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Area studies

In the humanities and social sciences, area studies is interdisciplinary research and scholarship pertaining to a particular geographical or cultural region. The term exists primarily as a general description for what are, in the practice of scholarship, many heterogeneous fields of research. Fields are defined differently from university to university, and from department to department, but common area-studies fields include:

  • Middle Eastern studies
  • Asian studies
    • East Asian studies
    • South Asian studies
  • African studies
  • Latin American studies
    • South American studies
    • Central American studies
  • Caribbean studies
  • American studies (in the United States this has traditionally referred primarily to North America and especially the U.S.)

Other interdisciplinary research fields, such as women's studies, gender studies, and African American studies, are not strictly part of area studies but are sometimes included in discussion along with it.

Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45