Current Courses

Fall 2022

ASIAN AM 103San Diego
Under Pressure: Asian Americans in Higher Education

Description: Education, despite being touted as a great equalizer, is a highly contested site of struggle. It is a struggle to get in, a struggle to get through, and a struggle to figure out what happens after. Throughout each of these time periods academic and journalistic coverage of the Asian American student experience argue that social, cultural, political, economic, and familial pressures converge and compound on this population leading to unfulfilling, unpleasant, and unbelievable outcomes. Following that claim, this course explores three interlinked and overlapping themes for the quarter: 1) The persistence of the model minority myth and its impact on higher education policy, 2) parent and teacher expectations of Asian American students in K-12 and university settings, and 3) Asian American student mental health and well-being. We will study student activism and the emergence of Ethnic Studies/Asian American Studies in higher education, explore contemporary intersectional Asian American student experiences, and critically examine the politics of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” rhetoric. In what ways do Asian American students survive, negotiate, and resist external and internal pressures of success and excellence? How do Asian Americans begin to redefine success on their own terms? Texts for this course may include erin Ninh’s Passing for Perfect; Christine Yano, Neal Akatsuka, and the Asian American Collective’s Straight A’s: Asian American College Students in Their Own Words, and Debbie Lum’s documentary Try Harder!

First Year Seminar
TTh2:00 PM - 3:20 PM
Media, Culture, and Identity

Description: How do we understand our own identities and the perspectives of others? In this course, we begin to critically explore what our everyday interactions with mass media and culture tell us about the relationship between power and identity in the U.S. We discuss the role of various intersecting identities, such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, nationality, and religion, in shaping media representations. This course provides students with the theoretical tools to become critical mass media consumers.

Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
MW2:00 PM - 3:20 PM
ASIAN AM 210San Diego
Intro to Asian American Studies

Description: In our current social, political, and ecological climate, what is the role of Asian American Studies? How has its mission and vision changed since its inception 50 years ago? Throughout this course, we will question the limits and possibilities of Asian American Studies as a field, method, theoretical approach, mode of critique, political orientation, and platform for social justice. Themes and concepts will include: intersectionality, critical race theory, the politics of knowledge production, popular culture, drag queens, identity, activism, and strategies of survival and resistance.

Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
TTh12:30 PM - 1:50 PM
ASIAN AM 225Cheng Contemporary Issues in Asian American Social Behavioral Sciences Distro AreaMW12:30 PM - 1:50 PM
ASIAN AM 303Shankar
South Asian American Culture

Description: South Asian American cultures will introduce students to the social and linguistic lives of migrants from the Indian subcontinent to the US. Focusing on post-1965 communities, we will examine what it means to be South Asian American from the perspective of race, caste, class, religion, gender, and nationality. Areas of focus include: politics of space and place; cultural production and appropriation; language use and expressive culture; politics and the War on Terror; and solidarities against marginalization and oppression.

Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
TTh 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM
Race, Ethnicity, and Communication

Description: This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to examining the racial ideologies embedded in communicating about racial and ethnic ‘difference.’ We foreground historical and sociopolitical context in our exploration of structural and institutional practices that inform the production, dissemination, interpretation, and contestation of discourse about race and ethnicity.

Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
TTH2:00 PM - 3:20 PM
Community Engaged Methods in Asian American Studies

Description: This course introduces students to a community-engaged approach to knowledge-building. Through a partnership with Full Spectrum Features, a Chicago-based nonprofit committed to transforming the independent media landscape through equity in production, representation, and media audiences, we take a hands-on approach to learning how to create a research proposal to conduct collaborative research.

Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
T4:00 PM - 6:50 PM
ASIAN AM 310/Theatre 346Son
Asian-Black Connections in Performance

Description: This course examines performances by and about Asian Americans and African Americans in order to understand an interconnected history of race and racism in the United States from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century. We will explore the production and contestation of racialized meanings—how bodies are marked and redefined as “Asian,” “oriental,” “Black,” “other,” “Asian American,” and “African American.” In other words, we will study the construction of race through performances on stage and in everyday life. The course covers a range of performances or embodied practices, including museum and fair displays, exhibitions, minstrelsy, cabaret performances, theatre, martial arts, hip hop, and activism.

Ethics Values Distro Area
MW11:00 AM - 12:20 PM
ASIAN AM 360/GNDR ST 341Enteen
Trans*-Related Medical Surgeries in Thailand

Description: This course is situated at the intersection of theoretical, cultural, medical, and commercial online discourses concerning the burgeoning Gender Affirmation-related surgeries presented online and conducted in Thailand. Using Gender, Queer, Trans, Asian American, and Digital Humanities Theories, we will discuss the cross-cultural intersections, dialogues, refusals, and adaptions when thinking about medical travel to Thailand for gender/sex related surgeries. We will examine Thai cultural/historical conceptions of sex and gender, debates concerning bodies and diagnoses, and changes in presentations of sex/gender related surgeries offered online. We will also explore how digital archives are created and managed. Investigating transcripts of live interviews, medical discourses, and an archive of web images offering GAS surgeries produced by Thais for non-Thais will serve as axes for investigating this topic.

Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
MW2:00 PM - 3:20 PM