East Asian Studies

Tel-Hai College is proud to be the first college in Israel to open a department devoted to East Asian Studies, launched in the fall of 2012. The nations of East Asia fulfill increasingly central economic and political roles in the world today, and Israel's ties with them are developing rapidly. Thus there is a growing demand for knowledgeable professionals qualified for East Asia related positions in government ministries, businesses, high-tech industry, tourism, as well as in the academia. Yet the appeal of this diverse and fascinating region to Israel and the West transcends these practical concerns, to include the cultural and philosophical spheres as well.

The Academic Curriculum

Offered as one part of a double major, courses in the Department of East Asian Studies focus on China, Japan, and Korea. First-year studies include introductory courses on the history of and culture of China and Japan. In addition, each student studies the Chinese or Japanese language for at least two years, with the option of continuing on for yet another year. Second-year courses include modern China, modern Japan and a choice between the following three options: past and present views of human nature in Chinese philosophy; and Korea and Japan: history, image, and the role of collective memory. Examples of advanced courses and seminars for third-year students include reading in Chinese or Japanese texts (two different courses), past and present views of human nature in Chinese philosophy, ecology of East Asia, social crises and their expressions in 20th century Japanese literature, dialogue across cultures between China and the west, ecology in East Asia, modern Chinese thought, Chinese literature, Japanese literature and Japanese colonialism. After completing the full three-year course, graduates will have acquired comprehensive and significant understanding of the cultures and societies of East Asia, together with a basic proficiency in the Chinese or Japanese language. They thus will be equipped to take part in global society, the worlds of culture and business, or continue on to advanced degree studies in academic institutions in Israel or abroad.