Department of Asian Studies

UBC’s Asian Studies Department is the flagship Asian Studies department in Canada and is widely acknowledged as one of the finest in North America. It has over 20 regular faculty members, specializing in the languages, literature, religion, thought, and history of East and South Asia. It offers instruction in multiple Asian languages (Cantonese, Modern Chinese, Classical Chinese, Modern Japanese, Classical Japanese, Korean, Hindi-Urdu, Persian, Punjabi, and Sanskrit) and a wide range of courses on the cultures of East, South, and Southeast Asia.

Master's Students
Doctoral Students
Graduate Degrees Awarded

Research Supervisors

Name Research Interests
Abedinifard, Mostafa Literature and literary studies; modern Iran; Iranian/Persianate studies through fiction, drama, poetry, cinema, andnonfiction
Ahmed, Rumee Islamic studies; Human rights, justice, and ethical issues; Islam; Muslims; Religion; Law; Theology; ethics; Philosophy
An, Ji-yoon Korean cinema, K-drama, Rise of Hallyu, Diasporic cinema, Diasporic identity, Identity and cultural flows, Monsters of different cultures
Bailey, C. D. Alison pre-modern literature; fiction and literary criticism
Baker, Donald Leslie Humanities and the arts; Korean History; Confucian Philosophy; Religion in Korea; science in pre-modern Korea; Kwangju Uprising of 1980
Chen, Jinhua East Asian state-church relationships, monastic (hagio/)biographical literature, Buddhist sacred sites, relic veneration, Buddhism and technological innovation in medieval China, and Buddhist translations
Chiu-Duke, Josephine Asian history; History of Major Eras, Great Civilisations or Geographical Corpuses; Chinese and Taiwanese history; liberal democracy; political thought and institutions
Duffy, Kay Asian history; Literary or Artistic Works Analysis; Literary or Artistic Work Dissemination or Reception Contexts; Social Determinants of Arts and Letters; Arts and Cultural Traditions; Early Medieval China; Premodern Chinese Literature; Sinographic Sphere
Fulton, Bruce Literary translation, Modern Korean fiction, women
Hoffmann, Alexandra Literature and literary studies; Classical Persian Literature
Hur, Nam-Lin Japanese, cultural foundations, religion, international relations
Kadir, Aynur Documentation, conservation and revitalization of Indigenous cultures and languages, Uyghur literature, musical traditions and cultural practices, global indigeneity from the Uyghur in China to Coast Salish and Six Nations in Canada, transnational Indigenous diplomacy, safeguarding and revitalization of languages and cultural heritage
King, Ross Historical linguistics, diachronics, and dialectology; Korean philology; history of Korean literary culture; Korean historical linguistics; Korean dialectology; history of the Sinographic Cosmopolis
Laffin, Christina Humanities and the arts; premodern Japanese literature; medieval Japanese history; women's writing; Japanese women's history; travel writing; autobiography; Japanese poetry; Literacy; socialization; wet nursing; narratology
Laird, Colleen Japanese media and gender studies; Gendered image production, gendered reception, and women in industry; Video games, new media, streaming media, animation (anime), and comics (manga); Paratexts: distribution, exhibition, and production materials; Film theory, genre theory, transnational cinemas and star texts, and feminist and queer theory
Lynn, Hyung Gu Asian history; popular culture, migration, colonialism, globalization, development
Main, Jessica Buddhism, Ethics, and Human Rights; Modern Buddhist Institutions, Law, and Governance; Buddhists and Buddhist Institutions Active in Modern Society: Social Welfare; Healthcare and Healing; Protest Movements; Rehabilitation, Incarceration and Corrections; Youth Culture, Physical Culture, and Scouting; Modern Japanese Religions and Society; Japanese True Pure Land Buddhism
Mostow, Joshua Scott Inter-relations between text and image, especially in Japanese culture, Japanese women
Nakamura, Fuyubi Social and cultural anthropology; Museum studies (Museology); Visual theory, visual culture and visual literacy; Globalization and culture; Environment, space and place; Anthropology of art; museum studies (working as curator at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC); material and visual culture; Contemporary Japanese calligraphy; Indigenous cultures, especially Ainu; disaster and memory, especially in the context of the Great East Japan Earthquake (3.11).; contemporary Asian art and culture
Naqvi, Naveena Persianate world; Non-courtly Persographic writers in regional contexts during early colonial rule; History of early modern and modern South Asia; History of political Islam; gender and sexuality; Hindustani music
Oberoi, Harjot Singh South asia, how classical empires shaped the British Raj in India, critical theory, the formation of private libraries, law and society, transnational cultures, and complex systems
Orbaugh, Sharalyn modern Japanese culture (literature, film, manga, animation, kamishibai); East Asian women’s issues; anti-racist pegagogy, Japanese narrative and visual culture
Prange, Sebastian History, maritime trade, Indian Ocean, India, piracy, Islam
Rea, Christopher Chinese literatures; Asian history; Chinese literature; Cinema; Print culture; translation; Humor
Rusk, Bruce Asian history; Literary or Artistic Work Analysis; Social Determinants of Arts and Letters; Arts and Cultural Traditions; Exegesis and Sacred Text Critics; Lexicography and Dictionaries; Authentication Studies; Confucianism; Early Modern China; material culture
Sathaye, Adheesh early medieval Sanskrit drama, aesthetics, and narrative literature; Sanskrit epics, Marathi devotional performance traditions, and theories of textual production, performance, and folkloristics; South Asian folklore, narrative theory, and cultural studies
Shakya, Tsering confluence of politics, ethno-national identity and religious practice in cultural production and social transformation across both historical and contemporary Tibet and the Himalayas; contemporary minority policy and social media in the PRC.
Sherpa, Pasang Climate change and Indigeneity among Himalayan communities, Nepal and the Himalayas, Environment
Shin, Leo Later imperial China
Siddiqui, Hasan Zahid Early Modern South Asia
Sunar, Kiran literature, religion, and culture in Punjab
Thobani, Sunera Critical race, postcolonial and feminist theory
Wu, Helena Critical identity, ethnic and race studies; Media, visual and digital culture; Critical film studies; Theories of cultural studies; Globalization and culture; Other cultural studies, n.e.c.; Hong Kong cinema, literature and culture; Asian screen cultures; Media narratives; Creative industry and spectatorship; Identity and cultural flows; critical theory; postcolonialism; Thing theory
Yang, Renren Comparitive Literature; Modern Chinese Popular Culture; 20th-and 21st-century Chinese culture; Modern Chinese literature; Modern Chinese cinema; Literary and media analysis; Literary celebrity and social media; Time-travel imagination in East Asia; Surveillance narrative and cinema; Communication in the age of digital culture
Yi, Christina Asian history; Cultural Studies; genre; Japanese colonial repatriates; Language politics; Linguistic nationalism; Modern/Contemporary Japanese literature; National identity; Postcoloniality; Resident Koreans; “Repatriation literature” (hikiage bungaku); “returned” Nikkei


Parboti Roy

Doctor of Philosophy in Asian Studies (PhD)



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