Reading Asian Studies in FASS: What to Expect


The Asian region is rich and diverse in culture, religion, history and language. As the region transforms politically and economically, its influence and significance increasingly extend to the other parts of the world.

The Asian Studies is for those who are seeking an area of study that allows them to gain an understanding of the region, its traditions and transformation while simultaneously assessing its role within the context of the world.

FASS provides an extensive range of programmes to equip our students with the skills and opportunities to study an area of their choice in-depth. Offered by various departments, these programmes comprise Chinese Language, Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, Malay Studies, South Asian Studies and Southeast Asian Studies.

Chinese Language

The Chinese Language programme curriculum offered by the Department of Chinese Studies focuses on three aspects namely the Chinese language and linguistics as well as Chinese-English translation.

Students can look forward to the Visiting Scholar Programme, also offered in the Chinese Studies programme, whereby eminent scholars and distinguished visitors such as famous writers are often invited to teach in the department on a short-term basis.

Over the course of study, students stand to gain from insightful sharing sessions and modules that will introduce them to the development of Chinese literature that originates from ancient times to the Qing Dynasty in CL2121 History of Chinese Literature or uncover topics and issues behind real-life anthropologistic scenarios in CL2291 Chinese Anthropolinguistics among many others.

To find out more about other modules, click here.

Chinese Studies

Also offered by the Department of Chinese Studies, the programme focuses on three prongs – Chinese literature, History and Philosophy.

Students will be trained in both classical and modern Chinese Studies through modules such as CH2223 Chinese Fiction that covers fictional narrative tradition or CH2244 Chinese Women: History & Literature that will give an idea of the life of women in pre-modern and modern eras.

To find out more about other modules, click here.

Japanese Studies

The Department of Japanese Studies is the largest area studies departments devoted to the study of Japan in the Asia-Pacific region.

Other than being exposed to a broad range of disciplines, students will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture as they interact with the Japanese community in Singapore.

In modules such as JS2230 Itadakimasu – Food in Japan, students will evaluate the ways that food influence Japan’s state policies, international conflicts and its national identity or study how entrepreneurship determines the dynamics of the country’s economy in JS 227 Entrepreneurship: Self-made in Japan.

To find out more about other modules, click here.

Malay Studies

The Department of Malay Studies adopts a multidisciplinary and comparative approach that covers the broad issues of the Malay society and Southeast Asia.

From learning about issues that concerns the representation of Malay women and men in various socio-cultural and institutional contexts such as in MS3216 Gender in Malay Societies to uncovering themes, ideas and values reflected in classic Malay films in MS4207 Malay Film, students will gain scholarly knowledge and a better understanding of their history and cultural identity within the modern wold context and its challenges.

To find out more about other modules, click here.

South Asian Studies

The South Asian Studies programme offered by the Department of South Asian Studies seeks to provide a broad understanding of the region that comprises India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives which is crucial for dealing with the region in the 21st century – a time of rapid transformations.

Examples of modules include SN2280 Marriage, Sex, Love in South Asia which will harness students’ analytical skills by uncovering how love and sex are shaped politically, culturally, legally and ideologically or by learning the confluence between geography, environment and divinity in South Asia through the study of the region’s major river system in SN3278 Rivers of India: Divinity and Sacred Space.

To find out more about other modules, click here.

Southeast Asian Studies

The Department of Southeast Asian Studies offers an inter-disciplinary approach which draws on different disciplinary perspectives and methodologies from the humanities and social sciences.

Students can expect a truly, memorable experience as the Department incorporates theoretical modules with the chance to play and study the Javanese gamelan and classical Thai music.

Students will also be introduced to the culture of supernaturalism and its influence in Southeast Asia in FMA1201FS Thinking about the Supernatural in Southeast Asia and are able to investigate the ways illicit substances and behaviours are deeply imbricated in everyday life in Southeast Asia in SE2225 Forbidden Pleasures: Vice in Southeast Asia.

To find out more about other modules, click here.

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