Chinese & Japanese

Why take courses in this discipline?

A knowledge of Chinese is valuable for students contemplating graduate study or careers in government service or in businesses engaged in international trade. The Chinese department currently offers beginning through advanced levels of Modern Chinese, as well as courses in Classical Chinese and Chinese literature, and culture 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.

A knowledge of Japanese is valuable for students contemplating graduate study or careers in government service or in businesses engaged in international trade.

How does the discipline contribute to the liberal arts?

Courses in Chinese and Japanese involve language study, human behavior and society, and creative expression. The Chinese major and East Asian Studies concentration include courses in history, art history, and religious studies.

What kinds of questions are asked in this field?

We offer East Asian approaches and perspectives on a variety of questions crucial to human life and societies. In literature courses, we ask questions such as what it means to be a good person and how one can become one, how one can obtain happiness, how one deals with the impermanent nature of human life, and how one wrestles with a society and culture undergoing massive transformations such as modernization and globalization. In language courses, we ask questions such as the relationship between language and culture, how one’s identity and worldview are shaped by the languages one speaks, and how one can make a difference in the world through the languages they are learning.

How does a student get started?

All entering students who have previously studied Chinese or Japanese or have a working knowledge of the language are invited to take the placement test and speak with the Chinese and Japanese language faculty during New Student Orientation to determine an appropriate starting point in the curriculum.

Chinese major and East Asian Studies Concentration: these programs support a wide range of courses on China. For majors and concentrators, who are expected to become proficient speakers and readers of Chinese, there is a comprehensive sequence of courses in modern and classical Chinese. The language sequence is Chinese 101, 102, 221, 222, 331, 332, 461 and 498. Students intending to major in Chinese should take Chinese 101-2 in their first year of college.

The program in Japanese Studies supports a wide range of courses on Japan. For students who wish to pursue a concentration in East Asian Studies, or who simply wish to become proficient speakers and readers of Japanese, there is a comprehensive sequence of courses in modern Japanese. The basic three-year language sequence is Japanese 101, 102, 221, 222, 331, and 332. There is no formal major offered in Japanese.

Non-majors may opt to earn a concentration in East Asian Studies. For students with no prior language training, there are substantial offerings in the departments of history, religious studies, and art history, in addition to courses in Chinese and Japanese literature and culture (in translation) in the Department of Chinese and Japanese (cross-listed with general literary studies and East Asian studies).

Courses in Chinese

All courses in Chinese

Regularly Offered Courses

  • Beginning Chinese
  • Intermediate Chinese
  • Chinese Women: Past and Present
  • Modern China Through Literature and Film (In Translation)
  • Advanced Chinese
  • Classical Chinese
  • Readings in Chinese Literature
  • Chinese Food for Thought

Recent Special Topics Courses

  • Love and Impermanence
  • Feast and Reclusion: Major Themes in Classical Chinese Lyrical Tradition
  • Global Sinophone Literature

Courses in Japanese

All course in Japanese

Regularly Offered Courses

  • Beginning Japanese
  • Intermediate Japanese
  • Modern Japanese Fiction and Film
  • Advanced Japanese
  • Japanese Popular Culture and Society
  • Japanese Horror: Past and Present

Recent Special Topics Courses

  • Fashion and Lifestyle in Japan
  • Transpacific Japanese Literature
Sample Four-Year Plan for a Chinese Major
Year Fall Spring
First

CHI 101; CHI XXX/ARH XXX/HIS XXX/REL XXX

CHI 102; CHI XXX/ARH XXX/HIS XXX/REL XXX

Second CHI 221
CHI 2XX/ARH XXX/HIS XXX/REL XXX
CHI 222
CHI 2XX/ARH XXX/HIS XXX/REL XXX
Third CHI 331 (or off-campus study)
CHI 2XX/ARH XXX/HIS XXX/REL XXX
CHI 332 (or off-campus study)
CHI 2XX/ARH XXX/HIS XXX/REL XXX
Fourth CHI 461; CHI 2XX/ARH XXX/HIS XXX/REL XXX CHI 498; CHI 2XX/ARH XXX/HIS XXX/REL XXX

Off-Campus Study

Approved Chinese language programs: CET Intensive Chinese Language in Harbin; China Studies Institute; Hamilton – Associated Colleges in China; CIEE Intensive Chinese Language + Culture Program in Nanjing, China; IFSA/Alliance 21st Century City; IFSA/Alliance International Business in China; Middlebury School in China: Hangzhou; Middlebury School in China: Kunming; CIEE Intensive Chinese Language and Culture Programs in Taipei, Taiwan.

Approved Japanese language programs: ACM Japan Study: Cultural Immersion (Waseda University); CIEE Arts and Sciences Program in Tokyo, Japan; IES Abroad Nagoya Direct Enrollment – Nanzan University; IES Abroad Tokyo – Language & Culture.

Courses taken off-campus count toward the major if approved by OCS and major advisor.

Contributions to other majors/concentrations

Courses in Chinese and Japanese contribute to concentrations in East Asian studies; gender, women's, and sexuality studies; and linguistics.

Department Events and Opportunities

Language programs, East Asian Studies Colloquium, organizations, awards, grants, scholarships, and fellowships.

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