In a globalized society, it is important to find alternatives to US-centric world views and create opportunities to center and learn from equally important voices and perspectives from around the world. We have much to learn from Asia’s complex experiences with local, regional, and global flows of privilege, power, colonialism, and ethnic conflict.
Asian popular musics, cinema, and literature–manga, anime, Bollywood, and martial arts films–have become mainstays in the world’s media sphere, while innovative new media cultures invite the world to listen to the new Asia. While technology makes the world feel increasingly interconnected in some senses, we also encounter troubling stereotypes, prejudice, and racism within and toward Asia in today’s fast-paced global media, politics, as well as in everyday encounters.
By learning about the languages, histories, philosophies, politics, economies, literatures, arts, religions, and cultures of the many peoples of Asia and its diasporas, we hope for students to gain the knowledge, contexts, and inter-cultural competency necessary to engage with the joys and troubles of a large part of the world that is under-acknowledged in academic institutions outside Asia.
Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary program designed to encourage students to deepen their study of Asian cultures through courses and the senior thesis along with rigorous training and expertise in Chinese or Japanese language. The program features three majors: Chinese, Japanese, and Asian Studies. In addition to the majors, the Program in Asian Studies offers minors in Chinese, Japanese, and Asian Studies.
We also have fun together—regular language tables as well as cultural events where we celebrate cultural traditions of Asia—and strongly encourage a semester (or a full year) of study abroad in China or Japan as an integral part of our curriculum for linguistic and cultural immersion and exploration on the ground.