Associate Professors: Elizabeth L. Armstrong (adjunct), Erik R. Lofgren (Chair, Spring 2014), James J. Orr (Chair, Fall 2013), Anne Wang Pusey (adjunct)

Assistant Professors: Song Chen, Sufeng Xu (visiting)

The civilizations of East Asia offer a wealth of human experience of invaluable import to every academic discipline. Unbroken cultural lines of great antiquity lead to modern East Asian cultures of ever growing global significance. Whether we look first to the past, the present, or the future, in studying East Asia we study ourselves and our world.

A traditional liberal education, limited to the study of "Western" civilization, is no longer a liberal education. The department of East Asian Studies, therefore, offers courses for all Bucknell students, as well as for the special interests of students choosing either the East Asian Studies major or one of the department's three minors: in East Asian Studies, Chinese, or Japanese.

The major, requiring an emphasis on either China or Japan, entails a program of study (created in consultation with a department adviser) that requires a minimum of 11 courses:

  • six language courses in the language of one’s emphasis (Chinese or Japanese);
  • four cultural courses, of which one – to provide a broad historical introduction to East Asian civilizations – must be chosen from the following (for the China emphasis: EAST 111, EAST 233, EAST 234, EAST 267; for the Japan emphasis: EAST 111, EAST 254, EAST 255, EAST 256); and one must be outside one’s emphasis (on China or Japan); and
  • a Culminating Experience in the senior year.

The Culminating Experience, required of all majors, may be fulfilled in one of two ways:

  • Completion of an Honors Thesis (EAST 395), or
  • Completion of a Senior Thesis (EAST 400).

The department encourages majors and potential majors, especially those considering a double major, to consult early and frequently with an EAST faculty member to explore ways to systematically connect and expand work done in the culture courses taken for the major with the research project that forms the core of the Culminating Experience.

The Culminating Experience provides students an opportunity to pursue focused research on a subject relevant to their concentration and of interest to them. The Culminating Experience must: involve substantial writing, involve substantial research, incorporate Japanese- or Chinese-language sources, treat in depth some aspect of the culture of Japan or China, and be presented at the spring Majors’ Symposium.

All students majoring in East Asian Studies will receive instruction in writing, speaking, and information literacy in the discipline through experiences in the language courses, culture courses, and the Culminating Experience that each major completes.

The department offers three minors. A minor in East Asian Studies consists of a coherent group of five courses offered or crosslisted by the department, one of which must be chosen from EAST 111, EAST 233, EAST 234, EAST 254, EAST 255. A minor in Chinese or Japanese consists of six department courses, of which four must be in the respective language.

All students majoring or minoring in the East Asian Studies department are strongly encouraged to seek opportunities for summer, semester, or preferably, full-year study in China or Japan. Bucknell is a member of the Associated Kyoto Program, under which students may, if accepted, spend their junior year at Doshisha University in Japan. Many other opportunities to study in East Asia also are available.


East Asian Studies

111.  East Asian Civilization (I; 3, 1)
The development of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese civilizations highlighting their political, cultural, philosophical, and religious aspects from earliest times to the present.

115.  Introduction to Asian Religions (I or II; 3, 1)
A comparative study of the basic teachings and practices of Asian religions through lectures, discussions, readings, and films; inquiry into similarities and differences and views of nature. Prerequisite: first-year or sophomore standing. Others by permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as RELI 115.

120.  Introduction to Chinese Culture (I; 3, 0)
Introductory course on Chinese culture from antiquity to the middle of the 20th century, covering philosophy, literature, and art.

125.  Masterpieces of Chinese Literature in Translation (I or II; 3, 0)
This course introduces students to various great works in Chinese literary tradition from early times to the modern period. No prerequisite.

130.  Business Japanese: Language and Culture (II; 3, 0)
Basic Japanese business conversation, basic writing skills, and accepted conventions in the Japanese business world. No prerequisite.

137.  Traditional Chinese Tales/Stories (I or II; 3, 0)
Explores Chinese literature through the lens of stories. We will examine a variety of stories including, but not limited to, creation stories, myths, ghost stories and romances.

138.  Chinese History in Digital Age (I; 0, 3)
Introduction to digital humanities with reference to Chinese history. Topics include data mining, database design, data management and visualization. No prerequisites for language, history, programming.

205.  Introduction to Translation Studies (II; 3, 0)
An introduction to the history, theories, and development of the field of Translation Studies. Facility in one language other than English is strongly recommended. Crosslisted as HUMN 260.

207.  Japanese/English Translation (AII, 3, 0)
This course will be a practicum as well as a theoretical exploration of text translation from Japanese into English. Students will translate and analyze texts with a goal of achieving a greater proficiency in translation/understanding. Prerequisite: JAPN 202 or higher, or permission of the instructor.

211.  Premodern Japanese Literature in Translation (AI or AII; 3, 0)
The beginnings of Japanese literary traditions: works written before the close of the 19th century - before Western influence is seen. Taught in English.

212.  Modern Japanese Literature in Translation (I; 3, 0)
Literary trends in 20th-century Japan with emphasis on the development of the modern novel and short story. Works by Soseki, Tanizaki, Kawabata, Mishima, Abe, Enchi, Murakami, and others. Taught in English.

213.  Traditional Chinese Literature in Translation (I or II; 3, 0)
Great works of Chinese prose and poetry from The Book of Odes to The Dream of the Red Chamber.

220.  Japanese Warrior in Literature (I; 3, 0)
Traces the literary (re)construction of the 'warrior' in Japanese literature, from the samurai of the 12th century to the Imperial soldier of the mid-20th century. Taught in English.

222.  Passion/Perversion: Japan Film (II; 3, 3)
A discussion class in which numerous modern Japanese films are used to explore the representation of desire, both passionate and perverse. WARNING: explicit sexual content. Crosslisted as WMST 221.

226.  East Asian Politics (II; 3, 0)
This course surveys political history, political institutions, economy, and society of major countries in East Asia, with focus on the continuity and changes in politics and policies in China, Japan, and Korea. Crosslisted as IREL 226 and POLS 226.

227.  Art of Japan (II; 3, 0)
Introduction to the art and architecture of Japan. Crosslisted as ARTH 226.

232.  Romance in Chinese Literature and Art (I; 3, 0)
An introduction to Chinese literature and art through examinations of love stories in fairy tales, poetry, fiction, drama, theatre, film and music.

233.  China from Ancient Times to the 18th Century (I; 3, 0)
Chinese history and culture from their beginnings to the middle of the Qing Dynasty, before that dynasty and China were challenged by the West. Crosslisted as HIST 293.

234.  China Since 1800 (II; 3, 0)
China from the eve of its modern confrontation with the West to the present through years of traumatic challenge and change. Crosslisted as HIST 294.

239.  Tradition and Transformation (S; 3, 0)
A summer trip to China to study past and present in five historical capitals. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

241.  Women in Chinese Literature (I; 3, 0)
This course examines various modes of representation of women in Chinese literature to understand China's literary past from a women-centered point of view. Crosslisted as WMST 241.

244.  Religions of East Asia (I; 3, 0)
Focused study on one or more East Asian religious traditions. This course centers on religions and on topics that may include, but will not be limited to: Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, Shinto, and new East Asian religious movements. Crosslisted as RELI 244.

248.  International Relations in East Asia (II; 3, 0)
This course offers an overview of international relations in East Asia with focus on political, economic, and social interactions among major states in the region. Crosslisted as IREL 283 and POLS 283.

251.  Buddhism (II; 3, 1)
An interdisciplinary introduction to Buddhism, including basic teachings of liberation from suffering, impermanence, no-self, ethics, and meditation. Also explores the historical development of various streams of Buddhism in Asia and the West, with attention to the effect of Buddhism on society, politics, and material culture. Crosslisted as RELI 200.

252.  Religions of China (I; 3, 0)
An introduction to the religious traditions of China through study of their origins, basic beliefs, practices and values, historical development, as well as their interaction and  involvement with politics, culture, society and each other. Focus on the three major traditions - Confucianism, Daoism, and Chinese Buddhism. Crosslisted as RELI 245.

253.  Religions of Japan (II; 3, 0)
An introduction to the religious traditions of Japan through study of their origins, basic beliefs, practices and values, historical development, as well as their interaction and involvement with politics, culture, society and each other. Focus on Shinto and the various forms of Japanese Buddhism. Crosslisted as RELI 246.

254.  From Shinto to Shogun: Pre-modern Japan (I or II; 3, 0)
The course will examine the cultural and institutional developments which constitute the Japanese heritage, with emphasis on classical Heian and early medieval court culture and late medieval samurai society. Crosslisted as HIST 295.

255.  Modern Japanese History (II; 3, 0)
Japanese economy, society, politics, war, and diplomacy from 1868 to World War II; successes, crises, and conflicts in building a modern nation-state. Crosslisted as HIST 296.

256.  Contemporary Japanese History (II; 3, 1)
Political and cultural history of post-World War II Japan using various sources including film, anime, art, political cartoon, popular song. Crosslisted as HIST 286.

266.  Chinese Philosophy (AI or AII; 3, 0)
Major philosophical schools of the classical age, Buddhist philosophy, Neo-Confucianism. Crosslisted as HUMN 266 and PHIL 266. Prerequisite: PHIL 100 or permission of the instructor.

267.  The People's Republic of China (II; 3, 0)
A historical look at life in China under the rule of the Communist Party. Unprecedented triumphs and tribulations. Crosslisted as HIST 297.

269.  Chinese Politics (I or II; 3, 0)
This course examines China's rich political history, its dynamic economic and social changes, its lasting political culture, its enduring struggle for modernization, and its evolving relations with the rest of the world. Crosslisted as IREL 225 and POLS 225.

274.  The Greater Chinese Economy (I; 3, 0)
Coverage of topics essential to understanding the ongoing process of economic transition in China, while emphasizing China's role in the Asian and world economies. Prerequisite: ECON 103. Crosslisted as ECON 274.

278.  Asian Economic Development (I; 3, 0)
Analysis of contemporary economic development in Asia, focusing on the role of public policy, international trade and investment, and on prospects for future growth. Prerequisite: ECON 103. Crosslisted as ECON 278.

289.  Chinese Diaspora (I or II; 3, 0)
Is the world becoming Chinese? This course examines the history of China outside of China. It explores the development of overseas Chinese communities around the world, including SE Asia and the Americas. Crosslisted as HIST 289.

295.  Topics in East Asian Studies (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Topics vary.


Seminars and Independent Study

321.  322. Independent Study (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Open to East Asian studies majors who wish to pursue individual programs of reading, research, or writing. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

339.  China and the World Economy (I; 3, 0)
An analysis of economic transition and development in China, with emphasis on its role in the Asian-Pacific and world economies. Prerequisites: ECON 256 and ECON 257, or permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as ECON 439. Preference given to ECON and ECMA majors.

340.  Comparative Pacific Basin Economics (II; 3, 0)
Contemporary developmental issues facing selected Pacific Basin economies, emphasizing international trade, foreign investment, and public policies. Prerequisite: ECON 256, ECON 257, or permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as ECON 340.

369.  370. Seminar in East Asian History and Culture (I and II; R; 3, 0)
A multidisciplinary seminar for Japanese and East Asian Studies majors: I. bibliography, sources, and disciplinary approaches to East Asia; II. individual and group studies of selected topics.

382.  U.S.-China Relations (II; 3, 0)
Through tracing the evolution of U.S.-China relations from the 19th century to the 21st century, this course discusses major issues and challenges between the two countries today. Future trends of the bilateral relationship will also be explored. Prerequisite: POLS 170. Preference given to EAST, IREL, and POLS seniors. May be crosslisted as IREL 482 and/or POLS 382. Not open to students who have taken EAST 380, IREL 380 or IREL 382.


Chinese Language (CHIN)

101.  102. Chinese I (I and II; 5, 0)
Intensive introduction to spoken and written "Mandarin" Chinese, the puutonghuah (common language) of modern China. CHIN 101 is a prerequisite for CHIN 102.

103.  104. Chinese II (I and II; 5, 0)
Continued rigorous study of spoken and written "Mandarin" Chinese now called puutonghuah (the common language). Prerequisite: CHIN 102 or equivalent for CHIN 103. CHIN 103 or equivalent for CHIN 104.

201.  202. Chinese III (I and II; 3, 0)
Continued study of modern "Mandarin." Contemporary essays, movie scripts, short stories, and newspaper articles. Equal emphasis on reading and speaking. Conducted in Chinese. Prerequisite: CHIN 104 or equivalent for CHIN 201. CHIN 201 or equivalent for CHIN 202.

203.  204. Chinese IV (I and II; 3, 0)
Reading and discussion of selected modern Chinese texts: newspaper and magazine articles, essays, short stories, and film scripts. Conducted in Chinese. Prerequisite: CHIN 202 or equivalent for CHIN 203. CHIN 203 or equivalent for CHIN 204.

210.  Business Chinese (I or II; 3, 0)
An advanced-level Chinese language course that aims to teach students how to read and write business-related texts with vocabulary and phrases specialized for business-related reports. Course materials include case studies of global corporations that have established themselves in China as well as historical background about the Economic Reform and the Open Door Policy which started in 1978. Prerequisites: CHIN 201 and permission of the instructor.

301.  302. Chinese V (I and II; 4, 0)
Study of Chinese films and film scripts and an introduction to Classical Chinese. Besides reading and speaking, interpreting and writing essays are emphasized. Prerequisite: CHIN 204 or equivalent for CHIN 301. CHIN 301 or equivalent for CHIN 302.

310.  Advanced Seminar in Chinese Studies (I and II; R; 3, 0)
Selected topics in Chinese studies. In Chinese. Course topic varies. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

319.  320. Independent Studies in Chinese (I and II; 3, 0)
Independent projects conducted in Chinese in the student's area of special interest. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.


Japanese Language (JAPN)

101.  102. Japanese I (I and II; 5, 2)
Beginning language skills. Training in speaking and comprehending the basic sentence patterns of modern Japanese. Introduction to reading and writing. Prerequisite: JAPN 101 is prerequisite for JAPN 102.

103.  104. Japanese II (I and II; 5, 2)
Continued training in the four language skills. Review of basic and introduction to complex sentence patterns. Reading of texts in basic Japanese. Prerequisite: JAPN 102 or the equivalent for 103. JAPN 103 is prerequisite for JAPN 104.

201.  202. Japanese III (I and II; 5, 1)
Application of the four language skills. Reading of texts written in standard Japanese and exercises in content-controlled conversation. Prerequisite: JAPN 104 or equivalent for JAPN 201. JAPN 201 is prerequisite for JAPN 202

203.  204. Japanese IV (I and II; 4, 0)
Continued application of the four language skills. Reading and guided discussion of texts related to a variety of topics. Prerequisite: JAPN 202 or the equivalent for JAPN 203. JAPN 203 is prerequisite for JAPN 204.

301.  302. Japanese V (I and II; R; 4, 0)
Reading and discussion of selected materials. Exercises in the research skills of writing and presenting reports in Japanese. Prerequisite: JAPN 204 or the equivalent for JAPN 301. JAPN 301 is prerequisite for JAPN 302.

310.  Japanese Studies Advanced Seminar (AII; R; 3, 0)
Advanced study of Japanese/English translation. Prerequisite: JAPN 202 or higher.

319.  320. Independent Studies in Japanese (I and II; R; 3, 0)
Independent projects conducted in Japanese in the student's area of special interest. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.



Places I've Been

The following links are virtual breadcrumbs marking the 27 most recent pages you have visited in If you want to remember a specific page forever click the pin in the top right corner and we will be sure not to replace it. Close this message.