Center for East Asian Studies
The Center for East Asian Studies, housed in the Department of Asian Studies, features an interdisciplinary faculty who represent fields including anthropology, political science, literature, language pedagogy, and history, and who specialize in contemporary East Asian cultures, societies, and languages. Scholars at the Center conduct research in the fields of popular culture, religion and ritual, demography, poetry, film, gender issues, politics and government, transnational migration, classical and modern literature, and language pedagogy. The Center is committed to encouraging the inclusion of international components for students at UT, as well as promoting awareness of East Asian cultures and societies throughout the campus and in the community.
The Department of Asian Studies was created in 1994 to provide a focus within The University of Texas at Austin for the creation and dissemination of knowledge about Asia, principally East Asia (China, Japan, and Korea) and South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Afghanistan).With over forty instructors, the Department is one of the largest and most distinguished in the country. It offers courses in nine Asian languages: Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Malayalam, Sanskrit, Tamil, and Urdu. We teach the histories, cultures, religions, and literatures of Asia, as well as the contemporary issues facing Asian countries from economic and ecological issues to security and ethnic conflicts. The Department offers two parallel degree tracks for undergraduate and graduate majors:
Degrees in Asian Cultures and Languages:
Intended for students desiring to focus on one country or language, the B.A. degree in ACL is designed to provide competence in one Asian language, a deep and broad knowledge of the cultural and geographic area represented by that language, and familiarity with other regions of Asia.
A graduate program in Asian Cultures and Languages leading to an M.A. and Ph.D. is targeted at students who intend to pursue an academic career.
Degrees in Asian Studies:
The B.A. degree in Asian Studies provides a solid broad background in classical and contemporary Asia for students with a variety of career goals. Two years of one of the following languages are required: Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Malayalam, Sanskrit, Tamil, or Urdu.
The M.A. in Asian Studies is designed for students who will pursue non-academic careers in business, communications, government, law, high-school teaching, and the like and wish to deepen their knowlege of the region without necessarily pursuing a career related to Asia.
In addition, there are two dual degree M.A. programs: a joint M.A. in Asian Studies and Public Affairs with the LBJ School of Public Affairs and an MBA/M.A. in Asian Studies with the McCombs School of Business.
The Department offers a broad range of carefully developed undergraduate and graduate courses, from general courses in the history and culture of Asia at the introductory level to upper-division and graduate seminars. We structure our introductory and upper-level undergraduate courses to provide an excellent foundation in various cultural and historical aspects of Asia for the student body of The University of Texas. Apart from general survey courses, we also offer specialty courses in such varied topics as Ethics in Asia, Asian Concepts of Body and Self, and Japanese Animation, as well as a wide range of classes on the religions of Asia. We also offer language courses ranging from introductory to the graduate-level, regularly including advanced courses in either reading or conversation in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Instruction in Asian languages is targeted at both students intending to major in the Department of Asian Studies and those in other programs seeking competence in an Asian language to fulfill general degree requirements.
As part of the Provost's Initiative on South Asia, a committee chaired by the then Dean of Liberal Arts, Richard Lariviere, recommended, among other things, the creation of a new South Asia Institute. This Institute is solely concerned with South Asia, whereas the old Center for Asian Studies' mission included all of Asia. As part of this reorganization, the Center ceased to exist as of late 2003.