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Asian Languages and Literatures

Asian Languages and Literatures

The Asian languages and literatures courses are often interdisciplinary in approach, introducing historical background, social, philosophical, and political issues, and other cultural concerns.

Fall 2015 Chinese and Japanese Placement Examinations

Learn more about Fall 2015 Chinese and Japanese placement examinations.


Learning Objectives

The objective of a major in Asian Languages and Literatures is to develop advanced language skills and to provide an introduction to the literary and cultural traditions of China and Japan, from early times to the present day. The emphasis is on oral proficiency, as well as literacy, in either Chinese or Japanese. Upper-division classes develop analytical skills through the critical study of literary texts.

To foster an awareness and understanding of Asian cultures, departmental courses are often interdisciplinary in approach, introducing historical background, social, philosophical, and political issues, and other cultural concerns. Students are also encouraged to broaden their knowledge of China and Japan by taking courses in other disciplines in the Asian Studies program. Many students of Chinese and Japanese study for a semester or more in China and Japan; opportunities currently include programs in Nanjing and Taipei, Kyoto and Tokyo. A multimedia center, with state-of-the-art audio, computer, and video equipment and a growing film library, further enriches the study of Asian languages, literatures, and cultures.

Department Learning Goals for Chinese and Japanese Majors

Students who graduate with a major in Chinese or Japanese are expected to be proficient in their chosen language and to have a solid grounding in the literature and culture of China or Japan. By proficient in the language, we mean to be capable of speaking fluently with good grammatical, lexical and cultural accuracy in formal and informal speaking styles; reading authentic texts such as literature, newspapers, and magazines; understanding spoken language in daily conversations, public speeches and media; engaging and discussing cultural values and assumptions in readings and mass media; translating a short story, essay, poetry, or excerpts from news, film and other media, writing accurate and meaningful reports and descriptions in formal written prose, and letters and notes in formal and informal language; and, in the case Chinese majors, reading classical Chinese texts of moderate difficulty, and , in the case of Japanese majors, reading annotated texts in classical Japanese. By a solid grounding in the literature and culture of China or Japan, we main a knowledge of classical and modern literary texts, films, and other media; ability to analyze and interpret texts in an informed and sensitive way, both orally and in writing; understanding and experience of cultural practices, enabling successful interaction in a Chinese or Japanese cultural environment; and the ability to undertake and implement independent research, showing a command of primary and secondary sources.

Department Learning Goals as Reflected in the Senior Exercise

The senior exercise requires students to combine a high level of ability in Chinese or Japanese language with an understanding of literature and culture. In Chinese, students must, with guidance and correction, translate into English Chinese literary texts (a short story, poems, or extracts from a novel, play, or memoir) from both the modern and the pre-modern eras. Japanese majors normally do an integrated, thesis-like project-conducting a translation in the fall and a complementary analytical study in the spring. In either language, majors must demonstrate an understanding of the context, value, and importance of the texts under examination; locate and employ relevant secondary sources relating to the author(s) and work(s) in question; and demonstrate familiarity with basic reference works and academic resources useful in the reading and study of the target literature.

Allan BarrChinese Coordinator, Professor of Chinese (909) 621-8934Mason 219
Eileen ChengAssociate Professor of Chinese (909) 607-7109Mason 208
Peter FlueckigerDepartment Chair and Associate Professor of Japanese (909) 621-8936Mason 204
Sharon HouAssociate Professor of Chinese (909) 621-8935Mason 211
Kyoko KuritaProfessor of Japanese (909) 621-8933Mason 212
Claire LiLecturer of Chinese (909) 607-0717Mason 213
Lynne MiyakeJapanese Coordinator and Professor of Japanese (909) 621-8931Mason 205
Aya NakagoshiKanji Instructor (909) 621-8618Mason 210
Kazumi TakahaskiAdjunct Associate Professor of Japanese (909) 621-8928Mason 209
Feng XiaoAssistant Professor of Chinese (909) 621-8621
Tamaki Terada-LandisLecturer of Japanese (909) 607-7110Mason 218
Jianhsin WuAdjunct Professor of Chinese (909) 621-8940Mason 207
Mingming LiuLecturer (909) 621-8928Mason 209
Emeriti Faculty
Stanleigh JonesEmeritus Professor of Japanese (909) 607-8556104 Baldwin House
Sheri ShepherdAcademic Department Coordinator (909) 621-8616Mason 231
Student Liaisons
Eric Cooper
Jacob  Feord
Xinyu (Frances) Wu
Amelia DeSnoo
Calum McCarty
Theresa Wong

Mailing AddressPomona College, Asian Languages and Literatures, 550 N. Harvard Avenue, Claremont, CA 91711

Phone(909) 621-8616

Fax(909) 607-3596

Campus LocationMason 231