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Swarthmore College    
College Bulletin - Course Catalog 
  
 
  Dec 14, 2017
 
College Bulletin - Course Catalog

Asian Studies


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Courses


Coordinator

WILLIAM GARDNER (Modern Languages and Literatures, Japanese)
Anna Everetts (Administrative Assistant)
Eliana Yankelev (Administrative Assistant)

Faculty

Farid Azfar (History)
Lei Ouyang Bryant (Music and Dance)
Pallabi Chakravorty (Music and Dance)
BuYun Chen (History)3
K. David Harrison (Linguistics)
William Gardner (Modern Languages and Literatures, Japanese)
Steven Hopkins (Religion)3
Akiko Imamura (Modern Languages and Literatures, Japanese)
Yoshiko Jo (Lecturer, Modern Languages and Literatures, Japanese)
Wol A Kang (Lecturer, Modern Languages and Literatures, Chinese)
Haili Kong (Modern Languages and Literatures, Chinese)3
Gerald Levinson (Music and Dance)
Bakirathi Mani (English Literature)3
Xu Peng (Modern Languages and Literatures, Chinese)
Tomoko Sakomura (Art History)
Kirsten Spiedel (Lecturer, Modern Languages and Literatures, Chinese)
Atsuko Suda (Lecturer, Modern Languages and Literatures, Japanese)
Megumu Tamura (Lecturer, Modern Languages and Literatures, Japanese)
Jiajia Wang (Modern Languages and Literatures, Chinese)
Min Wang (Lecturer, Modern Languages and Literatures, Chinese)
Jonathan Washington (Linguistics)
Tyrene White (Political Science)
Thomas Whitman (Music and Dance)
Peng Xu (Modern Languages and Literatures, Chinese)


3 Absent on leave, 2017-2018.


Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary program that introduces students to the critical and methodological approaches that have informed the study of Asia. As one of the largest interdisciplinary programs at Swarthmore, Asian Studies trains students in the study of diverse texts, images, performances, bodies of knowledge and cultural practices across geographic and temporal boundaries. Students are encouraged to engage in a rigorous examination of the political, economic, social, environmental, and religious formations of the myriad societies that have constituted Asia. Asian Studies aims to provide students with a depth of knowledge and multiple critical perspectives with which to understand how these diverse locales have been and continue to be interwoven with the global.

The Academic Program


The Asian Studies Program offers a major and a minor in course and honors. Students who declare a major in Asian studies construct individualized programs of study, with a focus on a comparative theme or on a particular country or region. Some examples of comparative themes are classical traditions in Asian literature and art, Buddhist studies, Asian nationalisms and the emergence of nation-states, and the political economy of Asian development. In all cases, the core of the major involves exposure to multiple regions and multiple disciplines.

Students interested in Asian studies are urged to consult the Asian studies website for up-to-date information on courses and campus events. Students should meet with the program chair in advance of preparing a Sophomore Plan. Advance planning is especially important for students contemplating the Honors Program and those planning to study abroad.

Course Major


Asian studies invites students to make connections among courses that differ widely in content and method. When considering applicants to the major, the Asian Studies Committee looks for evidence of intellectual flexibility and independence. Students must have completed at least two Asia-related courses in different departments with grades of B or better to be accepted into the major.

The major in Asian studies consists of a minimum of ten (10) credits, with requirements and distribution as follows:

1. Geographic breadth. Coursework must include more than one of the regions of Asia (East, South, Northeast, and Southeast). This requirement can be fulfilled by taking at least two courses that are pan-Asian or comparative in scope or by taking at least one course on a country or region that is not the principal focus of a student's program.

2. Disciplinary breadth. Courses must be taken in at least three different departments.

3. Temporal breadth. At least one course focusing on the Premodern or Early Modern (before 1900) Eras, and at least one course on the Modern (after 1900) Era must be completed. This requirement can be fulfilled by taking at least two courses that examine substantial material on both the Premodern/Early Modern and Modern Eras.

4. Intermediate and advanced work. A minimum of 5 credits must be completed at the intermediate or advanced level in at least two departments.

5. Asian language study. At least one year of college-level study of an Asian language or its equivalent in intensive summer coursework is required of all majors. Up to four credits of Asian language study may be applied to the major. Advanced topical courses taught in the original language are not subject to the four credit limit. Students wishing to study an Asian language not offered at Swarthmore are encouraged to fulfill this requirement through study abroad, intensive summer study, approved coursework at neighboring institutions (tri-co, University of Pennsylvania), etc. The language requirement may be waived at the discretion of the Asian Studies coordinator in cases of advanced oral and written proficiency in an Asian language relevant to a student's area of geographic focus.

Thesis / Culminating Exercise


Thesis / Culminating Exercise. Students in the Asian studies course major have a choice of culminating exercises.

Thesis option. A 1- or 2-credit thesis, followed by an oral examination. A thesis must be supervised by a member of the Asian studies faculty. Students normally enroll for the thesis, ASIA 096, in the fall semester of the senior year.

Qualifying papers option. Students revise and expand two papers they have written for Asian studies courses in consultation with Asian studies faculty members.

Honors seminar option. Students take a 2-credit honors seminar in an Asian studies topic in either their junior or senior year. (Note: A two-course combination or a course plus attachment will not satisfy this requirement.)

Course Minor


Students will be admitted to the minor after having completed at least two Asian studies courses in different departments with grades of B or better. The Asian studies minor in course consists of five courses, distributed as follows:

1. Geographic breadth. Coursework must cover more than one region of Asia. This can be accomplished by taking at least two courses that are pan-Asian or comparative in scope or by taking at least one full course on a country that is not the principal focus of a student's program.

2. Disciplinary breadth. Asia-related courses must be taken in at least two departments outside of the disciplinary major. Only one course may overlap the Asian studies minor and the disciplinary major.

3. Temporal breadth. At least one course focusing on the Premodern or Early Modern (before 1900) Eras, and at least one course on the Modern (after 1900) Era must be completed. This requirement can be fulfilled by taking at least two courses that examine substantial material on both the Premodern/Early Modern and Modern Eras.

4. Intermediate or advanced work. At least 2 credits of work must be completed at the intermediate or advanced level.

5. Asian language study. Asian-language study is not required but is strongly recommended. Up to two credits in Asian language study may be applied toward the course minor. For languages offered at Swarthmore (Chinese and Japanese), courses above the first-year level may count toward the minor. For Asian languages not offered at Swarthmore, courses at the entry level may count toward the minor if at least the equivalent of 1.5 credits is earned in an approved program.

Honors Major


To be admitted to the honors major, students should have completed at least two Asian studies courses in different departments with grades of B+ or better.

The honors major in Asian studies consists of a minimum of ten (10) credits (including four honors preparations). The four preparations in an Honors Program must be drawn from at least two different disciplines.

1.  Geographic, disciplinary, and temporal breadth requirements. These are the same as those for the course major (see above)

2. Asian language study. This requirement is the same as for the course major (see above).

3. Asian studies as an interdisciplinary major. All four fields for external examination must be Asian studies subjects. One of the fields may also count toward an honors minor in a department. The four preparations must be drawn from at least two different disciplines.

4. Grade-point average requirement. A student must earn at least a B+ in all courses applied to the honors major.

Honors Minor


To be admitted to the honors minor, students should have completed at least two Asian studies courses in different departments with a grade of B+ or above.

An honors minor in Asian studies consists of a minimum of 5 credits, distributed as follows:

  1. Geographic breadth. There are two tracks within the minor:
    1. Comparative Asian cultures: The selection of courses and the honors preparation should offer a comparative perspective on the traditional or modern cultures of Asia. Individual programs should be worked out in close consultation with the Asian studies coordinator. (Language study does not count toward this track.)
    2. Focus on a single country or region: All courses in the program should focus on the same region or country. One or 2 credits of language study may be included.
  2. Disciplinary breadth. Asia-related courses must be taken in at least two departments outside of the disciplinary honors major. Only one course may overlap the honors minor and the disciplinary honors major
  3. Temporal breadth. At least one course focusing on the Premodern or Early Modern (before 1900) Eras, and at least one course on the Modern (after 1900) Era must be completed. This requirement can be fulfilled by taking at least two courses that examine substantial material on both the Premodern/Early Modern and Modern Eras.
  4. Asian language study. Asian language study is not required, but courses in Asian languages may count toward the honors minor. Up to 2 credits of Asian language study may be applied to the honors minor. For languages offered at Swarthmore (Chinese and Japanese), courses above the second-year level count toward the minor. For Asian languages not offered at Swarthmore, courses at the entry level may be counted if the equivalent of 1.5 credits is earned in an approved program.
  5. Honors preparation. One preparation, normally a two-credit seminar, will be submitted for external examination.
  6. Senior Honors Seminar for minors. The student will fulfill the requirements set for honors minors by the department offering the honors preparation.

7. Grade-point average requirement. A student must earn at least a B+ in all courses applied to the honors major.

Fellowship and Grant Opportunities for Students


The Alice L. Crossley Prize in Asian Studies is awarded annually to the student or students who submit the best essay(s) on any topic in Asian or Asian American Studies.

The Genevieve Ching-wen Lee '96 Memorial Fund supports a lecture each year in Asian American studies. This fund also supports an annual competition for summer research support for projects related to Asian studies or Asian American studies.

The Penelope Mason '57 Memorial Fund for Asian Studies is available to support Asian studies related projects proposed by students, faculty members, or both.

Off-Campus Study


Students with majors in Asian studies are strongly encouraged to undertake a period of study in Asia. The Asian studies faculty can recommend academically rigorous programs in several Asian countries. Study abroad is the ideal arena for intensive language study. Courses taken abroad may be applied toward the major, subject to the approval of the Asian studies coordinator. However, at least half of the credits in a student's Asian studies major or minor should be earned at Swarthmore.

Life After Swarthmore


Students with a background in Asian studies have pursued a number of paths after graduation. Some have gone abroad to continue their studies, do research, or work in humanitarian or social service organizations. Others have gone directly to graduate school. Many eventually become teachers or professors. Others work in the arts, journalism, international law, business, finance, in the diplomatic corps, or in non-governmental organizations. Other Asian studies graduates pursue careers not directly related to Asia, in medicine or law, for example. All consider Asian studies to have been an important part of their liberal arts education.

Asian Studies Courses


Courses in the Asian Studies Program are listed below.  Courses of independent study, special attachments on subjects relevant to Asian Studies, and courses offered by visiting faculty that are not regularly listed in the catalog may also qualify for credit in the program, subject to the approval of the Asian Studies Committee.  Students who wish to pursue these possibilities should consult with the Asian Studies chair.

 

(See descriptions in individual departments to determine offerings for each semester.)

Note:


* Cognate course. Counts toward Asian studies if all papers and projects are focused on Asian topics. No more than two may be applied to the course or honors major. No more than 1 credit may be applied to the honors minor.

+ Cognate seminar. No more than 1 credit may be applied toward the honors major. It does not count toward an honors minor.

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