Boston University is home to a vibrant community of scholars and students of Asia working across the university in disciplines ranging from language, literature, music, archeology, and philosophy to geography, politics, and public health. BU’s Asia-related resources are among the largest and most comprehensive in the northeastern United States, and BU scholars, students, and alumni have made significant contributions to the study of Asia at both the national and international levels.

» Read the welcome letter from Eugenio Menegon, Director

» Learn More about our landmark undergraduate degree program

» Explore our Study Abroad programs

» Read our Fall 2013 Newsletter

» Mark your calendar for Asian Studies events

Asia and the City

In 2013-14, BUCSA’s theme is “Asia and the City.” Asia has seen the earliest examples of urbanization in the world, and yet Asian cities today struggle to maintain their historical identities, while modernizing at a neck-breaking speed, largely following Western models. More than 60 percent of Asian populations today live in cities, and the six largest urban agglomerations in the world  (between 35 and 24 million inhabitants each) are all in Asia: Tokyo, Guangzhou, Jakarta, Shanghai, Seoul, and Delhi.

The challenges and opportunities of urbanism in Asia are staggering, and yet exciting. Population migration from rural to urban areas, pollution, and excessive use of natural resources strain existing infrastructures, the traditional urban fabric, and local social compacts, forcing political leaders and urban planners to find new technical and social solutions. Historic preservation of old districts and yearning for futuristic architecture need to be balanced in a daily struggle of diverging interests. Cities are also the sites where most cultural production happens, where old and new identities are made and remade every day, where new forms of sociability are invented combining millennial traditions with global trends.  Presentations by architects and urban planners, documentary screenings, workshops in collaboration with other BU centers, musical and cultural events, and more, form our year-long thread, illuminating the multifaceted aspects of this important topic. Please check our Upcoming Events section to follow our “ASIA AND THE CITY” activities, as well as many other events!