Welcome to Asian Studies

What is Asian Studies?

The Asian Studies minor at Elon offers students an interdisciplinary program to study the art, history, geography, religion, languages, philosophy, politics, economics and and societies of this vast, diverse continent. Students also acquire a comparative context for their understanding of Asia in its relations with the US and other parts of the world. Asian Studies aims to provide students with a depth of knowledge and multiple critical perspectives with which to understand how these diverse locales have been and continue to be interwoven with the global.

Why study Asia?

  • Asian societies comprise a significant proportion of the world’s population, and their populations are expected to comprise the majority of the middle class in the world.
  • Asia is one of the global powerhouses, not only in terms of economic output, but also and especially because of its rich cultural production, deep religious roots, numerous political issues, and challenges for future that will affect more or less directly all of us.
  • Most of the super critical and critical languages according to the U.S. State Department are Asian languages. Researching and learning about Asia is a significant component in preparing you to engage an increasingly globalized environment.
  • The inter-disciplinary focus of Asian Studies addresses many of the larger theoretical questions that intersect with both academic studies and personal experiences. Issues surrounding identity, interreligious negotiations, and the historical antecedents to current events enter into many discussions in Asian Studies.

What courses does Asian Studies Minor require?

The minor requires taking a total of 20 semester hours of Asian Studies electives. Courses must be chosen from at least two disciplines. Up to 12 semester hours of study-abroad credit may be counted with the approval of the program. Students can choose from a wide range of courses dealing with the culture and history of India, China and Japan, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, environmental issues in Southeast Asia, contemporary politics in India/Pakistan, Asian film and literature. They can study Chinese through the intermediate level at Elon and and can study other Asian languages through the consortium and study abroad. The university also offers a unique series of Winter Term, summer and semester abroad opportunitesabroad opportunities in India, China, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore and Bhutan.

What Asian Studies courses will be offered at Elon this year?

Prior to pre-registration each semester, we always update the list of courses that will be taught in the coming semester on this page. If you have questions about what will be taught in future semesters, please contact Jewish Studies program coordinator Prof. Xiaolin Duan.

Who teaches Asian Studies courses at Elon?

You can see a list of all of Elon’s Asian Studies faculty here, and we keep updating this list as new faculty members joining us. They come from a wide range of colleges, departments and disciplines. Some of them offer Asian studies courses regularly, some occasionally, and many are willing to offer independent study/research that fits your personal interest.

Can I take Asian Studies courses abroad?

Yes! You can transfer up to 12 semester hours of study-abroad credit towards the Asian studies minor. Opportunities include winter study abroad course to Asia, semester-long study abroad program in Asia, and Asia-related courses in other study abroad campuses. Read more about study abroad opportunities.

To learn more about the Asian Studies program, you may contact the program coordinator, Xiaolin Duan.


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