Bryn Mawr

Return to current Catalog Home

2007-08 Catalog Home

Academic Calendars
2007-08 and 2008-09

About the College

Contact and Web Site Information

Student Responsibilities and Rights

The Academic Program

Academic Opportunities

Academic Awards and Prizes

Libraries and Educational Resources

Student Life


Fees and Financial Aid

Scholarship Funds

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
Film Studies
Fine Arts
French and French Studies
Gender and Sexuality
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
Hank Glassman, Assistant Professor
Shizhe Huang, Associate Professor of Chinese and Linguistics, Co-chair
Yoko Koike, Senior Lecturer
Pauline Lin, Assistant Professor
Paul Jakov Smith, Professor
Suzanne Spain, Associate Provost, Co-chair
Yukino Tanaka, Lecturer
Hai Lin Zhou, Visiting Assistant Professor
William Charles Wooldridge, Lecturer
Changchun Zhang, Instructor

Chinese Language

Shizhe Huang, Director
Tz'u Chiang
Pauline Lin
Changchun Zhang

Japanese Language

Yoko Koike, Director
Hank Glassman
Yukino Tanaka

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 200 (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 120, 129, 131 or 132); two 200-level courses; and two 300-level seminars.
  4. A one-semester senior seminar (EAST 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 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 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 finish second-year courses with a score of 3.0 or above in all four areas of training: Listening, speaking, reading, and writing. In the event that students do not meet the minimum grade at the conclusion of 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. They must take a placement test before starting third-year language study in the fall.


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)

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. (Wooldridge, Division I or III)

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)

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

Introduces current and prospective majors to the scope and methods of East Asian Studies. Employs readings on East Asian history and culture as a platform in critical analysis, bibliography, cartography, and the formulation of research topics and approaches. 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; occasionally in the second semester of the junior year. Prerequisite: Required of East Asian Studies majors and minors; open to History majors and other interested students. Enrollment limited to 25 students. (Wooldridge, Division III)

EAST B206 Modern Chinese Literature and Film

Introduces the development of modern Chinese literature and related film since the 19th century in terms of the significant motifs of enlightenment and decadence, The course enriches the understanding of heterogeneous “modernities” rather than the homogeneous “modernity” in modern China. (staff, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

EAST B210 Topics in Chinese Culture: Late Imperial China: Marco Polo to 18th Century

This course is a broad chronological survey of Chinese history with a focus on foreign relations. In this period, China stood at the center of the emerging world economy. The rise of Inner Asian armies on horseback led China to be ruled by Mongolian and Manchurian leaders, fostering new notions of the empire. Interactions with Europeans became more common, from Marco Polo near the beginning of the period to British merchants at the end. Students are encouraged to relate these changes to their understanding of present-day China. (Wooldridge, Division III)

EAST B212 Introduction to Chinese Literature: Literature in Everyday Life

The rituals of everyday life mark the passing of our personal histories: they include the basics for sustenance, as well as the extravagant and serendipitous occurrences; there is a rhythm to daily life, and there are interruptions to that rhythm. At the same time, records of daily life also reflect a given period, its culture, people or the individual writers. This course explores everyday life beginning from the earliest times with the Book of Songs to the great 18th-century novel, the Dream of the Red Chamber. Topics include: farm life and gardens, the “things” in life, travels, courtship, dreams, tea culture, and food. (Lin, Division III)

EAST B225 Topics in Modern Chinese Literature: Modern China through Literature, Art and Film

This course explores modern China from the early 20th century to the present through its literature, art and films, reading them as commentaries of their own time. We will begin with the May Fourth Movement and conclude with the social and ecological effects of China 's recent economic boom. Materials will include literary works of Lu Xun, Ba Jin, Zhou Zuoren, Zhang Ailing; artworks of Xu Beihong, Zhang Dali, and the modern experimentalists; films by the Chinese Fourth, and Fifth, Generation filmmakers, as well as documentaries by Carma Hinton and Antony Thomas. (Lin, Division III; cross-listed as HART B225 and HIST B220)

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. (staff, Division III; cross-listed as PHIL B226 and POLS B226) Not offered in 2007-08.

EAST B229 Comparative Urbanism: Colonial and Post-Colonial Cities

This course exams the issues of colonialism, post-colonialism, and urbanism in a Chinese context. As Chinese society transformed in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, cities were at the forefront of change, becoming symbols of both the promise and the discontents of modernity. At the same time, Chinese cities maintained their roles as centers of economic, political, and religious activity. How did these shifts affect urban life? We will consider answers to these questions with reference to hygiene, markets, military bases, crime, imperialism and labor. (Wooldridge, 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 Koreaís 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. (staff, Division III; cross-listed as HIST B252) Not offered in 2007-08.

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 an failures, their development policies and strategies, institutional changes, and factors affecting the transformation process in the two countries. Prerequisite: ECON H101, H102 or H100, or B105 or equivalent. (Jilani)

EAST H256 Zen Thought, Zen Culture, Zen History

What are we talking about when we talk about Zen? This course is an introduction to the intellectual and cultural history of the style of Buddhism known as Zen in Japanese. We will examine the development and expression of this religious movement in China , Korea , Japan and Vietnam . (Glassman)

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)

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 2007-08.

EAST B272 Topics in Early and Medieval China: Material, Social and Philosophical Cultures

Cities are the political, cultural and economic centers of a time and space; each is distinguished by geographic locale, architectural details, inhabitants and its literary, artistic and historical milieu. We investigate the literary and cultural artifacts: beginning with magnificent Changían and Luoyang ; on to medieval Ye and Luoyang , the cosmopolitan eighth century Changían, and concluding with bustling 11th-century Bianjing. Extensive use of visual materials, such as city plans and descriptions, architecture and gardens, works by notable writers and painters. (Lin, Division I; cross-listed as CITY B273 and HART B272) Not offered in 2007-08.

EAST H282 Structure of Chinese

This course is designed to provide an overview of the historical development of the Chinese language and its structures in terms of phonetics/phonology, syntax and semantics. Students of linguistics will have an opportunity to enrich and broaden their understanding of linguistic theories and methodologies, and to develop skills in analyzing a non-Indo-European language, while students who have completed at least second-year Chinese will be exposed to systematic analyses of the language to learn the general patterns. Prerequisites: at least two of the following three: Introduction to Syntax, Introduction to Semantics or second-year Chinese or above; or consent of the instructor. (Huang)

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. (staff, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

EAST H299 Modern Japanese Literature and its Encounter With the West

Agnes Chen Memorial Lectureship in East Asian Studies, established in honor of his sister by Francis J. Chen '40. One of the defining features of Japanese literature is an absorption of styles and concepts drawn from the West; yet Japanese aesthetics and literary techniques have deep roots and continue to be fertile in the literary soil of Japan . We will explore some of the cross-cultural phenomena, such as the aesthetic ambitions of imported romanticism; intellectualism and anti-intellectualism; and the agonies of forging new literary traditions in the wake of a cataclysmic world war. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or above. (Zhou)

EAST B325 Topics in Chinese History and Culture: Science and Colonialism

In this course, we will examine linkages between science and colonialism in the East Asian context. In particular, we will investigate whether theories based on Western colonizers are equally appropriate for Qing and Japanese tactics of empire. Topics will include: cosmology, race and ethnicity, industry and military technology. (Wooldridge, Division III)

EAST B335 East Asian Development

(Rock, Division I; cross-listed as CITY B336 and ECON B335) Not offered in 2007-08.

EAST H349 The Medieval Transformation of Eurasia , circa 1000-1400

This course surveys the nature of and linkages between changes in Europe, the Islamic world, China and Japan , with a primary focus on such literary sources as The Canterbury Tales (Europe), The Arabian Nights (Middle East), Tale of the Heike ( Japan ) and The Story of the Western Wing (China). (Smith)

EAST B381 Topics in Japanese Art

(Easton, Division III; cross-listed as HART B381) Not offered in 2007-08.

EAST H382 Syntax and Semantics of Mandarin Chinese

An examination of some of the core issues in the study of Mandarin Chinese in terms of its syntactic and semantic structures. The aim is to look at a rich array of data as analyzed by practicing theoreticians and appreciate the inner workings of the language and their theoretical implications. Along the way students learn to make mid-level generalizations and hone their analytical skills. Prerequisites: Introduction to Syntax and Introduction to Semantics. One intermediate-level course on syntax or semantics or Structure of Chinese. Sophomore standing or above. (Huang) Offered every other year.

EAST B/H398 Senior Seminar

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

EAST B403 Supervised Work


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, Director
Tz'u Chiang
Pauline Lin
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.

College Foreign Language Requirement

The College's foreign language requirement may be satisfied by completing CNSE 003 and 004 with an average grade of at least 2.0 or with a grade of 2.0 or better in CNSE 004.

CNSE B001, B002 First-year Chinese

An intensive introductory course in modern spoken and written Chinese. The development of oral-aural skills is integrated through grammar explanations and drill sessions designed to reinforce new material through active practice. Six hours a week of lecture and oral practice plus one-on-one sessions with the instructor. This is a year-long course; both semesters are required for credit. (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 permission of instructor. (Huang, Zhang)

CNSE B101, B102 Third-year Chinese

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. (Chiang, Division III)

CNSE B201, B202 Fourth-year Chinese

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. (Lin, Division III)

CNSE B480 Independent Study


Japanese Language

Yoko Koike, Director
Hank Glassman
Yukino Tanaka

College Foreign Language Requirement

The College's foreign language requirement may be satisfied by completing JNSE 003 and 004 with an average grade of at least 2.0 or with a grade of 2.0 or better in JNSE 004.

JNSE H001, H002 First-year Japanese

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. (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. (Koike, Tanaka)

JNSE H201, H202 Fourth-year Japanese

Advanced Japanese language training with a focus on reading. Students in this course will learn many new kanji , will be introduced to classical Japanese grammar, will watch movies and films dealing with contemporary topics, and will continue to deepen their understanding of the Japanese language. Prerequisite: Third-year Japanese or equivalent and consent of the instructor. (Glassman, Koike)

JNSE H480 Independent Study

Modern urban Japan : advanced readings in Japanese and English. (Glassman)


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