Concentration in Global Asias

The Major in Global Studies — Concentration in Global Asias

“Global Asias” provides the means for students to study Asia transnationally and transculturally, thereby expanding the geographic concept of the region beyond a set of political entities occupying a specific world region. East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and the Asian diaspora are all part of this concentration, with the goal of recognizing that the flows of people, objects, ideas, and practices of Asia have spread across the region and around the globe. Drawing on a range of approaches, the Global Asias concentration provides the means to study "Asia" in its many manifestations — in the past and in the present — in our world today.

General Requirements

One semester of language must be completed before declaring the major.

  • Students must complete a minimum of 36 units in Global Studies, including at least three courses focused on a world area.
  • Students must complete at least 24 units at the 300 level or above, including courses across a minimum of three academic disciplines.
  • Students must complete at least 6 units at the 400 level, no more than 3 of which may be directed research or independent study.
  • In addition to the 36 units, students must complete a four-semester sequence of courses in one modern language appropriate to their concentration.

These requirements may be fulfilled only with college-level course work undertaken during a student's undergraduate enrollment. Courses must be taken for a grade, and a student must receive a grade of C+ or higher in all courses.

This concentration requires 36 units of course work:

  • 3 units of introductory course work (100-200 level)
  • 6 units of multiethnic, diaspora, transnational, or transregional Asia-related course work (at least 3 units at the 300-400 level)
  • 24 units of advanced Global Asias course work (300-400 level; at least one course must focus on premodern Asias [pre-1850])
  • 3 units of core course work: GS (IAS) 4976 Global Asias
  • East Asia, North Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and the Asian diaspora are the relevant areas for the Global Asias concentration. A student must complete one course in at least three of these areas or with a transregional focus.
  • Students must fulfill the standard Global Studies language requirement with Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, or Urdu. Russian may be considered upon petition if a student is a native speaker of one of the listed languages or has tested into the fourth year of one of the listed languages.

Note: A single course may satisfy more than one of the distribution requirements (i.e., disciplinary or regional). Some of these requirements may be completed while abroad.

Introductory courses (choose one from this list, for a total of 3 units):

Art-Arch 111Introduction to Asian Art3
Art-Arch 146First-Year Seminar: Beijing and the Forbidden City3
AAS 200Doctors and Terrorists: The Fictions of South Asian America3
Chinese 227CChinese Civilization3
GS (IAS) 111First-Year Seminar: The Vietnam Wars3
GS (IAS) 135First-Year Seminar: Chinatown: Migration, Identity, and Space3
GS (IAS) 207Crossing Borders: An Introduction to Institutions and Concepts in Global Studies3
History 193First-Year Seminar: Silk Roads and Empires3
History 2157First-Year Seminar: The Meaning of Pakistan: History, Culture, Art3
Japan 226CJapanese Civilization3
JIMES 210CIntroduction to Islamic Civilization3
Korean 223CKorean Civilization3

Multiethnic, diaspora, transnational, or transregional Asia-related course (choose two from this list, for a total of 6 units; at least one course must be at the 300-400 level):

AMCS 202The Immigrant Experience3
AMCS 250Topics in Asian American Studies: Intro to Asian American & Pacific Islander Studies3
Anthro 3102Topics in Anthrolopology: Vibrant Matter: Social Ecology of the Asia-Pacific3
Anthro 3313Women and Islam3
Anthro 3775Ancient Eurasia and the New Silk Roads3
Anthro 4033Culture, Illness and Healing in Asia3
ArtArch 4494East, Meet West: Asia Encounters Europe3
AAS 200Doctors and Terrorists: The Fictions of South Asian America3
Chinese 330Topics in Chinese Literature & Culture: Screen Culture in the Sinophone World3
Chinese 4891Topics in Chinese Literature and Culture3
CompLit 375Topics in Comparative Literature: Finding China: From Sojourners to Settlers in Chinese Diaspora and Chinese American Literature3
East Asia 3263Topics in East Asian Studies: US-China Relations: from 1949 to the Present3
East Asia 484Core Seminar in East Asian Studies3
Film 443Memory, Tears and Longing: East Asian Melodrama Film3
FYP 116Ampersand: Geographies of Globalization and Development3
FYP 117Ampersand: Global Population on the Move: Refugees, Resettlement, Education, and Advocacy3
GS (IAS) 103BFirst-Year Seminar: International Public Affairs3
GS (IAS) 111First-Year Seminar: The Vietnam Wars3
GS (IAS) 127Migration in the Global World: Stories3
GS (IAS) 135First-Year Seminar: Chinatown: Migration, Identity, and Space3
GS (IAS) 140East Asia in the World3
GS (IAS) 155First-Year Seminar: Mapping the World: Introduction to Human Geography3
GS (IAS) 280Soph Seminar: The Public Servant and Other Heroes: A Political and Social History of Japan Thru Film3
GS (IAS) 3512"Model Minority": The Asian American Experience3
GS (IAS) 3822From McDonald's to K-pop: New Movements in East Asia3
GS (IAS) 386Empire in East Asia: Theory and History (WI)3
GS (IAS) 4036Children of Immigrants: Identity and Acculturation3
History 193First-Year Seminar: Silk Roads and Empires3
History 301THistorical Methods — Transregional History3
History 3165Chinese Diasporas3
History 3167Economic History of China: From the Silver Age to Reform and Opening, 1500-19903
History 3192Modern South Asia3
History 3194Environment and Empire3
History 3455Cultural Encounters: China and Eurasia Since the Middle Ages3
History 39SCImperialism and Sexuality: India, South Asia and the World: Writing-Intensive Seminar3
History 4154Decolonization to Globalization: How to End an Empire3
History 4872Colonial Cities and the Making of Modernity3
History 4914Advanced Seminar: Japan in World War II — History and Memory3
JIMES 210CIntroduction to Islamic Civilization3
JIMES 351Muhammad: His Life and Legacy3
JIMES 354Anthropological and Sociological Study of Muslim Societies3
Re St 3090Chinese Thought3
Re St 311Buddhist Traditions3
Re St 403Topics in East Asian Religion and Thought3

Advanced courses: Choose eight courses from current, relevant, internationally focused course offerings in the following departments.* All courses must be approved by the student's Global Studies adviser in order to count for the major. Visit the concentration webpage and master course list for the full list of options.

  • Anthropology
Anthro 3055Contemporary Chinese Culture and Society3
Anthro 3163Archaeology of China: Food and People3
Anthro 3313Women and Islam3
Anthro 376Warriors, Merchants, Monks and Courtesans: Ancient Narratives of Globalization in Google Earth3
Anthro 3775Ancient Eurasia and the New Silk Roads3
Anthro 4011Popular Culture and Consumption in Modern China3
Anthro 4033Culture, Illness and Healing in Asia3
Anthro 4041Islam and Politics3
Anthro 474National Narratives and Collective Memory3
Anthro 4761The Pleistocene Peopling of Eurasia3
  • Art History
Art-Arch 3412Japanese Art3
Art-Arch 3415Early Chinese Art: From Human Sacrifice to the Silk Road3
Art-Arch 3425Classical to Contemporary Chinese Art3
Art-Arch 3426Modern & Contemporary Chinese Art3
Art-Arch 3442Chinese Painting, Then and Now3
Art-Arch 444The Forbidden City3
Art-Arch 4482Japanese Prints: Courtesans, Actors and Travelers3
Art-Arch 4494East, Meet West: Asia Encounters Europe3
  • Chinese
Chinese 3211Contemporary Chinese Popular Culture3
Chinese 330Topics in Chinese Literature & Culture: Chinese Cities in the Global Context3
Chinese 341Early and Imperial Chinese Literature3
Chinese 342Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature3
Chinese 467The Chinese Theater3
Chinese 479Reading Seminar in Modern Chinese Literature:Envisioning a New China: The May Fourth Era (1919-1949)3
Chinese 480Reading Seminar in Chinese Popular Literature and Culture3
Chinese 482Reading Seminar in Gender and Chinese Literature3
Chinese 489Topics in Modern Chinese Literature3
Chinese 498Guided Readings in Chinese-3
  • Comparative Literature
Comp Lit 375Topics in Comparative Literature3
Comp Lit 449Topics in Compartive Literature: Pastoral Literature3
  • East Asian Languages and Cultures
East Asia 3163Historical Landscape and National Identity in Modern China3
East Asia 3263Topics in East Asian Studies3
East Asia 3352China's Urban Experience: Shanghai and Beyond3
East Asia 4242Culture and Politics in the People's Republic of China: New Approaches3
East Asia 4510Urban Culture in Modern China3
East Asia 471Topics in Japanese Culture3
East Asia 484Core Seminar in East Asian Studies3
East Asia 4911Modern Japan and the Invention of Tradition3
East Asia 496Readings in Asian Studies-3
  • English Literature
E Lit 307The Writing of the Indian Subcontinent3
  • Film and Media Studies
Film 326Samurai, Rebels and Bandits: The Japanese Period Film3
Film 341Transnational Cinema(s): Film Flows in a Changing World3
Film 431Renegades and Radicals: The Japanese New Wave3
Film 443Memory, Tears and Longing: East Asian Melodrama Film3
Film 458Major Film Directors3
Film 485Visualizing Orientalism: Art, Cinema and the Imaginary East 1850-20003
  • Global Studies
GS (IAS) 3040International Law and Politics3
GS (IAS) 318Learning to Use GIS in Development, Area Studies and International Affairs3
GS (IAS) 3248Intercultural Communication3
GS (IAS) 3512"Model Minority": The Asian American Experience3
GS (IAS) 364Anarchism: History, Theory, and Praxis3
GS (IAS) 3822From McDonald's to K-pop: New Movements in East Asia3
GS (IAS) 384Migration and Modernity in Russia and the (Former) Soviet Union3
GS (IAS) 386Empire in East Asia: Theory and History (WI)3
GS (IAS) 389Furies and Die-Hards: Women in Rebellion and War3
GS (IAS) 390Topics in Migration and Identity3
GS (IAS) 396Comintern: The Communist International's Global Impact3
GS (IAS) 4005Directed Research in Global Studies3
GS (IAS) 402The Meaning of National Security in the 21st Century3
GS (IAS) 4036Children of Immigrants: Identity and Acculturation3
GS (IAS) 4350War and Peace3
GS (IAS) 4410Borders and Boundaries of Belonging: Citizens, Immigrants, Refugees3
GS (IAS) 4414Gender Analysis for International Affairs3
GS (IAS) 4976Global Asias3
  • Hindi
Hindi 353Understanding Indian (Hindi/Urdu) Literature: Through Text and Images (Visual)3
  • History
History 301THistorical Methods — Transregional History3
History 3074Hinduism & the Hindu Right3
History 3122Race, Caste, Conversion: Social Movements in South Asia3
History 313CIslamic History: 600-12003
History 3162Early Modern China3
History 3165Chinese Diasporas3
History 3166A History of Modern China3
History 3167Economic History of China: From the Silver Age to Reform and Opening, 1500-19903
History 316CModern China: 1890s to the Present3
History 3192Modern South Asia3
History 3194Environment and Empire3
History 3202Japan From Earliest Times to 18683
History 320CJapan Since 18683
History 33119th-Century China: Violence and Transformation3
History 3455Cultural Encounters: China and Eurasia Since the Middle Ages3
History 3680The Cold War, 1945-19913
History 36CAHeroes and Saints in India: Religion, Myth, History3
History 39SCImperialism and Sexuality: India, South Asia and the World: Writing-Intensive Seminar3
History 4154Decolonization to Globalization: How to End an Empire3
History 4413Mao and the World3
History 4872Colonial Cities and the Making of Modernity3
History 4885Advanced Seminar: Medicine, Disease and Empire3
History 4914Advanced Seminar: Japan in World War II — History and Memory3
History 49SCAdvanced Seminar: Incredible India!3
  • Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities
IPH 3587From Genghis Khan to the Taliban: War and Peace in Central Asia3
  • Japanese
Japan 324A User's Guide to Japanese Poetry3
Japan 332CJapanese Literature: Beginnings to 19th Century3
Japan 333CThe Modern Voice in Japanese Literature3
Japan 346Japanese Literature in Translation: Mystery Fiction3
Japan 445Japanese Fiction: Images of Demonic Women (Writing-Intensive Seminar)3
Japan 4451Topics in Modern Japanese Literature3
Japan 449Modern Japanese Women Writers: Writing-Intensive Seminar3
Japan 4491Modern Japanese Women Writers3
Japan 491Topics in Japanese Literature & History:3
Japan 499Guided Readings in Japanese-3
  • Jewish, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
JIMES 351Muhammad: His Life and Legacy3
JIMES 354Anthropological and Sociological Study of Muslim Societies3
JIMES 3622Topics in Islam3
JIMES 445Topics in Islam3
  • Korean
Korean 352Literature of Modern and Contemporary Korea3
Korean 355Topics in Korean Literature and Culture3
Korean 370When Tigers Smoke: Songs and Stories from Traditional Korea3
Korean 437Contemporary Korean I: History, Literature, and Popular Culture3
Korean 438Contemporary Korean II3
Korean 455Topics in Korean Literature and Culture3
Korean 497Guided Readings in Korean-3
  • Music
Music 3585Islam, Music, Muslim Media3
  • Political Science
Pol Sci 330Topics in Politics3
  • Religious Studies
Re St 303Daoist Traditions3
Re St 3090Chinese Thought3
Re St 3091Confucian Thought3
Re St 311Buddhist Traditions3
Re St 312South Asian Religious Traditions3
Re St 3171Religion and Culture in South and Southeast Asia3
Re St 3392Topics in South Asian Religions3
Re St 346Topics in East Asian Religions3
Re St 3670Gurus, Saints and Scientists: Religion in Modern South Asia3
Re St 368Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion3
Re St 3730Topics in Near Eastern Cultures3
Re St 3801Topics in Religious Studies3
Re St 403Topics in East Asian Religion and Thought3
Re St 418Sexuality and Gender in East Asian Religions3
Re St 480Topics in Buddhist Traditions3

Additional Requirements and Information

Study Abroad

  • We strongly encourage students to study abroad. For those who do not study abroad and receive credit toward the Global Studies General Requirements, an additional 3-unit course at the 300 or 400 level is required.
  • We strongly prefer students to select a study abroad location and regional specialization consistent with their chosen language of study (e.g., if a student wishes to study in Latin America, they must satisfy their language requirement with either Portuguese or Spanish).
  • Students may receive a maximum of 6 credits from a single semester, 12 credits from a year, or 3 credits from a summer term of study abroad.
  • Students may apply no more than 12 total credits to the Global Studies major from study abroad, University College, summer school at other U.S. universities, or any combination thereof.
  • To receive credit for a summer course completed at another institution, a student should fill out the Approval for Non-WashU Course Credit form with Arts & Sciences to take the course for "general credit" and then petition to have the course count toward their Global Studies major.

Latin Honors

  • Students must confidently expect to graduate with an overall grade-point average of 3.65 or higher to qualify for Latin Honors.
  • Students should enroll in GS (IAS) 485 Preparation for Global Studies Honors Thesis during the fall of senior year and in GS (IAS) 486 Global Studies Senior Honors Thesis during the spring of senior year (under the corresponding section number of the faculty member overseeing the student's thesis).

Language Requirement

  • All Global Studies majors must satisfy a language requirement that entails the successful completion of four semesters of one modern language appropriate to their concentration. For some students, this may mean the first four semesters of a language; for others who place into advanced language classes — and with approval from Global Studies language faculty — this may include literature, culture, oral communication, and linguistic courses in the target language, once such students complete the basic language sequence.
  • Students are encouraged to study more than one language at Washington University, but they must satisfy their Global Studies language requirement by demonstrating competence in at least one language through the fourth semester. Available modern languages include Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swahili. Students should consult the course listings for details about the language sequences. (On the "A&S IQ" tab, click on "Courses," and then toggle "Area Requirement" to "LS Language & Cultural Diversity-Language" and click "Search" to see a list of available language courses.)

With the permission of the major adviser, advanced literature and culture courses taught in the native language may be used to satisfy the Global Studies language requirement and may count as advanced elective credit as long as these courses are cross-listed with or approved for study abroad credit for the student's Global Studies concentration and provided the courses are not being counted toward any other degree.

Special note for Spanish learners: The following Spanish courses are not part of the regular sequence that are permitted to count toward the four semesters of language: Span 223 Intermediate Spanish Conversation and Culture, Span 351 Business Spanish, Span 353 Medical Spanish, and Span 355 Spanish for the Social Sciences. Some students might find these courses valuable for other reasons. For questions about this, students should consult with their major adviser.

Students With Prior Language Experience

Native speakers of a modern language: Students must satisfy the four-semester Global Studies language requirement in another language appropriate to their concentration.

Heritage speakers who do not have a native level of fluency: Students must seek appropriate placement by the coordinator of the language program and complete the four-semester Global Studies language requirement.

Transfer students who have taken language courses: A transfer student may receive credit for the courses as part of the four-semester Global Studies language requirement only if a placement exam is taken upon arrival at Washington University in the given language and the department/program determines that the student may progress to the next highest level of language instruction.

Students who take a language course at another institution (whether in the United States or abroad): A student may receive credit for the course as part of the four-semester Global Studies language requirement only if (1) the credit is transferred back as Washington University credit; and (2) the student takes a placement exam upon their return to Washington University in the given language and the department/program determines that the student may progress to the next highest level of language instruction.