2017-18 Edition

Department of Asian American Studies

Judy Wu, Chair
3000 Humanities Gateway
949-824-2376
http://www.humanities.uci.edu/aas/

Overview

The Department of Asian American Studies examines the historical and contemporary experiences of Asians in the United States and in a global context. The curriculum seeks to provide an analysis of the cultural, political, and economical organization of Asian American communities. Students are invited to participate and partake in broadening their understanding of multicultural perspectives within U.S. society. The Department offers a B.A. program in Asian American Studies, a 4+1 B.A./M.A. program, a minor, and a graduate emphasis.

The Department also contributes to the Culture and Theory Ph.D. program, which uses the strengths of interdisciplinary programs and departments, particularly African American Studies, Chicano/Latino Studies, Asian American Studies, Critical Theory, and Gender and Sexuality Studies. This degree uses a problem-oriented rather than a disciplinary approach to issues of race, gender, and sexuality in relation to diasporas, transnational, and postcolonial contexts, all of which are broadly based in the humanities, social sciences, and arts.

Scholarship Opportunities

The Ching-Suei Su Endowed Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to sophomores or juniors who are majoring in Asian American Studies, East Asian Languages and Literatures, or Linguistics (with an emphasis on an East Asian language) and who demonstrate academic excellence and campus or community service.

Undergraduate Program

Requirements for the B.A. in Asian American Studies

All students must meet the University Requirements.
All students must meet the School Requirements.
Department Requirements for the Major in Asian American Studies
A. Three introductory Asian American Studies core courses:
ASIANAM 50 Asian American Histories
or ASIANAM 51 The U.S. and Asia
and
ASIANAM 52 Asian American Communities
or ASIANAM 53 Asian Americans and Race
and
ASIANAM 54 Asian American Stories
or ASIANAM 55 Asian Americans and the Media
B. Complete the following:
ASIANAM 100W Research Methodologies for Asian American Studies
C. Select one course from each of the following areas:
Humanities/Arts: Asian American Studies 110–129
Social Science/Social Ecology: Asian American Studies 130–149
Asian American Sub-groups: Asian American Studies 151–160
Ethnic/Race/Gender Relations: Asian American Studies 161–170
D. Select four additional upper-division elective Asian American Studies courses. Students may request, by petition, one lower-division course to count as an elective. This course must be primarily focused on issues relevant to Asian American Studies.

Residence Requirement for the Major: A minimum of five upper-division courses required for the major must be completed success­fully at UCI.

Additional Information

Career Opportunities

Many career opportunities exist for students who graduate with a B.A. in Asian American Studies, such as service with national and international organizations which seek knowledge of American multicultural society in general, and of Asian American peoples and cultures in particular; positions as area specialists with state and federal government agencies; careers in the private sector with corporations or private organizations which have a significant portion of their activities in the U.S. and the Pacific Rim; and positions of service and leadership within Asian American communities. Students may also continue their education and pursue professional or graduate degrees.

Requirements for the Minor in Asian American Studies

Requirements for the Minor
A. Three introductory Asian American Studies core courses:
ASIANAM 50 Asian American Histories
or ASIANAM 51 The U.S. and Asia
and
ASIANAM 52 Asian American Communities
or ASIANAM 53 Asian Americans and Race
and
ASIANAM 54 Asian American Stories
or ASIANAM 55 Asian Americans and the Media
B. Four upper-division courses selected from ASIANAM 100W–169, ASIANAM 199.

Residence Requirement for the Minor: Four upper-division courses required for the minor must be completed successfully at UCI. Two of the four may be taken through the UC Education Abroad Program, provided course content is approved in advance by the Department.

4+1 Program in Asian American Studies

The combined B.A. and M.A. in Asian American Studies is designed for students looking to engage in the most critical issues at the forefront of the field. At the conclusion of the program, graduates are trained in interdisciplinary theories and methods for social justice-driven research and have developed an understanding of issues facing local, national, and global Asian American communities through first-hand interaction and engagement.

Admissions

All students wishing to participate in the program should first meet with the Director of Graduate Study to discuss eligibility and coursework opportunities. In order to be considered admissible, at minimum, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Current UCI undergraduate student status
  • Cumulative 3.0 GPA
  • Cumulative 3.3 GPA in all Asian American Studies coursework
  • Two Asian American Studies courses: one selected from ASIANAM 50, 51, 52, 53, or 54, and one other lower- or upper-division course in Asian American Studies

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis during the final year of undergraduate study. The process to apply is as follows:

  • Set up an advising appointment with the Humanities Graduate Counselor.
  • Complete an online graduate application through UCI Graduate Division.
  • Submit the following supplemental application materials: official transcripts of all post-secondary work, one letter of recommendation from an Asian American Studies core or affiliate faculty member, and a 10-page writing sample.
Course Requirements

All students at the graduate level of the B.A./M.A. program must complete a total of nine courses (36 units) for the degree.

A. Complete the following:
ASIANAM 200A Theory and Methods in Asian American Studies
ASIANAM 200B Contemporary Issues in Asian American Studies
ASIANAM 200C Leadership and Social Change in Asian American Communities
ASIANAM 200D Introduction to Asian American Studies Research
ASIANAM 201 Graduate Topics in Asian American Studies
or ASIANAM 250 Advanced Topics in Asian American Studies
B. Complete three of the following:
ASIANAM 290 Directed Research
C. Select one graduate level elective
Language Requirement

Students must complete college-level coursework equivalent to UCI’s sixth quarter of study (2C level, or for Latin or Greek, one 103 and one 104, or two 103s or 104s) in a language other than English or equivalent competence. The final course must be taken for a letter grade and passed with a grade of C or better.

Degree Conferral

M.A. students may complete one of the following options as their degree capstone. Regardless of capstone track, all students must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 and complete a defense open to the public to earn the degree.

Plan I – Thesis: The thesis, approximately 25 to 35 pages in length, is a piece of independent research reviewed and approved by the faculty advisor and the thesis committee.

Plan II – Comprehensive Exam: At the end of the final quarter, the M.A. candidate must pass a comprehensive exam that illustrates mastery of key concepts and methods of inquiry in Asian American Studies. The final format of the exam is determined in consultation with the faculty advisor, but can take various forms, including a creative work or a policy report. A written evaluation of said work, approximately 10 to 15 pages in length, is also be submitted for review. The exam is administered by the faculty advisor and an exam committee comprised of at least two additional Asian American Studies faculty members.

Time to Degree

Students complete all degree requirements and the Master’s thesis/comprehensive exam within one year (three quarters) once they have transitioned to graduate student status. Maximum time to degree is two years after the Bachelor’s degree.

Graduate Emphasis in Asian American Studies

The Department of Asian American Studies offers a graduate emphasis in Asian American Studies, which is available in conjunction with selected departmental graduate programs.

Requirements

Students in the graduate emphasis complete a minimum of four courses, including ASIANAM 200A and ASIANAM 200B (offered every other year), and two electives, one of which is selected from the student’s own department or area of interest, and the other from a discipline outside that department or area.

Subject to the requirements of participating academic units, Ph.D. students in the emphasis should have at least one Asian American Studies core faculty member on their qualifying examination and dissertation committees. With the approval of the Asian American Studies Graduate Committee, affiliated faculty members can sit in place of the core faculty. (There are no requirements concerning qualifying examinations or theses for master’s students.)

Applicants to the emphasis must be admitted to a participating UCI graduate program. For complete information about application policies and procedures, as well as the requirements of the emphasis, see one of the Asian American Studies faculty members.

Courses

ASIANAM 50. Asian American Histories. 4 Units.

Examines and compares diverse experiences of major Asian American groups since the mid-nineteenth century. Topics include origins of emigration; the formation and transformation of community; gender and family life; changing roles of Asian Americans in American society. Formerly ASIANAM 60A.

Same as HISTORY 15C, SOC SCI 78A.

((III or IV) and VII ).

ASIANAM 51. The U.S. and Asia. 4 Units.

Explores the historical and contemporary transnational linkages between the U.S. and regions in Asia and their resultant flows of people, goods, and ideas. Attention given to the role of militarism and processes of globalization, and the histories of cultural contact/conflict.

((III or IV) and VIII ).

ASIANAM 52. Asian American Communities. 4 Units.

Examines the renewal of Asian immigration following World War II. Explores contemporary Asian American populations and communities in the U.S., and the impact of contemporary Asian immigration on the U.S. political economy and social order.

Same as SOC SCI 78B.

(III, VII)

ASIANAM 53. Asian Americans and Race . 4 Units.

Analyzes the Asian American experience in comparative perspective, which includes comparisons of different ethnic and racial groups, and across gender and class. Possible topics include labor, economy, politics, migration, nation, popular culture, gender, family, sexuality, and multiraciality.

Same as SOC SCI 78C.

(III, VII)

ASIANAM 54. Asian American Stories. 4 Units.

Examines stories from Asian American communities through literary texts and other media. Selected themes may include the following: dislocation/relocation, finding/inventing a usable past, poetics/politics in language, identities/ethnicities.

(IV, VII)

ASIANAM 55. Asian Americans and the Media. 4 Units.

Investigates popular representations of and cultural productions by Asian Pacific Americans and Asians in the Americas from the late-nineteenth century to the present. Cultural media may include political cartoons, film/television, popular music, visual art, blogs/Web sites, and performance.

(IV, VII)

ASIANAM 100W. Research Methodologies for Asian American Studies. 4 Units.

Explores various research methodologies for Asian American Studies combining theoretical knowledge with field research. Goals: conduct field research about immigrants and refugees from Asia. Topics vary: migration and labor, assimilation and cultural preservation, cultural expressions in the diaspora.

Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of the Lower-Division Writing requirement.

(Ib)

ASIANAM 110. Asian American Writers. 4 Units.

Literary analysis of Asian American writers' representations of issues of identity, class, history among others. Variety of literary forms—novel, poem, drama, essay—included in a study of a variety of Asian American ethnic groups.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

ASIANAM 111. Asian American History. 4 Units.

Introduction to important themes in the history of people of Asian ancestry in the United States from the nineteenth century to the present.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

ASIANAM 112. Asian American Art History. 4 Units.

Investigation of Asian American experience expressed by art and visual culture throughout the twentieth century. Art by Asian Americans of diverse backgrounds as well as the history of cultural visualization of Asian identities in American art/visual culture.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

ASIANAM 114. Asian American Film and Video. 4 Units.

Topics include histories of Asian American film and video, including documentaries, experimental, short subjects, feature-length independent film, and other forms of cinematic expression. Explores issues of identity (national, racial, gendered, among others).

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

ASIANAM 116. Asian Americans and Popular Culture. 4 Units.

Focuses on Asian Americans' relationship to popular culture as both producers and consumers. Topics include consumer cultures and subcultures, cyberspace and public space, popular music, indy comics and other print media.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

ASIANAM 118. Race and Performance. 4 Units.

Focuses on new ways of understanding race, ethnicity, class, and gender issues through performance.

ASIANAM 131. Asian American Politics. 4 Units.

Provides various overviews of politics within Asian American communities. May compare with African American and/or Latino politics.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

ASIANAM 132. Comparative Minority Politics. 4 Units.

Examines the political experiences of Blacks, Latinos, and Asian Americans in the United States from roughly 1950 to the present. Focuses on how each group has pursued political empowerment via both conventional political channels and social movements.

Same as AFAM 151, CHC/LAT 147, POL SCI 124C.

ASIANAM 137. Asian American Labor. 4 Units.

Explores history of Asian Americans and work from the nineteenth century to the present. Areas of study include migration, colonialism, family, social organization, and work culture.

Same as HISTORY 152A.

ASIANAM 138. Race and Urban Space. 4 Units.

Examines how ethnic and racial processes shape and structure interactions in urban settings, such as schools, housing, employment, and public spaces, with attention to the international impact of globalization and postcolonial forces.

ASIANAM 142. Muslim Identities in North America. 4 Units.

Explores multiple identities of Muslims in North America, including indigenous Muslims and immigrants of many national origins. Explores religious, political, cultural, ethnic, class differences among American Muslims, turning to Islamic institutions or events near UCI to conduct fieldwork projects.

Same as ANTHRO 125Z.

ASIANAM 143. Religious Traditions of Asian Americans. 4 Units.

Studies the religious traditions of Asian Americans, focusing on the transplantation of religious institutions, establishment of sacred spaces, celebration of religious holidays, socialization of children, as well as birth, marriage, gender relations, death, family.

Same as SOCIOL 136.

ASIANAM 144. The Politics of Protest. 4 Units.

Examines the Civil Rights, Black Power, and women’s movements in relationship to the Asian American movement. Uses social movement theories to illuminate the cases, and the cases to critique and revise the theories.

Same as POL SCI 124A.

(VII)

ASIANAM 150. Special Topics in Asian American Studies. 4 Units.

Analyzes a variety of themes in Asian American Studies—identity, history, culture—from various interdisciplinary perspectives in humanities, arts, social sciences.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

ASIANAM 151. Asian American Ethnic Groups. 4 Units.

Topics include study of the history, culture, and social formations of diverse Asian American subgroups such as Pacific Islanders, Hmong, Thai, Indonesian, Indian subcontinental, among others.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

ASIANAM 151C. Korean American Studies. 4 Units.

Explores the factors that have distinctly shaped the Korean American experience, including patterns of racial domination, the profile of immigrant flow, immigrant roles in the urban political economy, politics in Korea, and the role of the church.

Same as SOC SCI 178C.

ASIANAM 151D. Vietnamese American Studies. 4 Units.

Studies the resettlement of Vietnamese in the United States following their exodus from Southeast Asia. Topics include the Vietnam War, the 1975 evacuation, boat and land refugees, the shaping of Vietnamese communities, and Vietnamese American literature.

Same as SOC SCI 178D.

ASIANAM 151E. Japanese American Studies. 4 Units.

Studies the settlement of Japanese in Hawaii and the continental United States since the late 19th century. Topics include sugar plantations, development of rural Japanese America, World War II internment, post-War community development, and persistence of Japanese American identity.

Same as SOC SCI 178E.

ASIANAM 151F. South Asian American Studies. 4 Units.

Examines and compares the experiences of South Asian immigrants in the U.S. over time. Looks at the economic, political, and social positions of the immigrants, with special emphasis on religious changes and the changes in the second and later generations.

Same as SOC SCI 178F.

Restriction: Asian American Studies Majors have first consideration for enrollment. Social Policy/Public Service Majors have first consideration for enrollment.

ASIANAM 151H. Southeast Asian American Studies. 4 Units.

Analyzes experiences of refugees and immigrants from Southeast Asia, which may include those from Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Examines political and economic factors for their exodus and how they reconstruct their identities, histories, and communities.

Same as SOC SCI 178H.

ASIANAM 151J. Chinese American Studies. 4 Units.

Analyzes the experiences of Chinese in the United States. Immigration, Chinese exclusion, racial and gender identity. Historical overview and contemporary issues covered.

Same as SOC SCI 178J.

ASIANAM 151K. Filipina/Filipino American Studies. 4 Units.

Explores the experience of Filipina/Filipino Americans from the era of Spanish colonization of the Philippines to present-day community formations in the United States, with special emphasis on the 20th century. Topics include colonialism, nation, migration, gender, and culture.

Same as SOC SCI 178K.

ASIANAM 162. Asian American Women. 4 Units.

Examines the representations and experiences of Asian American women from diverse perspectives. Explores the commonalities and differences among various groups of Asian American women, with particular focus on history, culture, values, and family roles.

Same as SOC SCI 177B.

ASIANAM 164. Topics in Intersectionality. 4 Units.

Topics include intersectional analysis of various themes related to ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and race within Asian American communities.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

ASIANAM 166. Race and Citizenship. 4 Units.

Explores historical and contemporary patterns of racialization in relation to citizenship. Topics may include racial categorization, immigration, and comparative racialization.

ASIANAM 167. Asian American and African American Relations. 4 Units.

Addresses relationships of Asian American and African American communities in the United States. Topics include race, class, gender, labor, economic systems, political mobilization, community, civil rights, activism, cultural expression.

Same as AFAM 117, HISTORY 152B.

ASIANAM 168. Politics of Animal Rights. 4 Units.

Examines animal rights/welfare movement’s efforts to transform moral, practical, and legal standing of nonhuman animals in contemporary U.S. Explores intersection of racism, sexism, and speciesism informed by theories of race and ethnicity, including Asian American Studies.

Same as POL SCI 126F.

Restriction: Political Science Majors have first consideration for enrollment. Asian American Studies Majors have first consideration for enrollment.

ASIANAM 199. Independent Study. 1-4 Units.

Directed reading and research in consultation with a faculty member. Substantial written work required.

Repeatability: May be repeated for credit unlimited times.

ASIANAM 200A. Theory and Methods in Asian American Studies. 4 Units.

Introduction to the intersection of the social sciences, humanities, and other fields that constitute the theory and methodology of Asian American Studies. Focuses on the interventions and contestations within Asian American Studies that have transformed the discipline in recent years.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

ASIANAM 200B. Contemporary Issues in Asian American Studies. 4 Units.

Examines the interrelations between history, theory, and race in the aftermath of the twentieth-century decolonial movements, offering an account of race through postcolonial and postnationalist approaches in comparative contexts. Considers the interventions made by transnational feminist and racialized queer critiques.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

ASIANAM 200C. Leadership and Social Change in Asian American Communities. 4 Units.

Introduces students to models of community-engaged learning and leadership that are central to the field of Asian American studies. Designed to expose students to histories and models of organizing in Asian American communities and forms of community-based research.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

ASIANAM 200D. Introduction to Asian American Studies Research. 4 Units.

Introduces students to research topics and methods within the field of Asian American studies. Aims to expose students to core and affiliated faculty to help them identify possible advisors for master's research projects or members of doctoral committees.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

ASIANAM 201. Graduate Topics in Asian American Studies. 4 Units.

Seminars on various topics in Asian American Studies.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

ASIANAM 250. Advanced Topics in Asian American Studies. 4 Units.

Seminar covering various areas of research within Asian American Studies as an interdisciplinary field. Recommended for advanced graduate students.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

ASIANAM 290. Directed Research. 4-12 Units.

Directed graduate study/research in Asian American Studies.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit for 24 units.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

ASIANAM 291. Directed Reading. 4 Units.

Readings focused on specialized topics in consultation with, and with the consent of, a faculty member.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit for 12 units.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

ASIANAM 399. University Teaching. 4 Units.

Limited to teaching assistants.

Grading Option: Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only.

Repeatability: May be repeated for credit unlimited times.

Restriction: Emphasis in Asian American Studies graduate students only.

Faculty

Christine Bacareza Balance, Ph.D. New York University, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies; Culture and Theory; Gender and Sexuality Studies (Performance studies, popular music, critical race and ethnic studies, Filipino/Filipino American studies, queer & feminist theory)
Julie G. Cho, M.F.A. University of California, Los Angeles, Lecturer of Asian American Studies; Asian American Studies
Dorothy B. Fujita-Rony, Ph.D. Yale University, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies; History (U.S. history, Asian American studies)
Claire J. Kim, Ph.D. Yale University, Professor of Asian American Studies; Culture and Theory; Political Science
Ngoc-Tram Le-Huynh, M.A., University of California, Los Angeles, Lecturer of Asian American Studies
James K. Lee, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies; Culture and Theory; Religious Studies (Asian American literature and culture, contemporary U.S. literature, race and ethnic studies, urban studies, religious studies)
Julia Hyoun Joo Lee, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies; Culture and Theory (Asian American literature and culture, African American literature and culture, ethnic literature, twentieth-century American literature.)
John M. Liu, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Lecturer Emeritus of Asian American Studies
Beheroze F. Shroff, M.F.A. University of California, Los Angeles, Lecturer of Asian American Studies
Linda T. Võ, Ph.D. University of California, San Diego, Professor of Asian American Studies; Planning, Policy, and Design; Sociology (race and ethnic relations, immigrants and refugees, gender relations, community and urban studies)
Judy Wu, Ph.D. Stanford University, Department Chair and Professor of Asian American Studies; Culture and Theory (Asian American history; comparative racialization and immigration; empire and decolonization; gender and sexuality)

Affiliate Faculty

Kei Akagi, B.A. International Christian University, Professor of Music; Asian American Studies
Yong Chen, Ph.D. Cornell University, Associate Dean of Curriculum and Student Services and Professor of History; Asian American Studies; Religious Studies (Asian American history and immigration, food and culture, U.S./China economic and cultural interactions)
Julie G. Cho, M.F.A. University of California, Los Angeles, Lecturer of Asian American Studies; Asian American Studies
Kyung Hyun Kim, Ph.D. University of Southern California, Professor of Korean Culture; Asian American Studies; Film and Media Studies; Visual Studies (East Asian cinema, modern Korea, critical theory)
Jennifer Lee, Ph.D. Columbia University, UCI Chancellor's Fellow and Professor of Sociology; Asian American Studies (immigration, race/ethnicity, social inequality, culture, Asian American studies)
Stephen Lee, J.D. University of California, Berkeley, Professor of School of Law; Asian American Studies
Daphne Pi-Wei Lei, Ph.D. Tufts University, Head of Doctoral Studies and Professor of Drama; Asian American Studies (Asian theatre, Asian American theatre, intercultural theatre, gender theory, performance theory)
Simon Leung, B.A. University of California, Los Angeles, Professor of Art; Asian American Studies (new genres, critical theory, contemporary art history, performance)
Sanjoy Mazumdar, Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Professor of Planning, Policy, and Design; Asian American Studies; Religious Studies
Bert Winther-Tamaki, Ph.D. New York University, Professor of Art History; Asian American Studies; Visual Studies (modern Japanese art and visual culture, Asian American art, art and globalization)
Back to Top