Asian American Studies Minor
As a minor in Asian American Studies, you will enrich your critical understanding about 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.
This course explores key issues in the field revolving around the concept of "model minority." It explores the origins of this concept, analyzes the social discourses about Asian Americans as a model minority, and through interrogations of complex experiences and heterogeneity among Asian Americans (including Pacific Islanders), it aims to dismantle the model minority myth. It approaches race and ethnicity by focusing on one designated pan-ethnic group, and uses multidisciplinary inquiries inspired by the fields of history, sociology, anthropology, law and education, all of which are concerned with the conceptual framework of "model minority."
Where do Asian Americans belong? The disparate routes Asian migrants took to the U.S. tie their stories “here” to a “there” overseas. Meanwhile, their places here in the U.S. have been ambivalent: embraced as model minorities but also excluded as foreigners, even potential traitors. Out of this history comes a literature that wrestles with the problem of place. This course will introduce us to the range of Asian American literature and stretch our ideas of what it can be and where it can travel. Through this literature, we’ll examine how Asian Americans have imagined their horizons of belonging when their places in the world are unclear. We’ll journey from familiar Asian American settings—Chinatown, the island, the Asia-Pacific—to less familiar ones—the American hemisphere, global utopias, fantasy worlds. Across these diverse settings, Asian American literature questions where we draw the boundaries of community, identity, and political responsibility.