Faculty Perspectives: What is East Asian Studies?

August 16, 2021

In the fall of 2020, the East Asian Studies MA program’s core course, East Asian Studies: Fields and Methods, invited Duke faculty members who center their academic work on Asia to respond to the broad question “What is East Asian Studies?”

The students developed a list of specific prompts, asking:

  • What does “East Asia” mean to you? 
  • What motivated/s you to spend your life studying it? 
  • Why study “East Asia” and not just one nation, e.g. China?
  • What are the big issues in East Asian studies, in your opinion?
  • What questions do you seek to ask/answer?
  • What use is the academic study of “East Asia”?
  • How has your personal identity shaped your perception of East Asia/East Asian studies?

The responses were broad and reveal how each professor's academic discipline enhances their perspective of the country or countries they study.

Hear the full recorded responses at the Asian & Middle Eastern Studies website (note: some require Duke login)