Instructors use a wide variety of active learning methods including film, class discussions and projects, multi-media presentations and exploring local Asian cultural/historical sites.
A major focus of our Asian studies courses is to develop cultural awareness and deeper appreciation for the cultures one of the largest immigrant groups in the Greater Vancouver region.
Like our students, our excellent faculty hail from different parts of the globe and bring their “lived” experiences in Asian cultures to their classes.
Asian Studies students can use their knowledge to work in settings requiring cultural awareness of Asian communities as well as with Pacific Rim businesses and organizations.
Select a course below to see full descriptions. (#) Indicates amount of credits per course
Simon Nantais (PhD, MA, BA)
After completing his B.A. in History at the University of Ottawa, Dr. Nantais taught English and French in Japan on the JET Programme.
After four years in Japan, he returned to complete a M.A. in History at the University of Ottawa and a Ph.D. in modern Japanese history at the University of Victoria.
His research on Canada’s relations with Japan and on Japanese nationality law has been published in academic journals. He is presently working on a manuscript that examines the history of Koreans residing in Japan during the American Occupation of Japan (1945-1952).
Since 2011, he has been teaching a variety of courses at SFU, KPU, UFV, and the University of Victoria on Japanese, Chinese, East Asian, and world history, as well as thematic courses on World War II in Asia, the environment, food and drink, and foreign relations. Dr. Nantais has been teaching at Alexander College since 2015.
Lewis Cheng (PhD, BA)
Dr. Cheng received his PhD of History at Peking University. He has also taught at the University of South Carolina, Columbia College, and other post-secondary institutions, and was a full professor at Beijing Normal University. Dr. Cheng has been invited to give speeches at many universities and conferences in Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America.
Irene Iwasaki (MA, MEd, BEd, BA, TESL)
Irene was born in Vancouver and completed a BA (English Literature) and BEd (Secondary English; Secondary Japanese) at SFU. She also has an MA (Japanese Studies) from the University of Sheffield, and an MEd (Educational Technology) from UBC.
Having a great need to explore outside of Burnaby, she travelled to as many places around the world that her wallet would allow her to, and settled in Japan to live, work and study. She taught EFL and Japanese Studies at university in Japan and is also a published author of ESL textbooks and academic articles.
At Alexander College, Irene has worked in the Writing Centre, taught EAP, and is currently teaching Japan-related courses in the ASIA department.
Zoudan Ma (MA, BA)
Zoudan Ma completed his undergraduate studies at Peking University. He received a MA in History at UBC. He is currently a PhD candidate in Asian Studies,UBC.
He studies the histories of China, Korean, and Japan. His scholarly interest is about daily lives. In his current project, he seeks to understand how people survived and thrived during wartime seventeenth-century Northeast Asia.
At Alexander College, he teaches survey courses about China.