Skip to main content
Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

Director's Welcome

Dr. Ronnie LittlejohnWelcome to Belmont University's Asian Studies Program! Since 1999, Belmont has been a Regional Center of the Asian Studies Development Program of the East-West Center and a Tier One member of ASIANetwork, a consortium of more than 170 U.S. colleges committed to strengthening the Asian studies programming on their campuses. Belmont University received the 2010-11 Iris Award for furthering U.S.-Japan relations jointly presented by the Office of the Consul-General of Japan, the Southeast Conference of U.S./Japan Relations and the Japan America Society of Tennessee. 

Belmont has also been the host for the National Conference of the Asian Studies Development Program, the National Conference of the ASIANetwork, Nashville Sister City (Taiyuan, China), and the Southeastern Regional Conference of the Association of Asian Studies.

Belmont has received many grants to support its Asian Studies program, from such places as the United Board for Christian Higher Education, the Freeman Foundation, the Japan Foundation, the Chinese National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (a.k.a., Hanban), the CIES Fulbright Program, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Belmont is a host site for the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia workshops for pre-collegiate teachers in Tennessee.  Additionally, the Asian Studies Program has enjoyed the impactful ongoing support of generous individual donations from Ms. Brenda Bass (alumna, 2003), for whom the Bass Award in Asian Studies is named.

Belmont has hosted several visiting scholars from Asian for semester or year-long appointments on campus, as well as an annual stream of 10 to 15 Convocation Events each year focused on Asia through lecture, music, art, film and dramatic production. Belmont was the host together with the Documentary Channel, a TV service available to over 26 million homes through DirectTV and Dish Network, of the premier of  “Kimjongilia,” a documentary which chronicles the experience of five individuals who escaped from North Korea.  The filmmaker, NC Heiken attended the premier and met with Belmont students and faculty. 

Belmont students studying in the Asian Studies program have many opportunities.

  • Asian Studies students have worked through the program to receive prestigious Chinese Government Scholarships to study in China at both the undergraduate and graduate level, with full tuition, fees, living expenses, and stipends included.  Others have been chosen for the Japan Exchange Teaching Program to teach English in Japan for 2 to 5 years.  Others have been recipients of the Lumos travel award, the Gilman Scholarship, and the Rasmussen Scholarships.
  • Each summer, Belmont sponsors study abroad travel studies to China and Japan, as well as semester or year-long programs.
  • The program sponsors an Asian Studies session in the annual Belmont Undergraduate Research Symposium where students present their work each spring.
  • Students participate in a host of activities in the Nashville community including the Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival, the Cumberland River Dragon Boat Race, the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival, the Greater Nashville Chinese Association New Year’s Gala
  • Belmont alumni have an outstanding record of career advancement in Asia.  Four alumni currently have jobs teaching English in Japan, China, and Korea.  Another alumnus has worked in a position in the Office of the Consul-General of Japan. Still another has his own radio show in Japan.

Ronnie Littlejohn, Ph. D.
Director, Asian Studies
Professor of Philosophy
Director, ASIANetwork Mellon Faculty Enhancement Program