Division of Department of Global Humanities Department of Chinese Language and Literature
Studying the literature and language of China, a land of expansive breadth and deep history
China covers almost the entire eastern part of the Asian continent, and its history goes back to more than two thousand years B.C.E.
Members of our department study languages and literature that have emerged in that vast corner of time and space. The sheer size of the country and its ancient culture of record-keeping ensure that traces of various changes and influences remain in both written and spoken language, and Chinese literature is comprised of hundreds of genres.
First our students acquire basic skills necessary for reading Chinese classics. They also study the entire history of Chinese literature, which means an encounter with manifold genres and works not covered by school-level courses. In the fourth year, each student selects the most fascinating topic from this multitude, deciphers the corresponding source text (a task that requires proficiency in both classical and modern Chinese, as well as Japanese language) and summarizes his or her discoveries in a graduation thesis. Students are also provided an opportunity to improve their language skills by studying in Chinese-speaking countries.
Some of our students become school teachers or continue on to graduate school, but many of them employ their newly-acquired language skills to work in companies advancing into the Chinese market, in mass communications (that is, in publishing, the newspaper business, or television), or in government offices.