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Course Offerings

The Program in American Studies and partnering departments are proud to present a series of courses focused on or have a significant component in Asian American/Diasporic Studies.

AMS 101: America Then and Now

HIS 270 / AMS 370 : Asian American History


EAS 338 / AMS   356:   Asian Wars, American Politics, Hollywood Cinema

AMS 360/ ENG 387: Afro-Asian Masculinities

AAS 324: Race, Sex, and the Marriage Plot in American Film Comedy

AAS 223: Literature, Food, and the American Racial Diet

AAS 225: Introduction to Asian American Studies: Law, Bodies, and the Everyday

AAS 225: Introduction to Asian American Studies: Too Cute and American Asia-mania
AAS 329: Chinatown, USA

MUS 225 / EAS 355 Taiko Drumming Workshop: Japanese and North American Perspectives

FALL 2014:

MUS 255 / EAS 255     Taiko Drumming Workshop: Japanese and North American Perspectives
Noriko Manabe and Kaoru Watanabe, Department of Music

This course explores the socio-cultural meanings of taiko (Japanese drum) from its uses in traditional Japanese music (gagaku, kabuki, festival music) through its development as a choreographic ensemble in postwar Japan and a site for Asian-American identity.  Students participate in hands-on workshop, learning techniques and three pieces of traditional modern styles, and in seminars on the history and cultural implications of taiko in the Japanese and Asian-American experience.

COMING IN SPRING 2015:   (more information tba)

"Introduction to Asian American History," Beth Lew-Williams, Department of History

"Asian Wars in American Film," David Leheny, Department of East Asian Studies

"Literature and Food," Anne A. Cheng, Program in American Studies; Department of English; Center for African American Studies


Spring 2014

AAS 225 / ENG 224 / GSS 225 Introduction to Asian American Studies: Too Cute! and the New Asia-Mania
Anne Cheng, Department of English and African American Studies

What does a minute and shallow category like "cuteness" have to do with a serious subject like race? This course offers an introduction to key temrs in Asian American Studies through the lens of the seemingly insatiable American appetite for "Asian cuteness." How do we reconcile this craving with the history of anti-Asian sentiments in this country? Are other races or racial styles cute? If not, why not? We will explore cuteness as commodity, globalization, aesthetics, affect, and politics. Above all, we want to understand the relationship betwen race and style.

Fall 2013

AMS 354   Asian Americans and Public History/Memory
Franklin Odo, Department of History

This seminar focuses on two major events in American History, the WWII incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans and the impact of the 1882 Chinese Exclusions Act, as well as Congressional apology or expression of regret for having enacted racially damaging legislation.  We review the process of legislation, roles of executive and judicial branches, and immediate and long-term impacts on targeted populations.  We trace development of successful redress efforts and meanings for American history and memory, especially through public history venues.

Fall 2012

ENG 224/AMS 304   Asian American Law, Bodies and the Everyday
Anne Cheng, Department of English; Program in African American Studies

This course studies the relationship between law and literature by focusing on the roles that Asian Americans played in US constitutional history.   We will examine cases involving Asian Americans that reflect on American policies on citizenship, immigration, civil rights, human rights, and foreign policy, and we will explore novels, plays, poems, and films that respond to these cases.   We will also consider the invisible ways in which the law shapes our everyday lives:   how it structures our feelings, bodies, spaces, and the sense of the quotidian.

AAS 340/ENG 391/AMS 340   Shades of Passing
Anne Cheng, Department of English, Program in African American Studies

This course studies the trope of passing in 20th century American literary and cinematic narratives in an effort to re-examine the crisis of identity that both produces and confounds acts of passing.   We will examine how American novelists and filmmakers have portrayed and responded to this social phenomenon, not as merely a social performance but as a profound intersubjective process embedded within history, law, and culture.   We will focus on narratives of passing across axes of difference, invoking questions such as:   To what extent does the act of passing reinforce or unhinge seemingly natural categories of race, gender, and sexuality?