Courses

For UW students, faculty, and staff, courses are available on the MyUW Course Search and Enroll.

Visit the Course Guide, for a complete list of ASIAN AM courses.

Many ASIAN AM courses meet the Ethnic Studies Requirement and other general education requirements for undergraduate degrees at the University.  The Guide listing for each course will list its designations, attributes, and requisites.

Fall 2020

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ASIAN AM 150 Literature & Culture of Asian America

Remote, asynchronous | Instructor: Timothy Yu

Since the 19th century, “America” has often been defined by its relationship with “Asia,” through cultural influence, immigration, imperialism, and war. Traces the role of Asia and Asians in American literature and culture, from the Chinese and Japanese cultural influences that helped shape literary modernism to the rise of a distinctive culture produced by Asian immigrants to America and their descendants.

ASIAN AM 152 Asian American Literary and Popular Culture: Race, Fantasy, Futures

Explores fantasy as a conduit of political meaning in Asian American fiction, graphic novels, anime, and art. Analyzes race as it circulates in visual mediums and literary texts. Engages issues such as stereotyping, caricature, and microaggressions; whitewashing, yellowface, and passing; race fetishism; cultural appropriation; multiracialism; kawaii or cute style; techno- orientalism and virtual Asians. Foregrounding fantasies of bodilessness, the course examines race as it is grafted onto nonhuman forms-objects, digital avatars, robots-at the borders of science and fiction. Examines how projections of the future reflect cultural anxieties about race, immigration, and Asian Americans.

ASIAN AM 160 Asian American History: Movement and Dislocation

TR 8:00- 9:15 am | Instructor: Cindy I-Fen Cheng

Examines the impact of colonialism, war, and capitalism on the movement of Asians to the U.S. Considers how racial, gendered, class, sexual, and national formations within the U.S. structured Asian immigration to North America.

ASIAN AM 170 Hmong American Experiences in the United States

TR 11:00 am-12:15 pm | Instructor: Yang Sao Xiong

Explores how Hmong’s participation in the Secret War that the U.S. waged in Laos shaped their experiences in the U.S., heightening the importance of Hmong Americans’ social, cultural, and political self-definition and in making known their contributions to the advancement of U.S. society.

ASIAN AM 240 Asian American Activism

MW 4:00-5:15 pm | Instructor: Jan Miyasaki

This course examines the history of Asian American coalition building. We will look at the formation of community organizations and pan-Asian organizations to promote political effectiveness in response to discrimination based upon race and national origin in order to promote and protect their constituents, as well as to provide the mutual assistance needed to survive in America. Transformation of individual identity will be explored.

ASIAN AM 240 Asian Am Power & Politics

TR 11:00 am-12:15 pm | Instructor: Lisa Ho

This course examines the conditions under which Asian Americans have sought political power, and the different forms of activism—electoral, cultural, radical—that they have engaged in to create alternative futures for themselves and for allied communities. While the course begins with the creation of Asian American Studies, the course will explore how Asian America has positioned itself within the current political landscape. In particular, we will focus on topics such as affirmative action, #blacklivesmatter, new media, #metoo, and other related matters.

ASIAN AM 240 Asian Am Family and Kinship

MW 4:00-5:15 pm | Instructor: LiLi Johnson

This course examines theories and formations of family and kinship for Asian Americans across a range of historical, theoretical, and contemporary sites. Within Asian American Studies, the family is often assumed as a social unit of community formation defined by heterosexual reproduction. However, in this course we will examine how family and kinship have been used as sites for defining the very categories of race and gender that constitute Asian America. We ask, what is family and kinship and how is it affected by Asian American racial formation? How is race constructed through state policies and the meaning of the family, and vice versa? In what ways do constructions of kinship embody, reproduce, or challenge racialized constructions of gender and sexuality?

ASIAN AM 240 Eating Asian America

TR 4:00- 5:15 pm | Instructor: Lisa Ho

This course focuses on how the food culture of Asian America is an entryway point to understand the vibrant communities, complex politics, and rich histories that constitute this demographic. This course will explore the following questions: How does food allow for ethnic communities to express their identity? How does food allow for different generations to express their unique experiences while preserving the roots of the culture? How does food allows us engage in conversations about assimilation, community, and social constructions of difference? By using food to understand the complex formation of identity, we can also understand how the practices of systematic exclusion, racism, and xenophobia has influenced how Asian America has used the medium of food to cope, remember, and ultimately document these moments. Aside from consumption, we will also examine how Asian America has contributed to the agricultural culture and entrepreneurial tradition of the United States through their racialized and gendered labor. Lastly, the goal of this course is to use food as an avenue to bring attention to how Asian America has powerfully used the medium of food to crave a place for itself in the United States.

ASIAN AM 240 Asian American Food Worlds

MW 2:30-3:45 pm | Instructor: Victor Jew

This one semester course is about food and Asian America(s), but it is about so much more. It’s about food processes that leave us clueless about where and how food gets to us. It’s about fetish. It’s about how different Asian derived communities get “stamped” with certain food items so some food dishes become equated with people. It’s about how Chinese immigrants in the 1870s were presumed to live on nothing but rice and were thereby deemed as living threats to the U.S. body politic. It’s about how Asian derived communities attempt to re-tell the narrative of their characterization in public culture and how they’ve used food to do so.

ASIAN AM 240 Feelings: Queer and Asian

This course is an opportunity for students to study the specific qualities of queer and Asian emotional life in the United States. It asks questions like, How do those held by the categories of queerness and/or Asianness feel about themselves and the world, and how do others in the world feel about them in turn? Why do all of these people feel this way? And what historical, political, economic, and social circumstances have given rise to those feelings? Over the course of the past few decades affect theory—basically, the study of feelings, their ontology, their causes, and their effects—has emerged as a key explanatory framework for understanding what it is to affect and to be affected, to move and to be moved, to feel and to be felt. Students will spend the semester engaging with affect theory, alongside queer and Asian Americanist critique and cultural production through close readings, conversations, critical writing, and creative projects.Key theorists covered in the course include Sara Ahmed, Lauren Berlant, José Esteban Muñoz, Karen Shimakawa, David Eng, Audre Lorde, and Martin Manalansan.Taking seriously the political stakes of studying affect and emotion, the ultimate aim of this course is to provide students with the tools to discuss how people feel, why they feel that way, whether they should feel otherwise, and how to make it so.

ASIAN AM 240 Hmong & Refugee Texts

Using a variety of refugee texts, including memoirs, film, poetry, and art, this course explores these themes further. Focusing mostly on Southeast Asian American women writers, with a few exceptions, the course will examine:

  1. How Southeast Asian American history intersects with U.S. Cold War and immigration history
  2. How war, trauma, and forced displacement affect refugee memories and what they choose to remember/forget
  3. How refugees conceptualize “home” and “belonging” within and beyond the U.S
  4. How race, gender, and class structure the lived-realities and experiences of refugees in the U.S.
  5. How refugee writing and refugee texts are sites of trauma and healing

ASIAN AM 560 Afro-Asian Improve: Hip Hop & Martial Arts Fusion

TR 11:00 am-12:50 pm | Instructor: Peggy Choy

The course explores African-American and Asian-American connections and the creative possibilities of these connections through investigation of practice and theory of the following martial arts, exercise and dance forms: 1) chang quan (hard-style Chinese martial arts), 2) qigong (Chinese vital exercise form), 3) American boxing, and 4) urban vernacular dance (particularly breaking and house).