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Asian Studies


Weihong Du

Associate Professor of Asian Studies

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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Asia, a vast, culturally and linguistically diverse region, is home to half the world's population. Study of this region requires a broad scope as well as specific study of one or more societies within it. Asia is divided conventionally into five subregions: East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, and Western Asia. Asian Studies combines training in Asian languages with study of the cultural, social, economic, and intellectual complexity of these subregions. While the program is new, it has deep roots. Asian students have come to Knox for nearly a century. Regular courses in Asian history began in the 1960's and Japanese language in the 1980's. Current members of the Knox faculty have lived and engaged in research in India, Thailand, the Philippines, the Middle East, China, and Japan.

The strength of Asian Studies at Knox is East Asia, with the established Japanese language program and the newly created Chinese language program. Asia-related courses in Anthropology/Sociology, Political Science, History, and Philosophy provide additional opportunities. In addition to the Asian Studies major, students may currently minor in Japanese Language and Japanese Studies, and Chinese Language and Chinese Studies.Off-campus study in Asia has been a key component of Asian studies at Knox for decades. In addition to the approved programs in Japan, China, and India, students have participated in study programs in Southeast Asia, Middle East, and Oceania. Recent Off-Campus Student opportunities have included:

  • Japan Study (Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan): an ACM/GLCA Program
  • Kansai Gaidai University (Osaka/Kyoto, Japan): a direct exchange program
  • China Studies Institute (Beijing, China)
  • Shanghai: Perspectives on Contemporary China (Shanghai, China): an ACM program
  • Buddhist Studies (Bodh Gaya, India): an AEA Program
  • Thailand: International Sustainable Development Studies Institute (Chaiang Mai, Thailand)

Another avenue for study in Asia is Japan Term. Japan Term is an interdisciplinary set of Japan-focused courses offered during the fall term, alternating years. Participants travel to Japan during the December break to explore key sites and complete course projects.

The Program

You will begin your study by establishing a foundation in basic language skills through advanced coursework in Japanese or Chinese language or by participating in a semester-length or longer language and culture study program in Asia. With a foundation in basic language skills, you will then pursue the in-depth study of Asian literature and culture. All Asian Studies majors culminate their studies with an senior project.


The Dorothy Johnson '39 and Richard Burkhardt '39 Language Center includes a projection equipped classroom space located in the heart of George Davis Hall. The Center contains an instructor station, 24 advanced Macintosh workstations, and professional photo-flatbed scanning capabilities. The Language Center also houses two workgroup rooms equipped with individual computer workstations for small group sessions or individual privacy. The viewing room is capable of seating up to 20 people accommodating large-screen computer output and video viewing. Other co-curricular clubs and activities of interest to Asian Studies students include Japanese Club, Japanese Table and Anime Club. The Center for Career and Pre-Professional Development helps students search, find and apply for internships in their areas of interest.

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Printed on Thursday, April 26, 2018