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Asian Studies

(For 2013–2014 academic year)

Robert Ho Professor Robinson
Associate Professors Crespi (Director), Long
Assistant Professor Yamamoto

Advisory Committee Y. Aizawa, Balachandran, Bien, Carter, Cheng, Crespi (Director), Godfrey, Graybill, Hirata, Hodges, Hsu, Kaimal, Kato, Kent, Khan, Khanna, Long, Murshid, Nam, Palmer, Robinson, Rotter, Rutherford, Shi, Stevens, Vassil, Wang, Yamamoto

Asia holds a unique and vital place within the globalizing world of the early 21st century. Home to an extraordinary range of linguistic and ethnic groups, this broad and dynamic region is rich in cultural and environmental diversity. Engaging the many changes taking place in Asian societies today requires a similarly diverse set of intellectual skills. To this end, the Asian Studies Program at Colgate integrates scholarly approaches spanning the humanities and social sciences: from literature, art, and religion to history, politics, economics, and geography. The Asian studies major encourages students to undertake their own interdisciplinary explorations of this region.

Major Program

Asian studies offers students a flexible set of course options to explore Asia widely while focusing upon one subregion. Nine courses are required for the major, of which four courses must be at the 300 or 400 level.

Five courses to be drawn from the list of governed electives below must focus on one of the following subregions:
  • China,
  • Japan, or
  • South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka).

Alternatively, students may construct, in close consultation with an adviser, a program of five courses that compares two or more subregions. Comparative programs like this may also integrate courses that focus on
  • Korea;
  • Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam); and
  • Asian American, Pan-Asian, and Inter-Asian studies.

The major includes one introductory course drawn from the following Liberal Arts Core Curriculum courses:
CORE 165C, China
CORE 166C, India
CORE 167C, Japan
CORE 178C, Korea
CORE 181C, Pakistan and India

The introductory course may count toward the five courses focused on a single subregion of Asia. Three other courses should be chosen from the list of governed electives below and may address any region of Asia. Other courses may also serve as electives for this major if they are at the 300 or 400 level and if at least 40 percent of the course and of the student’s work concerns Asia. Students must gain approval from the director of Asian Studies prior to taking these courses for them to count toward the major.

Majors are strongly encouraged to acquire proficiency in one or more Asian languages, although no more than three language courses at any level may count toward the nine courses required for the major. Normally, the nine courses will include courses from at least two of these three divisions: arts and humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics. Majors must achieve at least a 2.00 GPA in the nine courses required for the major.

Students completing two majors (“double-majors”) may only count two courses toward both of those majors.

Minor Program

Any Colgate study group in Asia, plus its prerequisites; or five courses from the governed electives listed below, normally to include at least two courses at the 300 or 400 level and no more than two language courses.

Independent study

These courses may be arranged when necessary to supplement the curriculum in any of the six subregions listed above.

Honors and High Honors

Asian studies majors who have GPAs of 3.30 or better in the major and an overall GPA of 3.00 are encouraged to pursue honors study. A candidate for high honors must have a GPA of 3.70 in the major and an overall GPA of 3.00. Each eligible student undertakes a project, the form of which — a written research paper, an exhibition, a performance — is decided in consultation with the student’s honors adviser. To qualify for honors, the project must be judged by a committee of two faculty members to be of at least A quality. For high honors the project must be so judged by three faculty members from at least two different departments, and in addition the candidate must pass with distinction an oral examination conducted by the three-member committee. Often, the project for honors or high honors is begun on a study group, or during the junior year or fall semester of the senior year, in any 300- or 400-level course or any independent study course. The project is continued through the spring term in ASIA 499, Special Studies for Honors, or ASIA 490, Seminar in Asian Studies.


See Honors and Awards: Asian Studies in Chapter VI.

Study Groups

The Asian Studies Program strongly encourages majors to participate in Colgate study groups and in Approved Programs in India. Faculty of the program serve as directors of study-abroad programs in China, Japan, and Korea. For more information, see “Off-Campus Study Group Programs” in Chapter VI.

China Study Group spends approximately four months in Kunming, Beijing, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, in intensive language training and firsthand observation of recent cultural, political, and economic changes.

Japan Study Group, based in Kyoto, provides lodging with Japanese families; intensive language training; and instruction in Japanese politics, economics, business, religion, art, linguistics, and literature.

Korea Study Group, hosted by Yonsei University in Seoul, serves the academic needs of students interested in educational studies and Asian studies.

Governed Electives

I.  China
  • ARTS 246, Pictures in China and Japan
  • CHIN 121, Elementary Chinese I
  • CHIN 122, Elementary Chinese II
  • CHIN 201, Intermediate Chinese I
  • CHIN 202, Intermediate Chinese II
  • CHIN 222, China through Literature and Film
  • CHIN 233, Chinese Popular Culture
  • CHIN 288, The Chinese City: Living Beijing (extended study)
  • CHIN 303, Film and Broadcasts
  • CHIN 304, Readings in Social Issues
  • CHIN 405, Reading Chinese Newspapers
  • CHIN 406, Readings in Modern Literature
  • CHIN 450, Advanced Readings in Modern Chinese
  • CHIN 481, China in Transition (China Study Group)
  • CHIN 482, Topics in Chinese Culture (China Study Group)
  • CORE 165C, China
  • ECON 219, Chinese Economy
  • HIST 368, China, the Great Wall and Beyond
  • HIST 369, Modern China, 1750–Present
  • HIST 450, Seminar in East Asian History
  • POSC 214, Comparative Politics: East Asia
  • POSC 306, Politics in Contemporary China
  • POSC 307, The Foreign Policy of the Peoples Republic of China
  • POSC 351, Foreign Relations of East Asia
  • POSC 368, American Policy toward China
  • POSC 430, Seminar: Problems and Issues in Post-Mao China

II.  Japan
  • ARTS 246, Pictures in China and Japan
  • CORE 167C, Japan
  • ECON 339, The Japanese Economy
  • GEOG 313, Globalizing East Asia: Comparative Economic Geography
  • HIST 450, Seminar in East Asian History
  • JAPN 121, Elementary Japanese I
  • JAPN 122, Elementary Japanese II
  • JAPN 201, Intermediate Japanese I
  • JAPN 202, Intermediate Japanese II
  • JAPN 222, Japan through Literature and Film
  • JAPN 301, Advanced Japanese I
  • JAPN 302, Advanced Japanese II
  • JAPN 401, Readings in Japanese I
  • JAPN 402, Readings in Japanese II
  • JAPN 405, Senior Seminar on Japanese Literature
  • JAPN 411, Topics in Japanese Linguistics
  • JAPN 455, Advanced Grammar in Japanese
  • JAPN 251, Intermediate Japanese III (Japan Study Group)
  • JAPN 351, Advanced Japanese III (Japan Study Group)
  • JAPN 481, Japanese Studies (Japan Study Group)
  • JAPN 482, Cultural Studies: The Japanese Village (Japan Study Group)
  • JAPN 483, Cultural Studies: Encountering Japanese Diversity (Japan Study Group)
  • POSC 214, Comparative Politics: East Asia
  • POSC 351, Foreign Relations of East Asia

III.  South Asia
  • ARTS 244, Temples, Caves, and Stupas (The Art of India before 1300)
  • ARTS 245, Palaces and Paintings (The Art of India after 1300)
  • ARTS 344, Hindu Temples: Architecture and Sculpture, Architecture as Sculpture
  • ARTS 481, Seminar in Art Prior to 1300
  • CORE 166C, India
  • CORE 181C, Pakistan and India
  • ECON 239, The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in Economic Development
  • HIST 268, South Asian History to 1500
  • HIST 269, History of Early Modern and Modern South Asia, 1500-1990
  • HIST 362, The Mughal Empire, c. 1500–1750
  • POSC 364, Politics of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan
  • RELG 204, Hindu Mythology
  • RELG 281, Experiencing Hinduism
  • RELG 321, Religion in Modern India
  • RELG 324, The Teachings of the Buddha: Theravada — the Way of the Elders
  • RELG 405, Sacred Texts: Bhagavad Gita
  • RELG 420, Religion, Nature, and Environmentalism in South Asia

IV.  Korea
  • CORE 178C, Korea

V.  Southeast Asia
  • HIST 316, The United States in Vietnam, 1945–1975
  • POSC 305, The Political Economy of East and Southeast Asia
  • POSC 392, The United States in East and Southeast Asia

VI.  Asian American, Pan-Asian, and Inter-Asian Studies
  • ANTH/MIST 252, Muslim Societies in Transition
  • ARTS 103, Arts of Asia before 1300
  • ARTS 104, Arts of Asia after 1300
  • ASIA 204, The Experience of Asians in the United States
  • ASIA 291, 391, 491, Independent Studies
  • ASIA 490, Seminar in Asian Studies
  • ASIA 499, Special Studies for Honors
  • CORE 179C, Asia
  • CORE 184C, Siberia
  • EDUC 305, Race and Education
  • GEOG 313, Globalizing East Asia: Comparative Economic Geography
  • HIST 255, The Ottoman Empire, 1300–1924
  • HIST 259, Introduction to the Modern Middle East
  • HIST 263, The Silk Road
  • HIST 264, Modern East Asia
  • HIST 265, War and Violence in East Asia
  • HIST 305, Asian American History
  • HIST 359, Nationalism and Arab Identity in the 20th Century
  • HIST 370, The Mongol Empire
  • JAPN/CHIN 250, East Asian Thought
  • RELG 232, Health and Healing in Asian Religions
  • RELG 243, History of Religion in America (when focused on Asian religions)
  • RELG 325, The Path of the Buddha: Mahayana — The Great Vehicle
  • SOCI 326, Nations and Nationalism
  • SOCI/ANTH 337, Globalization, Culture, and Everyday Life (when focused on Asia)

Course Offerings

Courses unique to the Asian Studies Program are described below. Descriptions of other courses noted above may be found under appropriate departments.

204  The Experience of Asians in the United States
This course studies the experiences and struggles of Asian-Americans in their search for their hyphenated identities and their place in the United States.

490  Seminar in Asian Studies

499 Special Studies for Honors

291, 391, 491 Independent Study