By Course Number

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 113 SC. Asian/American Geographies. What is the relationship between Asian and Asian/American racialization, space, and place? This course brings together questions and texts from Asian American studies, geography, and critical ethnic studies to examine the spatialization of race across multiple scales ranging from the local to the global (e.g., colony, territory, “Chinatown”) as well as placemaking, activism, and place-based worldviews. Specific areas of inquiry and discussion will include: Asian/American engagements with critical Asian and diaspora studies, relationships to Indigeneity and settler colonialism, U.S. militarism and empire, and questions of cultural and place-based memory.

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.

AMST 130 SC. Cold War Taiwanese/America. This course examines Taiwanese/American history, identity, politics, and culture with a particular focus on global Cold War politics and the historical relationship between Taiwan and the United States. Through film, literature, popular culture, primary historical texts, and interdisciplinary scholarship, students will use the focus on Taiwan and the United States to develop a broad understanding of issues including student migration, cultural identity, diasporic activism, imperialism and colonialism, and people and places caught in the crosshairs of global hegemony.

ANTH 087 SC. Contemporary Issues in Gender and Islam. This course explores a variety of issues significant to the study of gender and Islam in different contexts, which may include the Middle East, South Asia, Africa and the U.S. Various Islamic constructions and interpretations of gender, masculinity and femininity, sexuality, and human nature will be critically examined.

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.

ANTH 185 SC. Palestine in Ethnography and Film. Intensive and focused study of specific issues and themes in the Middle East and North Africa/ Southwest Asian and North African region, drawing extensively on anthropological sources and modes of inquiry. This seminar provides an overview of Palestinian society and culture, the ways in which Palestine and Palestinians have been represented in ethnography and film, and the settler-colonial and imperial histories, discourses, and narratives that impact these representations in the United States.

ASAM 056. Intro to Comparative Ethnic Studies. This course is a study in locating the differential and intersectional formations of power in society and the world. We will explore how race, gender, sexuality, class, religion, and nationality organize our political, economic, and social structures. In doing so, we will trace how these structures have subjected Black, Brown, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian American communities to varying scales of violence, from enslavement to labor exploitation, land dispossession, and imperial war. While the course focuses on the ways in which power has historically and contemporarily manifested in communities of color, we will also study how these communities resist, if not imagine, alternative ways of being and knowing.

ASAM 063. Transformative Life of Malcolm X. How did the world shape Malcolm X and his radical politics? In asking this question, we will study how Malcolm X’s transformation from a hustler to a prisoner to a Black Muslim significantly shaped his revolutionary vision for liberation. His life experience gave him an understanding that Black liberation in the United States is entangled with the Third World. As a class, we will situate Malcolm X within this complex history of anticolonialism and Civil Rights to learn how Malcolm X transformed himself to transform the world.

ASAM 070. Surveillance: An Introduction. In the twenty-first century, mass surveillance has successfully penetrated every aspect of public and private life, so much so that we are unable to imagine a world without it. Through critical readings, film and television, as well as social media, this course will draw on abolitionist methods and theories to examine the rise of surveillance in the United States. Students will come to understand how modern power works, particularly through the lens of race, by focusing on various case studies including: the monitoring of captives in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) targeting of Muslim Americans post-9/11, and the increasing use of “big data” or information technology in police departments. Along with querying the origins and history of surveillance, this course will probe the strategies and techniques of contemporary anti-surveillance social and protest movements.

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. 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 085. Health Inequities. The World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. This participatory course will consider this whole-person definition across the human life course using a range of sociological, political science, and Asian American Studies principles and perspectives. In addition to drawing from Asian/American/Pacific Islander/Desi American (A/APIDA) communities, major topics will include the structure of health care systems in the United States and globally, doctor-patient interaction, social and cultural influences on health and disease, and social disparities in the distribution of health and quality health care. Includes community engagement project outside of class time.

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 088. Thich Nhat Hanh: Interdependence, Ecology, and Healing. This course is an introduction to the relationship among Thich Nhat Hanh’s Engaged Buddhism, ecology, and society. In doing so, it provides Thich Nhat Hanh’s perspective on ecological and social thought and an ecological and social perspective on healing from environmental factors in Asian and Asian diasporic communities. We will explore how Asian and Asian diasporic Buddhists view nature and the environment to address healing in the context of historical trauma such as the war. Through critical pedagogies and community engagement project with a partner in Vietnam and in California, we will explore the meaning and value of this way of viewing and interacting with the natural world to create healing from ecological social determinants of health. This class counts toward the Intercultural Studies, Social Responsibility Praxis, and Asian American Studies – Communities requirements. This course is a discussion class and your preparation for class discussion is critical to its success.

ASAM 089. Embodied Learning, Pedagogies of Belonging, and Qi Gong. From policing bodies to productivity culture, scholarship examines subsequent distortions of bodies in educational institutions. Our bodies map the ways we are isolated, segmented, and dehumanized. And our bodies also narrate the ways we persist, repair, connect, foster solidarity, and radically reimagine ourselves and the world. The literature illuminates how bodies in classrooms are multi-layered and contested. Highlighting the possibility of social change through education, this course explores Roxana Ng’s framework of “embodied learning” as a potentially decolonizing pedagogical praxis. Through readings, dialogue, and practices, the class examines the hidden curriculum of different corporeal/mind dualisms in classrooms, the impact of (dis)embodiment on educational outcomes, and the transformative possibility of embodied education for critical consciousness and social action. This class investigates qi gong as an epistemological framework and an embodied practice related to liberatory pedagogies. Rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, qi gong involves breathing, awareness, and movement and centers interconnectedness as the basis for its knowledge system. Combining discussion of readings and experiential practice, we will engage in a community-engaged project that includes relational mindfulness, qi gong, and other contemplative practices.

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 105. Zines, Creativity, Community. 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 110. Science, Race, and Social Change. This course examines the relationship between technoscientific discourses and US racial discourses, addressing questions such as: how have science and race co-constituted each other; how do technoscientific innovations create and exacerbate racial inequalities; how have community-led social movements transformed science; how do historically marginalized groups reimagine technoscientific research and its uses. Our course objective will be to think broadly about the implications of scientific research, particularly within the interconnected legacies of US imperialism, militarism, diasporic migration, and global geopolitics. Central to our investigation is the goal of uncovering ways in which to practice a more just, equitable people-centered science.

ASAM 115. Theory and Methods. 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.

ASAM123. Pacific Islander History and Culture Through Life Writing. Life writing provides readers with an engaging opportunity to learn about history and its connection to the present. Utilizing the concept of Native survival, this course will examine the history and culture of Pacific Islanders through life writing that includes autobiography, biography, comics, graphic novels, and memoirs. Some of the main themes for this course includes colonialism, diaspora, gender, indigeneity, migration, race, trauma, violence, and war. Class discussions, lectures, film screenings, and readings constitute the interpretive lens for this course.

ASAM 124. New Directions in Pacific Islander Studies. This interdisciplinary historical course will introduce students to a variety of concepts, methods, and theories in Pacific Islander Studies through recently published articles, books, and films. Students will have the opportunity to engage these works and to learn how they are shaping the field. This course will stretch across a broad time period and include themes such as colonialism, diaspora, gender, indigeneity, labor, law, militarization, oral history, sexuality, and war.

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 126. Introduction to Pacific Islander History. Survey course introduces students to the native/indigenous histories of Oceania with an emphasis on Aotearoa (New Zealand), Guåhan (Guam), Hawai‘i, the Marshall Islands, S?moa, and Tonga. These places will expose students to the global and local histories of colonialism, climate change, diaspora, empire, indigenous land and ocean stewardship, migration, militarization, nuclear testing, and tourism. In addition, this course critically explores other related themes other related themes such as class, environmentalism, gender, labor, race, sexuality, and war from the perspectives of Native Pacific Islanders. Class discussions, lectures, film screenings, and readings constitute the interpretative lens for this course.

ASAM 128. Body Art in the Diaspora. 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 135. Race, Empire, Filipinx America. 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 135B. Race, Empire, Filipinx America. 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.

ASAM 136. Filipinx Diasporic Poetics. This course examines the relationship between art and revolution, with a focus on the aesthetics and poetics of the Filipinx diaspora, including but not limited to literature and poetry, visual and sonic cultures, and the art of protest itself. Throughout these investigations, we will explore the role that imagination and creativity play in Filipinx community politics. We will build upon poet and labor activist Carlos Bulosan’s formulation regarding the revolutionary ontology of the Filipinx diaspora and how contemporary artists and cultural workers revise and expand upon the Marxian revolutionary consciousness of Bulosan’s manong generation.

ASAM 137. Philippine Art and Diasporic Visual Culture. This course focuses on artistic production as a contested site of cultural politics in the Philippines and its global diasporas. We will examine the relationship between aesthetics, nationalism, colonialism, and institutional apparatuses to understand how power is created, maintained, transformed, and opposed through visual modes of representation and meaning. Key questions we will address include: What role does artistic production play in the construction of national narratives about the Philippines, and for what purpose? How is the Philippines represented within the diasporic imagination? How have visual technologies been used as colonial disciplinary mechanisms, and how have these technologies been used for oppositional purposes? What roles do imagination and creativity play within liberatory movements for social change?

ASAM 142. South Asian American Studies. This course examines issues relevant to the South Asian diaspora in the United States. With a special emphasis on race and empire, the course will consider historical and contemporary forms of marginalization targeting South Asian American communities. It will also explore the possibilities and limits of emergent Desi social movements forged in contexts of Anti-Immigrant Racism, Anti-Muslim Racism, Anti-Black Racism, Hindutva, and Trumpism.

ASAM 143 PO. Race and Policing. This course explores historical and anthropological approaches to the study of policing in the United States. With a special emphasis on race and ethnicity, the course will examine several case studies on the policing of Black, Indigenous, Asian, and Muslim communities across American urban centers. In addition, it will probe contemporary abolitionist movements aimed at dismantling policing.

ASAM 144 PO. Anti-Muslim Racism: A Global Perspective. This course explores the rise of Islamophobia to critically examine anti-Muslim racism and activist responses to it, with an emphasis on the United States. Through ethnographies, hip-hop, and fictional and documentary films, students will learn about the historical and enduring effects of Islamophobia on Muslim and non-Muslim South Asian American, Arab American, and African American communities. In addition, this course will consider emergent forms of antiracist protest forged in response to heightened policing, surveillance, and war in the current age of national security.

ASAM 155. U.S. Imperial Culture. In this course, we will explore the multiple ways U.S. imperialism and culture intersect with and inform each other, and how they are part of larger transnational and global genealogies of racial capitalism, white supremacist patriarchies, and heteronormativities. Over the course of the semester, we will critically examine how these systems have historically and contemporarily shaped U.S. empire.

ASAM 156. Spirit of Bandung: Third World Internationalism & Decolonization. Develop an understanding of how the Afro-Asia political project is an insurgent coalitional project. To do this, we will explore the historical and contemporary struggles, insurgencies, and solidarities of Black and Asian peoples. We will learn together how Afro-Asia serves as an insurgent site of critique, resistance, and revolutionary aesthetics that connects distant geographies, diasporas, and Black and Asian peoples to a global anti-racist, anti-imperialist, and anti-colonial political imaginary.

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 161. The Care Work of Asian Women. As sex workers, nannies, housekeepers, domestics, janitors, war brides, hospitality workers, manicurists and masseuses, care work is feminized and sexualized labor and Asian Pacific Islander Desi cis-/transwomen are the faces of this work. Even in management or executive careers, APIDA women are expected to perform this care work to facilitate the congeniality, smooth operations, and profits. While sharing very similar experiences, oppressions, and harms faced by other Black, Indigenous and women of color, representations of APIDA women and their labor have been specifically deployed to bolster nationalistic and militaristic Americanness and Whiteness across centuries of US empire and justify anti-Asian violence and exclusion.

We track the care work of APIDA women through their representations in media. From the global phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians and Bollywood to the first woman of color lead Rose Tico in the Star Wars franchise, Asian/American characters are cultural icons all over global media. On sitcoms, romcoms, blockbuster action films, and social media, Asian/Americans in entertainment spark regular national and international conversations and controversies. This course explores how media representations of APIDA women track US domestic and foreign policy from the anti-Chinese xenophobia of the 19th century to the “model minority” or wealthy globetrotter of the present and how these images impact the economic, social and political lives of Asian/Americans and our broader understanding of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability and national identity. Who cares for APIDA women? How and why?

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 172. Race and Visual Culture. This course explores the field of visual culture to examine the complexities and contradictions of Asian American racial subjectivity. We will ask, what is the relationship between race and visual aesthetics? What is the work of creativity and how does it intervene in salient issues that continue to impact Asian American communities today? How is racialization (and its various intersections) connected to questions of space and place, particularly environmental, carceral, and settler colonial landscapes? Issues to be considered include: immigration, confinement, deportation, and other forms of cultural and political marginalization and social control. Previous coursework in Asian American Studies recommended.

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 179B. Asian Americans and the Law. 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 179J. Techno-Orientalism. Techno-Orientalism seeks to think about Asians in relation to imaginative constructions of high-tech futurity. This course will think about how technological imaginings have speculated on Asian bodies in different spaces, studying how these tropes are used and subverted by Asian American creators. Focusing on technology in relation to the intersections of race and gender, we will explore questions and topics related to technology’s political economy and its impact on Asian racial form.

ASAM 179K. Asian American Women on Screen. This course will examine historical representations of Asian/American women in movies, TV, and new media in American culture. We will start by theorizing the hypersexuality of Asian women on screen by thinking about the role militarism plays in constructing gendered and racialized stereotypes. We will continue thinking about ongoing representational practices of Asian/American women by watching and engaging with films, TV shows, comedy specials, news clips, and social media. We will consider how engaging with representation as a site of contestation and possibilty might create opportunities for rethinking how gender and sexuality in Asian American studies disrupts depictions of war, migration, violence, the family, memory, and activism on screen.

ASAM 179L. Contemporary Asian American Literature. This course will explore post-1965 Asian American literature and cultural production by close-reading novels, autoethnography, poetry, comics, short stories, and critical theory. In particular we will focus on Asian American cultural production as what Lisa Lowe states is a “site of contestation and possibility for thinking about immigration changed by U.S. involvements in Asia and the historical racialization of Asians in the United States.” The course will think about how Asian American literature is tied to the politics of Asian American experiences. Writers may include: Thi Bui, Mohsin Hamid, Larissa Lai, Jhumpa Lahiri, Chanel Miller, Celeste Ng, Janice Lobo Sapigao, Ocean Vuong, Jung Yun, and Michelle Zauner, among others.

ASAM 179R. Popular Culture and the Pacific Islands. This seminar (discussion-based) course critically examines the relationship between popular culture and the Pacific Islands. Using concepts and theories in cultural studies, history, Indigenous studies, and media studies, students will learn how to analyze aesthetics, form, historical context, meaning, power, and representation embedded in popular culture. Some of the various forms of popular culture that will be explored include fashion, films, graphic novels, music, sports, and television. Additionally, emphasis will be placed on intersecting themes such as capitalism, gender, indigeneity, racism, and settler colonialism.

ASAM 189A/ASAM 179H. Music in Asian America. This course addresses the cultural politics of Asian American music. We will explore the role of diasporic expressive culture in shaping racialized identities and emergent political formations. The “Asian American” will be broadly defined. Expanding the rubric of conventional East Asian American categories, we will examine South/Southeast Asian American musics and cross-racial alliances. Afro-Asian encounters will be of particular focus. This class incorporates a substantial community-based ethnographic research project. No musical training necessary.

ASAM 190a PO. 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 191PO. Asian American Studies Senior Thesis. Students will work with one or more faculty on original thesis research toward completion of senior thesis.

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 019. Introduction to Asian American Literature. This course is an introduction to major and recent texts in the field of Asian American literature. We will examine the ways that U.S.-based authors of Asian descent use the formal elements of literary genres to articulate political and/or social critiques and commentaries. In our analyses of poems, novels, short stories, memoirs, and plays, we will map the myriad historical and political trajectories which give rise to Asian American writing. While our investigation of Asian American literature entails paying close attention to the formal elements of distinct genres adopted by the writers under investigation, we will also situate these texts within an intersectional and comparative-relational sociocultural frame and foreground issues and topics related (but not limited) to family politics; im/migration, citizenship; labor politics; spatial politics; history; settler colonialism; community formation; cultural memory; trauma; race and racism; class consciousness; Indigeneity; intelligibility; and gender and sexuality. To help students practice refined, critical engagements with the literary techniques of Asian American writers––and to introduce them to the methods of literary studies––this class will have students practice their own writing. Students will be expected to produce both major assignments (like traditional academic papers) as well as smaller, more frequent, and low-stakes assignments, like discussion posts, in addition to participating in in-class discussions. By the end of this class, students will have developed their analytical writing and critical reading skills and will have developed an introductory knowledge of some major themes in Asian American literary and cultural studies.

ENGL 161. The Futures of Asian/America. 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. 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 170X. Asian American Literary and Cultural Studies. ENGL 170X introduces students to major topics in foundational and recent Asian American literary and cultural studies. In particular, the theme of this specific version of ENGL 170X centers representations and cultural politics of Asian diasporic characters who appear in works by U.S.-based authors of Asian descent and who can broadly be characterized as mad, maladjusted, and/or maintaining “messy” relations with mainstream U.S. culture. In a word, they are “crazy.” This descriptor includes characters who are hysterical, clinically depressed, and other forms of being mentally ill or unwell. It also includes characters who are mentally disabled; traumatized; struggling with addiction; abnormally emotionally cold or affectless; amoral; excessive or disorderly; and/or socially deviant. We will examine how depictions of the complex psychic and social lives of these characters can provide insight into the broader lived realities of Asian American and Asian diasporic communities in the contexts of post/colonialism, structural racism, militarization, and globalization. More precisely, we will study the ways that these various “negative” and “nonnormative” modes of psychic and social being challenge dominant U.S. cultural imaginings of Asian Americans, which are frequently premised on problematic neoliberal politics of respectability (e.g., the trope of the industrious “model minority”). To this end, our analyses and discussions will take cues from an array of scholarly discourses: queer/trans of color critique, crip of color critique, disability studies, trauma studies, psychoanalysis, and critical mad studies, to name a few.

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 169. Globalization and Oceania: Hawai’i and Tonga. This comparative course explores the deep histories of Hawai’i and Tonga, beginning with their stories of creation and closing with the annexation of these independent kingdoms by the U.S. and British Empires at the end of the nineteenth century. Topics include: creation, voyaging, gender, power, and the land.

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. 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 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 114. Asian American Child Development. This course will provide a psychological perspective on the nature and meaning of growing up as Asian American in North America. We will examine the diverse experiences of Asian American children, youth, and families, drawing upon primarily psychological theory and research. Furthermore, students will be exposed to interdisciplinary ethnic studies scholarship, memoirs, news articles, and films. Integrating a range of course materials, we will evaluate scientific claims, personal narratives, and everyday portrayals of Asian American children, youth, families, and communities. We will compare and contrast these multiple sources of information to gain a holistic view and identity gaps and future research directions in the field of psychological science. Course topics will include ethnic and racial socialization, ethnic identity development, peer relations, acculturations, biculturalism, model minority myth, parenting, family relationship, and transracial adoption.

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 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. 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. 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 115O Applied Theatre in Elementary Schools: Breaking Cycles of Harm. Applied Theatre encompasses all theatrical interventions that are deployed outside of a traditional theater space for community building, problem solving, and healing justice. In this course, you will learn techniques from Playback Theatre and Theatre of the Oppressed, the most widely known forms of Applied Theatre. You will then apply these skills in a curriculum for Bullying Prevention / Transformative Social Emotional Learning at a local elementary school.