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For specific information related to your program or area of interest

Including how to apply, please visit the following pages:

Undergraduate Programs Information

Major or minor in Asian Studies.

Graduate Programs Information

Including: Master of Arts in Asian Studies, Master’s in Asian International Affairs, and Graduate Certificates in Asian Studies.

Student Testimonials

Christina Geisse

The Asian Studies Program was incredible because most professors were undertaking their own research, passionate about their subject of study, and enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge with students. It felt fresh and profound at the same time. Inspiring! 

Christina Geisse
Kim Sluchansky

I was able to delve deep and focus on the areas of Asian Studies that truly interested me, and therefore gained a much more thorough and developed understanding of my fields of interest, which are applicable to my current career path. Also, the professors are extremely helpful and want their students to succeed. They were very supportive both while I was at UH and after I graduated.

Spring 2022 Asian Studies Courses

Undergraduate Courses

Undergraduate Course Flyer

ASAN 101 – Intro to Asian Studies

Introductory course focuses on change and continuity in the history, culture, values, and political institutions of South, East, and Southeast Asia, and the region’s interrelationships with the rest of the world. A-F only. 

Instructor: Dr. Anna Stirr

Meetings: Asynchronous [Online]

3 Credits

ASAN 201 Inter Asian Studies: East Asia

Understanding East Asia through multidisciplinary approaches. Examines the interrelationship of policies, economy, literature, religion, the arts, and history as the basis for such an understanding.

Instructor: Dr. Eric Harwit

Meetings: MWF 12:30-13:20 KUY

3 Credits

ASAN 303 (2 sections) Bollywood Dance, Music & Film

Unique course combining mind and body, discussion and dancing. Learn and perform Bollywood dances and the richness of their Indian poetic, classical, and folk traditions. Understand “Bollywood” in the context of cross-cultural fusion and globalization. Repeatable one time. (Cross-listed as IP 303)

Instructor: Dr. Sai Bhatawadekar

Meetings: W 9:30-10:45 DB Studio; F 9:30-10:45 [Online]

3 Credits

ASAN 312 – Contemporary Asia

Multidisciplinary examination of problems and issues affecting peoples and institutions of contemporary Asia: ethnic, language, religious, and cultural differences; population growth; public health; economic development; political and social change; environmental problems; etc. Pre: 201 and 202 are recommended, but not required.

Instructor: TBA

Meetings: Asynchronous [Online]

3 Credits

ASAN 320I – Asia Past & Present: South Asia

Multidisciplinary examination of major Asian countries; cultural, social, economic, and political lives of their peoples. (C) China; (I) South Asia; (J) Japan; (K) Korea; (O) Okinawa; (P) Philippines; (S) Southeast Asia; (Z) Other. Repeatable three times in different alphas.

Instructor: Dr. Anna Stirr

Meetings: TR 10:30-11:45 [Online]

3 Credits

ASAN 320K – Asia Past & Present: Korea (Asian Nation Studies: Korean Culture and Society)

Through key works in history, anthropology, sociology, and literature on modern Korea, this course presents a fresh, multidisciplinary perspective in understanding Korean cultural institutions, politics, and history. Topics include: negotiations between religion and modernity; changing family organizations and gender constructs; state and civil society; North Korea and North Korean refugees; Korea’s globalization.

Instructor: Dr. Young-a Park

Meetings: MW 1:30-2:45 KUY

3 Credits

ASAN 320O – Asia Past & Present: Okinawa

Multidisciplinary examination of major Asian countries; cultural, social, economic, and political lives of their peoples. (C) China; (I) South Asia; (J) Japan; (K) Korea; (O) Okinawa; (P) Philippines; (S) Southeast Asia; (Z) Other. Repeatable three times in different alphas.

Instructor: Dr. Greg Smits

Meetings: TR 15:00-16:15 Moore

3 Credits

ASAN/HIST 323 – Way of Tea in Japanese History and Culture

History and culture of Japan as revealed in study and practice of tea ceremony: Zen, aesthetics, calligraphy, architecture, ceramics, gardens, politics. (Cross-listed as HIST 323)

Instructor: Dr. Nancy Stalker

Meetings: TR 13:30-14:45 Sakam

3 Credits

ASAN 324 (2 secions) – Chado – The Way of Tea Practicum

Actual practice of the tea ceremony as history and culture of Japan. Repeatable one time. Pre: 323 (or concurrent), HIST 323 (or concurrent), or consent.

Instructor: Dr. Akiko Riley

Meetings: TR 9:00-10:15 Jakuan; TR 10:30-11:45 Jakuan

3 Credits, Requires: ASAN/HIST 323 or concurrent, or consent

ASAN 325D – Japanese Film: Art/History – Special Topics

Study and analysis of Japanese film; its history and relationship to cultural, social, philosophical, and aesthetic contexts. (B) 1900-1960; (C) 1960-present; (D) special topics. Pre: upper division standing or consent. (Cross-listed as EALL 325)

Instructor: Dr. Kazuko Madar

Meetings: TR 12:00-13:15 Moore

3 Credits

ASAN/GEO 356 – Geography of Southeast Asia

An investigation of the development context of Southeast Asia including socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental resources. Problems and prospects for change. Sophomore standing or higher. (Cross-listed as GEO 356)

Instructor: Dr. Lyndon Wester

Meetings: Asynchronous [Online]

3 Credits

ASAN/EALL 364 (2 sections) – 20th Century Chinese Women Writers

A survey and critical examination of contemporary Chinese women writers from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Traces a genealogy of women’s writing from the early 1920s up until now through novels, poetry, drama, and film. Pre: one DH or DL course, or consent. (Crosslisted as EALL 364 and WGSS 346)

Instructor: Dr. Ming-Bao Yue

Meetings: Asynchronous [Online]; R 10:30-11:45 [Online]

3 Credits

ASAN 491G – Topics in ASAN: Asia. The United States in the Philippines

The course is a seminar on American colonial rule in the Philippines. It will focus on the following topics: first, the relationship between American domestic politics and colonial state-building; second, the institutions and agencies of the colonial state and the responses of different Filipino political forces; third, the “international relations” between the American colonial state and other colonial powers in the region; and, finally, the afterlives of American colonialism in the Republican era. It will look at United States-Philippine relations not simply from a top-down or a bottoms-up perspective but treat these two societies as lateral to each other. This “negative comparison” will enable to break from the current scholarship’s tendency to privilege “the empire” or assign agency solely to Filipinos. 

This course number covers selected topics in Asian studies. (C) China; (G) Asia; (I) South Asia; (J) Japan; (K) Korea; (P) Philippines; (S) Southeast Asia; (Z) Other. Each alpha is repeatable two times.

Instructor: Dr. Patricio Abinales

Meetings: M 5:30-8:00 Moore 103.

3 Credits

 ASAN 494 – Food Culture Politics in Asia

Examines Asia’s role in the development of global food ways. Topics include the relationship between spices and imperialism, global popularity of Asian cuisines, Asian-influenced “hapa” cuisine in Hawai‘i, McDonaldization in Asia, and food security and sustainability. A-F only

Instructor: Dr. Patricio Abinales

Meetings: TR 15:00-16:15 Moore 112.

3 Credits

ASAN 496 – Religions of Island SE Asia

A comparative, interdisciplinary examination of indigenous beliefs, Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism in island Southeast Asia, and how they have been adjusted because of economic and social change.

Instructor: Dr. Barbara Andaya

Meetings: TR 10:30-11:45 Moore

3 Credits

Graduate Courses

Spring 2022 Graduate Courses

ASAN 600Z – Approaches: Inter-Asia

Major issues in and approaches to the interdisciplinary study of Asia and Asian regions; resources for the advanced study of Asia at UH; developing a research focus; preparing and presenting research proposals. (C) China; (I) South Asia; (J) Japan; (K) Korea; (P) Philippines; (S) Southeast Asia; (Z) Inter-Asia. Pre: graduate standing.

Instructor: Dr. Cathryn Clayton

Meetings: R 13:30-16:00 Moore

3 Credits, Requires: Graduate Standing

ASAN 605 – Practicum in Asian Studies

Repeatable with consent up to nine credits.

Instructor: Dr. Cathryn Clayton

Meetings: Asynchronous [Online]

1 Credits

ASAN 608 – Politics & Development: China

Consists of three parts: key theories for socialist transition as basis for seminar discussion, policy evolution to illustrate the radical changes, and emerging and prominent current development and practice. (Cross-listed as POLS 645C and PLAN 608)

Instructor: Dr. Eric Harwit

Meetings: F 14:30-17:00 [Online]

3 Credits

ASAN 620 – Contemporary Asia: Problems & Issues

Analysis from multidisciplinary perspective: rural development, urbanization, international relations, ethnicity, religion, language, etc. Repeatable one time with different topics. Pre: 312 or consent.

Instructor: Dr. Tae-Ung Baik

Meetings: T 13:15-15:45 Law

3 Credits, Requires: 312 or consent

ASAN 626 – Capitalism in Contemporary Asia

Historically grounded theoretical examination of capitalism in 20th-century Asia; multidisciplinary approach to fundamental change in political and economic structures and institutions, prospects for the future. Pre: 600 or 625, or consent.

Instructor: TBA

Meetings: T 17:30-20:00 St John

3 Credits, Requires: 600 or 625, or consent

ASAN 630 – Southeast Asia Now

Examines the ways global influences are shaping the cultural developments in the diverse societies of contemporary Southeast Asia. (Spring only)

Instructor: Dr. Barbara Andaya

Meetings: W 17:30-20:00 St John

3 Credits

ASAN 651 – East Asia Now

Views East Asia as an interactive region. Examines common historical and cultural, economic and political themes including various experiences with the West. Focus upon present state of the region. A-F only. Pre: 310, 312; or consent.

Instructor: TBA

Meetings: R 17:30-20:00 [Online]

3 Credits, Requires: 310, 312, or consent.

ASAN 710 – MAIA Capstone

Capstone experience for MAIA students that emphasizes practical applications of Asia knowledge. Develop an Asia-related project necessary for career goals, or work with a professional partner to address well-defined, real world problem. ASAN majors only. Graduate students only. A-F only. Pre: 626, 629, 687, or 689; and 630, 651, or 654.

Instructor: Dr. Cathryn Clayton

Meetings: Asynchronous [Online]

3 Credits, Requires: ASAN Majors only. Graduate Students only. 626, 629, 687, or 689; and 630, 651, or 654.

ASAN 750 – Research Seminar (all areas; register for the alpha that represents your area of concentration)

Research and writing with an emphasis on academic publication. (C) China; (I) South Asia; (J) Japan; (K) Korea; (P) Philippines; (S) Southeast Asia. Pre: 600 or consent.

Instructor: TBA

Meetings: T 13:30-16:00 Moore

3 Credits, Requires: 600 or consent

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