Center for East Asian Studies

The University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) is not only one of the premier centers for teaching the languages and civilizations of East Asia, but also a comprehensive research institution that brings together excellent faculty expertise related to East Asia. This expertise includes the traditional humanities, social sciences, professional schools, and terminal masters programs in such fields as law, business, education, public policy, journalism, engineering, medicine, agriculture, environmental studies, and life sciences. The "Wisconsin Idea" of extending high quality research and teaching with public service to Wisconsin citizens has guided the university since its founding in 1849. Consistent with this mission, the Center for East Asian Studies not only supports undergraduate and graduate programs, but coordinates with Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) and various Title VI Language Resource Centers (LRCs) and National Resource Centers (NRCs) to improve outreach to the citizens of Wisconsin, the Upper Midwest, the nation, and the world.

Language instruction includes all levels of Chinese and Japanese, along with three years of modern Korean and three years of modern and literary Tibetan. The School of Engineering offers one of only two U.S. distance learning programs in a Technical Japanese degree programs and is developing a new Technical Chinese degree program, the first in the United States. UW-Madison is the only U.S. institution to have three tenure-track linguists in both Chinese and Japanese languages, a fact that strengthens language pedagogy in those areas. The presence of strong South, Southeast, and Central Asian Studies Title VI NRCs provides a unique ability to cover cross-border issues and the languages and cultures of minority groups within China. There are also abundant study abroad opportunities for undergraduates, graduates, and professional students in China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea through our own programs and consortia programs.

The comprehensive nature of East Asian Studies at UW-Madison is reflected in the integration of the study of East Asia into many of its schools and departments. The Department of East Asian Languages and Literature has been in existence for over 50 years, offers Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Master of Arts (M.A.) and Ph.D. degrees in Chinese and Japanese languages, linguistics, literature, and thought, and has recently increased its offerings and enrollments in Korean language. The Center for East Asian Studies includes over 72 core and associate faculty members who teach some 240 undergraduate and graduate East Asia-related courses through 30 departments in six different schools and colleges. The Center has long offered a B.A. in East Asian Studies, a Certificate for undergraduates who wish to combine their primary discipline with an East Asia focus, and a Ph.D. minor for graduate students focusing on East Asia. A graduate certificate for professional and terminal master's students and a related Summer Institute offering courses in East Asian languages and area studies is currently being developed.

Teacher training is a major focus of the work of the Center. The Center sponsors annual pedagogy workshops in Chinese and Japanese language for K-12, two and four year colleges, and pre-service teachers. In addition, our innovative cross-disciplinary project on "China and the Environment" involves K-16 teachers in curriculum development incorporating Chinese studies into their curriculum. This model is now being applied to the development of K-12 Japanese studies curriculum. Through Wisconsin International Outreach Consortium (WIOC) we collaborate with other Title VI NRCs on cross-regional outreach to K-12 teachers. The Center also works with the School of Education to support K-12 teacher certification in East Asian languages.

Title VI funding for the 2006-2010 period will support strengthening the East Asia studies program at a critical phase in a number of key areas, including our initiative to expand offerings in Korean language and area studies, developing a summer institute and new certificate program for professional students, developing instruction in Central Asian minority languages of China, and continuing to expand our popular teacher training and outreach programs. In coordination with CIBER, UW School of Education, and other UW NRCs we plan to expand the availability of knowledge and resources concerning East Asia, exemplifying the "Wisconsin Idea."