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East Asia Regional Alliance Task Force
The Regional Alliance for East Asia

This region--especially China and Japan--is of growing interest to the project's participating colleges, many of which recently received grants from the Freeman and Luce Foundations to strengthen study of and in Asia. Supported by these grants, colleges from across the Global Partners network are hiring Asianists, strengthening curricular offerings, sending faculty to the region, organizing faculty exchanges, and starting student programs. Much of this activity seems to focus on faculty development; these colleges hope to create student demand for programs in Asia by developing faculty interest in the region.

These developments could benefit from collaboration among the Global Partners schools. Since East Asian studies is often a new field, many colleges are feeling their way through unknown territories and challenges; they could learn from each other if they collaborate on their experiences. It is also a large and complex field, involving many cultures and academic disciplines, but few of our colleges are able to have more than one or two experts on their faculties. Sharing these experts' knowledge and experience will help all of the colleges strengthen their curricula and programming. Finally, off-campus study and faculty development in the region is challenging and expensive; colleges could save expenses by sharing information and programs.

The task force strongly encourages Global Partners colleges to join AsiaNetwork, which provides important opportunities for member colleges and scholars, including faculty development, consulting, and networking.

The task force has pursued three lines of work and produced materials you can find on this web site:

Off-Campus Study report
We asked the Global Partners colleges which off-campus programs they used in China and why. This report summarizes their comments and identifies the marks of a good program in China for liberal arts students. It can be used for advising students and college planning.

Campus resources directory
We have collected information from colleges about their resources for teaching about East Asia, including faculty, majors, professional development opportunities, and art collections. Practically, it can encourage collaboration and sharing of resources such as library collections and visiting speakers. Strategically, it can illustrate patterns and trends concerning Asian teaching and scholarship.

As mentioned above, collaboration can help liberal arts colleges engage with East Asia. This paper identifies the advantages of collaboration, some current and future models, and some obstacles. (Acrobat Reader required.)

Minutes of the task force's meetings are available.

For more information on the East Asia Regional Alliance, please contact Associated Colleges of the Midwest, at or 312/263-5000.


updated 11/22/05

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