Asian Studies

Program Type: Cluster and Certificate

Faculty in the Asian Studies Graduate Cluster (ASGC) offer comprehensive yet focused exposure to Asian cultures, histories and societies with an emphasis on transdisciplinary research and methodologies. The program trains students in advanced research and interdisciplinary studies across the humanities and social sciences. Specializations offered include Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, South and Southeast Asian, and Vietnamese culture, history, literature, media studies, and political sciences; Buddhist Studies; Hinduism; the arts of China, Japan, South Asia, and the Himalayan region; and modern Asian Politics.

Students interested in pursuing a PhD in Art History, Communication Studies, Comparative Literary Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, History, Music, Performance Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, and Sociology are encouraged to find a second intellectual “home” in this interdisciplinary cluster. The cluster’s curriculum is meant to lead students through structures that are central for understanding the past, present, and future of Asian traditions and societies. It is by taking courses with ASGC faculty, and by interacting in a lively and consistent way at ASGC sponsored events and activities, at all levels, that graduate students can create and foster an intellectual community of scholars interested in Asia from a variety of perspectives, beyond narrow disciplinary confines that too often relegate the study of Asia to the margins of training and research.

There are many different ways for faculty and students to participate in the intellectual life of the cluster. Many ASGC events, such as visiting lecturers and conferences, are open to all members of the University. Seminars taught by ASGC faculty are open to graduate students across the University. We encourage all students, faculty, and staff of Northwestern to learn more about our research and activities by participating in our public events.

See Asian Studies Cluster and Certificate Requirements for specific courses and procedures needed to complete this program. Additional information about ASGC requirements and how to become a cluster member can be found on the Asian Studies Cluster website.

How to Participate

Matriculating graduate students interested in participating in this cluster should indicate their interest when they apply to their respective graduate programs. Current graduate students interested in participating in this cluster should contact Professor Haydon Cherry at

Who to Contact

Please contact the program director, listed below, with questions about this program. Or, explore the Asian Studies website for more information.

Haydon Cherry
Assistant Professor of History