East Asian Languages and Literatures

The East Asian Languages and Literatures Department offers courses in Chinese and Japanese languages, literatures, and cultures, and offers a Chinese concentration and minor, as well as a Japanese minor. (For Japanese and Chinese major concentrations in Asian Studies, see the Asian Studies Program site or contact faculty in Chinese or Japanese.)

You may find learning Chinese or Japanese language and culture daunting at first, but think about the advantages of being able to communicate with one-quarter of the world''s people and consider the advantages of working in China or Japan without any communication barriers! Learning Chinese or Japanese language and culture will prepare you to seize many of the new opportunities that are rapidly arising both in the U.S. and in the Pacific Rim area, especially in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and of course China and Japan. When you develop the skills of speaking Chinese or Japanese and understand the culture, you may choose to pursue graduate studies, professional careers in international trade, government service, diplomacy, private business, journalism and other related fields. Studying Chinese or Japanese language and culture will sharpen your understanding of both the Western tradition and the rapidly changing world today.

CHINESE

The Chinese program is a new model in foreign language education. It is designed for the liberal arts education in the 21st century to meet the urgent need for China specialists in the U.S. who are competent in the language and able to research China through the original materials. Chinese is a Category V language. While emphasizing individualized instruction and a rigorous curriculum, the program stresses “advanced professional proficiency (and plus)” in speaking and "the ability to use language for real-world purposes in culturally-appropriate ways." Its teaching goal is to foster the new generation of language learners who are able to use the language to conduct research on China related issues and to work in China related fields indistinguishable from those well-educated native speakers.

To reach the above teaching goals, the curriculum, teaching strategies and material, assessments, and concentration are designed as follows:

  1. Small classes to build student’s basic language skills

  2. Computerized multimedia approach (interactive multimedia of texts, video, audio based exercises and answers, homework, review and preview of lessons in the lab) to facilitate the language’s learning

  3. Individualized instruction and weekly individual sessions to offset the disadvantages in learning a Category IV language and build the student’s proficiency in the language

  4. Language contact beyond the classroom, including Chinese language table (every Tuesday), Chinese culture events, including Understanding China Series, Chinese Radio Show, Senior Panel Discussion, Online Distance Learning Center to create the language environment and various cultural activities for students to practice and use the language

  5. Hamilton study abroad (ACC) in Beijing for students to engage in an immersion environment and to experience the culture in order to develop students translingual and transcultural competence in Chinese

  6. OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview by ACTFL) standard assessment for seniors

  7. Content-based courses on Chinese culture, society, and language taught in Chinese offered for majors to gain competence in working with the original materials and conducting research on the Chinese culture and China related issues

  8. Senior project-a research paper using the original materials, writing in Chinese, and defending in Chinese

The Chinese Program also offers Chinese field studies program (16 US college graduates to be selected to teach at the elementary schools in the rural areas in China during the summer, supported by Fulbright grant).

JAPANESE
Some may say that Japan is dramatically different from the U.S., but you may also find it surprisingly familiar. When you study the historical, political, social, and artistic factors that contributed to the formation of modern Japan as a major player in the global economy, you will understand important aspects of diversity in our world. You will also learn about Japan’s relationships with other nations, cultures, and regions in the world. In other words, your study of Japan helps you understand how the increasingly globalized world works, or, in certain cases, does not work.

The Japanese Program at Hamilton offers both language and culture courses. Faculty trained in Japanese language pedagogy teach eight semesters of language courses. Non-language courses offered in English include culture, film, media, literature, linguistics, language acquisition, history, and art. The Program also advises about study abroad programs in Japan.

• With your language skills, you will be able to communicate and negotiate with Japanese speakers. The first four semesters of Japanese language courses meet four times a week and incorporate small group sessions and multimedia projects. Third-year Japanese meets three times a week, and Fourth-year meets twice a week. The Program also holds weekly Language Table, Japanese Party and Presentations, occasional movie nights, culture workshops, and excursion trips. In the fourth year, students take the OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview by ACTFL) at no cost.
• Selected examples of culture courses (taught in English) include: JAPN 160 “Modern Selves and Ways of Seeing: Japanese Film, Animation, and Literature,” 205 “Topics in Japanese Linguistics,” JAPN 239/339 “Modern Japan: Japanese Culture and Society from A(-Bomb) to (Dragon Ball)Z
• The Modern Languages Association summarizes the benefits of learning a language and culture outside your own as follows: “In addition to providing you with knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are necessary in the workplace, the study of languages, literatures, and cultures, like the study of history, philosophy, or mathematics, helps you develop the analytic skills needed to be an effective participant in local and national discussions. Studying languages in the context of history, politics, and popular culture can help you follow international events with insight, opening up perspectives to make you an informed and responsible citizen of your country and of the world.” (https://apps.mla.org/pdf/adfl_brochcollege.pdf

Chinese

110F First-Term Chinese.
An introduction to spoken and written modern Chinese through conversational drills, comprehension, reading and writing practice in classwork and homework. Four hours of class, with additional lab work and individual sessions for each student. Maximum enrollment, 16. Jin and Huang.

120S Second-Term Chinese.
Continued work in speaking, listening and reading. Emphasis on patterns that facilitate speaking and reading. Four hours of class, with additional lab work and individual sessions for each student. Prerequisite, 110. Maximum enrollment, 16. The Department.
More information ...

130F Third-Term Chinese.
Comprehensive review of grammar and development of language skills through communicative teaching. Four hours of class, with additional lab work and individual sessions for each student. Prerequisite, 120 or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 16. Lin.

140S Fourth-Term Chinese.
Continuation of third-term Chinese. Development of spoken and written skills, as well as familiarity with current Chinese culture. Class discussions in Chinese. Four hours of class, with additional lab work and individual sessions for each student. Prerequisite, 130 or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 16. The Department.
More information ...

160F Modern China Through Film.
Examines how films produced in diverse socio-economic contexts generate conflicting modern representations of China, ranging from a legendary land, a rapidly changing society, to an everlasting patriarchy, and how these representations produce hegemonic and subversive cultural knowledge. Students will gain broad understanding of Chinese cinema and history, theory of film and cultural studies, and pertinent Hollywood films. All films have English subtitles. Requirements include film viewings, presentations, quizzes, class discussions and a final paper. All lectures and discussions in English. All lectures and discussions in English. Wang.

165F Americans & Chinese: Case Studies of Cross-Cultural Communication.
Through film screening, role-play, skit performances and discussions, students learn to identify differences in the behavioral culture between Americans and Chinese. The course brings students of different cultural backgrounds together and conducts cross-cultural comparison through observation, first-hand experience sharing, and critical analysis. It helps Americans to interact more effectively when dealing with Chinese counterparts in their future careers. It also helps Chinese native speakers to better adjust to the American culture. All course materials are in English or subtitled. Junqing Jia.

200F Third-Year Chinese I.
Designed for students who wish to use Chinese beyond everyday conversation. Concentrates on subtleties of Chinese grammar and builds a vocabulary through extensive use of short texts. Includes expository writing. Four hours of class, with additional tutorial and laboratory work. Taught primarily in Chinese. Prerequisite, 140 or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 16. The Department.

[210S] Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature: Traditions and Modernities.
Since 1919, Chinese literature has played a decisive role in interactions between tradition and modernity. This course examines the development of Chinese literature against such interactions. Students will familiarize themselves with the most representative modern and contemporary Chinese literary works and gain a broad understanding of many modernity-related issues, including politics, culture, class, labor division, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. All lectures and discussions in English. Requirements: presentations, class discussions, film viewings and a final paper. (Same as Literature and Creative Writing 210.)

220S Advanced Chinese II.
Continuation of Advanced Chinese I, with emphasis on making the transition from textbook to an advanced level of competence for reading periodicals and journals in China. Discussion, written and oral work. Taught in Chinese. (Proseminar.) Prerequisite, 200 or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 16. The Department.
More information ...

240S Exploring the Roots of Contemporary Issues in China.
Through examining twelve contemporary issues in China, this introductory course on Chinese civilization will explore some fundamental themes that help to shape and define the culture. Students are expected to be engaged in readings, lectures, discussions, video screenings, and interviews. Issues that we will discover include the food and environment in China; Taoism’s transformation in modernity; Neo-Confucianism and the education system; media censorship and its background; the legacy and future of Chinese language, and so on. Taught in English. No prior knowledge of China is required. Junqing Jia.

380S Seminar: Transcultural Chinese-Language Cinema and Hollywood.
Does Hollywood cinema dictate its reception across the world? Are there clear-cut boundaries between non-Hollywood cinema’s submission and resistance to Hollywood? Facing worldwide competition, how does Hollywood maintain its dominance of global culture? This seminar examines such questions by focusing on the nuanced negotiations between Hollywood films and diverse Chinese-language cultures, including China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Students will gain insight into Chinese-language films, literatures, and cultures as well as their own culture shaped by Hollywood-dominated media. All discussions in English. Maximum enrollment, 12. Zhuoyi Wang.

[410F] Advanced Chinese: Reading and Writing.
Designed for students who are approaching advanced level Chinese but need further refinements on vocabulary usage and formal expression, this course aims at increasing reading and composition capabilities with a primary focus on language accuracy and appropriateness. Students will be exposed to a large amount of authentic and formal Chinese texts covering current issues in China to obtain the skills necessary to complete various writing tasks. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, Any 200-level or 300-level course conducted in Chinese or consent of the instructor. Taught in Chinese Maximum enrollment, 12.

420S Introduction to Taiwanese Society and Culture.
This course will focus on a wide range of social and cultural issues of Taiwan. Students in this class will be exposed to a large number of authentic and academic Chinese texts covering various issues of Taiwan to obtain the skills necessary to produce effective argumentative writing. Particularly designed for advanced-level Chinese students who want to achieve near-native proficiency in reading and writing skills. Taught in Chinese. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, Any 200-level or 300-level course conducted in Chinese or consent of the instructor. Maximum enrollment, 20. Chen-An Chou.

425F Current Issues in Greater China.
Presentation and analysis of different perspectives on 21st-century Greater China Region, including geopolitical and economic issues, social changes, political situation and popular culture. Class materials includes documentaries, video/films, web sources and traditional texts. Short papers and oral presentation. Particularly designed for students who wish to improve their speaking and writing skills before working on their senior projects. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, Any 200-level or 300-level course conducted in Chinese or consent of the instructor. Taught in Chinese. Maximum enrollment, 20. Yan Li.
More information ...

426S Advanced Spoken Chinese.
This course is designed to improve students’ oral Chinese proficiency to advanced level and to help students prepare for ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI). Through guided discussions on various topics in both formal and informal settings, students will be trained to master Chinese speaking skills to support opinion, hypothesize, and discuss topic concretely and abstractly in a fluent and accurate manner. Prerequisite, Limited to senior Chinese concentrators or consent of the instructor. Taught in Chinese. Maximum enrollment, 12. The Department.

430S Masterpieces of Chinese Literature.
Reading and discussion of the masterpieces from Chinese literature including essays during the early Qin and Han dynasties, poetry and prose from the Tang and Song dynasties, the novels from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Taught in Chinese. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, A 400-level course in Chinese or consent of instructor. Limited to seniors or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 20. Wang.
More information ...

450F Remembering the Chinese Revolution through Film.
The 20th century saw waves of revolutions shape the history of modern China. This course examines how Chinese films produced in diverse socio-economic contexts represent this century of revolution. Students will gain a broad understanding of the history of modern China, familiarize themselves with film analysis techniques and post-1949 Chinese cinema, and learn to understand film as the most powerful modern art form for constructing historical memories. Requirements for the course include group presentations, film analysis assignments, and one final paper. Taught in Chinese. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, A 300-level course in Chinese or permission of instructor. Limited to seniors or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 12. Wang.

[465S] Chinese Education in the Age of Americanization: Crises and Reforms.
Schools in the United States have seen a rapidly increasing influx of Chinese students. In China, this trend corresponds with a growing idealization of the US educational system and dissatisfaction with the Chinese one. Yet the US system has also found itself in crisis, and turned to educational methods at the center of the Chinese system in its reforms. This course will discuss the respective strengths and weaknesses of the Chinese and the American systems, the crises they are facing, and possible directions of reforms.Presentations, weekly writing assignments, and a final paper. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, a 400 level course. Limited to seniors or consent of instructor. Next offered spring 2018. Maximum enrollment, 12.

[495S] Practicum in Chinese Language and Culture Education.
This course combines study in Chinese language and culture and experience in teaching one or two Chinese language and culture courses at K-5 programs in the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES school districts. Students in the course participate in weekly classes focusing on various aspects of Chinese language, culture, and teaching through lectures, group discussions, papers, and presentations on curriculum, instruction and assessment. Taught in Chinese. Prerequisite, Any 200-level or 300-level course conducted in Chinese or consent of instructor.

550F,S Senior Project.
A research project using sources in Chinese culminating in a paper, designed by the student, in consultation with at least two members of the East Asian Languages and Literatures Department. Students are expected to develop analytical and linguistic skills in the Chinese language through culture study in upper-level coursework and/or study abroad. Prerequisite, Limited to senior Chinese concentrators. Maximum enrollment, 6. The Department.
More information ...

Japanese

110F First-Term Japanese.
Introduction to basic structures and vocabulary. Emphasis on oral communication with practice in reading and writing, using the two syllabaries (hiragana and katakana) and 28 kanji characters. Four 50-minute classes a week (Monday-Thursday). Maximum enrollment, 16. Kamiya.

120S Second-Term Japanese.
Continued work in speaking, listening, reading, and writing, with mastery of 99 kanji characters. Four 50-minute classes a week (Monday-Thursday). Prerequisite, 110, or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 16. Kamiya.

130F Third-Term Japanese.
Completion of introduction to basic structures of the language. Continued emphasis on oral communication, with practice in reading simple texts. An additional 104 kanji characters will be introduced. Four 50-minute classes a week (Monday-Thursday). Prerequisite, 120 or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 16. Nozaki.

140S Fourth-Term Japanese.
Intermediate Japanese with continued emphasis on oral communication. An additional 108 kanji characters will be introduced. Four 50-minute classes a week (Monday-Thursday). Prerequisite, 130, or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 16. Nozaki.

160S Modern Selves and Ways of Seeing: Japanese Film, Animation, and Literature.
Modern technology has changed the ways in which we see and understand the world around us, as well as ourselves. Up to today, technological advancements have continued to inspire artists to create works that depict such sensorial changes in human experience. This course will examine Japanese animation, films, and literary works that draw our attention to new modes of perception and ways of engaging with the world in the modern age. Open to First-years only. (Writing-intensive.) Taught in English. No prior knowledge of Japan is required. Maximum enrollment, 16. Kyoko Omori.

200F Advanced Japanese I.
Increasing emphasis on written Japanese, with acquisition of an additional 160 kanji characters. Prerequisite, 140, or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 16. Nozaki.

[205S] Topics in Japanese Linguistics.
This course explores Japanese phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. Students will compare Japanese with English and examine universal perspectives of language. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, 110, Anthropology 201 or consent of instructor. (Same as Linguistics 205.)

219/319F Language Acquisition.
Examines interface phenomena between pragmatics and language acquisition. Students will learn theoretical issues of semantics/pragmatics and the theory of the first language acquisition. Target languages to examine various phenomena are Chinese, Japanese, Korean and English. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) (Same as Linguistics 219/319.) Kamiya.

220S Advanced Japanese II.
Continuation of Advanced Japanese I, with guided practice in reading modern texts with acquisition of additional 250 kanji characters. Prerequisite, 200, or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 16. Nozaki.

[230S] Morphology and Syntax.
This course explores the relationship between word formation and sentence formation by examining English and Japanese grammar (and, to a certain degree, that of other languages). Ultimately, both morphology and syntax play important roles in the interpretation of sentences. No previous linguistics background or Japanese language background is necessary. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) (Same as Linguistics 230.)

239/339F Modern Japan: Japanese Culture and Society From A(-Bomb) to (Dragon Ball)Z.
This course explores issues of imperialism, military conflict, pacifism, nuclear victimhood, foreign occupation, national identity, and social responsibility in 19th to 21st-century Japan. Materials include nonfiction, science fiction, poetry, war propaganda, novels, censorship documents, animé, and film. Taught in English. No knowledge of Japanese language or history required. (Same as Literature and Creative Writing 239.) Omori.

[255] The Languages of East Asia.
Examines Chinese, Japanese and Korean as well as other languages found in East Asia. Topics include the syntactic (possible word order, inflections, particles, and combinations of all of them) and phonological structures (phoneme, pitch vs. tone, sound patterns) of these languages; the relationships of the languages to each other; differences and similarities of these languages from the universal point of view; the geographical, social and historical settings. No knowledge of any Asian language necessary. (Same as Linguistics 255.)

260S Place, Memory, and Empathy: Japan and Its Others.
Focusing on Japan as a point of reference, this course will consider how the notion of “place” gets constructed through human emotions as something more than just a set of geographical coordinates. Examining a range of literary works and films, we will study how “Japan” has been imagined, constructed, and remembered in the 20th century through storytelling. Topics to be covered include Japan’s imperialism in Asia, Hiroshima/Nagasaki, Vietnam War, minorities in Japan, and anime. Taught in English. No prior knowledge of Japan is required. Open to Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors only. Kyoko Omori.

298S Field Study in Japan: Place, Memory, and Empathy.
Focusing on Japan as a point of reference, this spring recess field study will consider how the notion of “place” gets constructed through human emotions. Students will take basic language and culture sessions at Doshisha Univ in Kyoto, as well as visit locations of historical, cultural, or political significances in Kyoto and Hiroshima. After the trip, students will upload to a digital archive the stories of the places they studied. Concurrent registration in JAPN260 required. A quarter credit course. Selection of participants takes place in November of the previous semester. Maximum enrollment, 6. Omori.

356F Introduction to Japanese Film.
Traces the history of one of the world’s most innovative film industries. Since the early 20th century, Japanese film makers have experimented with and improved upon cinema; their work has been influential not only in Japan but throughout the world. From the drama of early silent movies to anime, we’ll cover some of the “greatest hits” of Japanese film, whether widely popular or critically acclaimed. This exploration of cinema in Japan will offer both a new perspective on cinema itself as well as an opportunity to view the genre’s development in a specific cultural context. Prerequisite, Cinema and New Media Studies 120, Comparative Literature 120, Art History 120, any 100-level course in Asian studies or Japanese, or consent of the instructor. No prior knowledge of Japanese history, language or film required. Omori.

401F Selected Readings in Japanese.
Reading in modern literary and non-literary texts and mastery of the remaining kanji characters on the joyo kanji list. Through advanced-level reading of original texts and in-depth discussion, students focus on topics such as Japanese literature, film, culture and linguistics. This course also accommodates and guides senior theses. Prerequisite, 220, or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 16. Omori.

402S Japanese Textual Analysis and Translation.
Designed for students who want to achieve near-native proficiency in all four skills in Japanese language. Particular attention given to translation of literary and other texts. This course also accommodates and guides senior theses. Course conducted in Japanese. Prerequisite, 401, or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 16. Omori.