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why do we need to study asian history

At a time when people, ideas, products and fashions are flowing between Asia and other parts of the world in unprecedented quantities and at unprecedented speeds, there has never been a more pressing time to understand this complex and diverse continent, whether one lives within or far beyond its borders. Jeff Wasserstrom, Editor, Journal of Asian Studies
Asia is one of the major crossroads of the world: cultural, political, economic and social. Over the centuries, the hybrid cross-breedings from migrations and diasporas, and more recently, from media and communication technologies, have led to shared worlds among countries and cultures within Asia as well as between Asia and the other major regions of the world.

Lisa Rofel, Chair, AAS China and Inner Asia Council (CIAC) Geologically, geographically, demographically, and culturally, Asia lies at the center of the human venture a vast heartland from which the peoples and cultures of other word regions are mainly derived. As it recedes into the past, the age of Western Dominance can already be seen to have been a relatively brief aberration, while the peoples and cultures of Asia regain their historic centrality in human affairs. Richard Eaton, Chair, AAS South Asia Council (SAC) Asian societies comprise a significant proportion of the world s population, and their populations are expected to comprise the majority of the middle class with the most expenditures in the world.

Beyond business opportunities in Asia, most of the Super Critical and Critical Languages according to the U. S. State Department are Asian languages. Whether your interests focus on politics and diplomacy, international business, communication and journalism, academic careers, comparative cultures, or literature and art, researching and learning about Asia is a significant component in preparing you to engage a twenty-first-century globalized environment. The world has also come to Alabama. A greater understanding of Asia is increasingly relevant to lives in the Southeast as professional acquaintances and neighbors alike may have an Asian heritage.

Beyond gaining knowledge about Asia, the inter-disciplinary focus of Asian Studies addresses many of the larger theoretical questions that intersect with both academic studies and personal experiences. Issues surrounding identity, the construction of traditions, and the historical, cultural and political antecedents to current events enter into many discussions in Asian Studies. The study of cultures beyond your home also provides a fresh perspective into your own heritage. What have students who have studied Asia done beyond UA?

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