Current Courses

Fall 2020

203San Diego
Illness and Disability in Asian America

Description: Remote/Synchronous. How have historical and contemporary discourses of law, medicine, and media constructed certain bodies as “healthy,” “disabled,” or even “human?” What are the political and ethical implications of sharing illness experiences as an of resistance and act of care? In this class, students will compare memoirs, essays, and visual culture produced by Asian Americans living with illness and disability alongside and against texts written by “experts” working in hospitals, public health, and psychology. Potential themes/topics may include: scientific racism, biopolitics, neurodivergence, environmental racism, medical humanities, sexuality, and the politics of care.

Distribution Requirement: Soc/Behav
TTh11:20 AM - 12:40 PM
210San Diego
Introduction to Asian American Studies

Description: Remote/Synchronous. In the midst of a global pandemic and upcoming national election, what is the role of Asian American Studies? How has its mission and vision changed since its inception 50 years ago? Throughout this course, we will question the limits and possibilities of Asian American Studies as a field, method, theoretical approach, mode of critique, political orientation, and platform for social justice. Potential themes and concepts may include: intersectionality, critical race theory, the politics of knowledge production, hate crimes, popular culture, drag queens, identity, electoral politics, and strategies of survival and resistance.

Distribution Requirement: Social & Behavioral Sciences Distro
TTh1:00 PM - 2:20 PM
Asian Americans and Pop Culture

Description: Remote/Synchronous. Asian Americans and Popular Culture surveys a history of Asian/American race relations, experiences, and subject formation in the United States from the 1800s to the present day through cultural production. Students will study how Asian Americaness is performed, caricatured, and reimagined through popular culture including film, comics, television, theatre, music, literature, public protest, sports, and social media. The course will offer language that allows students to analyze and develop creative work to respond to and re/frame debates on the politics of representation, exoticization, cultural appropriation, transnationalism, hybridity, and U.S. immigration laws.

Distribution Requirement: Social & Behavioral Sciences Distro
TTh9:40 AM - 11:00 AM
Asian Persuasion: Asian American Advertising and Consumption

Description: Remote/Synchronous. What is Asian American advertising? How can we understand cultural production and consumption practices among Asian Americans? This course will examine ethnographic approaches to advertising, fashion, food, and expressive culture among Asian communities in the United States. The first portion of the class will examine the processes involved in creating ads for specific Asian ethnic groups, as well as other cultural production in Asian American industries, including fashion. The second will look in-depth at various studies of consumption that document the ways in which Asian Americans engage with popular culture and commodities, including food and art. We will also draw connections between advertising and consumption in the U.S. with China, India, Japan, and other Asian nation-states. The course will be grounded in anthropological perspectives of advertising and cultural production as well as theories of consumption, and consider the effects of these on meanings of ethnicity, race, gender, class, nation, and diaspora.

Social & Behavioral Sciences Distro
MW1:00 PM - 2:20 PM
Black Studies, Native Studies, and Asian Settler Colonialism

Description: Remote/Synchronous. Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor. Black Studies, Native Studies, and Asian Settler Colonialism looks at the dialogues and tensions between these three fields. Through books and articles, we analyze the debates and intersections of indigeneity and race, native/settler, and Indigeneity and settler colonialism in the Americas and with a special focus on the Pacific. Why do we tend to view Black and Native peoples as separate, with distinct geographies, identifications, politics, and imagined futures? And how does the analysis of Asian settler colonialism that emerges out of the scholarship on Hawai'i expand, disrupt, and unsettle the native/settler debate in North America?

Distribution Requirement: Social & Behavioral Sciences Distro
W2:00 PM - 4:50 PM
360-0-20San Diego
Queer/Trans Ethnic Studies

Description: Remote/Synchronous. Queer/Trans Ethnic Studies examines discourses shaping communities as produced by and producing unequal power relations across geographic sites, social networks, and strategic alliances. By focusing upon social inequalities generated from various social structures: the government, the school, the prison, the media, and the hospital, we’ll explore how webs of power both indirectly and directly inform our everyday lives. How do critical race, feminist, and queer analyses of these institutions highlight areas of oppression and opportunities for resistance across shifting hierarchies of race, sexuality, gender, class, nationality, and ability? How have various queer/trans of color communities been affected by these institutions what strategies and tactics have they pursued in the quest for intersectional social justice?

Social & Behavioral Sciences Distro
TTh4:20 PM - 5:40 PM
Trans Surgeries in Transnational Contexts

Description: Remote/Synchronous. This course explores Gender Affirmation Surgeries offered to non-Thais by Thai surgeons. Within the context of Asian American studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies, we approach this topic from three axes: comparative culture, data and digital imaging, and medical-juridical texts. Comparative culture studies considers the sex/gender system in Thailand and differences from western presumptions of normal, as well as how Queer and Trans* theory have positioned trans bodies. The study of data and digital Imaging applies visualization tools to an archive of websites. We examine how digital images influence our understanding of the medical travel industry. The medical-juridical section of the course includes publications written by international organizations concerning medical Standards of Care and sexual and human rights.

Social & Behavioral Sciences Distro
MW11:20 AM - 12:40 PM
Fire & Ice: Performances in Citizenship

Description: Remote/Synchronous. Fire & Ice: Performances of Citizenship examines U.S. immigration policy and the carceral state alongside a history of the movement to protect undocumented citizens and racially, religiously, and sexually marginalized groups. Throughout the course we will explore how citizenship is defined, deformed, and reimagined through the elements of fire and ice, as aesthetic form, institutional shapes, and key material in political struggle. Readings for the course will draw from critical ethnic studies and performance studies including work from A. Naomi Paik, Dylan Rodriguez, Mae Ngai, Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Sandra Ruiz, Nicole Fleetwood, and James Baldwin; Policy/Community Organizing Toolkits from the National Immigration Law Center and Immigration Defense Project; and a range of multimedia artwork from Maria Gaspar, In Plain Sight, and For the People’s Artist Collective. The purpose of the course is to delve into how citizenship is defined/performed in relationship to U.S. foreign and domestic policies shaping contemporary struggles for immigration and prison abolition, and the fight for freedom in immigrant and refugee communities.

Literature and Fine Arts Distro
Th5:00 PM - 7:20 PM