Asian Studies Major, B.A.–South Asian Studies Concentration
Department of Asian Studies
New West 113, CB# 3267
The Department of Asian Studies offers five major concentrations, seven minors, and instruction in Asian and Middle Eastern languages. Students pursuing the B.A. degree in Asian Studies can complete the interdisciplinary major in Asian Studies, or concentrate in Arab Cultures, Chinese, Japanese, or South Asian Studies.
- Asian Studies Major, B.A.–Interdisciplinary Concentration
- Asian Studies Major, B.A.–Arab Cultures Concentration
- Asian Studies Major, B.A.–Chinese Concentration
- Asian Studies Major, B.A.–Japanese Concentration
- Asian Studies Major, B.A.–South Asian Studies Concentration
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the Asian studies program, students should be able to:
- Identify significant aspects of the target culture, history, and society in interpreting and analyzing literary and other texts and media
- Identify and analyze cultural and historical trends across regional and national boundaries within Asia and the Asian diaspora
- Actively use listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in the target language for interpersonal communication and personal and academic enrichment within and beyond the university setting
- Demonstrate awareness of global citizenship and affirm cultural diversity through academic and experiential learning
In addition to the program requirements listed below, students must
- attain a final cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
- complete a minimum of 45 academic credit hours earned from UNC–Chapel Hill courses
- take at least half of their major course requirements (courses and credit hours) at UNC–Chapel Hill
- earn a minimum of 18 hours of C or better in the major core requirements (some majors require 21 hours).
For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.
|Two Hindi-Urdu courses beyond HNUR 204. 1||6|
|One of the following introductory courses: 2||3|
|First-Year Seminar: Media Masala: Popular Music, TV, and the Internet in Modern India and Pakistan|
|First-Year Seminar: India through the Lens of Master Filmmakers|
|Survey of South Asian Cultural History|
|History of the Indian Subcontinent to 1750|
|History of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh: South Asia since 1750|
|Five courses, including at least three numbered 200 or above, from either the list of introductory courses above or the course list below||15|
|HNUR through level 4 3||4|
|HNUR 220||Introduction to the Hindi Script (Devanagari) (not required if the student has taken HNUR 101)||1|
|HNUR 221||Introduction to the Urdu Script (Nastaliq)||1|
Students whose initial language placement is above HNUR 305 should consult the department.
It is recommended that students take this course either prior to or concurrent with upper-level South Asian literature and culture classes.
The first three levels of Hindi-Urdu (HNUR) can count toward the General Education Foundations requirement and have not been included as additional hours for the major.
|ANTH 361||Community in India and South Asia||3|
|ARTH/ASIA 153||Introduction to South Asian Art||3|
|ARTH/ASIA 266||Arts of Early & Medieval Asia||3|
|ARTH/ASIA 273||Arts Under the Mughal Dynasty in India||3|
|ARTH/ASIA 456||Art and Visual Culture of South Asia||3|
|ASIA 122||Introduction to Iranian Culture||3|
|ASIA 124||Iranian Post-1979 Cinema||3|
|ASIA 126||Introduction to Persian Literature||3|
|ASIA 163||Hindi-Urdu Poetry in Performance||3|
|ASIA 228||Contested Souls: Literature, the Arts, and Religious Identity in Modern India||3|
|ASIA 231||Bollywood Cinema||3|
|ASIA 262||Nation, Film, and Novel in Modern India||3|
|ASIA 332||The Story of Rama in India||3|
|ASIA 333||The Mahabharata: Remembered and Reimagined||3|
|ASIA 431||Persian Sufi Literature||3|
|ASIA 453||Global Shangri-La: Tibet in the Modern World||3|
|ASIA 522||The Beauty and the Power of the Classical Indian World||3|
|ASIA 692H||Senior Honors Thesis II||3|
|ASIA/CMPL 256||Love in Classical Persian Poetry||3|
|ASIA/CMPL 258||Iranian Prison Literature||3|
|ASIA/CMPL 261||India through Western Eyes||3|
|ASIA/COMM/RELI 386||Dance and Embodied Knowledge in the Indian Context||3|
|ASIA/HIST 272||Contemporary India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh||3|
|ASIA/HIST 555||Religion, Coexistence, and Conflict in Medieval India||3|
|ASIA/HIST 556||Gender in Indian History||3|
|ASIA/HIST 557||Bandits, Rebels and Storytellers: Fiction and History in India||3|
|ASIA 304/HIST 331||Sex, Religion, and Violence: Revolutionary Thought in Modern South Asia||3|
|ASIA 331/HIST 335/PWAD 331||Cracking India: Partition and Its Legacy in South Asia||3|
|ASIA/MUSC 164||Music of South Asia||3|
|ASIA/PWAD 69||First-Year Seminar: Wars and Veterans: Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan||3|
|ASIA/RELI 280||Hindu Gods and Goddesses H||3|
|ASIA/RELI 285||The Buddhist Tradition: Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka||3|
|ASIA/RELI 382||The Story of Rama in Indian Culture--Experiential||3|
|ASIA/RELI 383||The Mahabharata: Remembered and Reimagined--Experiential||3|
|ASIA/RELI 582||Islam and Islamic Art in South Asia||3|
|ASIA/RELI 583||Religion and Culture in Iran, 1500-Present||3|
|ASIA 300/RELI 283||The Buddhist Tradition: India, Nepal, and Tibet||3|
|ASIA/RELI/WGST 482||Sex, Gender, and Religion in South Asia||3|
|ASIA/WGST 127||Iranian Women Writers||3|
|HNUR 407||South Asian Society and Culture||3|
|HNUR 408||South Asian Media and Film||3|
|HNUR 409||Sex and Social Justice in South Asia||3|
|HNUR 410||Seminar on the Urdu-Hindi Ghazal||3|
|HNUR 411||Health and Medicine in South Asia||3|
|HNUR 490||Topics in Hindi-Urdu Literature and Language||3|
|HNUR/RELI 592||Religious Conflict and Literature in India||3|
|RELI 381||Religions of South Asia||3|
|RELI 481||Religion, Fundamentalism, and Nationalism||3|
Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.
Placement credit (PL) may not be used to meet core requirements for the concentration. However, the additional requirements may be met by placement.
Approved courses taken in UNC–Chapel Hill-sponsored study abroad programs may count in the concentration. No more than one first-year seminar may be counted among the eight major courses.
With the approval of the associate chair of Asian studies, a student may count a course in directed readings (ASIA 496 or HNUR 496) in the concentration in South Asian studies. To register for ASIA 496 or HNUR 496, a student must obtain the approval of the associate chair and the faculty member who will supervise the project.
Of the eight courses in the concentration in South Asian studies, at least six must be passed with a grade of C (not C-) or better. No course in the department may be declared Pass/Fail.
Special Opportunities in Asian Studies
Honors in Asian Studies
A candidate for honors in Asian studies will write a substantial paper under the guidance of a faculty member. While researching and writing the honors paper, the student will enroll in ASIA 691H and ASIA 692H. ASIA 692H may count as one of the interdisciplinary courses for the major; ASIA 691H will count for elective credit only. In the case of the concentrations in Arab cultures, Chinese, Japanese, and South Asian studies, ASIA 692H may count toward the major in the concentration.
A committee composed of at least two faculty members will examine the candidate. To be accepted as an honors candidate, a student must meet the University’s requirement of a minimum overall grade point average of 3.3, secure the consent of a faculty member in the Asian studies field to act as advisor for the project, and submit a proposal to the associate chair of Asian studies for approval.
The department sponsors a variety of cultural events — lectures, film series, performances, and more — as well as social and informational events where students can get to know each other and faculty members in an informal setting. Faculty members in the department serve as advisors to some of the many Asia-related student organizations on campus, such as the Japan Club, Chinese Conversation Club, Hebrew Table, and more.
Languages across the Curriculum
The department participates in the Languages across the Curriculum (LAC) program, offering a one-credit-hour discussion section that is conducted in Arabic but associated with a variety of courses offered in English, both in Asian studies and in such other departments as history or religious studies. This LAC recitation section offers students the opportunity to use their Arabic language skills in a broader intellectual context.
Additional LAC offerings are being developed in Chinese and Hindi-Urdu.
The University has rich collections of books and periodicals on Asia in the relevant Asian languages, as well as in English and other Western languages. Experts in the collection development department for Davis Library are available to help students locate the materials they need. The University also has an outstanding collection of Asian films and other audiovisual materials, housed in the Media Resource Center at House Library.
The department sponsors an annual speaker series. These events include lectures by prominent artists, scholars, and writers and are often cosponsored by other units on campus.
UNC–Chapel Hill sponsors several study programs (summer, semester, and yearlong) in China, Egypt, India, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Oman, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam. Asian studies majors are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities to live and study in an Asian setting; UNC-approved study abroad programs also satisfy the experiential education requirement. For further information on these programs and other study abroad opportunities in Asia, contact the UNC Study Abroad Office.
The department actively encourages undergraduate student research. Through classes, advising, and office hours, faculty members guide students toward defining areas of interest, conceptualizing research questions, identifying sources, and writing academic papers. Students may pursue research through independent studies, the senior honors thesis, and study abroad research opportunities such as the Burch Fellowship. Asian studies students have received a variety of competitive research support and travel awards, won regional contests for undergraduate papers, published papers in academic journals, and presented their work at such events as the Senior Colloquium in Asian Studies and the campuswide Annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research in the spring.