Current Courses

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.)

For Distro Request email


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

GLOBAL SOUTH ASIANS the South Asian American experience in the early twentieth century

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



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