Course work in East Asian studies began in 1920, when the University established the Japanese Department. Two years later in 1922, the Chinese Department was established. Historically, the University of Hawaii was in the forefront among American colleges and universities in teaching the East Asian languages.
Today the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, which comprises Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages and literatures, is a degree granting program. Students may obtain the BA, MA or PhD degree with an area of concentration. Within each area of concentration, graduate students may choose to emphasize either language or literature. Undergraduate students are able to major in a chosen language and literature. The MA program is designed to provide students with advanced professional training in the history and structure of the chosen language and the literature of that language. The Ph.D. is offered with concentrations in Chinese, Japanese and Korean linguistics and literatures, and comparative studies exploring the relations of a language and literature of East Asia. In addition, the Department also offers certificate in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
Faculty members directly involved in East Asian Language and Literature total over 60.
Collection development for East Asian Languages and literatures is an integral part of the East Asian area program. (See also separate statements for China, Japan, and Korea collections.)
The deterioration of the Chinese and Japanese collections is a major concern. (See also China and Japan statements.) Gift books contribute significantly to the East Asia collections. Since handling and processing gift items involve multi-departmental effort, it is important to coordinate with Gifts and Exchange, Preservation, and Cataloging Department before accepting large quantity of books donation.
Date compiled: 3/02 Compiler: Susie Cheng