2018-19 Pomona College Catalog 
    Jul 22, 2024  
2018-19 Pomona College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG] Use the dropdown above to select the current 2023-24 catalog.

Asian Languages and Literatures

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Departments, Programs and Areas of Study

Associate Professor Sharon Hou, department chair
Professor Allan Barr, Chinese Coordinator
Professor Kyoko Kurita, Japanese coordinator

Professors Barr, Flueckiger, Kurita, Miyake1
Adjunct Professors Takahashi, Wu
Associate Professors Cheng
1, Hou
Assistant Professor Xiao3
Visiting Assistant Professor Zhou

Lecturers Terada Landis, Jessie
Sheri Shepherd, 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 2018 2On leave spring 2019 3On leave 2018-19


Read more about our learning objectives:

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Departments, Programs and Areas of Study