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.

Program in Asian American Studies

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Spring 2022 Courses

Critical Intersections in South Asian American Studies
Subject associations
ASA 336 / GSS 353 / SAS 338 / AMS 301

Since the recent election of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the question of who belongs has become central to South Asian politics. These questions of power and belonging reverberate in the diaspora. Because the US is a settler-colonial state, many South Asians find themselves at the interstices of American and South Asian systems of power and flows of capital. In order to examine these processes, this class will use interdisciplinary thematic units across South Asian and Asian American Studies to examine caste, race/racialization, gender/gendering processes and colonialism in the Indian American diaspora.

Instructors
Rishi Ramesh Guné
Imagining Asian Pacific America: Storytelling In Contemporary Literary, Media and Visual Arts
Subject associations
ASA 430 / ENG 431

In this interdisciplinary course, participants will explore how Asian/Pacific American contemporary literary, media and visual artists create presence for absence in their novels, short stories, poems, cultural essays, films, and visual art depicting a range of Asian/Pacific American experiences. Social issues such as voluntary and forced migration, assimilation, displacement, gender & sexuality, generational differences, youth activism, identity politics, insider/outsider dynamics, the post-colonial condition, and various forms of discrimination within our respective communities as well as across them will be discussed.

Instructors
Angel Velasco Shaw
Literature and Religion: Christianity in Korean and Korean-American Novels and Films
Subject associations
COM 381 / REL 385 / ASA 381 / EAS 382

This course explores the role of American Christianity in canonical and popular Korean and Korean-American novels and films. While the references to Christianity in these novels and films serve to indicate the active presence of American Christian missionaries in 20th century Korea, we will pay attention to the ways in which the figures of American Christianity function in these narratives.

Instructors
John Park
Dangerous Bodies: Cross-Dressing, Asia, Transgression
Subject associations
EAS 314 / COM 398 / GSS 314 / ASA 314

This course examines "dangerous bodies" - bodies that transgress existing gender and racial norms in Chinese and Sinophone cultures. Situated at the intersection of literary, film, performance, gender and ethnic studies, this course provides an introduction to the shifting social meanings of the body in relation to historical masculinity, femininity, and Chineseness. We examine different cross-dressed figures, ranging from Mulan, cross-dressed male opera singer, WWII Japanese/Chinese spy, to experimental queer cinema, in a study that unpacks whether these transgressive bodies represent social change or a tool for restoring traditional norms.

Instructors
Erin Y. Huang
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 interdisciplinary 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
South Asian American Literature and Film
Subject associations
SAS 328 / ASA 328 / COM 358

This course examines literature and film by South Asians in North America. Students will gain perspective on the experiences of immigration and diaspora through the themes of identity, memory, solidarity, and resistance. From early Sikh migration to the American West Coast, to Muslim identity in a post 9/11 world, how can South Asian American stories be read as symbolic of the American experience of gender, class, religion, and ethnicity more broadly? Students will hone their skills in reading primary materials, analyzing them within context, writing persuasively, and speaking clearly.

Instructors
Sadaf Jaffer

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