Asia Garden during sunset, there is summer vegetation

Asian Studies

If you want to explore a new world and culture, the Asian Studies department at Furman University will take you beyond the traditional classroom experience.

Under the guidance of our outstanding faculty, we offer a curriculum infused with a broad range of courses, study away experiences and a strong liberal arts foundation. That means you won’t just study a culture, language, or religion in our program. You’ll study it all. Because at Furman, we’re preparing you to engage with the people, ideas and issues that shape one of the world’s most dynamic regions.

Department of Asian Studies Statement on Black Lives Matter. 

We, the faculty of the Department of Asian Studies, unequivocally support the Black Lives Matter movement.  We see the pain and suffering that white supremacy and structural racism have inflicted on Black communities in the US and worldwide.  We denounce the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many other Black people in the US, and we are committed to the lifelong work of anti-racism.

We recognize that academic institutions have been instrumental in creating and maintaining white supremacy, and that the field of Asian Studies is no exception.  Members of our field have both experienced and fought against racism in many forms, but those experiences do not absolve us of the need to acknowledge that anti-Black racism is an urgent issue that we must do more to address.  We commit to regular self-examination in order to create a more diverse curriculum and more inclusive pedagogical practices.  The burden of addressing the insidious effects of racism and bias in our society cannot continue to fall primarily on those who are most harmed, and therefore we see these efforts as central to our work.

As a department that has no Black faculty, we also recognize that we must speak with humility in voicing our support for antiracist action.  We believe it is critical both for our department and for the university to improve our recruitment of Black faculty, staff, and students, and we will work with other departments and university organizations to make this a priority.  We deeply value the contributions of the Black students majoring in our department, and will strive to foster, protect, and grow this community.  In particular, this year we will focus on amplifying the voices of Black scholars, thinkers, authors, directors, and creators in Asian Studies.

Creating equity will not be a short process, and we are committed to it for the long run.  Our ultimate goal is to create a department in which Black faculty, staff, and students can thrive.


Student News:

20 year old man with brown hair and brown eyes standing outside under tree with button up shirt and bow tie

Asian Studies Student Oscar Guillen ’22 is an Inaugural Furman Angel Investor and Plans to Expand His Growing Expertise

When he was a young boy, Oscar Guillen ’22 and his mother emigrated to the United States from Honduras in search of economic opportunities. Now, the Furman University Asian studies major wants to help young people in Honduras start businesses and spur the economy there.

A new program for Furman students, developed by The Robert and Margaret Hill Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and in collaboration with VentureSouth, could help him do that.

Guillen is in the inaugural cohort of the Furman Angel Analyst Fellows, learning what it takes to be angel investors…..

Guillen said he aspires to start an angel investing group in Honduras, and possibly in Mexico, where his stepfather is from. The countries, he said, “need investment into entrepreneurs to create new business and economic opportunities.”

He appreciates that the program was open to non-business majors, and says his background in humanities gives him a more global perspective on things.

“I had the opportunity to learn about the cultures, customs, traditions and languages of countries around the world, which is important for the next generation of leaders,” Guillen said.

Program Overview

At Furman, we offer degrees in Asian Studies, Chinese Studies and Japanese Studies.

Choose your degree
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Students covered in paint after participating in holi

Student Experiences

The Furman Advantage guarantees every student an unparalleled education that combines classroom learning with real-world experiences and self-discovery.

Discover our Experiences

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Students walking to the place of peace
Studying Diversity

Explore the cultures, histories, and intellectual traditions that shape people’s different experiences in a growing, pluralistic world.

Study Diversity

Meet our Faculty

Our innovative, team-based advising model provides a community of expert mentors to help guide students along their path.

Meet our Faculty
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The Place of Peace during morning hours

Facilities & Resources

Experience Asia—without leaving our campus.

Visit our Facilities & Resources

books in the Asian Studies reading room
study away programs
exchange opportunities in Japan

Contact Us

Have a question? We're here to help.

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