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Why Study Asian Studies?

The Asian Studies Program (ASP) is an undergraduate interdisciplinary program that provides opportunities for students to learn in depth about some part of the vast area covered by Asia. Whether you are fascinated with the ancient world or the present, are an Asian politics junkie or an Asian arts maven, enjoy reading Classical novels or manga—or, perhaps, are drawn to all the above, and more—the Asian Studies major or minor may be right for you! 

Through the study of a relevant language (Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, or Korean) and coursework in history, the humanities, and the social sciences, students gain a sophisticated critical understanding of a specific Asian region (East, South, or Southeast) or country. They also learn to examine the world and themselves through the lens of another language and culture. The program encourages in-depth study while also promoting more general inquiry into fundamental issues, such as cultural difference and its social and political implications and the significance of the transcultural and transnational flow of people and ideas.

While Northwestern does not have an Asian Studies area program at the graduate level, graduate students may study these areas in discipline-based departments such as History, Art History, Political Science, Comparative Literature, Anthropology and Sociology.

ASP includes faculty specialists from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences as well as other Northwestern schools. ASP is an umbrella program rather than a department, meaning that it draws on the resources of many departmentally-based faculty to teach the courses in the program. The strength of Asian Studies at Northwestern lies in the number and quality of the faculty who are Asian specialists, the variety of courses they offer, the scholarly resources of the library, and the many visiting speakers. In addition, students enjoy the off-campus educational resources of Chicago, including the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum, and Asian drama and musical productions that periodically pass through Chicago. Chicago also offers many Asia- related recreational activities, notably restaurants, movie theaters, and stores specializing in Asian products.

For an appointment, email Professor Rajeev Kinra.

Office Location: Department of History, Harris Hall

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