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This archived information is dated to the 2008-09 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Asian Languages

Emeriti: (Professors) Albert E. Dien, David S. Nivison, Makoto Ueda; (Associate Professor) Susan Matisoff; (Senior Lecturer) Yin Chuang*

Chair: Chao Fen Sun

Directors of Graduate Studies: James Reichert (Japanese), Chao Fen Sun (Chinese)

Directors of Undergraduate Studies: Melinda Takeuchi (Japanese), Yiqun Zhou (Chinese)

Professors: Steven D. Carter, Mark E. Lewis (Asian Languages, History), Chao Fen Sun, Melinda Takeuchi (Asian Languages, Art and Art History), Ban Wang (Asian Languages, Comparative Literature), John C. Y. Wang

Associate Professors: Yoshiko Matsumoto, James Reichert

Assistant Professors: Haiyan Lee, Indra Levy, Yiqun Zhou

Senior Lecturer: Kazuko Busbin

Consulting Professor: Richard Dasher

Visiting Professor: Stuart Sargent

Postdoctoral Fellows: Alexander Cook (Humanities Fellow), Paul Festa (Asian Languages), Ayelet Zohar (Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies)

Chinese-Japanese Area Studies Faculty:

Professors: Masahiko Aoki (Economics, emeritus), Carl W. Bielefeldt (Religious Studies), Richard Dasher (Center for Integrated Systems), Peter Duus (History, emeritus), Harold L. Kahn (History, emeritus), Lawrence Lau (Economics), John W. Lewis (Political Science, emeritus), Jean Oi (Political Science), Daniel I. Okimoto (Political Science), David Palumbo-Liu (Comparative Literature), Richard Vinograd (Art and Art History), Andrew Walder (Sociology), Arthur P. Wolf (Anthropology), Lee H. Yearley (Religious Studies)

Associate Professors: Matthew Sommer (History), Kären Wigen (History)

Assistant Professors: Melissa Brown (Anthropology), Miyako Inoue (Anthropology), Matthew Kohrman (Anthropology), Jean Ma (Art and Art History), Thomas Mullaney (History), Jun Uchida (History)

* Recalled to active duty.

Department Office: Building 250, Room 106

Mail Code: 94305-2000

Phone: (650) 725-2742


Web Site:

Courses offered by the Department of Asian Languages have the subject codes CHINGEN, CHINLIT, JAPANGEN, JAPANLIT, and KORGEN. Courses in Chinese General are listed in the "Chinese General [CHINGEN] Courses" section of this bulletin. Courses in Chinese Literature are listed in the "Chinese Literature [CHINLIT] Courses" section of this bulletin. Courses in Japanese General are listed in the "Japanese General [JAPANGEN] Courses" section of this bulletin. Courses in Japanese Literature are listed in the "Japanese Literature [JAPANLIT] Courses" section of this bulletin. Courses in Korean General are listed in the "Korean General [KORGEN] Courses" section of this bulletin. Course curricula for these languages may be found in the "Language Center" section of this bulletin.

The Department of Asian Languages offers programs for students who wish to engage with the cultures of China and Japan as articulated in language, linguistics, literature, film, and the newly developing field of cultural studies. Students emerge with a sophisticated understanding of culture as a dynamic process embodied in language and other representational forms, especially the verbal and visual forms that are central to humanistic study. Department faculty represent a broad range of research interests and specialties, and visiting scholars and postdoctoral fellows from the Stanford Humanities Center and the Stanford Humanities Fellows program, the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and the Center for East Asian Studies add to the intellectual vitality of the department.

Asian Languages offers a full range of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Undergraduate courses concentrate on language, literature, and other cultural forms from the earliest times to the present, covering traditional and contemporary topics from Confucian conceptions of self and society to inflections of gender in the twentieth century. Emphasis in classes is on developing powers of critical thinking and expression that will serve students well no matter what their ultimate career goals. Graduate programs offer courses of study involving advanced language training, engagement with primary texts and other materials, literary history, and training in research methodologies and critical approaches.

Asian language skills provide a foundation for advanced academic training and professional careers in fields such as business, diplomacy, education, and law. The department also offers opportunities for students who choose to double-major or minor in other academic disciplines, including anthropology, art history, economics, education, history, linguistics, philosophy, political science, religious studies, and sociology.

The department accepts candidates for the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy in Chinese and Japanese. It also offers an undergraduate minor and a Ph.D. minor in Chinese or Japanese language and literature.

For information concerning other opportunities for study about Asian history, societies, and cultures, see the following departments and programs: Anthropology, Art and Art History, Business, Comparative Literature, East Asian Studies, Economics, History, Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities, Law, Linguistics, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, and Sociology. Courses in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean language instruction are listed in the "Language Center" section of this bulletin. Students interested in Asian languages not listed should contact the Special Language Program at the Language Center.


Courses approved for the Asian Languages major and taught overseas can be found in the "Overseas Studies" section of this bulletin, or in the Overseas Studies office, 126 Sweet Hall.


Students interested in Japanese language, history, culture, and social organization are encouraged to apply to the Kyoto Center for Japanese Studies (KCJS), a two-semester academic program primarily for undergraduates wishing to do advanced work in the Japanese language and in Japanese studies.

In Spring Quarter, the Stanford Center for Technology and Innovation (SCTI), also in Kyoto, focuses on Japanese organizations and the political economy of research, development, and production of high technology and advanced industries, followed by an optional two-to-three month internship in an agency, firm, or laboratory in Japan. For information about either program in Kyoto, students should contact the Overseas Studies office in Sweet Hall.

Undergraduates interested in studying Chinese language, history, culture, and society are encouraged to apply to the Stanford Program in Beijing also offered through the Overseas Studies Program in Sweet Hall. This program is located at Peking University and is open Autumn and Spring quarters.

Students should take note of the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies (IUP) at Tsinghua University (;; 510-642-3873) and the Inter-University Center (IUC) for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama (;; 650-725-1490). Stanford is a member of these consortia programs.

Students interested in the exchange program with the Department of Chinese at Peking University in Beijing should consult the chair of the department early in the academic year.


EAST House, located at Governor's Corner, is an undergraduate residence that houses 60 students and offers them opportunities to expand their knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of East Asia. Assignment is made through the regular undergraduate housing draw.


A nine-week summer program of intensive instruction is offered in both Chinese and Japanese. The intensive courses provide the equivalent in instruction to regular academic-year courses. (See courses CHINLANG 5, 25, 105, and JAPANLNG 10, 20, 130, as described in the "Language Center" section of this bulletin.) For detailed information about these and other aspects of the summer program, inquire at the Language Center.

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