Academic program

The East Asian studies major provides students with a broad introduction to the cultures and societies of East Asia and their interrelationships. The major includes, first, a core curriculum that consists of two years of Chinese or Japanese language study as well as one course introducing East Asian cultural history, and, second, a major concentration that focuses either on traditional or modern society and culture. East Asian studies majors are also encouraged to spend at least one semester at an approved program in mainland China, Taiwan, or Japan,and may potentially pursue Korean language through approval off-campus programs. Majors in Chinese or Japanese may count no more than two courses toward both their major in East Asian Studies and their major in Chinese or Japanese. Minors in Chinese or Japanese may court no more than one course toward both their major in East Asian studies and their minor in Chinese or Japanese.

Major Requirements

Students majoring in East Asian studies must complete the core requirement, a major concentration, and the thesis sequence. Students must take at least two course dealing primarily with China and two dealing primarily with Japan.

The following core courses are required of all majors:
1) Either
Four courses of Chinese language and
AS/HI 171. Imperial China.
or
Four courses of Japanese language and
AS/JA 261. Cultural History of Japan: From Jōmon Pottery to Manga.
2) Each major elects a major concentration, either East Asian Cultural Traditions or Modern East Asian Society and Culture.

a) East Asian Cultural Traditions: Three courses on traditional East Asian culture from at least two of the following four groups:
I) Literature:
AS/JA 125. Japanese Literature and Society.
AS/CI 207. Traditional Chinese Literature in Translation.
CHI 321. Chinese Landscape Painting and Poetry.
CHI 415. Readings in Classical Chinese.

II) Visual and performing art:
AS/JA 130. Japanese Film: Exploring Japanese Horror Films from the Silent Era to the Present.
AS/CI 225. Art and Politics in China.
AV/AS 234. Chinese Arts and Visual Culture.
AV/AS 236. Japanese Arts and Visual Culture.
AV/AS 243. Buddhist Arts and Visual Cultures.
AV/AS 246. Visual Narratives: Storytelling in East Asian Art.
AV/AS 247. The Art of Zen Buddhism.
CHI 321. Chinese Landscape Painting and Poetry.
FYS 501. Japan on Screen.

III) Religion:
AS/RE 208. Religions in China.
AS/RE 209. Religions in Japan.
AS/RE 251. Religions of Tibet.
AS/RE 308. Buddhist Texts in Translation.
AS/RE 348. Epics of Asia: Myth and Religion.
INDS 227. Death and Immortality in Chinese Tradition.
REL 110. Death and Afterlife: Bodies and Souls in Comparative Perspective.

IV) History:
AS/HI 171. Imperial China. (if not taken as a core course).
INDS 221. Venice to Tokyo: Religion and Trade Along the Spice and Silk Routes.
AS/JA 261. Cultural History of Japan: From Jōmon Pottery to Manga (if not taken as a core course).
INDS 266. Environmental History of China.
AS/HI 301B. From Tibet to Taiwan: Frontiers in Chinese History, 1700 to the Present.


b) Modern East Asian Society and Culture: Three courses from the following list:
AS/JA 130. Japanese Film: Exploring Japanese Horror Films from the Silent Era to the Present.
AS/JA 215. Film, Literature, and the Cultures of Postwar Japan.
AS/CI 223. Communism, Capitalism, and Cannibalism: New and Emerging Voices in Chinese Literature.
AS/CI 225. Art and Politics in China.
AS/PY 260. Cultural Psychology.
AS/HI 274. China in Revolution.
AS/PT 283. International Politics of East Asia.
AS/PT 324. Nationalism, Conflict, and Peace in East Asia.
AS/HS 338. Asia in the Hispanic and Lusophone Worlds.
AS/HI s15. Sport, Gender, and the Body in Modern China.
CHI s23. Science Fiction from China: From the Rabbit in the Moon to The Three-Body Problem, and Beyond.

Any first-year seminar on China.
FYS 501. Japan on Screen.

3) Two additional courses from the general lists of courses in Asian studies, Chinese, or Japanese (i.e., any course with the designation ASIA, AS, CHI, CI, JA, JPN) and first-year seminars focusing on China or Japan, with the exception of those courses that focus on South or Southeast Asia (AV/AS 245, AS/RE 249, 250).

4) Thesis Sequence:
a) ASIA 320. Individual and Society in East Asia.
b) Senior Thesis (ASIA 457 or 458).

Pass/Fail Grading Option

Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the major in East Asian studies.

Courses Taken Abroad

Students may petition the Asian studies program to have relevant courses taken in their study-abroad program (including the Bates Fall Semester Abroad) applied toward the fulfillment of the major requirements except for the thesis sequence.

Advanced Placement

Students may receive credit for CHI 102 or JPN 102 with a score of four on the corresponding language's AP examination, or credit for CHI 201 or JPN 201 with a score of five.

Minor in Asian Studies

Students may fulfill a minor in Asian studies by completing six courses from the list of courses in Asian studies, Chinese, and Japanese. In consultation with an Asian studies faculty member (chosen or appointed by the Asian studies chair) and in accordance with program guidelines, students may design their own course of study. Among the six courses, at least four should be related as a coherent group. Examples include a group of courses related to Buddhist studies, South Asia, gender issues, environmental concerns, a specific historical period, or the socioeconomic or political situation of a particular region.

The minor may include one Short Term course and a maximum of four language courses. No more than two of those language courses may be counted toward the coherent group. With the approval of the minor advisor, students may apply up to two courses taken on study-abroad programs toward the minor, as well as courses taken on Bates Fall Semester Abroad programs in Asia. Majors in Chinese, Japanese, or East Asian studies and minors in Chinese or Japanese may count no more than one course toward both the Asian studies minor and their major or minor.

Additional Courses for the Minor

All courses designated ASIA, AS, CI, CHI, JA, or JPN may be taken to fulfill the minor in Asian studies. In addition, the following courses may be taken to fulfill the minor in Asian studies:

ANTH 240. Individual and Society in South Asia.
ANTH 264. India and Its World: Bhangra, Bollywood, and Buddhism.

AVC 248. The Art of Rock-Cut Architecture in Asia.

EN/GS 121G. Asian American Women Writers.

FYS 439. Defining Difference: How China and the United States Think about Racial Diversity.
FYS 491. Reading Japan Multicultural Picture Books.
FYS 501. Japan on Screen.

MUS 290C. Gamelan Ensemble (1 credit maximum counted toward Asian studies minor).
MUS s25. Performing Musical Art of Indonesia.

Pass/Fail Grading Option

Pall/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the minor in Asian Studies.