Center for East Asian Studies
Professors from a broad spectrum of academic departments work together in the Center for East Asian Studies to provide a nexus for teaching and research focused on China, Japan, Korea, and Mongolia. Contributing members represent colleges and departments from across the campus community, including the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the College of Business and Economics, and Huxley College. The Center serves as a focal point for Western Washington University's interaction with East Asia, and an arena for vibrant intellectual cross-pollination from a variety of disciplines. From an academic perspective, it helps promote rigorous training in the study of East Asia and Inner Asia. With Asian economies, languages, cultures, and political realities continuing to rank high in global importance, diverse expertise in this region is an essential asset for any university. The opportunity for students to receive degrees in East Asian Studies represents an important aspect of the university curriculum.
The Center's broad interdisciplinary program offers Western's students a chance to minor or major in East Asian Studies with choice of several specific academic focuses, including history, politics, economics, and cultural studies. The unity of the major is maintained by a requirement that all majors take EAS 302, "Methods and Materials in East Asian Studies," where they are required to write an original research paper on a topic of their choosing. Students publicly present the results of their research at a seminar later in the year as part of the university's Scholar's Week events. The major also includes, as one of its core components, a requirement to achieve intermediate fluency in an East Asian language, with most students choosing to take up to two years of either Chinese or Japanese. The major and minor also allow students with broader interests in political science, history, art, religion, or literature to focus specifically on East Asia, as a key region of world culture. Students in the program are eligible for a number of scholarships that promote the study of Inner Asia and East Asia, including the Henry G. Schwarz Scholarship in Mongolian Studies ($1,000), and the Sarah Anne Wirth Scholarship in East Asian Studies and History ($1,000).
As a complement to the academic offerings and as a service to the campus and local community, the Center sponsors lectures, presentations and other activities related to East Asia. The Center contributes to the East Asian field through two publication series - "Studies on East Asia" and "East Asian Research Aids and Translations" - underscoring the contributing faculty's commitment to serious research. It also maintains special relationships with several other campus organizations such as the International Programs and Exchanges Office, the Asia University America Program, and the Center for International Studies and Programs. The Center is also an active member of the American Center for Mongolian Studies, which maintains a part-time office on Western's campus.