Asian and Asian Diaspora Studies Concentration

Detail, from the "Nine Dragons" handscroll, painted by Chen Rong, during the Song Dynasty. Scroll located in the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. In this detail, the dragon (an auspicious symbol of strength and good luck in Chinese iconography) has grasped the pearl of wisdom. (Public domain image via Wikimedia Commons.)



The Asian and Asian Diaspora Studies concentration is designed for students interested in the languages, history, politics, and cultures of Asia and the Asian diasporas. The geographical region of Asia includes countries such as Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam. In consultation with the concentration advisor, students may focus their coursework on a sub-region of Asia or the Asian diasporas, or design their program to offer a comparative study across different regions and/or cultural groups.

Concentration requirements: Four subjects from the list below with no more than three subjects from a single area. A HASS Concentration may include only one subject that also counts toward the HASS Distribution Requirement. You may include more than one only if the additional subject will NOT count as a HASS Distribution subject in your degree audit.




Students may take up to three introductory, intermediate, or advanced subjects in an Asian language. Chinese, Japanese, and Korean are taught at MIT. Other languages may be taken at Harvard, Wellesley, or during the summer with permission from the relevant Transfer Credit Examiner.

21G.101 Chinese I (Regular), HASS-H

21G.102 Chinese II (Regular), HASS-H

21G.103 Chinese III (Regular), HASS-H

21G.104 Chinese IV (Regular), HASS-H

21G.105 Chinese V (Regular): Discovering Chinese Cultures and Societies, HASS-H

21G.106 Chinese VI (Regular): Discovering Chinese Cultures and Societies, HASS-H

21G.107 Chinese I (Streamlined), HASS-H

21G.108 Chinese II (Streamlined), HASS-H

21G.109 Chinese III (Streamlined), HASS-H

21G.110 Chinese IV (Streamlined), HASS-H

21G.113 Chinese V (Streamlined), HASS-H

21G.118 Advanced Chinese in Shenzhen, HASS-H

21G.120 Business Chinese, HASS-H

21G.501 Japanese I, HASS-H

21G.502 Japanese II, HASS-H

21G.503 Japanese III, HASS-H

21G.504 Japanese IV, HASS-H

21G.505 Japanese V, HASS-H

21G.506 Japanese VI, HASS-H

21G.901 Korean I, HASS-H

21G.902 Korean II, HASS-H

21G.903 Korean III, HASS-H

21G.904 Korean IV, HASS-H

21G.905 Korean V, HASS-H

21G.906 Korean VI, HASS-H




21G.043J Introduction to Asian American Studies: Historical and Contemporary Issues [21H.107], HASS-H

21G.045J Global Chinese Food: A Historical Overview [21H.156J], HASS-H

21G.075J The Global Chinese: Chinese Migration, 1567-Present [21H.253], HASS-H

21H.151 Pre-Modern China, HASS-H

21H.152 Modern China, HASS-H

21H.154 Inventing the Samurai, HASS-H

21H.155 Modern Japan: 1600 to Present, HASS-H

21H.157 Modern South Asia, HASS-S

21H.186 Nature and Environment in China, HASS-H

21H.350 Business in China Since 1800, HASS-H

21H.351J Shanghai and China’s Modernization [11.153], HASS-H

21H.354 World War II in Asia, HASS-H

21H.357 South Asian Migrations, HASS-H

21H.358 Colonialism in South Asia and Africa: Race, Gender, Resistance, HASS-H




21G.011 Topics in Indian Popular Culture, HASS-H, CI-H

21G.030J Introduction to East Asian Cultures: From Zen to K-Pop [WGS.236], HASS-H

21G.036J Advertising and Media: Comparative Perspectives [CMS.356], HASS-H

21G.038 China in the News: The Untold Stories, HASS-H

21G.039J Gender and Japanese Popular Culture [21A.143, WGS154], HASS-H

21G.040 A Passage to India: Introduction to Modern Indian Culture and Society, HASS-H

21G.042J Three Kingdoms: From History to Fiction, Comic, Film, and Game [21H.352J], HASS-H

21G.044J Classics of Chinese Literature in Translation [WGS.235], HASS-H

21G.046 Modern Chinese Fiction and Cinema, HASS-H, CI-H

21G.063 Anime: Transnational Media and Culture, HASS-H

21G.064 Introduction to Japanese Culture, HASS-H, CI-H

21G.065J Japanese Literature and Cinema [21A.142], HASS-H, CI-H

21G.067 Digital Media in Japan and Korea, HASS-H

21G.094 Cinema in Japan and Korea, HASS-A

21G.095J Cultures of Popular Music in East Asia: Japan, Korea, China [21M.297J], HASS-A

21G.111 Chinese Calligraphy, HASS-A

21G.199 Chinese Youths and Web Culture, HASS-H

21M.291 Music of India, HASS-A

21M.700 China on Stage, HASS-A, CI-H

21M.706 Asian American Theater, HASS-A

21W.788J South Asian America: Transnational Media, Culture, and History [CMS.334], HASS-H

WGS.226J Science, Gender and Social Inequality in the Developing World [STS.023], HASS-H




17.407 Chinese Foreign Policy, HASS-S

17.433 International Relations of East Asia, HASS-S

17.53 The Rise of Asia, HASS-S

17.537 Politics and Policy in Contemporary Japan, HASS-S

21A.140J Cultures of East Asia [21G.047], HASS-S

21A.141J Images of Asian Women: Dragon Ladies and Lotus Blossoms [21G.048, WGS.274], HASS-S


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 concentration advisor.

[ ] Jointly listed subjects

Additional information can be obtained from the Concentration Advisor:
Professor Sana Aiyar, E51-296b, 617-324-7285
Or from the History Office, E51-255, x3-4965
Or by emailing