The Program in Asian Studies offers a multidisciplinary and global approach to studying the peoples and cultures of Asia: their art, literature, religion, and thought, as well as their systems of social, economic, and political organization.
The program examines both the traditional societies of Asia and their transformations in recent times. Asian Studies majors and correlates work closely with advisors to design their program of study to follow their specific interests.
Courses in the Program in Asian Studies are taught by Vassar faculty members from across the curriculum who specialize in East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and West Asia. The program offers a broad range of courses in both the social sciences and the humanities on a wide array of topics, including East-West encounters, diaspora and globalization, social movements, environmental and political histories, technology, economies, and regional security issues. The program also offers courses that explore gender and sexuality, postcolonial and nationalist film genres, music, art history, popular culture, Asian education systems, history, rituals, religion, Asian healing traditions as well as Asian and Asian American literary texts and social contexts.
Vassar offers classroom instruction in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, with Hindi and Turkish available through the Self-Instructional Language Program. The Asian Studies Correlate sequence encourages, but does not require language study.