Current Courses

Spring 2016

 

Asian Am 214/Hist 214

Introduction to Asian American History

Laura Fugikawa

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

Asian American History is American History. This course is an introductory survey of historical experiences of Asian immigrants and Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. What roles do colonization, global politics and American Expansionism play in Asian and Pacific Islanders' experiences of immigration to the U.S.? How did Asian Americans wield political influence and circumscribe exclusionary and racist policies to build their lives in America? How does looking at Asian American history change the way we understand American history?

Historical Studies Distro

 

Asian Am 251/Af Am 251

The Mixed Race Experience

Nitasha Sharma

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

Growing numbers of interracial marriages and children of mixed racial descent have contributed to the increasing diversity of 21st century America. In this course, we will evaluate the experiences of self-identified multiracials. This class will explore the interracial and inter-ethnic marriage trends in various Asian communities in the U.S. Additionally, we will compare the experiences of multiracials representing a range of backgrounds, including those of Asian/White and Asian/Black ancestry as well as Asian/Black heritage. Some of the specific topics that will be covered in this course include: racial and ethnic community membership and belonging; passing; the dynamics of interracial relationships; identity, authenticity, and choice; and the gender identities of the mixed race individuals.

Social and Behavioral Sciences Distro

 

Asian Am 275/Eng 275

Introduction to Asian American Literature

Andrew Leong

TuTh 3:30 - 4:50 p.m.

This course is an introduction to foundational works of 20th century Asian American literature. We will begin with the revolutionary autobiographies of anarchist Dhan Gopal Mukerji and labor organizer Carlos Bulosan, continue with John Okada's hard-hitting novel No-No Boy, and conclude with the genre-defying experiments of Maxine Hong Kingston and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. If you are interested in the political power and legacies, daring creative experiments, or the multi-generational history of Asian American writing, this is the course for you.

Literature and Fine Arts Distro

 

Asian Am 310/Af Am 310

Contemporary Asian and Black Relations

Nitasha Sharma

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

This course explores the relations between Asian American and Black people in the contemporary U.S. Picking up where Asian and Black Historical Relations in the U.S. (Asam/Afam 218) left off (not a pre-req), this course covers the historical racialization of these two groups. In the first meeting of each week, we analyze and discuss the set of readings and films. The second meeting each week is structured around a student-led debate about the topic of the week. These include: the differential and overlapping racialization and sexualization of Blacks and Asians; Black and Asian labor in the U.S.; reparations; affirmative action; the 1992 L.A. riots; martial arts and Bruce Lee in African American communities; Asian/Black intermarriage; multiracial Blasians; and Asian Americans in hip hop.

Ethics and Values Distro

 

Asian Am 320/HIST 393-0-28

Memories of War

Ji-Yeon Yuh

MW 11:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.

Vietnamese refugees and Korean immigrants came to the U.S. with experiences of war that are passed to younger generations as both silence and memory. How can we understand and represent the experiences of both the older and younger generations? How do their experiences transform the history of Asian Americans as well as the broader history of the U.S.? What does war mean in the American experience? This research seminar focuses on Vietnamese American and Korean American communities in the Chicago area in an attempt to answer these and other questions through focused oral history research and public presentations.

Historical Studies Distro

 

Asian Am 370/Soc 376

Studies in Diaspora: S.E. Asian American Experience

Jennifer Huynh

TuTh 3:30 - 4:50 p.m.

The diversity of the Asian American experience includes the outpouring of refugees who arrived to the U.S. in the 1970s and 1980s while fleeing war, revolution, and exile. How do Cambodians, Vietnamese, and Laotians fit the model minority myth? Is there inter-generational transfer of trauma and war to the second generation? This course focuses on the experiences of Vietnamese, Khmer, Lao, Hmong and ethnic Chinese from Southeast Asia. We will examine political and economic factors for their exodus and how they reconstruct their identities, families, and communities in the U.S. We will look at issues such as refugee camp experiences, education, occupational options, and homeland relations.

Social and Behavioral Sciences Distro

 

Asian Am 392/Eng 385/Comp Lit 375

Manga & the Graphic Novel

Andrew Leong

TuTh 11:00 a.m. - 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. Although the course readings will focus primarily on documentary, historical, and realist works, students are encouraged to pursue interests in other genres and styles. We will also examine the psychological and physical displacements wrought by Japanese and Jewish immigration to the U.S., Japanese American internment, and the Holocaust.

 

Asian Am 394

Asian American Arts in Practice

Tatsu Aoki

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

Students will examine the cross cultural work of Asian American artists through a survey and research-based class structure, focusing mainly on the development of Asian American visual and performing arts in the last 10 years, both nationally and locally with Chicago area artists. Materials include YouTube videos, internet-based performances and other online pieces. We will study the formation of cultural and artistic communities and their impact on the mainstream culture, as well as study the collaboration between these communities and cultures on local and transnational levels.

 

Winter 2016

 

Asian Am 203/SOC 276

Topics in Social and Cultural Analysis: Second Generation Asian American Experience

Jennifer Huynh

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

Children of immigrants comprise one-in-five of Americans under age 18, and the proportion is growing rapidly. This course focuses on how the children of immigrants, or rising second generation, experience growing up American. Using a sociological lens, we will explore family and school life, intergenerational relations, identity, religion, and how youth and society frame "success". It focuses on the unique aspects of being second-generation Asian American.

Social and Behavioral Sciences Distro

 

Asian Am 218/Af Am 214

Asian-Black Historical Relations in the U.S.

Nitasha Sharma

MW 11:00 a.m.-12:20 p.m.

Why do Asian Americans and African Americans seem to be incommensurably different groups? How can we understand the tensions between these communities? And where can we find evidence of past solidarity and commonality? This course offers an interdisciplinary examination of the experiences of Asian and Black peoples in the U.S. Topics include: racialization and sexualization of Blacks and Asians; slavery and early immigration legislation; international “Afro-Asian” connections; racial and economic dynamics in the post-WWII economy; deindustrialization; social movements of the 1960s and 1970s; and theories of inter-minority relations beyond Black and White.

Social and Behavioral Sciences Distro

Historical Studies Distro

 

Asian Am 216/History 216

Global Asians

Ji-Yeon Yuh

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

This is a comparative course that will examine the international migration histories of different Asian groups in the 20th century as well as the development of community and identity of those groups in national contexts. In short, we will explore the borders, cultural encounters, and mixings of Asian groups in various socioeconomic and political contexts in different nation-states. We will interrogate the concept of diaspora versus migration versus immigration; we will examine the immigration policies of host countries in Europe, the Americas, and Asia, and the settlement histories of Asians within these countries.

Historical Studies Distro

 

Asian Am 247

Asian Americans & Pop Culture

Laura Fugikawa

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

What is Asian American Popular Culture? This course will look at food, popular film, music, television, YouTube, consumer culture and print culture (zines, graphic novels and art). We will go beyond looking at tropes of the Other, the "model minority" and the mainstream's erasure of Asian American culture to explore how Asian Americans use popular culture to challenge and critique identity categories, imagine solidarities and motivate change. 

Literature and Fine Arts Distro

 

Asian Am 303

Settler Colonialism / Indigeneity

Laura Fugikawa

MW 3:30-4:50 p.m.

This course looks at colonialism as continuing structural power rather than an historical event. With a focus on the Asia, the Pacific Islands and the Americas, this course examines and questions settler, indigenous and arrivant identities. What cultural, economic and political work does settler colonialism do to justify imperialism? What does settler colonialism look like in contemporary culture? How have Indigenous peoples challenged settler colonialism through political action and art? What alternative world-views push back against policies of coloniality and the rhetoric of modernity?  This course will engage with current discussions in Asian American Studies, Native American/Indigenous Studies and Ethnic Studies.

Social and Behavioral Sciences Distro

 

Asian Am 360/Gndr St 341/Asian St 390

Medical Tourism & Transnational Sexuality

Jillana Enteen

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

This course is situated at the intersection of theoretical, cultural, and medical, and commercial online discourses concerning the burgeoning Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS) medical surgeries presented online and practiced in Thailand. Using “Trans” theories: transgender, transnational, translation, spatio/temporal, we will discuss the intersections, dialogues, refusals and adoptions when thinking about medical tourism to Thailand. We will examine Thai cultural/historical conceptions of sex and genders, debates concerning bodies and diagnosis that took place during the drafting of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), and changes in presentations of sex/gender related surgeries offered online.

Social and Behavioral Sciences Distro

 

Asian Am 394

Asian Identity in Cinema

Tatsu Aoki

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

This course is a survey and discussion-based course examining representations of Asian and Asian American icons in the U.S. We will do this by comparing portrayals of Asians in films made by Asians versus those produced by the American mainstream. Course materials include Hollywood films, mainstream Asian films, independent works and other visual media such as Youtube videos.

 

 

Fall 2015

 

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 225/Sociology 276

Contemporary Issues in Asian American Communities: Ethnic Economies & Neighborhoods

Jennifer Huynh

TuTH 3:30-4:50 p.m.

This course studies immigrant entrepreneurship, the formation, function, and persistence of ethnic neighborhoods and economies on identity, family, immigrant integration, and gender. Case studies examining historical enclaves such as Chicago's Chinatown and Los Angeles' Koreatown, the rise of affluent ethnoburbs in California, and ethnic niches and economies in new immigrant destinations will be discussed.

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 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

 

 

 

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