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MIT School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences - Great Ideas Change the World

Major Departure in Asian and Asian Diaspora Studies

The Major Departure in Asian and Asian Diaspora Studies is designed for students interested in serious intensive research on the languages, history, politics, and cultures of Asia and/or the Asian diasporas. The geographic region of Asia includes countries such as Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam. In consultation with the major departure advisor, students may focus their coursework on a sub-region of Asia, on one of the Asian diasporas, or design their program to offer a comparative study across different regions and/or cultural groups. The goal of the Major program is to provide balanced coverage of language, humanistic and social science offerings on the region and to expose students to some comparative perspectives within the region. The MIT Departments of Foreign Languages and Literatures, History, and Political Science offer a substantial number of subjects related to Asia and the Asian diasporas. All Major Departure students must write a senior thesis on a topic of their choice to be determined in consultation with an MIT faculty member whose specialty falls within Asian studies. The thesis research may include knowledge of an Asian language.

The Major in Asian & Asian Diaspora Studies consists of 126-162 units (11-14 subjects), including two language subjects in Area I (or equivalent proficiency), pre-thesis, thesis, and seven remaining subjects selected from at least two of the three disciplinary areas II-IV.

Area I: Language
Area II: Humanities and the Arts
Area III: Social Sciences
Area IV: Historical Studies

A maximum of 36 units may be used toward the GIRs. Thus, three subjects may be used for both the major and the GIRs, but the units from those subjects may not count toward the 180 units required beyond the GIRs. No more than one HASS Distribution class may be counted towards the major and towards the HASS Distribution Component of the GIRs.

The language requirement can be satisfied by taking two intermediate (Levels III and IV) subjects in an Asian language. Students with proficiency at this level in the spoken and written language can either take two more advanced language subjects (highly recommended), or two more courses from Areas II, III and IV. Chinese and Japanese are taught at MIT. Other languages may be taken at Harvard, Wellesley, or during the summer with permission from the relevant Transfer Credit Examiner.

AREA I: LANGUAGE

The language requirement can be satisfied by taking two intermediate (Levels III and IV, or Very Fast Track equivalent) subjects in an Asian language.

Language subjects offered at MIT

21F.103 Chinese III (Regular), HASS-H
21F.104 Chinese IV (Regular), HASS-H
21F.105 Chinese V (Regular): Discovering Chinese Cultures and Societies, HASS-H
21F.106 Chinese VI (Regular): Discovering Chinese Cultures and Societies, HASS-H
21F.109 Chinese III (Streamlined), HASS-H
21F.110 Chinese IV (Streamlined), HASS-H
21F.113 Chinese V (Streamlined), HASS-H
21F.142 Intermediate Chinese I: Very Fast Track, HASS-H
21F.143 Intermediate Chinese II: Very Fast Track, HASS-H
21F.503 Japanese III, HASS-H
21F.504 Japanese IV, HASS-H
21F.505 Japanese V, HASS-H
21F.506 Japanese VI, HASS-H
21F.514 Linguistic Theory and Japanese Language, HASS-H
21F.562 Intermediate Japanese I: Very Fast Track, HASS-H
21F.563 Intermediate Japanese II: Very Fast Track, HASS-H

Areas II, III, IV: Four subjects to be selected from at least two areas.
 

AREA II: HUMANITIES AND THE ARTS

21F.011 Topics in Indian Popular Culture, HASS-H, CI-H
21F.027J Asia in the Modern World: Images and Representations [21H.250], HASS-H, CI-H
21F.030J East Asian Culture: From Zen to Pop [WGS.236], HASS-H
21F.036 Advertising and Media: Comparative Perspectives, HASS-H
21F.038 China in the News: The Untold Stories, HASS-H
21F.039J Japanese Popular Culture [21A.143], HASS-H
21F.040 A Passage to India: Introduction to Modern Indian Culture and Society, HASS-H
21F.044J Classics of Chinese Literature in Translation [21L.044, WGS.235], HASS-H
21F.046 Modern Chinese Fiction and Cinema, HASS-H, CI-H
21F.063 Anime: Transnational Media and Culture, HASS-H
21F.064 Introduction to Japanese Culture, HASS-H, CI-H
21F.065J Japanese Literature and Cinema [21A.142], HASS-H, CI-H
21F.199 Chinese Youths and Web Culture, HASS-H
21M.291 Music of India, HASS-A
21W.788J South Asian America: Transnational Media, Culture, and History [CMS.334], HASS-H
WGS.226J Science, Caste, and Gender in India [STS.023], HASS-H

AREA III: SOCIAL SCIENCES

17.407 Chinese Foreign Policy, HASS-S
17.433 International Relations of East Asia, HASS-S
17.486 Japan and East Asian Society (G)
17.537 Politics and Policy in Contemporary Japan, HASS-S
17.543 Japanese Politics and Society, HASS-S
17.547 The Rise of China, HASS-S
17.551 Political Economy of Chinese Reform, HASS-S
21A.140J Cultures of East Asia [21F.047], HASS-S
21A.141J Images of Asian Women: Dragon Ladies and Lotus Blossoms [21F.048, WGS.274], HASS-S

AREA IV: HISTORICAL STUDIES

21F.075J The Global Chinese: Chinese Migration, 1567-Present [21H.253], HASS-H
21H.107J Introduction to Asian American Studies: Historical and Contemporary Issues [21F.043], HASS-H, CI-H
21H.151 Traditional China: Earliest Times to 1644, HASS-H
21H.152 Modern China: 1644 to the Present, HASS-H
21H.154 Pre-Modern Japan: Earliest times to 1868, HASS-H
21H.155 Modern Japan: 1868 to Present, HASS-H
21H.351J Shanghai and China’s Modernization [11.153], HASS-H
21H.354 World War II in Asia, HASS-H

This list is not exhaustive. Relevant subjects that are no longer offered and subjects with variable topics (such as “special subjects” or “selected topics” courses, for example) may also be counted at the discretion of the major advisor.

[ ] Jointly listed subjects
(G) Graduate subjects which are open to qualified undergraduates, with the permission of the instructor

Additional information can be obtained from the Major Advisor:
Professor Ian Condry, 14N-314, x2-5058,
Or from the Foreign Languages & Literatures Office, 14N-305, x3-4771