Strategically located, and
with a multicultural heritage, the state of Hawai'i has always been uniquely
international in outlook. The people, traditions, and cultural milieu of this
island state in the Pacific provide a strong and continuing bond with Asia.
The study of Asia has been an important component of
academic programs at the University of Hawai'i since its inception in 1907.
Today, the University of Hawai'i is a major institution with more than 45,000
students in a multi-campus system of post-secondary educational institutions.
The main campus at Manoa, with more than 20,000 students, is the research
center of the University. The student body embraces a wide spectrum of ethnic
groups and a significant portion of the student population comes from other
states. In addition, a large number of foreign students come from Asia and
Nearly 700 faculty members are engaged in international studies
and, of these, close to 400 are currently involved in Asia-related teaching
and research. Asia-related course offerings and interests are a part of
nearly every department of the Colleges of Arts and Sciences at Manoa. Well
over 100 of the full-time graduate faculty in these colleges are Asia
specialists engaged in teaching more than 500 Asia-related courses. In
addition to these courses, the professional schools (Public Health,
Education, Business Administration, etc.) also offer a variety of
Asia-related courses. Research and publications, specialized training and
instructional programs, conferences, symposia, resource development, and a
full schedule of extracurricular activities and cultural programs are all
part of Asian Studies at Hawai‘i.
The University's academic strengths in Asian studies are complemented by
a local community deeply interested in the cultural heritage as well as the
contemporary affairs of the region. Students electing to pursue Asian studies
at the University of Hawai‘i will discover a unique learning environment
especially appropriate to the understanding and appreciation of Asian peoples
South Asia has been an intellectual focus at
the University of Hawai'i for over fifty years, beginning with the
establishment of the Oriental Institute in 1935 and a still ongoing series of
East-West Philosophers' Conferences in 1939. This emphasis continued with the
establishment of the journal Philosophy East and West in 1951 and the Asian
Studies Program. The Center for South Asian Studies was created in 1985.
Since then the objective of the Center has been to coordinate and integrate,
by juxtaposing humanistic with scientific scholarship, and historical and
contemporary data. The Center thus serves to illuminate specific questions of
regional interest, and complements and bridges the disciplinary departments
directly related to it.
The Center guides and
assists master's degree candidates in study of both past and present
societies and cultures of South Asia and promotes faculty interaction across
departmental lines to foster comparative and interdisciplinary research on
the region. South Asia includes contemporary Afghanistan, Pakistan, India
(including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands), the Maldive Islands,
Lakshadweep, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Tibet.