Pacific Basin Institute

The Pacific Basin Institute is an interdisciplinary center devoted to the study of the art, culture, economics, politics, history, religion and current issues of the Pacific Ring of Fire, which includes nations that touch the Pacific Ocean.

The dynamic growth of many of the Pacific Basin nations over the past 60 years has permanently altered the culture and power balances of the 21st century. PBI attempts, through a variety of media, to present all of these countries, including the United States, as interdependent parts of a vast region where technology’s spread has canceled the past geographic isolations. Our scholarship and interests include East and Southeast Asia, Oceania, Australia, Latin America and North America.

The Pacific Basin Institute offers three main programming areas:

  • Lectures. Each semester, PBI presents a lecture series focusing on a particular issue that transcends borders. Past topics have included global perspectives on health and human rights, reimagining food in Asia and the Pacific, and gender and labor in Asia. PBI also works closely with the Oldenborg Luncheon Colloquia to present additional lectures of international interest.
  • Scholar-at-Risk. Starting in August 2016, we will begin a new program of hosting an international scholar or journalist at risk, inviting them to our campus for an academic year to provide a safe haven for working and interacting with students. The scholar or journalist will also pen one or more working papers to contribute to a new series.
  • Archive. Our extensive audiovisual library of film and other special collections offers materials touching upon almost every academic discipline. The archive is housed in Hahn 112 and 114, and can be searched via the BLAIS catalog (under “Location” choose “Pacific Basin Institute.”) PBI has also sponsored the publication of numerous books of historical significance to the Asia-Pacific Region.