Asian Area Studies

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Dean: Joel Kassiola

Asian Area Studies Program
HSS 336
Director: DeVere Pentony


Professors--Girard, Hough, Lee, Lunine, Mishima, Pahl, Pentony, Siegelman, Wong, B., Yang

Associate Professors--Arnoff, Steier, Thandeka

Assistant Professors--Banerjee, Yao

Lecturers--Cahill, Epstein, Kobayashi, 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, empathize, and otherwise, 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.

Courses for this program are listed in alphabetical sequence (consult Index for page reference).


Core Curriculum

ANTH/HIST 391 Traditional Asia			3
IR 392/GEOG 573 Asia in Transition			3

IR/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: 
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
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 Perspec-
HH 383	Chinese Perspectives in Holistic 
HH 420	Chinese Body-Mind Energetics (4)
HH 510	Chinese Perspectives of Stress 
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 
JAPN 550	Modern Japanese Drama
HUM 540	Styles of Chinese Cultural 
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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