Global Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary program that critically examines literary and cultural expression, political, social and economic struggles, and the contributions of Asian migrants outside of their home countries in the modern era.

Faculty from American Studies; Art, Media, & Design; Chinese Studies; Communications; English; International Studies; Japanese Studies; Latin American/Latino Studies; Modern Languages, among others teach courses in Global Asian Studies. Global Asian Studies thus contributes to developing a fuller and more accurate account of global culture, national and ethnic identity formation and examines the particular ways Asian and Pacific Islanders have articulated their identities in the context of national, social and economic struggles for human and civil rights.

Because there is no single Asian identity, our program defines the subject of study broadly and inclusively; we study recent migrants and settled communities, ethnic and national groups from East, South, and Southeast Asia including India, China, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, as well as the Pacific Islands and the Philippines.

Global Asian Studies program is currently a stand-alone minor program within the college of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at DePaul University.

Unique Aspects

The minor program employs interdisciplinary analysis and approaches from the humanities and social sciences. The program faculty draw upon Asian and Asian American communities to combine university scholarship and classroom teaching. A Global Asian Studies minor offers students analytic and critical thinking skills and encourages a lifelong pursuit of strategies for community empowerment and social change.

Students take two required courses and four elective courses offered under the rubric of Global Asian Studies to complete the minor. Many of our courses can also be taken to fulfill domain credits. Our faculty also offer Sophomore Seminar in Multiculturalism courses  on Asian American Art, Asian American Experiences in the U.S. and on Immigrant Entrepreneurs, all of which focus on Asian American communities.

We also offer several Study Abroad opportunities.

Faculty Highlights

This interdisciplinary minor program draws from over twenty faculty members from across the University to contribute to the program. Areas of expertise include: American studies, pan-Asian American studies, art and art history, Chinese studies, creative writing, cultural studies, film studies, history, inter- and pan-ethnic studies, Japanese studies, Latin American and Latino studies, literature, law, media studies, political science, religious studies, sociology, and women and gender studies.

Program Highlights

In addition to offering courses, which students can take towards the minor and for domain credit, the Global Asian Studies program provides students with quality co-curricular activities.  We bring in speakers and performers of national renown to provide the latest theoretical, scholarly, or popular culture developments in the field of Global Asian Studies.  These co-curricular activities provide a contemporary link between in-class learning and out-of-the-classroom experiences and are open to the public.

Career Possibilities

Global Asian Studies can lead to a number of career paths in law, academia and the non-profit sector.  Students’ career trajectories in our program range from studio art, literature, history, and modern languages to sociology, psychology, sociology, and law. What they have in common is an interest in Asian and Pacific American and diaspora history and issues of social justice. 

"From its origins in the civil rights era, Asian American Studies has been an emergent project intellectually and institutionally. It tracks the growth and evolution of a highly heterogeneous population constantly shifting in location, arrival narratives, socioeconomic class, cultural formations, political identifications, and demography." - Association for Asian American Studies

As a field it is closely related to American studies, Asian studies, history, international business, political science and government, and sociology.  Our students go on to graduate school where they can continue their investigation of Global Asian-related scholarship or enroll in professional programs, such as law school or social work. Among other occupations, Global Asian Studies related careers include: advertising, marketing, and public relations managers; arts (visual, performing, literary, music) and media; child, family and school social workers; curators; elementary, middle, and high school teachers; government executives and legislators; historians; human resource managers; postsecondary teachers; philanthropy.

Courses Offered Each Year

Not all the courses approved for Global Asian Studies are offered each year. We seek to offer the two core courses, AAS 200 and AAS 205, at least once per year.  Study Abroad trips are offered regularly. Our approved elective course offerings vary from quarter to quarter. Please refer to the Program Degree Requirements for a complete list of approved elective courses. Refer to Campus Connect and the Global Asian Studies website for the latest offerings.

Course Requirements

The courses above will be cross-listed with the courses below, which may be taken instead for Global Asian Studies minor field elective credit:      

STUDY ABROAD: Several programs with trips to Asia are offered, including short-term programs to Hawai’i, the Philippines, India, Japan, Vietnam, and China.

         

 

AAS 205

INTRODUCTION TO GLOBAL ASIAN STUDIES

This course examines contemporary experiences of Asians in America and the diaspora. The historical focus is post-1965 and encompasses immigrant groups such as: Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, Indians, Koreans, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, and Southeast Asians. Formerly AAS 100.

AAS 200

ASIAN AMERICAN HISTORY

This course examines the creation of Asian America by first and second-generation Asian migrants to the Americans from the 1840s to World War II. The course provides a historical, legal, social and cultural framework for understanding the resurgence of Asian migration since the 1960s.

AAS 203

ASIAN AMERICAN ARTS AND CULTURE

This course will examine Asian American arts and cultural productions in relation to the histories of people and groups with roots in Asia and the Pacific. The course will focus on contemporary visual arts from the emergence of Asian American movements in the 1960's and 1970's, to the multiculturalism of the 1980's and 1990's to our present transnational moment. Formerly AAS 201.

AAS 202

ASIAN AMERICAN LITERATURE

This course will serve as an overview of Asian American literature in a socio-historical context. Special emphasis will be placed on tracing the various paradigms through which these works have been produced, from texts written prior to the movement towards self-determination during the 1960s; to works identified with the "cultural nationalism" promoted during the 1960s and 1970s; to the pluralism of the 1980s which explored how gender, sexual orientation, and class complicate earlier essentialist conceptions of racial identity; and finally to the transnational and diasporic interests of the 1990s. Texts covered will include primarily fiction (novels and short stories), but also critical essays, plays, movies, and poetry.

AAS 220

AMERICAN BUDDHISM

This course critically analyzes the origins Buddhism in the United States in order to fully understand how and why Buddhism has flourished in Asian and White American communities, and to understand the conflict and controversy surrounding the racial dynamics of religious choice. Cross-listed with AMS 220.

AAS 223

TALES OF INDIA

Before the modern nation-states of India and Pakistan came into being, the term "India" referred to the South Asian region, a region that has been and is the home of many cultures and societies. These cultures have also reached beyond the region to create rich and paradoxical diaspora experiences in Europe and the Americas. Tales of India will explore a variety of literatures, ancient and contemporary, that illuminate the worlds of South Asian peoples in their homelands and in the transnational life of the diaspora. Themes will include love, power, religious meaning/religious identity, and cultural difference.

AAS 290

TOPICS IN ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES

This course, which varies from quarter to quarter, explores topics in Asian-American studies.

AAS 343

JAPANESE AMERICAN HISTORY IN THE US/CHICAGO

The second course in a sequence of three content-based courses designed for advanced high learners and native speakers of Japanese to discuss authentic cultural, historical, or literary materials. Topics vary with offering: see current schedule for details. Recommended for students who have completed JPN 201-202-203 and JPN 311-312-313, or have equivalent proficiency in Japanese.

AAS 350

ETHNIC MINORITY YOUTH: ADAPTATION, IDENTITY AND DEVELOPMENT

Utilizing an ecological systems perspective, this course examines the challenges and resiliencies faced and acquired by ethnic minority youth. This course will closely examine developmental issues during adolescence that are complicated by being an ethnic minority, or child of immigrant parents. Issues examining the intersection of socio-political power dynamics, with acculturation/cultural adaptation, ethnic identity formation, and intergenerational family conflict will particularly be examined.

AAS 395

INDEPENDENT STUDY IN ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES

Independent study. Variable credit.

AMS 265

PACIFIC WORLD: NORTH AMERICA AND THE PACIFIC, 1776 - 1945

This course will examine the nature of American identity in the west. Hawai'i and California represent the extreme edge of the American frontier. The focus will be on the shifting meanings of "native" and "stranger:" How did the status of indigenous peoples foster a sense of identity and place for migrants? How did immigrants understand their role in the political economy? How did racial discourses on the frontier shape the shifting definitions of citizenship? How did race effect America's ambivalent approach to imperialism?

AMS 220

AMERICAN BUDDHISMS: RACE AND RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY

This course critically analyzes the origins Buddhism in the United States in order to fully understand how and why Buddhism has flourished in Asian and White American communities, and to understand the conflict and controversy surrounding the racial dynamics of religious choice.

AMS 250

IN THEIR OWN VOICES: AMERICAN AUTOBIOGRAPHY

This course presents a range of American autobiographies, from different places and from times ranging from Colonial to modern. The selected authors represent varying backgrounds and races.

AMS 395

TOPICS IN AMERICAN STUDIES

Topics in American Studies.

INTC 337

ASIAN-AMERICAN MEDIA REPRESENTATIONS (Formerly CMNS 337)

The course takes an interdisciplinary approach in the analysis of the media images and explores issues of power, identity, race, gender, class, sexual orientation and the interaction of these factors in the representation of Asian Americans. (Formerly CMNS 337)

ENG 272

LITERATURE AND IDENTITY

Studies in the literary expression and representation of identity. This course is not repeatable.

ENG 367

TOPICS IN AMERICAN STUDIES

Selected authors, genres, and topics in American literature and culture. PREREQUISITE(S): One previous literature course.

INT 320

WEST AND SOUTH ASIAN AREA STUDIES I

A general interdisciplinary survey of the social, political, and economic institutions, and the cultural history of selected regions within West or South Asia.

INT 388

SPECIAL TOPICS IN INTERNATIONAL STUDIES

Special Topics In International Studies

JPN 343

ADVANCED HIGH JAPANESE II

The second course in a sequence of three courses designed for advanced high Japanese learners to practice reading and discussion of authentic cultural, historical, or literary materials. Topics vary with offering: see current schedule for details. Recommended for students who have completed fourth year of Japanese courses (JPN 301 - 303) or have equivalent proficiency in Japanese.

LST 300

SPECIAL TOPICS IN LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES

SPECIAL TOPICS IN LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES

MCS 350

TOPICS IN GLOBAL CINEMA

This course is designed as a critical study of global filmmakers and the issues surrounding cinema and its transnational circulation. The class will examine specific aspects of the growth and evolution of cinema and look at points of contact between different cultural discourses, national cinematic styles, genres, and reception. Artistic, social, political, and industrial issues will be examined to provide different models of cinematic creation and consumption. Recent topics have included Latin American Cinemas, Asian Cinemas, Transnational Cinema, New German Cinema, History of French Film, Contemporary Global Directors, etc. Lab for film viewing required.

MOL 243

JAPANESE POETRY IN TRANSLATION

Survey of Japanese poetry in English translation, with selections of representative authors from the Classical and Modern periods.

MOL 308

TOPICS IN JAPANESE LITERATURE

Variable topics. Taught in English. Consult schedule for current offering.

MOL 310

JAPANESE CULTURE

Japanese Culture--Geisha: Our Fantasy, Their Reality is a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary exploration of a symbol of authentic Japanese feminine beauty and a cultural icon of the American kitsch, the geisha.

MOL 320

MODERN JAPANESE LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION

Covers modern Japanese literature in English translation from the Meiji era to the present. Themes for study include tradition and modernization, the individual and society, gender, and nostalgia. In addition, beginning with excerpts from Tsubouchi Shoyo's 1886 essay "The Essence of the Novel," students will trace the development of the novel in modern Japan.

MOL 321

CLASSICAL JAPANESE LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION

Classical Japanese literature, in English translation, from the earliest periods up to the Meiji era.

MOL 325

QUEER JAPAN

This course surveys representations of same-sex sexuality in Japan from the 14th century to the present day. We will explore the intersection of history, politics, art, and culture through historiography, literature, film, photography, music, cartoons, and animation, examining "traditional" male-male sexuality, the emergence in the modern era of texts reflecting female-female sexuality, as well as the formation of new consciousness and subjectivities throughout the 20th century and into the 21st. We will look at critical issues for sexual minorities in Japan, including coming out and AIDS activism, paying particular attention to their potential relevance to sexual minorities and politics in the US. Texts will include material translated to English for the first time.

PSC 369

ADVANCED TOPICS IN PUBLIC LAW

Advanced topics in public law.

REL 202

ETHICAL WORLDS: MORAL ISSUES ACROSS CULTURES

An exploration of religion and ethics from a comparative and international perspective. Ethical dimensions of diverse world religious traditions will be investigated within their own particular historical and cultural contexts, and students will be asked to consider and evaluate their own ethical orientations in the light of these studies.

REL 221

RELIGION IN SOCIETY

Sociological study of religious groups, institutions, behavior, and belief systems in human life and society.

REL 223

LITERATURE AND THE SACRED

Variable topics. How human beings across cultures express their intimations of ultimate meaning in a variety of genres ranging from aphorisms and autobiographies to mythic and fictional narratives.

REL 242

HINDU THOUGHT AND CULTURE

Hinduism is one of the world's oldest religions, but it is also the world's most diverse religion. Despite its variety, certain themes have remained throughout the ages--karma and ethical responsibility, liberation from the bonds of worldly existence through yoga and devotion, communication with the divine through ritual, and the many forms, male and female, that God can take. This course traces the development of Hinduism from 5000 years ago to the present, with emphasis on change and continuity in those themes.

REL 243

BUDDHIST THOUGHT IN CULTURAL CONTEXT

A study of Buddhism from its beginnings as a "non-orthodox" renunciant and monastic movement in ancient India, through its development into a myriad of religious expressions and practices, philosophical tendencies, and social forms over its twenty-five hundred year history.

REL 245

RELIGION IN JAPANESE HISTORY, SOCIETY, AND CULTURE

Explores the specific interplay between religion and culture in Japan. Taking historical and cultural factors into account, it considers prehistoric Japanese religion, ancient imperial myths, the assimilation of Buddhism, Confucianism, and continental (Chinese/Korean) culture, the religious and aesthetic worlds of the court nobility and the warrior class, popular mountain cults, the revival and systematization of Shinto, the impact of western culture, Japanese ultranationalism, and the religious situation in the post-war period.

REL 246

TRADITIONS OF CHINESE POPULAR CULTURE

Promotes an understanding of Chinese worldview and life in the perspective of the common Chinese people from ancient to modern times. Based on historical and modern texts in translation, some historical and ethnographic studies, as well as visual and aural materials, the course explores gender and generational relations and conflicts, ancestor veneration, the worlds of ghosts and gods, festivals, art, and entertainment, but also aspects of misery and social unrest. Although the course will draw largely on popular and entertaining sources, it will also pay attention to historical developments, the relationship between popular and elite traditions, as well as sociological and anthropological issues arising from these contexts.

REL 247

LITERATURE AND RELIGION IN JAPAN

Focuses on the pervasive influence of religious thought and sentiment on Japanese literature from ancient to modern times and explores the intricate relationship between religion, aesthetics, and the arts in Japanese culture. Considers original works including ancient Japanese mythology and poetry, the memoirs of court ladies and Buddhist hermits, romance, epics, folktales and social satire, with attention to their historical, social, religious and social dimensions, as well as to the individual experience expressed in them.

REL 248

LITERATURE AND RELIGION IN CHINA

Focuses on the interpretation of literature and religion in China. Considers original works of literature and explores the religious origins of Chinese script and writing itself, poetry and mystical philosophy, cosmology and revealed scripture, popular tales, ballads, plays and novels, and the reworking of contemporary Chinese American authors of their literary and religious heritage, with attention to their historical, social, religious and social dimensions, as well as to the individual experience expressed in them.

REL 259

RELIGION AND SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT

An investigation of the ways in which various religious traditions engage the social order. Traditions, persons and movements that form the focus of the course will vary from section to section. The course will integrate theory and practice in studying forms of religious engagement. All students will perform some service to a community or within a community organization or agency.
Prerequisites:
Sophomore standing is a prerequisite for this class.

REL 260

RELIGION AND POLITICAL CONFLICT

An examination of the role of religions and religious movements in political conflicts. Particular sections will examine the relationship of religions to violence and peacemaking in different areas of the world.

REL 262

RELIGION AND GLOBALIZATION

An examination of the moral, religious, and social dimensions of the phenomenon of globalization. Through a critical assessment of both the positive and the negative dimensions of globalization, students will seek to understand more fully the ethical implications of globalization for economics, culture, and society.

REL 263

RELIGION AND POLITICS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

An exploration of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as they develop and interact in the Middle East, historically and in terms of contemporary religious and political issues. Includes a study of personal narratives of people from Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities.

REL 266

ISLAM IN THE UNITED STATES

An examination of the story of Islam in the United States in three historical periods: antebellum America, the first half of the 20th century, and the latter half of the 20th century. Explores Muslim slave life; the possibilities of retentions of Islam in slave culture; the religious, social/economic, and political life of Muslims at the beginning of the 20th century; the emergence of Islamic thought in the U.S. through an overview of the works of Ismail as-Faruqi, Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Fazlur Rahman. Cross-listed with IWS 266.

REL 271

THE QUR'AN AND ITS INTERPRETERS

A study of the origin, transmission, and interpretation of the Qur'an. Cross-listed with IWS 271.

REL 272

MUSLIM WOMEN IN TEXTS

Explores major current approaches to the study of Muslim women, focusing on the Qur'anic conversation on women, on the commentaries provided by men, and on the emerging voices of Muslim women and non-Muslims. Cross-listed with IWS 272.

REL 341

TAOISM: CHINA'S INDIGENOUS HIGH RELIGION

A study of Taoist thought, imagination and expression, through sacred literature, the organization of clergy, and the nature and function of its institutions in interaction with the authority of the Chinese state, with Buddhism, and with the broader scheme of popular Chinese culture and religion.

REL 342

ZEN MIND

A study of the thought and practice of Zen Buddhism, focusing on the role of Zen in shaping ideas, ethics and the arts in Japan and America.

REL 343

MORAL PHILOSOPHY AND ETHICS IN CHINA

An exploration of Chinese ethics the philosophical, religious and socio-political traditions which shaped them and were formed by them. Considers the major philosophical schools of China's classical age--Confucianism, Monism, Taoism, and Legalism--with Han dynasty cosmology, the ethical orientations of the Taoist and Buddhist religions, neo-Confucianism, and also the traumatic encounter with western power and thought. Addresses comparative issues concerning traditional Chinese values in relation to western views, particularly in terms of modern relations between China (and East Asia) and the west.

REL 344

YOGA AND TANTRA

An examination of the history, philosophy and cultural meaning of body-oriented liberative techniques as they developed on the Indian subcontinent and Himalayan region in Hinduism and Buddhism. Students registering for this course are expected to have studied one or both of these traditions in courses such as REL 142, 143, 242, or 243, or in other courses. Background in theory is also useful.

SOC 290

SPECIAL TOPICS IN SOCIOLOGY

In-depth examination of selected and timely social issues. Topics vary from quarter to quarter. Topics may be initiated by students.

SOC 308

CULTURE, COMMUNITY AND POLITICS

Explores the cultures and forms of organization of various groups in the United States, including music, art, community politics, and social movements. Specific topics vary.

SOC 495

SPECIAL TOPICS IN SOCIOLOGY

Special courses will be offered as students and faculty identify selected topics of common interest.

WGS 290

SPECIAL TOPICS

See course schedule for current offerings.

WGS 394

WOMEN, SELF, AND SOCIETY SEMINAR

Women, Self and Society Seminar (cross-listed as Women's and Gender Studies 480 and Master's of Liberal Studies 468). Variable Topics. See course schedule for current offerings.

AAS 210

PRINCIPLES OF ASIAN ART

An introduction to major developments of art and architecture across Asian including South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, and East Asia and their counterparts in America. This course examines not only painting, sculpture, and architecture, but also gardens, ceramics, and prints. Special emphasis will be places on religious arts of Buddhism and Hinduism, along with landscape and figural painting. Cross-listed with HAA 115.

AAS 211

BUDDHIST ART

This course explores the traditional visual culture of the Buddhist world, examining art as a reflection of religious belief and practice. The works come from South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and America. An emphasis is placed on painting, sculpture, and architecture made for or related to Buddhist practice. Cross-listed with HAA 220.

AAS 222

RELIGION AND POLITICAL CONFLICT: SOUTH ASIA

An examination of the role of religions and religious movements in political conflicts. Particular sections will examine the relationship of religious violence and peacemaking in different areas of the world (in this case, South Asia).

AAS 224

HINDU THOUGHT AND CULTURE

An exploration of Hinduism as a civilization whose key reference points are religious in the sense understood in the West (ritual and transcendence), yet which finds expression in a "high culture" of literary works, political and social theory, art and architecture, music and dance, and folk and popular stories, songs and plays. Cross-listed with REL 242.

AAS 225

RELIGION AND SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT: SOCIALLY ENGAGED BUDDHISM

An investigation of the ways in which various religious traditions engage the social order. Traditions, persons and movements that form the focus of the course will vary from section to section (in this case the focus is on Buddhism). The course will integrate theory and practice in studying forms of religious engagement. All students will perform some service to a community or within a community organization or agency.
Prerequisites:
Sophomore standing is a prerequisite for this class.

AAS 226

ETHICAL WORLDS: MORAL ISSUES ACROSS CULTURES: ATOM BOMB DISCOURSE

An exploration of religion and ethics from a comparative and international perspective. Ethical dimensions of diverse world traditions (in this case the development and use of atomic weaponry) will be investigated within their own particular historical and cultural contexts, and students will be asked to consider and evaluate their own ethical orientations in the light of these studies.

AAS 248

CHINESE CALLIGRAPHY

An introduction to the art of Chinese calligraphy. Hands-on practice as well as history and theory of the art. This course is open to students with no background in Chinese calligraphy, language, literature, or culture. Cross-listed with MOL 248.

AAS 305

RELIGION AND CULTURE IN SOUTH ASIA

This course examines the interplay between religion and society in pre-modern and contemporary South Asia. The course will use such materials as epic texts, poetry, novels, journalism, film, music and art to explore how religion, gender, social class and politics are experienced in the lives of people in India and Pakistan. Cross-listed with REL 305.

AAS 367

LITERATURE OF THE VIETNAM WAR

This course examines novels, short stories, and essays on the Vietnam war and its aftermath, Vietnamese society, literature of the Vietnam Era.

AAS 325

QUEER JAPAN

This course surveys representations of same-sex sexuality from the 14th century to the present day in Japan. We will explore the intersection of history, politics, art, and culture through historiography, literature, film, photography, music, cartoons, and animation, examining "traditional" male-male sexuality, the emergence of the modern era of texts reflecting female-female sexuality, as well as the formation of new consciousness and subjectivities throughout the 20th century and into the 21st. Cross-listed with MOL 325.

AAS 337

ASIAN AMERICAN MEDIA REPRESENTATION

This course examines the ways in which Americans of Asian descent are portrayed in popular media such as television, film, newspapers, and advertisement.

HAA 218

ARTS OF THE SILK ROAD

This course will examine the visual history of the Silk Road, focusing on works of art and architecture created in Central Asia. We not only consider the prehistoric, ancient and medieval arts of this region, but we also investigate the modern development of a romanticized notion of the Silk Road and the imperial interest in acquiring treasures from the Silk Road. Today we frequently hear about the legacy of the Silk Road in promoting multicultural exchange. However, the Silk Road has long been affected by the expansionist agendas of empires. From the time of Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.E.) through the period of Genghis Khan (1162-1227) and on, there have been military leaders who have led their armies into Silk Road lands seeking territory, riches, and glory.

HAA 219

JAPANESE FILM ARTS

This course examines the development of cinema as an artistic form in Japan, from its inception in the early twentieth century to its explosion as an international phenomenon in recent decades. The Japanese cinematic experience is considered as visual expression that parallels key Japanese arts of handscroll painting and woodblock prints. We discuss such genres as samurai films, fantasy tales, monster movies, yakuza thrillers, and science fiction anime. Among the masterpieces studied are Ozu?s Tokyo Story, Kurosawa?s Rashomon, Itami?s Funeral, and Miyazaki?s Spirited Away. Issues addressed in relation to these films include artistic expression, technological progress, national identity, social unrest, and religious concern.