Center for Asian American Studies
Center for Asian American Studies

Asian American Studies Courses

AAS 301 • Intro To Asian Amer Studies

Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM RLP 0.130
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This interdisciplinary course introduces students to core questions regarding the historic 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 evershifting multiplicity of peoples, histories and places.

AAS 312 • Intro To Asian American Hist

32340 • Hsu, Madeline
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM UTC 4.134
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This course explores major themes of immigration, race, gender, ethnicity, class and labor in the experience of Asian Americans in North America, with a primary focus on the late 19th century to the current period. We will explore the shifting representations of Asian Americans as ‘unassimilable aliens’ in the early 20th century to ‘model minorities’ after WWII, as a result of evolving law and representation in popular culture, as well as the intersectional work of the Asian American Movement and associated civil rights leaders in advocating for Asian American legal protection and visibility. The course text (Lee, 2014) will be supplemented with documentary film, legal documents, immigration records, archival data, etc., in order to foster the critical reading of primary sources in the narrativization of history.

AAS 314 • Asian American Lit & Culture

32345 • Schlund-Vials, Cathy
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM PAR 204
CDWr (also listed as E 314V)
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E 314V  l  2-Asian American Literature and Culture

Instructor:  Schlund-Vials, C

Unique #:  35145

Semester:  Spring 2022

Cross-lists:  AAS 314, 32345


Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description:  We will consider the many histories, experiences, and cultures that shape Asian American Studies, an interdisciplinary field marked by what cultural critic/literary scholar Lisa Lowe observed is a distinct heterogeneity, hybridity, and multiplicity. Through history, literature, drama, photography, digital/social media, and film, we will examine the dominant characterizations of Asian immigrants and Asian Americans alongside the works of authors and other cultural producers who challenge these notions. Racial formation, immigration, citizenship, citizenship, gender, sexuality, class, and war will serve as guiding themes for the course.

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines.  They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities.  Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

Texts (A partial list, subject to change):  Yang, Gene Luen. The Shadow Hero; Otsaka, Julia. When the Emperor was Divine; Keller, Nora Okja. Comfort Woman; Phan, Aimee. We Shall Never Meet; Ng, Celeste. Everything I Never Told You; Lee, Chang-Rae. On Such a Full Sea; Nguyen, Viet Thanh. The Sympathizer; Linmark, R. Zamora. Leche; Hong, Cathy Park. Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning.

Requirements & Grading:  Participation in Class discussion, 15%; Weekly Responses, 20%; Cultural Artifact Paper (6-8 pages), 30%; and Final Paper/Project (10-12 pages), 35%.

AAS 325L • Global Economies: Asia/US

32350 • Mays, Susan
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM GAR 3.116
GC (also listed as ANS 361)
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This course introduces key trends and norms in the economies of the US and Asia, with emphasis on the links between these two major trading blocs. The course has three Modules.  Module One addresses the development of the global economy.  Module Two address the rise of Asia, including Japan, the “Tiger” economies (South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong), Southeast Asia, as well as India and China. The third Module examines the connections between Asia and the U.S., for example, in human resources, trade, technology, education and knowledge transfer.  The course covers economy broadly defined to include infrastructure, institutions, societal organization, and cultural expectations, all of which impact the economy.  Importantly, the class addresses professional and labor migration between Asia and the US, including the growth of the Asian American population and the globalization of the professional and working class. The approach is historical and comparative (quantitative analysis is not required), and the reading includes scholarly works and case studies as well as articles by policy makers, business leaders, analysts, and journalists.

AAS 325N • Asian American Jurisprudence

32355 • Jin, Arnold
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WCP 5.102
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In this course we will study critical case law and history pertaining to Asian American jurisprudence, how it has excluded and empowered people, and how the law affects our understanding of race and identity today. The course will also cover critical race theory, law and economics, as well as the advancement of civil rights.  Other issues we will study include immigration, politics, and the criminal justice system.  How does the law work with our understanding of self and with how others perceive Asian Americans? Students will come out of this course with a nuanced understanding of the important legal cases and issues in Asian American lives in history and be able to engage in an intellectual discourse concerning issues challenging us today.

AAS 330D • Blacks/Asians: Race/Soc Mov

32360 • Bhalodia, Aarti
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM PMA 5.116
CD (also listed as ANT 324L)
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Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial group in the United States making up 6% of the American population. With Asians as the largest share of recent immigrants it is important to study the Asian American experience, including Asian interactions with other minority groups. While a majority of Asians are immigrants, people from Asia have a long history in the U.S. The course begins with an overview of Asian and Black history in the U.S. through the lens of critical race theory. We will trace the historical roots of Asian and Black relations in the U.S. and examine past and present racialization of Asian Americans and African Americans. We will examine key points of collaboration and conflict between Asians and Blacks in American society.

AAS 330K • Asian Americans In The South

32365 • Bhalodia, Aarti
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM PMA 5.122
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This course focuses on the history and culture of Asian Americans in the U.S. South. We will examine what brought Asians to the American South. How have Asian Americans in the South created and sustained community? We will study the history and development of Asian American suburban communities in metropolitan areas, such as Houston, Atlanta, and New Orleans. The course will highlight the diversity within Asian America by exploring Indian, Pakistani, Vietnamese, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Japanese, and Cambodian communities.

While focusing on contemporary Asian American life in the South, the course will explore legacies of Jim Crow segregation and the impact of the Civil Rights Movement on Asian American community development and residential living patterns in the South. Through the semester we will consider the following questions: How have Asian Americans negotiated culture, language, and/or religion in the South? What challenges and opportunities have they faced as they navigate socio-economic, racial, and social boundaries? How might Southern history, fraught with racial trauma and oppression, inform the development of Asian American communities?

AAS 330L • Anthropol Of The Himalayas

32370 • Hindman, Heather
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GAR 2.128
GCWr (also listed as ANS 361, ANT 323P)
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This course looks at the history and culture of the Himalayan region, including Northeast India, sections of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Tibet, but especially Nepal. Some understanding of Asian history, politics and religion will be helpful (but not necessary) as our attempt will not be a comprehensive survey of the region. The Himalayas have been the site of a great deal of anthropological attention and as such we will be simultaneously be exploring several key theoretical, historical and methodological issues within the discipline of anthropology as we learn about places and people in the region. Particular attention will be paid to the area as a site for negotiating identity (caste and indigeneity), development politics, social movements, music, animals and current political tensions in the region. At the conclusion of the class, students should have a stronger idea of the important role this area has played in the political, religious and social imagination of the world and an appreciation of concepts such as ritual theory, social movements, modernity and gender studies.


The numbers…

Participation/Attendance 10%

Student Presentations 10%

Discussion Posting 15%

3 Short papers 35%

Exam 5%

Final Paper 25%

AAS 330M • Reproductive Justice/Race

32375 • Rudrappa, Sharmila
Meets MW 8:30AM-10:00AM RLP 0.104
CDWr (also listed as SOC 335R, WGS 340)
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Access to reproductive care is the most significant indicator of social inequality. The rights to have
children, or not, and parent are deeply stratified across societies. And childhood inequalities have
persistent, life-long health effects. In this course we will examine reproductive outcomes for women in
order to study social justice.

Reproductive justice is defined “as the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.” Our working definition of reproduction justice for this course encompasses the processes of becoming pregnant and giving birth, the right to give birth to a child with disabilities, the right to prenatal care, neonatal care, and child care. Taking our cue from reproductive justice activists and scholars, our class readings and discussions will consider the complete physical and mental well-being of women, children, and their families which can potentially be achieved when they have the economic, social and political power, and resources to make healthy decisions about their sexuality, and reproduction.

Reproductive justice is not always achieved because resources are unevenly distributed, based on race, gender, sexuality, abilities/ disabilities, citizenship, and social class. As a result, developing and developed nations are racked with social inequality when it comes to reproductive matters.

From slavery, access to birth control, stratified reproduction, sex selective abortions, and new reproductive technologies, this course will focus on difficult topics; but, no answers will be provided. The expectation is that you will learn, and answer for yourself what you mean by reproductive justice, and how you think it can be achieved. My aim is that we will emerge at the end of the semester with an open mind regarding women’s and children’s health, and a more complicated understanding of what reproductive justice means. You will, hopefully, take the term reproductive justice into your own linguistic repertoire, and from there, attempt to make it a part of your worldview, and everyday life.


- Readings are on Canvas (marked with asterix), or online and accessible through our library
resources (links provided).
- Please purchase from Ritu Menon and Kamala Bashin’s Borders and Boundaries:
Women in India’s Partition. 1998 or 2000 version.

Course expectations and grading

Attendance Policy
Attendance will be taken every time we meet; you may miss up with 2 classes without affecting your
grade. After that, every class you miss drops your grade by ½ a grade, until you earn an F.

Participation: 5%
I encourage active participation in class. By participation I do not want you to monopolize discussion,
but make remarks that draw people into talking about the issues you want to discuss. Respectful
disagreement is an excellent way to learn.

Current events discussion: 5%
My hope is that you are up on current events, and read newspapers/ listen to the radio and otherwise
keep up with happenings around the world. Current news is filled with reproductive politics. As part of
your course grade please bring in news items (a photcopy/ print-out, or direct our attention to the suitable website) that are relevant to the course. We will start each day with a 5-10 minute discussion on current developments in reproductive justice matters not just in the U.S., but also in other parts of the world (in previous classes we talked about the Zika virus, the criminalization of miscarriage in Guatemala, etc).

Take home exams (two): 30% each
I encourage group work on exams. Please share notes, develop outlines together, and learn from each
other. However, each of you will write up your answers individually and turn in individuals exams.
Please indicate on your exams who you’ve worked with.

Life History: 30%
Please conduct one life history with an older person or a friend. Summarize the person’s thoughts, and
experiences. In the second section of your paper provide an introspection on your own reproductive
ideals for yourself. In the third section compare and contrast your thoughts to the person you’ve spoken with, and think through what might influence these differences. Up to 8 double spaced pages.

AAS 377 • Capstone Seminar

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Please contact the program coordinator for more information on registering for this course.