Program of Study

The East Asian Studies program offers students the opportunity to broaden their perspectives as global citizens, as they learn about an important part of the world through courses, lectures, films, performances, field trips, and study abroad.  A range of courses in the humanities, arts, social sciences, and business explore East Asia with a primary focus on China, Japan, and Korea, giving some attention to Vietnam.  Options in history, international relations, and international business or communication are complemented by courses in philosophy, literature, theatre, music, and art history.  Students may study Mandarin Chinese through the advanced level, or beginning Japanese language, with continuing work as independent study.  Trips to local museums and theatre events are rounded out with campus performances, films, and lectures by prominent scholars.  Faculty have conducted short-term study abroad courses in both China and Japan, allowing students to immerse themselves in these cultures.  For the capstone course for the minor, students undertake intensive research across at least two disciplines.  Four RWU alumni are currently teaching in China and Japan, extending their learning in the best possible ways, as they share their own language and culture while making life-long friends in the transformative experience of living and working in East Asia.


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ASIA 100 – Foundations of Asian Studies
This course provides an introduction to the broad historical, cultural and philosophical events and traditions of this important geopolitical region that includes China, Japan, and Korea among other important states. Attention to major historical, political and economic developments over time, as well as to the cultural and philosophical underpinnings that characterize the region. The course raises questions about the roles and interactions of Asian countries
internationally in the 21st century global context.
(3 credits) Spring

ASIA 299 – Special Topics in East Asian Studies
Prerequisite: Fulfills a course requirement in the East Asian Studies Minor
This is a variable topics interdisciplinary course that will allow students to explore specific topics or periods important to the study of East Asia on an introductory/intermediate level. Focus may be on one or
more countries and may include a regional or global focus. Readings will include both primary and secondary sources. Possible topics may include: Communist China in Literature, Art and Film; Imperialism of Island Countries: Japan and Great Britain; The Silk Road; Women in East Asian History, Society and Culture; etc.
(3 credits) Spring

ASIA 430 – Special Topics in East Asian Studies
Fulfills a course requirement in the East Asian Studies Minor. This course may substitute for ASIA 450 with permission of the East Asian Studies Minor Advisor
Prerequisites: ASIA 100; at least junior standing or consent of instructor
This is a variable topics interdisciplinary seminar that allows in-depth study of a specific topic or period relevant to the study of East Asia. Students will read primary and secondary sources and complete a research paper.
(3 credits) Special offering

ASIA 450 – Colloquium in Asian Studies
Prerequisite: ASIA 100 and completion of 4 additional courses required for East Asian Studies minor, or consent of instructor
Fulfills a course requirement for the East Asian Studies minor
This course is devoted to topics related to cultural, philosophical and political traditions of East Asian civilizations from ancient to modern times. Depending on the instructor, the course will integrate art, culture, economics, history, language, philosophy, politics, and/ or religion of selected East Asian societies to a study of the region as a whole. This capstone course for East Asian Studies will integrate the coursework, knowledge, skills and experiences of students to employ a trans-disciplinary understanding of the region coupled with substantive research, analysis and presentation.
(3 credits) Spring