Furman University Oral Histories
Jim Leavell Interview

Streaming Media


Jim Leavell Interview


Dr. Jim Leavell is the Herring Professor Emeritus of Asian History at Furman University. He retired in 2018, but continues to teach for Furman’s Osher Life-Long Learning Institute. He was the former director of the South Carolina Center for Teaching About Asia.


As a founding member of Furman's Asian Studies Department, Dr. Jim Leavell recounts the history behind Furman's adoption of a Non-Western curriculum (later called the Asian-African requirement) and subsequent establishment of an Asian Studies curriculum and department in the late 1980s. Between 1995-1998, Leavell held the position of Chair of Asian Studies. In this interview, Leavell also traces his journey to Furman and scholarly interests in studying Japanese history and culture.

This oral history is part of the Untold Journeys project.

Scholarship Type

Student Scholarship

Publication Date


City and State

Greenville, SC

Instructor(s) or Advisor(s)

Kylie Fisher

Additional Affiliated Department, Center or Institute

Asian Studies


Asian History | History


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Jim Leavell Interview