About our Logo

At first blush, the Asian Studies logo suggests to many a lotus flower, with its symbolization of purity, non-attachment and enlightenment in Buddhist tradition. The design (courtesy of Asian Studies MA student in Japanese Literature and Visual Culture and graphic designer extraordinaire Julien Butterlin) does indeed gesture in this direction, but the flower depicted is in fact that of Camellia sinensis or Thea sinensis, the tea plant whence all true teas are derived. A genus of flowering plants in the family TheaceaeCamellia sinensis is used to harvest white teagreen teaoolongpu-erh tea and black tea. Tea is the second-most widely consumed beverage in the world (after water), and has played and continues to play such a central role in all Asian cultures that it was a natural choice to symbolize the diverse Asian languages, literatures, cultures, histories, and religions represented in the Department of Asian Studies.

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