Program in Asian American Studies

Books read in Program in Asian American Studies courses

Readings in recent Program in Asian American Studies courses include, clockwise from top left: Bengali Harlem by Vivek Bald, Insurrecto by Gina Apostol, Tripmaster Monkey by Maxine Hong Kingston, Personal Days by Ed Park, The Asian American Achievement Paradox by Jennifer Lee and Min Zhou, Orientalism by Edward W. Said, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid, Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu, Subverting Exclusion by Andrea Geiger, Fresh off the Boat by Eddie Huang.

Join the Program

Spring 2024 Courses

Chinatown, The Japanese Garden, The Period Room: Case Studies for Diasporic Architecture
Subject associations
ARC 314 / ASA 313 / HUM 374 / URB 313

This course delves into East Asian-styled architecture in the US through the lens of diaspora. By surveying Chinatowns, Japanese gardens, and period rooms via immersive field trips and the visual and textual documents, we examine how the experiences of immigration, racialization, and cultural exchange are reflected in the formal language, spatial interaction, cultural symbolism, and social dynamics of the built environment. Additionally, we interpret the process of representation, appropriation, modification, and ultimately, reinvention of architecture and space, all within the context of negotiation between the home and host land.

Instructors
Zhiyan Yang
Asian American Literature and Culture
Subject associations
ASA 224 / ENG 224 / GSS 226

What is the relationship between race and genre? Through a survey of major works and debates in Asian American literature, this course examines how writers employ a variety of generic forms--novels, comics, memoirs, film, science fiction--to address issues of racial and ethnic identity, gender, queerness, memory, immigration, and war. By placing racial formation in relation to social, economic, and intellectual developments, we will explore the potential of literary texts to deepen our historical understanding of Asians in the U.S. and beyond, and probe into what labeling a work of literature as "Asian American" allows us to know and do.

Instructors
Paul Nadal
Asian-American Psyches: Model Minority, Microaggressions and Mental Health
Subject associations
ASA 238 / PSY 205

This course will analyze and evaluate through a psychological lens the psychosocial causes and consequences of significant current events that impact different Asian groups in the U.S., such as pandemic-spurred anti-Asian sentiment and educational policy (e.g., the debate over magnet schools moving to lottery systems rather than test based), as well as long-standing "everyday" experiences common to Asian Americans (e.g., navigating biculturalism, microaggressions and model minority stereotypes) that may impact identity and mental health.

Instructors
Shirley S. Wang
Asian American Pacific Islander Experience
Subject associations
ASA 318 / AMS 298 / SOC 389

This course surveys Asian American and Pacific Islander experiences in sociology, anthropology, American studies, ethnomusicology, and education. This course develops an account of racializations beyond the black/white binary while situating Asian American and Pacific Islander experiences of exclusion and differential inclusion in the larger context of US wars and empires Asia and the Pacific Islands; settler colonialism; racial capitalism; displacement & migration; and popular culture and mass media.

Instructors
Carolyn Choi
US Empire in Asia and the Pacific Islands
Subject associations
ASA 330 / AMS 336 / SOC 388

This class examines the transpacific entanglements between the United States, Asia, and the Pacific Islands. The central aims of the course is to 1) unpack how narratives of American exceptionalism and rescue have historically been used to justify US military and capitalist interventions in Asia and the Pacific Islands and 2) connect the ways in which this contributes to the continued dispossessions, displacements, movements, and racializations of Asian and Pacific Islander peoples.

Instructors
Carolyn Choi
Remediating Monkey: Journey to the West
Subject associations
EAS 224 / ASA 223

This course focuses on the 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West (Monkey), some of its central themes, and its long history of adaptation across media, regional and historical boundaries. We read a good part of the 100-chapter novel, investigate some of the texts that preceded it, and look at the illustrations, comics, rewritings, films, and videogames that it inspired. If Monkey represents the spirit of play and the ability to change at will, how does remediation ask us to think about this in terms of media and philosophy, politics and language? When and how does adaptation turn into appropriation?

Instructors
Paize Keulemans
Global Novel
Subject associations
ENG 444 / ASA 444 / AMS 443

What happens to narrative when writers aspire to write the world? How has globalization transformed not only the way novels are produced but also the internal form of the works themselves? We'll read novels that overtly strive for a fuller picture of some social or conceptual whole (e.g., migration, climate change, labor, the Internet), especially where they thematize the impossibility of such a project. Students will learn advanced methods for reading literature's relation to society by examining how writers play with scale, link parts to wholes, and provincialize worlds while rendering the seemingly provincial or mundane worldly.

Instructors
Paul Nadal

Community and Conversations