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Kenyon College


Collection Development Policy: Asian Studies


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Karen Greever
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Asian Studies Collection Development Policy


The Asian Studies Program at Kenyon offers a concentration that incorporates a variety of courses in history, religion, anthropology, and language. The program also sponsors films, invites speakers to the College, and promotes other social and cultural events to stimulate campus awareness of the societies of East and Southeast Asia, India and its neighbors, and the Islamic world.

With Asia as its point of reference, the curriculum encourages students to deal with Asian peoples as actors on the scene of regional and world history, rather than as objects of non-Asian peoples’ enterprises and observations. An important goal of the concentration is the development of critical understanding of the ways in which people of the interrelated regions of Asia have historically defined and expressed themselves.

All of the faculty in this program have appointments in the disciplines. The collection in Asian Studies should support, above all, the teaching of these faculty in their various departments when this teaching is about Asia. We should aim as a long term goal to support all these courses at least at theStudy or Instructional Support Level (3). In addition, certain faculty, particularly in history, require students in some classes to utilize primary research materials, and in those areas we may need to acquire microfiche or other collections of primary research materials that achieve Research Level(4).


Our greatest regional concentration is in China, with a historian, two language or literature teachers, and one person in religion. India and its environs, however, are a close second in emphasis, as we have a historian, a person in religion, and now a person in English who teaches literature from or about that part of the world. Central Asia, Japan, and Southeast Asia represent areas that employ fewer faculty resources, but still require support. Please note that Islamic Asia constitutes a strong focus in our program - including especially Central Asia, South Asia, and Insular Southeast Asia.

Above all, since our mission statement emphasizes comparative work, we should have a generally strong collection about Asia, at least at a Basic Information Level (2) even about areas such as Korea and elsewhere on which we do not offer courses. We offer courses about Asian Art History that span much of Asia. Although we do not have an Asianist on the permanent faculty in Political Science, politics is so centrally related to religion, history and anthropology that it should be part of any strong, general Asian Studies collection.

Asians in diaspora, especially in Britain and the Americas, constitute another subject on which we should have basic information, since cultural relations and social realities are increasingly global, and the subject matter of our courses often spills outside of geographic Asia.


We should subscribe to the major journals in Asian Studies and maintain our subscription to the Bibliography of Asian Studies on-line. We should collect current monographs as they are published. We should collect microfiche or other formats useful for primary research in specified topics, as well as maps, both of which support teaching in important ways. We should keep encyclopedic and reference materials current, as well as so-called source books. Increasingly, these may be in CD or DVD formats for easy searching and storage.

There is a strong interest in film in our program in that the language courses use these, the teacher in English uses film about South Asia, and we have offered courses about film and performance, twice in fact, as our capstone senior seminar. We should have films that focus on traditional cultures and histories, and also those that examine contemporary life and change. Building the film collection on contemporary Japan is currently the focus of the MLL Japanese faculty.

Finally, note that courses offered in English (South Asia) and in anthropology (Southeast Asia) both utilize literature, so novels, memoirs, and poetry about these two regions are also important to support teaching.


All of these materials should be in English, unless teachers in MLL (Chinese and Japanese) request things in the languages they teach.


China, India, Central Asia, Japan, and Southeast Asia, Islamic Asia including especially Central Asia, South Asia, and Insular Southeast Asia.


Since our courses span a period from pre-history through the present, it is difficult to specify narrow chronological guidelines.


Kenyon Special Collections has no significant collections in these areas.


Refer to our web page for specific online databases used by students and faculty in this department. Consort and Ohiolink are also valuable resources used by the department.


This policy was created May 1999 by Rita Smith Kipp, Chair of Asian Studies.  It was revised in June 2010.


Varied, including: BL, BQ, DS, HQ, HX, JQ, N, NK, PL

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