The Minor in Asian Studies

The minor in Asian Studies offers students a rich curriculum in the arts and literatures, history, philosophy and religion, and contemporary affairs of East Asia, South Asia, and Central and Islamic Asia. It is interdisciplinary and transnational, meaning that it requires you to think beyond the boundaries of any single department and country. As an Asian Studies minor, you will learn how to speak an Asian language, investigate history and current affairs from a regional perspective, interpret works of literature and art in their cultural contexts, and think comparatively about Asian religions and philosophies. This interdisciplinary and cross-cultural training provides a foundation for careers in business, government, teaching, journalism, non-profits, and many other professions. It is also good preparation for graduate school, as it teaches essential skills in thinking critically across the humanities and social sciences.

The program rests on three pillars:

  • an emphasis on regional and transnational relations

  • the integration of different disciplinary approaches

  • language study

Students take a minimum of 18 credits to fulfill the minor, 15 of which may not simultaneously be counted towards the Core or other major/minor requirements. The minor begins with an introductory survey course on Asia as a world region from the vantage point of a particular discipline (such as art, literature, history, or philosophy), and concludes with a senior capstone course (optional for 2017-2018) that approaches a particular topic relevant to the study of Asia from an interdisciplinary perspective. Along the way, students have ample opportunity to hone their interdisciplinary skills and global outlook through a wide range of lower and upper level electives involving at least three different departments. Although no more than an intermediate proficiency in an Asian language is required (the same as the University Core requirement), further language study is encouraged.

Students are invited to take full advantage of the Distinguished Lectures Series in Asian Studies as well as other Asian Studies-sponsored campus events and are encouraged to study abroad in Asia. Our faculty provide many different resources related to advising, scholarships, and internship opportunities. All minors must meet with the Director when they declare their minor, typically in their sophomore year. They must also meet with the Director prior to choosing the senior capstone course.

Summary of minimum requirements (18 credits):

  1. Introductory course on Asia as a world region (3 credits)

  2. Intermediate proficiency in an Asian language (3 credits)

  3. Two to four electives (6-12 credits) from the list provided,

  4. Senior capstone course (3 credits)


Take 1 introductory course on Asia as a world region (3 credits) from the following list. These courses offer surveys of a large geographical region of Asia from a particular disciplinary vantage point.

Introduction: Asia as a world region

Course Instructor Semester Offered
ARTH 2246 Architecture in East Asia Campbell Fall 2017
ARTH 2274 Buddhist Arts of Asia Campbell Spring 2018
EALC 2064 East Asian Literary Masterpieces Chiang  
HIST 1005 Asia in the World I (also fulfills History CoreI) Zhang Fall 2018
HIST 1006 Asia in the World II  (also fulfills History Core II) Mo Spring 2019
MUSA 2308 Musics of Asia Dineen Fall 2017
PHIL 4430 Classical & Contemporary Asian Philosophy Johnson Spring 2019
THEO 1161.03 The Religious Quest: Buddhism & Christianity I Makransky Fall 2018
THEO 1162.03 The Religious Quest: Buddhism & Christianity II Makransky Spring 2019
THEO 1161.04 The Religious Quest: Chinese Religions & Christianity I Mozina Fall 2018
THEO 1162.04 The Religious Quest: Chinese Religions & Christianity II Mozina Spring 2019
THEO 3507/PHIL 3503  Buddhist Philosophy and Psychology Makransky Fall 2017
THEO 3548/PHIL 4448 Buddhist Thought and Practice Makransky Spring 2019

Attain intermediate proficiency in an Asian language. You may count 3 credits at the intermediate level toward the minor. Up to 6 additional credits may be taken beyond the intermediate level in place of electives. Students who test out of the language requirement may study a different language or take electives instead.

Chinese

Course Instructor Semester Offered
EALC 1121/2 Elementary Chinese Fall/Spring; 6 credits Lu
2018-2019
EALC 2121/2 Intermediate Chinese Fall/Spring; 6 credits Chiang
2018-2019
EALC 4121/2 Advanced Chinese Fall/Spring; 3 credits Lu
2018-2019
EALC 4190 Advanced Tutorial: Chinese Fall/Spring; 3 credits Tai
2018-2019
EALC 3161 Business Chinese; 3 credits Lu
Spring 2019
EALC 3162 Newspaper and Media Chinese; 3 credits Lu
Spring 2017
EALC 4151 Readings in Chinese Literature & Philosophy; 3 credits    
EALC 4153 Linguistic Structure of Chinese; 3 credits   Spring 2019

Japanese

Course Instructor Semester Offered
EALC 1221/2 Elementary Japanese  Fall/Spring; 4 credits Sullivan, Miyaki 2018-2019
EALC 2221/2 Intermediate Japanese  Fall/Spring; 4 credits Cheung 2018-2019
EALC 3221/2 Third-Year Japanese  Fall/Spring; 3 credits Cheung 2018-2019
EALC 4221/2 Advanced Japanese  Fall/Spring; 3 credits Miyaki 2018-2019
EALC 3261 Business Japanese  3 credits Sullivan  
EALC 3263 Japanese Pop Culture (Sullivan) Fall; 3 credits Sullivan  
LING 3358 The Linguistic Structure of Japanese Thomas  

Korean

Course Instructor Semester Offered
EALC 1311/2 Introduction to Korean Fall/Spring; 3 credits Jeon 2018-2019
EALC 2231/2 Continuing Korean Fall/Spring; 3 credits Jeon 2018-2019

Hindi-Urdu

Consortium: Boston University World Languages and Literatures

Vietnamese

Consortium: UMASS Boston Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures Department

Take between 6 and 12 credits worth of electives from at least three different departments to bring the number of credits counted toward the minor to 15 (in addition to the Introductory class and language courses). The following thematic clusters are meant as a guide.

Arts & Literature

Course Instructor Semester Offered
ARTH 2213 Islamic Architecture Blair/Bloom  
ARTH 2241 Chinese Art and Architecture, 1911 to present Campbell  
ARTH 2244 Chinese Visual Culture Campbell  
ARTH 2245 Japanese Visual Culture Campbell Fall 2018
ARTH 2280 Masterpieces of Islamic Art Blair  
ARTH 3350 Object in Islamic Art Blair  
ARTH 4214 Art of the Silk Road Blair & Campbell  
ARTH 4315 Material Culture of Private Life in China Campbell Fall 2018
ARTH 4402 Art and Architecture of The Forbidden City Campbell Spring 2019
ARTH 4417 Paper Trails Bloom  
EALC 2161 Ghosts & Strange Happenings in Chinese Literature Chiang Fall 2018
EALC 2162 Gods and Heroes in Chinese Literature Chiang  
EALC 3165 Gender and Sexuality in Chinese Literature Chiang  
EALC 3166 Classical Chinese Literature   Spring 2019
MUSA 2304 Musics of India Dineen Spring 2018

Contemporary Asia

Course Instructor Semester Offered
POLI 2469 Politics of Japan and Korea Hayao Fall 2018
INTL/HIST/ECON 2871 Industrialization and Democratization in Korea Hwang Fall 2018
HIST 4003 Public Culture in Postwar Japan Seraphim  
HIST 4007 Global Japan Since the 1970s Seraphim  
HIST 4076 Tian'anmen Movement Mo  
INT 4022 Human Rights & Democratic Transition in Korea Hwang Spring 2019
ENGL 4373/FILM 3320 Korean Cinema Klein  
ENGL/FILM 4495 Contemporary Asian Cinema Klein  
POLI 4590 East Asian Security Ross  
HIST/INTL 4804 Divided Korea Hwang Fall 2018
INTL 4941 Rise of China: Development and Capital Accumulation in Contemporary China Chuang  

History

Course Instructor Semester Offered
HIST 2020 Japanese Cultural Icons through Modern Times Seraphim  
HIST 2041 China from Antiquity to the Middle Ages Zhang  
HIST 2043 The First Emperor and the Rise of Imperial China Zhang  
HIST 2044 Chinese Environmental History Zhang  
HIST 2045 The Material and Cultural History of Food in China Zhang Spring 2019
HIST 2051 Modern China Mo/Yu Fall 2018
HIST 2562 History of Shanghai    
HIST/INTL 2854 Colonial Korea and its Legacies Hwang Spring 2019
HIST 4005 The Asia Pacific War Seraphim  
HIST 4048 Women and Gender in Modern China Mo/Yu Fall 2018
HIST 4090 Modern South Asia Parthasarathi  
HIST 4806 Borderlands in Modern Chinese History    
HIST 5005 The U.S. Occupations of Japan and Germany Seraphim  

Religion and Philosophy

Course Instructor Semester Offered
PHIL 3507/THEO 3507  Buddhist Philosophy and Psychology Makransky Fall 2017
PHIL 4430 Classical & Contemporary Asian Philosophy Johnson Spring 2019
PHIL 4476 Classical Chinese Philosophy Jiang  
PHIL 4468 Asian Philosophy Johnson Fall 2017
PHIL 4476 Classical Chinese Philosophy Fr. Jiang Fall 2018
THEO 3527 Meditation and Action: Interfaith Explorations Makransky Spring 2019
THEO 3548/PHIL 4448 Buddhist Thought and Practice Makransky Spring 2019
THEO/PHIL 4472 Buddhist Ethics Makransky Fall 2018
THEO 5387 Mahayana Buddhism in East Asia Mozina Fall 2018
THEO 6578, PHIL 6578 Daoism Mozina Spring 2019

OPTIONAL FOR 2017-2018, MANDATORY FROM 2018-2019 ON. Take 1 of the two designated elective courses (3 credits) as a senior capstone course. These specially selected courses change every year but all feature interdisciplinary perspectives and are meant to bring Asian Studies seniors together to integrate what they have learned. In special circumstances it is possible to substitute with an elective course, with the director’s permission.

Senior capstone

Course Instructor Semester Offered
HIST 4003 Public Culture in Postwar Japan Seraphim  
HIST/INTL 4804 Divided Korea Hwang Fall 2018
THEO 6578, PHIL 6578 Daoism Mozina Spring 2019