About CEAS

The Center for East Asian Studies

The Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago (CEAS) is an interdisciplinary nexus, clearinghouse, and resource for academic exploration and support related to the study of China, Japan, and Korea. For over 60 years, its mission has been to nurture scholarship of the highest level across the humanities and social sciences, and to facilitate deeper understanding of the region at the University of Chicago and beyond.  

Comprised of three Committees – the Committee on Japanese Studies, the Committee on Chinese Studies, and the Committee on Korean Studies - CEAS works to enhance opportunities available to scholars both in the United States and abroad, and to foster an intellectual gathering point for a collaborative and innovative community of scholars and students of East Asian studies. Its members are drawn from the departments of anthropology, art history, cinema & media studies, comparative literature, creative writing, East Asian languages & civilizations, economics, history, linguistics, music, political science, psychology, sociology, theater & performance studies, as well as from professional schools such as the Booth School of Business, Divinity School, Law School, School of Medicine, and School of Social Service Administration.

CEAS sponsors a variety of activities including public lectures, workshops, conferences, film series, cultural events, K-16 outreach, and other programs that promote understanding of the cultures and societies of China, Japan, and Korea. CEAS supports faculty research endeavors, library acquisitions, as well as grants and fellowships to students conducting East Asian-related research and language study. University of Chicago faculty and programs in East Asian studies regularly achieve the highest rankings among peer institutions in the United States, making the University of Chicago an invaluable focal point for East Asian studies in the Midwest. CEAS has been designated a National Resource Center (NRC) and administers Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships through a Title VI Grant from the United States Department ofEducation.

History of the Center for East Asian Studies

The formal history of East Asian studies at the University of Chicago dates back to 1936, with the establishment of a Chinese studies program in the Department of Oriental Languages and Literatures. The 1950s were a period of major growth and innovation in East Asian studies at the University. In 1951, acknowledging the wide-ranging relevance of East Asia, the University established an interdisciplinary Committee on Far Eastern Studies. This program was then  reorganized in 1959 as the Center for Far Eastern Studies with the support of funds from the Ford Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education and other sources. Today it is known as the Center for East Asian Studies. Read more about the history of East Asian studies at University of Chicago in this article by Theodore Foss.

Today, the Center plays a vital role on campus and in the community by connecting resources on East Asia to scholars, students, and the general public.

Supporting CEAS

To expand its activities and to make more resources available for students and faculty, CEAS seeks the support of individuals who believe in the importance of improving our understanding East Asia. Donations help support faculty research, graduate fellowships, library collections, academic conferences, and lecture series. CEAS welcomes support for capital projects. If you are interested in making a donation, please contact Abbey Newman.