East Asia

It is hard to overstate the importance of East Asia. China is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, with unique religious and philosophical traditions. The allure of the Orient fueled the ambitions of explorers the world over, and the military and economic power of Asian states has assured their continued prominence. From the ways that pre-modern Asia helped shape the world to modern trans-Pacific international relations, knowledge of Asian history has become essential to those interested in everything from business and politics to science and education.

MSU is an excellent place to explore that history and to pursue advanced study of East Asia. Three core faculty members comprise the East Asian field: Aminda M. Smith specializes in Chinese history, Charles Keith is a scholar of Vietnam, and Ethan Segal and Sidney Lu focus on Japan. In addition, history faculty Liam Brockey and Naoko Wake focus on connections between Asia and the West from the early modern era to the present day.

The department’s East Asia caucus works closely with scholars across the university when directing graduate students with interdisciplinary interests. Michigan State’s Asian Studies Center is a Title VI nationally recognized graduate resource center with an impressive range of speaker series, cultural events, and conferences. Graduate students can apply to the center for FLAS fellowships that cover tuition and offer a stipend in support of the study of a range of Asian languages. MSU is the proud home of MATRIX, a cutting-edge digital humanities center, as well as H-Net, which hosts electronic discussion groups like H-JapanH-Asia, H-PRC, and H-Buddhism. Our students are well prepared to compete for faculty positions, as well as for positions in government, business, and education.

We welcome applications from qualified students interested in pursuing doctoral study of Asian history. Please feel free to contact the department for more information.