Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

College of Letters & Science
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Mission Statement

The Department of Asian Languages & Cultures at UW-Madison is student-centered and driven by research that is integrated into the classroom. With thematic foci in Asian languages, linguistics and literature, Asian cultural studies, religions of Asia, and critical issues in contemporary Asia, we aim to teach students how to recognize and critically analyze the realities of past and present "Asia" as a region that is crucial to the global flows of people, materials, and ideas through its own rich complexity with deep interconnection across multiple domains. At the same time, within this context of connections across Asia, we also seek to promote deep learning and knowledge of particular languages, time periods, and places, since in order to understand transasian regional and global networks, our students also need to acquire specific cultural and linguistic competencies.

We encourage students to study Asia in a regional and comparative frame while cultivating scholarly capacities in particular aspects of Asian culture.  To that end, we offer multiple degree options at the BA, MA, and Ph.D levels, reflecting departmental research strengths that allow students to approach the study of Asian cultures, languages, media, religions, and critical social issues from a variety of perspectives.  We seek to enhance both teaching and research through collaborations within the department and beyond, with particular emphasis on the development of robust connections with scholars at our peer institutions throughout Asia.