Johns Hopkins has a long history of influence in East Asia, and its students and faculty have made enduring contributions to the field of East Asian studies. The university’s third president, political scientist Frank Goodnow, helped draft the Republic of China’s original constitution. Hopkins was instrumental in setting up China’s first medical school, the Peking Union Medical College at Tsinghua University. Nitobe Inazo, a renowned intellectual and diplomat of Meiji Japan, earned his PhD from Johns Hopkins’ Department of History in the late 19th century. Owen Lattimore, one of the world’s leading scholars of Inner Asia, taught Chinese history at Hopkins and directed the predecessor to the university’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). With the launch of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center in 1986, Johns Hopkins University became the first American university to establish a campus in China in the form of an educational joint venture.
Today, as East Asia rises, Hopkins’ legacy looms large and is fostering new collaborations and opportunities among the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, SAIS, Hopkins-Nanjing, and the schools of Public Health, Medicine, Nursing, and Engineering. With 10 divisions in all, each with a global reach, Hopkins stands as a model of interdisciplinary and interdivisional collaboration. Its numerous and diverse research interests in East Asia, combined with first-rate undergraduate and graduate training in the School of Arts and Sciences, position Hopkins to be a leader in shaping the future of research, scholarship, and education in East Asia.
Majors in East Asian studies engage in intensive language study and work with distinguished faculty on such topics as China in the global economy, nationalism in East Asia, Korean identity in Japan, and women in East Asia. Our students pursue original research projects in East Asia with the support of intersession and summer travel grants, stipends for conference presentations, a senior thesis honors option, and seminars that bring together research scholars, faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates in a manner that is distinctly Hopkins.
Alumni of the program are making their mark around the world in business and finance, academia, law, international development, medicine and public health, engineering, media, public service, and the arts.
Under the direction of Professor Erin Chung, the East Asian Studies Program is a burgeoning center of research and teaching across a wide range of disciplines, including history, history of medicine, political science, political economy, sociology, literature, philosophy, and more. A speaker series, annual conferences, and weekly language corners foster the intellectual and cultural community of East Asia-centered learning on campus, and study abroad opportunities abound.