General Info & Contacts
The major and minor in Asian studies are administered
by the Asian Studies Committee: Professors Lipman (history), Peterson
(chair), Yamashita (religion); Associate Professors Bandarage (women's
studies), Gabriel (economics), Khory (politics), Sinha (art); Assistant
Professors Hashmi (international relations), Katz (religion), Nemoto,
Wang; Senior Lecturer Jiyad; Visiting Assistant Professor Thompson (anthropology).
Tracie Alfano-Aube, senior
Studies Web Site
Asian studies is an interdisciplinarymajor. The
field of Asian studies covers the huge and diverse area stretching from
Japan to the Mediterranean, from the Siberian tundra to the southeast
and south Asian tropics. It thus must encompass the wide variety of methods
we may use to study any particular part of the world. The Asian studies
major allows students to focus on a specific country or region, to travel
abroad for intensive language and cultural study, and to delve deeply
into Asian cultures using the tools of several disciplines. Asian studies
courses may be found in the departments of anthropology, art, economics,
geography, history, international relations, politics, religion, and women's
studies. This "area studies" approach demands that students
take an active and conscious part in designing their majors by choosing
courses appropriate to their own skills and interests. At the core of
an Asian studies major lies the study of the culture and language of one
(or more) Asian region. Mount Holyoke currently offers instruction in
Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and Sanskrit, so Asian studies majors may concentrate
on the culture areas defined by those languages.
Students who have had previous training in Arabic,
Chinese, Japanese, and Sanskrit and wish to continue their studies should
arrange for placement in appropriate courses by contacting Mr. Jiyad for
Arabic, Ms. Nemoto for Japanese, Ms. Wang for Chinese, and Ms. Peterson
Requirements for the
Credits and Courses
A minimum of 40 credits of course work on Asia.
Any course that devotes 50 percent or more of its substance to the Asian
continent may be counted toward the major. Owing to differences in the
availability of levels and in the number of credits assigned for the Asian
languages taught at Mount Holyoke, other colleges in the Five College
system, and under the self-instructional program in the Five Colleges,
the language requirement for the major is stated in terms of the minimum
number of semesters rather than the number of credits.
No fewer than 4 semesters of Chinese, Japanese, or Arabic language study,
or 3 semesters of Sanskrit, or 6 semesters of Five College self-instructional
study in an Asian language (e.g., Hindi-Urdu) at a level appropriate to
the student's experience. No more than 16 credits of 100-200 level language
may be counted toward the major. Please consult the Asian Studies Committee
for guidelines regarding Asian languages not listed above or not taught
at the Five Colleges. 16 credits (4 courses) at the 300 level, no more
than 8 of which can be language credits. To be counted toward the major,
300-level courses not taught at Mount Holyoke, including language courses
beyond the first- and second-year level, require prior approval from the
Asian Studies Committee.
Nonlanguage courses must be taken in at least three departments or programs
(including Asian studies). The committee strongly recommends that students
take one (or more) of the "Introduction to Civilization" series,
Asian Studies 100, 101, 103, or Religion 202. No more than one Asian American
studies course may be counted toward the Asian studies major.
Students should consult the catalogue
entries or Web sites of other departments. Asian studies majors should
also plan to use the rich resources of the Five College Consortium in
selecting their courses (listings are available through the Five
College or individual college Web sites). Some
Asian studies major and minor programs designed by recent graduates may
be found on the Asian studies Web site.
Asian studies is an interdisciplinary major. Students
who pursue an interdisciplinary major automatically fulfill the College's
"outside the major" requirement.
Requirements for the Minor
At least 16 credits in Asian studies at the 200
level or higher, only 8 of which can be in language
At least 4 credits at the 300 level
Courses should be selected from at least two disciplines.
No more than one Asian American studies course may be counted toward the
Asian studies minor. The committee recommends that students take one or
more courses in the 100-level "Introduction to Civilization"
College Language Requirement
Completing one year (8 or more credits) of Arabic, Chinese, Japanese,
or Sanskrit language study fulfills the Mount Holyoke College language
requirement for students without previous experience in the language.