Ka Zeng
Chair of Studies
428 Old Main
479-575-3356

Asian Studies Website

Students may pursue Asian studies as a second major alongside a primary major in Fulbright College. The program also offers a minor in Asian Studies.

The Asian Studies Program draws on the strength of faculty both in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and in other colleges on campus to provide resources and training in Asian languages, cultures, history, politics and economics. The program strives to provide students with a well-rounded education essential for careers in which knowledge of Asia is vital, promote interdisciplinary research on the Pacific region, and serve as a source of knowledge and expertise for the community.

Requirements for the Asian Studies Second Major

Language Competence: Students must complete CHIN 2013 (or equivalent) or JAPN 2013 (or equivalent). Subject to the approval of the Director of Studies, students with language competence in one language (Chinese or Japanese) may receive some elective credit for competence level courses in the other language. Proficiency in other Asian languages may also satisfy this requirement.

In addition to the above language requirement, students must complete 21 hours in Asia-related courses, subject to the following conditions:

Colloquium (3-6 hours): Students must complete at least three hours in the interdisciplinary colloquium, AIST 4003/AIST 4003H. The AIST Colloquium may be repeated, provided the topic is different.

Electives (15-18 hours): In addition to the above requirements and the requirements for the departmental major, students must complete 15-18 hours of Asia-related courses (AIST-approved electives listed below) subject to the following conditions of distribution:

  1. Students must complete 6 hours of history courses;
  2. Students must complete 6 hours of social science courses;
  3. Courses must be selected from at least three different departments;
  4. A maximum of nine hours may be submitted from any one department;
  5. In addition, the following may be applied toward the major:
    1. Up to 6 hours of upper-level language courses (such as CHIN 3003, CHIN 3033, CHIN 3103, or JAPN 3033);
    2. Up to 6 hours of credits in an approved study-abroad program;
    3. Up to 6 hours of CHIN 3983 or JAPN 3983 (Special Studies)
    4. Other Asia-related courses with approval of the director of Asian Studies
Approved AIST Electives
CHIN 4313Culture and Society in China3
ECON 3933The Japanese Economic System3
ECON 4633International Trade3
HIST 3523Modern China3
HIST 4403Islam in Asia3
JAPN 3003HHonors Advanced Japanese I3
JAPN 3013HHonors Advanced Japanese II3
JAPN 4313Language and Society of Japan3
MUSY 4113Pro-Seminar: Ethnomusicology3
PLSC 3503Governments and Politics of East Asia3
PLSC 4823Foreign Policy of East Asia3

Requirements for a Minor in Asian Studies:

Students may earn a minor in Asian Studies by taking courses in art, anthropology, economics, geography, history, languages, sociology, political science, and literature of Asia. Students must fulfill the language requirement described below and complete 15 hours in Asia-related courses in order to earn the minor.

Language Requirement: Students must complete CHIN 2013 (or equivalent) or JAPN 2013 (or equivalent). At the discretion of the chair of studies, proficiency in other Asian languages may also satisfy this requirement.

Beyond the language requirement, students must complete 15 credit hours of approved courses, including at least three hours in the Asian Studies Colloquium (AIST 4003). The following courses may be taken in fulfillment of the elective requirements:

Approved AIST Electives
CHIN 4313Culture and Society in China3
ECON 3933The Japanese Economic System3
ECON 4633International Trade3
HIST 3523Modern China3
JAPN 4313Language and Society of Japan3
MUSY 4113Pro-Seminar: Ethnomusicology3
PLSC 3503Governments and Politics of East Asia3
PLSC 4823Foreign Policy of East Asia3

Students may also apply three hours of credit in an approved study-abroad program in an Asian country and three hours of upper-level Chinese or Japanese toward the minor.

Other courses that include Asia-specific content may be taken for credit toward the secondary major or minor with the approval of the Chair of Asian Studies.

Minor in East Asian History and Politics 

The East Asian history and political science minor is designed to enhance students’ understanding of the historical and political development of East Asia, in particular China and Japan. Students must complete 15 hours in courses related to East Asian history and political science in order to earn the minor. The interdisciplinary nature of this degree will allow students to use a variety of courses on East Asia to develop their own B.A. degree and thus prepare for a career related to the region.

Students must complete 15 hours from the following:

Required Courses (6 hours)
PLSC 3503Governments and Politics of East Asia3
HIST 3523Modern China3
Electives9
Choose any three courses
Asian Studies Colloquium
Honors Asian Studies Colloquium
Chinese Culture through Film
Culture and Society in China
Islam in Asia
Students can apply up to 3 hours of upper level Chinese or Japanese language courses and 3 hours in an approved study abroad program toward the minor.
Total Hours15

Courses

AIST 3103. Chinese Culture through Film. 3 Hours.

Explores Chinese culture through the lens of Chinese films with an emphasis on contemporary communicative culture. Designed to give students analytical insights into Chinese culture, especially how its language, history, philosophy, society, education, customs, family values, and gender roles shape contemporary culture and people's communication. (Typically offered: Fall and Spring)
This course is cross-listed with CHIN 3103.

AIST 3273. Sociology of China. 3 Hours.

This class offers a sociological account of China, including both its social ethos and the experience of Chinese Americans in the United States. (Typically offered: Fall)
This course is cross-listed with SOCI 3273.

AIST 3503. Government and Politics of East Asia. 3 Hours.

Comparative analysis of structures, processes, and problems of the political systems of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Japan, and the Peoples Republic of China. Prerequisite: PLSC 2013. (Typically offered: Fall and Spring)
This course is cross-listed with PLSC 3503.

AIST 3533. World War II. 3 Hours.

This course explores broad themes such as imperialism, colonialism, nationalism, transnationalism, and racism by placing WWII in the context of the build-up of tensions between China, the Japanese Empire, and the United States starting in the nineteenth century. (Typically offered: Spring)
This course is cross-listed with HIST 3533.

AIST 3633. Modern Japan. 3 Hours.

This course exposes students to the rapid transformations in Japan from the mid-nineteenth century through to their rise into an important player in global politics. Students will be familiarized with the narrative history of the Japanese home islands as well as the place of Japan in the context of world events and global currents. (Typically offered: Fall)
This course is cross-listed with HIST 3633.

AIST 390V. Special Topics in Asian Studies. 1-3 Hour.

Special topics in Asian Studies. May be repeated for degree credit. (Typically offered: Fall, Spring and Summer) May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.

AIST 4003. Asian Studies Colloquium. 3 Hours.

An interdepartmental colloquium with an annual change of subject, required of students in the Asian studies program. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. (Typically offered: Fall) May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.

AIST 4003H. Honors Asian Studies Colloquium. 3 Hours.

An interdepartmental colloquium with an annual change of subject, required of students in the Asian studies program. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. (Typically offered: Fall) May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.
This course is equivalent to AIST 4003.

AIST 4323. Culture and Society in China. 3 Hours.

Examines contemporary Chinese society and culture through the lens of language and with an emphasis on globalization. (Typically offered: Fall and Spring)
This course is cross-listed with CHIN 4313.

AIST 4403. Islam in Asia. 3 Hours.

This course will introduce students to the history and varieties of Muslim life in East Asia and Southeast Asia during the past 1,200 years. Through a comparative historical approach, it will examine themes of gender, imperialism and nationalism, religious education, pilgrimage, Islamic modernism, and religious extremism. (Typically offered: Fall)
This course is cross-listed with HIST 4403.

AIST 4823. Foreign Policy of East Asia. 3 Hours.

This course provides an introduction to China's foreign policy at the undergraduate level. Key topics covered include the historical, domestic, and international contexts of Chinese foreign policy, China's relations with key partner countries, security strategies, foreign economic relations, and evolving role in global governance. (Typically offered: Fall)
This course is cross-listed with PLSC 4823.