UB College of Arts and Sciences

Welcome to the University at Buffalo’s
Asian Studies Program


The strength of UB’s Asian Studies Program is built on the diverse interests of affiliated faculty members from a dozen departments across the university, whose teaching and research are devoted primarily to Asia. The program offers both a major and minor in Asian Studies, and occasional courses in Asian American Studies. Asian Studies also presents and co-sponsors an array of special lectures, artistic presentations, and luncheon seminars, building a community of students and scholars energized by the study of Asia, and providing rich cultural and educational opportunities for all Western New Yorkers.

Click here to view our Spring 2014 Newsletter!

Why Study Asia?

We live and study in an age in which major world cultures that were formerly assigned to particular geographic regions of the world are now recognized to have truly international, cross-sectional reach. Asian economies have a preeminent presence and impact worldwide, and political and social dynamics in Asia intersect profoundly with the US political, social, and cultural landscape. Studying Asian civilizations and contemporary societies and economies is fascinating, meaningful, and practical.

Career Options

Whether your interested in visual and performing arts, religion, gender, international development, global health, literature and languages, political science, economics, communications, history, human rights, or philosophy, the opportunities for careers using a degree in Asian Studies are vast. Students who major in Asian Studies land jobs in international business, government service, journalism, non-governmental organizations, teaching ESL, and the arts. Some go on to professional schools in such fields as management, finance, diplomacy, and law. Others go on to do graduate work in a variety of disciplines and pursue academic careers teaching new generations of Asian Studies majors and minors. A recent report by Nightly Business News on PBS stated that Asia-related careers will be in high demand in the 21st century.

Asian Studies News and Events

walt_003 Congratulations to Walter Hakala, Assistant Professor of South Asian Languages and Literature in the Department of English and member of the Executive Committee of the Asian Studies Program, for being awarded the 2015 Edward Cameron Dimock, Jr. Prize in the Indian Humanities by the American Institute of Indian Studies for his book, Negotiating Languages: Urdu, Hindi, and the Definition of Modern South Asia – a well-deserved award for one of our outstanding faculty members teaching Asian Studies at UB!


The Asian Studies Program and Office of Global Health Initiatives co-sponsored a fascinating interdisciplinary event, “Symposium on Health, Well-Being, Social Security and Vulnerability in Asia” on September 10 in Capen Hall. The Symposium, co-chaired by EunHee Lee, Director of the Asian Studies Program, and Pavani Kalluri Ram, Director of the Office of Global Health Initiatives, drew faculty participation from across disciplines and professional schools. The event was an outstanding example of how Asian Studies is making an impact at UB. For a list of the topics covered by the symposium, click here.


A Poetics Plus Symposium

Friday, October 9, 10am-5pm

Poetry Collection, 4th floor, Capen Hall

Walter Hakala, Assistant Professor of South Asian Languages and Literature in the Department of English, will give a paper at 2:15pm on “Fluent in One Language, Literate in Another: South Asian Vocabulary Poems and Their Copyists.”

For more information on Poetics Plus, visit here.

Sponsored by the Department of English


“JET Program Information Session”

Tuesday, October 20 at 6pm

109 Knox Hall

Are you interested in working in Japan? Are you interested in getting international teaching experience? If your answer is ‘YES!”, come to the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Program Information Session! A former JET participant will be there to provide information and to answer any questions you might have. For more information and how to apply to a JET program teaching English in Japan, visit here.


“The Socially Transformative, Relational Process of Collective Litigation: The Constitutional Challenges to Decriminalize Homosexuality in Singapore”

Lynette Chua, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore

Thursday, October 22 at 2pm

511 O’Brian Hall

In her talk, Professor Chua will examine collective legal mobilization through the courts, or collective litigation, in a non-liberal regime with limited legal opportunities for social movements. Drawing from participant observation and other ethnographic data, she will analyze how collective litigation emerged and developed in the single-party dominated state of Singapore to challenge the constitutionality of a law that criminalizes sexual relations between men, and how the episode affected the local gay rights movement. Download the PDF flyer here.

Presented by the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy

Co-sponsored by the Asian Studies Program and the Department of Sociology


“Perfect Blue (Pafekuto buru)”

Film as part of the Global CINEMAspectives program at UB, to be followed by a discussion led by Professor Nona Carter of the Asian Studies Program

Friday, December 4 at 5pm

213 Norton Hall

Mima Kirigoe, the lead singer of the fictional J-pop group “CHAM!”, decides to leave the band to become an actress. Her first project is a crime drama series, Double Bind. Some of her fans are upset by her change in career, including a stalker known as “Me-Mania”. Her sense of reality is shaken when she is stalked by the obsessed fan and seemingly a ghost of her past. Nona Carter will introduce the film and lead a discussion following the screening.

Sponsored by The Academies, International Student and Scholar Services


Asia@Noon Speaker Series

“Back to the Countryside: A (Rural) Urban Landscape and Architectural Intervention for Xixinan, Anhui-China, through Ecological, Urbanism and Public Space Design”

Shannon Bassett, Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, University at Buffalo

Friday, November 13 at 12pm

280 Park Hall

Presented by the Asian Studies Program

Join us for our first Asia@Noon program of the academic year and some pizza, too! A description of this presentation is coming soon.


Asian Studies Program Establishes Study Abroad Scholarship Fund

In order to increase the number of UB students who study in Asia and to make it financially feasible for all Asian Studies majors and minors to study abroad, the Asian Studies Program has  established a study abroad scholarship fund. Scholarships will only be awarded to Asian Studies majors and minors who are studying abroad for the first time, and who demonstrate merit and a willingness to be actively engaged with the Asian Studies Program while abroad, by submitting posts and photos for our website and social media.

Application form, criteria, and other information will be uploaded soon. In the meantime, contact Kathy Spillman at the Asian Studies Program at 645-0763 or kathyspi@buffalo.edu if you have any questions.

Your financial contributions will make it possible for more UB students to experience the world in new ways and enhance their career prospects through study abroad in Asia. Please consider making a financial contribution to the Asian Studies Study Abroad Scholarship Fund today!