ASIA 210
Approaches to Asian Studies Spring 2025
Division II

Class Details

Home to over half of the world’s population and to more than twenty of the world’s largest cities, Asia has gained global prominence in recent years; the twenty-first century in fact has widely been deemed the ‘Asian Century’. But what is Asia? And what does it mean to study this richly diverse region? This seminar will address these questions with the aim of introducing students to important theoretical topics and key concepts that are relevant to the comparative and critical study of Asia. We will consider the different ways of understanding “Asia”, both in terms of how the term and the region have been historically constituted as well as facilitate understanding of some of the salient factors (geography, belief systems, economy and polity)–past and present–that make for Asia’s coherence and divergences. We will also unpack the troubled notions of “East” and “West” and re-center Asia within the newly emerging narratives of global interconnectedness. Beginning with the evolution of the field, this course will equip students with the methodological tools to critically navigate their own specific regional, inter-regional, or interdisciplinary tracks in the Asian Studies concentration. Students should note that this is a methods course that will allow them to reflect on their engagement with Asian Studies, it is not an introductory or gateway course in Asian Studies. At least one Asian Studies course strongly recommended as a prerequisite.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 20
Expected: 20
Class#: 3007
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Two short papers (5-6); one longer final paper (10-15); discussion participation.
Prerequisites: At least one prior course related to Asia
Enrollment Preferences: Asian Studies concentrators; seniors; juniors; sophomores
Distributions: Division II

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