Dear Readers,

Experts have called the 21st century the Asian Century because this complex region includes half of the world’s population and economic production.  I invite you to explore ASU’s unique resources to enhance our knowledge about Asia, its cultural traditions and languages. Established by the Arizona Board of Regents in 1966, the Center for Asian Research supports research and teaching about this diverse continent among faculty, students and the wider Arizona community. Nearly 5,000 students at ASU enroll in courses with Asian studies content each year.

Today, more than 80 faculty members teach and research about Asia in disciplines and professional programs across the university. ASU faculty in Asian studies are internationally recognized scholars in their fields of expertise who have won distinguished fellowships and research grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Freeman Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the U.S. Department of Education, the Japan Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies, among others.

Faculty councils that focus on South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia respectively are featured in this Report and on our website. Students interested in the study of Asia may elect one of the majors or certificate programs to focus their course work specifically on South, East or Southeast Asia. Students may enroll in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian or Vietnamese language instruction at ASU and in study abroad and intensive language programs during the summer.

The Center organizes lectures and conferences on topics such as Water in Asia: Science, Values and ActivismBuddhist-Muslim Tensions in the Bay of Bengal and the2015 Western Regions Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, attended by more than 150 scholars from Asia and the western US.

This year, the Henry Luce Foundation’s Asia Program made a second three-year award to ASU to continue the work of the Theravada Civilizations Project. This project started at ASU in 2009 when an international group of scholars began to meet annually to assess our understanding of Buddhist civilizations in South and Southeast Asia. Since then, the project has expanded to include a professional organization of 200 scholars, an annual dissertation workshop, publications and a website with academic resources at theravadaciv.org.

Another grant from the American Council of Learned Societies in support of Buddhist studies and funded by the Robert N. H. Ho Family will bring Steven Collins, the Chester D. Tripp Professor in the Humanities at the University of Chicago, to the ASU during fall 2016. While in residence, Professor Collins will present public lectures onCivilizational Dynamics and Practices of the Self, offer a graduate seminar and teach an undergraduate course on Buddhism.

For further information on public events, the Asia Studies undergraduate major, certificate programs in East and Southeast Asian Studies as well as museum and library collections, please email us at Asia@asu.edu.

We look forward to hearing from you.


Juliane Schober

Director, Center for Asian Research

Professor of Religious Studies