Minor in Pacific Asian Studies

College of Liberal & Creative Arts

Dean: Dr. Ifeoma Kiddoe Nwankwo

Pacific Asian Studies Program

Coordinator: See Won Byun
Humanities Building, Room 267
Phone: (415) 338-2319
Email: sbyun@sfsu.edu

Program Scope

Pacific Asia refers to the regions of Asia bordering the Pacific Ocean, including East and Southeast Asia. Historically, East Asia has been under strong influences of Confucianism and Mahayana Buddhism, and Southeast Asia has been under strong influences of Islam and Theravada Buddhism. Diversity is more characteristic than commonality in describing the cultures and societies of East and Southeast Asia. But East and Southeast Asia can be regarded as a meaningful unit of global studies when we consider the two regions’ commercial, cultural, and diplomatic interactions, as well as their common experiences with Western and Japanese imperialism. In the twenty-first century, an economic community that connects East and Southeast Asia has been taking shape with marked Chinese initiatives, making these two regions more closely integrated than ever. The Pacific Asian Studies Minor is designed to give students an introduction into the exuberantly rich and diverse cultures of East and Southeast Asia, their inter-regional relations, and their relations with the rest of the world. In what some are now calling the Asian century, the rising tide of immigration of people from Pacific Asia into the United States, the rapidly increasing trade and financial transfers with nations of the Pacific Rim, and the growing attention to Asian arts, literature, philosophy, medicine, environment, and human rights signal the need to study Pacific Asia in earnest. At a time when this part of the world has become increasingly important to Americans, the minor serves the need to gain a better understanding of the complex Asian scene by offering an inviting opportunity for students to develop career and life-enhancing academic experiences at the University.

The Pacific Asian Studies Minor is an interdisciplinary program designed for students seeking a more intensive and extensive knowledge and understanding of East and Southeast Asia than their major discipline would offer. The Pacific Asian Studies Minor will be useful to students interested in pursuing further study at the graduate level as well as those planning careers in education, foreign services, international organizations, overseas corporations, and banking. Participants in the Study Abroad program at San Francisco State are welcomed to join Pacific Asian Studies and bring their Asian experiences to SF State classrooms.

Pacific Asian Studies Minor

The  Pacific Asian Studies Minor curriculum emphasizes versatility in terms of both the regions and the subjects of study. China is the oldest continuous civilization in the world. Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia also have their distinctive civilizations. The curriculum is designed to give students exposure to all three distinctive civilization systems. The curriculum consists of a core of 12 to 15 units, plus 9 units of electives, totaling 21 to 24 units. Not more than 9 units may be transferred from other campuses; no more than 6 units may be taken on a CR/NC basis.

Students considering the minor are advised to consult with Pacific Asian Studies faculty to create an individualized plan to take into account specific interests as well as to develop a strategy for taking courses to ensure timely completion of the minor. Students planning to take courses other than those listed in the curriculum are required to get prior approval of the program director.


Sanjoy Banerjee (1990), Professor in International Relations. Ph.D. Yale University.

T. Adam Burke (2001), Professor in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism. Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz; L.Ac. American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Yukihiro Goto (1990), Professor in Theatre Arts. Ph.D. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Sujian Guo (2002), Professor in Political Science. Ph.D. University of Tennessee.

Andrew K. Hanami (1990), Professor in International Relations, Emeritus. Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley.

Pi-Ching Hsu (1994), Professor in History. Ph.D. University of Minnesota.

Santhi Kavuri-Bauer (2003), Professor in Art. Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles.

Matthew Lee (2001), Professor in Kinesiology. Ph.D. Louisiana State University.

Chris Wen-Chao Li (2000), Professor in Modern Languages and Literatures. M.Phil., D.Phil. Oxford University.

Midori Yamamoto McKeon (1990), Professor in Modern Languages and Literatures. Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley.

Masahiko Minami (1997), Professor in Modern Languages and Literatures. Ed.D. Harvard University.

Hafez Modirzadeh (1998), Professor in Music. Ph.D. Wesleyan University.

Mary E. Scott (1990), Professor in Humanities. Ph.D. Princeton University.

Roblyn Simeon (1996), Professor in International Business. Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley.

Justin Tiwald (2006), Professor in Philosophy. Ph.D. University of Chicago.

Associate Professor

Makiko Asano (2001), Associate Professor in Modern Languages and Literatures. Ph.D. Harvard University.

Jean-Marc F. Blanchard (2003), Associate Professor in International Relations. Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania.

Jessica Elkind (2008), Associate Professor in History. Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles.

Qian Guo (1998), Associate Professor in Geography and Environment. Ph.D. University of Tennessee, Knoxville.


Chang, Dupen, Kuo, Liou, Matsumoto, Mick, Muranaka, Yamaguchi

Pacific Asian Studies Minor — 21–24 units

A minimum of 6 upper-division units are required to complete the minor.

All coursework used to satisfy the requirements of the minor must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 2.0.

Core (12–15 units)

Category A: China/Hong Kong/Taiwan Studies (6-7 units)

Group I — History, Social Sciences, Health, and Business

Select 3–4 units from the following:

GEOG 575Emerging China3
HH 381Holistic Health: Eastern Perspectives3
HH 383Chinese Perspectives in Holistic Health3
HH 420Qigong Body-Mind Energetics3
HH 530Eastern Nutrition and Herbs3
HIST 360Ancient Chinese Civilization3
HIST 361Imperial China3
HIST 362History of Modern China3
IBUS 592Doing Business in Greater China3
I R/PLSI 325Chinese Foreign Policy4
PLSI/I R 404Politics of China4
Group II — Humanities, Arts, and Literature

Select 3 units from the following list of courses:

CHIN 401Advanced Chinese3
CHIN 411/I R 413/JOUR 411Media Chinese3
CHIN 501Introduction to Classical Chinese3
CHIN 507Traditional Chinese Culture3
CHIN 521Chinese Modern Fiction3
CHIN 600Topics in Chinese Language, Literature, and Culture in English3
CHIN 601GWThe Poetic Tradition - GWAR3
CHIN 602The Narrative Tradition3
HUM 375Biography of a City: United States Cities3
HUM 530Chinese Civilization3
HUM 531Images of Modern China3
KIN 148Elementary Kung Fu1
KIN 175Elementary Tai-Chi Chuan1
KIN 2752
PHIL 511Chinese Philosophy and Religion3

Category B: Japan/Korea Studies (3-4 units)

Select 3–4 units from the following:

HIST 365
HUM 375Biography of a City: United States Cities3
HUM 5263
HUM 5273
IBUS 596Doing Business in Japan3
I R/PLSI 3294
JAPN 200Art of Japanese Writing and Calligraphy3
JAPN 302Japanese Reading and Grammar3
JAPN 309Advanced Readings in Japanese I3
JAPN 390Business Japanese3
JAPN 3953
JAPN 401Topics in Japanese Culture3
JAPN 510Modern Japanese Literature3
JAPN 5903
KIN 1421
KIN 2421
TH A/DANC 408Performance in Asia and the Asian Diaspora3

Category C: SE Asia/Regional/Comparative Studies (3-4 units)

Select 3–4 units from the following list of courses:

ANTH 315Regional Ethnography3
ARTH/HUM 205Asian Art History3
HIST 364Sex and Gender in East Asia3
HIST 376History of Southeast Asia3
I R 3264
IBUS 5943
MUS 5313
PLSI/I R 411East Asian Politics4
PLSI 418Political Transitions in East & Southeast Asia4
PLSI 419Comparative Political Economy4

Electives (9 units)

Select 9 units from at least two of the above four sets of courses.

Foreign Language Requirement

Students with no prior knowledge of a language other than English are required to take one semester of a language course, on advisement, that is relevant to their course of study and post-graduate goals. Students who wish to be exempted from this requirement must submit a written request to the director of Pacific Asian Studies.