Colloquium showcases diverse approaches to East Asian Studies

Student giving presentation.

Emma Toh, allied concentrator in EAS and Statistics, presents her research on the rise of single-family households in Korea. Photo by Naia Poyer

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A dozen seniors in the East Asian Studies concentration gathered recently to present their thesis research to an audience of faculty, staff, and fellow students. Limited to 10 minutes apiece, these presentations challenged thesis writers to condense complex topics and convey their research findings to an audience with diverse backgrounds.

Diversity was a key feature of this year’s Colloquium on Feb. 14. Many of the presenters are pursuing allied concentrations with EAS and other departments, including Government, Philosophy, Social Studies, History, Earth and Planetary Science, Anthropology, and Statistics. This varied lineup reflects a growing trend among Harvard undergraduates: combining EAS with other fields in order to create a well-rounded yet highly specialized concentration.

Attendees expressed surprise at the multitude of topics on display, ranging from a study of Singapore’s healthcare system, to Dōgen’s view of morality and the self, to urban planning in Lingang, a Chinese “ghost city,” to a 3D petroleum systems evolutionary model of the Qaidam Basin in China. One presenter, Yong-Han Poh, also organized an exhibition connected with her thesis work through the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies — “Life in Singapore: Views from Migrant Workers.”

A complete list of participants and topics can be found on the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations website.