Degree Essentials

East Asian Studies


Michael Tangeman, Director

Wei Cheng (Music), John Cort (Religion), John Davis, (Sociology/Anthropology), Sherry Harlacher (Denison Museum Director), Barry Keenan (History), Xinda Lian (Chinese), Catherine Stuer (Art History), Taku Suzuki (International Studies), Michael Tangeman (Japanese), Ping Yang (Communication)

Departmental Guidelines and Goals

To graduate with a degree in East Asian Studies requires a balance of courses in Chinese or Japanese language study with courses, selected from a variety of departments, focusing on the East Asian region (normally defined as China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam). Study in China or Japan for a semester or a year on an approved program is encouraged. Every senior major will research a topic chosen by the student in consultation with professors from two disciplines.

A Minor in East Asian Studies

The twenty-eight credits to fulfill the East Asian Studies minor include: two semesters of intermediate Chinese or Japanese, the two core courses, and three additional courses chosen from category III (see below). Only one independent study course, or one comparative course will count towards the minor.

A Major In East Asian Studies

Majors will choose courses in close consultation with a faculty advisor. Senior year the major will apply the methodologies of two disciplines to a research topic normally focusing on China, Japan, or their interaction. The major requires: (1) two semesters of intermediate Chinese or Japanese, (2) two core survey courses, one from II. A . and one from II. B., (3) five area studies courses with a maximum of two from III. B and C combined, and (4) a senior research project, that together will equal a total of forty credit hours. Advisors can help the student select which courses in approved study-abroad programs will meet the requirements below.

  1. Language requirement: two semesters of intermediate Chinese or Japanese course work, or the equivalent. Majors are encouraged to begin their language work at Denison during their first year, if possible.

  2. Two Core Courses surveying both:

    1. Traditional

      • East (History) 141: Traditional East Asian Civilization (normally given in the spring)

      • East (Chinese) 206: Dream and Fantasy in East Asian Literature (normally given in the fall)

      • East (Art) 231: Art of Japan or East (Art) 332: Art of China, meets the pre-modern requirement, as long as the other is also taken as an area studies course in III below.

    2. Modern East Asian Civilization

      • East (History) 142: Modern East Asian Civilization (normally given in the fall)

      • East (Japanese) 235: Introduction to Modern Chinese and Japanese Literature (normally given in the spring)

  3. Five East Asian area studies courses, selected from the following:

      • East (Art) 131 History of Asian Art Survey

      • East (Art) 231 Art of Japan

      • East (Art) 332 Art of China

      • East (Art) 408 East Asian Art and Ideas

      • East (Chinese) 206 Dream and Fantasy in East Asian Literature

      • East (Japanese) 239 Introduction to Genre Fiction

      • East (Chinese) 305 Philosophical Taoism and Chinese Literature

      • East (Japanese) 309 Japan's Modern Canon

      • East (Chinese) 345 Chinese Cinema in English

      • East (Economics) 201 The Economy of China

      • East (History) 241 The Mandate of Heaven in Classical China

      • East (History) 326 The Confucian Classics

      • East (History) 348 East Asia Since WWII

      • East (Japanese) 273 Modern Japan in Film and Literature

      • East (Japanese) 235 Introduction to Modern Chinese and Japanese Literature

      • East (Religion 240) 216 Religions of China

      • East (Soc/Anthro) 345 Living, Loving and Dying in Contemporary China

    1. Independent and Directed Study (maximum of two from B and C combined) - Examples:

      • Chinese 361-362 Readings in Chinese Texts

      • Japanese 361-362 Readings in Japanese Texts

      • Econ 361-362 East Asian Economies

      • Geosciences 364 Geography of China

      • East 361-362 Directed Study in East Asian Studies

      • East 363-364 Independent Study in East Asian Studies

    2. Comparative Courses (Maximum of two from B and C combined):

      • East Asia in comparison with another region of the world

      • East (Art) 131 History of Asian Art Survey

      • East (Communication) 409 International Communication

      • Economics 412 Economic Development in the Third World

      • Economics 323 International Trade

      • East (International Studies) 200 Japan Unbound, Diversity and Globalization

      • Political Science 308 Politics of the Third World

      • Political Science 355 International Political Economy

      • East 233 (Religion 233) Buddhism

  4. Senior Research Project

    • East Asian Studies 450: Senior Project in East Asian Studies. Selecting two disciplines, the student chooses a topic in East Asian Studies and utilizes the skills of both disciplines to analyze that topic in a major research paper, directed by faculty members in those disciplines. This research project culminates the major, and can be proposed for either semester of senior year. The student signing up must get signatures from the two advisors in the course registration period preceding the semester when the project will be written. Only students completing a year-long research project are eligible for special recognition.

Additional Points of Interest

Study Abroad Approved programs of study in the People's Republic of China include programs in Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai, and Xian. In Japan, students may study on programs in Tokyo, Nagoya and Sapporo. The availability of semester-long, year-long or summer courses depends on the respective program.

Summer Research Through Denison's Young Scholar Awards No separate East Asian awards exist. Guidelines are on the Gilpatrick Center's homepage under student research. The research must culminate in a written or artistic project and a presentation to other summer scholars. Student scholars will live on Denison's campus and the student stipend is $3,700. Dormitory housing is provided. Meals are excluded. Applications: Submit by late January for the coming summer.

Summer Internships There are no special grants for East Asian Studies internships. However, the Center for Career Exploration & Development Library has a folder of reports by previous interns who found internships both domestic and abroad in which they learned about East Asia. These organizations were approached by Denison students when a special grant paid their travel and a stipend. The reports can identify some likely organizations, and then students should write them beginning in early October to research which ones have paid internships. Then contact Brian Collingwood ( in Career Exploration & Development for the names of other organizations. Limited financial support is available from his office for students on need-based financial aid.

The Language and Culture Program is an exciting residential option that gives students the opportunity to hone their language skills and to participate in special cultural events. Students who choose this residential option will live in a small community of their peers who share their enthusiasm for foreign languages and cultures. Special extracurricular activities and programming in the Language House support language acquisition and permit a closer relationship with professors and languages assistants from the Department of Modern Languages.