The Institute of East Asian Studies is an Organized Research Unit that serves as the focal point for all of UC Berkeley programs related to East Asia and the Pacific. The Institute comprises three area centers: the Center for Chinese Studies, the Center for Japanese Studies and the Center for Korean Studies, as well as the Center for Buddhist Studies, a Publications office, and several related programs (see below). Currently the Institute has approximately 65 core UCB faculty associates.

The Institute fosters the interdisciplinary study of East Asia, the Asian region, and Asia's relationship to the United States. It draws on a broad spectrum of Berkeley faculty in a variety of areas, including anthropology, architecture, art history, business, economics, East Asian languages and cultures, film studies, geography, history, journalism, law, public health, political science, psychology, social welfare, and sociology. The Institute provides a center where the findings of serious research and scholarship on East Asia can be related to public policy and contemporary affairs. It does this through its strong relationship with a variety of communities and organizations within and outside of academia, including business, journalism, government and policy, and the world of art and culture. This combination gives the Institute remarkable depth in its capacity to address both contemporary and historical issues.

In addition to the Centers listed above, the Institute unites other East Asian programs that serve the campus, region and nation, including:

IEAS is closely affiliated with Berkeley academic departments such as East Asian Languages and Cultures, History and Political Science, the East Asian Library, and other institutes and centers across campus. The Institute maintains strong independent ties with area centers around the world, and partnerships with universities across East Asia.


The activities of the Institute of East Asian Studies and its centers include:

  • support for research and teaching
  • international conferences
  • seminars and colloquia
  • publications
  • visiting scholars
  • student assistance
  • outreach to the public


The Institute of East Asian Studies promotes a trans-regional research agenda that is independent from, though complementary with, its component centers (which can be viewed separately in this database). Recent IEAS research efforts focus on Korea's pivotal role in East Asia over the last hundred years, China's new efforts to develop its higher education system, sustainable cities in East Asia, and "borders and neighbors/hubs and networks" across the region. IEAS focuses both on the traditional strengths of the faculty in the humanities and social sciences and bridges these disciplines with science and the professional schools, thereby deepening our understanding of the complex issues that have shaped, or are currently shaping, East Asia, one of the most dynamic regions of the planet.


The Institute of East Asian Studies sponsors a vigorous outreach program designed to benefit the K-12, business and professional communities, and the general public. It is also a national leader in developing resources for Chinese language programs at K-12 schools. It participates in an annual week-long summer institute with the UC Berkeley Office of Resources for International and Area Studies (ORIAS), and it partners frequently with the Berkeley Art Museum, San Francisco Asian Art Museum, Asia Society, World Affairs Council, as well as with regional school districts and other community groups.


Kevin O'Brien

(510) 642-2809

Staff Contact

Martin Backstrom

(510) 642-2815

Mailing Address

1995 University Ave.
Suites 510-520
Berkeley CA 94720-2318