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.
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