About the Department
Besides offering courses in Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese language, East Asia faculty also offer courses in East Asian art, literature, film, religion, philosophy, history, and political science.
East Asia faculty generally specialize in interdisciplinary treatment of their various subjects. Art courses treat traditional paintings as visual art but also discuss the social role of artists at various periods in Asian history. History courses treat the way that Asian religions and philosophies like Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and more recently Marxism -- have affected the course of Asian history. Film courses treat Asian film in the context of developing cultural currents in Asia, as well as their impact on the emerging global culture. The aim is to give students a well-rounded picture of the East Asian region, both its history and traditional culture, and present-day conditions and events currently unfolding in this rapidly changing area of the world.
The South Asia track of the Asian Studies major gives students a broad knowledge of the politics, economics, history and culture of the countries of South Asia. Faculty members in the departments of women's and gender studies, English, economics, history, sociology, and art offer a wide array of courses on historic and contemporary South Asia. They also offer individual expertise on the countries of South Asia: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan.