Fostering critical thinking through the engagement and study of Asia in a global world.
Why Study Asia?
Why study Asia? Asia is home to the majority of the world's population. The peoples of Asia have produced some of the world's most ancient and sophisticated cultures, many of which continue to thrive in the 21st century. Today Asia plays a major role in shaping the global environment—economic, political, natural—that we all share. The growing influence of Asia on the global scene has led some to suggest that the twenty-first century will be an Asian century, in which the civilizations of Asia recapture the preeminence on the world stage that they once enjoyed prior to the age of Western dominance.
Studying Asia and gaining experience in the Asian world are important to understanding the global flows of peoples, cultures, technology, and business in today's world. Whether your interests focus on politics and diplomacy, international business, communication and journalism, academic careers, comparative cultures, or literature and art, researching and learning about Asia is a significant component in preparing you to engage a twenty-first century globalized environment.
Beyond gaining knowledge about Asia, 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, the construction of traditions, and the historical, cultural and political antecedents to current events enter into many discussions in Asian Studies. The study of cultures beyond your home also provides a fresh perspective into your own heritage.
To study Asia, then, is to trace the diverse strands of Asian cultures that have originated in different regional, national, and local traditions, but which have now become increasingly intertwined with global life in the twenty-first century.