ERIKO BEST, Visiting Lecturer
JOHN BUNDSCHUH, Visiting Assistant Professor, Interim Section Head
WILLIAM O. GARDNER, Professor3
YOSHIKO JO, Senior Lecturer2
ATSUKO SUDA, Senior Lecturer
CHIHIRO WILLIAMS, Visiting Lecturer
2 Absent on Leave, spring 2024
3 Absent on Leave, 2023-2024
The Academic Program
Courses in Japanese language, literature, and culture may be combined with courses taken at Haverford, Bryn Mawr and with study abroad toward a special major or a minor in Japanese or may be counted toward a major or minor in Asian studies (see Asian Studies). Interested students should consult with the section head of Japanese or with the chair of Asian studies.
First Course Recommendations
JPNS 001. First-Year Japanese. JPNS 001 is the beginning of our language sequence and open to all students; no previous experience is necessary and students are encouraged to begin JPNS 001 in their Freshman year. A placement exam is not required to register for JPNS 001.
JPNS 018. Manga, Bande Dessinée, and the Graphic Novel: A Transnational Study of Graphic Fiction is a good entry point for students interested in Japanese cultural studies and wishing to gain experience in narrative and visual analysis. No background in Japanese language is required.
JPNS 022. Introduction to Japanese Linguistics is a good course for students seeking to deepen their knowledge of the structure of Japanese language and explore various aspects of Japanese linguistics. Completion of JPNS 001 or instructor’s permission is required.
JPNS 024. Japanese Film and Animation introduces the fundamentals of film analysis and explores both the history of Japanese film and animation and their broader historical and cultural context. Students will gain experience in both written film analysis and in-class presentations. No background in Japanese language is required.
Special Majoring and Minoring in Japanese
Students may construct a special major in Japanese, featuring intensive study in Japanese language, literature, and culture. Japanese special majors will complete their coursework through a combination of study at Swarthmore, courses at Haverford or Bryn Mawr, and study abroad. Students interested in a Japanese special major or minor should consult with the section head of Japanese as soon as possible.
Students seeking a broader exposure to East Asian society and culture may consider a Japanese concentration within the Asian studies major. Students who wish to concentrate on linguistics rather than Japanese literature and culture may construct a special major in Japanese Language and Linguistics, or use Japanese as one of the two languages counting towards the Special Major in Linguistics and Languages as described below. Students wishing to pursue this possibility should consult with the Japanese section head.
Special Major in Japanese Language, Literature and Culture
At least 10 total credits starting with 001, including at least one credit outside the department, are required for a special major in Japanese. Special majors should complete the following sequence of language courses: JPNS 001, 002, 003, 004, 012, 012A, 013, 019, 020 or their equivalent. Japanese special majors are strongly encouraged to study abroad in a program approved by the section; transfer credits normally may be counted toward the special major.
Special majors should complete at least two courses on Japanese literature and culture of level 015 and higher (in addition to JPNS 019 and 020), and at least two additional courses of level 30 and higher, or their equivalent in coursework outside the department. Students are encouraged to combine their study of Japanese literature and culture with coursework in Japanese linguistics, history, anthropology and sociology, religion, art, music, economics, political science, education, comparative literature, and other related fields within the tri-college consortium. At least two courses on Japanese literature and culture should normally be taken within the department, including courses
on Japanese linguistics offered within the department.
All special majors will complete a culminating project.
Special Major in Linguistics and Languages
1. Complete the Linguistics course requirements outlined by the Linguistics Department.
2. For students using Japanese as one of their two languages for this special major, complete one course numbered 004 or above and two courses numbered 011 or above. No 0.5 credit courses may be counted towards this requirements. The language of instruction for courses filling this requirement should be Japanese.
Minor in Japanese
A minimum of 5 credits numbered 004 and above is required for the course minor. At least one credit must be taken in Japanese literature, linguistics, film or culture in translation, either in coursework offered by the Japanese section or its equivalent in coursework outside of Swarthmore, with the approval of the section. A minimum of 3 credits should be taken at Swarthmore.
The section strongly encourages study abroad in a section-approved program; transferred credits normally may be counted toward the minor. One credit may be earned from another department on a Japan-related subject with the approval of the section.
Honors Special Majors and Minors in Japanese
Honors study for qualified students may be substituted for the culminating project in the major. Students are encouraged to consult with the Japanese section head to discuss Honors special majors and honors minors.
Japanese Courses Not Currently Offered