Current Courses

Fall 2015

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Asian Am 210/Amer St 310-22

Introduction to Asian American Studies

Laura Fugikawa

MW 2:00-3:20 p.m.

Ethnic studies programs are the result of dissatisfaction with the absence of the histories, stories and experiences of people of color in the academy. As the result of this social movement, Asian American Studies emerged in the 1960s to incorporate Asian American histories and experiences into the classroom. We will discuss a broad historical and regional grounding of experiences of Asian Americans in the 19th and 20th centuries; focus on issues of representation in literature, films, and pop culture, and identity organizations that meet these needs in Asian American Chicago.

Social and Behavioral Sciences Distro


Asian Am 335/Anthro 335

Language in Asian America

Shalini Shankar

TuTh 11:00-12:20 p.m.

This course will examine language use among Asian communities in the U.S. We will explore topics of language socialization, bilingualism, code-switching, language retention and loss, stereotypes, English as a Second Language, and slang in conjunction with broader dynamics of gender, race, ethnicity, class, and sexuality will be explored. Special attention will be paid to processes of racial and ethnic formation through language ideologies and use, especially in the context of English monolingualism, the model minority stereotype, and the white public sphere.

Social and Behavioral Sciences Distro


Asian Am 370/Anthro 330

South Asian Americans

Shalini Shankar

TuTh 2:00-3:20 p.m.

This course will use the lenses of Anthropology and Cultural Studies to explore the experiences of South Asians in America. We will focus primarily on post-1965 migration to the U.S. from South Asia and other diasporic locations such as the Caribbean, Fiji, UK, Africa, and Canada. The course will center on how heritage culture and language inform racial and ethnic identities; how South Asian Americans engage in music, art, filmmaking; the stakes of conservative politicians and other public figures; and the significance of the stereotypes to which this group is subject. We will look at how class, religion, nationality, and immigration history inform ideas of authenticity, belonging, community, and public image.

Social and Behavioral Sciences Distro


Asian Am 360/Gender St 382

Studies in Race, Gender and Sexuality

Laura Fugikawa

MW11:00-12:20 p.m.

This course is a cross-disciplinary examination of issues related to genders and sexualities among Asian Americans, with critical attention paid to experiences across various social and political contexts. This class will discuss queer and LGBT issues, ethno-sexualization, interracial relationships, masculinities, and femininities, and representation in pop culture. We will engage with historical contexts, critical theories of race and gender and sexuality frameworks, and sociology studies, as well as interrogate a range of Asian American narratives regarding genders and sexualities.

Social and Behavioral Sciences Distro



Spring 2015


Asian Am 203/ Sociology 276

2nd Generation Asian American Experience

Carolyn Chen

TuTh 9:30-10:50 a.m.

This course offers a critical sociological examination of what it means to be a 1.5 and second-generation Asian American through scholarly works, memoirs, blogs and popular journalism. How does the second generation Asian American experience compare to other racial groups? How is the second-generation becoming American? We will explore these questions through second-generation Asian American experiences of race and ethnicity, religion, family, education, dating and sexuality, and mental health.

Social and Behavioral Sciences Distro


Asian Am 380/Theatre 365

Performing Asian America

Elizabeth Son

MW 2-3:20 p.m.

This course examines the Asian American experience through embodies practices of theatre, performance art, spoken word, and social performances. We will discuss the intersectionalities of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in relation to topics of im/migration, citizenship, identity and community formation, U.S. imperialism, and political activism. We will read key works in Asian American history, theatre, and performance studies, along with critical readings from gender and sexuality, (post)colonial, trauma, and cultural studies.

Literature and Fine Arts Distro


Asian Am 394

Asian American Arts in Practice

Tatsu Aoki

Tu 6:00-8:50 p.m.

Arts in Practice is a survey and research based class structure. This course will examine the cross cultural work of Asian American artists with a focus on the regional arts and culture along with the influence of the national movement as well as internationally known artists, historical analysis of the Asian American music and visual arts. The main focus of the study will be the phenomenal development in the last 20 years as Chicago and the Bay Area (but not limited to) mark significant contribution for the new and traditional music, performing arts and visual arts. Also, many influential cyber arts and/or non arts movement such as Youtube submissions, internet based performing activities and web page presentations will be investigated. Themes that will be addressed are the forming of new cultural and artistic communities and their impact on the mainstream culture, collaboration between communities and cultures on the local and transnational levels, culture, community and economic development issues in the arts and society. In-class listening and viewing sessions and field assignments are required.


Asian Am 275/English 275

Intro to Asian American Literature

Jinah Kim

TuTh 12:30-1:50 p.m.

This course examines literature, film, and critical theory created by Asian Americans to examine the development of "Asian America" as a literary field. We will explore how Asian American literature engages themes of race, nation and empire. We will 'deconstruct' the text to understand how Asian American literature offers a parallax view into American history, culture and political-economy. The novels short stories, plays and films studied in this class chart an ongoing movement in Asian American studies from negotiating the demands for domesticated narratives of immigrant assimilation to crafting new modes of critique highlighting Asian America's transnational and postcolonial history and poesis.

Literature and Fine Arts Distro



Winter 2015


Asian Am/History 214

Asian American History

Ji-Yeon Yuh

TuTh 11-12:20 p.m.

This course is an introductory survey of the history of Asian immigrants and Asian Americans in the United States. We will examine the experiences of Asian immigrants and Asian Americans from a historically grounded, interdisciplinary perspective that locates these experiences within the international context of diaspora and labor migration and the domestic contect of race relations, nation-building and U.S. prominence as a world power.

Historical Studies Distro


Asian Am 350/Sociology 376

Asian American Religions

Carolyn Chen

TuTh 2-3:20 p.m.

Religion is one of the most significant institutions in Asiam American communities and plays a powerful force in sustaining, shaping and transforming Asian Americans. This course examines important themes in Asian American religions: immigration, community, race and ethnicity, generation and class. Students will study Asian American religious experiences through field work in local Asian American religious congregations.

Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Ethics and Values Distro


Asian Am 203-0-20

Asian-Black Historical Solidarities

James Daniel Elam

MW 9:30-10:50 a.m.

This class will focus on the history of solidarity between Asian Americans and African Americans in the 20th century. Both groups have faced oppression in the forms of exclusion and racism, and this class will examine the moments where political leaders attempted to forge a unity and strength from underneath these injustices. We will read novels and accounts of these moments in solidarity, and we will also examine times when unity failed.

Social and Behavioral Sciences and Historical Studies Distro


Asian Am 203-0-21

South Asian American Literature & Culture

James Daniel Elam

MW 12:30-1:50 p.m.

This course uses 20th-century South Asian American literature to explore how the diasporic experience can be generative and productive. By asking what we can use diaspora for, we can examine how certain experiences might enable communities understand other forms of injustice. How might South Asian American writing be "useful" for thinking about other related issues: labor activism, Afro-Asian solidarity, class precariousness, US imperilism or cosmopolitanism?

Literature and Fine Arts Distro


Asian Am 203-0-22

Fashion in Asian America

Linde Murugan

TuTh 9:30-10:50 a.m.

This course examines the politics of fashion and its ties to Asian Americans. These connections will be explored in three units: race, design and labor. We will also tackle issues of commodification, cultural appropriation and camp. Through class discussions, assignments, readings, and screenings, students will be asked to consider fashion in terms of everyday practice, aesthetics and industrial labor.

Social and Behavioral Sciences Distro


Asian Am 203-0-23/Soc 314

Religion, Race & Ethnicity

Carolyn Chen

TuTh 11-12:30 p.m.

This course offers an introduction to the sociology of religion, focusing specifically on how religion intersects with race and ethnicity in the United States. The course will offer a comparative lens into the religious experiences of blacks, whites, Latinos, and Asians in the U.S..


Asian Am 392-0-21/Gndr 341

Manga and the Graphic Novel

Andrew Leong

MW 11-12:20 p.m.

In this seminar, students will develop their own research projects on manga, comics or graphic novels while working together through a reading list of Jewish, Japanese and American graphic narratives. We will examine metastasis not only in formal terms, but also in historical terms (psychological and physical displacements wrought by Japanese and Jewish immigration to the United States, Japanese American internment and the Holocaust.)

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Asian Am 392-0-21/Gndr 341

Thai Medical Tourism & Sexuality

Jillana Enteen

TuTh 12:30-1:50 p.m.

This course is the intersection of theoretical, cultural, medical and commercial online discourses about Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS) presented on the World Wide Web and practiced in Thailand. Using "Trans" theories (transgender, transnational, translation and spatio/temporal), we will discuss medical tourism to Thailand. We will examine Thai cultural/historical conceptions of sex and genders, debates concerning bodies, diagnosis that took place and more.


Asian Am 394

Asian Identity in Cinema

Tatsu Aoki

Tu 6-8:50 p.m.

This course looks at America's perceptions of Asians through their portrayal in American mainstream media in contrast to those made in Asia by Asian filmmakers. In doing this, the class investigates issues of representation and misrepresentation in mass culture stereotypes of Asians to show how they have been rooted in confusions surrounding cultural differences between Asian and Asian Americans.



Fall 2014


Asian Am 247


Daniel Elam

This course will explore topics and issues in contemporary Asian American popular culture. We will read/watch books and films by Asian American writers and filmmakers, and we will discuss issues of representation, consumerism, and globalization.

Social and Behavioral Sciences Distro


Asian Am 365/Anthro 365


Shalini Shankar

This course examines the relationship between language, race and ethnicity in the contemporary United States. It will cover major theoretical concepts about language use, race, ethnicity, and identity, and examine a number of ethnographic case studies about these issues. The course will focus primarily on language use among Asian Americans but also examine language practices by Latinos, Blacks, and Native Americans by comparison. Topics to be examined include: how languages and their speakers are regarded by institutions such as schools and workplaces; how public discourse about languages other than English affect the lives of those speakers; how language use mediate interethnic and interracial relations; why particular languages have been stigmatized while others are celebrated; the ways in which socioeconomic factors such as social class, immigration status, and educational background affect language use; and how youth use language to construct ethnic and racial identities, often in ways that cross racial boundaries. Readings will be drawn from anthropology, Asian American studies, sociolinguistics, and ethnic studies.

Literature and Fine Arts Distro


Asian Am 370

Studies in Diaspora: Global South Asians

Daniel Elam

This course will examine the South Asians in America before 1965. They included migrant and itinerant labor forces, political refugees and anticolonial agitators, and elite English-speaking writers and intellectuals. This course uses this full range of South Asians living in the US to give students an account of the precarious forms of political life made available to them by the uneasily intersecting rules of two empires – the emerging US, the declining British.

Social and Behavioral Sciences Distro


Upcoming Event

There are no upcoming events at this time.