Program Description

Faculty in the Asian Studies Graduate Cluster (ASGC) offer comprehensive yet focused exposure to Asian cultures, histories and societies with an emphasis on transdisciplinary research and methodologies. The program trains students in advanced research and interdisciplinary studies across the humanities and social sciences. Specializations offered include Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, South and Southeast Asian, and Vietnamese culture, history, literature, media studies, and political sciences; Buddhist Studies; Hinduism; the arts of China, Japan, South Asia, and the Himalayan region; and modern Asian Politics.

Students interested in pursuing a PhD in Art History, Communication Studies, Comparative Literary Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, History, Music, Performance Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, and Sociology are encouraged to find a second intellectual “home” in this interdisciplinary cluster. The cluster’s curriculum is meant to lead students through structures that are central for understanding the past, present, and future of Asian traditions and societies. It is by taking courses with ASGC faculty, and by interacting in a lively and consistent way at ASGC sponsored events and activities, at all levels, that graduate students can create and foster an intellectual community of scholars interested in Asia from a variety of perspectives, beyond narrow disciplinary confines that too often relegate the study of Asia to the margins of training and research.

We offer two levels of participation open to all graduate students in programs and departments throughout the university, the Graduate Certificate Program and the ASGC Interdisciplinary Graduate Cluster membership. The two levels of participation offer students flexibility for incorporating interdisciplinary approaches into their graduate education. The program’s courses and other graduate activities do not differentiate between Cluster and Certificate students. All graduate students interested in Asian Studies are welcome to join the cluster even if they elect not to pursue a Cluster certificate. Please refer to the Requirements page for details.

Graduate students can select to become affiliate with the cluster even before their arrival to NU, when they apply to the graduate program of their choice, as they can then compete for the Mellon Research Fellowship for incoming graduate students ($ 2,500 in research funding). They can also join the cluster after their arrival at NU, by contacting the cluster director.

Please note that fellowships administered though the Cluster, such as the Interdisciplinary Conference Travel Grants for Mellon Affiliated Students

and the Mellon Cluster Programming Catalyst Grant

are ONLY available to students that are active members of ASGC.

Questions?  Contact the ASGC director, Professor Jun Hu:

jun.hu@northwestern.edu