Core Course

The Making of Asian Studies: Critical Perspectives

GS/ ANTH 5500 3.0 / CMCT 6136 3.0 / GEOG 5700 3.0 / HIS 5480 3.0 / HUMA 6135 3.0 / SOCI 6745 3.0

The course examines how academic studies on Asian spaces and identities have been produced historically and are presently constructed and connoted. The course does not, however, provide a substantive introduction to historical or contemporary processes of change in Asia. As we read through the interdisciplinary material taken from the Humanities and Social Sciences with different area foci (South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia) as well as literature, we will pay particular attention to (1) questions of methodology with an eye to our own scholarly projects and (2) epistemology, i.e. how we think about Asia and how we position ourselves as well as our future scholarly contributions in light of “the making of Asian Studies“. One of the larger questions of the course concerns the relevance of Area Studies in an era in which scholarship is often embedded within traditional disciplines and oriented toward global and transnational studies.

Faculty members with expertise in Asian Studies and extensive first-hand experience of research in different Asian countries offer the course each year.

Who Can Take the Course?
This is the required core course for the Graduate Diploma in Asian Studies (GDAS).

York University students currently pursuing or planning to conducting research in Asia or Asian diasporas are encouraged to take this one-of-a-kind course at York. Exposure to social theory is valuable but not necessary.

In 2021–22
This course will be offered in the Winter 2022 term on Tuesdays between 11:30 and 14:30. The course director is Abidin Kusno (Environmental Studies).

—Course Codes—
S69J01 (GS GEOG)
N03R01 (GS SOCI)
G50D01 (GS ANTH)
W97Y01 (GS HUMA)
Q44U01 (GS CMCT)
J91G01 (GS HIST)

To register for this course, students should:

  1. If you wish to register for the core course, please completing this form:
  2. The core course director will review your request. You will receive a response within five business days. If your request to register is approved, you will receive permission via email from the course director. 
  3. Once you have received permission to register, please forward via email this approval to Ouma Jaipaul-Gil ( and cc Please also attach: a) email approval from your Graduate Program Director and b) your completed Request to Take a Course in Another Graduate Program at York form (if applicable).
  4. Ouma will contact you to inform you that access to enroll in the course has been granted if there are no issues.
  5. You can enroll in the course via My Online Services.

For more information: