At Dickinson this major focuses on China and Japan but with increasing attention to the broader East Asian and global contexts of these two civilizations. Students explore East Asia from multiple perspectives: from ancient origins to contemporary realities through the study of history, society, politics, business and economics, literature and culture. The major is language-based (Japanese or Chinese is required through the intermediate level) and multidisciplinary in the many directions for in-depth analysis and reflection offered to students.
Welcome message from the chair
As recently appointed chair of East Asian Studies, I would like to welcome you to the new academic year. There have been significant changes to our department over the last year (those of you returning from abroad will notice) and we are looking forward to another dynamic year with you.
Perhaps most noticeable to many of you will be the changes to the basement level lounge, the Rosen Room. We have given the space an East Asian twist thanks to the generous support of Stuart Rosen and Woody and Susan Goldberg, and the efforts of several faculty and staff. Please feel free to lounge on the tatami mats, listen to the cool trickle of water from the fountain and try your hand at reading the Chinese poem on the wall. (We are planning to add a translation in the future, so don’t worry if you can’t read yet.) We have also begun to add other accents of East Asian décor, such as the large Japanese screen in the downstairs hall and the bonsai plants and ikebana arrangements. The latter two “living” decorations are thanks in part to our staff associate Etsuko Nichols and Ellen Kelly at the library.
This leads me to another key development in our department, our Luce Foundation Grant to encourage pedagogy on Asia and the Environment. Last semester was the first semester of support from the grant. In addition to various lectures, we were able to invite an ikebana master to campus, have a workshop on bonsai and travel to a bonsai exhibit. The grant also allowed us to subsidize our successful summer program “Seismic Japan.” This was a unique opportunity to combine the sciences and the humanities to look at both the science and the culture of earthquake in the country. For more about the activities related to the Luce grant, please see our blog. http://blogs.dickinson.edu/luce-asian-studies/
We would also like to welcome our new faculty members to the department. Thanks to the Luce grant we will have Professor Zhuang with us this fall. He will be teaching a course on Asian Climate Paleontology in the fall and continuing his research in that area. We are also please to have several other visitors this year. Professor Liu is with us from Beijing University and will be teaching Chinese courses; Professor Yang Limei from Yunnan University and Professor Wang from Qingdao University are here as visiting scholars; and Professor Zhao from the Confucius Institute will be assisting with Chinese courses here and at the Carlisle High School.
We have some exciting events to look forward to over the next year. We will have our annual Moon Festival Party on September 20 and I can almost taste the moon cakes. We also have a special musical performance by the Kaoru Watanabe ensemble in December. Mr. Watanabe will also participate in a unique class on Japanese music, taught by Professor Bender. We are also planning a Luce sponsored field trip to the Japanese garden in Philadelphia, Shofusō, so be on the lookout for an announcement. There will also be several lectures by important figures in Asian Studies, including: David Eng, Mark Frazier, Michael McDevitt and Jordan Sand.
In short, we are looking forward to an exciting year with you.
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