Deepen subject knowledge in Asian Studies and take an interdisciplinary approach to learn about this expansive, multifaceted continent. Asian Studies covers countries and cultures in South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and the Far East. It examines all geographic, political, and cultural regions of Asia through the interdisciplinary studies of anthropology, history, political science, economics, language, literature, and religion.
Students seeking a degree in Asian Studies may focus on a particular country, such as Japanese Studies; a region, such as Southeast Asian Studies or East Asian Studies; a religion, such as Buddhist Studies or Eastern Religions; or a specific topic across Asia as a region, such as the geopolitical and economic landscape of Asia as a consumer market.
Buddhist Studies is a more specialized field of study within the broader subject area, which focuses on an Asian religion that is popular across the world. Other focused studies look at Asia and its growing and past influence on world affairs.
The influence Asian cultures have on the rest of the world is based on Asia’s position as home to some of the oldest civilizations and cultures of the world. Many Asian cultures have influenced growth in other parts of the world, which include important developments and areas of expertise. Not only have Asian religions and philosophies spread worldwide, but also concepts and practices in architecture, medicine, civic engineering, and strategies of warfare. China’s earliest dynasty is one of the world’s first and most advanced civilizations and many Asian countries and cultures continue to thrive well into the twenty-first century.
Because of the relationship forged between the United States and Japan after World War II, Japanese business practices and culture became popular in the United States. Similarly, U.S. pop culture has been assimilated into Japanese culture. Business relationships with automobile and electronic companies that grew after the war blossomed with cultural phenomena, such as pop culture video game characters and the growing popularity of sushi, solidifying Japan’s influence on the West and ongoing interest. The move of many manufacturing operations to China and other Asian countries in the latter half of the twentieth century broadened the scope of Asian influence on Western countries further, especially in the United States. That influence continues with information exchange via the internet and Asian Studies.