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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. Course offerings cover a broad range of disciplines, primarily in the humanities. These include history, anthropology, art history, philosophy, religion, sociology, and literature with options for individual students to include courses from additional disciplines. Many of these courses complement other programs within the University, particularly the study of Chinese and Japanese language. Program faculty strongly encourages Asian Studies students to study in Asia as part of their major program.

The twelve-credit major in Asian Studies is structured to include:

  1. Introduction to Asian civilizations, cultures, or societies (one credit),
  2. Study of an Asian language through the third year or the equivalent of two years each of two Asian languages (four credits),
  3. Exploration across several disciplines and countries with a choice of electives
    1. at the 200 level (three credits) and
    2. at the 300 or 400 level (three credits), and, finally,
  4. Senior Experience involving a writing project to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills the student has gained through his/her study of Asia (one credit).

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.

The Asian Studies major is for students broadly interested in Asia. Many of the courses complement other programs within the college, particularly the study of Chinese and Japanese language. However, no more than eight of the twelve major courses may focus on a single Asian country. Students whose interest in Asia focuses on China or Japan are encouraged to pursue a major in Chinese or Japanese Studies. Student majoring in Asian Studies may not also major in Japanese Studies or minor in Chinese Studies. Students majoring in Asian Studies must acquire the special permission of their advisor in order to acquire a second major in International Studies.

Requirements for the Asian Studies Major (12 Credits)

One credit from the following entry courses (1)

  • HIST 117 (TH) East Asian Civilization to 1800 (1)
  • HIST 118 (TH) East Asian Civilization Since 1800 (1)
  • REL 135 Religions of Asia (1)
  • SOC 131 (US) Sociological Inquiry: Asian Societies (1)

Four credits from the following language courses (4)

Note: A student may petition Asian Studies faculty for alternate language arrangements to fulfill this requirement. Proposed arrangements might include transfer courses, testing, Asian experience, or other arrangements.

Three credits from the following exploratory courses (3)

  • ANTH 233 (US) Peoples and Cultures of Asia (1)
  • ARTH 212 (IT; TH) History of the Arts of Asia (1)
  • ARTH 213 (IT; TH) History of the Arts of China (1)
  • ARTH 214 (IT; TH) History of the Arts of Japan (1)
  • CHNSE 252 (US) Rites of Passage in Chinese Societies (1)
  • CHNSE 254 Language, Ethnicity, and Folklore in China (1)
  • CHNSE 256 Chinese Folklore in Films (1)
  • HIST 131 (TH) Historical Inquiry (if Asian topic) (1)
  • HIST/REL 233 (TH) History and Cultures/Silk Road (1)
  • HIST 265 (TH) Late Imperial China (1)
  • HIST 282 (TH) Twentieth-Century China (1)
  • JAPN 201 (W) Modern Japanese Society & Culture (1)
  • JAPN 240 Japanese Language and Culture (1)
  • REL 239 Introduction to Chinese Religion (1)
  • REL 256 (IT) Images of Chinese Women (1)
  • REL 262 Japanese Religions (1)

Three credits from the following 300 and 400 level courses (3)

One Senior Experience credit (1)

  • ASIA 499 (W) Senior Seminar in Asian Studies (1)

Courses for possible substitution when Asian content warrants, subject to approval by Asian Studies faculty

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)
  • HIST 118 (TH) East Asian Civilization Since 1800 (1)
  • REL 135 Religions of Asia (1)
  • SOC 131 (US) Sociological Inquiry: Asian Societies (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)
  • POLI 380 Asian Politics and Development
  • 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.

Faculty

  • Carol Doolittle, Professor of Sociology
  • Greg Felker, Assistant Professor of Politics
  • Miho Fujiwara, Associate Professor of Japanese
  • Kevin Greenwood, Instructor of Art History
  • Kumiko Koishi, Instructor of Japanese
  • Ronald Loftus, Professor of Japanese Language and East Asian History
  • Cecily McCaffrey, Assistant Professor of 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