East Asia is a major centre of international trade, culture, and inquiry. Examine the influences that have shaped and continue to shape its evolving identity and the roles it plays in a globalized world. East Asian Studies (EAS) offers you the opportunity to:
- enhance your understanding of East Asian cultures;
- develop proficiency in East Asian languages;
- travel and acquire hands-on experience in our overseas exchange programs;
- prepare for a career in foreign services or in languages.
EAS course offering and descriptions
EASIA Level 100 courses
EASIA 120R - Monsters and Magic in Japanese Popular Culture
An examination of the roles played by monsters, magic, and supernatural creatures in Japanese popular culture, with attention to their treatment in Buddhism, Shinto, Daoism, and folk practices. Topics include modern-day creations such as Godzilla and Pokemon and traditional beings such as deities, ghosts, angry spirits, goblins, and shapeshifters.
EASIA Level 200 courses
EASIA 201R - Introduction to East Asia
An introductory survey of the history and cultures of East Asia with particular reference to China, Japan, and Korea.
EASIA 202R - Chinese Culture and Society
The course explores the interface of tradition and modernity in Chinese life. Topics include traditional and modern Chinese culture, language, education, art, technology, and business.
EASIA 203R - Japanese Culture and Society
The course explores the interface of tradition and modernity in Japanese life. Topics include traditional and modern Japanese culture, language, education, art, technology, and business.
EASIA 204R - Korean Culture and Society
The course explores the interface of tradition and modernity in Korean life. Topics include traditional and modern Korean culture, language, education, art, technology, and business.
EASIA 205R - Religions of East Asia
An examination of the leading religious and philosophical ideas that have shaped the cultures and histories of East Asia: China, Korea, and Japan. Folk, Shamanic, Confucian, Daoist, Shinto, and Buddhist traditions are examined.
EASIA 206R - Japanese Religions
An examination of religious phenomena in the history of Japan, including their impact on art, literature, philosophy, and politics. Buddhism, Shinto, Confucianism, folk beliefs, new religious movements, and other traditions are explored.
EASIA 220R - The History of East Asian Communities in CanadaThis course examines the evolution of the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean communities in Canada as well as their significance for Canadian economic, social, and political life in the 19th and 20th centuries. (Cross-listed with HIST 231R)
EASIA 231R - Calligraphy to Conceptual Art: Text as an Image in Islamic and East Asian Visual Arts
Exploring the history of Islamic and East Asian calligraphic arts and the study of Eastern and Western artists, this course examines multiple ways in which writing and other forms of visible language are incorporated into visual arts. Through studio projects, students explore conceptual approaches to text-based image making. (Cross-listed with FINE 275, SI 231R)
EASIA 250R - Study Abroad in East Asia
An intensive study of the culture and language of an East Asian country. With the guidance of a Course Director, students complete readings, attend lectures, and visit cultural sites for six weeks or more on location.
EASIA 275R - Religion and Japanese Film
The course examines how religious beliefs and values in Japan are explored in the medium of film. (Cross-listed with RS 275)
EASIA 277R - International Relations of East Asia
This course explores key topics in the international relations of East Asia after World War II. Classes examine literature on major developments of East Asian relations, including the Cold War, East Asian regionalism, and the foreign policies of China, Japan, and Korea.
EASIA 291R - Special Topics in East Asian Studies
This course deals with selected topics in East Asian studies.
EASIA Level 300 courses
EASIA 300R - Politics and Diplomacy of Contemporary Japan
This course surveys several key topics in the politics and diplomacy of contemporary Japan, particularly in its relations with its Asia-Pacific neighbours. Topics may include the Pacific War and its legacies, the Japan-US security alliance, the Okinawa problem, and Japan-Canada relations.
EASIA 301R - The Political Economy of East Asia
This course explores the rise of the East Asian economy since the end of World War II. The subject is pursued through examining some of the most important aspects of the so-called Asian miracle/model, including the historical background of the Asian miracle, the role of the state in the region's economic development, the relationship between Asian culture and economic development, social development, and East Asia's business system and practice.
EASIA 302R - Chinese Foreign Policy since 1949
This course examines the major elements and evolution of Chinese foreign policy since 1949 and China's external relations in the context of rising Chinese power. (Cross-listed with PSCI 385)
EASIA 303R - Business Environment in East Asia
The course introduces students to the cultural, social, economic, political, and legal environment for business in East Asia. It covers major economies, such as China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The course helps students acquire comprehensive understanding of the business environment of this dynamic region.
EASIA 304R - Korean Law and Society
This course examines the legal system, legal culture, and socio-cultural traditions of the Republic of Korea from a comparative legal perspective.
EASIA 305R - Buddhism in East Asia Today
This course examines modern developments in the Buddhism of China, Japan, and Korea. Topics such as war, urbanization, capitalism, colonialism, Christianity, Communism, the Internet, and nostalgia are explored for their impact on Buddhism. (Cross-listed with RS 302R)
EASIA 336R - Korean Pop Culture
This course explores elements of popular culture such as film, music, television, and video games in relation to social, cultural, and political developments in contemporary South Korea. Students critically analyze readings and non-print media to consider South Korean popular culture in national, regional, and global contexts.
EASIA 346R - Global Asian Diasporas
This course explores the literature and culture from one or more global Asian diasporas, with particular emphasis on cultures of East Asian origin. Topics may include identity, transnationalism, imperialism, war, labour, migration, and popular culture. (Cross-listed with ENGL 346R)
EASIA 360R - Pre-modern Chinese Literature
This course is an introductory survey of the main genres of classical and pre-modern Chinese literature. Individual works are related to the evolution of the literary tradition and its interaction with history, philosophy, and politics. Classical and historical writing, poetry, drama, and novels are introduced.
EASIA 361R - Modern Chinese Literature (1917 - present day)
This survey course explores modern Chinese literature beginning from 1917 and the New Culture movement. Selected works and relevant critiques are used to prompt discussion of cultural and literary topics, particularly of changes in Chinese culture and literature from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day.
EASIA 362R - Introduction to Pre-Modern Japanese Literature
Students study a selection of works of early Japanese literature from its beginnings to the 17th century and examine a wide variety of genres, including poetry, diaries, military tales, and philosophical tracts composed during that time period.
EASIA 363R - Introduction to Early Modern Japanese Literature
A study of a selection of works of Japanese literature from the 17th century to the early 20th century, examining a wide variety of genres in early modern Japan.
EASIA 377R - Cold War in East Asia
This course examines the origins, developments, and contemporary implications of the Cold War in East Asia. (Cross-listed with HIST 377R)
EASIA 391R - Special Topics
This course deals with selected topics in East Asian studies.
There are two different academic plans open to students participating in East Asian Studies:
Minor for current UWaterloo students
Students who want to acquire a basic understanding of the culture and language of East Asia, with the flexibility to create a unique specialization through course selection
To graduate with the EAS minor, students must declare the minor on their Intent to Graduate Form (PDF).
Diploma for non- or post degree students
Students who want to acquire a basic understanding of the culture and language of East Asia, with the flexibility to create a unique specialization through course selection.