Asian Area Studies

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Dean: Joel Kassiola

Asian Area Studies Program
HSS 381
Director: DeVere Pentony


Professors—Lee, Lunine, Pahl, Pentony, Wong, B., Yao

Associate Professors—Banerjee, Steier

Lecturers—Epstein, Kuo, Yamaguchi


Minor in Asian Area Studies

Program Scope

The Asian Area Studies Minor is designed to give students an introduction into the rich and varied cultures of Asia and their relationships with the rest of the world. At a time in history when this part of the world has become increasingly important to Americans, the need to gain better understanding of the complex Asian scene has never been greater. The rising tide of immigration of people from Asia into the United States, the rapidly increasing trade and financial transfers with nations of the Pacific Rim, and the increased attention to Asian arts, literature, philosophy, and medicine signal the need to increase the pool of Americans who understand the Asian ways of thinking and doing. This minor offers an inviting opportunity for students to develop career and life enhancing academic experiences at the university. Students who complete this minor will find themselves better equipped to live and work in what some are now calling the Asian century.

Students who select this minor will find that it is designed to permit them to focus on the multi-faceted character of one of the major civilizations of Asia, while not losing the opportunity to grasp the interrelationships in Asia and between Asians and other areas of the world. The thrust of the minor is interdisciplinary. Not only are students asked to take courses from three of the broad areas of knowledge; i.e., the humanities, language and literature; the human sciences, international business and history; and the performing arts and art history, but they are also introduced to the majestic sweep of matters Asian through the three required core courses which feature the story of Asia in its breathtaking variety. From traditional Asia through Asia in transitional times to contemporary Asia, no major area of knowledge nor time period is left untouched. Students are asked to analyze, synthesize, and empathize to make sense of the Asian experience. The fact that faculty from more than thirteen of the academic departments and programs of the university are involved in this program testifies to its scope and possibilities for depth.

This minor is an appropriate companion to a wide variety of majors in the university. The availability of the Asian Area Studies Minor can serve to give greater guidance through the perplexing path of elective courses and programs beyond the major, whether a student is focusing her/his major attention on the arts, humanities, the social sciences, education, literature, business, journalism, creative writing, foreign languages, intercultural communication, etc.


Students interested in this minor should see one of the Asian Studies faculty to choose the courses most appropriate to their area of interest. One of the strengths of this program is the possibility for tailoring it to the individual student's needs. NOTE: Not more than nine units may be transferred from other campuses; no more than six units can be taken on a CR/NC basis.

The Asian Area Studies Minor consists of a core curriculum of three courses which contain material and perspectives which reach across the normal disciplinary divisions of the university, plus fifteen or sixteen units of upper division courses taken from the following list, on advisement.

Online course descriptions are available.

Core Curriculum Units
ANTH/HIST 391 Traditional Asia 3
IR/HIST 392/ GEOG 573 Asia in Transition 3
IR/HIST/SS 393/ GEOG 574 Contemporary Asia 3
  Total for core 9
Elective Courses
Students must take six units from Group I: Humanities and Literature; six or seven units from Group II: Human Sciences and History; and three units from Group III: Performing Arts and Art History.
Group I: Humanities and Literature 6
CHIN 401 Traditional Chinese Culture
CHIN 402 Contemporary Chinese Culture
CHIN 513 Modern Chinese Literature
CHIN 521 Twentieth Century Fiction
CHIN 580 Topics in Chinese Language and Literature (all topic courses)
HUM 366 India's Gandhi
HUM 375 Biography of a City (topic courses: Beijing, Tokyo, and Kyoto)
HUM 510 Comparative Form and Culture: East/West
HUM 530 Chinese Civilization
JAPN 401 Topics in Japanese Culture (all topic courses)
JAPN 510 Modern Japanese Literature
JAPN 560 Modern Japanese Fiction
JAPN 590 Topics in Japanese Literature (all topic courses)
JAPN 600 Topics in Japanese Culture and Literature in English
PHIL 502 World Religions
PHIL 510 Far Eastern Philosophy and Religion (all topic courses)
Group II: The Human Sciences, International Business, and History 6-7
ANTH 315 Regional Ethnography (topic course: Peoples and Cultures of the Far East)
ANTH 481 Asian Pre-history
GEOG 507 Japan and California
GEOG 570 Regional Studies (topic course: Pacific Basin)
HIST 113 Asian Civilizations
HIST 570 History of Traditional China
HIST 571 History of Modern China
HIST 578 History of Japan
HH 381 Holistic Health: Eastern Perspectives
HH 383 Chinese Perspectives in Holistic Health
HH 420 Chinese Body-Mind Energetics (4)
HH 510 Chinese Perspectives of Stress Management
HH 530 Herbal and Nutritional Principles in Chinese Healing
IBUS 379 U.S.-Japan Business Relations
IBUS 592 Doing Business in China
IR 325 Chinese Foreign Policy
IR 326 South and Southeast Asia Foreign Relations (4)
PLSI 404 Politics of China (4)
Group III: Performing Arts and Art History 3
ART/HUM 205 Asian Art History
JAPN 200 Art of Japanese Writing and Calligraphy
JAPN 550 Modern Japanese Drama
HUM 540 Styles of Chinese Cultural Expression
MUS 530 Music of the Middle East, Far East, and Sub-continental India
MUS 531 Music of the Pacific Basin
KIN 106 Elementary Aikido (1)
KIN 142 Elementary Judo (1)
KIN 242 Intermediate/Advanced Judo (1)
KIN 145 Elementary Karate (1)
KIN 245 Intermediate/Advanced Karate (1)
KIN 148 Kung Fu: Elementary Chin-Na (1)
KIN 175 Elementary Tai-Chi Chuan (1)
KIN 275 Intermediate/Advanced Tai-Chi Chuan (1)
  Total for minor 24-25

Foreign Language Requirement

All students completing the Asian Area Studies Minor are required to demonstrate intermediate level competency in a relevant language other than English. This requirement may be met by completing the university entrance requirement of two years of high school language study, one year of successful college level language study, or by demonstration of equivalent competency.

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Last modified July 05, 2012 by