The Interdisciplinary East Asian Studies Minor at SRU
"East Asia," or East Asian countries, are those modern cultures which draw their most prominent characteristics from the ancient Chinese civilization. Japan, North and South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and China are the major "East Asian" nations today, but there are significant populations of people whose traditions are East Asian in other parts of the world such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and now the United States.
Over one quarter of the people residing on the globe live in the area called East Asia. This region also contains the most rapidly industrializing and fastest growing economies in the world, and many of the countries have recently undergone population explosions. In most cases, the greatest growth is taking place within the middle class. Because of this, the area is of increasing importance as a market for U.S. goods and services. Most of the nations of East Asia are small, but they compete increasingly with the United States in the international market of jobs and products.
Yet, the people in these countries are more partners than competitors with the United States. United States' economic history in the twentieth century has been one of the gradual transfer of economic emphasis from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The "Pacific Rim," with the United States on one side and East Asia on the other, constitutes the fastest growing trade region on the globe.
The importance of this area is not purely economic. China is one of the two oldest surviving civilizations in the world today. Its cultural and scientific contribution has been significant. The compass, the printing process, and gunpowder are but a few of the technological innovations first developed and used in China and later adopted by the West. The literary and artistic heritage of East Asian countries reached and maintained a high level of refinement as early or earlier than their Western counterparts. One example of this is the novel, which as a literary form was invented by the Japanese.
Because of the rich cultural traditions of East Asian countries and due to their rapidly increasing economic and political significance, the twenty-first century is often referred to as the as the "Pacific Century" or the "Asian Century."
Program Requirements and Course Descriptions
For additional information, please contact
Dr. George P. Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org 724.738-2435
Dr. Armand Policicchio at email@example.com 724.738-2689