2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
    Jun 16, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

Asian Studies Major

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Asian Studies Overview

Asian Studies is located in the Center for Gender, Race, and Area Studies (CGRAS) as an interdisciplinary program which explores the intersections of the social sciences, humanities and arts, in conjuction with Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES). At Clark, students who major in Asian Studies develop their analytical skills and an in-depth knowledge concerning the history, politics, and culture of different Asian countries. Students are encouraged to develop linguistic proficiency in an Asian language, usually, but not limited to, Chinese or Japanese. Our core program faculty includes experts on China, Japan, mainland Southeast Asia, and the Asian-American experience. The program reflects both the geo-political importance of Asia and the increased interest in Asian and Asian-American identity issues.

For more information, please visit the Asian Studies Program website.

Major Requirements

Students majoring in Asian Studies are expected to take 12 courses, at least four of which will be completed in one of Clark’s study-abroad programs in Asia. Of the 12 courses, at least five must be at the 200-level. Students may specialize in China, Japan, or more broadly across Asia (including East, South, and Southeast Asia).

Language Requirement

Students are required to gain a functional level of literacy in the language of their area of specialization. Students specializing in China or Japan must complete at least the equivalent of intermediate Chinese or Japanese at Clark plus at least one semester in China or Japan as part of Clark’s Study Abroad Program. A student studying Southeast Asia is required to study a major Southeast Asian language, either through locally available instructors or as part of a Study Abroad Program. Asian language courses above the beginning level (101-102) can be counted as part of the required 12 courses for the major. Students specializing in China or Japan must take at least three courses on countries or regions of Asia different from their country of specialization.

This language requirement can be fullfilled at Clark by taking:

CHIN 103 - Intermediate Chinese I   & CHIN 104 - Intermediate Chinese II  


JAPN 103 - Intermediate Japanese   & JAPN 104 - Intermediate Japanese II  

Complementary Minor or Second Major

Since Asian Studies is interdisciplinary by definition, we require that all students majoring in Asian Studies also fulfill a minor (or a second major) in an established department that is closely related to the student’s area of interest. This is to ensure that Clark Asian Studies majors also have basic competence in an established discipline, which will improve their chances for employment, admission to post-graduate programs, and/or other international career opportunities.

Five Electives

Students must take five electives from these options.  A minimum of four of these courses must be at the 200-level. (Directed study projects, under the supervision of an Asian Studies faculty member, in their area of interest or specialization, may be taken. Students individually approach faculty members to consult on their research and study plans.)

Note: Students may be able to count CHIN 101 or CHIN 102 if they fulfilled the launguage requirement in Japanese or may be able to count JAPN 101 or 102 if they fulfilled the language requirement in Chinese.


Study Abroad

Asian Studies majors are required to study abroad for at least one semester in a Clark approved program in Asia.  Currently, these include, but are not limited, to the following programs:

  • Kansai Gaidai University near Osaka, Japan,
  • CET Language Program in Beijing, China,
  • CET Internship Program in Shanghai, China, or
  • CET in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Interested students should inquire with the Study Abroad and Study Away Programs offices about the language prerequisites and availability of appropriate programs, in discussion with their advisor.

Capstone Requirement

The Asian Studies capstone serves as the major’s intellectual culmination, integrating the student’s area of specialization with a disciplinary interest. Students may fulfill the capstone requirement in several ways, as determined in consultation with the student’s adviser. A 200-level course may be designated as the capstone, with a research paper or project in which the student connects theory and methodology presented in the course to a specific issue in the student’s area of specialization; a Directed Study project may also serve as a capstone; and for double majors, a joint capstone, with permission of program heads of both majors, may also fulfil the requirement. For students in the Honors program, the honors thesis serves as the capstone. As an interdisciplinary major, Asian Studies strives to be open to students’ capstone proposals, and we encourage early and regular consultation with the student’s adviser.

Honors Program (Optional)

To be eligible, students must:

  • Have a 3.5 GPA in Asian Studies and a 3.3 overall GPA;
  • Submit a detailed research proposal to the Director of Asian Studies by April 1st of the Spring Semester of their Junior Year and a letter from a potential Honors Thesis advisor in support of your application;
  • Complete two semesters of Honors 297;
  • Complete an oral defense (with first and second readers); and
  • Present on Academic Spree Day.

Asian Studies Faculty


Wes Demarco, Ph.D.

Jude Fernando, Ph.D.

Tyran Grillo, Ph.D.

Lex Jing Lu, Ph.D.
Ken MacLean, Ph.D.
Jeff Noh, Ph.D.

Jie Park, Ph.D.
Joanne Qu, Ph.D.
Suzanne Scoggins, Ph.D., - Director

Gohar Siddiqui, Ph.D.
Spencer Tricker, Ph.D. 


Yuko Aoyama, Ph.D.
C. Wesley DeMarco, Ph.D.
Jude Fernando, Ph.D.
Tyran Grillo, Ph.D.
Betsy P. Huang, Ph.D.
Stephen M. Levin, Ph.D.
Douglas Little, Ph.D.
Shelly Tenenbaum, Ph.D.
Nicolyn Woodcock, Ph.D.

Asian Studies Courses

Courses offered within the last 2 Academic Years

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