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Willamette University

900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301

503-370-6300 voice

Asian Studies View this department's website

The Asian Studies Program fosters interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of the rich cultural heritage of Asia, particularly East Asia but also South and Southeast Asia as well. Course offerings cover a broad range of topics in the humanities, including traditional and modern history, anthropology, art history, philosophy, politics, religion, and literature. Many of these courses also compliment other programs within the University, particularly the study of Chinese and Japanese language.

The minor in Asian Studies focuses on the study of the broad historical and cultural traditions of Asia as a foundation for the exploration of more specialized topics, both in the humanities and in contemporary areas of social, political and economic development. Sister University relationships with Tokyo International University, Kawagoe, Japan, and Beijing University, Beijing, China, provide opportunities for overseas study and for faculty exchanges which enrich the program offerings.

Requirements for the Asian Studies Minor (5 Credits)

Five credits are required for the Asian Studies minor. Credits to be earned abroad should be approved by the Asian Studies faculty before the foreign study program begins.

One credit from the following entry courses (1)

  • HIST 117 (TH) East Asian Civilization to 1800 (1) or
  • HIST 118 (TH) East Asian Civilization Since 1800 (1)

Four courses from the following list, two of which must be 300 or 400 level courses (4)

  • ANTH 233 (US) Peoples & Cultures of Asia (1)
  • ARTH 212 (IT; TH) History of the Arts of Asia (1)
  • ARTH 213 (IT; TH) History of the Art of China (1)
  • ARTH 214 (IT; TH) History of the Art of Japan (1)
  • HIST 233 (TH) History and Culture Along the Silk Road (1) [Crosslisted with REL 233]
  • HIST 265 (TH) Late Imperial China (1)
  • HIST 282 (TH) Twentieth-Century China (1)
  • HIST 380 History of Traditional Japan (1)
  • HIST 381 (TH) History of Modern Japan (1)
  • HIST 383 Mao's China 1949-1979 (1)
  • HIST 384 History of Chinese Medicine (1)
  • HIST 445 Postwar Japan (1)
  • JAPN 201 (W) Modern Japanese Society and Culture (1)
  • JAPN 240 Japanese Language and Culture (Intercultural Communications) (1)
  • JAPN 314 (W; IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Japanese Literature in Translation (1)
  • JAPN 340 The Japanese Cinema (1)
  • POLI 374 Asia and the International System (1)
  • REL 135 Religions of Asia (1)
  • REL 239 Introduction to Chinese Religions (1)
  • REL 262 Japanese Religions (1)
  • REL 348 Buddhism (1)
  • REL 354 Topics in Asian Religion (1)
  • REL 356 Taoism (1)

Note: Where scheduling difficulties resulting from participation in an overseas study program may arise, some course substitutions, including independent study courses, may be allowed, subject to faculty approval. For advising or information, contact one of the program faculty.


  • Carol Doolittle, Professor of Sociology
  • Greg Felker, Assistant Professor of Politics
  • Miho Fujiwara, Assistant Professor of Japanese
  • Kevin Greenwood, Instructor of Art History
  • Kumiko Koishi, Instructor of Japanese
  • Ronald Loftus, Professor of Japanese Language and East Asian History
  • Pamela Moro, Professor of Anthropology
  • Juwen Zhang, Luce Junior Professor of Chinese
  • Xijuan Zhou, Associate Professor of Religious Studies

Course Listings

ASIA 390 and 391 Independent Study (.5 or 1)

Intensive study of a selected topic. Normally for juniors or seniors who are majors in Asian Studies. Requires program faculty approval. May be repeated with different content.

  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Staff

ASIA 499 (W) Senior Seminar (1)

[Crosslisted with JAPN 499 and CHNSE 499]

Provides a framework for students to develop a research project or other equivalent activity in consultation with faculty. The objective of the Senior Year Experience will be to consolidate and integrate the student's knowledge of Japan, China, and/or Asia more generally and the fields of Japanese, Chinese, and/or Asian Studies. Majors in Japanese, Chinese, or Asian Studies. Conducted in English.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Staff