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Asian Studies

Lunar New Year celebration

Why minor in Asian Studies?

Wabash College’s Asian Studies minor prepares students for roles of leadership and service in a global society increasingly influenced by Asia. Offering opportunities to learn Asian languages, close mentorship by experienced faculty, and a course plan incorporating study abroad, students pursuing any major are invited to join this program. The goal of the Asian Studies minor is to provide students with a solid understanding about how developments within Asia and the historical and cultural exchanges between the Orient and the Occident have played an important role in shaping the modern world. Interdisciplinary courses taught by faculty members in history, religion, political science, and modern languages are designed to help students achieve competency in an Asian language, gain knowledge of critical issues in contemporary Asia, and appreciate of the diversity of Asian cultures. For a full offering of Wabash’s Asian Studies courses, check out our curriculum.

Asia is home to some of the world’s oldest and most influential traditions and institutions. The Silk Route over land and the bustling ports of the Indian Ocean created the first world trading system. Scientific knowledge and military technologies developed in Asia were adopted in several parts of the world. The peoples of Asia portrayed their lives in the arts, and in works of philosophy, religion, and literature, which dealt with issues of profound and enduring interest. At the same time, throughout history, the people of Asia were greatly influenced by their interactions with the rest of the world. Presently, Asian nations are undergoing massive transformations caused by economic growth, changing demographic profiles, political transformations, and migration.

These developments within Asia are producing global repercussions. Containing more than half of the world’s population, Asia is critical in finding solutions to the common problems of climate change, global pandemics, human trafficking, and terrorism. In the areas of philosophy, religion, literature, and the arts, Asian voices continue to play a vital role in the global conversation.

The program is administered by the Asian Studies Committee, currently chaired by Professor Dan Rogers.