Description: Emerging from one of the most exciting phases of recent student activism on this campus, this brand new course offers an opportunity to investigate the power and politics of being a student at Northwestern University. By delving into deeply local events, each section analyzes the relevance of the theme to Northwestern University, to other universities and colleges, and analyzes the historical development of these issues. What is the history of our campus and how does that impact our non/belonging? Is there a shared “culture” at Northwestern University? Provocative themes include: affirmative action and admissions; theme parties; campus organizations and multiculturalism; and variations in the “student experience” at Northwestern University. Centrally, this course aims to unpack “diversity,” reveals multiple axes of inequality, and highlight how individuals occupy—and can change—institutions like this one.
|TTh||3:30 PM - 4:50 PM|
Description: This course uses twentieth-century South Asian American literature to explore how the diasporic experience can be generative and productive. By asking what we can use diaspora for, we can examine how certain diasporic experiences might enable communities to understand other forms of injustice. How might South Asian American diasporic writing be “useful” for thinking about other but related issues: labor activism, Afro-Asian solidarity, class precariousness, US imperialism, or cosmopolitanism?
By asking what diaspora does (or what we can do with it) rather than what diaspora is, this course also calls into question the category of “South Asian American literature.” Given the helpful critiques that Asian American Studies has made to both American Studies and South Asian area studies, we will want to address the porousness of such categories and their frequent reliance on national boundaries. Consequently, we will read texts by, about, and for South Asian Americans – as well as their interlocutors, sympathizers, and colleagues.
|MW||3:30 PM - 4:50 PM|
Description: This seminar takes up “race war” as an analytical concept to approach the question of empire in U.S. history and culture. From the conquest of native peoples across the American continent to the Spanish American War, from World War II to the U.S. war in Vietnam, from the Cold War to the “war on terror”—wars have been waged not only in the name of territorial acquisition and diplomacy, but also have shaped ideas about race and nation in U.S. society. We therefore approach the study of race beyond U.S. borders, using interdisciplinary methods to interrogate its formation in transnational and imperial contexts. How have racial ideologies worked to rationalize U.S. conquest, “pacification,” and occupation overseas? In turn, how have these processes reinforced and reified racial concepts, representations, and practices in the United States? In examining these questions, we will pay attention to how historically marginalized subjects including Asian Americans, African Americans, Latinos and other racialized subjects have mobilized responses to wars, from proclaiming their loyalty and patriotism to engaging in more critical acts of protests, within and beyond the United States.
|MW||11:00 AM - 12:20 PM|
Description: There is no one “Chinese Americans experience.” This lecture/discussion course strives to introduce students to the multiple, varied, but overlapping experiences of people of Chinese heritage in the United States. Chinese have usually been relegated to the margins of American history, but this course will put them at the center in order to reveal how major events in American history affected the lives of Chinese Americans and how Chinese Americans played important roles in shaping those events. We will address the process of migration and settlement that brought Chinese to America and the economic, political, religious, and colonial contexts of this movement. We will also consider the racialization of Chinese in America; in other words, how other Americans came to view the Chinese race and how Chinese themselves understood their racial status in America. We will examine canonical Chinese American moments and places (like the California Gold Rush, San Francisco Chinatown, the Transcontinental Railroad) but also look for Chinese where they are unexpected (like colonial America, the 1950s South, the Civil Rights Movement). Students will engage a wide variety of primary sources, including memoirs, fiction, political cartoons, government documents, oral histories, and films.
|TTH||2:00 PM - 3:20 PM|
Description: This course is situated at the intersection of theoretical, cultural, and medical, and commercial online discourses concerning the burgeoning Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS) medical surgeries presented on the world wide web and practiced in Thailand. Using “Trans” theories: transgender, transnational, translation, spatio/temporal, we will discuss the intersections, dialogues, refusals and adoptions when thinking about medical tourism to Thailand. We will examine Thai cultural/historical conceptions of sex and genders, debates concerning bodies and diagnosis that took place during the drafting of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), International SRS Standards of Care (to be drafted in BKK during the WPATH meeting in February 2014), and changes in presentations of sex/gender related surgeries offered online. Comparative cultural studies, medical discourses, and an archive of web images offering SRS surgeries to Thailand produced by Thais for western clientele will serve as axes for investigating this topic.
Assessment: Weekly project-oriented reading and writing/activities, class participation in discussions, and a final project.
|TTh||12:30 PM - 1:50 PM|
Description: This course looks at America's perceptions of Asians through their portrayal in American mainstream media in contrast to those made in Asia by Asian filmmakers. It is a survey and discussion oriented case studies of representation of Asian and Asian American icons. By comparing films made by Asians and those produced by the American mainstream, major differences in their perspectives and approaches are found. In doing this, the class investigates issues of representation and misrepresentation in mass culture stereotypes of Asians to show how they have been rooted in confusions surrounding cultural differences between Asians and Asian Americans. The course presents Hollywood films; mainstream Asian films, independent works from as well as other visual media such as YouTube submissions and commercial application both the Asian and Asian American communities.
|T||6:00 PM - 8:50 PM|
|Asian American Women and Gender ||Yuh|
Description: This seminar course explores the intersections of gender, race, and ethnicity in the experiences of Asian American women. We will examine their construction as gendered and racialized subjects, their activism as workers, mothers, and radicals, and their conceptualization of feminism. As such, the course will focus on issues of gender, sexuality, and feminism. We will discuss the development of Asian American female subjectivities and feminisms, and consider Asian American women’s relationships with mainstream white American feminism, Asian American movements, and the feminist thought of Latina and African American women.
|MW||12:30 PM - 1:50 PM |
Description: This course will examine the history immigrants in the United States. Using a comparative approach, we will consider the origins of immigration, the development of ethnic identities, and the shifts in U.S. attitudes and policies toward immigrants. Why did certain groups come to the United States? To what degree did they assimilate or retain distinct identities? How have native-born Americans view immigrants? And how has U.S. immigration law shaped immigrants’ experiences and race relations in the United States? Today, immigration continues to be an unresolved and contentious political and social issue. In this course, we will consider how past experiences, laws, and attitudes have shaped contemporary social conflicts over border security, national identity, and citizenship
|TTh||12:30 PM - 1:50 PM|