Center for Asian American Studies
Center for Asian American Studies

Asian American Studies Courses

AAS 301 • Intro To Asian Amer Studies

35980 • Nault, Curran
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BUR 136
(also listed as AMS 315)
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Flag: Cultural Diversity in the US

COURSE DESCRIPTION
This interdisciplinary course introduces students to core questions regarding the historical and contemporary experiences of Asian Americans. Students will critically engage key issues, theories and debates in Asian American Studies, while also learning to unpack “Asian American” as a concept that contains an ever-shifting multiplicity of peoples, histories and places. Taking an intersectional approach to identity that explores race and ethnicity in conjunction with gender, sexuality, generation and nation, this course will engage diverse viewpoints, including those of women, LGBTQ+ individuals and people of color more generally. Key topics include: racial formation, (im)migration and citizenship, imperialism, social justice activism, intersectionality, multiraciality, solidarity, mediated representations, hybridity and transnationalism.
 
REQUIRED TEXTS
Wu, Jean Yu-wen Shen, and Thomas C. Chen. 2010. Asian American Studies Now: A Critical Reader. New
Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. (Available at Campus Bookstore)
 
Zhou, Min and Anthony C. Ocampo. 2016. Contemporary Asian America: A Multidisciplinary Reader (3rd
Edition). New York: New York University Press. (Available at Campus Bookstore)
 
Additional Readings will be posted on Canvas. Students are responsible for retrieving and printing them.
       

COURSE GRADING
Requirements                                   % of Final Grade
Weekly Quizzes/Responses                    20%
Midterm                                               20%
Final                                                    20%
Group Presentation                               20%
Attendance and Participation                  20%




AAS 310 • Race, Immigration & Family

35985 • Gunasena, Natassja
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM CMA 5.190
(also listed as AMS 315, WGS 301)
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Flag: Culutural Diversity in the U.S.

Queer South Asian Feminisims This class will interrogate the ways South Asian feminists conceptualize identity, belonging and sexuality within the context of nationalism, anti-blackness, colonialism and diaspora. Through close-reading literary and theoretical texts, we will examine how nationalism constructs gender and femininity and the transformative potential of queer feminine desires. This class is designed as an introduction to key issues in South Asian feminist thought as well as how these feminisms interface with the larger project of women of color feminisms. Beginning with feminist perspectives on identity and the nation state, we will consider what “queer” and “feminist” mean in the context of casteism, ethnic cleansing and forced migration. For the scope of this class we will focus extensively on Sri Lanka and India and their diasporas. Some of the authors we look at include Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Shailja Patel, Ru Freeman and Gayatri Gopinath.


AAS 312 • Intro To Asian American Hist

35990 • Hsu, Madeline
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM WAG 214
(also listed as HIS 317L)
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This course introduces students to the histories of people of Asian descent in the United States, from the late sixteenth century to the present. Through historical works, literature, films, primary sources, and popular culture, students will explore the making of Asian America as a dynamic site of identity construction, political protest, community formation, social movement building, and a vibrant field of intellectual and historical inquiry. The course will focus on four broad themes: 1) the causes and effects of migration and settlement in the development of Asian American communities; 2) the role that Asian Americans have played in shaping U.S. social, political, and cultural institutions; 3) the diverse individuals and groups which make up this broad category of people we designate as Asian Americans, and their unique and sometimes shared experiences of oppression, marginalization, racism, and political empowerment; and 4) the ways in which the experiences of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class have intersected with other marginalized groups in U.S. society. Throughout the course, we will explore these themes within global and transnational contexts to identify shared connections across borders—physical, imagined, and otherwise.

Required course materials:

    Shelley Sang-Hee Lee, A New History of Asian America (Routledge, 2013);

    Additional reading assignments will be available for download on Canvas.

Grading breakdown:

30%   Exam 1

30%   Exam 2

30%   Exam 3

10%   Attendance and participation


AAS 318Q • Supervised Research

36000
(also listed as AAS 358Q, HMN 358Q, LAH 358Q)
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For Asian American studies majors only. Supervised, student-derived research in Asian American studies. May be repeated for credit when the research projects vary.

Prerequisite: Rhetoric and Writing 306 and consent of the director of the Center for Asian American Studies.

Restricted enrollment; contact the department for permission to register for this class.


AAS 320 • Documenting Difference

36005 • Nault, Curran
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 208
(also listed as RTF 359S)
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FLAGS: Cultural Diversity in the US & Writing

COURSE DESCRIPTION
This course will explore the theory, history, practice and poetics of minority documentary. With a particular emphasis on Asian American examples, students will engage documentary as a vital practice of minority activism and self-preservation. Students will be introduced to influential documentaries across a wide range of styles and modes (expository, observational, performative, reflexive, poetic, interactive) and will explore critical topics in documentary production and reception: fictions of realism, authenticity and objectivity; histories of ethnography; questions of documentary ethics; aesthetic strategies of documentary art and activism; politics of self-representation; transnationalism; mockumentaries and the lampooning of “truth.” Class assignments will be a combination of written and creative work, and students will have the opportunity to create their own short documentary or documentary prospectus for their final project.
 
REQUIRED TEXTS
Spence, Louise and Vinicius Navarro. 2011. Crafting Truth: Documentary Form and Meaning. New
Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. (Available at Campus Bookstore)
 
Additional Readings will be posted on Canvas. Students are responsible for retrieving and printing them.
 
COURSE GRADING
Requirements                                           % of Final Grade
Class Journals                                           20%
Response Essays and Review/Rewrite          40% (20% each)
Final Project                                              25%
Attendance/Participation                             15%


AAS 320 • Globalization & Social Media

36010 • Chen, Wenhong
Meets MW 3:00PM-4:30PM CMA 3.120
(also listed as RTF 365, SOC 352S)
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Flags: Global Cultures and Writing

What are social media doing to us? And we to them? Drawing on literatures from media studies, sociology, communication, and management, this course invites students to engage in critical analysis of the causes, patterns, and consequences of using social media in a global context.  Building on cases from diverse cultures and nations, the course provides a rich comparative perspective. The course has three components.

  • We start with major debates on the role of communication and media technologies in network society, globalization, and transnationalism.
  • In the second part, we focus on how macro social forces and institutions such as state and market shape the development of social media and other new communication technologies. We explore how social inequalities and cultural differences affect digital divides.
  • In the third part, we investigate how social media and other new technologies have facilitated changes in politics, organizations, networks, as well as media and culture.

AAS 325 • Chinese In The United States

36020 • Hsu, Madeline
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM GAR 2.112
(also listed as ANS 340S, HIS 340S)
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This class examines U.S. history from the perspective of Chinese who were the first targets of racially defined immigration restrictions. As such, Chinese have played key roles in the evolution of U.S. immigration restrictions, their enforcement, limits regarding citizenship, permanent residency, and the underlying racial ideologies and conceptions of national belonging.

This course offers an overview of the history of Chinese in America with an emphasis on Chinese American identity and community formations under the shadow of the Yellow Peril. Using primary documents and secondary literature, we will examine structures of work, family, immigration law, racism, class, and gender in order to understand the changing roles and perceptions of Chinese Americans in the United States from 1847 to the present.

Partially fulfills legislative requirement for American history.

Iris Chang, The Chinese in America; excerpts from _Island_, _Chinese American Voices_, The Coming Man

Midterms on lectures and assigned texts. Research paper on Chinese American history.


AAS 330 • Sociology Of Race And Work

36040 • Bhalodia-Dhanani, Aarti
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM GEA 127
(also listed as SOC 321R, WGS 322)
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Flag: Cultural Diversity in US

Course Description
Work is a central activity in the lives of most people. Along with providing an income, the type of work one does shapes the worker’s sense of personal identity. Social interaction in the work place provides workers with a set of skills, values, and mindset that influences how the work is done. Structure of a society determines the kind of work it does, who does what type of work, and how much people are paid for their efforts. In United States, individuals’ racial and gender characteristics deeply shape how labor markets emerge and how skills are evaluated. Jobs are often gender segregated and men and women are remunerated differently. This course is a critical examination of work through a gendered and racial lens. The purpose of this course is to examine concepts such as labor markets, globalization, racial segregation, and gendering of the work place. This course is cross-listed with Asian American Studies and Women’s Studies.
 
Course Objectives
Students will be able to sociologically identify concepts such as global markets, transnational labor, care work, service industry, gendered work, and racial segregation in the work place.  A majority of the readings, films, and class meetings will focus on contemporary work environment. Students will examine workers in the retail industry, care workers such as nannies, maids, and nurses, transnational workers in the STEM fields, and migrant labor. We will start the class with a survey of different forms of labor throughout United States’ history.  Students will be able to make historical connections between American citizenship, work, and value of one’s labor.

Readings
Selected chapters from the following:

Skhlar. Judith. American Citizenship: The Quest for Inclusion. Harvard University Press. Any Edition.
 
Lowe, Lisa. Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics. Duke University Press. 1996.

Wharton, Amy edited. Working in America: Continuity, Conflict, and Change in a New Economic Era. Routledge. 2016.
 
Ngai, Mae. Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America. Princeton University Press. 2004.
 
Wright, Melissa. Disposable Women and Other Myths of Global Capitalism. Taylor and Francis. 2013.
 
Thistle, Susan. From Marriage to the Market: The Transformation of Women’s Lives and Work. University of California Press. 2006.
 
Assignments and Grading
Attendance and participation: 20%
Two Essays: 40% (2x20)
Two Exams: 40% (2x20)


AAS 330 • Urban Unrest

36045 • Tang, Eric
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 203
(also listed as AFR 372F, AMS 321, ANT 324L, URB 354)
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How and when do cities burn? The modern US city has seen its share of urban unrest, typified by street protests (both organized and spontaneous), the destruction of private property, looting, and fires. Interpretations of urban unrest are varied: some describe it as aimless rioting, others as political insurrection. Most agree that the matter has something to do with the deepening of racism, poverty and violence. This course takes a closer look at the roots of urban unrest, exploring a range of origins: joblessness, state violence, white flight, the backlash against civil rights gains, new immigration and interracial strife. Urban unrest is often cast as an intractable struggle between black and white, yet this course examines the ways in which multiple racial groups have entered the fray. Beyond race and class, the course will also explore unrest as a mode of pushing the normative boundaries of gender and sexuality in public space. Course material will draw from film, literature, history, geography and anthropology.

 

Required Texts: 

  • The majority of readings will be available as pdf on Blackboard. Students must acquire the following texts:
  • Robert F. Williams, Negroes With Guns
  • Robin D.G. Kelley, Yo Mama’s Dysfunctional: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America
  • Dan Georgakis and Marvin Surkin, Detroit: I Do Mind Dying: A Study in Urban Revolution
  • Robert Gooding Williams eds. Reading Rodney King/Reading Urban Uprising

AAS 358Q • Supervised Research

36050
(also listed as AAS 318Q, HMN 358Q, LAH 358Q)
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For Asian American studies majors only. Supervised, student-derived research in Asian American studies. May be repeated for credit when the research projects vary.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing, Rhetoric and Writing 306, and consent of the director of the Center for Asian American Studies.

Restricted enrollment; contact the department for permission to register for this class.


AAS 378 • Community Internship

36055
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Supervised internship in community, civic, or government organization or program that facilitates the economic, political, and social development of the Asian American Community. Prerequisite Upper-division standing and consent of the director of the Center for Asian American Studies.

Restricted enrollment; contact the department for permission to register for this class.


AAS 379 • Conf Crs In Asian Amer Studies

36060
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Supervised individual study of selected problems in Asian American studies.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing and consent of the director of the Center for Asian American Studies.

May be counted toward the independent inquiry flag requirement.

Restricted enrollment; contact the department for permission to register for this class. May be repeated for credit.


AAS 679HA • Honors Tutorial Course

36065
(also listed as AAS 679HB, AHC 679HA, AHC 679HB, C C 679HA, C C 679HB, GK 679HA, GK 679HB, HMN 679HA, HMN 679HB, LAS 679HA, LAS 679HB, LAT 679HA, LAT 679HB, LIN 679HA, LIN 679HB, WGS 679HA, WGS 679HB)
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Supervised individual reading for one semester, followed by a semester of research and writing to produce a substantial paper on a specific topic in Asian American studies.

Prerequisite: For 679HA, upper-division standing and admission to the Asian American Studies Honors Program; for 679HB, Asian American Studies 679HA.

Restricted enrollment; contact the department for permission to register for this class.


AAS 679HB • Honors Tutorial Course

36070
(also listed as AAS 679HA, AHC 679HA, AHC 679HB, C C 679HA, C C 679HB, GK 679HA, GK 679HB, HMN 679HA, HMN 679HB, LAS 679HA, LAS 679HB, LAT 679HA, LAT 679HB, LIN 679HA, LIN 679HB, WGS 679HA, WGS 679HB)
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Supervised individual reading for one semester, followed by a semester of research and writing to produce a substantial paper on a specific topic in Asian American studies.

Prerequisite: For 679HA, upper-division standing and admission to the Asian American Studies Honors Program; for 679HB, Asian American Studies 679HA.

May be counted toward the writing flag requirement. May be counted toward the independent inquiry flag requirement.

Restricted enrollment; contact the department for permission to register for this class.