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College of Humanities & Social Sciences

East Asian Studies

Congratulations to Our Outstanding Graduate, Emmalene Madsen! 

Emmalene has received unanimous support from the East Asian Studies faculty. A double major in Chinese, with minors in Intl. Studies and Psychology, Emmalene is described by faculty as a role model student: she is smart, motivated, and extremely diligent. Faculty praise in particular her excellent leadership and organizational skills. She has a strong work ethic, a truly excellent academic record, and her passion and dedication to the study of Asian cultures are second to none. Beyond her academic achievements, which are noteworthy, Emmalene has also served our campus community with distinction. She is the Founding President of WWU Chinese Conversation Club, an Officer of WWU Global Ambassador Club, and has also served as Peer Advisor for the Education Abroad Office. She has also been the recipient of our Sarah Ann Wirth Scholarship. Emmalene is positive, engaging, and has superior critical skills. Her short-term plans include working in China and attending graduate school, and we very much look forward to her future contributions in the field. Hear more about Emmalene in Western Today

Major & Minor Declarations - New Process!

Students, if you would like to declare the East Asian Studies major or minor, please use the following e-form and submit to the EAS dept email ( major declaration form / minor declaration form

UW Professor to Present to JAPN 450 Students on Nov. 22, 2019: "Everyday Life in the Militarized Spaces of Okinawa"

Visiting Fulbright Scholar to Give Faculty Research Presentation


Western to host experts in Japanese literature spring 2019

 "Heartvine" ("Aoi") chapter from The Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari)

"Heartvine" ("Aoi") chapter from The Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari) courtesy of PICRYL.

Read more HERE

Monday, March 4 - 4:00pm

Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Louisiana State University, Paula Arai, will be giving a talk about the work of Japanese biologist and visionary artist, Iwasaki Tsuneo (1917-2002) entitled "Painting Enlightenment: Healing Visions of the Heart Sutra."

Poster for Arai's talk

Click on the image above to view or download a PDF of the poster

East Asian Studies

Professors from a broad spectrum of academic departments work together in the East Asian Studies Program to provide a nexus for teaching and research focused on China, Japan, Korea, and Mongolia. Contributing members represent colleges and departments from across the campus community, including the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the College of Business and Economics, and Huxley College. The Program serves as a focal point for Western Washington University's interaction with East Asia, and an arena for vibrant intellectual cross-pollination from a variety of disciplines. From an academic perspective, it helps promote rigorous training in the study of East Asia and Inner Asia. With Asian economies, languages, cultures, and political realities continuing to rank high in global importance, diverse expertise in this region is an essential asset for any university. The opportunity for students to receive degrees in East Asian Studies represents an important aspect of the university curriculum.


The Program's broad interdisciplinary program offers Western's students a chance to minor or major in East Asian Studies with choice of several specific academic focuses, including history, politics, economics, and cultural studies. The unity of the major is maintained by a requirement that all majors take EAST 302, "Methods and Materials in East Asian Studies," where they are required to write an original research paper on a topic of their choosing. Students publicly present the results of their research at a seminar later in the year as part of the university's Scholar's Week events. The major also includes, as one of its core components, a requirement to achieve intermediate fluency in an East Asian language, with most students choosing to take up to two years of either Chinese or Japanese. The major and minor also allow students with broader interests in political science, history, art, religion, or literature to focus specifically on East Asia, as a key region of world culture. Students in the program are eligible for the Sarah Anne Wirth Scholarship in East Asian Studies and History.


As a complement to the academic offerings and as a service to the campus and local community, the Program sponsors lectures, presentations and other activities related to East Asia. It also maintains special relationships with several other campus organizations such as the Education Abroad, International Student and Scholar Services, Institute for Global Engagement, and the Asia University America Program. The Program is also an active member of the American Center for Mongolian Studies.


A black line drawing of a.. table? on a yellow background


East Asian Studies Program - WWU

516 High Street - MS 9097

Bellingham, WA 98225



Director: Massimiliano Tomasi

Email: (preferred)

PH: 360-650-3339

Fax: 360-650-6110