Chair, Professor CORNELIUS C. KUBLER

Professor: C. KUBLER. Associate Professor: YAMADA. Assistant Professors: ISHIKAWA, SILBER. Lecturer: C. CHANG. Visiting Lecturer: KOBAYASHI. Visiting Instructors: CHEN, J. KUBLER. Teaching Associates: TENG, YANG. Adjunct Faculty for the Major: Professor: FROST*. Associate Professors: CRANE, JUST***. Assistant Professors: BACON, DREYFUS, JANG, RAMBELLI, RAO*, REEVES, WONG.

The Department of Asian Studies offers courses in English in the field of Asian Studies as well as courses in Japanese language, Chinese language, and Chinese literature. An eleven-course interdisciplinary Asian Studies major is offered which allows students to choose from a wide range of courses in the languages, literatures, anthropology, art, economy, history, politics, religion, and sociology of China, Japan, and other Asian countries. Students with questions about the Asian Studies major or about Asian Studies course offerings should consult the chair.


The structure of the Asian Studies major is as follows:

(1) Language Courses: All majors are required to take at least four semesters of one of the Asian languages taught at Williams. The courses currently offered are:

Chinese 101-102 Elementary Chinese

Chinese 201, 202 Intermediate Chinese

Chinese 301, 302 Third Year Chinese

Chinese 401, 402 Fourth Year Chinese

Chinese 497, 498 Independent Study

Japanese 101-102 Elementary Japanese

Japanese 201, 202 Intermediate Japanese

Japanese 301, 302 Third Year Japanese

Japanese 401, 402 Fourth Year Japanese

Japanese 497, 498 Independent Study

In addition, students should note that elementary courses in Hindi and Korean are offered under the auspices of the Critical Languages program. Since only one year of each is currently available, they may not be used to satisfy the language requirement, though they can be used as electives.

(2) Senior Seminar: All senior majors must complete the Senior Seminar, Asian Studies 401.

(3) Electives: All students are required to take six electives, which may include further language work. Two of the electives should be at the 300 level or above and at least two must be drawn from the list below. The subject matter of at least one of the six electives should involve an Asian country or countries other than that of the student's primary interest. One approved Winter Study Project and up to four courses taken elsewhere may count toward the major. All the courses to be credited toward the major must be approved by the major advisor. Electives include:

Anthropology 213 Center and Periphery: State, Society and the Individual in Southeast Asia

ANSO 221 An Introduction to India

ArtH 172 Introduction to Asian Art: From the Land of the Buddha to the World of the Geisha

ArtH 270 Japanese Art and Culture

ArtH 274 Chinese Calligraphy: Theory and Practice

ArtH 371 Goddesses in Asian Art

ArtH 376 Zen Painting in China and Japan

Chinese 243 Gender Issues in Traditional Chinese Literature

Chinese 244 Writers and Society in Twentieth-Century China

Chinese 254 Modern Chinese Literature in Translation (Deleted 1997-98)

Economics/Environmental Studies 218 Population Economics

Economics 364 Economic Development (Deleted 1997-98)

History 111 Topics in Asian American History

History 117 History as Politics: Japan

History 284 Modern China, 1800-Present: Continuity and Change

History 285 Modern Japan

History 322 Vietnam

History 331 Comparative Asian-American History, 1850-1965

History 332 Contemporary Issues in Recent Asian-American History, 1965-Present

History 358 The Chinese-American Experience

History 365 Women in Chinese History

History 384 Contemporary Japan

Political Science 241 The Political Economy of East Asia

Political Science 247 Political Power in Contemporary China

Political Science 320 China, Japan, and the World

Religion 241 Hinduism: Construction of a Tradition

Religion 242 Buddhism: Concepts and Experiences

Religion 251 Technologies of No-Self: Buddhist Meditation in East Asia

Religion 252 The Body Religious in Chinese Culture

Religion 254 Religion and Culture in Contemporary Japan

Religion 256 Inventing Japan: Religion, Power, and Cultural Identity

Religion 304 Interpreting Across Boundaries: Hermeneutics and Orientalism


Students intending to major in Asian Studies are encouraged to study in Asia during one or both semesters of their junior year. Williams sponsors study abroad programs in China and Japan. Opportunities to study in India, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, and other Asian countries are also available. Prospective Asian Studies majors who are planning to study abroad should discuss their plans with the chair as far in advance as possible. Up to eight courses taken overseas can count toward graduation, and up to four courses taken overseas may be counted toward the major.


Students interested in writing an honors thesis in Asian Studies should submit a proposal to the department chair when they register for courses in the spring of their junior year. The proposal should include a statement of the topic, a general description of the types of materials available for study and how the study will be carried out, and the name of the faculty member who will serve as advisor. Admission to the honors thesis program will normally be limited to students who have maintained at least a B+ average in their Asian Studies courses.

Students admitted to the program should register for ASST W031 and ASST 494. They will be expected to turn in the final draft of their thesis shortly after spring break and to discuss their results formally with their faculty graders. Their final grades in the two courses listed above and the award of Honors, Highest Honors, or no honors will be determined by the quality of the thesis and student's performance in the oral defense.


The Linen summer grants for study abroad, the Linen visiting professorships, and several other programmatic activities in the department are supported by an endowment for Asian Studies established by family and friends in memory of James A. Linen III, Class of 1934, Trustee of the College from 1948 to 1953 and from 1963 to 1982.