Asian American Studies

The Asian American Studies concentration is based in the Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora.

Asian American Studies is an interdisciplinary field that examines the growing and heterogeneous diasporas of East Asian, Southeast Asian, and South Asian populations within the United States and transnationally. Asian American Studies draws from a wide range of disciplinary frameworks including history, cultural studies, literature, sociology, political science, and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies to understand the histories, communities, politics, and cultures of Asia America. The field introduces students to the histories of Asian diasporas in the Americas, while also deconstructing any notion of a singular or fixed “Asian American” identity or experience. Emerging out of the late 1960s Third World Studies movement, Asian American Studies examines the racialization of Asian Americans in relation to, and entangled with, the experiences of other communities of color—historically and in the present. The field also highlights the transnational and global contexts of Asian Americans and Asian diaspora. Most broadly, Asian American Studies equips students with the analytical methods and interpretive frameworks to grapple with issues of inequality, power, exclusion, and resistance.

The Asian American Studies concentration introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of Asian American Studies through both introductory coursework and a range of topical or thematic seminars. Coursework explores major themes and ideas in Asian American studies including immigration, race, model minority, assimilation, imperialism, racialization, Orientalism, and family and kinship formation. Students may also work with faculty to undertake an advanced research project, senior thesis, or capstone project as a culmination of their concentration.

Explore Fall 2024 course offerings in Asian American Studies