Why Asia Here?

Korean style lanterns in blue, red, green and pink.

Asian economies have a preeminent presence and impact worldwide, and political and social dynamics in Asia intersect profoundly with U.S. political, social, and cultural landscapes. We live and study in an age in which major world cultures that were formerly assigned to particular geographic regions are recognized to have truly international, cross-sectional reach. Studying Asian historic civilizations and contemporary societies and economies is fascinating, meaningful, and practical.

The faculty affiliated with our Asian Studies program are engaged in teaching and research devoted primarily to Asia. These scholars provide interesting and rigorous courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels and conduct innovative research, often in collaboration with colleagues at UB and worldwide. Asia specialists at UB are actively engaged globally and locally in conversations, debate, and public education about the diverse cultures, societies, and politics in Asia historically and in the present day. Asian Studies faculty and students help cultivate and in turn benefit from the university’s existing programs and strong partnerships with many educational institutions in Asia.

We offer a major and minor in Asian Studies and we cooperate with undergraduate students from many departments who wish to double major in Asian Studies and another discipline. A major or minor in Asian Studies prepares students to live and work in a global arena in which Asia plays an increasingly prominent role. Students take courses offered directly by the Asian Studies Program or by other departments at UB, including History, Linguistics, English, Africana and American Studies, Anthropology, Geography, and Communication among others. Our program within the larger UB community offers students opportunities to be known as individuals and interact with faculty individually.

We are unique as a program at UB and in the U.S. because we are not confined to a single department or college within the university – or to a single region in Asia. Our faculty and students interact across disciplines and geographies to freely collaborate and grow as intellectuals. We host and cosponsor lectures, artistic presentations, symposia, and workshops to build and support our community of students, scholars, and Western New Yorkers energized by the study of Asia.