East Asian studies

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East Asian Studies is a distinct multidisciplinary field of scholarly enquiry and education that promotes a broad humanistic understanding of East Asia past and present. The field includes the study of the region's culture, written language, history, and political institutions. East Asian Studies is located within the broader field of Area studies and is also interdisciplinary in character, incorporating elements of the social sciences (anthropology, economics, sociology, politics etc.) and humanities (literature, history, film, etc.), among others. The field encourages scholars from diverse disciplines to exchanges ideas on scholarship as it relates to the East Asian experience and the experience of East Asia in the world. In addition, the field encourages scholars to educate others to have a deeper understanding of, and appreciation and respect for, all that is East Asia and, therefore, to promote peaceful human integration worldwide.

At American universities, the study of East Asian Humanities is traditionally housed in EALC (East Asian Languages and Civilizations or Cultures) departments, which run majors in Chinese and Japanese Language and Literature, and sometimes Korean Language and Literature. East Asian Studies programs, on the other hand, are typically interdisciplinary centers that bring together literary scholars, historians, anthropologists, sociologists, political scientists, etc. from their various departments and schools to promote instructional programs, conferences, and lecture series of common interest. East Asian Studies centers also often run interdisciplinary undergraduate and master's degree programs in East Asian Studies.

Orientalism and modernity[edit]

Main article: Orientalism

As part of the opposition to the Vietnam War in the 1960s, younger faculty and graduate students criticized the field for complicity in what they saw as American imperialism. In particular, the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars debated and published alternative approaches not centered in the United States or funded, as many American programs were, by the American government or major foundations. They charged that Japan was held up as a model of non-revolutionary modernization and the field focused on modernization theory in order to fend off revolution. In the following decades, many critics were inspired by Edward Said's 1978 book Orientalism, while others, writing from the point of view of the quantitative or theoretical social sciences, saw Area Studies in general and East Asian Studies in particular, as amorphous and lacking in rigor.[1]

Critiques were also mounted from other points in the political spectrum. Ramon H. Myers and Thomas A. Metzger, two scholars based at the generally conservative Hoover Institution, charged that "the 'revolution' paradigm increasingly overshadowed the 'modernization' paradigm" and “this fallacy has become integral to much of the writing on modern Chinese history,” discrediting or ignoring other factors in the history of modern China.[2]

Noted East Asian studies programmes[edit]

Australia[edit]

Austria[edit]

Czech Republic[edit]

Canada[edit]

France[edit]

Germany[edit]

Hong Kong[edit]

Finland[edit]

India[edit]

Italy[edit]

Japan[edit]

South Korea[edit]

Macau[edit]

Malaysia[edit]

Poland[edit]

Slovakia[edit]

Singapore[edit]

Spain[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

United States[edit]

The universities listed are NRC Awardees:[3]

Journals[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Judith Farquhar, James Hevia, “Culture and Postwar American Historiography of China,” positions 1.2 (1993): 486-525; Andrew Gordon, “Rethinking Area Studies, Once More” The Journal of Japanese Studies 30. 2, (Summer 2004): 417-429.
  2. ^ “Sinological Shadows: The State of Modern China Studies in the United States,” The Washington Quarterly (Spring 1980): 87-114, quote at p. 89.
  3. ^ "National Resource Centers_World Area: East Asia". 

External links[edit]

Library guides to East Asian studies[edit]