• Degree Type Bachelor of Arts
  • Department East Asian Languages and Literatures
  • Academic Division The College
  • Offerings Major Minor

Students on the Great Wall of China Students on the Great Wall of China

Chinese language courses develop advanced communication skills through intensive language training, and provide a foundation for understanding cultural traditions of China. The literature in translation courses aim to foster an awareness and understanding of East Asian cultures through an interdisciplinary approach, introducing historical background; social, philosophical and political issues.


The department’s curricula provide solid disciplinary training, preparing students to meet the challenges in future graduate studies or in career development.

World Language FDR

One of the Foundation and Distribution Requirements at Washington and Lee is proficiency in a world language. The EALL Department offers coursework towards language proficiency in Chinese and Japanese.


Alumni of the EALL Department go on to enriching experiences and careers. Students have received fellowships like the Fulbright, Critical Language Scholarship, and Princeton in Asia Fellowship. They also go on to graduate school.

“Chinese has turned out to be one of the most rewarding journeys I’ve ever embarked on, and I love it so much that I decided to major in it.”

Amelia Lancaster
Class of 2022

Yanhong Zhu

Department Head

Jacque Bruce

Administrative Assistant


Five W&L Students Awarded Gilman Scholarships to Study Abroad

The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards of up to $5,000 to U.S. undergraduate students who are Pell Grant recipients.

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W&L’s Benton Copeland ’24 Awarded Fulbright to Taiwan

Copeland has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach English in Taiwan.

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Record Number of W&L Students Awarded Critical Language Scholarship

The Critical Language Scholarship Program funds a summer of overseas language and cultural immersion.

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Hongchu Fu

W&L Professor Publishes Book in English Translation with Full Annotations

Hongchu Fu offers a look into the Yuan Dynasty under Mongol Rule in “Three Yuan Plays by Yang Zi.”

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Kristina Lozinskaya '22

W&L’s Kristina Lozinskaya ’22 Among 2024 Class of Schwarzman Scholars

Lozinskaya, a 2022 graduate, will receive a master’s degree in global affairs from Tsinghua University in China.

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Weinstein Scholars Ian Bodenheimer '22, Tyler Waldman '24, Sophie Huber '25, and Andrew Tartakovsky '23 at Pass the Plate, a cultural food-tasting event they planned.

Pass the Plate Celebrates Cultural Heritage Through Food

The Weinstein Scholar annual program invited students to take a culinary trip around the world without leaving the Washington and Lee campus.

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Six W&L Students Awarded Critical Language Scholarships

Six undergraduate students received Critical Language Scholarships, which will provide them the opportunity to study language intensively during summer 2022.

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Program Spotlight: Center for International Education – Study Abroad

Approximately 70% of students participate in an abroad program during their time at W&L.

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Amelia Lancaster '22

‘What I Love About the Liberal Arts’

Amelia Lancaster '22 has used her W&L experience to explore a number of interests, ultimately finding a passion in museum studies and Chinese that has allowed her to co-curate a museum exhibition on campus.

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John Adekola '24

Making the Call to Give Back

John Adekola ’24 sees his role with Phonathon as a chance to make a difference at W&L.

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This figure of a deer made in the early 19th century exemplifies how Chinese potters blended elaborate design for European tastes with encoded symbolic meaning.

Beauty in the Beasts

A deer figure on display in a new Watson Galleries exhibit, "Auspicious Animals," is an example of the Chinese practice of blending European tastes with encoded symbolic meaning.

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In this 2019 photo, Maria Kisker '21 studies in the Ruscio Center for Global Learning at W&L.

A Taste of China

When her Critical Language Scholarship to China went virtual because of COVID, Kisker '21 got a six-week sampler of the country and its language through her computer screen.

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Sample Courses

At W&L, we believe education and experience go hand-in-hand. You’ll be encouraged to dive in, explore and discover connections that will broaden your perspective.

CHIN 103

Beginning Chinese (Study Abroad)

This course is designed to introduce Chinese language and culture to students with little or no previous Chinese language background and prepare them for studying first-year Chinese. Combining language study with studies of other aspects of Chinese culture (literature, art, history, economy, etc.) provides students with firsthand experience of the development of contemporary China.

EALL 215

East Asian Cinema

This course provides an introduction to and overview of contemporary East Asian cinema, including the Chinese-language cinemas of the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and those of Japan and Korea. It focuses on the flourishing cinema of East Asia since the 1980s and provides a solid foundation in the successes and dominant tendencies of contemporary East Asian cinema and culture.

CHIN 305

Intro to Business & Legal Chinese

This course provides basic knowledge of the Chinese language necessary for doing business and for handling legal issues. Topics are selected that represent typical business and legal use of the language, and discussion of the grammar.

HIST 105

Scenes from Chinese History

This course is intended to explore how contemporary People’s Republic of China cinema has interpreted Chinese history, as represented by some of that history’s pre-PRC milestones of conflict in the Qin and Qing dynasties as well as the Republican period. Students evaluate the films critically as historical products of their own times as well as current historical narratives of the past by examining each event through a pair of films produced at different times in PRC history.

ARTH 288

Chinese Export Porcelain & the China Trade

This course covers the development and history of Chinese export porcelain made for the European and American markets and its role as a commodity in the China Trade. Students examine Chinese export porcelain from several different perspectives, including art history, material culture and economic history.

More to Explore

At W&L, students studying Chinese have access to unparalleled resources and opportunities.

Study Abroad

See the World

Spring Term programs to China engage students in immersion language learning and allow them to study Chinese culture and experience the Chinese way of life firsthand. Additionally, EALL majors are encouraged to spend a summer, a semester or a year studying abroad in China. Programs are available for study abroad in Beijing, Nanjing, Harbin and Hangzhou, among other locations.


Earn Accolades

The Andrew M. Hemm Prize of Excellence is awarded annually to two students with the highest average grades during their first two years of Chinese and Japanese studies. James Boardman Study Abroad Scholarships are awarded to two students preparing to study abroad.


Get Involved

The EALL Department is home to a plethora of cultural activities throughout the year; these opportunities allow students to practice their language skills outside the classroom in a relaxed social environment. Events include A Taste of Asia, the Chinese New Year celebration, Japanese tea ceremonies, lectures, art, poetry and much more.


Touch History

The Reeves Collection at W&L contains ceramics made in Asia, Europe and the Americas between 1500 and today, and the collection of Chinese export porcelain is phenomenal. Curator Ron Fuchs offers a course in Chinese export porcelain that makes it possible for students to examine porcelain from various perspectives while exploring the university’s collection.

Meet the Faculty

At W&L, students enjoy small classes and close relationships with professors who educate and nurture.

Yanhong Zhu
Yanhong Zhu

Yanhong Zhu

Department Head; Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures

Yanhong Zhu’s research interests include modern Chinese literature and culture, contemporary Chinese cinema, and Chinese language pedagogy. She teaches Chinese language courses at all levels as well as courses on modern Chinese literature and East Asian cinema.

Hongchu Fu
Hongchu Fu

Hongchu Fu

Professor of Chinese Language and Literature

Fu teaches courses in Chinese language ranging from the elementary to advanced level. He also teaches several courses in literature, such as Evolution of Chinese Fiction. His research pertains to pre-modern Chinese drama.

Hongchu Fu
Yanhong Zhu