Thuy Tranviet speaking on a faculty panel
The home for instruction in the languages, literatures, religions, cultures, and intellectual histories of Asian societies

About Us

Our faculty members are a multi-disciplinary group in the humanities who conduct research and teach on topics arranged under our rubrics of "Literature & Linguistics," "Religion," and "Society & Culture," as well as offering instruction in 14 modern Asian languages, and the department also offers instruction in five classical Asian languages (Sanskrit, Pali, Literary Chinese, Literary Japanese and Literary Vietnamese).


The department works with Asian specialists of all disciplines across campus, who collectively comprise the East, South and Southeast Asia area studies programs

Asian Studies faculty and students

History of Asian Studies at Cornell

The Department of Asian Studies was initially organized in 1946 as the Department of Far Eastern Studies (changed to Asian Studies in 1962). It developed from a wartime program in the language, history, and culture of China that trained people for government service. The three Cornell Asian area programs for South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia subsequently developed within the department before assuming their separate existences in the 1970s. Initially, the Department was located in Franklin Hall (renamed Tjaden Hall in 1980).

As more positions were assigned to the Department, and with the growth of graduate programs that provided universities around the world with prominent scholars of Asia, the problem of space became chronic. In the early 1970s the Department shifted to Rockefeller Hall where it now occupies the third floor.

Click here to continue exploring the department's history.

Asian Studies News

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