XII. Faculty and Fields

List of EALC Faculty for 2020-2021

Howell, David LRobert K. and Dale J. Weary Professor of Japanese History. Japanese social history, Tokugawa history (1600-1868), Meiji history (1868-1912), late medieval (16th century) history; Chair.

Abé, RyūichiReischauer Institute Professor of Japanese Religions. Buddhism and Japanese history, literature, and culture. (On leave 2020-21)

Atherton, David.  Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Early modern (Edo/Tokugawa) Japanese literature and culture.

Bol, Peter K.  Harvard College Professor and Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Intellectual and social history; later imperial China. 

Eckert, Carter J.  Yoon Se Young Professor of Korean History. Late-nineteenth and twentieth century Korean socioeconomic history; historical aspects of Korean economic development. (On leave 2020-21)

Elliott, Mark C.  Vice Provost for International Affairs. Mark Schwartz Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History. Social, political, and institutional history of China and Inner Asia; Manchu studies.

Gyatso, JanetHershey Professor of Buddhist Studies; Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Harvard Divinity School. Buddhist studies, concentrating on Tibetan and South Asian cultural and intellectual history.

Hardacre, Helen.  Reischauer Institute Professor of Japanese Religions and Society. Japanese religious history.

Kelly, Thomas P.  Assistant Professor in East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Late imperial Chinese literature, early modern Chinese visual and material culture.

Kim, Sun Joo.  Harvard-Yenching Professor of Korean History; Korea Institute Director, 2020-21. Pre-modern Korean history, social history of Choson.

Kuriyama, Shigehisa.  Reischauer Institute Professor of Cultural History. History of medicine and the body in Japan, China, and Europe, Japanese cultural history.

Li, JieJohn L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities. Literary, film, and cultural studies in modern China. (On leave 2020-21)

Li, Wai-yee.  1879 Professor of Chinese Literature. Early Chinese literature; late imperial China; Director of Graduate Studies.

McCormick, Melissa MProfessor of Japanese Art and Culture; Harvard College Professor. Japanese painting and literature; the cultural history of medieval Japan. Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Park, Si Nae.  Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Premodern Korean literature. (On leave 2020-21)

Puett, Michael J.  Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History; Harvard College Professor. Intellectual, cultural, and political history of early China.

Robson, James.  James C. Kralik and Yunli Lou Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations; William Fung Director of the Harvard University Asia Center. Medieval Chinese Buddhism and Daoism.

Szonyi, Michael A.  Frank Wen-Hsiung Wu Memorial Professor of Chinese History. History of Early Modern China. Social history of late imperial and modern China. (Joint with History Department) (On leave 2020-21)

Tian, XiaofeiProfessor of Chinese Literature. Early medieval Chinese literature and culture; late imperial fiction.

Wang, David Der-weiEdward C. Henderson Professor of Chinese Literature. Late Imperial and modern Chinese literature and culture, comparative literature and literary theory.

Zahlten, AlexanderAssociate Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Film, New Media and Visual Culture from Japan. Director of Graduate Studies, Regional Studies East Asia (RSEA), 2020-21.

 

Fields offered for the General Examination

Professor Ryūichi Abé

Premodern Japanese Religious History

Candidates are expected to acquire wide-ranging knowledge of Japanese religions prior to 1600. Emphasis is on the role of Buddhism and its interactions with other religious and intellectual traditions. Candidates are expected to have thorough understanding of all principal scholarly works on their particular interest, both in Japanese and Western languages, and demonstrate their ability to critically analyze their subjects by applying interdisciplinary methods. Candidates also need to be familiar with all major English languages secondary sources in the field. Students who concentrate in this field are required to have completed at least two graduate seminars in the area.

Primary Research Language

Kanbun and classical Japanese

 

Professor David Atherton

Early Modern Japanese Literature

Candidates should possess a broad command of the major genres and representative works of poetry, prose, and drama of the late sixteenth through late nineteenth centuries, together with a general understanding of their cultural, social, and political contexts. They will have a firm understanding of methodologies for working with early modern literary materials and should demonstrate a capacity for interdisciplinary approaches. Candidates are expected be able to engage critically with both English-language and Japanese secondary literature, particularly in the area of specialization.

Primary Research Language:

Candidates should be fluent in modern Japanese and demonstrate high proficiency in reading classical Japanese. Reading knowledge of kanbun, sōrōbun, classical Chinese, or premodern vernacular Chinese may be necessary depending on specialization.

 

Professor Peter K. Bol           

Chinese History VIII-XVII century

Candidates are expected to have a general knowledge of political, social, economic, cultural and intellectual history for this period and to be acquainted with major secondary sources for the study of Chinese history in English. Knowledge of scholarly trends in Chinese and Japanese scholarship is expected. Students for whom this is the primary field are expected to have written at least two graduate seminar papers in this area.

Chinese Intellectual History (occasionally offered)

Candidates are expected to have a general knowledge of major schools and figures in thought and religion from all periods of Chinese history and to be acquainted with major secondary works in intellectual history. Attention is also given to the development of literary theory and practice in the context of intellectual culture. Joining a reading group to prepare for this field is optional.

Primary Research Language

Satisfied through translations for seminars and/or through a three-hour written examination in which punctuated and unpunctuated tests are translated.

 

Professor Carter J. Eckert

Modern Korean History

Candidates are expected to have a broad knowledge of the political, social, economic, and intellectual developments in the history of Korea from about 1800 to the present. They will be expected to demonstrate a firm grasp of key historiographical issues in the English secondary literature, together with a knowledge of scholarly trends in relevant Korean and Japanese scholarship, and to be able to discuss these issues and trends in a critical fashion. Students for whom this is the primary field are ordinarily expected to have written at least two graduate seminar papers in this area and to have prepared a secondary field in modern Japanese history.

Primary Research Language

The primary research language is modern Korean. In addition, students will be expected to demonstrate a reading ability in late-nineteenth-century Sino-Korean materials, as well as in modern Japanese scholarship. These language requirements may be satisfied through appropriate language and/or seminar courses, in consultation with the examiner.

 

Professor Mark C. Elliott

Chinese and Inner Asian History

Candidates shall demonstrate mastery of the history of relations between China and Inner Asia from the 8th through the 20th centuries and have a broad familiarity with China-Inner Asian history in the ancient period. Topical and chronological emphases in the field may be tailored to the candidate’s interests. The candidate should be familiar with the relevant historiographical, theoretical, and interpretive issues, should be well versed in the principal secondary sources for the study of the field in English and Chinese, and should demonstrate an ability to use pertinent primary sources for research. Some knowledge of scholarly trends in Japanese is also expected. Students for whom this is the primary field should be conversant as well with the various traditions (German, French, Russian) of European scholarship.

Primary Research Language

The primary research language is classical Chinese. Depending on the subfield, some students may in addition want to offer standard Manchu and/or classical Mongolian. Competency may be demonstrated through translations and seminar work.

Manjuristics

Candidates shall be expected to demonstrate mastery of Manchu political, social, and institutional history as well as the history of the development of the Manchu language and Manchu literature from the 16th through the 20th centuries. The candidate shall also demonstrate a good knowledge of the primary sources for work in these areas and an ability to use those sources critically. In addition, the candidate shall show familiarity with the pertinent scholarly traditions in Chinese, English, Japanese and either German or Russian.

Primary Research Language

The primary research languages are classical Chinese and standard Manchu, with Old Manchu a secondary required research language.  Competency will be demonstrated through translations for seminars and research papers.  Reading knowledge of Japanese, along with German and/or Russian, is also expected.

 

Professor Janet Gyatso

Tibetan Studies

Possible areas of focus in this track include Tibetan literature, Tibetan religion, Tibetan cultural history, Tibetan intellectual history, or Tibetan political history. Focus on modern Tibetan studies within those areas is possible. Candidates must demonstrate mastery of the relevant Tibetan literary materials that pertain to their area of focus. Students in this track should also show a broad 4 appreciation of the connections of Tibetan literary practices and culture to one area of East Asia, usually China.

Primary Research Language

Students must demonstrate command of literary Tibetan before taking their General Examinations.  Students’ competency will be demonstrated through translations for seminars and research papers. They also must have taken the equivalent of at least one year of colloquial Tibetan, and also show ability to read modern Tibetological research in Europe and Asia.

 

Professor Helen Hardacre

Japanese Religious History

Candidates are expected to have a broad knowledge of all eras of Japanese religious history, and the political, social, and cultural contexts of major developments. They are also expected to be acquainted with major sources on the field in both Japanese and Western languages. Students for whom this is the primary field are expected to have completed at least two graduate seminars in the area.

Primary Research Language

Satisfied through the writing of seminar papers.

 

Professor David L. Howell

Early Modern Japanese History

Candidates should have a broad command of the literature in the social, economic, cultural, political, and intellectual history of early modern Japan, roughly 1550 to 1877. Students should have a firm command of the major historiographical issues in the English-language scholarship and a grasp of relevant trends in the Japanese-language literature. Students for whom this is a primary area are ordinarily expected to have completed at least two graduate seminar papers in this field.

Primary Research Language

Candidates should have an excellent command of modern Japanese and a reading knowledge of the epistolary style (sōrōbun); other premodern styles, such as kanbun, may be necessary depending on specialization.  Competence may be demonstrated through course work and seminar papers.

 

Professor Thomas P. Kelly

Late Imperial Chinese Literature

Candidates should possess a broad knowledge of Chinese literary history from the 11th to the 18th centuries, demonstrating a fluent command of major genres, authors, and representative works. Candidates are also expected to acquire a good grasp of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of early modern literature. Candidates may develop a related sub-field on the history of the book, or the relationship between literature and visual-material culture.

Primary Research Language

Classical and Pre-modern Vernacular Chinese.

 

Professor Sun Joo Kim

Premodern Korean History

Candidates are expected to have a broad knowledge of the social, political, economic, cultural and intellectual developments in the history of premodern Korea. Familiarity with major secondary literatures in English and the general scholarly trends in Korean and Japanese scholarship is also expected. Students for whom this is the primary field are expected to have written at least two graduate seminar papers in this area.

Primary Research Language

Fluency in modern Korean and ability to read classical Chinese and Japanese.  Students will satisfy language requirements through source reading seminar courses.

 

Professor Shigehisa Kuriyama

History of East Asian Science and Medicine

Candidates must demonstrate broad knowledge of the development of science, technology, and medicine in East Asia, and have mastered the relevant secondary literature. They should further show in-depth knowledge of scientific, technological, and/or medical texts in one particular East Asian tradition, and familiarity with the major philosophical and religion streams to which they are related. Prior course work with the examiner required.

Primary Research Languages

Classical Chinese required for all candidates; other requisite languages will depend on the candidate’s area of focus.

 

Professor Jie Li

Chinese Cinema and Media Studies

Candidates are expected to demonstrate broad knowledge of major genres, movements, and representative works of Chinese cinema in their cultural, historical, and social contexts. They should be conversant with the methods of audiovisual analysis as well as important theoretical and historiographical issues in the field. In their area of specialization, candidates should be able to pinpoint a variety of primary sources, critically engage with relevant secondary literature in both English and Chinese, and spell out possible approaches to their research topic.

Primary Research Language

Fluency in modern Chinese.

 

Professor Wai-Yee Li

Early Chinese Literature (beginnings – ca. 3rd century A.D.)

Candidates are expected to have a broad knowledge of major genres and representative works, as well as their intellectual and historical contexts. They should be acquainted with critical and exegetical traditions, and also demonstrate familiarity with modern scholarly approaches (especially in Chinese and English). General knowledge of later literary history is recommended, although it is not part of the requirement.

Primary Research Language

Students should have a good knowledge of classical and modern Chinese.

Late-Imperial Chinese Literature (Ming and Qing dynasties)

Candidates are expected to be familiar with major genres and representative works from the late-imperial period (from ca. 14th century to the end of the Qing dynasty). They will have a choice of either focusing on works written in classical Chinese (genres of prose and poetry) or in the vernacular (fiction, drama, prosimetric literature), although the goal is to be comprehensively acquainted with all genres and their cultural-historical contexts. They should also pay attention to commentary traditions and modern secondary scholarship. General knowledge of earlier literary history is recommended, although it is not part of the requirement.

Primary Research Language

Students should have a good knowledge of classical, pre-modern vernacular, and modern Chinese.

 

Professor Melissa McCormick

Japanese Art and Culture

Candidates in all fields should have a general knowledge of the major works and monuments of Japanese art up to the late 19th century, as well as a firm grasp of art historical methodology and theory. In addition, students will be examined in two sub-fields according to the area of specialization, one within Japanese art and culture, and one secondary field, such as Chinese art, or Japanese literature, history, or religion. The topics within the sub-fields will be decided in close consultation with the examiner, and students will be expected to demonstrate a critical engagement with the principal Japanese and Western language scholarship in those fields.

Primary Research Language

Students are required to demonstrate proficiency in modern and classical Japanese, and depending on the area of specialization, should take at least one semester of kanbun or one year of classical Chinese.  Competency may be demonstrated through coursework and seminar papers.

 

Professor Si Nae Park

Premodern Korean Literature

Korean Linguistic Thought and Culture

Candidates are expected to demonstrate a broad knowledge of the major literary genres and representative literary works as well as their sociocultural, intellectual, and political contexts. They should have a firm grasp of and a critical engagement with major secondary literature in English, Korean, and Japanese, along with a good overview of methodologies for working with pre-20th century literary materials and topics pertinent to their research interests. Candidates for whom this is the primary field are required to have written at least two graduate seminar papers in this area.

Primary Research Language

All candidates in premodern Korean literature are expected to have a strong command of contemporary Korean and classical Korean (17th through early 20th centuries), along with intermediate literary Chinese and intermediate Japanese. Competence may be demonstrated through translations for seminars and research papers.

 

Professor Michael Puett

Chinese History c. 1200B.C. - c. 755 A.D.

Candidates are expected to have a knowledge of the history of this period, the major secondary sources in English, and the general scholarly trends of scholarship in Chinese and Japanese. Candidates will be asked not simply to summarize these topics but also to demonstrate a critical reflection upon them.

Primary Research Language

All students in early Chinese history are expected to have a full proficiency in reading both received texts and paleographic materials.  This must be demonstrated either through translations in seminars or through an extensive written examination.

 

Professor James Robson

Medieval Chinese Buddhism and Daoism

Medieval Chinese Buddhism and Daoism (first to tenth centuries)

Candidates are expected to have a general knowledge of the main contours of Chinese Buddhist and Daoist history. They should have knowledge of the main historical, doctrinal, and philosophical developments and demonstrate a command of the main primary sources available for the study of religion in this period. Candidates are also expected to engage with the major secondary sources on the study of Chinese religions in Western languages, Chinese, and Japanese. Candidates should also become conversant with different methodological approaches to the study of religion.

Primary Research Languages

All candidates  are expected to have proficiency in Classical Chinese.

 

Professor Michael Szonyi

History of Early Modern China (Ming-Qing)

Candidates should have a general knowledge of the political, social, economic and cultural history of this period (roughly the fourteenth to the nineteenth centuries). They should be knowledgeable about the broad types of primary sources available for the study of this period and the English language secondary sources, and also have some understanding of the major Chinese and Japanese works in the field.

Primary Research Language

Classical Chinese.

 

Professor Xiaofei Tian

Medieval Chinese Literature (first to tenth centuries)

Candidates are expected to demonstrate a broad knowledge of the major literary genres as well as their social and cultural contexts. Candidates should be familiar with the representative works in each of the major genres, and will have read a larger selection of works in their specialized 9 genre. They are also expected to be acquainted with modern secondary scholarship, both in English and in Chinese. Basic knowledge of earlier and later literary history is required.

Primary Research Language

A solid knowledge of classical and modern Chinese.

 

Professor David Der-wei Wang

Modern Chinese Literature

The modern Chinese literature field includes literary works, genres, and authors from the late Qing to the present. Candidates are expected to have broad knowledge of the historical, intellectual, and cultural issues of the modern period, as well as a good command of the theoretical and methodological issues involved in the study of this field. The exam could be tailored to include a special emphasis on colonial and modern Taiwanese literature, or Sinophone and diasporic literatures.

Primary Research Language

Fluency in modern Chinese, ability to read classical.  Candidates who choose to focus on Taiwanese literature as part of their field need to also demonstrate a high level of reading proficiency in Japanese.

 

Professor Tomiko Yoda

Modern and Contemporary Japanese Literature

The candidates are expected to have a broad knowledge of the history of modern Japanese literature, major authors, works, literary movements and genres from the late 19th century to the present. In their area of specialization, they should develop in-depth knowledge of primary literary and cultural texts, their historical and intellectual contexts, and relevant secondary literature in English, Japanese and other languages. They should be familiar with major theoretical and methodological trends in literary studies (both historical and contemporary), particularly those pertinent to their research interests.

Primary research language

Fluency in modern Japanese and ability to read classical Japanese.

 

Professor Alexander Zahlten

Film, New Media and Visual Culture from Japan

Candidates are expected to possess a broad knowledge of the history of film in Japan and a general knowledge of other forms of popular visual culture in Japan and their social, political and 10 economic contexts. They should be familiar with the basic methodologies for the analysis of film and visual media while demonstrating the ability for interdisciplinary analysis. Candidates will have a firm grasp of the English language scholarship on film from Japan and the ways it intersects with their area of research interest, as well as a good overview of the relevant currents in scholarship on Japan and film and media more generally.

Primary Research Languages

Fluency in modern Japanese.