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Mission Statement

Asian American Studies Strikes Back coverThe Asian American Studies Program (AASP) at Northwestern University prepares students to navigate a precarious world shaped by global processes including imperialism, colonialism, and racism. Founded through a student hunger strike in 1995, AASP produces cutting-edge research and teaching while remaining a site for student activism and consciousness-raising. Advocating wide-ranging solidarities, our faculty focus on timely research and teaching topics on scales that move between the past and present, as well as the global and the local. The Program brings together intellectual, political, and pedagogical commitments that reflect the complex dynamism of the field of Asian American Studies.

Core and elective classes open new pathways of thought as students study topics including race and multiracialism, diaspora and migration, Asian settler colonialism, racial capitalism, disability, queerness, anti-Blackness, language and communication, and representation in and across art, media, and popular culture. Our award-winning faculty hail from fields including literature, history, anthropology, performance studies, and gender and sexuality studies. AASP students are taught to think critically, analyze incisively, write clearly and persuasively, and engage in justice work in and outside of the classrooms. They are thus prepared to enter a variety of professions including law, medicine, the arts, public health administration, politics, journalism, and academia as knowledgeable and ethical citizens of the world.

Students can earn an interdisciplinary major or minor in Asian American Studies and have ample opportunity to participate in community-based internships, independent research projects, and faculty-student social events. Our Program also houses additional intellectual programs, including the Comparative Race and Diaspora Graduate Cluster (CRD) and is part of the Council for Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES).