East Asian Studies East Asian Studies East Asian Studies East Asian Studies East Asian Studies

Interdisciplinary Programs

East Asian Studies

Questions?

Luke Franks

630-637-5561

lafranks@noctrl.edu

Are you fascinated by East Asia? Our program will engage you in an intensive study of Chinese and Japanese language, history, religion, and culture, providing you with the essential foundation for a career that focuses on this region of the world.

Choose a specialization in China or Japan, study one or both languages, and even travel to East Asia on one of our study abroad  programs. Classroom language study in Chinese and Japanese is further supported by Chinese and Japanese “language tables” (informal gatherings where you meet with teachers to practice conversational Chinese or Japanese). You can also participate in campus organizations such as the Japan Club, the Anime Club and the International Club.

Graduates of our program are prepared for graduate study, life and work in East Asia, or careers in fields like business or international relations. You’ll not only learn to appreciate the distinctive cultural patterns of the Chinese and Japanese people, but to explore the diversity of human experience more generally!

East Asian Studies, B.A.

For additional information and courses in this program, see East Asian Studies.

Major Requirements

The major is divided into a "Japan Track" and a "China Track." All students must finish two years (18 credit hours) in the language of their chosen region. They must complete an additional 21 credit hours focusing on various aspects of East Asian civilization.

  • EAS 165 - Introduction to East Asia

    EAS 165 - Introduction to East Asia

    3.00 credit hours

    An introduction to major themes in the cultural history of China and Japan. Foundational texts of East Asian philosophy, religion and literature are read and discussed in their historical context. Important works of East Asian art and film are viewed and analyzed. The goal is to develop a basic familiarity with the evolution of Chinese and Japanese civilizations from their ancient foundations to their modern manifestations.

    Core

    Humanities or Social Science.
    IAI

    S2 908N

    Schedule Of Classes

Track Requirements

Each student must complete one of the following tracks:

Japan Track

In addition to 18 credit hours in Japanese language, one of the following:

  • EAS 292 - Japanese Culture and Society

    EAS 292 - Japanese Culture and Society

    3.00 credit hours

    A study of the cultural and social structures that have historically defined Japanese civilization and continue to shape the contemporary Japanese experience with regard to areas such as family, education, ritual, art, politics and economics.

    Core

    Humanities or Social Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • HST 263 - Japanese History

    HST 263 - Japanese History

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of the political and cultural evolution of Japanese civilization from prehistory to the present. Some of the themes explored are Japan's traditional pattern of adapting Chinese political and cultural forms according to contemporary needs, the role of the samurai in Japanese history and the modernization of Japan from 1868 to the present.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One humanities or social science course.

    Core

    Humanities or Social Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

China Track

In addition to 18 credit hours in Chinese language, one of the following:

  • HST 261 - Traditional China

    HST 261 - Traditional China

    3.00 credit hours

    A survey of the political and cultural development of Chinese civilization from prehistory through to the Ming dynasty (17th century).

    Prerequisite(s)


    One humanities or social science course.

    Core

    Humanities or Social Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • HST 265 - Modern China

    HST 265 - Modern China

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of China's transition from the "traditional" civilization of the dynastic period (up to 1911) to the "modern" nation that has emerged in the 21st century.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One humanities or social science course.

    Core

    Humanities or Social Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

At least one of the following courses:

  • HST 330 - East Asian Thought

    HST 330 - East Asian Thought

    3.00 credit hours

    An historical survey of the East Asian intellectual tradition based on the reading of primary sources in translation and focusing on the cross-fertilization of ideas between the three major intellectual traditions of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • REL 260 - The Religions of China

    REL 260 - The Religions of China

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of the history, theory and practice of the major religious traditions of China: Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism and the folk traditions that blend all three. The course focuses on the evolution of Chinese religion through a process of mutual influence within a general atmosphere of religious tolerance for sectarian differences.

    Core

    Humanities.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • REL 265 - The Religions of Japan

    REL 265 - The Religions of Japan

    3.00 credit hours

    A survey of the major religious traditions of Japan, including Shinto, Buddhism (Tendai, Shingon, Zen, Pure Land and Nichiren) and the various "New Religions" that have come to prominence in the post-war period (such as Soka Gakkai and Tenrikyo). The theory and practices of specific religions are examined in their historical context, beginning with the early roots of Shinto and concluding with the dramatic changes that have transformed the Japanese religious landscape from the nineteenth century to the present.

    Core

    Humanities.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • REL 315 - Buddhism

    REL 315 - Buddhism

    3.00 credit hours

    A detailed exploration of the historical evolution of Buddhism from its initial formulation in India to its various incarnations in Southeast, Central and East Asia, as well as its more recent manifestation in North America. Particular attention is given to the distinctions between the three major branches of the religion (Theravada, Mahayana and Tantrayana), as well as to the theory and practice of individual sects such as Zen and Pure Land.

    Schedule Of Classes

At least one additional elective, from the following:

    • A second course from HST 330REL 260, REL 265, REL 315 -or-
  • ART 140 - Oriental Brush Painting

    ART 140 - Oriental Brush Painting

    3.00 credit hours

    An introduction to Chinese watercolor painting through practice in the use of oriental brushes and ink in both calligraphy and painting and study of seventeenth-century Chinese painter's manual and techniques.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • ART 264 - Global Art Survey

    ART 264 - Global Art Survey

    3.00 credit hours

    A survey of art from major world cultures with art traditions distinct from the West including the Americas, Asia, Africa and Near East. Thematic discussions of social, religious and political values that are visually expressed in art will be approached from a global perspective.

    Core

    Humanities.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • ECN 324 - International Political Economy (same as PSC 324)

    ECN 324 - International Political Economy

    3.00 credit hours

    Analyses of the problems and prospects challenging the global community at a time of political and economic change through the study of the roles of industrialized countries, former socialist bloc states and the Third World. Attention is given to the interplay of political and economic power as components of planetary well-being.

    Prerequisite(s)


    ECN 250 and ECN 252; or ECN 100.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • GLS 365 - Topics in Global Studies *

    GLS 365 - Topics in Global Studies

    3.00 credit hours

    Intensive study of a selected international topic from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including those of the humanities and social sciences.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Junior standing.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • REL 255 - The Religions of India

    REL 255 - The Religions of India

    3.00 credit hours

    An exploration of the major indigenous religions of South Asia with particular emphasis on shared concepts such as karma, the cycle of rebirth (samsara) and the transcendence of rebirth (nirvana/moksha). The course traces the evolution of Indian religion from its roots in the Vedas and Upanishads through the development of Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism and Sikhism, and concludes with an examination of "inclusivistic" and "exclusivistic" approaches to religious pluralism in contemporary Indian thought.

    Core

    Humanities.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • THE 363 - Classical Asian Theatre

    THE 363 - Classical Asian Theatre

    3.00 credit hours

    A survey of classical Asian theatre traditions, including the Noh, Kabuki and Bunraku theatres of Japan; Beijing Opera and Yuan drama of China; Sanskrit and Kathakali dance dramas of India; Korean p'ansori dramas and mask dances; and the Balinese Dancers of Indonesia. The course explores the ways in which these performance traditions reflect each country's heritage, religion and culture.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Sophomore standing.

    Schedule Of Classes

Note:

* When topic is approved by the East Asian Studies faculty.

Study Abroad

Six credit hours in an approved program of study abroad in East Asia. Students may study at NCC's programs in Japan, Republic of China, People's Republic of China or South Korea. Students are strongly urged to continue their language training upon return from Asia.

Independent Research Project

Students finish their program with EAS 499, an independent research project. This project examines some aspect of East Asian history, literature or religion, drawn from and building upon previous coursework and the study abroad experience.

East Asian Studies Minor

For additional information and courses in this program, see East Asian Studies.

Minor Requirements

The minor is divided into a "Japan Track" and a "China Track." Students must complete nine credit hours of study in the appropriate language, as well as 12 additional credit hours to be distributed as follows:

Japan Track

  • EAS 165 - Introduction to East Asia

    EAS 165 - Introduction to East Asia

    3.00 credit hours

    An introduction to major themes in the cultural history of China and Japan. Foundational texts of East Asian philosophy, religion and literature are read and discussed in their historical context. Important works of East Asian art and film are viewed and analyzed. The goal is to develop a basic familiarity with the evolution of Chinese and Japanese civilizations from their ancient foundations to their modern manifestations.

    Core

    Humanities or Social Science.
    IAI

    S2 908N

    Schedule Of Classes

  • REL 265 - The Religions of Japan

    REL 265 - The Religions of Japan

    3.00 credit hours

    A survey of the major religious traditions of Japan, including Shinto, Buddhism (Tendai, Shingon, Zen, Pure Land and Nichiren) and the various "New Religions" that have come to prominence in the post-war period (such as Soka Gakkai and Tenrikyo). The theory and practices of specific religions are examined in their historical context, beginning with the early roots of Shinto and concluding with the dramatic changes that have transformed the Japanese religious landscape from the nineteenth century to the present.

    Core

    Humanities.

    Schedule Of Classes

One of the following:
  • EAS 292 - Japanese Culture and Society

    EAS 292 - Japanese Culture and Society

    3.00 credit hours

    A study of the cultural and social structures that have historically defined Japanese civilization and continue to shape the contemporary Japanese experience with regard to areas such as family, education, ritual, art, politics and economics.

    Core

    Humanities or Social Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • HST 263 - Japanese History

    HST 263 - Japanese History

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of the political and cultural evolution of Japanese civilization from prehistory to the present. Some of the themes explored are Japan's traditional pattern of adapting Chinese political and cultural forms according to contemporary needs, the role of the samurai in Japanese history and the modernization of Japan from 1868 to the present.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One humanities or social science course.

    Core

    Humanities or Social Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

One of the following:
  • EAS 399 - Independent Study

    EAS 399 - Independent Study

    1.00-9.00 credit hours

    Schedule Of Classes

  • HST 330 - East Asian Thought

    HST 330 - East Asian Thought

    3.00 credit hours

    An historical survey of the East Asian intellectual tradition based on the reading of primary sources in translation and focusing on the cross-fertilization of ideas between the three major intellectual traditions of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • REL 315 - Buddhism

    REL 315 - Buddhism

    3.00 credit hours

    A detailed exploration of the historical evolution of Buddhism from its initial formulation in India to its various incarnations in Southeast, Central and East Asia, as well as its more recent manifestation in North America. Particular attention is given to the distinctions between the three major branches of the religion (Theravada, Mahayana and Tantrayana), as well as to the theory and practice of individual sects such as Zen and Pure Land.

    Schedule Of Classes

China Track

  • EAS 165 - Introduction to East Asia

    EAS 165 - Introduction to East Asia

    3.00 credit hours

    An introduction to major themes in the cultural history of China and Japan. Foundational texts of East Asian philosophy, religion and literature are read and discussed in their historical context. Important works of East Asian art and film are viewed and analyzed. The goal is to develop a basic familiarity with the evolution of Chinese and Japanese civilizations from their ancient foundations to their modern manifestations.

    Core

    Humanities or Social Science.
    IAI

    S2 908N

    Schedule Of Classes

  • REL 260 - The Religions of China

    REL 260 - The Religions of China

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of the history, theory and practice of the major religious traditions of China: Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism and the folk traditions that blend all three. The course focuses on the evolution of Chinese religion through a process of mutual influence within a general atmosphere of religious tolerance for sectarian differences.

    Core

    Humanities.

    Schedule Of Classes

One of the following:
  • HST 261 - Traditional China

    HST 261 - Traditional China

    3.00 credit hours

    A survey of the political and cultural development of Chinese civilization from prehistory through to the Ming dynasty (17th century).

    Prerequisite(s)


    One humanities or social science course.

    Core

    Humanities or Social Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • HST 265 - Modern China

    HST 265 - Modern China

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of China's transition from the "traditional" civilization of the dynastic period (up to 1911) to the "modern" nation that has emerged in the 21st century.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One humanities or social science course.

    Core

    Humanities or Social Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

One of the following:
  • EAS 399 - Independent Study

    EAS 399 - Independent Study

    1.00-9.00 credit hours

    Schedule Of Classes

  • HST 330 - East Asian Thought

    HST 330 - East Asian Thought

    3.00 credit hours

    An historical survey of the East Asian intellectual tradition based on the reading of primary sources in translation and focusing on the cross-fertilization of ideas between the three major intellectual traditions of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • REL 315 - Buddhism

    REL 315 - Buddhism

    3.00 credit hours

    A detailed exploration of the historical evolution of Buddhism from its initial formulation in India to its various incarnations in Southeast, Central and East Asia, as well as its more recent manifestation in North America. Particular attention is given to the distinctions between the three major branches of the religion (Theravada, Mahayana and Tantrayana), as well as to the theory and practice of individual sects such as Zen and Pure Land.

    Schedule Of Classes

NOTE: This page contains all of the regular course descriptions for this discipline or program. Academic credit for each course is noted in parenthesis after the course title. Prerequisites (if any) and the general education requirements, both Core and All-College Requirements (ACRs), which each course fulfills (if any) are noted following each course description. Not all courses are offered every year. Check Merlin, our searchable course schedule, to see which courses are being offered in upcoming terms.

EAS 165 Introduction to East Asia (3.00)
An introduction to major themes in the cultural history of China and Japan. Foundational texts of East Asian philosophy, religion, and literature are read and discussed in their historical context. Important works of East Asian art and film are viewed and analyzed. The goal is to develop a basic familiarity with the evolution of Chinese and Japanese civilizations from their ancient foundations to their modern manifestations. Same as: HST 165. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

EAS 292 Japanese Culture and Society (3.00)
A study of the cultural and social structures that have historically defined Japanese civilization and continue to shape the contemporary Japanese experience with regard to areas such as family, education, ritual, art, politics and economics. Core: Humanities or Social Science.

EAS 397 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

EAS 399 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

EAS 497 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

EAS 499 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

Luke Franks

Associate Professor of History; Coordinator of East Asian Studies
HST
630-637-5561
Brian Hoffert

Associate Professor of Religious Studies and History; Coordinator of History of Ideas
REL,HST
5619
Fukumi Matsubara

Professor of Japanese
MCL
630-637-5128
Jinai Sun

Assistant Professor of Chinese
MCL
630-637-5263

Extra-curricular and professional activities that will enrich your East Asian studies education.

One of the most exciting features of our East Asian Studies program is that it incorporates many opportunities to develop the kind of practical experience that will help you succeed in careers that involve a focus on this region of the world.

Our Chinese and Japanese language programs, broad range of courses on East Asia, and study abroad programs throughout the region will give you the language skills and cultural understanding to build a solid foundation for your future.

Language study is further supported by

  • NCC-in-China/Japan
  • weekly language tables, where faculty and students meet to practice conversational Chinese and Japanese in informal settings
  • student organizations, such as the Japan Club, Asian Student Konnection, the Anime Club, and the International Club
  • the opportunity to start your own organization
  • field trips to places like the Mitsuwa Shopping Mall in Arlington Heights, the Art Institute of Chicago, or Chicago’s Chinatown (for Chinese New Years festivities)
  • Richter Independent Study Fellowships, which provides qualified North Central College students with grants of up to $5000 to fund individualized research projects, including the cost of overseas travel and living expenses

Wherever your interests lie, we’ll help you get there!


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