The program in Asian studies recognizes the increasingly important role the Asian region plays in the global economy, politics, and culture. Students interested in obtaining a minor in Asian studies choose courses from a highly interdisciplinary curriculum that allows them to explore an aspect of Asian traditions that can complement their major field of study, e.g., history, literature, religion(s), or the fine and performing arts. At present, nine different departments contribute their disciplinary perspectives to the curriculum of Asian studies.
The Asian studies program has the goal of providing an education that will help to produce students with the global competence central to success in the world of the twenty-first century. Students with a minor in the program, which is subject to Nazareth College’s foreign language requirement, will fulfill the requirement by studying one of the Asian languages presently offered at Nazareth (Chinese and Japanese, with Hindi-Urdu under consideration). They will also be encouraged to study the language to a higher degree of proficiency, as well as to consider studying abroad in an Asian country through currently existing programs (in India and Japan) or others under development (China). The Asian studies program also contributes to the college-wide goal of infusing the curriculum with international perspectives and content.
Educating students for global competence entails fostering a deeper understanding of the complex role that the Asian region plays in the process of globalization. In the global society that is emerging, the processes of cultural transformation, exchange, and diffusion are not unidirectional, but multilateral. The usual dichotomy of East versus West is overturned, and the growing influence of Asian societies upon the nation states of the developed Western world is analyzed. Students learn that the various dimensions of globalization defy geographic, economic, political, and socio-cultural boundaries.