"This major will open doors": EALC launches new major in East Asian Humanities

September 11, 2023

The department of East Asian Languages and Cultures(link is external) (EALC) is excited to announce a new major in East Asian Humanities. "This major will open doors," says Chair Robert Ashmore.

The major takes a comparative approach across multiple disciplinary perspectives. It provides students with the opportunity to range across the rich diversity of East Asian cultures — Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, and Mongolian — through a wide array of disciplines including literary, cultural, visual, and sound studies, religion, philosophy, film and media studies, disability studies, and environmental humanities.

Although advanced language study is central to EALC's existing majors, the new major has no language prerequisites or requirements. Ashmore explains that while language is a tremendously valuable lens into the cultures of East Asia, this new structure removes barriers, especially for transfer students who have fewer semesters to complete language requirements.

And with Asian literature, culture, film, television, music, and thought so much a part of contemporary experience — think Manga, K-Pop, Zen Buddhism, and beyond — the new major is responsive to the way students want to approach the study of East Asian cultures.

Berkeley Arts & Humanities