Asian Studies

Asian Studies contributes to developing a fuller and more accurate account of world cultures, societies, religious traditions, and national and ethnic identity formation.  It also examines the particular ways Asian political, historical, religious, and cultural developments help to articulate their local interests and our interrelated global citizenry.

This minor is an excellent springboard from which to launch a meaningful vocation in fields where in-depth knowledge of the socio-historical and cultural contexts of Asian ideas and institutions are essential.  This program will offer students analytical paradigms, interpretative tools, and critical thinking skills; encourage a lifelong pursuit of strategies for community empowerment, engagement, and social change; create the foundation for vocations in health and medicine, business, law, social work, public policy, government, the arts, or academics.  This will ultimately create truly “global citizens.”

Students will integrate both social scientific and humanistic disciplines, gaining both breadth and depth as they engage in the study of particular Asian areas.  The Asian Studies minor is a cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary minor program led by four Asianist faculty in religious studies, history, art history, and political science.  The primary areas of study will be Korea, China, Japan, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tibetan cultural area, and Bhutan.  The program also boasts a broad range of additional associated faculty members in disciplines ranging from biology, communication, business management, foreign language, music, and English.  

Advisory Committee

  • Jugdep S. Chima, Assistant Professor of Political Science
  • Lisa Bixenstine Safford, Professor of Art History, Chair of Art Department
  • Merose Hwang, Acting Coordinator of Asian Studies Minor, Assistant Professor of History
  • Kerry Martin Skora, Professor and Chair of Religious Studies, Director of Hiram-Bhutan Exchange Program

Requirements for the Minor

To qualify for an Asian studies minor, students must choose one core disciplinary professor to be their advisor.  Students must propose and follow a course of study as approved by the Asian Studies Advisory Committee.  They must take the INTD 2XXXX Seminar: Identity and Society in Asia (4 hours), and take at least 16 credit hours in at least two core disciplines, for a total of 20 credit hours.  Study-abroad and language coursework is encouraged but not required. Students will be encouraged to focus on a region or a discipline in their choice of coursework. Possible study-abroad destinations include India, Bhutan, China, and Japan.  A possible on-campus language course includes Chinese. 

Required Course

This team-taught INTD course is required for students in the minor program.  This course will focus on two disciplines and two areas and is meant to introduce students to a variety of Asian religions, cultures, histories, and politics.

  • INTD 2XXXX Seminar: Identity and Society in Asia (4 hours)

Core Discipline Requirement

Courses must be chosen from two of the following core disciplines (at least one course from each, equaling 6-8 hours minimum). Courses that count toward the minor are identified in individual course descriptions.  Student’s program will be designed and approved in consultation with an advisor from the Committee to ensure they fulfill the requirements for the minor.


  • HIST 21700: Modern China 1842 to Present, CA, EW (4 hr)
  • HIST 21900: Japan Since 1868, CA, EW (4 hr)
  • HIST []: Modern East Asia, CA, EW (4 hr)
  • HIST []: Chosŏn Korea: 1392-1910 (4 hr)
  • HIST []: Shamans & Superstition, CA, EW (3 hr)
  • HIST 25650: Gender and Sexuality in East Asia, CA, EW (3 hr)
  • HIST 23020: Female Labor in East Asia, CA, EW (3 hr)

Political Science

  • POLS []: Insurgency & Ethnic Conflict in South Asia (4 hr)
  • POLS []: International Relations of South Asia (3 hr)
  • POLS []: Politics of South Asia (4 hr)
  • POLS []: Politics and Development in Asia (4 hr)
  • POLS []: Asian Political Thought (4 hr)
  • INTD[]: Identity, Expression, & Representation in India, EMS (3 hr) - Chima & Safford

Religious Studies

  • RELG []: Topics in Hinduism (4 hr)
  • RELG []: Topics in Buddhism (4 hr)
  • RELG []: Seminar in Religions of Tibet and Bhutan (4 hr)
  • RELG []: Seminar in Tantra in India and Tibet (4 hr)
  • INTD 30040: Pilgrimage to Bhutan, CM, EMS, EW (3 hr) - Skora & Zabor

Elective Courses

The following courses may count towards the Asian Studies minor. This list is not comprehensive and may change based on offerings.  Advisors should review courses not included in this list to count towards the minor.

  • ART 22800: Japanese Art History, EW, IM (4 hr) - Safford
  • ART 32000: The Art of India, EW, IM (3 hr) - Safford
  • CHIN 10200: Beginning Mandarin Chinese II - Ji
  • ENGL 43800: Visions of India, EW, IM (4 hr) - Parkinson
  • ENGL 22600: India in Fiction and Film, EW, IM (4 hr) - Parkinson
  • MUSI 22000: Asian Music, EW, IM (4 hr) - Dreisbach
  • INTD 393.E3: China: Tradition and Change, EW (3 hr) - Ambuske and Yu
  • INTD 30800: Japan: Foundations of Material Culture and Patterns of Social Interaction (4 hours) - Safford
  • INTD[]: Turning Japanese: Japan’s Cultural and Genetic Identity, EMS, Team (3 hr) - Parkinson & Constance


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