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Asian Studies

Hampshire College
4 years
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
On campus

About this program

Asian Studies

Hampshire students engage with Asian Studies through a variety of lenses.

These include anthropology, Chinese language, economics, environmental studies, ethnography, film and photography, history, international relations, literature, music, politics, and religion studies. Geographically, Asian Studies at Hampshire encompasses China, Japan, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Tibet, and Asian American studies.

Asian Studies and Asian American Studies in the Five College Consortium allows Hampshire students to pursue a wide variety of courses in nearly all geographical areas of Asia and Asian America, including many Asian languages. Through Hampshire College and Five College courses, Hampshire students are able to develop an interdisciplinary Asian Studies concentration with both breadth and depth.

Through a recent grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, Hampshire College has particularly encouraged the study of Asia and the environment, creating links between Asian Studies and the natural sciences and the Hampshire Farm Center. Student work in these interdisciplinary areas is encouraged and supported with a variety of resources.

Program content

Sample First-Year Course

Asian Religious Texts and Traditions

The aim of this course is to introduce students to several of the oldest religious traditions of South and East Asia through a study of selected canonical texts. Part of our concern will naturally be to determine what these ancient records reveal to us about how people of these cultures understand, or once understood, such perennial human issues as the meaning of death, the nature of suffering, the value of human life, belief in God or the gods, and the possibility of liberation or life after death. But we will also consider such crucial historical and literary questions as, When were these texts produced and under what religious or cultural circumstances? Were these "texts" written and read, or chanted, performed, and heard? How were they produced or revealed, and by whom? Who had access to these traditions and in what form? What roles have these texts played in religious ritual, liturgy, storytelling, or popular culture?

Sample Courses at Hampshire

  • Agriculture, Ecology, and Society
  • Asian America and WWII
  • Asian Spirituality in the West
  • Buddhism and Environment
  • Buddhist Economics
  • China Rising
  • Decoding Zen Buddhism
  • Dekassegui, Karaoke, Saudade: Identity Politics of Nikkei Brazilians--the First 100 Years
  • Dreaming East, Dreaming West
  • Elementary Chinese, Intermediate Chinese (summer) and Third Year Chinese
  • Immigration Nation: Ethnic Stereotypes, US Politics, and the Media
  • Introduction to "Asia" through Music and Performing Arts
  • Introduction to Modern Buddhism
  • Japanese Popular Culture in the Transnational Context
  • Kieslowski Meets Ozu
  • Partition of India
  • Past Performed: Creative Reconstructions of Oral History
  • Photography in Asia
  • Real and Fictive Identities: Ethnicity in Migrant Literature and Cinema
  • State Power and Popular Protest in South Asia
  • Sound, Image, and Narrative: A Multidimensional Approach to Japanese Culture
  • Understanding 'Modern' South Asia: Society, Politics and the Colonial Inheritance
  • US-China Geopolitics
  • War, Resources, and Sustainability

Through the Consortium

  • Asian/Pacific/American History: Themes and Issues, Historiography and History(UMass)
  • Chinese Civilization (AC, SC)
  • Chinese Foreign Policy (SC)
  • Contemporary Chinese Fiction (MHC)
  • Folktales and Legends of Vietnam (UMass)
  • Intro to Indian Civilization (MHC)
  • Intro to Modern East Asia (MHC, SC)
  • Japanese I, II, and III (AC, MHC)
  • Modern China (MHC)
  • Modern Korean History (SC)
  • Traditional Japanese Literature (AC)

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the college website for more information.


Tuition fees per semester: $25,500

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About this institute

Hampshire College

Hampshire College is a small liberal arts college located in Amherst, Massachusetts that has been at the forefront of progressive higher education in the United States for over 50 years. Every Hampshire student designs a customized program of study in...

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Contact info

Hampshire College

West Street
01002 Amherst Massachusetts
United States of America

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