2023-2024 Pomona College Catalog 
    Jun 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Pomona College Catalog

Asian Languages and Literatures

Professor Kyoko Kurita, department chair

Associate Professor Feng Xiao, Chinese coordinator
Professor Peter Flueckiger, Japanese coordinator
Professors Barr1, Cheng, Flueckiger, Kurita
Adjunct Professor Takahashi
Associate Professors
Assistant Professors Lang, Zhang
Visiting Instructors Lopez, Nie, Wang
Lecturer Nakagoshi
Melissa Fitzpatrick, academic coordinator


The Asian Languages and Literatures Department consists of two sections: Chinese and Japanese. Both sections offer courses for language acquisition (courses titled CHIN or JAPN followed by numbers indicating the levels) and courses on literature and culture that are taught in English, using English translations (courses titled CHNT or JPNT followed by numbers that are not indicative of levels). 

Both Chinese and Japanese sections offer a variety of courses that help students acquire and develop advanced language proficiency and that foster an awareness and understanding of Asian cultures. Courses offered in English translation are often interdisciplinary in approach, introducing historical background, social, philosophical and political issues and other cultural matters. Students are encouraged to broaden their perspectives by taking courses in the Asian Studies Program. Many students participate in study-abroad programs for a semester or more in China or Japan.

The department utilizes three assets that further enrich students’ learning. (1) The Foreign Language Resource Center: a multipurpose space for language learning, teaching and professional development, with an emphasis on technology and an extensive film collection. (2) The Pacific Basin Institute, an entity with an extensive audiovisual library and a mandate to organize and support Asia-related events, lectures and students’ projects. (3) Oldenborg Center: Pomona’s international residence, with a dining hall that hosts language tables during the lunch hour. Students may also elect to live in the immersive environment of Oldenborg’s Chinese Hall or Japanese Hall.

Knowledge about Asia and its languages greatly enhances a liberal arts education by building an understanding of cultures very different from the environment of contemporary Western culture. Proficiency in an Asian language is increasingly an asset in the modern world; graduates in Asian languages and literatures have gone on to careers in business, law, government and higher education, living either in the U. S. or in Asia.

Placement. Any entering student who has previously learned Chinese or Japanese and plans to study either language must take a placement test. This includes students who have received credit for Advanced Placement (AP) exams in the language.

1On leave Fall 2023 2On leave Spring 2024 3On leave 2023-24


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