Why study Asian Languages and Cultures?

欢迎, ようこそ, and Welcome to the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures.  We offer Chinese and Japanese Language and Culture majors and minors, as well as majors and minors in our inter-regional and interdisciplinary Asian Studies program.


Curious about learning the language spoken by one-fifth of the world’s population? Our rigorous language and culture curriculum will provide you with the opportunity to strive for fluency in modern Chinese. It also helps you gain a broad and critical understanding of the multifaceted nature of Chinese culture.


Studying Japanese at Macalester provides an opportunity to study one of the world’s most intriguing languages, to appreciate a rich and diverse culture, and to critically engage with a modern and dynamic society. Our aim is to provide you with the opportunity to gain proficiency in Japanese, and to enable you to gain a comprehensive understanding of contemporary Japanese culture and its place in Asia and the world.

Asian Studies

An Asian Studies major or minor offers an inter-regional and interdisciplinary approach to the study of Asia. By bringing together faculty from across campus with diverse research and teaching interests such as history, literature, linguistics, art, music, religion and society, Asian Studies offers a unique way for students to tailor a course of study most suited to their individual interests.

Department News and Upcoming Events

Save The Date:

Mark your calendars for Thursday, September 28, 2017, and attend the Asian Language Majors/Minors Career Workshop in ARTCOM 102.  Study Away Director, Kevin Morrison, speaks at 5:30, Alumni and Current students give job seeking advice.  A light dinner at 5:00.

Study Away Insiders Info:  Tuesday, October 31, lunch meetings. Hear information from those who have been on Study Away.  Details will follow.

Robin Visser, Associate Professor from UNC-Chapel Hill, will speak Thursday, October 5, 2017 in the Harmon Room at 4:45 p.m.  Prof. Visser will introduce three decades of Chinese-language ecoliterature:  “Process Dynamics in Chinese Ecoliteratures: Where do I end and you (cats, stones, Tibetans) begin?”  A light dinner starts at 4:45.

Scholarship Winners

Grey Micah ’17 (Cullowhee, N.C.), and Angelo Perez ’19 (Chicago, Ill.) have been awarded U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarships (CLS).  They will study Japanese in Hikone, Japan, this summer.  Congratulations!

Culture Courses, Fall 2017

  • CHIN/ASIA 255  – China on Screen
  • JAPA 254 – Japanese Film and Animation: From the Salaryman to the Shōjo
  • JAPA/ASIA/LING 335 – Analyzing Japanese Language
Chinese students with President Brian RosenbergCramming for the Exam: Education in Chinese Literature and History class, along with President Brian Rosenberg