Faculty Works Together to Offer Asian Studies Major

Starting fall 2009, St. Mary’s students will have the option to major in Asian Studies.  The program, which originally just offered a minor, is now offering the first cross-disciplinary major at the college.

The process for creating the major began in 2006, when the cross-disciplinary area was under review.  “The reviewers suggested we would be a very strong major based on the diversity and the strength of the faculty research,” said Holly Blumner, the current coordinator for Asian Studies.

Eleven members of the faculty worked together to come up with the core requirements.  Requirements for the major will include a year of Asian languages, ASIA200, and twenty-four semester hours in at least three different disciplines.

“I think one of the strengths of our major is that students chose from at least three disciplines,” said Blumner.  “That allows for a lot of freedom.”  Students can take courses cross listed with philosophy, history, literature and a variety of other subjects.

Other areas with cross-disciplinary minors may follow in suit.  “We are pioneering,” said Blumner.  “Most cross-disciplines will be looking at us to see how we do.”

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