Catalog 2016-2017

Asian Studies

Teaching Faculty

Faculty Contact: Sprunger


The Asian Studies program adopts an integrated approach to the in-depth study of one of the world's most significant regions. Students pursuing the minor engage in Asia-focused coursework in both the humanities and the social sciences, and are strongly encouraged to undertake study abroad and engaged learning opportunities in Asia. Students may pursue the minor along two concentrations, one of which allows for the integration of relevant language training. Those interested in developing an interdisciplinary major in Asian Studies are encouraged to discuss curricular possibilities with affiliated faculty members.

Minor in Asian Studies

Language Concentration: 6 courses as follows:

  • 2 courses in an Asian language
                CHIN 110 Beginning Chinese I
                CHIN 120 Beginning Chinese II
                CHIN 210 Intermediate Chinese I
                CHIN 220 Intermediate Chinese II
                CHIN 310 Advanced Chinese I
                CHIN 320 Advanced Chinese II
               The equivalent of two semesters of Asian language study approved by the program chair 
  • 2 courses in the Humanities
                ASIA 190 Chinese Martial Arts Novels and Films
                ASIA 320 Indian Culture Through Fiction
                CHIN 351/ASIA 251 Survey of Chinese Literature to 1911
                CHIN 352/ASIA 252 Survey of Chinese Literature since 1911
                CHIN 395 Topics in Chinese Literature
                ENGL 397 Vietnam in the Literary Imagination
                PHIL 250 Philosophies of India
                PHIL 260 Philosophies of China and Japan
                RELI 111 Asian Religions: An Introduction
                RELI 218 Buddhist Contemplaton
                RELI 222 Chinese Religions
                RELI 223 An Introduction to Hinduism
                RELI 225 An Introduction to Buddhism
                RELI 238 Tibetan Buddhist Culture
                RELI 280 Issues in Religious Studies*
                RELI 334 Buddhist Sacred Biographies
                RELI 337 Contemporary Buddhist Thought
                RELI 410 Topics in Asian Religion
  • 2 courses in the Social Sciences
                ANTH 490 Special Topics*
                ASIA 100 Survey of Asian Cultures and Ethnicities
                ASIA 205/ANTH 205 Food, Nutrition, and Health in Asia
                ASIA 305/ANTH 305 Asian Medical Traditions
                HIST 160 Origins of East Asia
                HIST 244 Modern China
                HIST 246 Modern Japan
                HIST 285 East Asia and the United States
                HIST 291 Japan and World War II in Asia
                HIST 292 The Two Koreas
                HIST 293 Korea: The Forgotten War
                HIST 306 Crime and Punishment in East Asia
                HIST 307 Gender and Society in East Asia
                HIST 360 Vietnam and the 60s
                POLI 440 Advanced Topics in Comparative Politics and International Relations*
  • 2 courses must be taken at the 300-level or above.

*Must be approved by the Asian Studies program chai

Non-language Concentration: 6 courses as follows:

  • 3 courses in the Humanities listed in the language concentration
  • 3 courses in the Social Sciences listed in the language concentration
  • 3 courses must be taken at the 300-level or above.


  • In both concentrations, religious studies majors and history majors may double-count only one course from their major toward the Asian Studies minor.
  • In both concentrations, students pursuing additional coursework while studying abroad or at other institutions, if applicable and approved by the program chair, may substitute up to 2 non-language courses to fulfill requirements.

Program Course Listings

The courses for this program are organized into the following categories:

Asian Studies Courses

ASIA 100

Asian Cultures & Ethnicities

This survey course describes the cultural and ethnic diversity of Asia, with specific emphasis on conflict of subcultures with the ruling culture. In addition, students learn about geography, ecology and resource limitations within the Asian continent context. No prerequisites.

ASIA 190

Chinese Martial Arts Novels & Films

This course is taught completely in English with no prerequisite. In this course students study a specific genre and motif, “gods, demons and the supernatural,” in Chinese traditional and contemporary literature. By reading this genre and motif, this course provides students a strong foundation to understand Chinese traditional cultures through Chinese traditional thoughts and religious beliefs, as well as to comprehend modern Chinese cultures which are influenced by both Chinese traditional cultures and Western ideologies. Cross-listed as CHIN 190.

Literary Studies LS
ASIA 191

East Asian Popular Cultures

This course introduces select aspects of 20th century East Asian popular cultures, such as popular music, film, television shows, cartoon and comics, Internet, etc. We discuss various issues that emerge in reference to popular culture, for example: what is popular culture; how do people respond to or “consume” it in their daily lives; and how gender, class, race and other kinds of social identities are imagined and contested in popular culture.

Literary Studies LS
ASIA 205

Food, Nutrition & Health in Asia

How does the world’s most populous continent meet the population’s nutritional needs? This course utilizes nutritional anthropology for a discussion on nutrition and malnutrition within Asian cultures’ diets and foodways. We discuss specific illnesses associated with nutritional insufficiency and factors that amplify or ameliorate those illnesses. This course discusses foodways as a holistic expression of culture, including ecology, religion and social structure. Students appreciate the innovative and delicious ways that Asian cultures have met nutritional needs within resource-limited areas and how those strategies are changing. Cross-listed as ANTH 205

Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
ASIA 251

Title Unavailable

ASIA 252

Title Unavailable

ASIA 295

Topics in Chinese Literature

A topics course in Chinese literature. This course explores various genres, movements, literary periods or topics in Chinese literature. This course can be repeated for additional credits as long as the section topics are different. Consult the online course schedule for information about the topics currently scheduled to be taught. Cross-listed as CHIN 295.

Literary Studies LS
Writing Level 2 W2
ASIA 305

Asian Medical Traditions

This course provides an overview of traditional medicine, specific to the Asian context. The course covers ethnomedicine and ethnopharmacology, epidemiology, Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Culture Bound Syndromes, mental health, shamanism, and the influence and role of biomedicine in Asia. We discuss the cultural and historical context specific to the medical traditions and changes in health seeking behavior due to globalization and culture change. Cross-listed as ANTH 305.

Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
ASIA 320

Indian Culture through Fiction

To understand the unique voice and literary tradition of Indian literature, novels and short stories are selected to provide an in-depth examination of social structure, cultural traditions, gender and sexuality, religion, and environment and ecology of India. Students also read academic journal articles to provide context and critique of the works of fiction. The role of fiction in documenting cultural traditions and instigating cultural change is considered. Includes exploration of colonial and post-colonial literature.

Literary Studies LS
ASIA 350

Topics in Asian Studies

A seminar course whose topics utilize approaches from a range of disciplines, reflecting the interdisciplinary teaching and research interests of faculty. This course can be repeated for additional credits as long as the section topics are different. Consult the online course schedule for information about the topics currently scheduled to be taught.

Back to Program Course Listings

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