2013-14 General Bulletin

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301 Mather House
Phone: 216.368.2623
Jia-Chen Fu, Program Advisor

Asian studies has become an increasingly important area of study in North American colleges and universities. This is due in part to a growing acknowledgment that Asian cultures are of significance both regionally and globally. The Asian Studies Program offers students the opportunity to explore these cultures from a multidisciplinary perspective so that they are able to understand the social, cultural, political, and other forces that shape and have shaped Asian nations.

The Asian Studies Program draws on faculty and courses from such departments as anthropology, art history and art, economics, modern languages and literatures, history, philosophy, political science, and religious studies. A current list of approved courses is available from the program advisor. Departmental seminars and senior capstone courses in the Asian Studies Program may count toward the completion of the SAGES General Education Requirements.

The undergraduate program in Asian studies offers a major and a minor. Students are encouraged to take courses in different disciplines in order to obtain broad exposure to the languages, literature, art, culture, religious traditions, and political, economic, and social institutions of Asian countries. The Asian Studies Program also offers an honors program to qualified majors.

In addition to course offerings, the Asian Studies Program sponsors extracurricular activities that enhance the formal study of Asia and give students additional opportunities to explore and understand Asia’s importance in the global community. The program sponsors lectures and films and administers a Web site devoted to Asia. It also encourages students to participate in study abroad programs in Asian countries and to utilize Asian resources at the Cleveland Museum of Art and other local institutions.

Program Advisory Committee

Jia-Chen Fu, PhD
(Yale University)
Assistant Professor, Department of History; Program Advisor, Asian Studies Program

William E. Deal, PhD
(Harvard University)
Severance Professor in the History of Religion; Department of Religious Studies

Noelle Giuffrida, PhD
(University of Kansas)
Assistant Professor, Department of Art History and Art

Melvyn C. Goldstein, PhD
(University of Washington)
John Reynolds Harkness Professor, Department of Anthropology; Co-Director, Center for Research on Tibet

Kelly M. McMann, PhD
(University of Michigan)
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

Paul Schroeder, PhD
(Ohio State University)
Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

Undergraduate Program



The Asian studies major, which leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree, consists of 31 credit hours, including:

  • At least 16 credit hours (two years) of Chinese or Japanese language
  • 15 credit hours of Asia-related courses, selected in consultation with the program advisor 

The 15 hours in Asia-related courses must be at the 200 or 300 level and come from at least three different departments.



The minor in Asian studies consists of 18 credit hours of Asia-related courses, selected in consultation with the program advisor. Only one year (8 credits) of language study (Japanese or Chinese) counts toward the minor. 

The 18 hours in Asia-related courses must be at the 200 or 300 level and come from at least three different departments.


Honors Program

Asian Studies Honors is a semester-long program for Asian studies majors, normally taken during the senior year, which involves researching and writing an honors thesis. Honors program requirements include the completion of 12 semester hours of approved Asia-related courses, at least two semesters of study of an Asian language, and maintenance of a GPA of at least 3.0 overall and 3.2 in Asian studies courses.

A participating student enrolls in ASIA 398 Honors Thesis and writes a thesis under the direction of an Asian studies faculty member. The student also receives guidance from a second reader, who must be a member of the Asian Studies Program. A third reader, who need not be a member of the Asian Studies Program, is optional. Each student must maintain regular contact with the supervising faculty member in the various stages of researching and writing the thesis. Detailed guidelines and deadlines for the course are available from the program advisor.


Courses Available in East Asian Studies


Course List

Language Courses:
CHIN 101Elementary Chinese I4
CHIN 102Elementary Chinese II4
CHIN 201Intermediate Chinese I4
CHIN 202Intermediate Chinese II4
CHIN 301Advanced Chinese I4
CHIN 302Advanced Chinese II4
CHIN 303Topics in Chinese3
CHIN 304Topics in Chinese3
CHIN 399Independent Study1 - 3
JAPN 101Elementary Japanese I4
JAPN 102Elementary Japanese II4
JAPN 201Intermediate Japanese I4
JAPN 202Intermediate Japanese II4
JAPN 301Advanced Japanese I4
JAPN 302Advanced Japanese II4
JAPN 225Japanese Popular Culture3
JAPN 245Classical Japanese Literature in Translation3
JAPN 255Modern Japanese Literature in Translation3
JAPN 350Contemporary Japanese Texts I *3
JAPN 351Contemporary Japanese Texts II *3
JAPN 355Modern Japanese Novels and the West3
JAPN 397Senior Thesis I3
JAPN 398Senior Thesis II3
JAPN 399Independent Study1 - 3
ANTH 353Chinese Culture and Society3
ASIA 235Asian Cinema and Drama3
Art History:
ARTH 203The Arts of Asia3
ARTH 204Arts of East Asia3
ARTH 302Buddhist Art in Asia *3
ARTH 307Arts of China *3
ARTH 308Arts of Japan *3
ARTH 340Issues in the Art of China *3
ARTH 398Independent Study in Art History1 - 3
HSTY 285Modern Japan3
HSTY 383Readings in PRC History *3
HSTY 385Readings in Society and Culture in Modern Chinese History *3
Political Science:
POSC 370CThe United States and Asia *3
POSC 370DThe Politics of China *3
POSC 370HChina's Foreign Policy *3
Religious Studies
RLGN 217Buddhism3
RLGN 306Interpreting Buddhist Texts3




 These courses are simultaneously offered at the 400-level for graduate students.



ASIA 133. Introduction to Chinese History and Civilization. 3 Units.

This course explains the continuities and discontinuities in the history of China by stressing the development and distinctive adaptations of cultural, religious, and political patterns from the origins of the Chinese civilization to the present. By focusing on major cultural, socioeconomic, and political issues such as Confucianism, Buddhism, trade relations, imperialism, and intellectual discourse in the overall Asian context (with particular reference to Korea and Japan), we discuss the historical development of China and its situation on entering the 21st century. Taking into account the key historical events in the last century, we examine the emergence of China as a modern nation-state and the fundamental transformation of Chinese society in the postwar period. Offered as ASIA 133 and HSTY 133. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

ASIA 134. Introduction to Japanese History and Civilization. 3 Units.

This course provides an introduction to various aspects of Japanese civilization, from its origins to the present. By focusing on major cultural, socio-economic, and political issues such as the adaptation and transformation of Confucianism, Buddhism, Shintoism, social structures, material culture, foreign relations, militarism, nationalism, and intellectual discourse in the overall Asian context (with particular reference to Korea and China), we discuss the historical development of Japan and the country's position on entering the 21st century. We examine the emergence of Japan as a modern nation-state and the fundamental transformation of its society in the post-war period. Offered as ASIA 134 and HSTY 134. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

ASIA 235. Asian Cinema and Drama. 3 Units.

Introduction to major Asian film directors and major traditional theatrical schools of India, Java/Bali, China, and Japan. Focus on the influence of traditional dramatic forms on contemporary film directors. Development of skills in cross-cultural analysis and comparative aesthetics. Offered as ASIA 235 and WLIT 235. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

ASIA 288. Imperial China: The Great Qing. 3 Units.

This course is an introduction to the history of Imperial China, from the fall of the Ming Dynasty in 1644 to the creation of the Chinese republic in 1912. We will explore the major historical transformations (political, economic, social, and cultural) of the last imperial dynasty, the Qing (1644-1911), and develop an understanding of the major social, political, economic, and intellectual cultural forces shaping the formation of modern China. Contrary to commonly-held ideas in both West and in China that traditional Chinese society was timeless or stagnant, historians now see dramatic and significant changes during this period--to the economy, to gender relations, to religion, and to many other aspects of life. This course surveys the social, political, economic, and cultural history of this era, with emphasis on recent research. The main goals of the course will be to acquaint students with the key changes and to show the interplay between economic, social, and cultural changes on the one hand and political developments on the other. By the end of the semester you should have a good sense of how Chinese society was transformed over the course of the 17th through early 20th centuries. The topics we will discuss include urbanization and commerce; gender, family and kinship; education and the examination system; opium and free trade; and ethnicity and nationalism. Offered as ASIA 288 and HSTY 288. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

ASIA 289. History of Twentieth Century China. 3 Units.

Completes a two-term sequence of the Chinese history survey, although HSTY 288 is not a prerequisite for this course. Beginning with the First Sino-Japanese War (1895), we review the historical development of intellectual discourse, public reaction, and political protest in later Imperial China through the creation of the People's Republic in 1949 forward to contemporary times. In contrast to the conventional description of China from a Western point of view, this course tries to explain the emergence of modern China in the context of its intellectual, political, and socio-economic transformation as experienced by Chinese in the late 19th and into the 20th century. By discussing the influence of the West, domestic rebellions, and political radicalism, we examine how the Chinese state and society interacted in search for modernization and reforms, how these reforms were continued during the Republican period, and to what extent historical patterns can be identified in China's present-day development. Offered as ASIA 289 and HSTY 289. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

ASIA 398. Honors Thesis. 1 - 4 Unit.

Intensive study of a topic or problem under the direction of a faculty member, resulting in the preparation of an honors thesis.

ASIA 399. Independent Study. 1 - 3 Unit.

Tutorial in Asian Studies.