Asia, a vast, culturally and linguistically diverse region, is home to half the world's population. Study of his region requires a broad scope as well as specific study of one or more societies within it. Asia is divided conventionally into five subregions: East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, and Western Asia. Asian Studies combines training in Asian languages with study of the cultural, social, economic, and intellectual complexity of these subregions. While the program is new, it has deep roots. Asian students have come to Knox for nearly a century. Regular courses in Asian history began in the 1960's and Japanese language in the 1980's. Current members of the Knox faculty have lived and engaged in research in India, Thailand, the Middle East, China, and Japan.