East Asian Studies

There exists a wide-spread interest in all aspects of the cultures and societies of East Asia among undergraduates. This interest will only grow as East Asian societies continue to develop and play an increasingly large role in the international community, as the number of Asian-American students on campus increases, and as the general student body becomes more and more aware of the richness and vitality of the various East Asian cultures, present and past.

The East Asian Studies (EAS) secondary field allows students whose primary concentration is not EAS to obtain an in-depth knowledge of one or more aspects of the culture and societies of East Asia (China, Korea, Japan). Students will select, in consultation with an academic adviser, a coherent set of classes from the rich offerings of the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations (EALC) and other departments at Harvard that offer classes on East Asian topics.

Students are not required to focus on a specific area, but suggested paths within the secondary field of East Asian Studies include: Modern and Contemporary East Asian Studies, Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, Korean Studies, Chinese History, Japanese History, Korean History, Chinese Literature and Arts, Japanese Literature and Arts, Korean Literature and Arts, and East Asian Buddhism.

Requirements: 6 half-courses

  1. Two introductory courses.

  2. These introductory classes should be EAS 97ab: Sophomore Tutorial (spring) and one other course such as:

    • Foreign Cultures 67: Popular Culture in Modern China

    • Foreign Cultures 68: Authority and the Claims of the Individual in Chinese Literary Culture

    • Foreign Cultures 80: Korea at 2100

    • Historical Studies A-13

    • China: Traditions and Transformations

    • Historical Studies A-14: Japan: Traditions and Transformations

    • Historical Studies A-75: The Two Koreas

    • Literature and Arts A-63: Writing Women of Imperial China

    • Literature and Arts C-40: The Chinese Literati

    • Literature and Arts C-42: Constructing the Samurai

    • Moral Reasoning 40: Confucian Humanism

    • Moral Reasoning 78: Classical Chinese Ethical and Political Theory

    • another general survey course concerning East Asian history with the permission of the head tutor

  3. At least one, but preferably two, 100-level courses offered by EALC. 100-level language courses do not satisfy this requirement, but students may apply to subsitute a 100-level class with an East Asia emphasis offered by another department at Harvard.

  4. No more than two language classes in one of the East Asian languages may count for the secondary field. The secondary field does not, however, require any language courses.

Other Information

Courses for the secondary field may be offered by EALC or by other departments at Harvard, as long as the emphasis of the course is clearly on an East Asian subject. Courses offered in other departments that are taught by EALC faculty automatically count for credit for the secondary field, as do courses that are cross-listed in the EALC section of Courses of Instruction. Others must be approved by the department.

Relevant Harvard Summer School courses and Study Abroad courses may be counted with permission of the department.

All courses must be letter-graded, with the exception of one Freshman Seminar related to an East Asian subject and one course that may be taken Pass/Fail with special permission from the head tutor.

Students who are primarily interested in enhancing their language skills in one of the East Asian Languages—Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese—should consider a language citation. Because students can only double-count one course, both semesters of their first-year language requirement will not count towards the secondary field.

Advising Resources and Expectations

Those students interested in a secondary field in East Asian Studies should contact the EAS tutorial office at eas@fas.harvard.edu or by calling 617-495-8365.