Why study a foreign language? Foreign languages are a cornerstone of liberal arts education that will expand the mind. They open new doors. Learning a foreign language will test your mettle—Chinese, Japanese, and Korean are among the most challenging languages to learn. Read more...
Interdisciplinary MA in East Asian Studies (IDMA)
Whether you're interested in an Asia-related career or acquiring broadly based East Asia academic training before enrolling in a PhD program, consider EALL’s Interdisciplinary Master of Arts program in East Asian Studies (IDMA). It will equip you with appropriate academic training as well as language and culture competence. Read more...
Our language programs are some of the best in the nation. The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures offers courses in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages, literature, film, theater, and culture. When you enroll in our department’s courses, you will be taking them from teachers who are nationally recognized as experts in their fields. Read more...
High School Students: Learn to Speak Chinese this Summer
The Chinese language program plans to respond to the growing need for summer courses for high school students. This year, SEALS Chinese will offer six-week 5 credit First Year Chinese 1 (CHIN 0001) starting on June 23. The dates were chosen to better fit the course with typical high school students' schedule. Registration begins on February 17, 2014. For more information, click here.
Regular SEALS Japan and SEALS China will be offered this summer as before. These courses typically begin several weeks earlier than the high school program above. For more information, go to our SEALS page.
Tour and Panel Discussion planned for Morimura Exhibit at Warhol
The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures and the Asian Studies Center will host a tour of Yasumasa Morimura’s exhibition and a panel discussion at the Warhol on November 23. Assistant Archivist at the Warhol and EALL faculty member, Cindy Lisica, will lead the tour, which begins at 3:00 pm. The panel discussion will feature Eric Shiner (Director of the Warhol and EALL alum), Nicholas Chambers (Milton Fine Curator of Art at the Warhol), Charles Exley (EALL faculty of modern Japanese literature and film), and Cindy Lisica (Assistant Archivist at the Warhol and EALL faculty of contemporary East Asian visual culture). The panel discussion will begin at 4:00.
Morimura’s exhibition, entitled “Yasumasa Morimura: Theater of the Self,” features a number of iconic photographs into which Morimura substituted his image for the original. “His interest in self-portrait, art history, popular culture, gay and transgendered life and celebrity align him with Warhol,” said Nicholas Chambers, the curator of the exhibition. Charles Exley contributed an article in the exhibition catalogue. He was a key facilitator for Morimura’s visit to the Warhol for the opening of the exhibition. To read more about this from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, click here.
Pictured above is "Vermeer Study: Looking Back (Mirror)" by Yasumasa Morimura.
Visiting Scholar Zhang adds sparkle to China studies at Pitt
Yihong Zhang, a specialist of Jin Ping Mei, is a visiting scholar of premodern Chinese literature in EALL this academic year. Jin Ping Mei is one of the four master novels in Chinese novel written in vernacular Chinese in the late 16th century. Zhang came to Pitt at the time when David Roy's first, complete translation of Jin Ping Mei in English was just published by the Princeton University Press. Zhang was contacted by the New York Times for comments on Roy's translation. In the newspaper, Zhang is quoted as saying, “[Roy’s translation is] not just a translation, it’s also a reference book. … It opens a window onto Chinese literature and culture.”
Soon after his arrival in Pittsburgh, Zhang gave a talk in EALL Colloquium on November 15 on Jin Ping Mei, in which Zhang discussed Roy’s approach to translating this work into English. Zhang is translating some of Roy’s notes into Chinese as part of his doctoral dissertation at Beijing Foreign Studies University. Long known for its sexual exploits depicted in the novel, Jin Ping Mei has gained a notoriety. It is also treasured for its detailed and rich descriptions of culture and times of the late Sung dynasty.
Zhang now divides his time between auditing a translation class at Pitt and working on his scholarly projects. His visit was sponsored by Katherine Carlitz (Asian Studies Center). For the complete New York Times article, click here.
Research notes: Xu reports on effective Chinese character learning
In a recent publication, coauthored with two other Pitt researchers, Yi Xu reported the result of an investigation of comparative effectiveness of reading, animation, and writing in developing students’ orthographic knowledge of Chinese. The research found that for students who have previously studied the Chinese orthography the three learning conditions helped them in different ways: Writing and animation both led to better form recognition, while reading produced superior meaning and sound recalls. In addition, the effect of animation in remembering meaning was also better than writing. In developing the skill of reproducing characters from memory, writing was superior. These results inform Chinese pedagogy for teaching reading. For a YouTube presentation of the results, click here. The article, entitled "Reading, writing, and animation in character learning in Chinese as a foreign language," appeared in the September 2013 issue of Foreign Language Annals.
Research notes features EALL faculty member's recent research findings.
Cecile Sun will speak on a key mode of discourse in classical Chinese
Cecile Chu-Chin Sun, professor of Chinese literature, will give a public talk entitled "Exploring a Key Mode of Discourse in Classical Chinese Text." The event will take place in Room 4217 Posvar Hall at 4 pm on Friday, December 6. Sun will discuss some famous but not sufficiently understood passages from the Analects and Zhuangzi as well as some classical poems.
Friday, December 13, 2013. Stephen Luft, Lecturer, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures. "Japanese language students’ out-of-class study behaviors: Form-focus and meaning-focus in the performed culture approach." Room 4217 WWPH. Flyer with abstract.
Friday, February 21, 2014. Hiroshi Nara, Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures. Title TBA. Room 4130 WWPH.
Friday, March 21, 2014. James Williams, MA Candidate, East Asian Studies. "Plastic Narratives." Room 4130 WWPH.