East Asian Languages and Literatures

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

Students sitting around a table eating asian food Students sitting around a table eating asian food

The Department of East Asian Languages and Literature offers a full four-year program of language courses in both Chinese and Japanese, as well as literature and culture courses in English. The department’s curricula provide solid disciplinary training, preparing students to meet the challenges in further graduate studies or in career development.

East Asian Languages and Literatures

Language courses in the EALL Department develop advanced communication skills in Japanese and Chinese through intensive language training and provide a foundation for understanding cultural traditions of China and Japan. The literature in translation courses foster an awareness and understanding of East Asian cultures through an interdisciplinary approach, introducing historical background, social, philosophical, political issues and other cultural concerns relevant and necessary to the understanding of the literary and other cultural texts. 

Opportunities 

The department encourages close interactions between students and the faculty. Diverse East Asian cultural activities such as A Taste of Asia and the Lunar New Year Celebration give students opportunities to practice their language skills outside the classroom in a relaxed, social setting. The department also sponsors Spring Term study abroad programs to China and Japan, where students are not only engaged in immersion language learning, but also in studying East Asian cultures through close contacts with their peoples.

EALL majors are encouraged to spend a summer, a semester or a year studying abroad in China and Japan to enhance their proficiency in language and to broaden their knowledge of East Asian cultures.

Each year the department awards The Andrew M. Hemm Prize of Excellence to two students with the highest average grades during their first two years of Chinese and Japanese studies respectively. In addition, the department offers The James Boardman Study Abroad Scholarship to two students preparing to study abroad.

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.

Yanhong Zhu

Department Head

Jacque Bruce

Administrative Assistant

News


W&L Outcomes: Lillie Taylor ’24

Taylor is moving to Niigata Prefecture, Japan, to work as an assistant language teacher for the JET Program.

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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 Chelsea Adotey ’24 Awarded Slot in Highly Regarded JET Program

Adotey will start her role in the Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program in early August 2024.

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W&L’s Lillie Taylor ’24 Selected for Prestigious JET Program

Taylor will work as an assistant language teacher in Japan before pursuing her teaching certification.

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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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W&L to Host “Slices of Research” Program at Salerno Wood Fired Pizza & Taphouse

Newly promoted faculty members will present their research in a PechaKucha format on Jan. 30.

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W&L’s Wren Markley ’23 Selected for Prestigious JET Program

Markley will start their role in the Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program by early August 2023.

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Amanda Green ' 07 at Yonderyear

Growing a Greener Future

For W&L alumni Kevin Green ’07 and Amanda Green ’06, nature and nurture go hand-in-hand.

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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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Visitors mingle during Born of Fire opening reception

Lighting a Fire

The Museums at W&L invites visitors to reflect on “Born of Fire: Contemporary Japanese Women Ceramic Artists,” on display through April 29.

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Columns - Around Campus graphic

The Center of Theater Arts Collaboration Presents “Song of Silk: A Beijing Opera and Chinese Music Concert”

The residency, co-hosted by W&L and VMI, includes workshops on March 23 and a concert on March 24.

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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 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. Certain language features and their use and context are provided. Extensive drills and practices of the sentence patterns and specialized vocabulary, both in and out of class, further help students use the business and legal Chinese appropriately.

CHIN 311

Advanced Chinese I

Advanced readings with discussion in Chinese. This course reinforces Chinese structural patterns and extensive acquisition of Chinese characters and enhances students’ ability to speak and to write. Topics involving current Chinese culture are introduced and discussed.

JAPN 311

Advanced Japanese I

Advanced readings, discussion in Japanese and written responses to a variety of literary materials, including relevant journal and newspaper articles.

LIT 218

Pre-Modern Chinese Lit in Translation

A survey of Chinese literature from the earliest period to the founding of the Republic in 1912. Taught in English, the course presupposes no previous knowledge of China or Chinese culture. The literature is presented in the context of its intellectual, philosophical and cultural background. Texts used may vary from year to year and include a wide selection of fiction, poetry, historical documents, Chinese drama (opera) and prose works.

LIT 221

Japanese Lit in Translation

An introduction to Japanese literature in its historical and cultural contexts from premodern to modern times. The course materials draw upon selections from the earliest prose works to contemporary fiction of representative modern writers.

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.

Saori Nozaki
Saori Nozaki

Saori Nozaki

Instructor of Japanese

Zuoting Wen
Zuoting Wen

Zuoting Wen

Visiting Assistant Professor of Chinese

Janet Ikeda Yuba
Janet Ikeda Yuba

Janet Ikeda Yuba

Associate Professor of Japanese

Ikeda teaches and researches Japanese language, culture and literature. Ikeda has been involved in U.S.- Japan relations and has been a member of several councils, committees and delegations to promote good relations.

Hongchu Fu
Saori Nozaki
Zuoting Wen
Janet Ikeda Yuba
Yanhong Zhu