East Asian studies

East Asian studies is a distinct multidisciplinary field of scholarly enquiry and education that promotes a broad humanistic understanding of East Asia past and present. The field includes the study of the region's culture, written language, history and political institutions. East Asian Studies is located within the broader field of Asian studies and is also interdisciplinary in character, incorporating elements of the social sciences (anthropology, economics, sociology, politics, etc.) and humanities (literature, history, art, film, music, etc.), among others. The field encourages scholars from diverse disciplines toarship as it relat Asian experience and the experience of East Asia in the world. In addition, the field encourages scholars to educate others to have a deeper understanding of and appreciation and respect for, all that is East Asia and, therefore, to promote peaceful human integration worldwide.

At universities throughout North America and the Western World, the study of East Asian Humanities is traditionally housed in EALC (East Asian Languages and Civilizations or Cultures) departments, which run majors in Chinese and Japanese Language and Literature and sometimes Korean Language and Literature. East Asian Studies programs, on the other hand, are typically interdisciplinary centers that bring together literary scholars, historians, anthropologists, sociologists, political scientists, etc. from their various departments and schools to promote instructional programs, conferences and lecture series of common interest. East Asian Studies centers also often run interdisciplinary undergraduate and master's degree programs in East Asian Studies.



The sub-field dedicated to China, Chinese history Chinese culture, Chinese literature and the Chinese language. In the context of the Republic of China also specified as Taiwan studies (Academia Sinica).


The sub-field dedicated to Japan, Japanese culture, Japanese history, Japanese literature and the Japanese language. The foundation of the Asiatic Society of Japan at Yokohama in 1872 by men such as Ernest Satow and Frederick Victor Dickins was an important event in the development of Japanese studies as an academic discipline.


The sub-field dedicated to Korea, Korean culture, Korean history, Korean literature, and the Korean language. The term Korean studies first began to be used in the 1940s, but did not attain widespread currency until South Korea rose to economic prominence in the 1970s. In 1991, the South Korean government established the Korea Foundation to promote Korean studies.

Mongolian studies

The sub-field dedicated to Mongolia, Mongolian culture, Mongolian literature and the Mongolian language. Mongolian studies are also presented as a sub-field of the study of Inner Asia (as opposed to East Asia). The American Center for Mongolian Studies was founded in 2002.


In universities across the United States, as part of the opposition to the Vietnam War in the 1960s, younger faculty and graduate students criticized the field for complicity in what they saw as American imperialism. In particular, the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars debated and published alternative approaches not centered in the United States or funded, as many American programs were, by the American government or major foundations. They charged that Japan was held up as a model of non-revolutionary modernization and the field focused on modernization theory in order to fend off revolution.

In the following decades, many critics were inspired by Edward Said's 1978 book Orientalism, while others, writing from the point of view of the quantitative or theoretical social sciences, saw area studies in general and East Asian studies in particular, as amorphous and lacking in rigor.[1]

Critiques were also mounted from other points in the political spectrum. Ramon H. Myers and Thomas A. Metzger, two scholars based at the generally conservative Hoover Institution, charged that "the 'revolution' paradigm increasingly overshadowed the 'modernization' paradigm" and "this fallacy has become integral to much of the writing on modern Chinese history", discrediting or ignoring other factors in the history of modern China.[2]

In Europe, notable scholars of East Asian studies have long occupied professorships at prominent universities in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Italy, while recent publications also suggest that the “Nordic countries offer some unique contributions in the field of East Asian studies.”[3]

Noted East Asian studies programmes



Czech Republic




Hong Kong







Republic of Korea









  • Lund University - Center for East and South-East Asian Studies[23]


United Kingdom

United States



See also


  1. ^ Some journals also cover other regions of Asia in addition to East Asia.


  1. ^ Judith Farquhar, James Hevia, "Culture and Postwar American Historiography of China," positions 1.2 (1993): 486-525; Andrew Gordon, “Rethinking Area Studies, Once More” The Journal of Japanese Studies 30. 2, (Summer 2004): 417-429.
  2. ^ "Sinological Shadows: The State of Modern China Studies in the United States," The Washington Quarterly (Spring 1980): 87-114, quote at p. 89.
  3. ^ Hebert, David (2018). International Perspectives on Translation, Education, and Innovation in Japanese and Korean Societies. New York: Springer. ISBN 9783319684321, p.13
  4. ^ "Asian Studies". Uwa.edu.au. 2018-10-22. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  5. ^ "Chair of East Asian Economy and Society (EcoS)". ecos.univie.ac.at.
  6. ^ "Department of East Asian Studies » News". ostasien.univie.ac.at.
  7. ^ "East Asian Studies". East Asian Studies.
  8. ^ "Global Asia Program - Simon Fraser University". www.sfu.ca.
  9. ^ "East Asian Studies | Faculty of Arts". www.ualberta.ca.
  10. ^ "The Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia". asia.ubc.ca.
  11. ^ "University of British Columbia". Iar.ubc.ca. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  12. ^ "Central Authentication Service". cas.ucalgary.ca.
  13. ^ http://www.fas.umontreal.ca, FAS-. "Accueil - Centre d'études asiatiques - Université de Montréal". cetase.umontreal.ca.
  14. ^ "Department of East Asian Studies | UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO".
  15. ^ "Pacific and Asian Studies - University of Victoria". UVic.ca.
  16. ^ "East Asian Studies". Culture and Language Studies. September 27, 2016.
  17. ^ "– Chinese, Japanese, and East Asia Studies". Huronuc.on.ca. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  18. ^ "Department of Humanities – East Asian Studies". Yorku.ca. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  19. ^ "Home - University of Delhi". www.du.ac.in.
  20. ^ "centre for east asian studies". web.archive.org. May 13, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-05-13.
  21. ^ "East Asia Region Studies". March 26, 2015.
  22. ^ "East Asian Institute: Home". web.archive.org. February 28, 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-02-28.
  23. ^ "ACE". Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies. December 20, 2018.
  24. ^ "SOAS University of London". www.soas.ac.uk.
  25. ^ "Home | East Asian Studies | Brown University". www.brown.edu.
  26. ^ "Columbia University". Columbia.edu. 2019-02-04. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  27. ^ "Cornell University".
  28. ^ "Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations". ealc.fas.harvard.edu.
  29. ^ "East Asian Studies Center". East Asian Studies Center.
  30. ^ "Graduate Program". web.archive.org. May 18, 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-05-18.
  31. ^ "The Center for East Asian Studies | The University of Chicago". ceas.uchicago.edu.
  32. ^ "East-West Center | www.eastwestcenter.org". East-West Center | www.eastwestcenter.org.
  33. ^ "Center for Asian and Pacific Studies - International Programs - The University of Iowa". web.archive.org. June 29, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-06-29.
  34. ^ "Center for East Asian Studies". ceas.sas.upenn.edu.
  35. ^ "East Asia Center - Jackson School of International Studies". East Asia Center.
  36. ^ "Home". Center for East Asian Studies.
  37. ^ "The Council on East Asian Studies". web.archive.org. May 3, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-05-03.

External links

Library guides to East Asian studies

A. K. Warder

Anthony Kennedy Warder (September 8, 1924 - January 8, 2013) was a British scholar of Indology, mostly in Buddhist studies and related fields, such as the Pāḷi and Sanskrit languages. He wrote 15 books and numerous articles. He held the title of Professor Emeritus of Sanskrit in the School of East Asian Studies at the University of Toronto.Warder spent several years in India exploring manuscript libraries in connection with his work on Kavya, a literary style created by Ashvaghosha in the 2nd century AD. He also published on the subject of Indian Philosophy of all the religious schools in India.

Area studies

Area studies (also regional studies) are interdisciplinary fields of research and scholarship pertaining to particular geographical, national/federal, or cultural regions. The term exists primarily as a general description for what are, in the practice of scholarship, many heterogeneous fields of research, encompassing both the social sciences and the humanities. Typical area study programs involve international relations, strategic studies, history, political science, political economy, cultural studies, languages, geography, literature, and other related disciplines. In contrast to cultural studies, area studies often include diaspora and emigration from the area.

Asian Survey

Asian Survey: A Bimonthly Review of Contemporary Asian Affairs is a bimonthly academic journal of Asian studies published by the University of California Press on behalf of the Institute of East Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. The journal was established in 1932 as Memorandum (Institute of Pacific Relations, American Council), but was renamed Far Eastern Survey in 1935. The journal acquired its current name in 1961.

Asian studies

Asian studies is the term used usually in North America and Australia for what in Europe is known as Oriental studies. The field is concerned with the Asian people, their cultures, languages, history and politics. Within the Asian sphere, Asian studies combines aspects of sociology, history, cultural anthropology and many other disciplines to study political, cultural and economic phenomena in Asian traditional and contemporary societies. Asian studies forms a field of post-graduate study in many universities.

It is a branch of area studies, and many Western universities combine Asian and African studies in a single faculty or institute, like SOAS in London. It is often combined with Islamic studies in a similar way. The history of the discipline in the West is covered under Oriental studies.

China Report

The China Report is a refereed academic journal that provides platform for free expression and discussion of different ideas, approaches and viewpoints which assist a better understanding of China and its East Asian neighbours. It is an indispensable source of information on China, its society and culture.

The journal is published by SAGE Publications, India four times a year in association with the Institute of Chinese Studies

The journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies

The Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies (HJAS) is an English-language scholarly journal published by the Harvard-Yenching Institute. HJAS features articles and book reviews of current scholarship in East Asian Studies, focusing on Chinese, Japanese, and Korean history, literature and religion, with occasional coverage of politics and linguistics. It has been called "still Americas's leading sinological journal."

ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute

The ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute (Chinese: 尤索夫伊萨东南亚研究院; pinyin: Yóusǔofū Yīsà Dōngnányà Yánjīuyuàn) is a Singaporean statutory board and research institution established by an Act of Parliament in 1968. Previously known as the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), the organisation was renamed as ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute in August 2015, in honour of Singapore's first President.

Japanese studies

Japanese studies or Japan studies (sometimes Japanology in Europe), is a sub-field of area studies or East Asian studies involved in social sciences and humanities research on Japan. It incorporates fields such as the study of Japanese language, culture, history, literature, art, music and science. Its roots may be traced back to the Dutch at Dejima, Nagasaki in the Edo period. The foundation of the Asiatic Society of Japan at Yokohama in 1872 by men such as Ernest Satow and Frederick Victor Dickins was an important event in the development of Japanese studies as an academic discipline.

Journal of East Asian Studies

The Journal of East Asian Studies is a peer-reviewed academic journal published triannually by Lynne Rienner Publishers. It was established in 2001 and is abstracted and indexed by Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, International Political Science Abstracts, and Social Sciences Citation Index. As of 2012 the editor-in-chief is Stephan Haggard.

Juha Janhunen

Juha Janhunen (born 12 February 1952 in Pori) is a Finnish linguist whose wide interests include Uralic and Mongolic languages. Since 1994 he has been Professor in East Asian Studies at the University of Helsinki. He has done fieldwork on Samoyedic languages and on Khamnigan Mongol. More recently he has collaborated with Chinese scholar Wu Yingzhe to produce a critical edition of two newly discovered Liao Dynasty epitaphs written in the Khitan small script.

He is a critic of the Altaic hypothesis.

Korean studies

Korean studies, or Koreanology is an academic discipline that focuses on the study of Korea, which includes the Republic of Korea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and diasporic Korean populations. Areas commonly included under this rubric include Korean history, Korean culture, Korean literature, Korean art, Korean music, Korean language and linguistics, Korean sociology and anthropology, Korean politics, Korean economics, Korean folklore, Korean ethnomusicology and increasing study of Korean popular culture. It may be compared to other area studies disciplines, such as American studies and Chinese studies. Korean studies is sometimes included within a broader regional area of focus including "East Asian studies".

The term Korean studies first began to be used in the 1940s, but did not attain widespread currency until South Korea rose to economic prominence in the 1970s. In 1991, the South Korean government established the Korea Foundation to promote Korean studies around the world.[1]Korean studies was originally an area of study conceived of and defined by non-Koreans. Korean scholars of Korea tend to see themselves as linguists, sociologists, and historians, but not as "Koreanists" unless they have received at least some of their education outside Korea and are academically active (for example publishing and attending conferences)in languages other than Korean (most Korean studies publications are in English but there is also a significant amount of Korean Studies activity in other European languages), or work outside Korean academia. In the mid-2000s, Korean universities pushing for more classes taught in English began to hire foreign-trained Koreanists of Korean and non-Korean origin to teach classes. This was often geared towards foreigners in Korean graduate schools. There are now graduate school programs in Korean Studies (mostly active at the MA level) in most of the major Korean universities. BA programs in Korean Studies have now been opened at two Korean universities. The BA programs are distinctive in that they have few foreign students.

The Academy of Korean Studies (한국학중앙연구원, AKS) est.1978

The Korea Research Foundation (한국학술진흥재단, KRF) est.1981

The Korea Foundation (한국국제교류재단) est.1991.

The Advanced Center for Korean Studies (한국국학진흥원, ACKS) est.1995.

Middle Eastern studies

Middle Eastern studies (sometimes referred to as Near Eastern studies) is a name given to a number of academic programs associated with the study of the history, culture, politics, economies, and geography of the Middle East, an area that is generally interpreted to cover a range of nations including Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Oman. It is considered a form of area studies, taking an overtly interdisciplinary approach to the study of a region. In this sense Middle Eastern Studies is a far broader and less traditional field than classical Islamic Studies.

The subject was historically regarded as part of Oriental studies, which also included East Asian studies and Egyptology and other specialisms in the ancient civilizations of the region; the growth of the field of study in the West is treated at that article. Many academic faculties still cover both areas. Although some academic programs combine Middle Eastern Studies with Islamic Studies, based on the preponderance of Muslims in the region (with Israel and Lebanon being the only exceptions), others maintain these areas of study as separate disciplines.

Philip Gabriel

J. Philip Gabriel is a full professor and former department chair of the University of Arizona's Department of East Asian Studies and is one of the major translators into English of the works of the Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami.J. Philip Gabriel is also the translator of works by Nobel Prize-winner Kenzaburō Ōe, such as Somersault, and Senji Kuroi, such as Life in the Cul-De-Sac. Dr. Gabriel is also the author of Mad Wives and Island Dreams: Shimao Toshio and the Margins of Japanese Literature. He is currently a professor of modern Japanese literature and Department head of East Asian Studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, and his translations have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, and other publications. Dr. Gabriel is the recipient of the 2001 Sasakawa Prize for Japanese Literature, the 2001 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for Translation of Japanese Literature, and the 2006 PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize for Kafka on the Shore.

Princeton University East Asian Studies Department

The East Asian Studies Department at Princeton University originally began as the Department of Oriental Languages and Literature (also later known as the Department of Oriental Studies) in 1927. Both the graduate Semitic and Indo-European Philology programs presented an increasing need for an Asian studies curriculum that could not be addressed by these departments. The Department of Oriental Languages and Literature was formed in response to this growing need. In 1937, an undergraduate program also began to take shape, beginning with courses in Chinese art and Far Eastern politics. World War II hindered the development of the Asian language curriculum until 1956 when Frederick W. Mote, a graduate of the Department of Oriental Studies, began regular work in Chinese.

In 1960, the Department of Oriental Languages and Literature expanded to include Japanese language and literature courses. Marius Jansen was appointed as the head of the Japanese program. During this time, an experimental Korean program was offered, which included studies in language, history, and politics. However, this program proved unsuccessful, and another Korean program would not be instituted until 1993. In 1969, the Department of Oriental Studies received independent status and was renamed the East Asian Studies Department (the other component forming the Department of Near Eastern Studies).The East Asian Studies Department cooperates with the Department of Art and Archaeology to offer a doctoral program in Chinese or Japanese art and archaeology.

Robert A. Scalapino

Robert Anthony "Bob" Scalapino (19 October 1919 – 1 November 2011) (Chinese name: 施樂伯) was an American political scientist particularly involved in East Asian studies. He was one of the founders and first chairman of the National Committee on United States – China Relations. Together with his co-author Chong-Sik Lee, he won the 1974 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award for the best book on government, politics, or international affairs as awarded by the American Political Science Association. Scalapino's daughters include the renowned artist Diane Sophia and the poet Leslie Scalapino (1944–2010).Scalapino was born to Anthony and Beulah Stephenson Scalapino in Leavenworth, Kansas. In 1940, he completed his bachelor's degree at Santa Barbara College (now the University of California, Santa Barbara) where he was student body president in his last year. He married Ida Mae Jessen, the next year on 23 August 1941. Over time they had three children: Leslie, Diane, and Lynne. Scalapino received his master's degree in 1943 and his doctorate in 1948, both from Harvard. During World War II he served in U.S. Naval Intelligence from 1943 to 1946, where he studied Japanese. He reached the rank of lieutenant junior grade.

After graduating from Harvard, Scalapino remained there for a year teaching as an instructor, and then went to the University of California at Berkeley as an assistant professor in 1949. He achieved full professor status in 1956, and took emeritus status in 1990. He was chair of Department of Political Science from 1962 to 1965. He founded and was the first director of the Institute of East Asian Studies, from 1978 to 1990. He sat on the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was editor of the scholarly journal, Asian Survey, from 1962 to January 1996. Scalapino remained active into his late 80s, serving as a government consultant and testifying at Congressional hearings.

In 2010, The National Bureau of Asian Research and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, as part of the National Asia Research Program (NARP), created the Scalapino Prize in honor of Scalapino and his contributions to the field of Asian studies. The prize would be awarded to an outstanding scholar in the field of Asian studies every two years. The inaugural Scalapino Prize was awarded to David M. Lampton in June 2010 at the 2010 Asia Policy Assembly.He died of complications from a respiratory infection on 1 November 2011, at the age of 92.

Sungkyunkwan University

Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU or simply Seongdae, Hangul: 성균관대학교; hanja: 成均館大學校) is a private comprehensive research university in South Korea. The institution traces its origins to the historical Sungkyunkwan founded in 1398 by the Joseon Dynasty located in the heart of central Seoul. As the foremost educational institution of the Joseon Kingdom, it was governed by the great code of the state administration with royal assent. It was restructured into a university in the late nineteenth century, and has since greatly expanded its course offerings and reputation, which is attributed to its numerous influential graduates, strong research output, and close partnership with Samsung.

Being one of the premier universities in the country, SKKU has been consistently maintaining its reputation internationally as well. It was featured in Nature's index in 2017 as one of the premier universities in South Korea. QS World University Rankings 2019 ranks it 100th, while THE World University Rankings puts SKKU in 82nd place worldwide.The university spends heavily on research and development, mostly funded by its primary sponsor tech-giant Samsung, Hyundai and other government funding agencies, producing high-end research scientists. Among the internationally notable research scientists of the university, professor Park Nam-Gyu of Chemical engineering, who was nominated as one of the potential Chemistry Nobel laureates in 2017 by Clarivate Analytics, and professor Lee Young-hee, director of the Center for Integrated Nanostructure Physics in the Institute for Basic Science, are currently active in research at this university, frequently coming into spotlight in Nature.

Thai Malays

Thai Malays (Malay: Orang Melayu Thai, Thai: ไทยเชื้อสายมลายู, Jawi: ملايو تاي, Pattani Malay: Oré Nayu, Jawi or Bangso Yawi) is a term used to refer to ethnic Malays in Thailand. Thailand hosts the third largest ethnic Malay population after Malaysia and Indonesia, and most Malays are concentrated in the Southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala, Songkhla, and Satun. Phuket and Ranong, home to a sizeable Muslim population, also has many people who are of Malay descent. A sizeable community also exists in Thailand's capital Bangkok, having descended from migrants or deportees who were relocated from the South from the 13th century onwards.Separatist inclinations among ethnic Malays in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala, and Songkhla are due in part to cultural differences from the Thai people as well as past experiences of forced attempts to assimilate them into Thai mainstream culture after the annexation of the Pattani Kingdom by the Sukhothai Kingdom. On the other hand, the Malay Muslims of Satun are less inclined towards separatism, this heavily a result of the historical affinity of the Malay King of Setul towards Siam, compared to the violent demise of the Pattani Kingdom. A parallel of pro-Thai inclination can also be observed by Malay community in Phuket, Ranong and Bangkok.

University of Duisburg-Essen

The University of Duisburg-Essen (German: Universität Duisburg-Essen) is a public university in Duisburg and Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany and a member of the newly founded University Alliance Metropolis Ruhr.It was founded in 1654 and re-established on 1 January 2003 as a merger of the Gerhard Mercator University of Duisburg and the University of Essen. Until 1994 the name of the Gerhard Mercator University was Comprehensive University of Duisburg.

With its 12 departments and around 40,000 students, the University of Duisburg-Essen is among the 10 largest German universities. Since 2014 research income has risen by 150 percent.

William J. Duiker

William J. Duiker is a former United States Foreign Service officer and is currently Liberal Arts Professor Emeritus of East Asian Studies at Penn State University. His area of expertise is East Asia; while in the Foreign Service he was stationed in Taiwan (the Republic of China), the Republic of (South) Vietnam, and Washington, D.C. After leaving the State Department in 1965, he received his Ph.D. degree in East Asian studies at Georgetown University.

While at Penn State, Duiker served for ten years as Director of International Programs and as chairman of the East Asian Studies Committee. He is the author of several books, including 'The Rise of Nationalism in Vietnam,' 'Cultures in Collision: The Boxer Rebellion,' 'Sacred War: Nationalism and Revolution in a Divided Vietnam,' 'The Communist Road to Power in Vietnam,' 'U.S. Containment Policy and the Conflict in Indochina,' 'China and Vietnam: the Roots of Conflict,' and 'Ho Chi Minh: A Life. The latter, published in 2000, was the first comprehensive biography of Ho Chi Minh using sources from Vietnam. He also collaborates with his colleague Jackson J. Spielvogel in authoring the textbook 'World History,' which is now in its ninth edition with Cengage Press. He is also the sole author of Contemporary World History (Cengage Press), which is soon to come out in its seventh edition. Duiker retired from teaching in 1997 and is currently living in Southern Shores, N.C. with his wife Yvonne. He has two children, Laura Duiker Garlitos and Claire Louise Duiker. .

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