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Asian and Asian American Studies

  • Program Overview

    What does it mean to be an Asian in America? What are the contributions by and challenges facing Asian Americans? What is the role of linguistic, racial and ethnic identities in shaping global communication? What are the language and cultural resources we can use to combat discrimination against racialized and minoritized communities? How can we leverage Asian and Asian American languages and cultures for personal growth and societal transformation?

    The Master of Arts in Contemporary Asia and Asian American Studies provides students with an interdisciplinary training to develop critical skills and stances in areas ranging from Asian diaspora and cultural studies to multilingualism and intercultural communication to literary and translation studies to intellectual history. The program prepares students for careers in teaching of Asian languages, global business, government, nonprofit organizations, education, communication, or further advanced studies in Asian and Asian American languages and cultures.  The program will also provide students with opportunities for experiential learning and professional development.

    We welcome students of all backgrounds who are eager to learn about Asia and Asian America in depth as they relate to the contemporary transnational and multicultural world.

    Asian and Asian American Studies

    Agnes Weiyun He (interim Chair for Fall 2023-Spring 2024)

    Graduate Program Director 
    AtsukoOyama, Humanities Building 1114

    Graduate Secretary
    Lynne Foerster, Humanities Building 1046 (631) 632-4030

    Degrees Awarded 
    M.A. in Contemporary Asian Studies

    Web Site


  • Admissions

    Admission to the M.A. Program in Contemporary Asian and Asian American Studies

    Applicants for admission to the Master’s program are expected to hold a Bachelor’s degree (in any field) and have basic proficiency (two years of formal study or equivalent) in at least one Asian language.  Applicants are required to submit the following materials:

    • Undergraduate transcript
    • Official report of GRE scores
    • Statement of purpose (500-1000 words)
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Official report of TOEFL scores (for international applicants from non-English speaking countries)

    The Asian language requirement may be met in the following ways:

    A.         Equivalent course-work: Students who have completed at least two years (12 credits) of college-level course-work in an Asian language will be deemed to have met the language eligibility requirement.

    B.         Individualized Plan: Students who do not meet the language eligibility requirement through previous course-work must, upon entering the program, consult with the Graduate Director to develop an individualized plan to establish basic Asian language proficiency through one of the following four options:

    1.         By passing a Challenge Exam in an Asian Language

    2.         By passing another examination approved by the Graduate Director.

    3.         By completing Asian Language Coursework after admission (NB: Such course credits are remedial, however, and as such will NOT count toward completion of the M.A. degree)

    4.         By participating in a semester-long or year-long academic Study Abroad program in an Asian country

    C. Special Reading Courses (reading course credits will NOT count toward completion of the M.A. degree)

  • Degree Requirements

    Requirements for the M.A. Degree in Contemporary Asian Studies

    30-credits, including 24-credits of course work and 6-credits of thesis/project work, over two semesters.  More specifically, students are required to take the following:

    1)      a fall pro-seminar in research methods (3 credits)

    2)      one course in each of five categories (15 credits):

    • Language and Cross-Cultural Communication
    • Religions and Philosophies of Asia
    • Culture and Heritage
    • Politics and Society
    • Contemporary Asian Diaspora

    3)      two elective courses in any field of interest, chosen in consultation with and subject to approval of the Graduate Director (6 credits)

    4)      a thesis or final project (6 credits)

    Students who have a strong background and interest in Asian Languages or Multilingualism and Intercultural Communication Studies should consult with the Graduate Program Director in order to choose courses for requirements 2 and 3, to appropriately focus on these areas.

  • Facilities

    Program faculty and students will be able to draw upon a wide range of academic, professional, and cultural resources.  These include academic programs in Asian & Asian American Studies, China Studies, Japanese Studies, Korean Studies, and South Asian Studies, as well as Cultural Analysis and Theory, Business, Journalism, Media Studies, Linguistics, Religious Studies, Philosophy, History, and various social sciences.  In terms of professional development, PEP (Professional Education Program) coordinates with the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies and Foreign Language Teacher Preparation Program to offer teacher certification programs for Chinese, Japanese and Korean.  Moreover, the Language Learning and Research Center (LLRC) offers a state-of-the-art multimedia language center at Stony Brook University, with a wide variety of materials and technologies to assist scholars and students of Asian languages. The Center for Multilingual and Intercultural Communication (MIC) provides opportunities for research across languages and cultures.  Master’s students seeking to pursue a study abroad opportunities during their graduate training will work with the Office of the International Academic Programs and Services.  In addition, there are a variety of social and cultural activities and services offered through the Mattoo Center for India Studies, the Japan Center at Stony Brook, the Center for Korean Studies, the Charles B. Wang Center, as well as the diverse student organizations represented on campus.

  • Faculty

    Distinguished Professors   

    Chittick, William C.  Ph.D., 1974, University of Tehran: premodern Islamic intellectual history, especially Sufism and philosophy.

    Sridhar, Shikaripur N., Ph.D., 1980, University of Illinois: South Asian Linguistics; Kannada Grammar and Sociolinguistics; Multilingualism; Psycholinguistics; second Language Acquisition and Teaching; World Englishes; India Studies; Kannada Literature and Translation of Indian Literacy Classics.

    Full Professors

    He, Agnes Weiyun, Ph.D., 1993, University of California, Los Angeles: language and cultural development; discourse analysis; intercultural communication; Chinese as a heritage language.     

    Kim, Hongkyung, Ph.D., 1993, Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea: Confucianism; Daoism; Korean intellectual history; East Asian philosophy. 

    Murata, Sachiko, Ph.D., 1971, University of Tehran: Islamic philosophy and theology in the Chinese language.

    Timalsina, Sthaneshwar, Endowed Chair of Indic Studies, Ph.D., 2005, Martin Luther University in Halle, Germany: Hindu studies; Tantric studies; Yoga studies; comparative philosophies and religions.

    Associate Professors

    Balce, Nerissa S., Ph.D., 2002, UC Berkeley: postcolonial theory and the cultures of 1898; race, American visual culture and feminist epistemologies; state violence and Filipino culture; and Asian American literature and culture.

    Nicholson, Andrew J., Ph.D., 2005, University of Chicago: philosophies of India; Hinduism; Indian intellectual history: philosophy of religion; Sanskrit.

    Ruf, Gregory. Ph.D. 1994 Columbia University: China; sociocultural anthropology; history.

    Sato, Eriko, Ph.D., 1996, Stony Brook University: translanguaging; translation studies; language learning/teaching; online teaching; Japanese linguistics.

    Tan, E.K., Ph.D., 2007, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Sinophone studies; modern Chinese literature; culture and film; postcolonial studies; Southeast Asian studies; cultural translation.

    Assistant Professors

    Hwang, Jiwon, Ph.D., 2011, Stony Brook University: second language phonetics/phonology; Korean linguistics; intercultural language learning.

    Wang, Yi, Ph.D., 2020, The University of Arizona: applied linguistics; second language use and acquisition; study abroad; language ideology; linguistic justice; Chinese language pedagogy.

    Advanced Senior Lecturers

    Sohn, Heejeong, Ph.D., 2013, Stony Brook University: modern & contemporary history of Korea; photography and visual studies; American missionaries in Korea; gender and sexuality; history of Korean language; Korean language pedagogy; pedagogical technologies.

    Senior Lecturers

    Nagase, Eva, Ph.D. candidate, Stony Brook University: Japanese language; culture studies; material culture; travelogue; Japanese literature; Japanese art.

    Zeng, Dongmei, D.A., 1997, Stony Brook University: Chinese linguistics; Chinese language maintenance and shift; second language acquisition; heritage language maintenance and pedagogy; Chinese linguistics.


    Kang, Jungmin, Ph.D., 2014, University of Connecticut: second language acquisition; Korean syntax; theoretical syntax; formal semantics; syntax-semantics interface.

    Kim, Sandra So Hee Chi, Ph.D., 2017, University of Southern California: Asian American studies; critical Korean studies; empire and coloniality; critical race theory.

    Li, Tingda (Hannah), M. A., 2003, University of Bath; M.A., 2008, University of Arizona: Chinese linguistics; teacher education; Chinese anthropology; international education; educational leadership and management.

    Nakamura, Chikako, M.A., 2020, Stony Brook University: Japanese literature; translation studies; multilingualism; Japanese pedagogy; online language teaching.

    Oyama, Atsuko, Ph.D., 2014, The University of Arizona: gender; family; linguistic anthropology; language pedagogy.

    Snyder, Hong, Ph.D. candidate, Jinan University, China: World History; Chinese Studies.

    Affiliate Faculty

    Adams, Margarethe, Ph.D., 2011, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Kazakhstan and Northwest China; political ideology; popular culture; Islam in Central Asia.

    August, Timothy K., Ph.D., 2014, University of Minnesota: Critical refugee studies, Asian American studies, Diasporic Vietnamese literature and film, Postcolonial theory and criticism.

    Lee, Sohl, Ph.D., 2014, University of Rochester: Contemporary East Asian Art and Visual Culture; Critical Theory and Globalization; Curatorial Studies.

    Lim, Shirley Jennifer, Ph.D., 1998, UCLA: Asian American history, race/ethnicity, gender, film, popular culture.

    Mimura, Janis, Ph.D., 2002, University of California, Berkeley: Modern Japan; imperialism; fascism; political-economy; technology and society. Santa Ana, Jeffrey, Ph.D., 2004, University of California, Berkeley: Associate Professor of English, Asian American and Asian-Pacific diaspora studies, postcolonial literature and criticism, gender and sexuality (queer studies), environmental humanities and ecocriticism, memory studies.

    Tausig, Benjamin, Ph.D., 2013, New York University: Thai and Southeast Asian music; sound studies; protest movements; labor and migration.

    Wilson, Nicholas Hoover, Ph.D., 2012, UC-Berkeley: Empire and Imperialism, Corruption, Sociology of Knowledge and Culture, Historical Sociology.



  • Contact

    Asian and Asian American Studies

    Agnes Weiyun He (interim Chair for Fall 2023-Spring 2024)

    Graduate Program Director 
    AtsukoOyama, Humanities Building 1114

    Graduate Secretary
    Lynne Foerster, Humanities Building 1046 (631) 632-4030

    Degrees Awarded 
    M.A. in Contemporary Asian Studies

    Web Site