Asian Studies

Department Chair: P. Richard Bohr

Coordinator of Asian Studies: Rachel Sherman Johnson

The Asian Studies major and minor  prepare students for personal and professional engagement in and with Asia in accordance with the Benedictine commitment to service, learning in community, multiculturalism, and global citizenship.  Graduates of Asian Studies at CSB/SJU have pursued careers in education, religion, government, law, business, medicine, journalism, non-profit and non-governmental activism, and other professional pursuits. 

This major offers an interdisciplinary and experiential liberal arts approach to the study of Asia's great traditions, modern transformation, global diaspora, and pivotal role in today's world.   The curriculum offers a broad array of courses in art, economics, environmental science, gender studies, geography, history, language and literature, management, philosophy, political science, and religion.  Coursework is complemented by study abroad, May Term experiences, service learning, internships, teaching, and other experiential opportunities in China, India, and Japan.  Courses taken at our study abroad sites in China, India, and Japan count toward the major and minor.  (Please consult the Office of Education Abroad for a list of study abroad courses.)

Assessment of Student Learning

The Asian Studies Department pursues on-going assessment of the department's curriculum, pedagogy, and experiential offerings.  Through student surveys, oral presentations, the senior thesis, and experiential performance, we regularly assess the Department's success in meeting student objectives established in our Assessment Mission Statement and Plan.  Assessment data are used to assist the faculty in its periodic program review.

Standardized Major in Asian Studies (48 credits)

Students majoring in Asian Studies will be required to complete 48 credits of courses from the interdisciplinary offerings listed below. An introductory level course, ASIA 200, to be taken in the spring of the sophomore year, will expose students to a broad understanding of Asian Studies as a discipline.  ASIA 399, taken in the senior year, will act as a culmination or capstone experience where students will explore a chosen topic in a more in-depth manner under the guidance of the Asian Studies faculty. Students majoring in Asian Studies are required to study an Asian language through the intermediate (CHIN212 or JAPN212) level; additional English-language courses to complete the major should be selected based on the student's interest and in consultation with a faculty advisor. While most Asian Studies courses are centered on the humanities, students are expected to take at least 8 credits from the social sciences or the arts. All courses taken through CSB/SJU study abroad programs in China, India and Japan will count toward the elective course requirements for the Asian Studies major.

Students will pursue a three-course concentration that is thematic, geographic, or chronological (e.g. "women in Asia," "India," or "nineteenth-century Asia") and which is explained in the student focus statement developed in the ASA 200 course and in consultation with the Chair of Asian Studies.

Students must complete their Common Curriculum Experiential Learning requirement through an Asia- or Asian America-related experience includes but is not necessarily limited to CSB/SJU-approved semester study abroad, internship, teaching, and service learning activities  related to the student's chosen concentration.

No more than 4 credits from non-CSB/SJU study abroad experiences will apply toward the Asian Studies major without prior approval from the Chair of Asian Studies.

Individualized Major in Asian Studies (40 credits)

The individualized Asian Studies major requires students to take HIST 200, HIST 395, and HIST 399 plus three additional History courses, two of which must be at the upper division level.  In addition, four other courses chosen from any department, including History, must form a coherent whole addressing the student's interests, be chosen in consultation with the student's academic advisor and the Chair of Asian Studies. and be approved by the History Department Chair.  With the approval of the Chair of Asian Studies, Chinese and Japanese language beyond 211 may count.  This major is offered under the auspices of the Department of History and the  Asian Studies Department.  Students who matriculated in the Fall of 2010 must pursue the standardized Asian Studies Major.


Minor in General Asian Studies (20 credits) 

The minor requires successful completion of 20 credits from among the following courses, including one lower-division Asian history course, two upper division Asian history courses, and two additional Asian Studies courses chosen in consultation with the Chair of Asian Studies. At least8 credits must be upper division.   


Minor in Chinese Language

This minor is offered in conjunction with the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, and requires courses in Chinese language and culture.  Please consult the Chair of MCLT.


Minor in Japanese Language

This minor is offered in conjunction with the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, and requires courses in Japanese language and culture.  Please consult the Chair of MCLT.



        ART 208 Non-Western Art Survey: Asia (4)
        ART 240 Topics in Art History (4) Chinese Photography
        ART 309 East Asian Gardens (4)
        ASIA 200 Introduction to  Asian Studies (4)
        ASIA 371 Individualized Learning Project in Asian Studies (4)
        ASIA 397 Asian Studies Internship (4)
        ASIA 399 Introduction to Asian Studies (4)
        CHIN 111/112 Elementary Chinese (4, 4)
        CHIN 211/212 Intermediate Chinese. (4, 4)
        CHIN 311/312, Third-Year Chinese (4, 4)
        COLG 280 May Term: Economic Development & Social Change in China (2) 
        ECON 316 Asian Economies (4)
        ECON 317  International Economics (4)
        ECON 362 Economic Development (4)
        ENGL 385 Literature of the Indian Subcontinent (4)
        ENGL 386 Tinsel Dreams: Cinema and Social Change in India (4)
        ENVR 300J Sustainability In Asia (4)
        GEOG 312 Geography of Asia (4)
        GWST 290 Chinese Women in Literature (4) 
        GWST 360 Colonial Violence  and the Mother-Daughter Relationship (4)
        GWST 381 Sex and Gender in Global Perspectives (4)
        HIST 114 East Asia Before 1800 (4)
        HIST 115 East Asia Since 1800 (4)
        HIST 116 South Asia Before 1500 (4)
        HIST 117 South Asia Since 1500 (4)
        HIST 300 Topics in Asian American History (4)
        HIST 305 Gandhi, Nationalism, and Islamic Movements in India (4)
        HIST 309 Public Culture in Modern India (4)
        HIST 315 History of Islam in South Asia: Confronting Modernity (4)
        HIST 316 China in Revolution, 1800-1949 (4)
        HIST 317 The People's Republic of China. (4)
        HIST 319 Modern Japan, 1868-Present (4)
        HIST 368 The U.S. and the World (4)
        HONR 230 China in Focus: Photography of 1850-Present
        JAPN 111/112 Elementary Japanese (4, 4)
        JAPN 211/212 Intermediate Japanese (4)
        JAPN 311/312 Third-Year Japanese
        MCLT 315  Folklore, Myth and Legend in Chinese and Chinese American Literature (4)
        MCLT 316 Radical Fantasies: Contemporary Japanese Women Writers (4)
        MCLT 319 Literary and Visual Modernities in Transnational East Asia
        MGMT 305H Doing Business in Asia (4)
        MGMT 308 Introduction to International Business (4)
        MGMT 309 International Management Seminar
        PHIL 272 Asian Philosophy (4)
        PHIL 339 Chinese Philosophy (4)
        POLS 323/GEOG 323  Middle East: Conflict and Change (4)
        POLS 346 Asian Politics (4)
        POLS 355 International Political Economy (4)
        THEO 363 World Religions (4)
        THEO 365 Islam and the Judeo-Christian Tradition (4)