East Asian Studies is one of the largest and most interdisciplinary fields of study at Oberlin, focusing on the region that includes China, Japan, and Korea. Students study languages coupled with East Asian history, literature, religion, art history, politics, and anthropology.

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Our faculty are both scholars and teachers who devote their careers to making important contributions to their disciplines through writing and research. They are committed to undergraduate education and teach everything from first-year seminars to advanced courses.

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Program Overview

2016 EAS Faculty and Staff
2016 EAS Faculty and Staff

Students who yearn to understand and discover the world beyond the U.S. borders, the Internet, or popular culture should consider the language program at Oberlin. One of the largest and most diverse academic programs at the college is the East Asian Studies Program. Its ties to China date to the late 19th century when graduates began to study and work there. More recently, students from China, Japan, and Korea have come to Oberlin to pursue a liberal arts education in an environment that celebrates East Asian languages, cultures, and history.

East Asian studies is one of the oldest interdisciplinary programs at the college. Majors take courses in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean language, and East Asian history, literature, religion, art history, politics, and anthropology. Many students double major, pairing the program with biology, music, neuroscience, or chemistry.

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Curriculum Overview

Globalization is strengthening our ties with such Asian countries as Japan and China. East Asian studies majors ready themselves through coursework, intense language study, internships, fellowships, and special projects. Majors take two years of language study and five levels of Japanese and Chinese, all of which produces students who are well versed in non-Western cultures and proficient in a language of the region.

Our students learn in a nurturing and inspiring environment. The Paul and Edith Cooper International Learning Center , a state-of-the-art computer lab specializing in foreign languages, offers high-tech tools to master a variety of foreign languages, from digital connections with native speakers from around the globe to a multilanguage computer that scans headlines from Chinese or Russian newspapers, for example. Students frequent the lab to improve their speaking, listening, and pronunciation skills.

We encourage study abroad through accredited programs in Beijing, China; Kyoto, Japan; or Seoul, Korea. Faculty members help to ensure students receive a quality academic and homestay experience, whether for a semester or a year. At Oberlin, students may live in Asia House, one of the college’s theme-based residence halls, to garner year-round exposure to programming related to Asia.

Our graduates attend top graduate schools to pursue advanced degrees in business, literature, law, sociology, history, art history, or religious studies. Others enter the workforce, obtaining jobs with the State Department, or in law, library science, journalism and publishing, arts, music, banking, and translation work.

Upcoming East Asian Studies Events

East Asian Studies News

Sheila Miyoshi Jager on the Topic of Korea

April 11, 2017
Professor of East Asian studies Sheila Miyoshi Jager discusses the long historical context of animosity between the two Koreas for the podcast Truth, Politics and Power.