2017-18 Courses in Asian American/Diasporic Studies

Spring 2018

AMS 301 / ENG 432 / GSS 338 / ASA 301
Science Fiction and Fact
Tala Khanmalek

How does science fiction challenge “facts” about the biology of race, gender, sexuality and other categories of difference? This seminar explores the ways in which contemporary sci-fi that centers the experiences of marginalized communities reconceptualizes the techniques and technologies of social differentiation. The readings couple a sci-fi text with work by scholars across disciplines who have drawn attention to the reemergence of race as a biological rather than social category in genetics and genomics research.

AMS 307 / ASA 201
Introduction to Asian American Studies: Race and War
Laurel Mei-Singh

This course employs the central premise that multiple racial projects contribute to Asian racial formation, and that warfare plays a central role in these co-constitutive enterprises. As such, this course will examine war, its entanglement with capitalism, and social movements in relation to anti-Black racism, settler colonialism, and anti-Asian racism. As an introduction to Asian American studies course, we will use comparative, transnational frameworks to interrogate Asian Americanism. In order to accomplish this, we will develop critical perspectives of the Pacific while exploring the intersections of race and indigeneity.

AMS 310 / ASA 310 / ENG 434
Multiethnic American Short Stories: Tales We Tell Ourselves
Tessa Desmond

Short stories have been used by writers to make concise, insightful comments about American national identity and individuality. Taken up by African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, and many others, the genre has been used to convey experiences with immigration and assimilation, discrimination and oppression, generational divides, and interactions across difference. Examination of such stories deepens our understanding of America’s multiethnic landscape. In this seminar, we will explore stories written by a diverse group of writers to consider the ties that both link and divide multiethnic America.

CWR 316 / AAS 336 / LAO 316 / ASA 316
Special Topics in Poetry: Race, Identity and Innovation
Monica Y. Youn

This workshop explores the link between racial identity and poetic innovation in work by contemporary poets of color. Experimental or avant-garde poetry in the American literary tradition has often defined itself as “impersonal,” “against expression” or “post-identity.” Unfortunately, this mindset has tended to exclude or downplay poems that engage issues of racial identity. This course explores works where poets of color have treated racial identity as a means to destabilize literary ideals of beauty, mastery and the autonomy of the text while at the same time engaging in poetic practices that subvert conceptions of identity or authenticity.

SAS 328 / AMS 329 / COM 352 / ASA 328
South Asian American Literature and Film
Sadaf Jaffer

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.