Princeton University East Asian Studies Department

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The East Asian Studies Department at Princeton University originally began as the Department of Oriental Languages and Literature (also later known as the Department of Oriental Studies) in 1927. Both the graduate Semitic and Indo-European Philology programs presented an increasing need for an Asian studies curriculum that could not be addressed by these departments. The Department of Oriental Languages and Literature was formed in response to this growing need. In 1937, an undergraduate program also began to take shape, beginning with courses in Chinese art and Far Eastern politics. World War II hindered the development of the Asian language curriculum until 1956 when Frederick W. Mote, a graduate of the Department of Oriental Studies, began regular work in Chinese.

In 1960, the Department of Oriental Languages and Literature expanded to include Japanese language and literature courses. Marius Jansen was appointed as the head of the Japanese program. During this time, an experimental Korean program was offered, which included studies in language, history, and politics. However, this program proved unsuccessful, and another Korean program would not be instituted until 1993. In 1969, the Department of Oriental Studies received independent status and was renamed the East Asian Studies Department (the other component forming the Department of Near Eastern Studies).[1]

The East Asian Studies Department cooperates with the Department of Art and Archaeology to offer a doctoral program in Chinese or Japanese art and archaeology.[2]

Korean program[edit]

The Korean program officially began offering courses in 1993. The four courses offered were Elementary Korean I and II and Intermediate Korean I and II. These subjects were taught by Professor Gwee-sook Kim and Professor Bong Choi. Since then, the Korean language program has been growing steadily to include a greater diversity of classes for students to choose from. Since the spring of 2011, students could select from eight courses including Advanced Korean I and II, Contemporary Korean Language and Culture, and 4th year Korean. The Korean language department welcomes all students who have an interest in Korean language and culture. Students are placed into the appropriate class based on level of proficiency as determined by placement tests. For those who wish to continue Korean studies in Korea either during the school year or after graduation, there are study abroad relationships and scholarships available at the South Korean institutions of Yonsei University, Sogang University, and Seoul National University.[3]


  1. ^ Leitch, Alexander (1978). A Princeton Companion. Princeton: Princeton University Press. pp. 144–145.
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-06-22. Retrieved 2016-03-31.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Oberdorfer, Don (1995). Princeton University: The First 250 Years. Italy: Mondadori.

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