The East Asian Studies (EAS) Program challenges the student to understand China, Japan and Korea through the rigors of language study and the analytical tools of various academic disciplines. This process demands both broad exposure to different subjects and a focused perspective on a particular feature of the East Asian landscape. Japan, Korea and China are related yet distinctive civilizations. Each has its own traditions and patterns of development. These traditions have played an important role in the development of culture around the globe and remain formative influences today. Students interested in East Asian Studies will be guided by the expectations for liberal learning at Wesleyan and by the program's inter-disciplinary approach.
Professor Shengqing Wu
Professor Shengqing Wu, newly promoted to Associate Professor with tenure, has also been elected as President of the Association of Chinese and Comparative Literature for 2013-2015. In addition, her first book has been published: Modern Archaics: Continuity and Innovation in the Chinese Lyric Tradition, 1900-1937 (Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series, 2013). Here is a description of this important new book:
After the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911 and the rise of a vernacular language movement, most scholars and writers declared the classical Chinese poetic tradition to be dead. But how could a longstanding high poetic form simply grind to a halt, even in the face of tumultuous social change? In this groundbreaking book, Shengqing Wu explores the transformation of Chinese classical-style poetry in the early twentieth century. Drawing on extensive archival research into the poetry collections and literary journals of two generations of poets and critics, Wu discusses the continuing significance of the classical form with its densely allusive and intricately wrought style. She combines close readings of poems with a depiction of the cultural practices their authors participated in, including poetry gatherings, the use of mass media, international travel, and translation, to show how the lyrical tradition was a dynamic force fully capable of engaging with modernity. By examining the works and activities of previously neglected poets who maintained their commitment to traditional aesthetic ideals, Modern Archaics illuminates the splendor of Chinese lyricism and highlights the mutually transformative power of the modern and the archaic.