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Interdisciplinary Concentration in Asian Studies

Program Planner

Sponsors: Q. Shao (History), Coordinator, J. Gross (History), D. Hutton (Art), R. Kovalev (History), R. Li (Sociology), J. Mi (Modern Languages/English), L. Xinru (History)

The Asian Studies concentration focuses on socio-cultural-political aspects and different historical time periods of Asian societies, thus enabling students to gain crucial understandings of the aesthetics, history, and cultures of Asian societies. Courses in religions and philosophies of Asia increase students’ awareness of the diverse cultural frameworks and literary, artistic, architectural, and other forms through which religious belief has been expressed in various regions of Asia. Courses in social science and history facilitate nuanced knowledge of Asian cultures and societies from an interdisciplinary perspective and help students critically engage various analytic skills and interpretative methodologies in the study of Asia.

Students are drawn into an area of study with which they may be unfamiliar. It will deepen their understanding of Asian cultures and engender the cultivation of life-long interests that will be conducive to more varied social interactions and leadership opportunities.  Specific educational goals of the program include providing students with: a basic knowledge of one or more Asian cultures from an interdisciplinary approach; an introductory-level familiarity with an Asian language of their choosing; and a first-hand experience of studying or working in that linguistic culture through overseas studies or other channels.

Curriculum

Students take six courses, drawn from three disciplines, chosen from an approved list (see below), or by advisement. Students are strongly encouraged to work with their advisors to develop a coherent focus as they fulfill the program’s requirements. Unless prerequisites are indicated, courses have no prerequisites.

Asian Language (one course at the 102-level in Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or other Asian language, or equivalent proficiency)

Arts and Humanities (two courses: students may choose from any of the following but are encouraged to take one course from each category)

Asian Religious Cultures and Philosophy

  • REL 111/Buddhism and Buddhist Thought
  • REL 112/Hinduism and Hindu Thought
  • REL 113/Islam and Islamic Thought

Literary and Visual Cultures of Asia

  • AAH 210/Arts of South Asia
  • AAH 211/Arts of East Asia
  • AAH 212/Arts of the Islamic World

NOTE: Courses listed below are seminars and topics courses that qualify for Asian studies by virtue of their particular subject matter. Not all classes with the listed numbers may be used for the Asian Studies. Please check with an Asians Studies faculty sponsor before enrolling in a topics course.

  • AAH 310/Early Modern Asian Art
  • AAH 312/Arts of Iran
  • AAH 415/Photography in India
  • MDL 371/New Chinese Cinema: Gender, National Identity and post-Socialist Ideology (under development)
  • MDL 371/Undergraduate Seminar on Contemporary Chinese Culture
  • LIT 370/Virtual Tibet: Cool Spirituality in an Age of Popular Culture (under development)
  • LIT 370/Orientalism and Western Imagination (under development)
  • LIT 217/Diaspora and Transmigration in Asian American Literature
  • WGS 375-01/East/West Encounters in South Asian Feminism
  • WGS 375-02/Pleasure and Nation: The Politics of Prostitution in South Asia

History and Social Science (two courses: students may choose from any of the following but are encouraged to take one course from each category)

Social Sciences

      • CRI 351/Comparative Criminology: Japan, America, and Britain
      • SOC 382/Globalization and Social Change in China

History

      • HIS 131/Early Chinese History
      • HIS 135/Indian Civilization
      • HIS 239/History of Modern India
      • HIS 330/Indian Civilization
      • HIS 334/Modern East Asia
      • HIS 335/Modern Japan
      • HIS 336/Late Imperial China
      • HIS 337/20th-Century China
      • HIS 339/History of Modern India
      • HIS 342/Modern Middle East
      • HIS 451/Women in Pre-Modern India

Note: History courses listed below are seminars and topics courses that qualify for Asian studies by virtue of their particular subject matter. Not all classes with the listed numbers may be used for the Asian Studies. Please check with an Asians Studies faculty sponsor before enrolling in a topics course.

      • HIS 332/Film and History in the Middle East and Central Asia
      • HIS 331/Silk and Religion
      • HIS 454/Readings Seminar on Afghanistan
      • HIS 454/Readings Seminar on Islamic Mysticism and Shrines
      • HIS 454/Readings Seminar on Post-Mongol Central Asia
      • HIS 452/Readings Seminar on Women in the Middle East and
      • HIS 454/Politics, Culture, and Identity in Modern Central Asia
      • HIS 455/Asian Study Tour
      • HIS 455/Women and the Family in East Asia
      • HIS 455/American Popular Culture in Asia
      • HIS 455/Maoism and the Chinese Revolution
      • HIS 498/The City in Modern China
      • HIS 498/Political Protest in Twentieth-century China

Concentration Elective

Students must choose one additional course from those listed above or one additional course in an Asian language. Substitutions may be made by advisement.

Additional Qualifications

Three of the six courses must be at the 300 level or above. Other relevant courses may be substituted in each of these categories with the permission of a faculty sponsor. First Seminars may also count toward completion of this concentration if their subject matter is appropriate. Students must consult with faculty sponsors to determine whether their

First Seminars can be applied to the Asian Studies Concentration.

In addition to courses required by this concentration, a student must complete one approved course in quantitative reasoning and one approved course in laboratory science to satisfy breadth requirements in liberal learning. Students should consult their major or open option advisors about how best to complete other liberal learning requirements.

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