East Asian Languages and Literatures (For 2015–2016 academic year)
Bien, Hirata (Chair) Associate Professors
Crespi, Wang Assistant Professor
Vassil Visiting Assistant Professor
Odagiri Visiting Instuctors
The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures offers courses in the languages and cultures of China and Japan. Because each language teaches so much about the people and the culture it represents, the department offers credit toward graduation for a single semester of study. Students who continue through the four-year sequences of rigorous classroom language training, combined with study abroad experiences, acquire the proficiency they need to pursue graduate study or a variety of careers related to East Asia. Courses taught in English include literature and film, East Asian Thought, Topics in Japanese Studies and in Linguistics, the Japanese Village, the Chinese City, China in Transition, and Topics in Chinese Culture. Qualified students may arrange independent study beyond the courses offered.
Major Program in Chinese T
he major in Chinese provides students with a solid foundation in the Chinese language, literature, and culture through extensive language training and broad exposure to Chinese literary and cultural traditions. Prospective majors should plan to begin Chinese language study during their first year at Colgate and are strongly encouraged to participate in the China Study Group.
Upon completion of CHIN 202
, the Chinese major requires a minimum of eight courses from the following four groups:
- CHIN 303, 304, 405, and 406 (language and literature courses)
- CORE 165C, China
- CHIN 222, China through Literature and Film, or CHIN 288, The Chinese City: Living Beijing (Students who complete both CHIN 222 and 288 may apply one or the other toward group four, below.)
- Two courses from the following:
CHIN/JAPN 250, East Asian Thought
CHIN 450, Chinese Folklore and Mythology
CHIN 481, China in Transition (in China)
CHIN 482, Topics in Chinese Culture (in China)
JAPN 222, Japan through Literature and Film
ASIA 490, Seminar in Asian Studies
Other courses as approved by the department.
All courses must be passed with a grade of C or better to count toward the major; a minimum average of 2.00 in all courses counted toward the major is necessary for graduation.
In order to encourage exposure to a wide range of approaches to Chinese studies, the department strongly recommends that students elect a section of CORE 165C
taught by a member of a department other than East Asian languages and literatures, and enrich their major by taking HIST 368, China, the Great Wall and Beyond
and HIST 369, Modern China (1750–present)
Major Program in Japanese
The major in Japanese provides students with a solid foundation in the disciplines of Japanese language, literature, and culture through extensive language training and broad exposure to Japanese literary and cultural traditions. Prospective majors are strongly encouraged to begin their Japanese language study during their first year at Colgate and to participate in the Japan Study Group.
Upon completion of JAPN 202
, a minimum of eight courses is necessary to fulfill the requirements for a Japanese major:
- JAPN 301, 302, 401, and 402 (language and literature courses)
- CORE 167C, Japan
- JAPN 222, Japan through Literature and Film
- Two courses from the following: JAPN/CHIN 250, East Asian Thought
JAPN 405, Senior Seminar on Japanese Literature
JAPN 411, Topics in Japanese Linguistics
JAPN 450, Advanced Readings in Japanese
JAPN 455, Advanced Grammar in Japanese
JAPN 481, Topics in Japanese Culture (in Japan)
JAPN 482, Cultural Studies: The Japanese Village (in Japan)
ASIA 490, Seminar in Asian Studies
CHIN 222, China through Literature and Film
Other courses as approved by the department.
All courses must be passed with a grade of C or better to count toward the major; a minimum average of 2.00 in all courses counted toward the major is necessary for graduation. In order to encourage exposure to a wide range of approaches to Japanese studies, the department strongly recommends that students elect a section of CORE 167C
taught by a member of a department other than East Asian languages and literatures, and enrich their major by taking ECON 339, The Japanese Economy
and HIST 264, Modern East Asia,
and RELG 325, The Path of the Buddha: Mahayana — The Great Vehicle.
Minor Program in Chinese or Japanese
A minor in Chinese or Japanese consists of a minimum of five courses, including four Chinese or Japanese language courses, CHIN/JAPN 201
or above, and one Chinese or Japanese literature or culture course offered by the department. Alternatively, the Chinese/Japanese minor can be fulfilled by completing the China/Japan study group and their prerequisites, as long as the study group language courses are taken at the 300 level.
Honors and High Honors in Chinese
Students who have demonstrated marked excellence and an unusual degree of independence in their work may participate in the honors program supervised by a member of the Chinese faculty. Candidates for honors and high honors must achieve a minimum GPA of 3.30 and 3.70, respectively, in the courses taken for the major and a cumulative GPA of 3.00 for both distinctions. In addition, candidates for honors must successfully complete a thesis or project judged to be of A or A– quality by the faculty supervisor and one other faculty member, and, for high honors, successfully complete a thesis or project judged to be of A quality or higher by the faculty supervisor and one other faculty member after an oral examination. Normally, work toward the thesis should begin in the fall term in a 300- or 400-level course (or any independent studies course) and continue through the spring term in independent study as CHIN 499, Special Studies for Honors,
which must be taken in addition to the minimum number of courses required for the major.
Honors and High Honors in Japanese
Students majoring in Japanese who have demonstrated marked excellence and an unusual degree of independence in their work may participate in the honors program supervised by a member of the Japanese faculty. Candidates for honors and high honors must achieve a minimum GPA of 3.30 and 3.70, respectively, in the courses taken for the major, and a cumulative GPA of 3.00. In addition, candidates for honors must successfully complete a thesis or project judged to be of A or A– quality by the faculty supervisor and one other faculty member, and, for high honors, successfully complete a thesis or project judged to be of A quality or higher by the faculty supervisor and one other faculty member after an oral examination. Normally, work toward the thesis should begin in the fall term in a 300- or 400-level course (or any independent studies course) and continue through the spring term in independent study as JAPN 499, Special Studies for Honors
See “Honors and Awards: East Asian Languages and Literatures” and “Honors and Awards: Japanese Studies” in Chapter VI.
Advanced Placement and Transfer Credit
Normally no more than one credit for a language course and one credit for a content course can be transferred toward either major from intensive study at another institution in the United States or abroad. Advanced placement can be arranged after consultation with the instructors in charge.
Major Program in Asian Studies
A major that focuses on China or Japan is among the options offered by the Asian Studies Program. A minor in Asian studies is also available. See “Asian Studies.”
China Study Group
Offered biennially in the fall semester, the China Study Group is based at Yunnan Nationalities University (YNU) in the People’s Republic of China. Students take two courses in language from YNU faculty and two area studies courses from the Colgate director. Prerequisites for the China Study Group include at least one year’s coursework at Colgate in modern standard Chinese and CORE 165C, China
(or another background course on China as approved by the study group director). For more information, see “Off-Campus Study” in Chapter VI.
Japan Study Group
This program is based in Kyoto, Japan. The study group provides lodging with Japanese families, intensive language training, and instruction in Japanese politics, economics, business, religion, art, and literature. See “Off-Campus Study” in Chapter VI and “Study Group Courses,” below.
The Japanese Studies Center, funded by the Japan World Exposition (1976) and located in Lawrence Hall, consists of a seminar room and a multipurpose Japanese-style tatami
room. It offers computer and audiovisual facilities complemented by a library of Japanese reference works, films, periodicals, and current newspapers for self-instruction in Japanese language and culture. Activities sponsored by the Japan Club and the Japanese Conversation Club are held at the center.
The Robert Ho Center for Chinese Studies, established in 1993 in Lawrence Hall, offers renovated classrooms and a reading room with Asian architectural features complemented by artwork, computer and audiovisual equipment, journals, reference materials, and a small collection of books on China. An attached kitchen enhances extracurricular activities such as brushwriting and celebrations of Chinese festivals.
Course Offerings: Chinese CHIN courses count toward the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement, unless otherwise noted. 121, 122 Elementary Chinese J. Crespi, J. Wang
This introduction to modern standard Chinese emphasizes understanding and speaking, with practice in reading and writing approximately 300 characters in both traditional and simplified forms. Students who elect both parts of the sequence are introduced to all the basic structural patterns needed for ordinary conversation. 123 Intensive Chinese G. Bien
This course is designed to cover the basic material of Elementary Chinese (121, 122)
at an accelerated pace. Emphasis is on the structure of Modern Standard Chinese and acquisition of about 300 Chinese characters. The material is adapted for students who have had some previous exposure, either to Modern Standard Chinese or to any of the Chinese dialects. Open to all students who would like the challenge of an accelerated pace, this course may be taken concurrently with an independent study course in Chinese. Offered in the spring when there is sufficient demand. 201, 202 Intermediate Chinese G. Bien, Staff
These courses offer continued training in Modern Standard Chinese, with emphasis on reading and writing skills. Grammar review is combined with introduction to variations in speech and writing. Recitation and conversation sessions, role-play, and skits reinforce listening and speaking ability. By the end of the year, students may expect to communicate in both speech and writing on everyday topics. Prerequisite: CHIN 122
or permission of instructor. 222 China through Literature and Film J. Crespi
This course offers an introduction to representative works of Chinese literature in English translation, as well as works of Chinese film with English subtitles. Specific focus and selections vary from year to year. No knowledge of Chinese is expected. Prerequisites: none. 250 East Asian Thought
This course is crosslisted as JAPN 250.
For course description, see “Course Offerings: Japanese” under East Asian Languages and Literatures. 288 The Chinese City: Living Beijing J. Crespi
Ancient cosmological center of the world and current capital of a rapidly globalizing China, Beijing has long stirred the interest of natives and visitors alike. This interdisciplinary course explores the processes that have shaped and defined Beijing, especially during the past century or so. Topics include aesthetics of urban space, spatial symbolism, popular street life, arenas of political activism, and the impact of changing economic policies. Texts range from digitized historical maps and scroll paintings to film, novels, poetry, memoirs, travel guides, historical guides, and classics of urban studies scholarship. The course is normally offered as an extended study in which weekly meetings, as well as some technology training sessions, culminate in the completion of a digital project during a final three weeks in Beijing. Some Chinese language ability preferred but not required. 303 Films and Broadcasts Staff
By focusing on film, this course increases students’ fluency in all aspects of Chinese language. Students improve listening and speaking skills through viewing and discussion of contemporary films; they improve reading, writing, and narration skills through work with a film script. Through discussion and essay assignments, they learn to express personal responses, thoughts, and feelings. Prerequisite: CHIN 202
or the equivalent. 304 Readings in Social Issues Staff
Through readings on developments in contemporary Chinese society, this course introduces students to the vocabulary and sentence structures specific to written Chinese. Exercises accompanying the readings and essay assignments help develop writing skills. The topics presented in the essays, such as the population explosion, new marriage practices, and new trends in popular culture, provide rich material for class discussion and improve the students’ speaking, listening, and narration skills. Prerequisite: CHIN 202
or the equivalent. 405 Reading Chinese Newspapers Staff
This course introduces the styles and conventions of Chinese newspaper language. Emphasis is on vocabulary expansion, forms and structures that differ from everyday spoken Chinese, and tactics and skills for rapid reading. Aural-oral skills are reinforced through classroom discussions and supplementary materials. Prerequisite: CHIN 303
or the equivalent. 406 Readings in Modern Literature Staff
This course is designed to expand and consolidate students’ aural and oral mastery of advanced vocabulary and grammatical patterns through the study of modern Chinese writers and their work. All readings are original works of literature (poetry, short fiction, familiar prose) written for Chinese readers. Conversation sessions take on the works themselves, as well as contemporary topics ranging from the modern Chinese family to women’s issues, economic changes, and the urban experience. Prerequisite: CHIN 303
or the equivalent. 450 Chinese Folklore and Mythology J. Wang
This course focuses on reading ability and cultural themes. Course materials consist of stories of four-character literary idioms (chengyu gushi
), folklore, mythology written in modern Chinese, as well as fables and fairy tales by Aesop, Grimm, and Anderson translated into Chinese in the 20th century. Prerequisite: CHIN 405
or permission of instructor. 291, 391, 491 Independent Study Staff
Independent studies courses are designed to fulfill advanced individual study needs in language and literature not otherwise provided in the department. Possibilities include classical Chinese and readings of selected literary works. 499 Special Studies for Honors Staff Study Group Courses
Study group students complete two language courses taught by Yunnan Nationalities University faculty. One of these courses may count toward the Chinese major. The two courses taught by the director begin in Taiwan and continue in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Kunming. 292, 392, 492 Chinese Language: Oral
or 293, 393, 493 Chinese Language: Written 481 China in Transition Staff
This course focuses on topics central to the social, economic, and political transitions in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China. It takes an interdisciplinary approach to such topics as family life, education, rural and urban life, tourism, ethnic diversity, and ecology. Readings, video viewing, guest lectures, and discussions focus on and are supplemented by real-life experiences such as school, farm, and temple visits; factory tours; and possibly urban and rural home stays. The goal is to arrive at understanding through both analysis and experience. 482 Topics in Chinese Culture Staff
This course explores many of the topics introduced in its companion course, CHIN 481, China in Transition
. Materials from literature, film, art, music, performance, and popular culture allow glimpses of the personal experience of people living through the changes and continuities discussed in CHIN 481.
An additional topic in this course is the survival and new uses of tradition. Guest lectures, readings, and discussion are enriched by visits to museums and temples, attendance at performances, and face-to-face meetings with scholars, artists, performers, and others. The course challenges students to develop sensitivity and imagination as well as understanding.
Course Offerings: Japanese JAPN courses count toward the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement, unless otherwise noted. 121, 122 Elementary Japanese Y. Aizawa
An introduction to basic structures and vocabulary, this course emphasizes oral communication. Practice in reading and writing using the two syllabaries (hiragana
) and approximately 100 Chinese characters is offered. 123-124 Intensive Japanese Staff
This double course (taught eight hours per week) covers the materials presented in JAPN 121, 122
at an accelerated pace; it introduces the four basic skills of speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing. The emphasis is on thorough mastery of the basic structures of Japanese through intensive aural-oral practice and extensive use of audiovisual materials. The two kana
syllabaries and about 100 Kanji
(characters) are introduced toward the goals of developing reading skills and reinforcing grammar and vocabulary acquisition. The course is offered in spring when there is sufficient demand; and students earn two course credits, thus qualifying students for the Japan Study Group in the fall. 201, 202 Intermediate Japanese Y. Hirata
This course completes the presentation of basic structures of the language. There is continued emphasis on oral communication, with practice in reading simple texts and acquisition of an additional 500 Chinese characters by the end of the term. Prerequisites: JAPN 122
or JAPN 124,
or permission of instructor. 222 Japan through Literature and Film K. Vassil
This course introduces representative modern and pre-modern works of Japanese literature in English translation, as well as modern works of Japanese film. Prerequisites: none. 250 East Asian Thought Y. Aizawa
This course introduces several classics of East Asian thought, familiar to every educated person in Japan, China, and Korea. Like CORE 151
and CORE 152
readings, these books are about human nature and what it means to be human, cultural expressions of timeless value, and enriching resources for human fruition. Readings include major Confucian and Taoist texts, selections from Mahayana Buddhist writings, and Japanese classics on aesthetics. Prerequisite: CORE 151
or permission of instructor. This course is crosslisted as CHIN 250
. 301, 302 Advanced Japanese Y. Aizawa, K. Vassil
Increasing emphasis on written Japanese, with acquisition by the end of the term of an additional 500 Chinese characters. In the second term of the sequence, students are given guided practice in reading unedited, modern texts. Prerequisite: JAPN 202
or permission of instructor. 401, 402 Readings in Japanese Y. Aizawa
This course focuses on reading in literary and non-literary modern texts and mastery of the remaining Chinese characters on the jōyō kanji
list of 1,945 characters. Prerequisite: JAPN 302
or permission of instructor. 405 Senior Seminar on Japanese Literature K. Vassil
This seminar in intensive analysis of works in translation from the late 19th century to the present focuses on major works of a single author. Writers studied include Mōri Ōgai, Natsume Sōseki, Tanizaki Jun´ichirō, Kawabata Yasunari, and Mishima Yukio. The course is offered whenever there is sufficient demand. Prerequisites: JAPN 222
and permission of instructor. 411 Topics in Japanese Linguistics Y. Hirata
This course explores linguistic issues often encountered when learning Japanese as a second language. Topics include dialectical variations and their geographic and linguistic significance in Japan, variations in the use of Japanese by different generations, foreign accent, and factors affecting success or failure for learning Japanese as a second language. The course includes lectures, discussions, and hands-on exercises such as acoustic analysis of Japanese spoken by native and non-native speakers. Texts and class discussion are mostly in English but knowledge of modern standard Japanese for everyday use is assumed. The course is also designed for students to develop ideas for senior research projects. Prerequisites: JAPN 202
and permission of instructor. 450 Advanced Readings in Japanese Y. Aizawa
This course focuses on readings from different fields such as anthropology, history, linguistics, and literature, depending on student interest. Class discussions are conducted entirely in Japanese. Prerequisite: JAPN 402
or permission of instructor. Offered when there is sufficient student demand and instructor availability. 455 Advanced Grammar in Japanese Y. Hirata
This course focuses on a systematic study of advanced grammar necessary for oral and written communication in Japanese at the native speaker level. At this level of advanced study, possibilities of one-on-one correspondences between Japanese and English are few, and simply consulting dictionaries could easily result in insufficient or misleading information. Grammar structures that appear beyond JAPN 402
are covered and extended so that students understand systematic and comprehensive usages. Students concentrate on these kinds of advanced grammar patterns through textbooks and authentic reading materials, and learn to use them actively, accurately, and systematically in context. In addition, the study of kanji characters and vocabulary accompanies the study of grammar in order to reach the native-level fluency. Offered when there is sufficient student demand and instructor availability. Prerequisite: JAPN 402
or permission of instructor. 291, 391, 491 Independent Study Staff
Independent studies courses are designed to fulfill advanced individual study needs in language and literature not otherwise provided in the department. 499 Special Studies for Honors Staff Study Group Courses
In addition to either 201
study group students complete the following: 251 Intermediate Japanese III
or 351 Advanced Japanese III
These are intensive courses designed to facilitate student participation in a variety of study group contexts, including individual study and research. Emphasis is on oral comprehension, honorifics, social contexts, and reading and writing skills. 481 Topics in Japanese Culture Staff
This course, offered in a field of the study group director’s expertise, takes advantage of museums, libraries, and historical sites in and around Kyoto, as well as guest lectures by Japanese and Western experts, to enrich classroom instruction. 482 Cultural Studies: The Japanese Village Staff
This study group course examines the foundations of Japanese social interaction through a series of readings, guest lectures, and discussions, followed by several weeks of intensive study and documentation of life in one or more village settings.