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East Asian Languages & Cultures

Academic Departments and Programs


The East Asian region constitutes one of the most dynamic and intellectually rich regions in the world. The impact of East Asian economic development has been keenly felt in recent decades and the region has a major impact on world affairs. The legacy of East Asian history, religious and social values, literatures, etc., is a major factor in current affairs in the region, and this legacy will continue to shape our global future.

The EALC program is devoted to the study of East Asian cultures. The program introduces students to East Asian cultures and societies through two components: a) the study of East Asian languages (Chinese—Mandarin and Classical, and Japanese), and b) the study of East Asian cultures through a multi-disciplinary approach (Religious Studies, History, Literature, Cinema, Economics, International Development Studies). A unique feature of the program is its focus on the intellectual legacy of East Asian cultures, introduced through the study of texts and ideas in the historical and cultural contexts that shaped them. The rationale for this focus is a belief that just as East Asian economies are having a global impact beyond the East Asian region, intellectual beliefs and cultural habits will challenge hitherto global presuppositions regarding accepted practices and habits of thought.

The EALC program is administered through the Department of Religion & Culture. Graduates who are interested in careers related to East Asia in fields such as education, government, and business benefit greatly from courses in East Asian Languages & Cultures.