Friday, March 19, 2010

Query about Asian Studies PhD‏

This just in from Kips (origins unknown):
Dear Face,

Love your blog-- it's often over my head, but it's exciting anyway.

I have a BA in East Asian Studies (concentration: Japanese Literature), and I'd like to get a PhD. My area of interest is Buddhist cuisine and tea ceremony, particularly in Japan. I realize this is a very specialized field, so I can't expect to find a professor to study with, who focuses on this particular subject matter. I have been compiling a list of Anthropology & Sociology professors to contact, those who are focused on Japan and its culture. I wonder how far I should branch out. Do you think I should approach professors of religion, history, literature, linguistics and things like that, even though they are not in the fields of my primary interest?

What do you think I should look for in a professor?

Also, do you know where I could find a ranking of East Asian Studies programs? You made a list of major programs in your 8/19/09 post. Are there any you'd like to add to it, and/or do you have any comments on it?

Thank you for your input and generosity; I value it highly!



Jarvis32 said...


Hmm.... Buddhist cuisine and tea ceremony. Sounds pretty specific. But you shouldn't worry about finding an adviser who studies the exact same thing as you. As long as he/she is a specialist in your general field (eg, Japanese Buddhism), you should be fine with anyone. It comes down to a) where you want to study, and b) which professors you think you are most likely to get on with.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much!