University of Minnesota
Asian Languages & Literature

Asian Languages and Literatures

Department of Asian Languages and Literatures


  • Fulbright Scholar Peter Williams Not Monkeying around in China ​


    ​Peter Williams on Safari during his study abroad, Tanzania, summer 2013

    Peter Williams, former student in Asian Languages and Literatures, has received a prestigious Fulbright Research Award to study the endangered golden snub-nosed monkeys of west central China. Graduating in 2014, Peter was an honors student majoring in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior; he also had minors in Chinese and Music. For his research he will be using a combination of GPS, GIS, and remote sensing technologies to understand better how to protect the monkey's habitat and conserve the species. In the first semester he will be taking classes at China West Normal University in Nanchong, Sichuan in preparation for his study. In the second semester, he will conduct field work in a national nature reserve in rural Sichuan, working with researchers from China West Normal University who are studying this monkey.

    Readers may remember Peter from his stellar presentations in the Chinese Bridge Speech contests over the last few years (first prize in 2012), which included his performance on the two-stringed Chinese instrument, the erhu.


    ​Golden snub-nosed monkeys, Qinling mountains China (source: C. P. Groves, 2005: Mamal Speices of the World. Baltimore: John Hopkins UP, 174)

    Once widespread, golden snub-nosed monkeys are now endangered and are only found in pockets of Sichuan, Gansu, Hubei, and Shaanxi. Hunting has been banned since 1975, but habitat loss from logging is a continuing threat.

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    August 15th, 2014
  • Joe Allen Wins Levenson Book Prize!

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    June 6th, 2014
  • Japanese Students Take Home the Prizes

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    May 1st, 2014

Asian Languages and Literatures is a dynamic and innovative department committed to the study of the languages and cultural phenomena of East, South, and Southeast Asia. The program encourages breadth of perspective and rigorous engagement with specific materials. General theoretical issues inform all areas and topics researched or taught in the department.

Language Programs

Language learning is of vital importance to successful research in the Asian world. Our teaching staff explores and implements new methodologies in second-language acquisition at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Currently, we offer Arabic, Chinese, Hindi-Urdu, Hmong, Japanese, and Korean.
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The undergraduate and graduate programs incorporate the best of traditional models of area studies as well as challenge these by encouraging comparative approaches and perspectives. Our undergraduate major requires students to attain advanced language skills, high levels of cultural literacy, and methodological sophistication. The PhD program in Asian Literatures, Cultures, and Media (ALCM) is designed to advance the fields of Asian studies and the humanities in general. See the specific areas covered in the program.


U of M receives $900,000 to support Chinese studies

We are now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 Middle East Outreach Consortium Scholarship.

2014 Story of Korea

Register for the 2014 KoreaStory event.