Center for Asian Research

Center for Asian Research

The Center for Asian Research promotes faculty and student engagement with all regions of Asia, highlighting cultural, historical and religious traditions of Asia in a global age and inter-Asian connections concerning environment, sustainability and digital media practices.

The center's constituency reaches across many disciplines at ASU. More than 10,000 students across the university enroll in courses with significant content on Asia in fields like anthropology, geography, political science, global studies, art history, English, history, justice and social inquiry, music, religious studies and languages, and in professional fields like business, communication and sustainability.

Since 2019, the Center for Asia Research is a federally funded center of excellence that awards Title VI Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships to undergraduate and graduate students who excel in the study of Asian cultures and languages. To date, ASU students have received 56 fellowships covering stipends and tuition for a total of roughly $800,000.

Arizona State University has the largest concentration of internationally recognized experts on Asia in the Southwest and the center routinely organizes public events about Asia around multiple formats. In addition, The Innovation Gallery houses unique collections of cultural artifacts and textiles from Southeast Asia. ASU Libraries also hosts special collections, from The Guardian of the Flame Collection of rare palm leaf manuscripts from Sri Lanka and The Mimijac Palgen Photographic Collection of Cambodia to the Agnes Smeadly Collection documenting her work as a war correspondent in China, as well as digital collections on Laos and on the Chinese experience in Cuba.

Asia comprises highly diverse cultural traditions. About half of humanity lives in Asia, generating about half of the world’s economic production. As citizens in the 21st century, ASU students require global literacy about Asia. Those seeking careers in international organizations, the diplomatic service or in the military will need to acquire expert knowledge commonly practiced in this region.  

ASU’s Asia Studies Major in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies is intended for students who anticipate future careers in international business, law, teaching, journalism, diplomacy, social work, public health, philanthropy, or the military/security forces for whom a knowledge of Asia will be a primary career asset. The School of International Letters and Cultures offers graduate and undergraduate programs in majors in Chinese and Japanese and extensive instruction in Korean, Hindi, Vietnamese, and Indonesian.

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