Comprehensive Exercise Requirements

  1. The Asian Studies Director will select primary and secondary readers for the project.
  2. The student must work out a proposal, in careful consultation with the two readers, by the fourth week of the fall term of the senior year. The student must then submit the proposal to the Asian Studies Director by the sixth week of the term. The Asian Studies Director will inform the student when the proposal is approved.
  3. A first draft of the full-length Comps paper must be submitted to the Asian Studies Director and the two readers no later than the ninth week of the student’s next-to-last term at Carleton (usually the winter). This draft will be read, critiqued, and returned to the student by the end of the first week of the student’s last term.
  4. Deadline for submission of the completed project, including a one-page abstract (both must be submitted in hard-copy and electronically), is the end of the fourth week of the student’s final term at Carleton.
  5. The student will defend the completed project in an oral examination with the two readers. The student will also discuss the Comps at a meeting arranged by the Asian Studies Chair and open to Asian Studies faculty, Asian Studies students, and other interested persons on campus.

Comps Proposal

The Comps Proposal should adhere to the following format:

  1. Statement of the problem to be examined: This may take the the form of a hypothesis; a statement of fact which the project will undertake to explain or examine; the opposing sides of a continuing argument to which the project will add another opinion; etc.
  2. Preparation: The student should provide a list of courses taken or to be taken at Carleton or elsewhere and any other experiences that are relevant to the successful undertaking and completion of the project.
  3. Method of study: The student should indicate as clearly as possible the disciplinary method or methods to be used in investigating the stated problem of research.
  4. Resources: When applicable, the student should indicate the non-Carleton facilities and faculty to be utilized in the collection of data and completion of the project (i.e., institutes, libraries, museums, performing arts groups, experts, etc.).
  5. Bibliography: The proposal should include a preliminary bibliography, consisting of the major books and articles the student has already read, or has yet to read.
  6. Implications of the study: The student should indicate what she/he expects to learn from the study; how the study relates to what others have done with the problem; how the study furthers understanding of the problem or adds a new dimension to understanding; etc. In short, what contributions does the student anticipate s/he will make by studying from the particular perspective proposed?

Sample Comps Titles

  • The Hikkomori Phenomenon: A Road to Peace and Destruction
  • Nányīn as “Living Fossil:” Uses of the Past in Nányīn Discourse
  • Changing Conceptions of Masculinity in Imperial China
  • How Foreign is too Foreign? The “Westernization” of Contemporary Japanese
  • Neither a Good Wife nor a Wise Mother: Destabilization of Female Gender Conventions in Japanese Detective Fiction
  • The Historical Phonology of Old Japanese and Proto-Japonic
  • The Invisible Japanese: Buraku Identity and Education in “Education, Discrimination, and I”
  • The Propaganda of Business: Changes in Language from Liberation to Liberalization in the P.R.C.
  • Consistency or Confusion: The Aftermath of Simplified Chinese Characters
  • It’s A Small World After All: Is Tokyo Disneyland a Manifestation of Cultural Imperialism in Japan?
  • Hatsune Miku and the “Sound of the Future:” How a Single Voice is Revolutionizing the Japanese Idol Industry
  • Simla: Deconstruction of a City and its Social Body
  • Mobile Suit Gundam and the Changes in the Japanese Family System: How Robots Reflect Japanese Society
  • DON’T PANIC: A Descriptive Translation Studies Analysis of 徐百柯 and 姚向辉’s Translations of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • Exploring the Intersection of art, feminism, and identity in the works of Yayoi Kusama Chiharu Shiota
  • Ono no Komachi Iconography in Ukiyo-e: Satire, Sex & Social Rebellion
  • Issues Affecting Modern Chinese Youth: Globalization as Depicted in Five Chinese Films
  • Manga for Young Men Going Global, Transnational Readership of Kingdom
  • Fallen City, Fallen Women, Fallen Masks: Zhang Ailing, The Dream of the Red Chamber, and the Aestheticism of Disaster
  • Miko in Japan: Female Shaman Power Lost?