Asian Studies


Welcome to the Asian Studies Program

Through a multidisciplinary approach, Asian Studies seeks an understanding of the societies, cultures, beliefs, politics, economies, and histories of the world’s most populous region. We study languages, documents, religious and philosophical texts, literature, film, the environment, and people’s accounts to gain knowledge and insights on the human experience in Asia and the Asian diaspora. The program at the U of L boasts internationally-respected specialists in religious studies, women and gender studies, languages and linguistics, sociology, management, economics, health sciences, anthropology, geography, and history. Asian Studies exemplifies the principles of Liberal Education. The U of L, Lethbridge, and Southern Alberta are home to a growing diversity of Asian cultures and communities. Join us for opportunities to study about, engage with, and even travel in Asia!

Program Highlights

Dr. Gideon Fujiwara - Upcoming Presentation

Please join Dr. Gideon Fujiwara (Asian Studies Program) for his Asian Heritage Month Presentation for the City of Brooks.

Thursday, May 20, 2021 12:00 to 1:00 pm via Zoom (link will be provided soon) 

Tsugaru in Japan, Asian Communities in Alberta: Conversations in Asian Heritage Month 

Prof. Gideon Fujiwara will begin his talk by discussing the importance of Asian Heritage Month in an Alberta context, recognizing the important contributions of Asian communities in this province. Gideon will address the recent surge in anti-Asian racism with responses informed by his own research as well as class discussions with his History students. He will then introduce Hirao Rosen, a merchant-class painter, ethnographic researcher, and Japan studies scholar of 19th-century Tsugaru in northeastern Japan, drawing on materials from his newly published book, From Country to Nation: Ethnographic Studies, Kokugaku, and Spirits in Nineteenth-Century Japan. Gideon chronicles how Rosen and fellow intellectuals inhabiting Hirosaki castle town of Tsugaru envisioned their community and nation within a larger globe, while they venerated spirits and navigated political and social change through the Meiji Restoration.  

Silva Baiton wins 2020 Michael Chan Prize in Asian Studies

Congratulations to Silva Baiton who has won the 2020 Michael Chan Prize in Asian Studies.  Silva's essay "Looking for the Bright Life:  Consuming Modernity in Late 20th-Century Japan" took first place and the essay was written for her HIST4040 Modernity in East Asia course in Fall 2019.  

The adjudicators comment is:  Ms. Silva Baiton's submission on consumerism in modern Japan receives the Michael Chan Prize in Asian Studies for 2020.  Her submission is a well written and interesting paper with good integration of historical and literary sources and use of illustrations.  The overall quality, originality and thoughtful examination of consumerism in modern Japan, as well as its historical antecedents, was the clear front-runner and was selected unanimously by the adjudicators (Profs. Andrea Amelinckx and Trevor Harrison).

Past winners: 

Jessica Knoop-Lentz - "Shades of Green:  A Consideration of the Multiple Perspectives on Buddhist Ecology" - 2019

Derek de Coste - "Remembering the Nanjing Atrocity" - 2016

New Silk Roads Academy - Mentoring Program

Dr. Glenda Bonifacio currently serves as a mentor with the New Silk Roads Academy.  This is an opportunity for young students to discuss with a mentor concepts that may enhance their research and direct them towards potential sources.  

Students can visit for further information or send an e-mail to:

Upcoming Book Release - Dr. Gideon Fujiwara

From Country to Nation tracks the emergence of the modern Japanese nation in the nineteenth century through the history of some of its local aspirants.  It explores how kokugaku (Japan studies) scholars envisioned their place within Japan and the globe, while living in a castle town and domain far north of the political capital.

Dr. Gideon Fujiwara follows the story of Hirao Rosen and fellow scholars in the northeastern domain of Tsugaru.  On discovering a newly "opened" Japan facing the dominant Western powers and a defeated Qing China, Rosen and other Tsugaru intellectuals embraced kokugaku to secure a place for their local "country" within the broader nation, and to reorient their native Tsugaru within the spiritual landscape of an Imperial Japan protected by the gods.

More details about the upcoming book can be found at From Country to Nation by Gideon Fujiwara | Hardcover | Cornell University Press.

Book Release - March 2020

The Department of Religious Studies is pleased to announce the upcoming book release by Dr. John Harding in March 2020.

Buddhism in the Global Eye
John S. Harding et al
ISBN:  9781350140639

This book will focus on the importance of a global context and transnational connections for understanding Buddhist modernizing movements.

Click here for more details.

Michael Chan prize

Michael Chan Prize in Asian Studies

Value: $1,000

Number: One

Eligibility-candidate pool:

Continuing or graduating full-time undergraduate or graduate students in any degree program with an interest in Asia-focused or Asia-related scholarship, research and projects.

Criteria-ranking the pool:

Outstanding achievement in a course project or paper on an Asian topic. Preference to projects that enhance Canada-Asia understanding and humanitarian cooperation.

Newsletters - Asian Studies Program

Check out our newsletters for news/events at the University of Lethbridge as well as our community.



Gender, Religion and Migration: Translocalities and Pandemics (Manuscript Submissions)

Dr. Glenda Bonifacio is the Guest Editor for the Gender, Religion and Migration: Translocalities and Pandemics which is part of the Religions Open Access Journal by MDPI.  Deadline for submissions is  July 31, 2021.  Contact Dr. Glenda Bonifacio ( for any questions re:  submission guidelines, etc.  

Career Bridge: Centre for Work-Integrated Learning and Career Development

Career Bridge


Put Your Knowledge to Work 

Whether you’re looking for a more in-depth learning experience by assisting with research projects on campus or by testing your knowledge in a real-life work setting, we can help! The University of Lethbridge is proud to offer you an exceptional opportunity to explore professional development through academic programs and services designed to give you a competitive edge in a fast-changing world.

You have a bright future — experience it via Career Bridge at uLethbridge!

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