Classical, Middle Eastern, and Asian Languages and Cultures

Welcome to the Department of Classical, Middle Eastern, and Asian Languages and Cultures
Scenic view of a Chinese temple.

Office Information

Yunzhong Shu
Department Chair
Location: Queens Hall, Room 215
Phone: 718-997-5570

Our office is open for in-person appointments on a limited basis. Please call or email the department to schedule an appointment.

Faculty can be reached by email and are holding office hours by phone or videoconference. See faculty information.

Cultural knowledge, along with the ability to use a foreign language, are essential components of a liberal arts education. In addition to language courses, the faculty of this department offers a wide variety of literature and culture courses both in English and in foreign languages. Students who already know the languages are able to take advanced courses to enrich their understanding of the humanities in these traditions; sequences of such courses can become important components of interdisciplinary concentrations, minors, or double-majors that complement a student’s primary field of study. “In-translation” courses give students an understanding of the ancient Western and Asian classics, and of various modern Asian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean cultures.

These courses can serve as valuable supplements to work in other departments and fields where knowledge of Classical, Middle Eastern, and Asian cultures and languages can be an important component; these include anthropology, art, economics, linguistics, political science, urban studies, and women’s studies. The department stresses the importance of critical thinking, research, and writing skills for all undergraduates; we work with students to develop interdisciplinary concentrations, minors, or double-majors linked to a diverse range of interests, fields of study, and professional orientations. In addition, we work closely with other departments and programs to sponsor visiting international writers and scholars in order to explore and emphasize a broad issues.

Study Abroad

The Department has established links with the following universities and programs.

Rikkyo University (Tokyo)
Sichuan University (Chengdu)

Language Placement

Upcoming Language Placement Exams

Arabic: Please ​contact Professor Kirsten Beck, the Arabic language coordinator, ​at

Chinese: Please contact Professor Xiao Li, the Chinese language coordinator, at

Ancient Greek: Please contact Professor Raymond Capra, the Ancient Greek language coordinator, at

Hebrew: Please contact Professor Oded Nir, the Hebrew language coordinator, at

Japanese: Please contact Professor Mari Fujimoto, the Japanese language coordinator, at

Korean: Please contact Professor Seongyeon Ko, the Korean language coordinator, at

Latin: Please contact Professor Raymond Capra, the Latin language coordinator, at