across class and gender and over time. Special attention will be paid to the early 20th century, when Western ideas about the individual begin to penetrate Chinese literature and political discourse. (Smith, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST H129 The Lotus Sutra: Text, Image, and Practice

An exploration of the Lotus Sutra, arguably the most important text in the history of East Asian Buddhism. We will examine its narrative and doctrinal dimensions, study artistic representations of its stories, and explore the practice and cult of the text. (H. Glassman, Division III)

EAST B131 Chinese Civilization

A broad chronological survey of Chinese culture and society from the Bronze Age to the present, with special reference to such topics as belief, family, language, the arts and sociopolitical organization. Readings include primary sources in English translation and secondary studies. (Kim, Division I or III; cross-listed as HIST B131)

EAST H132 Japanese Civilization

A broad chronological survey of Japanese culture and society from the earliest times to the present, with special reference to such topics as belief, family, language, the arts and sociopolitical organization. Readings include primary sources in English translation and secondary studies. (Glassman, Division I or III) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST H200 Sophomore Seminar: Methods and Approaches in East Asian Studies

This course introduces current and prospective majors to the scope and methods of East Asian studies. It employs readings on East Asian history and culture as a platform for exercises in critical analysis, bibliography, cartography and the formulation of research topics and approaches. It culminates in a substantial research essay. A prerequisite for East Asian Studies majors, the course should be taken in the second semester of the sophomore year; in some circumstances it may be taken in the second semester of the junior year. The course is required for East Asian Studies minors and open to other interested students. (Glassman, Division III)

EAST H201 Introduction to Buddhism

Focusing on the East Asian Buddhist tradition, the course examines Buddhist philosophy, doctrine and practice as textual traditions and as lived religion. (Glassman, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST B205 Enlightenment and Decadence in Modern Chinese Literature and Film

Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST B210 Topics in Chinese Culture: Love and Madness in Late Imperial China

This course will explore the interconnectedness of fiction and reality through readings of depictions of love (qing), desire (yu), madness (kuang) and obsession (chi) in narrative and dramatic works of literature from late imperial China alongside depictions of historical figures and documents from medical and legal cases of that period in which individuals were driven to suicide or other "irrational" acts by these same stories. (staff, Division III)

EAST B212 Introduction to Chinese Literature: The Dream of the Red Chamber

This course introduces Chinese literature from its beginnings through the late-18th century, via the greatest masterpiece of traditional Chinese fiction, the Dream of the Red Chamber. Nearly every significant literary genre in the pre-modern Chinese tradition is represented within the novel's descriptions of daily life in a great Chinese household. By studying relevant aspects of the literary tradition alongside each section of the novel, we will learn to appreciate China's pre-modern literary tradition from our contemporary perspective and to see it through the eyes of the 18th-century characters for whom the literary tradition was a part of their daily lives. (Ditter, Division III)

EAST H216 Invaded Ideology and Translated Modernity: Modern Chinese and Japanese Literatures

Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST B225 Topics in Modern Chinese Literature: Modern Chinese Literature in the Republican Period (1911-49)

We will study Chinese literature written between 1911 and 1949, when Chinese literature went through a dramatic period of change and self-evaluation. Focusing primarily on fiction (and to a lesser degree, prose and film), we will examine how writers in this period struggled not only with formal concerns (new literary idioms and modes of expression), but also with larger questions of Chinese identity and the role of modern Chinese literature. By examining literature and its historical and cultural contexts, we will learn what they can teach us about the experience of living in a world perceived as undergoing radical change. (Ditter, Division III)

EAST B226 Introduction to Confucianism

An introduction to Confucianism, arguably the most influential intellectual and cultural tradition in East Asia. In the first half, this course will train students to read the condensed style of the Confucian canons - the Analects, the Book of Mencius, the Great Learning and the Doctrine of the Mean - by examining different commentators' explanations of select passages. In the second half, we will analyze Confucianism in light of contemporary discussions of issues such as human rights, virtue ethics, women's history, economic development and political authority. This course has no prerequisites and assumes no background in East Asian culture. (Kim, Division III; cross-listed as PHIL B226 and POLS B226) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST H228 The Logos and the Tao

(Wright, Division III; cross-listed as PHIL H228) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST H228 Musical Voices of Asia

(Freedman, Division III; cross-listed as MUSC H228) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST B229 Comparative Urbanism

(McDonogh, Division I; cross-listed as ANTH B229 and CITY B229)

EAST B234 Introduction to Korean Culture

This course examines the dynamics of Korean cultural and intellectual history from the perspective of cultural identity. How did Korea negotiate its position in the traditional Asian cultural sphere? What is the significance of the so-called "Confucianization" of Choson Korea? What events and conditions shaped Korea in the 20th century? What was the impact of Japanese colonialism on Korea's modern transformation? This course explores these questions through a variety of literary works as well as historical writing, philosophical debates and the arts. No knowledge of Korean language or history is required. (Kim, Division III; cross-listed as HIST B252) Offered at Swarthmore, not Bryn Mawr, in 2005-06.

EAST H240 Economic Development and Transformation: China vs. India

A survey of the economic development and recent transitional experience in China and India, giant neighboring countries, accounting for roughly one third of total world population. The course will examine the economic structure and policies in the two countries, with a focus on comparing China and India's recent economic successes and failures, their development policies and strategies, institutional changes, and factors affecting the transformation process in the two countries. (Jilani, Division I; cross-listed as ECON H240)

EAST H242 Chinese Language in Culture and Society

An examination of the use and function of the Chinese language in culture and society, both within mainland China and in the Chinese diaspora. Topics include: language standardization, language planning, language and dialects, language and ethnicity, language and politics, and linguistic construction of self and community. (Huang, Division I) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST H242 Buddhist Philosophy

(Gangadean, Division III; cross-listed as PHIL H242) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST H244 Anthropology of China

(Gillette, Division I; cross-listed as ANTH H244) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST H250 Religion in Modern Japan

Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST H251 Gender and Power in East Asia

(Gillette; cross-listed as ANTH H251) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST H256 Zen Thought, Zen Culture, Zen History

Introduction to the intellectual and cultural history of the style of Buddhism known as Zen in Japanese. The development and expression of this religious movement in China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam will be examined. (Glassman, Division III)

EAST H260 Mid-Imperial China

Surveys the fundamental transformation of Chinese society between the ninth and 16th centuries. (Smith, Division I or III; cross-listed as HIST H260) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST H262 Chinese Social History: Gods, Ghosts and Ancestors in Traditional Chinese Society

Surveys a rotating series of topics in the Chinese social and cultural history. (Smith, Division III; cross-listed as HIST H262) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST H263 The Chinese Revolution

Places the causes and consequences of the Communist Revolution of 1949 in historical perspective, by examining its late-imperial antecedents and tracing how the revolution has (and has not) transformed China, including the lives of such key revolutionary supporters as the peasantry, women, and intellectuals. (Smith, Division III; cross-listed as HIST H263) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST H264 The Social History of Chinese Religions

This course surveys the place of religion in China's social, cultural and political history during the imperial and modern eras. The main goals of the course are: [1] to introduce the interdependent world of gods, ghosts, and ancestors and the ways they are worshipped - or kept at bay; [2] to underscore the importance of religious institutions in China's past and present; [3] to explore the scholarly literature in what is one of the most robust subfields in Chinese studies; and [4] to sample some of the sources available for the study of religion in Chinese society. (Smith, Division III; cross-listed as HIST H264) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST H265 Modern Japan

Explores selected topics in the rise of modern Japan from the late-16th century to the Pacific War, including the creation of the centralized Tokugawa state, the urban culture of the 17th and 18th centuries, the Meiji Restoration and modernization in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, and the sources and consequences of Japanese imperialism. (Smith, Division III; cross-listed as HIST H265) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST B267 The Development of the Modern Japanese Nation

(Takenaka, Division I; cross-listed as ANTH B267 and SOCL B267)

EAST B270 Japanese Architecture and Planning

(Hein, Division III; cross-listed as CITY B270 and HART B270) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST H275 Romancing/Passing

Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST H282 Structure of Chinese

This course is designed to acquaint students with both the syntactic and semantic structures of Mandarin Chinese and the theoretical implications they pose to the study of natural language. Students will have an opportunity to further their understanding of linguistic theories and to develop skills in systematically analyzing a non-Indo-European language. Prerequisite: General Programs 262 or consent of the instructor. (Huang, Division I)

EAST B284 Topics in Korean Culture

An introduction to Korean modern and contemporary literature and media culture. Readings will include both literary works in translation and critical writings on selected topics in Korean literary and cultural history and film theory and history. (Kim, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST H299 Agnes Chen Memorial Lectureship in East Asian Studies

Established in honor of his sister by Francis J. Chen '40, the course for fall 2005 is "Fertile Soil: Modern Japanese Literature and its Encounter with the West" (Zhou)

EAST H310 Religion and Gender in Premodern Japanese Literature

Examination of the intersection of religion and gender in Japanese literature from the eighth through the 16th centuries; from Japanese creation myths to Lady Murasaki's courtly Tale of Genji and the homoerotic Buddhist literature of the late medieval period. The course assumes no prior academic experience in gender studies, literature, religion or Japanese culture. All sources are in English translation. (Glassman, Division III; cross-listed as RELG H310) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST H315 Cultural Interchange in 19th- to 20th-Century East Asia

Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST B325 Topics in Chinese History and Culture

Topic to be determined for spring 2006. (Ditter)

EAST H330 Cinema Nostalgia

Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST B335 East Asian Development

(Rock, Division I; cross-listed as ECON B335)

EAST H342 Topics in Asian Philosophy: Buddhism in a Global Context

(cross-listed as PHIL H342) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST H347 Topics in East Asian History

(Smith) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST H349 Topics in Comparative History

Seminar meetings, reports and papers. May be repeated for credit with change of topic. (Smith, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST B354 Identity, Ritual and Culture in Vietnam

(Pashigian, Division I; cross-listed as ANTH B354) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST B381 Topics in Japanese Art

(Easton, Division III; cross-listed as HART B381) Not offered in 2005-06.

EAST B398 Senior Conference

A semester-long research workshop culminating in the writing and presentation of a senior thesis. Required of all majors; open to minors and others by permission. (Glassman, Kim)

EAST B403 Supervised Work

EAST H415 Theory and Experience

This advanced research seminar is about Chinese material culture in its historical and contemporary manifestations. Particular attention will be paid to Chinese ceramics. Students will design and complete individual research projects centered on objects, architectural installations and other manifestations of Chinese material culture available in the Philadelphia area. (Gillette; cross-listed as ANTH H415)

East Asian Languages

The East Asian Studies Program welcomes students who wish to combine their interests in East Asian languages with the study of an East Asian culture. These students are urged to consult the coordinator of East Asian studies on either campus, who will advise them on creating individual plans of study in appropriate departments.

Chinese Language

Shizhe Huang, Chinese Language Program Director
Tz'u Chiang
Changchun Zhang

The Chinese Language Program offers a full undergraduate curriculum of courses in Mandarin Chinese. Students who will combine language study with focused work on East Asian society and culture may wish to consider the major or minor in East Asian studies. Information about study abroad programs can be found under the East Asian studies heading in this catalog.

CNSE B001, B002 First-year Chinese

Offered in an intensive section (1.5 credits) for students new to the language, which meets for six hours for lecture and oral practice. Also offered in a nonintensive section (1 credit) for students who can speak but not read or write the language, which meets three hours a week. (Chiang)

CNSE H003, H004 Second-year Chinese

Language skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing are further developed through carefully designed practices. Oral proficiency is enhanced by dramatization of situational topics, and written skills by regular composition writing. Both reading and writing are in Chinese characters only. Three hours a week of classes and two hours of drills. Prerequisite: First-year Chinese or equivalent. (Huang)

CNSE B101, B102 Third-year Chinese: Readings in the Modern Chinese Short Story and Theater

A focus on overall language skills through reading and discussion of modern short stories, as well as on students' facility in written and oral expression through readings in modern drama and screenplays. Readings include representative works from the May Fourth Period (1919-27) to the present. Audio- and videotapes of drama and films are used as study aids. Prerequisite: Second-year Chinese or permission of instructor. (Zhang)

CNSE B201, B202 Fourth-year Chinese: Readings in the Humanities

Development of language ability by readings in modern Chinese literature, history and/or philosophy. Speaking and reading skills are equally emphasized through a consideration of the intellectual, historical and social significance of representative works. Prerequisite: Third-year Chinese or permission of instructor. (Chiang)

Japanese Language

Yoko Koike, Director, (on leave semester I)
Hank Glassman
Yukino Tanaka
Takanobu Tsuji

JNSE H001, H002 First-year Japanese (Intensive)

An introduction to the four basic skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening), with special emphasis on the development of conversational fluency in sociocultural contexts. Six hours per week of lecture and oral practice. This is a year-long course; both semesters are required for credit. (Tsuji, Koike)

JNSE H003, H004 Second-year Japanese

A continuation of first-year Japanese, with a focus on the further development of oral proficiency, along with reading and writing skills. Five hours per week of lecture and oral practice. Prerequisite: First-year Japanese or equivalent. (Tanaka)

JNSE H101, H102 Third-year Japanese

A continuation of language study with further development of oral proficiency. Emphasis on reading and discussing simple texts. Advanced study of grammar and kanji; introduction to composition writing. Three hours of class, one hour of oral practice. Prerequisite: Second-year Japanese or equivalent. (Tanaka)

JNSE H201, H202 Fourth-year Japanese

Advanced study of written and spoken Japanese utilizing texts and audiovisual materials. Prerequisite: Third-year Japanese or equivalent and consent of the instructor. (Glassman, Koike)

Bryn Mawr College · 101 North Merion Ave · Bryn Mawr · PA · 19010-2899 · Tel 610-526-5000