This course addresses Asia empirically in contemporary global formations and as an idea in the global imagination. It introduces students to concepts and theories central to scholarship on Asia and its transnational formations. It provides foundational theoretical and conceptual material to understand global issues as they play out in the politics, economies, cultures and contemporary social worlds of contemporary Asian sites. Interdisciplinary analytical and research concepts are introduced to provide area studies grounding. This course provides preparation to delve into deeper research on Asia connected to broad questions about the natures of democracy, authoritarianism, market formation, social justice, and the media of cultural expression. It informs students aiming to take more advanced courses on Asia and globalization and provides one part of the foundation for the Contemporary Asian Studies major and minor. CAS201H1 introduces the theoretical and conceptual frameworks that are explored through further grounded empirical case studies in upper year CAS courses.