AMST 110. Migrant Memoir. This course explores memoirs of migration (broadly conceived) through the interdisciplinary lenses of American Studies and ethnic studies. Students will learn how to read and analyze texts alongside the social, historical, and political contexts; and with a transnational and global view of the relationships between places, a critical focus on the meanings and realities of “America,” and a humanizing view of the complex personhood of migrant subjects.
AMST 127. Women and War. This course examines the impact of war on women’s lives and gendered logic and consequences of war. We will explore these and other related topics, such as race, sexuality, militarism, empire, labor, and activism through readings in feminist scholarship, literature, film, oral history, and other materials.
AMST 128 SC. Race, Space and Difference. This course is an introduction to critical scholarship on race and space in the United States. We will consider definitions of race and racism, and how the intertwining of race and differential access to space has shaped patterns of power and inequality. We pay special attention to the making and maintenance of national boundaries; spatial typologies within metropolitan areas; and the differential racialization of Asian Americans, Latinas/os, African Americans, and Native Americans. Readings and discussions are organized around spatial typologies including border, ghetto, suburb, and prison. Assignments provide opportunities to think critically about race, space, and inequality in the landscape.
ANTH 088. China: Gender, Cosmology, State. This course examines the anthropological literature on Chinese society. It will draw on ethnographic research conducted in the People’s Republic of China. Particular attention will be paid to the genesis of historical and kinship relations, gender, ritual, ethnicity, popular practice and state discourse since the revolution.
ASAM 022. Healing Justice (1/2 credit) – Fall 2018. Using an integrative and socio-centric approach to learning, this student-centered course draws from student projects to examine healing justice through feminist, anti-racist pedagogies and contemplative practices. In addition to identifying community resilience, research shows the impact of adverse childhood experiences, historical trauma, and chronic stress on the body and executive functions. Through community engagement, students will explore the potential of destressing, somatic, and compassionate pedagogies in interrogating the relationship among individual, interpersonal, and inter-organizational anger with viable generative sustainable systemic change.
ASAM 030. A Taste of Asian American Food Politics: An Exploration of Asian American Identity, Culture and Community Through Food. This seminar course will investigate Asian American identity, culture and community through the exploration of food. Notions of culture, politics, taste, authenticity, emotions and memory will be invoked through readings and eatings. This course will explore the origins of iconic “Asian” food such as Chop Suey and fortune cookies as well as investigate the relationship of Asian Americans to the labor of production of food and the use of food in Asian American literature. This course examines ideas of colonization, immigration, globalization, nationalism and transnationalism.
ASAM 077. Tattoos in American Popular Culture. This course examines how tattoos are depicted in U.S. popular culture and the meanings and significations that accompany these representations. Through close readings of texts and other visual materials, we will investigate how corporeal difference is constructed with regard to race, class, gender, sexuality, and belonging in the United States.
ASAM 077B. Tattoos: Aesthetics, Cultures, and Pasts in the United States. Survey course examines cultural interpretations of tattooing in the United States from the 19th century to the present. Addresses issues such as US racial formation, settler colonialism, nation-building, war, and American empire. Particular focus on the intersections of aesthetics and ideology as they pertain to cultural identity, group membership, abjection, and deviance within racialized, classed, and gendered social environments.
ASAM 082/SOC 082AA. Racial Politics of Teaching. This class examines how race and ethnicity are constructed in schooling from sociological, linguistic, and ethnic studies standpoints. Specifically, we will discuss how race and ethnicity are constructed in schooling and ways teachers/educators may refine their pedagogies in relation to race and ethnicity. Students will do a research project.
ASAM 084. Nonviolent Social Change. Asian American Studies emerged out of the longest student strike in the history of the United States. The third world liberation front used social protest to call for educational relevance and greater success to higher education. This class takes a comparative racial approach to examine the history, philosophy, and practice of nonviolent social change. Linking the local and global, this course draws from case studies in India, South Africa, Chile, Poland, United States, and Vietnam.
ASAM 085. Health Inequities: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. This interdisciplinary course explores select issues in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community health from a socio-ecological perspective. Through participatory teaching strategies, we will explore contemporary issues affecting health of underserved Southern California AAPIs through presentations from local physicians, policy makers, and community activists. Community project.
ASAM 086. Social Documentation and Asian Americans. Viewing of films and other documentary forms by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) for critique and discussion. Basic instruction in use of digital video technology to document social issues relevant to Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Community- project.
ASAM 090. Asian American and Multiracial Community Studies. Introduces students to studying and working beside Asian American and Pacific Islander communities through the exploration of the politics of place. Issues to be addressed in the course include ethical considerations of community projects and social topography as it changes in the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander diasporas. Course will be project-based and working with community-based organizations.
ASAM 094. Community Health. This course explores the struggle for social justice and health equality for and with underserved Asian American communities and Pacific Islander communities. Through participatory teaching strategies, the class will examine health care as a basic human right and analyze movements working towards eliminating disparities in health. Fulfills Pitzer social responsibility requirement.
ASAM 095. Asian Americans and Non-Profits. The class seeks to explore the intersections of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) activism and the non-profit industrial complex (NPIC). Through in-depth readings, case studies, field observations, writings, discussions, and guest speakers, students gain an understanding of the mechanisms and ideologies of non-profit organizations that serve, empower, and constrain AANHPI communities. In this class, students will learn skills applicable to a career in the non-profit sector. This class will focus heavily on community building amongst the class as an essential method for teaching and learning.
ASAM 102. Social Responsibility Praxis (1/2 credit) – Fall 2018. Using feminist pedagogies, this course explores social responsibility praxis through a community engagement project at an adult literacy program in Monterey Park. We will examine the ethical and political implications of language ideologies in the naturalization process and adult literacy for immigrant and refugee emergent English speakers. Transportation provided. Repeatable for credit. Class meets biweekly.
ASAM 103. Asian American Voices. This introductory course uses Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) experiences to explore the politics of silence, storytelling, and collective voice. Through feminist pedagogies and community-based learning, we will examine creating counterpublics and a sense of place amidst displacement. Class includes community engagement, co-creating an anthology, and public presentation.
ASAM 104. Asian American Foodways. This seminar course will investigate Asian American identity, culture, and communities through an exploration of Asian American foodways, particularly in relation to colonization, immigration, nationalism, and globalization. This course will examine the history and origins of iconic “Asian” food such as chop suey and fortune cookies, the relationship of Asian Americans to the labor of food production, and the use of food in Asian American literary and cultural productions. Students will research the history of an Asian restaurant or Asian food business for their final project. Participation in a restaurant field trip is required.
ASAM 105. Zines, Creativity, Community. (Spring 2016) This course examines do-it-yourself (DIY) politics through independently produced zines. We will focus on Asian American and queer zine subcultures to understand various aspects of contemporary media, including: production and consumption, representation and self-expression, identity-construction and place-making, creativity and resistance, and the relevance of print in an increasingly digital world.
ASAM 105B. Zines in the Asian Diaspora. This course explores self-published zines as a way to understand Asian diasporic experiences in various regions of the “Pacific World.” We will examine factors involved in transpacific movement and migration and how Asian diasporic communities choose to represent themselves through the medium of zines. By engaging in comparative analysis between creative narration and scholarly texts, we will investigate competing definitions of what it means to be “Asian.”
ASAM 106. Asian American Literature. This course will survey Asian American literature from the late 19th through early 21st centuries. Through memoir, fiction, drama, poetry, and essays by writers from several different ethnic groups (Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Indian, and Vietnamese), this course explores key literary and critical issues, such as aesthetics and activism, assimilation and exilic identity, immigration and diaspora, economic and cultural labor, intergenerational and gender conflicts, interethnic relations, and the intersections of race/ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.
ASAM 111. Pacific Islanders and Education. (Spring 2014) This course will explore various topics within Indigenous education. Through a variety of mixed methods, this seminar will examine previous and current educational policy and its affects on diverse Indigenous peoples. It will also examine education as a tool for empowerment, resistance, and healing within varied Indigenous communities. Course topics covered include: Native/Indigenous epistemology, decolonizing methodologies, settler colonialism, cultural reclamation, and critical pedagogy. In addition to the course materials, students will engage in service learning by partnering with the Saturday Tongan Education Program (STEP). Participating in STEP will allow students to actively participate in an Indigenous educational initiative that directly relates to the course content and discussions.
ASAM 112. Asian American Literature: Racial Form, Aesthetics, and Politics. By exploring the tensions between formal (aesthetic) and materialist approaches to Asian American literature, this course will examine the concept of Asian American “racial form” coined by literary scholar Colleen Lye. We will ask the following questions: What is the relationship between aesthetics and politics, and between Asian American literature and American literature at large? What is the role of literary experimentation in Asian American literary history? What does literary form have to do with constructions of identity and relations of power? What makes a text “Asian American literature,” and what are the ideal formal contours and thematic characteristics of Asian American literature?
We will read literary texts alongside criticism and theory as well as attend to the publication history and reception of each literary text. Lectures will provide historical and social context, but a more substantial portion of class time will be spent in discussion of the texts assigned for each class session.
ASAM 115. Theory and Methods (Fall 2018). As an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary field of study and knowledge production, Asian/American and Pacific Islander Studies uses a variety of research methods to address the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and class in the realms of politics, representation, identity, and community formation, among others. The course will provide a critical examination of important themes in Asian American history; contemporary issues facing Asian American communities in a time of accelerated economic, social, and political changes; and the relation of textual and cultural production to epistemology and states of being and feeling that respond to structures of power.
ASAM 120. Sex Work in the Philippines, Korea, Vietnam, and U.S.: Race, Gender, Nation. Are sex workers victims of human trafficking and colonial militarization? Are they active agents in negotiating with clients to meet their personal desires and economic needs? What is the relationship between sex, power, and consent? This course will provide a critical examination of sex work in the Philippines, Korea, Vietnam, and Asian diasporic communities in the U.S. We will explore various representations of the adults and children who participate in sex work in these sites, and the conflicting ways in which sexuality, femininity, masculinity, and race articulate with global political economies.
Lectures will provide historical and social context, but a more substantial portion of class time will be spent in discussion of the texts and films assigned for each class session.
ASAM 122. Diasporic Asian/American Popular Cultures: South & Southeast Asia. This course will examine popular cultural representations of and by South Asians and Southeast Asians in the diaspora, with a substantial but not comprehensive focus on U.S.-Asia relations. Media to be explored include film, television, theater, music, fiction, comics and graphic novels, and the internet. We will highlight the inextricable relationship between art/aesthetics and politics, taking a historical approach that considers the colonial, postcolonial, and neocolonial relations between Western and Asian countries.
ASAM 125/HIST 125AA. Introduction to Asian American History, 1850-Present: Survey course examines journeys of Asian immigrant groups (and subsequent American-born generations) as they have settled and adjusted to life in the United States since 1850. Address issues such as the formation of ethnic communities, labor, role of the state, race relations, and American culture and identity.
ASAM 128. Body Art in the Diaspora. (Spring 2016) Course introduces students to various body modification practices, with particular focus on regional developments in Asia, Pacific, and America. Key issues include: identity and community formation; agency, power, and social control; colonialism and post-colonialism; cultural property and appropriation; global circulations of bodies, aesthetics, and labor.
ASAM 130. Science, Technology, Asian America. This course explores the implications of Western science and technology on the Asian American experience. By interrogating how science has been defined in the “West” in relation to “non-Western” peoples, we will explore questions related to epistemology, racialization, migration, education, professionalization, and research, and the political stakes therein.
ASAM 134. South Asian American Experiences. (Fall 2016) This course will consider the question: How has the South Asian American subject been created? As a composite group, the South Asian American community represents a diverse array of ethno-national origins and experiences within the larger Asian and Pacific Islander American umbrella in the multicultural United States. By ruminating on the creation of South Asian American subjectivity as a diasporic and transnational phenomenon, this course will contemplate how local and globalized trajectories impact and shape the experiences of this community. Even as the course will attend to the larger phenomena of migration, displacement, law, and history, it will also reflect on the place of public and popular culture in shaping South Asian Americanness and as the forms of its expression. The course will use scholarly works, popular writing, fiction, multimedia, and online resources in thinking about the complexity of South Asian American experiential subjectivity. Though geared toward an understanding of South Asian Americanness, the greater goal of this course is to use the resulting awareness to better understand race, gender, sexuality, class, caste and religion, labor, and more, as they shape human experience.
ASAM 135. Race, Empire, Filipinx America (Fall 2017). Examines the interplay of historical, social, political, and cultural factors that have influenced, and continue to influence, Filipinx American experiences in the U.S., similarities and differences within the Filipinx American community, as well as with other Asian American and ethnic/racial groups, will be examined. Course includes a community engagement project.
ASAM 145. Asian North American Women Writers: Colonial Legacies. This interdisciplinary course examines fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction written by Asian North American women that focus on the cultural and political legacies of colonialism and militarization in Asia, particularly in Burma, Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, and the South Asian diaspora. We will explore themes throughout the quarter, including ethnic/gender formation, family and kinship relations, forms of labor, female sexuality, and gendered violence.
ASAM 150. Contemporary Asian American Issues. Survey of contemporary empirical studies focusing on Asian American experiences in the U.S. and globally; major themes include race, class, gender, sexuality, marriage/family, education, consumption, childhoods, aging, demography, and the rise of transmigration. Readings and other course materials will primarily focus on the period since 1965.
ASAM 160. Asian American Women’s Experiences. This course is an interdisciplinary examination of Asian and Pacific Islander American women. It will examine the history and experiences of Asian American women in the United States. The class will include both lecture and discussion and will cover various issues, such as gender roles, mass media stereotypes, Asian women’s feminism, and the impact of sexism and racism on the lives of Asian American women through education, work, and home life.
ASAM 171. Visual Culture at the Margins. This course will examine various forms of visual culture produced by, through, and within the intersections of aesthetics and marginality. We will approach the theme of “margins” in multiple and overlapping ways: (1) work produced by those who occupy marginalized positions in relation to dominant society (race, class, gender, sexuality); (2) marginalized forms of cultural production that exist outside the “official” sphere of institutionally sanctioned art, particularly ephemeral works located on the body, in public spaces, and over the internet; (3) work that push us to think about the margins of our aesthetic perception and our patience as an audience.
ASAM 175. Asian American Comics: Racial Politics. This seminar focuses on comics as a form of storytelling within Asian American communities and the politics of racial representation. How do Asian American comic writers situate themselves (and their narratives) within a US settler society structured by capitalism, heteropatriarchy and white supremacy? Readings will include comics and graphic novels by and about Asian Americans from a variety of ethnic and gendered subject positions, as well as works distributed by both mainstream, independent, and do -it-yourself publishers. Theoretical work that examines race and visuality, political economy, positionality and intersectionality, transnationalism, aesthetics, and affect will also be required.
ASAM 179A. Asian American Cultural Politics: Hip Hop. (Fall 2011) From Far East Movement’s rise to the top of the charts to Asian American dance crews headlining MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, these Asian Americans receiving mainstream recognition are just a slice of a larger rich history of Asian Americans and hip hop culture. But what these artists and these practices show us are the complex ways Asian Americans articulate their individual and collective identities through popular culture practices. By examining competing conceptions of what hip-hop is, where it comes from, who it belongs to and who belongs to it, we will explore how Asian American identities, communities, and experiences are shaped by the complex weaving of race, class, gender, power, authenticity, and place in the late twentieth and early twenty first century.
ASAM 179A. Asian American Communities. (Fall 2008) Examination of past and present issues for Asian American Communities in the U.S. Class will further demystify the ‘Model Minority Myth’ when looking at 2nd generation Asian Americans, their identity, and how a “success-driven” mentality within their communities pervades hidden issues on: 1) racism/ discrimination by other groups; 2) mental/ emotional stress issues in assimilating into American society; 3) generational conflict between parents; and 4) intra- and inter-ethnic conflict between groups. Class will provide implications on leadership and mobilization for the next generation of Asian Americans.
ASAM 179B. Asian Americans and the Law. (Fall 2008) Analyze the intersection of Asian American history to American Jurisprudence, especially Constitutional and Immigration law. In many regrettable instances, our legal system has been used to oppress Asians and Asian Pacific Americans. However, Asian Americans have used the courts to fight back for equality and justice, contributing immensely to the formation of Civil Rights in the United States. The class will attempt to tie in current events and contemporary issues to past legal struggles and victories. We will use actual court cases in the same manner that a law school course might to examine issues such as Immigration, Property Rights, Employment, Education, Hate-crimes, Racial Profiling, among others.
ASAM 179C. Beaches, Bikinis, and Bombs: Race & U.S. Empire in the Pacific Islands. (Fall 2018) Images such as beaches, luaus, and surfing are some of the most common representations of the Pacific Islands (also known as Oceania). However, there are other realities and narratives that exist, which complicate how we understand this region. Using an interdisciplinary historical approach, this course will examine the histories and cultures of the U.S. Pacific. Specifically, this course will focus on the themes of empire, gender, indigeneity, labor, militarization, race, and settler colonialism. By the end of the class, students will be able to challenge common representations of the Pacific Islands through their nuanced understanding of Oceania.
ASAM 179C. Queering Asian America. (Fall 2012) Using the concepts of diaspora and Queer Theory as a foundation, this course is an interdisciplinary exploration of the experience of Queer Asian American communities. We will look at the lives and issues that impact Queer and Asian American diaspora through film, video, performances, literature, contemporary art and community organizations. This course will investigate the complexity of intersectional identities of gender and sexuality that Asian American Queers face both within predominantly heterosexual Asian American Community, within the largely White Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersexed, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQIQQ) community and transnational contexts.
ASAM 179D. Mixed Race Experience. (Fall 2013) This course looks at Asian American mixed race experience through history, literature, video, film, visual art and contemporary pop culture. We will examine the diversity of Asian American mixed race identities and racial formation and identifications in the United States; gender and sexuality; pervasive stereotypes; family; ethnic and interethnic communities. This class will examine the socio-political implications of mixed race identities and honor the voices of the mixed race communities and cultural expression. Field trips and guest lectures will highlight the vibrant voices and communities active in the Southern California area and beyond.
ASAM 179E PZ. Asian/Americans and Popular Culture. This course will examine representations of Asians, Asian Americans, and U.S.-Asia relations in American popular culture (e.g., film, television, fiction, comics and graphic novels, political cartoons, the internet). We will take a historical approach and attend to the tensions between representations of Asians and Asian Americans on the one hand, and Asian American self-representations on the other.
ASAM 187. Art, Activism, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders. (Spring 2013) This course will focus on the role that different artistic forms including but not limited to music, fine arts, street art, and poetry, have played in social justice work. The participatory course analyzes the transformative power and potential of art within the context of Asian American social movements seeking transformative social and political changes. The course will put students directly into contact with the performance and display of Asian American art events, and seek to integrate their active participation in these events as a means to develop both creative outlets as well as critical thinking.
ASAM 188. Decolonizing Education. (Fall 2013) This project-based seminar will explore theoretical work on decolonizing education drawing from Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander scholar/activists. For this upper-division seminar, students should have familiarity with theories of coloniality, intersectionality, and racial formations. Work-load is high. Community teaching. Pre-requisite: One (1) Asian American Studies course.
ASAM 189HIST. Globalization and Oceania: Hawai’i and Tonga. Globalization in Oceania has included the multidirectional circulation of goods, information, people, and ideologies. This class examines the experience and impacts of globalization as traced through the histories, migrations, and the current economic, health, and education status of Pacific Islander communities.
ASAM 190a/190PO. Asian American Studies Senior Seminar: Applications, Analysis, and Future Directions. This is the capstone seminar for senior Asian American Studies majors (minors optional). The seminar is designed to bring seniors together to discuss and assess their understanding of Asian American Studies practice and theory at the Claremont Colleges and beyond. We will engage in minor research activities, read & analyze provocative books and articles, and revisit key issues & controversies.
ASAM 190b/191PO. Asian American Studies Senior Thesis. Students will work with one or more faculty on original thesis research toward completion of senior thesis.
ASAM 197. Contemporary Asian American Media. (Spring 2012) Created as a response to student demands for alternative educational models within Asian American Studies, ASAM 197 is a student-driven class that encourages critical engagement, leadership, and empowerment among its participants. This student-led course will focus on media in the Asian American community, with a focus on the role that mass- and independent media play in domestic and transnational cultural exchange and appropriation, Asian/Asian-American representation, Orientalism, race and sexuality, and political activism. The course will review traditional media outlets such as film, theatre, and television; new media outlets such as YouTube and blogs; and sites for alternative cultural production and expression such as stand-up comedy halls and comics. Analysis will be grounded in theories and methodologies of Asian American Studies and media studies.
ASAM 197. Queering Asian America. (Spring 2011) This course explores the representation and performance of the intersections of sexualities and race via Asian American communities. Taking an interdisciplinary and comparative racial approach, the course offer insight into hetornormativity, issues confronting Asian American lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered communities, and how these communities have mobilized.
ASAM 197. Asian American Labor. (Spring 2010) This course surveys labor issues, with a focus on Asian Americans. The course combines historical context with contemporary labor issues and a range of specific industry examples to provide students with a broad understanding of the subject. Topics that are covered include, but are not limited to, immigration, sweatshops, unions, the globalization of labor, and sex trafficking. There is a significant focus on the local Los Angeles area, but the course also covers broader issues. These issues will be explored through the lens of social movement theory, power, oppression, and mobilization.
ASAM 197. The Politics of Food. (Spring 2008) Using food as a focus, the course examines the intersection of race, class, and gender, and their role in the APIA community and identity formation. This course is designed to provide students with the greatest opportunity to enrich themselves through leadership inside the classroom.
EA 086. Environmental Justice. This course will critically examine the Environmental Justice (EJ) movement in the United States: its history, central claims, frameworks and methods for analyzing race, class and the environment, EJ campaigns, and on-going strategies. In this course, you will actively learn to analyze environmental issues using an environmental justice lens, evaluate the race and equity implications of environmental harms, and hopefully be inspired to do something about environmental injustice!
ENGL 054. Asian/American Literature Since 2000. This course examines Asian/American literature published after 2000, three decades after the initial Asian American Movement. Students will read texts in multiple genres (fiction, poetry, graphic novels, drama) with an eye toward interrogating the emergent issues that come with the changing sociopolitical terrain of the new millennium.
ENGL 114. Asian/American Forms. This course examines Asian/American literary texts that exhibit self?consciousness about their own formal characteristics as a means of engaging with and interrogating social and racial formations. Readings will include both texts written by Asian Americans and texts that address Asianness in an American context.
ENGL 161. The Futures of Asian/America (Fall 2017). This course explores speculative imaginations of Asian/American futures, covering works of classic science fiction, contemporary popular culture (including films), and newer work in “slipstream” or “mainstream” literary science fiction. Central to our exploration will be the question of how Asian/America is imagined as a multiply-contested site of future (hyper)modernity, even as Asia is imagined as place mired in a timeless past. Covering works by authors such as Chang-Rae Lee, Ted Chiang, Karen Yamashita, Charles Yu, Linda Nagata, Larissa Lai, and others, we’ll explore texts that speculate on transnational futures in relation to imperial pasts, on ecological disasters both global and local, on artificial intelligence and the “post-racial” future, and more. The course will pay particular attention to questions of racial formation, gender, sexuality, and the specific material histories of Asian/Americans.
ENGL 162. Asian American Literature: Gender and Sexuality. (Fall 2016) This course will explore questions of gender and sexuality in the context of Asian American literature, and will investigate how these key terms undergird even the earliest formations of Asian America. The course will investigate this idea through a variety of lenses, focusing on both creative and critical texts.
ENGL 180. Asian American Fiction. This course will focus on Asian American Fiction and will explore the function of representation (both political and aesthetic) in relation to questions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class. The course will involve readings in both primary and secondary texts including critical and theoretical work in Asian American studies.
ENGL 189J. Topics in Asian American Literature. This course is a general introduction to Asian American literature that tracks the major historical events, ideological problems, and social movements of Asians in America since the nineteenth century. We will examine a number of literary forms (fiction, memoir, drama, poetry) and investigate writing by authors from a number of different ethnic immigrant groups (Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Indian). Through these engagements, this course aims to introduce students to the major issues in this field of study; to explore overlaps with adjacent critical fields–such as postcolonial, queer, and gender studies—and to consider new directions for a literature and discourse that is often described as on the cusp of significant change.
FGSS188E. The Queer Transpacific: Sinophone Cultures and Race/Ethnicity in Asian America. This course draws together emergent scholarship in transpacific studies and sinophone studies with Asian American studies and queer studies. It attends to how the hemispheric Americas and Asia Pacific regions have been shaped by the United States and China, respectively and concomitantly. We trace overlapping histories of U.S.-European interventions into Asia Pacific, Pacific militarizations, Chinese empire, and modern Chinese nation-state building led by Han ethnonationalisms. Focusing on transpacific crossings and the production of “sinophone cultures” in history, popular culture, science, and tourism, this course applies queer analyses to investigate how the U.S. and China produce one another as analogous “others.”
GWS 162. Decolonizing Gender and Sexuality in Asian/America. Through an analysis of historical and contemporary Asian American and Pacific Islander literature, film, performance, art, and popular culture, this course emphasizes a wide range of engagements with gender and sexuality that disrupts binary thinking on the topic. Students will examine the formation of Asian American genders and sexualities alongside histories of racialization, migration, and labor that span East, South, and Southeast Asian, as well as Pacific contexts. In our engagement with transpacific movements of people and culture, we will foreground settler colonial occupations of the Pacific Islands and highlight the work of decolonial queer-feminist thinkers like Haunani-Kay Trask, Maile Arvin, and Stephanie Nohelani Teves. We will attend to the incommensurability of migrant and indigenous frameworks, even as we move through the persistence and at times concurrence of multiple forms of colonialism that connect Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. Some questions we will address include: How do historical contexts (i.e. the Cold War, 9/11, Japanese internment) affect Asian American gender formations? What does the popular (Orientalist depictions of Asian women from Geisha Girl to Tiger Mom) have to do with the geo-political (U.S. economic relations with Asia)? How might an Asian American queer politics reveal the limitations of the model minority myth? How can centering Pacific Islander onto-epistemologies decolonize notions of gender and sexuality?
HIST 128. Immigration and Ethnicity in America. A study of the experiences of different ethnic groups in the U.S. from the colonial period to the present, which addresses the meanings of cultural diversity in American history.
HIST 134. Empire and Sexuality. The construction of gender and sexuality was central to British and French imperialism. This course examines the formation of genders in colonial Asia and Africa from the 18th through the early 20th-centuries. We will look at men and women, colonizers and colonized and hetero- and homosexualities in order to understand the connections between gender, sexuality, race and power. Themes will include gendered discourses that defined political authority and powerlessness; the roles that women’s bodies played in conceptualizing domesticity and desire; and evolving imperial attitudes toward miscegenation, citizenship and rights.
IIS 128. The War on Terror. After exploring basic terms, such as “war” and “terror,” the course will survey various analyses of the War on Terror focusing on national policy, gender and sexuality, religion, history, legal issues, and political economy. Interpretations introduced will range from those of state elites and women or subaltern groups in conflict zones (Iraq, Afghanistan, U.S., U.K., Indonesia) to postmodern theorists. Baseline documents for modern analysis will be introduced, such as the Hague and Geneva Conventions and the U.S. Constitution, as will postmodern analyses by feminists and critics of capitalism. Course materials will include readings, films, websites, novels, and humor to explore what it means to fight a war without end.
JPNT 177. Japanese and Japanese American Women Writers. The course will examine the writings of classical/modern Japanese/Japanese American women writers within their local/global settings focusing on what they wrote, why they wrote, and where they wrote. The course will also explore how local/global gender and race politics inform these writings—and their reception—and look at the ways these formulations (which have crossed back and forth across the Pacific from the earliest Japanese immigration to the U.S. through international exchanges to this day) continue to fashion the writings of these women writers.
JPNT 178. Japanese and Japanese American Autobiography. The tradition of the native Japanese literary diary (nikki bungaku), modern Japanese autobiography and autobiographical writings, and Japanese American diary/autobiography, emphasizing works by women. Readings in literary criticism on autobiography in general and women’s autobiography in particular.
MS 80. Video and Diversity. This is an introductory level course exploring video as a medium, particularly as it is utilized by women, people of color, lesbians and gays, grassroots activists, as well as other peoples who are under and/or misrepresented by mainstream media. Students will learn about the history of video technology, and how certain developments within it made video an accessible and powerful tool for self-expression and political intervention. Class activities include screening of independent videos, writing assignments, and group discussion. No prerequisite.
MS 100AA. Asian Americans in Media. This is a historical survey of Asian American involvement in media production, beginning with the silent film era and ending with contemporary projects in film, video, and new media. In this course, we will focus on the shifting yet continuous participation of Asians in the production of media in North America, and look at how changing political, social, and cultural discourses have shaped media representations of Asians throughout this period.
MS 101PZ. Asian American Media In Communities. This course focuses on the exhibition and distribution of Asian American independent media, and explores how it can mobilize, educate, and empower communities. Students will engage in service-learning projects in collaboration with local non-profit community partners. Through these collaborations, they will design and execute events in diverse communities based on programs from the Asian Americans in Media (AAIM) Film Festival, curated by the students in MS 100: Asian Americans in Media. Students will also engage in a parallel trajectory studying Asian American film festivals and media organizations, as well as theories of social change and case studies on community building. Prerequisites: MS 049, 050, 051, ASAM 090, HIST 125, or SOC 150. Although it is not required, students who have taken MS 100 will be given priority for enrollment.
MUS 126. Music in East Asia and its American Diasporas. This course introduces the “traditional” music of China, Korea, and Japan and explores the ways in which traditional performing arts have been transformed, adapted, and given new meanings in these modern nation-states and the East Asian diasporic communities of the United States. A survey of these musical traditions will be followed by a closer study of pungmul, kabuki, taiko, Chinese opera, and pansori.
POLI 118. Korea and Korean Americans (Fall 2016). This course is an intensive introduction to North and South Korea, with their interlocking histories and greatly divergent economic, political, and social realities. The course pays special attention to the impact of U.S. foreign policy on Korean national formation and Korean American identity and community formation.
POLI 127AA. Politics and Public Policy of Asian Communities in the United States. This course examines the intersection between Asian Americans and the politics of race and ethnicity. Central to the course is the claim that understanding race is critical to understanding American politics and that any sophisticated analysis of race must include the role of Asians in America.
POLI 128. Race and American Capitalism. This course engages in a sustained examination – both theoretical and grounded – of the contemporary political struggle of communities of color negotiating liberal-capitalist ideology and its empirical manifestations. Through textual engagement, the course seeks to significantly advance and refine analyses that focus on the relationship between race, racism, and American capitalism. Through direct engagement with individuals and organizations involved in social justice work that confronts white supremacy and class domination, the course seeks to provide practical insight into working for social change that is grounded in the lives of communities negotiating the systemic relationship between race and capitalism on a daily basis.
PSYC 153AA. Asian American Psychology. Introduces students to the salient psychological issues of Asian Americans. Taking into account the social, cultural, and historical context of the Asian American experience, this course addresses values and cultural conflict development, acculturation, marriage and gender roles, vocational development, psychopathology, and delivery of mental health services.
PSYC 155. Seminar in Ethnic Minority Psychology and Mental Health. This course examines the roles and influences of ethnicity, race, and culture on psychology and mental health. Students will learn about intergroup dynamics, racism and White privilege, ethnic identity development, acculturation and immigration, ethnic differences in the expression of distress, differential patterns and barriers to help-seeking, mental health disparities, and ethnocultural issues that influence treatment processes.
SOC 073. Asians in America: Model Minority and Perpetual Foreigner. What is the contemporary Asian American experience? How does Asian America look when we take into account differences in ethnicity, class, gender, and generation? This course offers a sociological examination of what it means to be Asian American today. Topics include immigration, assimilation, demographic trends, ethnic identity, discrimination, socioeconomic mobility, gender, and relationships with other groups. By exploring the structures that shape Asian American experiences and Asian American challenges to those forces, the course encourages students to consider their own role in transforming US society.
SOC 095. Contemporary Central Asia. In this course, students will learn about the five Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. The “Stans” are majority Muslim, were part of the Soviet Union until 1991, and are ruled by authoritarian leaders today. The course will start out with a brief overview of the region’s history before, during, and after the USSR. Topics will include social and economic stratification, gender, interethnic relations, political inequality, and religion.
SOC 124AA. Global Asia/Asia America. This course is about the challenges that globalization poses to people of Asian descent living outside of their country of birth. We focus on case studies, paying particular attention to education, sexuality, citizenship, gender, family, and work. We will use these cases to question new concepts, such as “flexible citizenship,” “cultural hybridity,” and “transmigrant,” that have emerged to describe new forms of belonging in this global age.
SOC 126AA. Immigration and the Second Generation. Analysis of post-1965 children of immigrants, and/or immigrant children in Asia America. Emphasis on variations on coming of age patterns, the course examines diverse childhood experiences, including ‘transnational’ children, ‘refugee’ children, and ‘left-behind’ children. Emphasis on gender, class, ethnicity, intergenerational relations, education, sexuality, popular culture, and globalization, and specifically how young adults negotiate major American institutions such as the labor market and educational systems.
SOC 150AA. Contemporary Asian American Issues. (Effective Fall 2012) Survey of contemporary empirical studies focusing on Asian American experiences in the U.S. and globally; major themes include race, class, gender, sexuality, marriage/family, education, consumption, childhoods, aging, demography, and the rise of transmigration. Readings and other course materials will primarily focus on the period since 1965.
THEA 001G. Acting for Social Change. (Fall 2015) Acting for Social Change is an introduction to the fundamentals of acting, drawing upon different techniques such as psychological realism and physical theatre. Students will perform a self-written monologue, a documentary monologue transcribed from a live interview, and a two or three person scene from a play. They will also be introduced to Playback Theatre and Theatre of the Oppressed, two forms of theater that are applied commonly today to create dialogue, heal conflict and trauma, and build community.
THEA 115M. Race and Contemporary Performance. What is race and how does the meaning attached to racial categories shape culture and social structures in the United States? This course will examine how individuals and groups use their bodies and minds to identify, dis-identify, imagine and re-imagine racial dynamics on the America via drama and performance.
THEA 115N. Staging Our Stories: Contemporary Asian American Drama. This course examines several post-1960 dramatic and performance works created by Asian American artists, such as, Phillip Kan Gotanda, David Henry Hwang, Julia Cho, Ralph Peña, and Lan Tran, taking into account the historical and cultural contexts in which these productions emerged. We will look at how these different artists attempt to represent themselves and their experiences with dignity, how they preserve old traditions and create new ones, and at how these practices reflect different aspects of the relationships between the United States and various Asian countries, and between different ethnic groups in the U.S. This course includes a field trip, a written review of your experience, as well as a self-written monologue, and a final paper or dramatic performance.
THEA 130. Introduction to Directing. This is an introduction to the art and craft of directing for the stage, and related forms that will allow the artist to enhance their vision and eventually formulate their concept into fruition. There will be an emphasis on play selection, detailed script analysis, the director’s concept, collaboration with designers, auditions and casting, actor coaching, rehearsal strategies, and production methods. We will workshop several scenes as well as projects that the students will create. In addition, our student directors will have the opportunity to work with students from a local elementary school to produce a short adaptation of a fairy tale or a fable being taught in their curriculum.