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GDAS 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 and/or Asian Diaspora and extensive first-hand research experience 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 2024–25
This course will be offered in the Winter 2025 term on Thursdays from 14:30 to 17:30 EST. The course director will be Joan Judge (History).

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

For students registered in one of the cross-listed programs offering the course, you can enroll for the GDAS core course using the course catalog number associated with your home program.

If you are not registered in one of the programs offering the GDAS core course, please obtain email approval from your Graduate Program Director and complete the Request to Take a Course in Another Graduate Program at York form. These should be emailed to Audrey Tokiwa (Graduate Program Assistant in Sociology, atokiwa[at] and cc'd to gdas[at] Once approved, the enrollment block will be lifted and you'll be able to enroll online.

For more information: gdas[at]

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