Asian and Asian American Studies Department

The Department of Asian and Asian American Studies (DAAAS) at Binghamton University supports the study of Asia and transoceanic, transnational Asian diasporas of the world. Many of the department's courses are cross-listed with other departments, allowing students to fulfill credit requirements across a variety of academic disciplines. The department places emphasis on the studies of Asian histories, languages, and cultures within Asia as geographically defined, and studies of Asian diasporas, with particular focus on Asians of the Americas.

Our faculty have expertise in a variety of disciplines and fields, geographic areas, and languages while also conducting interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research, with particular strengths in history, literature, film, linguistics, pedagogy, popular culture, media, nations and nationalisms, empire, and more.

Department graduates have gone on to PhD and law programs and pursued careers in education, public policy, non-profit community organizations, and arts and culture.

Degrees Offered

Areas of Study

Students enrolled in one of our many undergraduate and graduate programs will have an opportunity to learn the languages of China, Japan, and Korea. They will also learn about the diverse historical, cultural, societal, and political dimensions of East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Asian Diaspora, including Asian America. The department houses six interrelated programs: Asian American and Diaspora Studies, Asian Comparative Studies, South Asian Studies, Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, and Korean Studies.

  • Asian American and Diaspora Studies

    The Asian American and Diaspora Studies program offers students an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Asian diasporic communities. The program's intellectual purview includes the study of Asian communities situated outside Asia, as well as communities that reside as minorities within the continent, with special interest in studies of majority-minority relations. Particular focus is paid to Asians in the Americas, which includes those in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The course offerings are wide-ranging and rigorous, consisting of lower- and upper-division undergraduate courses and advanced-level graduate courses.

    Through its diverse curriculum and sponsorship of Asian American- and Asian diaspora-related events, the program provides students with an invaluable education into the historical, cultural, and political dimensions of diasporic and minority experiences. The program endeavors to not only build bridges between but amalgamate distinct but related scholarly arenas, including ethnic studies with area studies; Asian American Studies with African American, Latino, Caribbean, and Native American Studies; and Asian and Asian American scholarship with global, transnational, and diasporic approaches.

    The program is also committed to the important task of narrowing the traditional gaps that have hindered beneficial relationships between academy and community, faculty and students, and knowledge and experience.

  • Asian Comparative Studies

    The department encourages work that is interdisciplinary, comparative or global in methodology and theory, as well as work that is specialized locally or regionally. It also supports the study of Asia and Asian diasporas as complex nexuses of sociological, geographical and political regions, and traces their economies, histories and ideas across national and oceanic boundaries.

  • South Asian Studies

    The department offers students the opportunity to study the social, cultural and intellectual history of the nations of South Asia, a region often defined to include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Students can learn about the teachings and historical development of South Asian religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. They can also develop a greater understanding of the lived experience of South Asian peoples through pre-modern and modern times, including the experience of women and of socially marginalized groups.

  • Chinese Studies

    The Chinese Studies program offers students a diverse curriculum centered on Chinese language, literature, culture and society. Its rigorous language curriculum stresses verbal and textual mastery, cultural competency, and includes courses in Chinese linguistics and language pedagogy. Content courses explore both ancient and modern Chinese literature, visual arts, society, history, philosophy, and economics.

    The Chinese Studies faculty stress both global/transnational perspectives and area/regional knowledge and linguistic skills, in order to best prepare students for a broad spectrum of future educational and career goals and opportunities.

  • Japanese Studies

    The Japanese Studies program fosters detailed, nuanced knowledge and understanding of various aspects of premodern, modern and contemporary Japanese culture and society, including history, language, literature, visual culture, society, politics and economics. It provides a solid foundation of Japanese language skills, including reading, writing, speaking and listening comprehension.

    The courses offered are ideal for students wishing to gain practical communicative skills, those planning to further specialize in Japanese Studies and those pursuing careers in areas such as education, business, government and NGOs.

  • Korean Studies

    The Korean Studies program provides students with a solid foundation in Korean language skills and knowledge of Korea's history, literature, culture, and religions. The program is based on the premise that both contemporary and historic understanding of Korea, its interrelations with larger East Asia and its global importance today cannot not be fully grasped without a deep understanding of its language, history, social systems and culture.

    Hence, the program aims to provide students with not only language training, but also a solid understanding of how Korean societies and people actually functioned and interacted with other cultures in both the premodern and contemporary periods. The wide range of courses is designed to introduce various aspects of Korean Studies and provide students with the knowledge necessary for business, professional or academic endeavors.