Asian American Studies Minor

The minor in Asian American Studies is designed to enrich students' critical understanding of both individual experiences and collective histories of Asian Americans in regional, national, and transnational contexts. As an inter- and multi-disciplinary program, it underlines transnational contexts and comparative perspectives for the study of Asian American experiences. By promoting knowledge and understanding of a wide range of Asian American individuals and groups through teaching and research, the minor aims to provide new classroom opportunities for undergraduate students to explore Asian American experiences. It intends to enhance communication and collaboration among various cultural, ethnic, and racial groups; to facilitate intellectual exchanges; and to broaden academic inquiries on the subjects of migration, ethnicity and race across different disciplines and programs at Washington University. Involved departments and programs include American Culture Studies; East Asian Studies and South Asian Studies; African and African-American Studies; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and American Indian Studies.

The minor in Asian American Studies can nicely complement a major in American Culture Studies; East Asian Studies; East Asian Languages and Cultures; English; Global Studies; History; Sociology and other fields. Because the questions that animate Asian American Studies span disciplinary boundaries, the minor will inspire you to draw on the methods and insights of multiple disciplines to engage complex, real-world problems that necessitate interdisciplinary thinking. Situated in the larger context of the university's commitment to diversity and inclusion, the minor in Asian American Studies is an integral part of diversity and inclusion initiatives at Washington University that nurture a culturally and academically stimulating environment.


Total units required: 18 (at least 12 units must be at the 300 level or above)


  • 3 credits from Introductory Courses
  • 3 credits from Asian American Focus Courses
  • 6 credits from Multiethnic and Transnational Courses
  • 6 credits from Context Courses


  • In general, you should complete one introductory course prior to pursuing Asian American Focus Courses and Multiethnic and Transnational Courses.
  • All advanced units must be unique to the Asian American Studies minor (i.e., not counted toward any other major or minor).
  • All courses counting for the Asian American Studies minor must be taken for a letter grade, and you must receive a grade of C+ or higher.
  • You may use a study abroad course on any subject in Asian Studies to fulfill the "Asian Studies" category requirement. Such courses must be approved by the study abroad advisor for the Asian-American Studies minor.

Upcoming Events

Encounters of Color: How China and the African World Meet
A Workshop with Robeson Taj Frazier 

Sponsored by Department of African and African-American Studies and the East Asian Studies program

Friday, February 19 | 3:00PM | virtual Zoom event: register for event by clicking this link

Professor Frazier, associate professor of communication in the School of Communication at USC, will discuss his 2014 book, The East Is Black: Cold War China in the Black Radical Imagination.

Frazier is a cultural historian who explores the arts, political and expressive cultures of the people of the African Diaspora in the United States and elsewhere.  His research examines histories and current-day dynamics of race and gender, cultural traffic and contact, urban culture and life, and popular culture. 

About his book:

During the Cold War, several prominent African American radical activist-intellectuals—including W.E.B. and Shirley Graham Du Bois, journalist William Worthy, Marxist feminist Vicki Garvin, and freedom fighters Mabel and Robert Williams—traveled and lived in China. There, they used a variety of media to express their solidarity with Chinese communism and to redefine the relationship between Asian struggles against imperialism and black American movements against social, racial, and economic injustice. In The East Is Black, Taj Frazier examines the ways in which these figures and the Chinese government embraced the idea of shared struggle against U.S. policies at home and abroad. He analyzes their diverse cultural output (newsletters, print journalism, radio broadcasts, political cartoons, lectures, and documentaries) to document how they imagined communist China’s role within a broader vision of a worldwide anticapitalist coalition against racism and imperialism.

Please register in advance for this event via this link. After you register, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the Zoom event.

Past Events

Lunar New Year Festival - Saturday, February 8, 2020 | Edison Theatre | 2p

Taiwanese Students Organization Film Screening "Long Time No Sea" - Tuesday, November 12, 2019 | Simon 001
Reception: 6-7p (Free food) | Movie: 7-9p | Q & A: 9-9:30p

China Care Advocacy Event "Sparks & Rec" - Sunday, November 17, 2019 | Risa Commons | 6-8p
Free food from Wei Hong

East Asian Languages and Cultures


Introductory Courses

Choose one from this list; 3 credits, any level:

  • First Year Seminar: Easy Riders, Migrant Laborers: American Mobility in Literature and Film (E Lit 160) (unpredictable)
  • Ocean, Island, Ghetto, Globe: An Introduction to Asian American Literature and Its Spatial Politics (E Lit 313) (annually)
  • Freedom, Citizenship and the Making of American Life (History 163) (annually)
  • First Year Seminar: The Meaning of Pakistan: History, Culture, Art (History 2157) (every 1 or 2 years)
  • First Year Seminar: Chinatown: Migration, Identity and Space (IAS 135) (annually)
  • First Year Seminar: Beyond the Melting Pot: Life in Immigrant America (SOC 2710) (unpredictable)

Asian American Focus Courses

Choose one from this list; 3 credits, any level:

  • Doctors and Terrorists: The Fictions of South Asian America (AAS 200) (every 2 years)
  • Topics in Asian American Studies: Intro to Asian American & Pacific Islander Studies (AMCS 250) (annually)
  • Topics in Literature: Asian American Fictions: Space, Place, and the Makings of Asian America (E Lit 313) (annually)
  • Topics in Literature: Asian American Writings: Contesting American Constructions of the Alien Other (E Lit 313) (annually)
  • Topics in Literature: Ocean, Island, Ghetto, Globe: An Introduction to Asian American Literature and Its Spatial Politics (E Lit 313) (annually)
  • Topics in American Literature: Imagining Multi-Racial Coalitions (E Lit 423) (every 1 or 2 years)
  • "Model Minority": The Asian American Experience (IAS 3512) (annually)
  • Techno-Orientalism: Race, Media & Society (AAS 450) (annually)

Multiethnic and Transnational Courses

Choose any two from these two lists; 6 credits, any level:

(1) Asian Americans in a Multiethnic/Multiracial Perspective

  • Sophomore Seminar: American Dreams, American Nightmares: US Ethnic Literatures of Post-War Disillusionment (E Lit 250) (unpredictable)
  • Topics in English Literature: Growing Up “Different”: The Bildungsroman in a Diversifying America (E Lit 317) (annually)
  • The Multiethnic Graphic Novel in Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century American Popular Culture (E Lit 3524) (unpredictable)
  • Children of Immigrants: Identity and Acculturation (IAS 4036) (annually)
  • Topics in Literature: Queer Youth: LGBTQ Narratives of Coming-of-Age and Coming Out in North America (E Lit 4621) (unpredictable)

(2) Global Asia and Asian Diasporas in a Transnational Perspective

  • Finding China: From Sojourners to Settlers in the Chinese Diaspora and Chinese American Literature (Comp Lit 375) (unpredictable)
  • Topics in Comparative Literature I: The Trope of "China" in the Imagination of the Chinese Diaspora (Comp Lit 375) (unpredictable)
  • Writing from the Periphery: The Question of Chineseness (Comp Lit 449) (unpredictable)
  • Chinese Diasporas: A Social History of Global Migration (History 3165) (every 2 years)
  • Imperialism and Sexuality: India, South Asia and the World (WI) (History 39SC) (every 1 or 2 years)

Context Courses

Choose one from each category; 6 credits total, any level:

(1) Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity

  • Rainbow Radicalisms!: Ethnic Nationalism(s), the 1960s and the Politics of the New Left (AFAS 4121) (unpredictable)
  • The Immigrant Experience (AMCS 202) (every 1 to 2 years)
  • Race & Ethnic Relations in the United States (AMCS 3296) (annually)
  • Neighborhoods, Schools and Social Inequality (Educ 4289) (unpredictable)
  • Histories of Intelligence: Topics in Science and Society (IPH 3451) (unpredictable)
  • Visualizing Segregation: A History of St. Louis, Chicago and New Orleans (InterD 306M) (unpredictable)
  • Immigration Law (W74 Law 630D) (every 1 to 2 years)
  • Race and Ethnicity in American Politics (PolSci 3031) (unpredictable)
  • The Roots of Ferguson: Understanding Racial Inequality in the Contemporary US (SOC 2010) (every 1 to 2 years)
  • Social Inequality in America (SOC 2110) (unpredictable)
  • The Social Construction of Race (SOC 3212) (unpredictable)
  • Sociology of Immigration (SOC 3710) (unpredictable)

(2) Asian Studies

  • Contemporary Chinese Culture and Society (Anthro 3055) (unpredictable)
  • Introduction to Asian Art (ArtArch 111) (unpredictable)
  • Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art (ArtArch 3426) (unpredictable)
  • The Three Emperors: Redefining Chinese Art in the Golden Age (ArtArch 4489) (unpredictable)
  • Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature (Chinese 342) (annually)
  • Topics in East Asian Studies: US-China Relations, from 1800 to the Present (East Asia 3263) (every 2 years)
  • First Year Seminar: The Meaning of Pakistan: History, Culture, Art (History 2157) (every 1 or 2 years)
  • Globalization and Its Discontents (History 270) (unpredictable)
  • Early Modern China (History 3162) (every 1 or 2 years)
  • Modern China: 1890s to the Present (History 316CHist 3100) (annually)
  • Japan Since 1868 (History 320C) (every 1 or 2 years)
  • Nineteenth-Century China: Violence and Transformation (History 331) (every 2 years)
  • Advanced Seminar: Incredible India! (History 49SC) (unpredictable)
  • First Year Seminar: The Vietnam Wars (IAS 111) (unpredictable)
  • From McDonald's to K-Pop: New Movements in East Asia (IAS 3822) (annually)
  • The Modern Voice in Japanese Literature (Japan 333C) (annually)
  • Topics in Politics: Modern South Asian Politics (Pol Sci 3292) (unpredictable)

Select Past Events