Asian Studies

Asia is home to some of the world’s oldest and most influential traditions and institutions. The Silk Route over land and the bustling ports of the Indian Ocean created the first world trading system. Scientific knowledge and military technologies developed in Asia were adopted in several parts of the world. The peoples of Asia portrayed their lives in the arts, and in works of philosophy, religion, and literature, which dealt with issues of profound and enduring interest. At the same time, throughout history, the people of Asia were greatly influenced by their interactions with the rest of the world. At present, Asian nations are undergoing massive transformations caused by economic growth, changing demographic profiles, political transformations, and migration. These developments within Asia are producing global repercussions. Containing more than half of the world’s population, Asia is critical in finding solutions to the common problems of climate change, global pandemics, human trafficking, and terrorism. In the areas of philosophy, religion, literature, and the arts, Asian voices continue to play a vital role in the global conversation.

The Asian Studies Minor is an interdisciplinary program that prepares Wabash students for roles of leadership and service in a global society that is increasingly influenced by Asia. Students pursuing any major are invited to join this program.

The goal of the Asian Studies minor is to provide students with a solid understanding that developments within Asia and the historical and cultural exchanges between Asia and the World have played an important role in shaping World History and the creation of the modern world. The courses in this program are designed to help students achieve competency in at least one Asian language, to enable them to gain a knowledge of critical issues in contemporary Asia vis-à-vis the rest of the world, and an appreciation of the diversity of Asian cultures.

The program is currently administered by the Asian Studies Committee, chaired by Professor Kay Widdows.

Program Highlights

  • Interdisciplinary courses offered by faculty members in History, Religion, Political Science, and Modern Languages & Literatures
  • Opportunities to learn Asian languages
  • A course plan that offers Study Abroad opportunities
  • Close mentorship provided by experienced faculty
  • Funding opportunities for qualified students

Requirements for the Minor

The Asian Studies Minor has 3 parts and consists of 5 credits from at least 2 departments.

Part I. Language 12
Elementary Asian I
and Elementary Asian II
Intermediate Asian I
and Intermediate Asian II
Part II. Electives 13
Studies in Asian Culture
Modern Asian Culture & Hist Through Film
Religion & Literature
Music in East Asian Cultures
Topics in East Asian Religions
Topics Asian History
Special Topics
Special Topic in Asian History
Conversation & Composition
Studies in Asian Language
Studies in Asian Culture
Asian Security Politics
Special Topics in Asian Language
Independent Study
Topics Asian History
Modern China 1911 to Present
Advanced Topics in Asian History
Independent Study
Religions of China and Japan
Topics in South Asian Religions
Topics in East Asian Religions
Seminar in East Asian Religions
Part III. Capstone
ASI-400Senior Capstone0
1
  • Students who start at ASI-202 Intermediate Asian II or higher only need 1 credit of language. Such students will need 4 credits of electives.
  • Students who demonstrate proficiency in an Asian language may be exempted from the language requirement. Such students must complete 5 credits of electives.

Students should contact the Asian Studies Committee if they have questions about the appropriateness of an irregular offering. Note that additional courses may become available in the future and will be added to the list by approval of the Asian Studies Committee. Students declaring an Asian Studies minor are strongly encouraged to apply for a semester of off-campus study in an Asian country. The application process to study off-campus can be found at www.wabash.edu/international/ocs.

Application and Capstone

It is recommended that the student declare the minor at the end of his sophomore year by submitting a plan of courses to the Chair of the Asian Studies Committee. In addition, the student must submit to the Chair of the Asian Studies Committee a reflective essay or portfolio of work in Asian Studies in order to complete the requirements for ASI-400 Senior Capstone, a non-credit independent study course to be taken during the fall semester of the senior year on a credit/no credit basis. The student’s submission will constitute the basis of the Asian Studies portion of the oral examination.

Asian Studies (ASI)

ASI-101 Elementary Asian I

Taught by members of the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures and participating members of other departments. With chair approval, this course in conjunction with ASI 102 fulfills the College's foreign language requirement.
Prerequisites: none
Corequisites: ASI-101L
Credit: 1

ASI-102 Elementary Asian II

Taught by members of the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures and participating members of other departments. With chair approval, this course in conjunction with ASI 101 fulfills the College's language requirement.
Prerequisites: ASI-101 of the Same Language
Corequisites: ASI-102L
Credit: 1

ASI-112 Studies in Asian Culture

Topics may vary and include, but are not limited to, film, popular culture and arts, theory of mind, regional and ethnic identities, gender studies, politics and religion. As they consider the connections among different disciplines and cultural contexts, students will develop the analytical tools and language specific to the interpretation of cultural moments and demonstrate those skills in interpretative essays and class discussion. May be retaken for credit if topic is different from previously taken course.
Prerequisites: none
Credit: 1
Distribution: Literature/Fine Arts

ASI-177 Modern Asian Culture & Hist Through Film

Taught by members of the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures and participating members of other departments. Topics vary from year to year.
Prerequisites: none
Credit: 1
Distribution: History/Philosophy/Religion

ASI-196 Religion & Literature

This course is an examination of one or more works of literature, with a view to discovering the religious insights and attitudes that they embody. The works and authors will vary from year to year, depending on the focus of the course. Recent topics have included classical Chinese poetry, and Japanese literature.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1
Distribution: History/Philosophy/Religion, Literature/Fine Arts

ASI-201 Intermediate Asian I

Taught by members of the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures and participating members of other departments. With chair approval, this course fulfills the College's language requirement.
Prerequisites: ASI-102 of the Same Language or 201 placement.
Corequisites: ASI-201L
Credit: 1
Distribution: Foreign Language

ASI-202 Intermediate Asian II

Taught by members of the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures and participating members of other departments. With chair approval, this course fulfills the College's language requirement.
Prerequisites: ASI-201 of the Same Language
Corequisites: ASI-202L
Credit: 1
Distribution: Foreign Language

ASI-204 Music in East Asian Cultures

A class for all students, regardless of background. Previous topics have included music in East Asian cultures, and music computer programing. This course is suitable for fulfilling distribution requirements.
Prerequisites: MUS-101 MUS-107 MUS-205 MUS-206 or MUS-224
Credit: 1
Distribution: Literature/Fine Arts

ASI-230 Topics in East Asian Religions

This is an introduction to the indigenous traditions of East Asia (Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto), and the development of Buddhism in China and Japan. There will also be some coverage of Christianity, Islam, and popular religion. Special attention will be given to the ways these various traditions have changed and interacted with one another in different historical contexts, especially the modern period. Readings will be from the works of Confucius, Laozi, and other Chinese and Japanese philosophers and religious figures. This course is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisites: REL-104
Credit: 1
Distribution: History/Philosophy/Religion

ASI-260 Topics Asian History

The content of this course varies from semester to semester. It may be repeated for credit upon the instructor's approval.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1
Distribution: History/Philosophy/Religion

ASI-277 Special Topics

The course provides opportunities for specialized, innovative material to be made available for students at the introductory level. Since the content of this course varies from semester to semester, it may be repeated for credit upon the instructor's approval. Refer to the Course Descriptions document on the Registrar's webpage for Topics and Descriptions of current offerings.
Prerequisites: ECO-101
Credits: 0.5-1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ASI-300 Special Topic in Asian History


Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1
Distribution: History/Philosophy/Religion

ASI-301 Conversation & Composition

Taught by members of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and participating members of other departments. Specific languages vary from year to year. This course focuses on the continued development of the student's command of language and his understanding of culture, with an emphasis on speaking and writing.
Prerequisites: Take ASI-202 of same language.
Credit: 1
Distribution: Foreign Language

ASI-311 Studies in Asian Language

Studies in Asian Language offers advanced study in a modern language. Topics may vary and include, but are not limited to, linguistics: phonetics, grammar and syntax, and second language acquisition. Students will develop the analytical tools and language specific to the study of the Spanish language and demonstrate those skills in interpretative essays and class discussion. May be retaken for credit if topic is different from previously taken course. This course counts toward the Language Studies requirement.
Prerequisites: ASI-301.
Credit: 1
Distribution: Language Studies

ASI-312 Studies in Asian Culture

Studies in Asian Culture offers advanced study of modern language culture. Topics may vary and include, but are not limited to, film, popular culture and arts, theory of mind, regional and ethnic identities, gender studies, politics and religion. As they consider the connections among different disciplines and cultural contexts, students will develop the analytical tools and language specific to the interpretation of cultural moments and demonstrate those skills in interpretative essays and class discussion. May be retaken for credit if topic is different from previously taken course.
Prerequisites: none
Credit: 1
Distribution: Literature/Fine Arts

ASI-372 Asian Security Politics

An introduction to the politics of Asia. Special attention will be given to political and economic development of this dynamic region, as well as to the unique relationship that the United States built with Asian countries. We will also examine the crucial impact that developments in this region have on political and safety situation within the region and broader. The course may occasionally be offered in conjuction with the courses in the Department of Modern Languages.
Prerequisites: none
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

ASI-376 Special Topics in Asian Language

Taught by members of the Department of Modern Languages & Literature and participating members of other departmentss. Topics vary from year to year. Refer to the Course Descriptions document on the Registrar's webpage for Topics and Descriptions of current offerings.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1

ASI-377 Independent Study

Enrollment through Instructor and Department Chair approval.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1
Distribution: Literature/Fine Arts

ASI-400 Senior Capstone

The student must submit to the Chair of Asian Studies Committee a reflective essay or portfolio of work in Asian Studies in order to complete the requirementf for ASI 400, a non-credit independent study course to be taken during the fall semester of the senior year on a credit/no credit basis.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0

David Blix

Brian Tucker

Kealoha Widdows (chair)