Our mission, in keeping with the spirit of the internationalized Wisconsin Idea, is to meaningfully relate knowledge generated from critical, self-reflective engagement with the cultures of East Asia to broader issues in the humanities and beyond. Our conviction is that this knowledge, when pursued in a comparative context not only among the cultures of East Asia but also between East Asia and the rest of the world, is essential to addressing the big questions about the human condition in its present historical moment.
To this end, the 17 faculty members offer several academic programs to train students at all level in our department and at the University more broadly. At the undergraduate level, these include majors both in Chinese and in Japanese, professional communication certificates both in Chinese and Japanese, and a non-degree program in Korean Language and Culture. At the graduate level, these include M.A. and Ph. D. degree programs both in Chinese and in Japanese, with tracks in linguistics and in literature & culture. Additionally, tracks both in Korean Studies and in Transasian Studies fall under one or both of the existing graduate degree programs.
Accordingly, department faculty members actively participate in this mission through research, publication, and scholarly gatherings in the international community of East Asianists in order to contribute to the development and spread of new knowledge concerning East Asia, in Wisconsin as well as around the world. We also engage in service to our fields and to the people of Wisconsin. Specific educational goals include: (1) teaching the languages of East Asian in their historical contexts from classical to contemporary times; (2) teaching literary, linguistic, and cultural history from the earliest times to the present; (3) facilitating familiarity with and understanding East Asian literary, historical, and cultural canons, important new works in those languages, and scholarship in the field; (4) training prospective scholars in the art of research; (5) training prospective teachers of language, literature, and culture in the profession as well as in the subject matter; and (6) conveying an awareness of the unique features of the civilizations under study while simultaneously contextualizing them in a larger Transasian context.