University of Hawaii at Manoa

dean's photo

R. Anderson Sutton, Dean

Dean’s Message

Aloha Kākou,

Welcome to the School of Pacific and Asian Studies (SPAS) homepage. Here you will find links to pages that introduce our programs: our teaching, research, and outreach activities, and the talented faculty, staff, and students who make SPAS a dynamic center of learning and knowledge production about these important world regions. The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa has long made the study of the Pacific and Asia central to its educational mission, and this is most clearly seen in the establishment of our School devoted to the study of the Pacific and Asia.

This web page serves as portal into the 8 area studies centers and 2 academic programs within our school. We invite prospective students to explore and learn about admission practices, map out possible programs of study, and make direct contact with our faculty and staff.

Each of the 8 centers focuses on single region or country within the Pacific and Asian region, and serves as a place where students and faculty can interact, learn, and study about that area or country in depth across a range of academic disciplines. The centers also sponsor frequent community activities that contribute to a broad understanding and appreciation of the societies and cultures of the area or country. Because Hawai‘i is blessed with many cultural traditions, these centers also play an important role in fostering understanding among our Islands’ multi-ethnic communities. The academic programs awarding undergraduate and graduate degrees, Pacific Islands Studies and Asian Studies, house the actual courses that comprise our interdisciplinary approach to the study of the Pacific and Asia.

The study of the Pacific and Asia at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa reaches far beyond the courses and activities of our School alone, with some 400 faculty teaching and researching about the Pacific and Asia. Much of this work takes place in cooperation with SPAS—in coursework for degrees, study abroad and exchange programs, library resources, film and speaker series, and special initiatives. Through the web pages of our 8 centers, you can find direct links to resources and programs across our campus that also focus on the Pacific and Asia. To anyone interested in the study of the Pacific and Asia, there is probably no better place in the United States than the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Our faculty and students make this a vibrant place of learning. With strong support from our university leadership and the various ethnic communities that comprise Hawai‘i, we are able to engage in cutting-edge research and teaching and to maintain up-to-date links with colleagues and institutions the Pacific and Asia. Our graduating students emerge extremely well informed of an area’s history, the dynamics of its culture, and its present challenges, mentored by faculty who are leaders in their respective fields.

We hope you find the pages here to be helpful and stimulating. We urge you to contact us with any questions you might have.