History and Mission

ASIANetwork began in April 1992, when representatives from over 45 liberal arts colleges with an interest in Asian Studies met in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Pinehurst, North Carolina to explore ways to strengthen the study of Asia on their campuses. The meetings focused on topics such as curriculum design, faculty development, study abroad programs, and grants and resource development.

In April 1993, representatives from sixty liberal arts colleges renewed the discussion and voted to create a permanent organization. In the fall of 1993, ASIANetwork was officially incorporated and became an affiliate of the Association for Asian Studies. Early grants from the Henry Luce Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Freeman Foundation enabled ASIANetwork to expand its activities and to provide programming for member institutions.

A consortium of over 170 North American colleges, ASIANetwork strives to strengthen the role of Asian Studies in undergraduate liberal arts education in an increasingly interdependent world.

ASIANetwork recognizes the vital importance of educating society about Asian cultures through effective pedagogies that communicate the insights and perspectives produced by reflective research. Focusing on the unique teaching mission of the undergraduate liberal arts institution and the role of faculty as scholar-teachers, ASIANetwork encourages the study of Asian languages, societies, and cultures on member campuses, and offers resources and programs to experience these cultures firsthand. As a consortium committed to international perspectives, ASIANetwork fosters collaboration among individuals and institutions in North America and Asia working to deepen intercultural understanding.

ASIANetwork seeks to …

  1. Offer expanded opportunities for collaborative learning programs, sending more students and faculty to Asia.
  2. Promote enhanced opportunities for faculty research and development in Asian Studies.
  3. Highlight Asian Studies scholarship and pedagogy at the annual ASIANetwork Conference.
  4. Share resources to help member institutions initiate, support, and deepen the teaching of Asian languages within the liberal arts.
  5. Facilitate communication about Asian Studies through our website, www.asianetwork.org, and print publication, ASIANetwork EXCHANGE.
  6. Provide a network of consultants for member institutions wishing to establish new Asian Studies programs, evaluate existing programs, or develop new areas of Asian Studies.