East Asia Related Resources

Harvard offers unsurpassed resources in terms of faculty members, researchers, visiting scholars, guest lecturers, other visitors, and students who participate each year in a variety of both formal and informal activities—lectures, luncheon series, colloquia organized by various departments and committees, conferences, symposia, concerts and other performances, film screenings, and so on. 

The Committee on Inner Asian and Altaic Studies (IAAS) (also administered by the RSEA staff) organizes a series of monthly lectures during the academic year as well as other events. It maintains a mailing list of Inner Asian scholars and students in the local area; interested RSEA students may add their names to the mailing list and be notified of all Inner Asian Studies events. 

The Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations is the home of the East Asian Languages and offers a wide variety of courses on East Asia. Faculty from EALC are actively involved in advising RSEA students academically and as Thesis Advisors.  Among the many talks and events, EALC also hosts the China Humanities Seminar series, which is a series of talks primarily focused on premodern Chinese humanities.

Harvard East Asia Society (HEAS) is a GSAS student organization of which all RSEA students are automatically members. HEAS arranges a variety of academic and social events during the academic year. The capstone event is the annual HEAS Conference, which provides an interdisciplinary forum for graduate students to exchange ideas and discuss current research on topics related to East Asia. The HEAS Conference is entirely organized by RSEA students. Participating in the planning and execution of the HEAS Conference is an exciting and rewarding experience for RSEA students. See https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/heasconference for information about recent/upcoming HEAS Conferences.

The Harvard Asia Center (https://asiacenter.harvard.edu/) was founded in 1997 to bring together faculty and students from all of Harvard's schools and programs.  It is the focal point of interaction between the Harvard community and Asian intellectual, political, and business circles.  It is an intellectual meeting ground for faculty members, students, and scholars from around the world who study China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and other Asian nations.  The Asia Center posts a calendar of upcoming Asia-related events at Harvard. Visit https://asiacenter.harvard.edu/ for event information, or subscribe to the Asia Center mailing list to receive weekly “Asia Center this Week” announcements via email.

The John K. Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies (https://fairbank.fas.harvard.edu/) grew out of two research programs launched in 1955, which in 1957 were consolidated into the East Asian Research Center (originally called the Center for East Asian Studies).  The Center was renamed in 1977 to honor the retirement of its founder, John K. Fairbank.  Its primary objective is to facilitate research and publications on China, with particular emphasis on contemporary issues; its premise is that China today can best be understood in light of its historical background and its geographical and cultural contexts.  The Fairbank Center assists postdoctoral researchers who are preparing manuscripts for publication; the Center also invites senior researchers from American and foreign institutions to work on selected projects or give invited talks.

The Korea Institute (https://korea.fas.harvard.edu/ ) was established in 1975 under the aegis of the Fairbank Center for East Asian Research and became an autonomous unit in 1993.  The Korea Colloquium brings national and international scholars to Harvard to discuss their current work on Korea; the Korea Current Affairs Forum brings nonacademic speakers to give presentations on current topics of interest concerning Korea.  The Korea Institute also hosts special cultural events throughout the year to foster a greater understanding of Korea within the Harvard community and the general public, and it provides grants and scholarships to Harvard students, on the basis of scholastic merit, to support and encourage the study of Korea.

The Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies (https://rijs.fas.harvard.edu/ ), originally known as the Japan Institute, was established in 1973.  An initial grant from the Japanese government through the Japan Foundation, together with subsequent Japanese corporate gifts, have assisted in the development and support of Japanese studies at Harvard University.  The Institute was renamed in 1985 in honor of its founder.  It supports new teaching positions in Japanese studies; research, publications, library, and administrative costs related to Institute programs; undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral fellowships and grants; and other activities designed to stimulate the study of Japan.

The Harvard-Yenching Institute (https://harvard-yenching.org/)  is an independent, nonprofit corporation primarily concerned with education in Asia.  Located at 2 Divinity Avenue, it sponsors publications, fellowships, and a program of visiting scholars from East Asia, making it a major contributor of resources and activities in East Asian studies at Harvard.  The Institute is a foundation and not a teaching organization.  It publishes the Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies and supports the publication of various books through the Harvard University Press.

The Mahindra Humanities Center (http://mahindrahumanities.fas.harvard.edu/) at Harvard is the home of interdisciplinary research and conversations, rooted in the humanities and reaching out to the world.  It “seeks to foster collaborations between the humanities, social sciences, and sciences in the belief that the humanities make a unique contribution in establishing -- through interpretation and conversation -- communities of interest and climates of opinion.” They also provide support for student conferences.

The Harvard Libraries currently consist of 93 physical libraries! Visit Library.harvard.edu for more information.  The main East Asia related libraries are:

The Harvard-Yenching Library, located at 2 Divinity Avenue, is the third largest library within Harvard and holds one of the most distinguished collections in East Asian languages outside Asia with current holdings exceeding 1.3 million volumes.  It also receives 8,700 current periodicals and journals.  In addition to materials in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, it contains significant holdings in Manchu, Mongolian, Tibetan, Vietnamese, and western languages.  The library is both a subject collection on East Asia and a general collection of works in East Asian languages.

The Fung Library in the CGIS-North building (1737 Cambridge Street) has collections of resources and materials from many geographical regions including the Davis Center Russian and Eurasian collection, the Fairbank Center Library, and the Documentation Center on Contemporary Japan.

The Fairbank Library (https://library.harvard.edu/collections/fairbank-center-chinese-studies-collection) curated by Nancy Hearst, has holdings focusing on hard to find Chinese materials and unpublished documents mainly on contemporary China.  With approximately 30,000 volumes and 150 periodicals, it complements the Harvard-Yenching Library’s resources.

The Japan Digital Research Center (https://library.harvard.edu/collections/japan-digital-research-center) manages an interdisciplinary, responsive digital research collection at the Fung Library that focuses mainly on contemporary journals and digital materials. 

The Harvard Law School Library (https://hls.harvard.edu/library)  possesses an excellent collection of legal materials on East Asia, especially on Japanese law and government, and the Harvard College Library maintains a comprehensive collection of western works on Asia.

The Harvard Museums is free to Harvard ID holders and a guest.

The Harvard Art Museums (https://www.harvardartmuseums.org/)   contain distinguished examples of the archaeology and fine arts of China, Japan, and Korea.  The collections of ancient Chinese bronzes and jades, Buddhist sculptures, and Japanese wood block prints are among the finest in the world.  The museum also houses an extensive library, a large slide collection, and a substantial photographic archive. 

The Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) (mcz.harvard.edu) is focused on the comparative relationships of animal life.  The MCZ house millions of animal specimens divided into the nine departments.

Harvard's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology (https://www.peabody.harvard.edu/) has long been a leading center for research in the anthropology as well as the archaeology of East Asia.