Undergraduate Catalog

Asian Studies

Director: Susan Glosser
Administrative Assistant: Alison Walcott

Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary program focused on the study of historical and contemporary Asia, including China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and India, among others. The curriculum introduces students to the critical and methodological approaches that have informed the study of Asia and encourages them to examine the political, economic, social, cultural, environmental, and religious formations of different societies in the region. Students may focus on a particular region in its historical and contemporary manifestations or examine a conceptual theme. Themes could include literary, musical, and visual arts; environmental studies; transnational relations; economic development; state-building; cultural identities; gender roles and class distinctions; and social movements and popular protests, among many others. The program gives attention to the dynamic, interrelated, and sometimes contentious nature of the area’s cultures, politics, and economies. Asian Studies provides students with the depth of knowledge and critical perspectives they need to understand the diverse societies, cultures, politics, and economics of Asia and their role in a globalized world.

The Major Program

Students considering a major in Asian Studies should begin by completing AS 100 Introduction to Contemporary Asian Studies, an interdisciplinary course that examines current events and contemporary social/political/economic concerns in Asia. Students should declare the major by the end of the sophomore year, at which time, in consultation with their advisors, they will choose a primary area of concentration and establish an intellectually coherent schedule of study. The major requires one semester on an approved overseas study program in Asia. Students should work with their advisors to ensure that their concentration and overseas study program build a strong foundation for the senior thesis.

The core of the Asian Studies curriculum consists of the Introduction to Asian Studies course, a humanities foundation course, a methodology course and AS 400 Senior Thesis in Asian Studies. Upon declaring a major, students will choose a concentration and design a program of study around a conceptual or theoretical problem. The major is divided into three concentrations: China Concentration, Japan Concentration, and Asia Concentration. The China and Japan concentrations require two years of either Japanese or Chinese. Core courses are designed to provide the historical, economic, political, and cultural background necessary to commence further investigation into the Asian region. Electives are intended to allow the student to further specialize by region, theory, and/or concept. One out-of-AS curriculum course is allowed, following approval of the advisor and the program director, to further theoretical and/or conceptual integration. The major culminates in the senior thesis representing original scholarly research on a topic of relevance to the region. Elective and core courses help students to define and refine a course of investigation for the thesis.

The minor in Asian Studies enables students to combine a major in the arts, humanities, social sciences, or sciences with a focus on Asian studies.

A major in Asian Studies is appropriate for students who desire future employment in diplomacy, consultancy, education, international organizations, public service, international finance, law, academics, translation, and interpretation, among other fields, or who seek a broad, systematic liberal arts background to support further scholarly study in related social science and humanities fields.

Major Requirements

A minimum of 40 semester credits. (28 credits must be discrete to the major.)

All concentrations must complete the following requirements:

  • AS 100 Introduction to Contemporary Asian Studies

  • One historical foundation course, chosen from the following:

    ART 151History of Early East Asian Art
    HIST 110Early East Asian History
    RELS 242Religions and Cultures of East Asia
    or a course at Lewis & Clark or abroad that has been approved by the program director
  • One methodology course to be determined in conjunction with the advisor and with the understanding that this is the methodological approach of the thesis, selected from the following list and to be taken prior to enrolling in AS 400:

    CHIN 231Introduction to Chinese Literature in Translation
    CHIN 291Topics in Chinese Literature in Translation
    CHIN 410Advanced Readings in Chinese: Society and Culture
    ECON 232Economic Development
    HIST 300Historical Materials
    JAPN 231Introduction to Japanese Literature in Translation
    JAPN 291Topics in Japanese Literature in Translation
    RELS 357Family, Gender, and Religion: Ethnographic Approaches
    RHMS 260Empirical Research Methods
    SOAN 200Qualitative Research Methods
    SOAN 201Quantitative Research Methods
    SOAN 202Topics in Social and Cultural Research
  • At least one semester overseas on an approved program in Asia: China, India, Japan, Korea, or Vietnam. (See the Office of Overseas and Off-Campus Programs for specific program and application information.) Two courses taken on an overseas program may be applied to the major, depending upon the number and level of courses, and pending advisor and program director approval.

  • AS 400 Senior Thesis in Asian Studies

  • Six courses (24 semester credits) determined by the concentration (see below). At least two of these courses must be from advanced Asian Studies approved courses at the 300 level or higher. Students may apply a maximum of 4 semester credit hours of internship or directed reading toward the elective requirement (approval required).

China Concentration (24 additional credits)

  • CHIN 202 or higher language course

  • 16 additional credits of which at least 8 must be at the 300 level or higher. The credits must include at least:

    12 credits chosen from the China concentration
    4 credits chosen from the Asian Studies curriculum outside the China concentration
  • 4 additional credits from the Asian Studies curriculum. (The AS program director may approve the use of one course from outside the approved AS curriculum when it contributes to thesis preparation.)

Japan Concentration (24 additional credits)

  • JAPN 202 or higher language course

  • 16 additional credits of which at least 8 must be at the 300 level or higher. The credits must include at least:

    12 credits chosen from the Japan concentration
    4 credits chosen from the Asian Studies curriculum outside the Japan concentration
  • 4 additional credits from the Asian Studies curriculum. (The AS program director may approve the use of one course from outside the approved AS curriculum when it contributes to thesis preparation.)

General Asia Concentration (24 additional credits)

  • 24 credits chosen from Asian Studies curriculum (excluding language courses). At least 8 credits must be at the 300 level or higher. (The AS program director may approve the use of one course from outside the approved AS curriculum when it contributes to thesis preparation.)

Language courses will not be applied to the General Asia Concentration.

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 20 credits. 12 credits must be discrete to the minor.

  • AS 100 Introduction to Contemporary Asian Studies

  • One historical foundation course, chosen from the following:

    ART 151History of Early East Asian Art
    HIST 110Early East Asian History
    RELS 242Religions and Cultures of East Asia
  • 12 credits from the approved Asian Studies curriculum. At least four credits must be at the 300 level or above. One course may be an Asian language class. One course from an overseas studies program may count toward the minor, pending approval of advisor and program director.

Asian Studies Curriculum

China Concentration Courses
ART 257Art of Late Imperial & Republican China
ART 355Art and Empire
CHIN 202Intermediate Chinese II
CHIN 230Introduction to Chinese Literature in Translation
CHIN 231Introduction to Chinese Literature in Translation
CHIN 251Chinese Conversation
CHIN 252Chinese Conversation
CHIN 290Topics in Chinese Literature in Translation
CHIN 291Topics in Chinese Literature in Translation
CHIN 310Readings and Composition in Chinese
CHIN 320Advanced Readings in Chinese
CHIN 410Advanced Readings in Chinese: Society and Culture
HIST 111Chinese Empire and the Making of Modern China
HIST 211Reform, Rebellion, and Revolution in Modern China
HIST 213Personal Narratives in Chinese History
HIST 288China in the News: Socio-Anthropological and Historical Perspective on Modern China (cross listed with SOAN-288)
HIST 310China in the World
HIST 311History of Family, Gender, and Sexuality in China
SOAN 274Chinese Culture Through Film
SOAN 288China in the News: Socio-Anthropological and Historical Perspective on Modern China (cross listed with HIST-288)
SOAN 353Popular Culture/Public Protest: China
Japan Concentration Courses
AS 156The Art of Tea in Japanese Culture I
HIST 112Making Modern Japan
HIST 209Japan at War
HIST 313Religion, Society, and the State in Japanese History
HIST 316Popular Culture and Everyday Life in Japanese History
JAPN 202Intermediate Japanese II
JAPN 230Introduction to Japanese Literature in Translation
JAPN 231Introduction to Japanese Literature in Translation
JAPN 251Japanese Conversation
JAPN 252Japanese Conversation
JAPN 290Topics in Japanese Literature in Translation
JAPN 291Topics in Japanese Literature in Translation
JAPN 310Readings and Composition in Japanese
JAPN 320Readings and Composition in Japanese II
JAPN 410Advanced Readings in Japanese: Society and Culture
JAPN 420Advanced Readings in Japanese: Fiction and Nonfiction
RELS 246Religions of Japan
General Asian Studies Courses
ART 151History of Early East Asian Art
ART 154History of Buddhist Art
ART 401Art After 1945 (when Asia focused)
ART 451Special Topics in Art History (when Asia focused)
AS 251Contemporary Korean Culture
ECON 232Economic Development
ECON 255Technology, Institutions, and Economic Growth
ECON 314International Economics
HIST 110Early East Asian History
HIST 217The Emergence of Modern South Asia
HIST 218Perspectives on the Vietnam War
HIST 259India in the Age of Empire
HIST 400Reading Colloquium (when Asia focused)
MUP 121Gamelan Ensemble
MUS 105Introduction to World Music (when Asia focused)
MUS 106Workshops in World Music (when Asia focused)
MUS 136World Music: Asia
MUS 307Topics in Music (when Asia focused)
PHIL 207Indian Philosophy
RELS 241Religion and Culture of Hindu India
RELS 242Religions and Cultures of East Asia
RELS 243Buddhism: Theory, Culture, and Practice
RELS 356Buddhism and Gender
RELS 357Family, Gender, and Religion: Ethnographic Approaches
RELS 452Seminar in Asian Religions
SOAN 110Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (when Asia focused)
SOAN 270Cultural Politics of Youth in East Asia
SOAN 281South Asian Cultures
SOAN 282Pacific Rim Cities
SOAN 321Theory Through Ethnography
SOAN 347Borderlands: Tibet and the Himalaya

Honors

The honors program is based on the senior thesis or project. All Asian studies majors who have a GPA of 3.500 or higher in the major are eligible. After review by the student's thesis or project faculty supervisor and other members of the sponsoring faculty, theses are nominated for honors. Work judged to be of superior quality merits the award of honors on graduation.

Faculty

Sepideh Azarshahri Bajracharya. Assistant professor of anthropology. Political culture of violence, communal politics, memory, narrative, urban ethnography, anthropology of space, South Asia. Ph.D. 2008 Harvard University. B.A. 1999 Wesleyan University.

Andrew Bernstein. Associate professor of history, chair of the Department of History. Japanese history. Ph.D. 1999, M.Phil. 1996, M.A. 1994 Columbia University. B.A. 1990 Amherst College.

Maryann Bylander. Assistant professor of sociology. Development and globalization, migration, rural livelihoods, microfinance/credit, enfironment, gender, qualitative and quantitative research methods. Ph.D. 2012, M.A. 2006 University of Texas at Austin. B.A. 2003 Rice University.

David A. Campion. Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr. Associate Professor of History. British and South Asian history. Ph.D. 2002, M.A. 1997 University of Virginia. B.A. 1991 Georgetown University.

Keith Dede. Professor of Chinese. Chinese language and linguistics. Ph.D. 1999, M.A. 1993, B.A. 1988 University of Washington.

Susan L. Glosser. Associate professor of history, director of the Asian Studies Program. Chinese history. Ph.D. 1995 University of California at Berkeley. M.A. 1985, B.A. 1983 State University of New York at Binghamton.

Kabir Heimsath. Visiting assistant professor of humanities. Ph.D. 2011, M.Sc. 2005 University of Oxford. M.A. 1996 University of Washington. B.A. 1992 University of California.

Jennifer Hubbert. Associate professor of anthropology. Chinese public culture, anthropology of the state, politics of popular culture and public protest, anthropology of policy, cities and urbanization. Ph.D. 1999, M.A. 1994 Cornell University. M.A. 1987, B.A. 1986 Stanford University.

Atsuko Kurogi. Instructor in Japanese. Japanese. Ed.D. 1998, M.A. 1990 Portland State University. B.A. 1982 Notre Dame Seishi University.

Meiru Liu. Instructor in Chinese. Chinese language. Ph.D. 1996, M.A. 1991 Portland State University. M.A. 1987 Beijing Foreign Studies University. B.A. 1980 Tianjin Normal University.

Dawn Odell. Associate professor of art history. Early modern East Asian and European art history. Ph.D. 2003 University of Chicago. M.A. 1992 Harvard University. B.A. 1986 Carleton College.

Jessica D. Starling. Assistant professor of religious studies. East Asian religions, Buddhism. Ph.D. 2012, M.A. 2006 University of Virginia. B.A. 2000 Guilford College.

Bruce Suttmeier. Associate professor of Japanese. Japanese language, contemporary Japanese literature. Ph.D. 2002, A.M. 1994 Stanford University. B.S. 1991 University of Rochester.

Courses

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AS 100 Introduction to Contemporary Asian Studies

Faculty: Asian Studies Faculty.
Content: Interdisciplinary introduction to the region of Asia, including East, Southeast, and South Asia, emphasizing current events and contemporary social concerns through film, literature, art, journalism, and academic texts. Diversity and interrelatedness of Asia through themes of globalization and urbanization, gender, environmental activism, ethnicity and nationalism, development, religion, and social movements.
Prerequisites: None.
Usually offered: Annually, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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AS 156 The Art of Tea in Japanese Culture I

Faculty: Waldmann.
Content: The traditional art of tea, practiced in Japan for over 400 years, and its interrelationship with Japanese culture. Study of tea masters of the past, famous as performers of the art, arbiters of taste, and confidants of rulers. Aesthetics, philosophy, cultural and political relationships, ceramic arts, architecture, landscape design. Practice of the ritualized forms for making and drinking tea, and forms of social interaction expressed in the practice.
Prerequisites: None.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 2.

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AS 244 Practicum

Faculty: Asian Studies Faculty.
Content: Opportunities for well-prepared students to put academic concepts and techniques to work in the private or public sector, or field-learning experience combining theoretical concepts and skills learned in the classroom with practical applications. Specific activities vary. Written report on the practicum experience. Credit-no credit. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall, spring, and summer.
Semester credits: 1-4.

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AS 251 Contemporary Korean Culture

Faculty: Asian Studies Faculty.
Content: Course examines the historical development of contemporary social and cultural life in South Korea. Topics include popular culture, language, material culture, regional relations, religion, and colonialism.
Prerequisites: None.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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AS 299 Independent Study

Faculty: Asian Studies Faculty.
Content: Opportunities for well-prepared students to design and pursue a substantive course of independent learning. Details determined by the student and supervising instructor. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall, spring, and summer.
Semester credits: 1-4.

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AS 400 Senior Thesis in Asian Studies

Faculty: Asian Studies Faculty.
Content: Advanced research and independent work under guidance of faculty supervisor(s) on a topic previously explored in East Asian studies. Production of a carefully researched and reasoned thesis; distribution to convener, faculty supervisor(s), and other class members for assessment. Oral presentation of thesis; written and verbal comments from convener, faculty supervisor(s), and other students. Substantive employment of Chinese or Japanese language in research—including interviews, audiovisual materials, printed material—strongly recommended. When possible, preliminary research conducted on an overseas studies program.
Prerequisites: AS 100. ART 151, HIST 110, or RELS 242. One AS methodology course.
Restrictions: Senior standing and completion of one semester study abroad in approved program.
Usually offered: Annually, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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AS 444 Asian Studies Practicum

Faculty: Asian Studies Faculty.
Content: Opportunities for well-prepared students to put advanced academic concepts and techniques to work in the private or public sector, or field-learning experience combining theoretical concepts and skills learned in the classroom with practical applications. Specific activities vary. Written report on the practicum experience. Credit-no credit. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Junior standing and consent required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 1-4.

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AS 499 Independent Study

Faculty: Asian Studies Faculty.
Content: Opportunities for well-prepared students to design and pursue an advanced substantive course of independent learning. Details determined by the student and supervising instructor. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Junior standing and consent required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall, spring, and summer.
Semester credits: 1-4.