Enhance Your Education
Student Research and Creative Projects
The Asian Studies Program seeks to inspire innovative, interdisciplinary study of Asia among all its majors. With this goal in mind, all majors are required to complete an independent senior research project that draws together the diverse experiences in the major. Independent research on Asia can begin much earlier than the senior year, however. Through independent study courses and projects, sometimes linked to study in Asia, students develop the knowledge and skills to give unique shape to their senior projects. Examples of recent student research projects include:
- "Sengoku Heroes: Larger than Life Unifiers in Japan's Warring States Period," Joseph Tortorelli '12.
- "Hirohito and the Declaration of Humanity: Portrayals of the Emperor in American Media," Laura Anderman '10.
- "Diversity and Identity within Japan," Joshua Lawitts '10.
- "Loss of Liberal Democratic Party Dominance in 1993 and 2009," Mary Vander Plas '10.
- "Itami Juzo: A Director in Social/Cultural Perspective," Scott Hirabayashi '10.
- "Modern Girls and the Interwar Period [in Japan]," Rachel Kueker '10.
Outstanding students may elect to undertake College Honors in their senior year, carrying out an advanced research project presented and defended to a faculty committee that includes a distinguished outside examiner.
Asian students have studied at Knox for over 100 years. Large numbers of Knox students studying in Asia is of more recent vintage, but off-campus study is usually a critical component in the careers of Asian Studies majors. Knox has a long-standing partnership with GLCA/ACM Japan Study and sends students to Waseda University in Tokyo under this program every year. Students interested in Japan have also studied at Kansai Gaidai University and Sophia (Jochi) University. Most students interested in China study at the Beijing Institute for Asian Studies at Peking University. Student interest in Asia is wide-ranging, however, and students have also studied in Korea, Thailand, India, Australia, and New Zealand in recent years. Given the diverse interests of Asian Studies majors, off-campus study for our students has involved living and studying in Buddhist monasteries, working with sustainable agricultural projects in Southeast Asia, and studying the Great Barrier Reef off Australia.
As with all off-campus study at Knox, students are urged to meet with faculty members early in their careers to discuss opportunities, begin preparation, and develop plans to integrate off-campus study into their academic programs at Knox.
As a student in an interdisciplinary program at Knox, you'll have diverse opportunities to expand your education - to get that valuable experience you hear so much about - by completing an internship. Internships provide an opportunity to explore and test career options, to gain experiences and skills needed to succeed as a professional, to build a resume, to network and make critical connections, and to experience a work environment. More and more employers are looking for college graduates with career-related experience. Knox's Center for Career and Pre-Professional Development specializes in helping you find an internship that best matches your goals and interests. Many Asian Studies students find internships in connection with their off-campus study. Indeed, many off-campus programs have internships built into their academic calendar. Knox students have also completed internships during the summer in important business centers in Asia such as Tianjin, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Mumbai, India.
Teaching English in Asia appeals to many Knox graduates as a way to learn more about Asia while establishing contacts there. The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program is one such opportunity, which invites young college and university graduates to participate in international exchange and foreign language education throughout Japan. The program has earned a high reputation, both in Japan and overseas, for its efforts in human and cultural exchanges, and has become one of the largest cultural exchange programs in Japan. Knox students have been quite successful gaining admission to this competitive program. The program offers college and university graduates the opportunity to serve in local government organizations as well as public and private junior and senior high schools.
Recent Knox graduates who have taught English in Asia:
- Madison Dirks '12
- Shannon Singer '10
- Dwight Glinsman '08
- Karlina Trachsel '07