The program in East Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary exploration of East Asia as a whole region. The program’s foundation is study in Chinese or Japanese language (or both!). Building on this linguistic entryway, students have the opportunity to enhance their understanding of the region’s culture through courses taught in English. We believe that this combination gives our students the best possible basis for becoming global citizens informed about this important region.
Did You Know?
The Chinese language curriculum at Austin College is a competency based model that works heavily with authentic materials from the very beginning of Chinese 101. It privileges speaking and listening skills and uses computer input to facilitate faster progress in reading and writing Chinese. Student progress is measured through periodic administration of the 汉语水平考试 hanyu shuiping kaoshi (HSK), a standardized test of language proficiency for non-native speakers. The program is accelerated, and designed to bring students to high intermediate proficiency within just three semesters. At the advanced level, students may follow along with the culture courses taught in English using original materials.
Details Coming Soon!
For the 2016-2017 academic year, East Asia House will be taking a new direction: we will provide dedicated instruction on leadership skills in a global context. While the content emphasis will be drawn primarily from case studies taken from East Asia, the content of the house’s course is immediately relevant to all students interested in working in internationalized and multicultural contexts. You DO NOT need to be a student of Chinese or Japanese to live in the house next year, but if you are, you will have opportunities to develop your language skills.
East Asian Studies faculty have led international JanTerms to Beijing and Xi’an in China and to major cities in Eastern and Western Japan—Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Osaka, and Himeji. On campus, courses have covered Chinese food culture, and developing a Chinese language learning app for iOS. See the photos from JanTerm 2016!
View the student films:
- Interested in the political and cultural implications of empire building? Scott Langton and Dr. Don Rodgers offer a course on Japanese imperialism in the context of Korea and Taiwan, and how it affected and continues to affect the formation of national identity and the production of culture in all three countries.
- Want to know why cicada shells are believed to cure night terrors? Take Dr. Jennifer Johnson-Cooper’s course on Chinese Medicine.
- In Kung Fu films, Dr. Jennifer Johnson-Cooper examines the cultural significance of the genre
- Translation and Adaptation: The Case of Journey to the West, tracks the famous Ming Dynasty novel as it is translated into other languages as well as other mediums, from Dragon Ball-Z to Gorillaz Inc.’s rock opera Monkey.
- Scott Langton’s course Japan & Cinema explores the films of well-known directors (Mizoguchi, Ozu, Kurosawa) as well as those of the less well known (Nishikawa Miwa, Ogigami Naoko, Teshigahara Hiroshi), and considers transnational films (Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles, My Way, Cape No. 7) and how they are viewed by East Asian audiences.
- What do Hello Kitty, Doraemon, Gackt, Final Fantasy and the JET Program have in common? They are all manifestations of Japan’s “soft power” that are considered in the course Understanding Japanese Society through Popular Culture.
We currently support semester-long programs in China in Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi’an, in Japan in Tokyo and Nagoya, and in Taiwan in Taipei. Close to 90% of our 2016 majors had some international experience in East Asia.
Want to study abroad on someone elses dime? The East Asian Studies faculty work hard to mentor students in locating and applying for scholarships to support studying in China, Japan, or Taiwan. Our students have found success with the Boren Scholarship, the Gilman Scholarship, the Critical Language Scholarship, the Taiwan US-Sisters Alliance, US-Japan Bridging, provider scholarships and more.
Graduates of the East Asian Studies program have also had great success placing into the JET program and the Fulbright program.
The East Asian Studies program is also an early adopter of Praxis And The Humanities (PATH) Leadership. This innovative program offers instruction in six key leadership behaviors that help students flourish in their post-graduate lives: interpersonal effectiveness, problem solving, teamwork, foresight and planning, responsible conduct, and understanding diversity.
We are a supportive and friendly group! Our faculty are accessible and most of our students will tell you that they met their best friends at AC in Chinese or Japanese 101.
Meet Our Faculty
Dr. Jennifer T. Johnson-Cooper, who is interested in Chinese language and culture from its inception 4000 years ago to last week, is Assistant Professor of Chinese
Dr. Mindy Landeck, a historian of tea culture and practitioner of the tea ceremony, is Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies
Dr. Scott Langton, whose interests include Japanese language, literature, culture, and aesthetics, is Associate Professor of Japanese