Grinnell offers a full curriculum in Chinese language and literature and has recently expanded its offerings to include two years of Japanese language and courses in Japanese literature. At present, a major is offered in Chinese only. Students also have the option of pursuing an interdisciplinary Concentration in Chinese Studies. The Chinese Major itself is an interdisciplinary one that prepares students linguistically and intellectually for interaction with China and the Chinese world in the modern era, while at the same time introducing them to China's long and rich cultural tradition. Built around courses from the departments of history, music, political science, religious studies, and our own, it explores the complex interaction between literary, philosophical, aesthetic, religious, political, and other important spheres of human life in China. Emphasis is placed not only on the diversity and uniqueness of Chinese civilization, but also on its contributions to humanity and its heuristic values to the understanding of Western cultural traditions. Knowledge of Chinese and Japanese is valuable for students contemplating graduate study or careers in government service or in businesses engaged in international trade. The Department currently offers beginning through advanced levels of Modern Chinese, beginning and intermediate Japanese, and courses in Classical Chinese, Chinese philosophy, and Chinese and Japanese literature in translation. Independent study is encouraged for those who wish to pursue intensive study of individual authors or special topics. Qualified students may opt to do some reading in Chinese to supplement their designated Chinese courses in translation.
Chinese and Japanese