Degree Type Bachelor of Arts
Department East Asian Languages and Literatures
Academic Division The College
Offerings Major Minor
The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures (EALL), which houses the Chinese and Japanese programs, is committed to the mission of liberal arts education in an increasingly diverse and global world, both for students pursuing the major and for non-majors interested in East Asian languages and literatures.


The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures (EALL) offers a four-year program of language courses in both Chinese and Japanese, as well as literature and culture courses taught in English.

Japanese language courses are designed to develop advanced communication skills through intensive language training, and to provide a foundation for understanding the cultural traditions of Japan. 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; and other cultural concerns relevant and necessary to the understanding of the literary and other cultural texts. The department’s curricula provide solid disciplinary training, preparing students to meet the challenges in further 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.

Students with no background in the Japanese language should register for JAPN 111. For all questions about the Japanese language program, please contact Professor Janet Ikeda at ikedaj@wlu.edu. Students with a background in Japanese should contact Professor Ikeda to schedule an individual interview before first-year registration.


Study abroad: Spring Term programs to Japan engage students in immersion language learning and allow them to study East Asian cultures through close contacts with their peoples. Additionally, EALL majors are encouraged to spend a summer, a semester or a year studying abroad in Japan. Recommended programs include International Christian University (ICU) in Mitaka, Japan (near Tokyo); Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies; and Nanzan University in Nagoya.

The Japanese National Honor Society recognizes and encourages scholastic achievement and excellence in the study of the Japanese language. Students may be nominated for membership.

The Senshin’an Japanese Tea Room is an architectural treasure located inside W&L’s Watson Pavilion. It serves as a classroom laboratory for the study of Chanoyu, or the Way of Tea, and a venue for cultural activities relating to the traditional arts of Japan.

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, A Lunar New Year Celebration, Japanese Table, calligraphy workshops, guest speaker lectures and much more.

Awards, Scholarships and Prizes

The Andrew M. Hemm Awards for Excellence were established by Andrew M. Hemm to recognize outstanding student performance in the study of Chinese and Japanese. In 2003, Hemm created an endowment to fund this prize in perpetuity. Four awards are given annually — one to a senior EALL major in Chinese, one to a senior EALL major in Japanese, and two to students who maintain the highest GPAs during their first two years of studying Chinese and Japanese, respectively.

The Boardman Family Study Abroad Endowment Fund was established in 2011 by James R. Boardman ’65 and his wife, Hsiao-lien. It is a permanently endowed fund at Washington and Lee University that provides annual travel assistance to students who travel to East Asia for study abroad and internship opportunities.

The I-Hsiung Ju and Chow-Soon Chuang Ju Endowment for Traditional Chinese Art Studies was established by Chow-Soon Chuang Ju in honor of her husband, I-Hsiung Ju (1923-2012), who was a much-loved professor of art and artist-in-residence emeritus at Washington and Lee. This permanently endowed fund at Washington and Lee University provides support for a student to travel to China or Taiwan to study traditional Chinese art (e.g. brush painting or calligraphy) in either a university-approved program or as an apprentice to an artist. The endowment may also fund EALL students traveling to China or Taiwan to enhance their study of Chinese language and literature.

The M. Daniel Miller III and Phoebe T. Miller Endowment, a permanently endowed fund at Washington and Lee University, provides financial assistance to undergraduate students planning to study abroad. It will be awarded with term and country preferences for academic year and semester-long experiences in China and Japan.


Alumni of the EALL Department go on to a variety of exciting and enriching experiences and careers. Students have received fellowships such as the Fulbright, Critical Language Scholarship, and Princeton in Asia Fellowship. They go on to graduate school with careers here and abroad in business, education, medicine and law.

Yanhong Zhu

Department Head

Jacque Bruce

Administrative Assistant


Read More

Meet the Faculty

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