Program Description

NiZan, 6 Gentlemen

Pacific Asia, including the nation states on the Asian shores of the Pacific Rim Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, and Indonesia is a region of great economic, political and strategic importance. Possessing immense natural and human resources, Pacific Asia is developing as the most dynamic region of the world.


The major is designed to provide students with a coherent introduction to the language, history, and culture of Asian societies. The major offers four concentrations: 1) Chinese Studies, 2) Korean Studies, 3) Japanese Studies, and 3) South and Southeast Asian Studies. Each concentration provides an interdisciplinary understanding of the major social and historical forces at work in the region, supported by appropriate language training, with Asian-related courses in art, art history, anthropology, Chinese, ethnic studies, history, humanities and religious studies, government, Japanese, Korean, music, philosophy, politics, and sociology.


The minor offers a student a framework to explore one or more Asian societies from an interdisciplinary perspective. The minor is an appropriate and timely course of study for any student wishing to better understand an increasingly important region of our world. It is particularly relevant for students in various academic or applied disciplines who have a regional interest in Asia.

Although we emphasize the transnational forces that connect Asia and the Pacific historically and culturally, catrgorically we distinguish the political geography of the region as follows:

East Asia: China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan
Southeast Asia: Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar/Burma, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Pacific Islands: Aoteroa/New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, etc.