Area studies

In the humanities and social sciences, area studies are interdisciplinary fields of research and scholarship pertaining to a particular geographical, national/federal, or cultural region. The term exists primarily as a general description for what are, in the practice of scholarship, many heterogeneous fields of research. Area studies often involve the disciplines of history, political science, sociology, cultural studies, languages, geography, literature, and other fields. Interdisciplinary area studies became increasingly popular in the United States and Western scholarship after World War II. Fields are defined differently from university to university, and from department to department, but common area-studies fields include:

* African studies
** Egyptology

* American studies (in the United States this has traditionally referred primarily to North America and especially the U.S.)
** American Studies in Britain
** African American studies
** Appalachian studies
** Asian American studies
** Canadian studies
** Native American studies
* Latin American studies
** Chicano studies

* Asian studies
** Central Asian studies
** Middle Eastern studies (or Near Eastern studies)
*** Assyriology
*** Iranian studies
*** Islamic studies
*** Judaic studies
** East Asian studies
*** Sinology
*** Japanology
*** Korean studies
*** Okinawan studies
** South Asian studies
*** Indian studies
****Dravidology
** Southeast Asian studies
*** Burma studies
*** Thai studies
***Philippine Studies

* European studies
** Byzantine studies
** Classical studies
** Celtic studies (includes Irish, Scottish & Welsh studies)
** Dutch studies
** German studies
** Romance studies
** Scandinavian studies
** Slavic studies

* Pacific studies
**Australian studies
**New Zealand studies

Other interdisciplinary research fields such as women's studies (also known as gender studies), and ethnic studies (including African American studies, Asian American studies, Latino/a studies, and Native American studies) are not part of area studies but are sometimes included in discussion along with it.

Some entire institutions of higher education (tertiary education) are devoted solely to area studies such as School of Oriental and African Studies, part of the University of London, or the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies in Japan.

In contrast to cultural studies, area studies (e.g. Scottish and Irish studies) often include diaspora and emigration from the area studied.


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