Western offering new minor in South and Southeast Asian Studies

Western's Global Humanities and Religion department recently announced a new minor in South and Southeast Asian Studies. The minor builds significant knowledge of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia through the study of culture, religion, history, literature, gender, art, film, and other disciplinary approaches. Students take two core introductory courses (HUMA 271 and HIST 220), plus four electives or other courses under advisement.

South and Southeast Asian Studies imparts knowledge and perspectives from two regions that are together home to one-third of the world's population. Coursework in the minor teaches the history, religions, cultures, literature, art, philosophy, and social structures of this influential area. The modern world was formed in large measure by the contacts and exchanges that took place between southern Asia and the West since the late fifteenth century when European traders set out to find a direct route to trade with India, accidentally "discovering" the Americas in the process. The Indian subcontinent itself had been trading with Africa, the Arab and Persian worlds, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia for over two thousand years before this point. India is the birthplace of the third and fourth largest religions in the world, Hinduism and Buddhism, and South and Southeast Asia as a whole is currently home to almost two-thirds of all of the world's Muslims.

For advising or more information regarding the minor, contact the program advisor, Associate Professor of Global Humanities and Religions Michael Slouber, at michael.slouber@wwu.edu or the Global Humanities and Religions office at (360) 650-3031.

River boats tied up to the bank in Vietnam
A young boy paints the forehead of an elephant in an Indian river