University of Minnesota
Consortium for the Study of the Asias

Department Name


The Consortium brings together and supports a variety of evolving scholarly explorations, faculty-student collaborations, research projects and curricular partnerships in the broad area of Asian Studies. For more information on the projects, click in the links below or contact the faculty leaders.

Mapping Transitions through the Vehicle of the Arts

Faculty Leader: Thomas Rose (Art)

A series of initiatives designed to enhance collaboration in the field of Chinese Art among a consortium for educational and art institutions in the Twin Cities and partnering institutions in China. Signature programs include: the teaching of collaborative courses; cultural exchanges through visits of Chinese scholars and artists to Minnesota and American scholars to China. Thematically, the initiatives are grounded in the examination of Artistic Transitions at three intersections of time:

  • the multiple transitions of the contemporary era;
  • the Ming-Qing transitions of the 16th and 17th centuries;
  • the transitions which accompanied the introduction of Buddhism to China.

The project is a collaboration between Asianists at the University of Minnesota, Carlton College, St. Olaf College, University of St. Thomas, Macalester College, and College of St. Benedict/St. John's University.


Degree-seeking, advanced undergraduates and graduates students are invited to apply for funding for internship opportunities where the student creates a research or artistic project as a means to further promote the collaborations outlined by Mapping Transitions through the Vehicle of the Arts.


Local galleries and museums will provide venues for creative output wherein members of the collaborative will seek to develop mechanisms for sustaining an evolving partnership between Minnesota students, faculty, and artists and their counterparts in China.


Critical Asian Studies

An Institute for Advanced Studies Research Collaborative

Faculty Leaders: Hiromi Mizuno (History), Chris Isett (History), Travis Workman (Asian Languages and Literatures)

This collaborative seeks to develop a new model for Asian Studies for our current epoch often referred to as “the Asian century.” We intend to develop new intellectual, pedagogical, and outreach models for Asian Studies. Our consideration of Asian studies will include the geographical areas of South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and diasporic Asia. Our work will be interdisciplinary and consider the ways in which an approach that favors discipline-based methodology over nation-state based empiricism can enliven the field of Asian studies in the US. In other words, we will use the collaborative to develop an intellectual vision for the field of Asian studies suited to concerns of this century. The collaborative intends to focus on three directions for the study of Asia: Intra- Asian dynamics and movement – the movement of media, technology, and capital; environmental studies in Asia; and a critical examination of the category, “Asia.” In developing these thematic areas of inquiry, we will challenge established theoretical paradigms commonly used in the study of Asia; namely, postcolonial studies and the orientalist approach to the study of Asia that aligns theory with “the West” and empirical case study with “the East.”