This course, along with CAS202H1, addresses Asia empirically in contemporary global formations and as an idea in the global imagination. It introduces students to critical research methods and scholarship on Asia and its transnational formations. At the same time, it grapples with contemporary global problems, as well as Asian-Canadian connections posed by the unique configurations of politics, economy, culture and historical memory in contemporary Asian sites. Interdisciplinary analytical and research methods are introduced to provide area studies grounding and conceptual framing. This course provides preparation to delve into located Asia-based studies to ask universal questions on the nature of democracy, authoritarianism, markets, social justice, and the meanings and media for cultural expression. It informs students aiming to take more advanced courses on Asia and globalization and provides the foundation for the Contemporary Asian Studies major and minor. CAS201H1 introduces students to basic social science frameworks in the study of global Asia.