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Asian Studies

Established in 1967 as the East Asian Studies Program, today’s Asian Studies program is an essential part of Vanderbilt University’s growing international curriculum. As the home of Asian language faculty as well as faculty specializing in the interdisciplinary study of Asian cultures, our mission is to provide the foundation necessary for students to succeed in a career within the rapidly developing marketplace that is Asia, or gain admission to top graduate programs in the field.

Program Offerings

The Asian Studies program offers the major in Asian Studies with concentrations in China, Japan, and South Asia as well as minors in Asian Studies, Chinese Language and Culture, Japanese Language and Culture, and South Asian Language and Culture. Students with junior academic standing may also apply to Honors in Asian Studies through our Honors Program.

The major consists of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Hindi-Urdu language courses taught in the Asian Studies program at the 3301 (Advanced I) level or above, as well as coursework from various disciplines focused on an area of geographical specialization and complimented by some coursework outside of that area of specialization.

We anticipate adding a Korean Language and Culture minor by fall 2019.

Recently Taught Courses

All levels of Chinese; Chinese for Heritage Learners; Calligraphy; Readings in Modern Chinese Media; Business Chinese; all levels of Japanese; Japanese through Manga; Elementary and Advanced Korean; all levels of Hindi-Urdu

Humanities and Social Sciences
Fashioning the Self: Coming of Age and Asian Modernities; Play and Pleasure in Early Modern Japan; Popular Culture in Modern Japan; Explorations of Japanese Animation; Tokyo: History and Image; Media Monsters in Contemporary Japan; Japan Through Historical Fiction;  Martial Tradition in Chinese Literature; Self and Society in Pre-modern Chinese Literature; Romancing the Nation in Modern Chinese Literature; Chinese Medicine; The Chinese Political System; Food and Family in Korean Pop Culture; Cultural History of Korea; Global Korean Cinema; ; Modern East Asian History; Premodern Chinese History; Modern Chinese History; Premodern Japanese History;  Modern Japanese History; The Pacific War in Cinematic Memory; Modern South Asian History; The Body in Modern Japanese Culture; Chinese Thought; Crisis Simulation in East Asia;  India and the Indian Ocean; Images of India; Arts of East Asia; History of Asian Architecture; Arts of South and Southeast Asia; Religion and Politics in South and Southeast Asian Art; Himalayan Art: Art of the Divine Abode; The South Asian Temple; East Asian Architecture and Gardens; Arts of China; Arts of Japan; Religions of Japan; Japanese Mythology; Devotional Traditions of South Asia; Chinese Medicine and Health; Religions in China; Taoist Tradition; Zen Buddhism; Introduction to Hindu and Buddhist Traditions; Self-Cultivation in Ancient China; Modern South Asian Literature in Translation

Special Opportunities

CET in China
Locations in Beijing, Hangzhou, Harbin, and Shanghai. Summer and academic year programs are both available.

CIEE in China and Japan
Academic year programs are offered at East China Normal University in Shanghai and Sophia University in Japan.

McTyeire International House
Chinese and Japanese are two of the languages featured in McTyeire Hall, the international residence hall of about 100 students who eat together, speak the language of their preference, and engage in many entertaining activities.


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Gerald Figal
Director, Asian Studies
VU Station B #351806
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37235
Phone: (615) 322-5950

Asian Studies Website