Asian Studies Major, B.A.–Interdisciplinary Concentration

Stretching from Japan to the Arab world, Asia is the largest and most populous continent in the world and home to an array of diverse cultures and political structures. An interdisciplinary major within the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies offers students the opportunity to study a broad range of topics, building the global awareness that will be useful in government employment; internationally oriented business, journalism, law, and teaching; as well as graduate study in a range of humanistic and social science disciplines.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Asian studies program, students should be able to:

  • Identify or analyze significant aspects of the target cultures by interpreting texts and media
  • Demonstrate proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in the target language
  • Demonstrate experience in the use of the target language outside the language classroom

Requirements

In addition to the program requirements, students must

  • earn a minimum final cumulative GPA of 2.000
  • complete a minimum of 45 academic credit hours earned from UNC–Chapel Hill courses
  • take at least half of their major core requirements (courses and credit hours) at UNC–Chapel Hill
  • earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 in the major core requirements. Some programs may require higher standards for major or specific courses.

For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.

Core Requirements
The major consists of eight courses which must include the following: 124
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Asia: An Introduction
At least one other course (other than a language course or senior honors thesis course) taken within the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and chosen from the list below 2
At least one course each from any two other departments
At least one course numbered 400 or above 3
At least two courses each from any two of the six geographic regions: China, Japan, Korea, Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia (see lists below)
Additional Requirements
Any Asian or Middle Eastern language through level 4 44
Total Hours28
1

The same courses can be used to fulfill multiple requirements within the major. 

2

May not substitute a study abroad course.

3

May not be a language course.

4

The first three levels of a global language can count toward the General Education requirement and have not been included as additional hours for the major.

No more than one first-year seminar may be counted among the eight major courses.

With the approval of the associate chair of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, a student may substitute a course in directed readings (ASIA 496) for one of the major courses. To register for ASIA 496, a student must obtain the approval of the associate chair and the faculty member who will supervise the project.

Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Courses

ASIA 52IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Food in Chinese Culture3
ASIA 55IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Kung-Fu: The Concept of Heroism in Chinese Culture3
ASIA/WGST 56IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Writing Women in Modern China H3
ASIA 57IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Dis-Orienting the Orient3
ASIA 59IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Media Masala: Popular Music, TV, and the Internet in Modern India and Pakistan3
ASIA/JWST 60IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Israeli Culture and Society: Collective Memories and Fragmented Identities3
ASIA 61IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: India through the Lens of Master Filmmakers3
ASIA 63IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Japanese Tea Culture3
ASIA 65IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Philosophy on Bamboo: Rethinking Early Chinese Thought3
ASIA/PWAD 69IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Wars and Veterans: Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan3
ASIA 72IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Transnational Korea: Literature, Film, and Popular Culture3
ASIA 73IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Popular Culture in the Arab World3
ASIA 74IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Imagining Palestine3
ASIA 89IDEAs in Action General Education logo First Year Seminar: Special Topics H3
ASIA 124IDEAs in Action General Education logo Iranian Post-1979 Cinema3
ASIA 126IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Persian Literature3
ASIA/WGST 127IDEAs in Action General Education logo Iranian Women Writers3
ARAB 150IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Arab Cultures3
ASIA 150IDEAs in Action General Education logo Asia: An Introduction3
CHIN 150IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Chinese Civilization3
KOR 150IDEAs in Action General Education logo History, Memory, and Reality in Contemporary Korea3
ARAB 151IDEAs in Action General Education logo Arabic Literature through the Ages3
ASIA 151IDEAs in Action General Education logo Literature and Society in Southeast Asia3
KOR 151IDEAs in Action General Education logo Education and Social Changes in Contemporary Korea3
ASIA 152IDEAs in Action General Education logo Survey of South Asian Cultural History3
JAPN 160IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Japanese Literature in Translation3
JAPN 162IDEAs in Action General Education logo Japanese Popular Culture3
ASIA 163IDEAs in Action General Education logo Hindi-Urdu Poetry in Performance3
ASIA/MUSC 164IDEAs in Action General Education logo Music of South Asia3
ARAB 211IDEAs in Action General Education logo Arab Comics3
ASIA 211IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Silk Road: Markets, Metaphysics, and Music3
ARAB 214IDEAs in Action General Education logo Medicine and Modernity in the Arab World3
ASIA 228IDEAs in Action General Education logo Contested Souls: Literature, the Arts, and Religious Identity in Modern India3
ASIA 229IDEAs in Action General Education logo Breakdancers, Vocaloids, and Gamers: East Asian Youth Cultures3
ASIA 231IDEAs in Action General Education logo Bollywood Cinema3
JAPN 231/HIST 271IDEAs in Action General Education logo Ancient and Medieval Japanese History and Culture3
KOR/CMPL 232IDEAs in Action General Education logo Imagining the City in Modern Korea: Text, Image, Space3
ASIA 233IDEAs in Action General Education logo Drugs, Sex, and Sovereignty in East Asia, 1800-19453
ASIA/JWST/PWAD 235IDEAs in Action General Education logo Israeli Cinema: Gender, Nation, and Ethnicity H3
KOR/WGST 237IDEAs in Action General Education logo Rebel, Lover, Martyr: Gender and Sexuality in North and South Korean Screen Cultures3
CHIN 242IDEAs in Action General Education logo Chinese Qin Music3
CHIN 244Introduction to Modern Chinese Culture through Cinema3
JAPN 246IDEAs in Action General Education logo Early Modern Japanese History and Culture3
ASIA 252IDEAs in Action General Education logo Popular Culture in Modern Southeast Asia3
CHIN 252IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Chinese Culture through Narrative3
ARAB 255IDEAs in Action General Education logo Arab World Photography3
CHIN 255IDEAs in Action General Education logo Bandit or Hero: Outlawry in Chinese Literature and Films3
ASIA/CMPL 256IDEAs in Action General Education logo Love in Classical Persian Poetry3
ASIA/CMPL 258IDEAs in Action General Education logo Iranian Prison Literature3
ASIA/CMPL 261IDEAs in Action General Education logo India through Western Eyes3
ASIA 262IDEAs in Action General Education logo Nation, Film, and Novel in Modern India3
JAPN 277IDEAs in Action General Education logo Empire of Sex: Eroticism, Mass Culture, and Geopolitics in Japan, 1945-Present3
KOR 327IDEAs in Action General Education logo Korean Diasporas3
ASIA/WGST 329IDEAs in Action General Education logo Middle East Women Writers3
ASIA 331/HIST 335/PWAD 331IDEAs in Action General Education logo Cracking India: Partition and Its Legacy in South Asia H3
ASIA 332IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Story of Rama in India3
ASIA 333IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Mahabharata: Remembered and Reimagined3
ARAB 337IDEAs in Action General Education logo Borders and Walls in the Arab World3
CHIN 346IDEAs in Action General Education logo History as Fiction or Fiction as History? Early Chinese History in Film and Literature3
KOR 346/CMPL 246IDEAs in Action General Education logo Body Politics in Modern Korean Literature H3
ARAB 350IDEAs in Action General Education logo Women and Leadership in the Arab World3
ASIA 350/AMST 352IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Asian American Experience3
ARAB 354IDEAs in Action General Education logo Everyday Lives in the Middle East: Anthropological Perspectives3
CHIN 356IDEAs in Action General Education logo Chinese Environmental Literature3
ASIA/JWST 357/PWAD 362IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Arab-Jews: Culture, Community, and Coexistence3
ASIA/JWST 358IDEAs in Action General Education logo Religion and Tradition in Israeli Cinema, TV, and Literature3
ASIA/CMPL 359IDEAs in Action General Education logo Literary Diasporas of the Middle East3
CHIN 361IDEAs in Action General Education logo Chinese Traditional Theater3
CHIN 367IDEAs in Action General Education logo Illustration and the Animation of Text3
JAPN 375IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Culture of Modern, Imperial Japan, 1900-19453
ASIA/RELI 382IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Story of Rama in Indian Culture--Experiential3
ASIA/RELI 383IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Mahabharata: Remembered and Reimagined--Experiential3
ASIA/JWST/PWAD 425IDEAs in Action General Education logo Beyond Hostilities: Israeli-Palestinian Exchanges and Partnerships in Film, Literature, and Music3
ASIA 427/CMPL 527/PWAD 427IDEAs in Action General Education logo Cold War Culture in East Asia: Transnational and Intermedial Connections3
ASIA 431IDEAs in Action General Education logo Persian Sufi Literature3
ARAB 432IDEAs in Action General Education logo Science and Society in the Middle East3
ARAB 434IDEAs in Action General Education logo Modern Arabic Literature in Translation3
ASIA/PWAD 435IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Cinemas of the Middle East and North Africa3
ASIA/JWST 436IDEAs in Action General Education logo Language, Exile, and Homeland in Zionist Thought and Practice3
ASIA/CMPL 442IDEAs in Action General Education logo Postcolonial Literature of the Middle East3
KOR 447/CMPL 547IDEAs in Action General Education logo Documenting Diasporas: Korean Diasporas in Films and Documentaries3
JAPN 451IDEAs in Action General Education logo Swords, Tea Bowls, and Woodblock Prints: Exploring Japanese Material Culture3
ARAB 453IDEAs in Action General Education logo Film, Nation, and Identity in the Arab World3
ASIA 453Global Shangri-La: Tibet in the Modern World3
CHIN 463IDEAs in Action General Education logo Narrative Ethics in Modern China3
CHIN 464IDEAs in Action General Education logo The City in Modern Chinese Literature and Film3
ASIA/WGST 471IDEAs in Action General Education logo Gender and Sexuality in Middle Eastern Literature3
JAPN 482IDEAs in Action General Education logo Embodying Japan: The Cultures of Beauty, Sports, and Medicine in Japan3
ASIA 522IDEAs in Action General Education logo Beauty and Power in the Classical Indian World3
CHIN 545IDEAs in Action General Education logo Chinese Science Fiction3
CHIN 551IDEAs in Action General Education logo Chinese Poetry in Translation3
CHIN 552IDEAs in Action General Education logo Chinese Prose in Translation3
CHIN 562IDEAs in Action General Education logo Contemporary Chinese Urban Culture and Arts3
HNUR/RELI 592Religious Conflict and Literature in India3
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

China Courses

ASIA 52IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Food in Chinese Culture3
ASIA 55IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Kung-Fu: The Concept of Heroism in Chinese Culture3
ASIA/WGST 56IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Writing Women in Modern China H3
ASIA 65IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Philosophy on Bamboo: Rethinking Early Chinese Thought3
ASIA/HIST 133IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Chinese History3
CHIN 150IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Chinese Civilization3
POLI 237IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Politics of China3
CHIN 242IDEAs in Action General Education logo Chinese Qin Music3
CHIN 244Introduction to Modern Chinese Culture through Cinema3
CHIN 252IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Chinese Culture through Narrative3
CHIN 253IDEAs in Action General Education logo Chinese Language and Society3
CHIN 255IDEAs in Action General Education logo Bandit or Hero: Outlawry in Chinese Literature and Films3
GEOG 270Geography of Contemporary China3
HIST/ASIA 283IDEAs in Action General Education logo Chairman Mao's China in World History3
HIST 284Late Imperial China3
HIST 285IDEAs in Action General Education logo 20th-Century China3
AAAD 301Contemporary China-Africa Relations3
ASIA 303/RELI 288IDEAs in Action General Education logo Chinese Religions3
CHIN 346IDEAs in Action General Education logo History as Fiction or Fiction as History? Early Chinese History in Film and Literature3
CHIN 356IDEAs in Action General Education logo Chinese Environmental Literature3
CHIN 361IDEAs in Action General Education logo Chinese Traditional Theater3
ANTH/ASIA 365Chinese Diaspora in the Asia Pacific3
CHIN 367IDEAs in Action General Education logo Illustration and the Animation of Text3
SOCI 418Contemporary Chinese Society3
ASIA 453Global Shangri-La: Tibet in the Modern World 13
CHIN 463IDEAs in Action General Education logo Narrative Ethics in Modern China3
CHIN 464IDEAs in Action General Education logo The City in Modern Chinese Literature and Film3
ANTH/ASIA 545The Politics of Culture in East Asia3
CHIN 545IDEAs in Action General Education logo Chinese Science Fiction3
HIST 550Gender in Chinese History3
CHIN 551IDEAs in Action General Education logo Chinese Poetry in Translation3
CHIN 552IDEAs in Action General Education logo Chinese Prose in Translation3
CHIN 562IDEAs in Action General Education logo Contemporary Chinese Urban Culture and Arts3
ANTH/ASIA 574Chinese World Views3
ANTH/ASIA 682Contemporary Chinese Society3
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

1

ASIA 453 may be counted for either the China or South Asia region, but not both.

Japan Courses

ASIA 63IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Japanese Tea Culture3
RELI 73IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: From Dragons to Pokemon: Animals in Japanese Myth, Folklore, and Religion H3
JAPN 160IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Japanese Literature in Translation3
JAPN 162IDEAs in Action General Education logo Japanese Popular Culture3
JAPN 231/HIST 271IDEAs in Action General Education logo Ancient and Medieval Japanese History and Culture3
ASIA 233IDEAs in Action General Education logo Drugs, Sex, and Sovereignty in East Asia, 1800-19453
JAPN 246IDEAs in Action General Education logo Early Modern Japanese History and Culture3
JAPN 277IDEAs in Action General Education logo Empire of Sex: Eroticism, Mass Culture, and Geopolitics in Japan, 1945-Present3
ASIA/HIST 281The Pacific War, 1937-1945: Its Causes and Legacy3
ASIA/HIST 287Modern Japan3
ASIA/HIST 288Japan in the 20th Century3
ASIA 301/RELI 286IDEAs in Action General Education logo Premodern Japanese Religions3
ASIA 302/RELI 287IDEAs in Action General Education logo Modern Japanese Religions3
ANTH/ASIA 330IDEAs in Action General Education logo Melancholy Japan: Myth, Memory, and Everyday Life3
JAPN 375IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Culture of Modern, Imperial Japan, 1900-19453
ASIA/CMPL 379IDEAs in Action General Education logo Cowboys, Samurai, and Rebels in Film and Fiction H3
ASIA/CMPL 380IDEAs in Action General Education logo Almost Despicable Heroines in Japanese and Western Literature3
JAPN 451IDEAs in Action General Education logo Swords, Tea Bowls, and Woodblock Prints: Exploring Japanese Material Culture3
JAPN 482IDEAs in Action General Education logo Embodying Japan: The Cultures of Beauty, Sports, and Medicine in Japan3
ASIA/CMPL 483IDEAs in Action General Education logo Cross-Currents in East-West Literature3
ASIA/RELI 487Mountains, Pilgrimage, and Sacred Places in Japan3
ASIA/RELI 488IDEAs in Action General Education logo Shinto in Japanese History3
ASIA/RELI 489IDEAs in Action General Education logo Animals in Japanese Religion3
JAPN/LING 563IDEAs in Action General Education logo Structure of Japanese3
RELI 586IDEAs in Action General Education logo Women and Gender in Japanese Religions3
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

Korea Courses

ASIA 72IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Transnational Korea: Literature, Film, and Popular Culture3
KOR 150IDEAs in Action General Education logo History, Memory, and Reality in Contemporary Korea3
KOR 151IDEAs in Action General Education logo Education and Social Changes in Contemporary Korea3
KOR/CMPL 232IDEAs in Action General Education logo Imagining the City in Modern Korea: Text, Image, Space3
KOR/CMPL/WGST 237IDEAs in Action General Education logo Rebel, Lover, Martyr: Gender and Sexuality in North and South Korean Screen Cultures3
KOR 327IDEAs in Action General Education logo Korean Diasporas3
KOR 346/CMPL 246IDEAs in Action General Education logo Body Politics in Modern Korean Literature H3
KOR 447/CMPL 547IDEAs in Action General Education logo Documenting Diasporas: Korean Diasporas in Films and Documentaries3
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

Middle East Courses

GEOG 59IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Space, Identity, and Power in the Middle East3
ASIA/JWST 60IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Israeli Culture and Society: Collective Memories and Fragmented Identities3
SOCI 60IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Sociology of the Islamic World3
ASIA 73IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Popular Culture in the Arab World3
ASIA 74IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Imagining Palestine3
RELI 110IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Archaeology of Palestine in the New Testament Period3
ASIA/HIST 138History of Muslim Societies to 15003
ASIA/HIST 139IDEAs in Action General Education logo HIstory of Muslim Societies since 15003
ARAB 150IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Arab Cultures3
ARAB 151IDEAs in Action General Education logo Arabic Literature through the Ages3
ASIA/RELI 180IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Islamic Civilization3
ASIA/RELI 181IDEAs in Action General Education logo Modern Muslim Societies3
RELI 185IDEAs in Action General Education logo Women/Gender/Islam H3
ARAB 211IDEAs in Action General Education logo Arab Comics3
ARAB/ANTH 214IDEAs in Action General Education logo Medicine and Modernity in the Arab World3
ASIA/JWST/PWAD 235IDEAs in Action General Education logo Israeli Cinema: Gender, Nation, and Ethnicity H3
ARAB 255IDEAs in Action General Education logo Arab World Photography3
ASIA/HIST 276IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Modern Middle East3
ASIA/HIST 277IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Conflict over Israel/Palestine3
RELI/ASIA 279IDEAs in Action General Education logo Islamic Law, Ethics, and Practice3
ASIA/WGST 329IDEAs in Action General Education logo Middle East Women Writers3
ARAB 337IDEAs in Action General Education logo Borders and Walls in the Arab World3
ARAB 350IDEAs in Action General Education logo Women and Leadership in the Arab World3
ARAB 434IDEAs in Action General Education logo Modern Arabic Literature in Translation3
ARAB 354IDEAs in Action General Education logo Everyday Lives in the Middle East: Anthropological Perspectives3
ASIA/JWST 357/PWAD 362IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Arab-Jews: Culture, Community, and Coexistence3
ARAB 432IDEAs in Action General Education logo Science and Society in the Middle East3
ASIA/JWST 358IDEAs in Action General Education logo Religion and Tradition in Israeli Cinema, TV, and Literature3
ASIA/CMPL 359IDEAs in Action General Education logo Literary Diasporas of the Middle East3
SOCI 419Sociology of the Islamic World3
ASIA/JWST/PWAD 425IDEAs in Action General Education logo Beyond Hostilities: Israeli-Palestinian Exchanges and Partnerships in Film, Literature, and Music3
ASIA/PWAD 435IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Cinemas of the Middle East and North Africa3
ASIA/JWST 436IDEAs in Action General Education logo Language, Exile, and Homeland in Zionist Thought and Practice3
ASIA/CMPL 442IDEAs in Action General Education logo Postcolonial Literature of the Middle East3
ASIA/GEOG 447Gender, Space, and Place in the Middle East3
GEOG 448Transnational Geographies of Muslim Societies3
ARAB 453IDEAs in Action General Education logo Film, Nation, and Identity in the Arab World3
ASIA/WGST 471IDEAs in Action General Education logo Gender and Sexuality in Middle Eastern Literature3
RELI/ASIA 485IDEAs in Action General Education logo Gender and Sexuality in Islam3
RELI/ASIA 486IDEAs in Action General Education logo Islam and Feminism/Islamic Feminism3
RELI 503IDEAs in Action General Education logo Exploring the Dead Sea Scrolls H3
ASIA/HIST 536Revolution in the Modern Middle East3
ASIA/HIST 537Women in the Middle East3
ASIA/HIST 538The Middle East and the West3
ASIA/RELI 584IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Qur'an as Literature3
RELI 585Religion and Culture of Turkey3
RELI/ASIA 587IDEAs in Action General Education logo Islam and Sexual Diversity3
FREN 617Framing Identities: Franco-Arab Transvisual Transcultural Contexts3
ARAB/ASIA/RELI 681Readings in Islamicate Literatures3
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

South Asia Courses

ASIA 59IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Media Masala: Popular Music, TV, and the Internet in Modern India and Pakistan3
ASIA 61IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: India through the Lens of Master Filmmakers3
ASIA/PWAD 69IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Wars and Veterans: Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan3
HIST 74IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Emperors, Courts, and Consumption: The Mughals of India3
ASIA 124IDEAs in Action General Education logo Iranian Post-1979 Cinema3
ASIA 126IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Persian Literature3
ASIA/WGST 127IDEAs in Action General Education logo Iranian Women Writers3
ASIA/HIST 135IDEAs in Action General Education logo History of the Indian Subcontinent to 17503
ASIA/HIST 136History of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh: South Asia since 17503
ASIA 152IDEAs in Action General Education logo Survey of South Asian Cultural History3
ARTH 153Introduction to South Asian Art3
ASIA 163IDEAs in Action General Education logo Hindi-Urdu Poetry in Performance3
ASIA/MUSC 164IDEAs in Action General Education logo Music of South Asia3
ASIA 228IDEAs in Action General Education logo Contested Souls: Literature, the Arts, and Religious Identity in Modern India3
ASIA 231IDEAs in Action General Education logo Bollywood Cinema3
ASIA/CMPL 256IDEAs in Action General Education logo Love in Classical Persian Poetry3
ASIA/CMPL 258IDEAs in Action General Education logo Iranian Prison Literature3
ASIA/CMPL 261IDEAs in Action General Education logo India through Western Eyes3
ASIA 262IDEAs in Action General Education logo Nation, Film, and Novel in Modern India3
ASIA/GEOG 267IDEAs in Action General Education logo South Asia3
ASIA/HIST 272Modern South Asia3
ASIA/RELI 280Hindu Gods and Goddesses H3
ASIA 300/RELI 283The Buddhist Tradition: India, Nepal, and Tibet3
ASIA 304/HIST 331Sex, Religion, and Violence: Revolutionary Thought in Modern South Asia3
ASIA 331/HIST 335/PWAD 331IDEAs in Action General Education logo Cracking India: Partition and Its Legacy in South Asia H3
ASIA 332IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Story of Rama in India3
ASIA 333IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Mahabharata: Remembered and Reimagined3
ANTH 361Community in India and South Asia3
ASIA/RELI 381Religions of South Asia3
ASIA/RELI 382IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Story of Rama in Indian Culture--Experiential3
ASIA/RELI 383IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Mahabharata: Remembered and Reimagined--Experiential3
ASIA/COMM/RELI 386Dance and Embodied Knowledge in the Indian Context3
ASIA 431IDEAs in Action General Education logo Persian Sufi Literature3
ASIA/HIST 440Gender in Indian History3
ASIA 441/HIST 442Religion, Co-existence, and Conflict in Pre-Colonial India3
ASIA 453Global Shangri-La: Tibet in the Modern World 13
ASIA/RELI/WGST 482Sex, Gender, and Religion in South Asia3
ASIA 522IDEAs in Action General Education logo Beauty and Power in the Classical Indian World3
ASIA/HIST 557Fiction and History in India3
ASIA/RELI 582IDEAs in Action General Education logo Islam and Islamic Art in South Asia3
ASIA/RELI 583IDEAs in Action General Education logo Religion and Culture in Iran, 1500-Present3
HNUR/RELI 592Religious Conflict and Literature in India3
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

1

ASIA 453 may be counted for either the China or South Asia region, but not both.

Southeast Asia Courses

ANTH 52IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Asian Cultures, Asian Cities, Asian Modernities3
GEOG 64IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Vietnam3
ASIA/HIST 131Southeast Asia to the Early 19th Century3
ASIA 151IDEAs in Action General Education logo Literature and Society in Southeast Asia3
ASIA/MUSC 240Performance in Southeast Asia: Gongs, Punks, and Shadow Plays3
ASIA 252IDEAs in Action General Education logo Popular Culture in Modern Southeast Asia3
ASIA/LING 260Languages of Southeast Asia3
GEOG 266IDEAs in Action General Education logo Society and Environment in Southeast Asia3
ASIA/RELI 285IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Buddhist Tradition: Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka3
ANTH/ASIA 375Memory, Massacres, and Monuments in Southeast Asia3
ANTH/ASIA 429IDEAs in Action General Education logo Culture and Power in Southeast Asia3
ASIA/HIST 539The Economic History of Southeast Asia3
ASIA/HIST 570The Vietnam War3

Other Courses

ASIA 57IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Dis-Orienting the Orient3
ENGL 79IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Seminar: Globalization/Global Asians3
ASIA 89IDEAs in Action General Education logo First Year Seminar: Special Topics H3
RELI 103IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Literature H3
RELI 106IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Early Judaism3
RELI 107Introduction to Modern Judaism3
ASIA/HIST 134Modern East Asia3
ASIA 150IDEAs in Action General Education logo Asia: An Introduction3
HIST 163IDEAs in Action General Education logo Modern Central Asia3
ASIA/RELI 183IDEAs in Action General Education logo Asian Religions3
RELI 184IDEAs in Action General Education logo East Asian Religions3
RELI 206Prophecy and Divination in Ancient Israel and Judah H3
ASIA 211IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Silk Road: Markets, Metaphysics, and Music3
PHIL 213IDEAs in Action General Education logo Asian Philosophy3
ASIA 229IDEAs in Action General Education logo Breakdancers, Vocaloids, and Gamers: East Asian Youth Cultures3
ASIA/CMPL 255IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Feast in Film, Fiction, and Philosophy H3
ASIA/GEOG 265Eastern Asia3
ENGL 270IDEAs in Action General Education logo Studies in Asian American Literature3
HIST 274IDEAs in Action General Education logo History of the Ottoman Empire, 1300-19233
GLBL 281Phillips Ambassadors Program3
ASIA/RELI 284IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Buddhist Tradition: East Asia3
DRAM 291Re-Playing Shakespeare in East Asia3
RELI 343IDEAs in Action General Education logo Religion in Modern Israel3
ASIA 350/AMST 352IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Asian American Experience3
ASIA/ENGL 360IDEAs in Action General Education logo Contemporary Asian American Literature and Theory3
ENGL 371IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Place of Asian Americans in Southern Literature H3
FREN 383Franco-Asian Encounters3
ASIA/RELI 387IDEAs in Action General Education logo Disciplining the Body and Mind: The Martial Arts of East Asia in Religion, History, and Culture3
ASIA 427/CMPL 527/PWAD 427IDEAs in Action General Education logo Cold War Culture in East Asia: Transnational and Intermedial Connections3
ASIA/RELI 445Asian Religions in America3
ASIA/ECON 469IDEAs in Action General Education logo Asian Economic Systems3
RELI 480IDEAs in Action General Education logo Modern Muslim Literatures3
RELI 481IDEAs in Action General Education logo Religion, Fundamentalism, and Nationalism3
GLBL 484History and Politics of Central Asia3
RELI 512IDEAs in Action General Education logo Ancient Synagogues3
ASIA/RELI 581IDEAs in Action General Education logo Sufism3
RELI 602IDEAs in Action General Education logo What Is Scripture? Formations of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Canon3
ASIA 692HIDEAs in Action General Education logo Senior Honors Thesis II3
One language course beyond level 4 or a course at level 2 or above in a second Asian language may count as a major course.
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

Sample Plan of Study

Sample plans can be used as a guide to identify the courses required to complete the major and other requirements needed for degree completion within the expected eight semesters. The actual degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). Students should meet with their academic advisor to create a degree plan that is specific and unique to their interests. The sample plans represented in this catalog are intended for first-year students entering UNC–Chapel Hill in the fall term. Some courses may not be offered every term.

This plan is for a student who is just starting an Asian or Middle Eastern language.1

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
First-Year Foundation Courses
IDST 101 IDEAs in Action General Education logo College Thriving 1
ENGL 105
IDEAs in Action General Education logo English Composition and Rhetoric
or IDEAs in Action General Education logo English Composition and Rhetoric (Interdisciplinary)
3
First-Year Seminar or First-Year Launch 3
Triple-I and Data Literacy 4
Major Courses
ASIA 150 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Asia: An Introduction (fall only; foundation course for the major; strongly recommended to take in first year) 3
Language 101 (fall only) 3-4
Language 102 (spring only) 3-4
Other major course 2, 3 3
Hours 23-25
Sophomore Year
Language 203 (fall only) 3-4
Language 204 (spring only) 3-4
Two major courses 3 6
Hours 12-14
Junior Year
Major course or Language 305 3,4 3
Major course numbered 400 or above 3 3
Hours 6
Senior Year
Two major courses 3 6
Hours 6
Total Hours 47-51
1

This major requires four semesters of an Asian or Middle Eastern language, but this additional requirement can also be wholly or partly met by placement for students who already have knowledge of one of these languages.

The Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies requires that all students with prior knowledge of a language take a placement test. The beginning language course at UNC is decided by the placement (not by test credit or transfer credit). Almost all language courses are only offered in fall or spring, but not both. Some languages are sometimes offered in summer.

2

No more than one FY-SEMINAR course may be taken or count toward the major.

3

This major has a lot of flexibility and courses for it are abundant, but it also has several specific (and potentially overlapping) requirements that must be met, and more course offerings available in some areas than others. Careful course planning is important to make sure all the requirements are being met. Students are also strongly encouraged to start taking the required language courses in their first semester. Departmental advising is required every fall, and available throughout the year. 

4

One language course above 204 may be counted as one of the eight required major courses. Students who wish to pursue further language study may be interested in combining a language minor with this major. 

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, Korean studies, 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.

Departmental Involvement

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, Chinese, or Hindi-Urdu 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, Chinese, Hindi-Urdu, or Korean language skills in a broader intellectual context.

Libraries

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.

Speaker Series

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.

Study Abroad

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.

Undergraduate Research

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.

Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Visit Program Website

New West 113, CB# 3267

(919) 962-4294

Interdisciplinary Program Advisor

Dwayne Dixon

dedixon@email.unc.edu

Chair

Morgan Pitelka

mpitelka@unc.edu

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Robin Visser

rvisser@email.unc.edu

Student Services Specialist

Ash Barnes

wow@unc.edu