East Asian Studies
The East Asian Studies major and minor are offered through the interdepartmental program in East Asian Studies (which also offers the Chinese Studies major and minor). Eight faculty members from five departments (six disciplinary areas) contribute to the multidisciplinary approach to East Asian Studies. The East Asian Studies major and minor focus on developing an integrated multidisciplinary understanding of the diverse but related historical and cultural traditions of East Asia, starting with a foundation in Chinese language and history, and extending that focus across the East Asian region to Japan, and across multiple disciplinary approaches to understanding China, Japan, and East Asia, broadly. This approach to the East Asian Studies major and minor recognizes the diversity of cultural and national traditions that exist across this region, but at the same time helps foster an understanding of the common cultural and historical concerns that make "East Asia" a coherent focus of study.
Given the complexity of histories and traditions in this region of the world, the East Asian Studies major and minor require multidisciplinary study with a core orientation in history and language, and off-campus study in an East Asian country as part of the curriculum. Our expectation is that the East Asian Studies major will be appropriate for students who seek a broad-based study of East Asia, including course work focused on China and Japan, including off-campus study in a Wooster-endorsed program in Japan. Students whose studies are focused on China, and who do off-campus study in China, are likely to be better served by the Chinese Studies major.