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Director’s Welcome

Director Gavin Shatkin

SPPUA-ShatkinAsian societies are among the most dynamic in the world.  Containing more than half of the world’s population, the region is home to countries undergoing dramatic changes—economic growth, urbanization, political change, and environmental degradation—that have global implications.  Whether from the perspective of social equity and justice, economic growth, peace and security, or sustainability, it is more apparent now than ever that the study of Asia is critical to an understanding the issues that confront the world today.

The Asian Studies Program at Northeastern University is an interdepartmental program that focuses on the histories, cultures, and politics of the dynamic nation-states in East and South Asia, while also exploring their transnational interactions and their global diasporas, especially to the United States. In so doing, it encourages students to look carefully and critically at the complex ways that people in Asian countries have been involved with one another and with the rest of the world in both the past and the present.

The Bachelors of Arts in Asian Studies offers students a multidisciplinary approach to studying the region, with over forty courses from eight separate departments, including offerings focused on East, Southeast and South Asia.  The range of coursework allows students to craft a program of study focusing on the student’s particular area of interest, be it in history, society and politics, or language, literature, and culture.  While pursuing the degree, students can also gain substantial experience in Asia through Northeastern’s rich opportunities for co-op abroad, study abroad, and Dialogues of Civilization.  The Asian Studies Program also sponsors extracurricular events, including an Asian Studies Lecture Series, which acts as a forum for cutting edge scholars and professionals working on and in Asia.  Students graduate with a deep understanding of the region, and with a set of experiences and professional and academic connections that provide them a boost into future professional and academic work in the region.  The Asian Studies Program also offers a minor in East Asian Studies, which provides students a foundational understanding of East Asian language and history.