21F.043J / 21H.150J Introduction to Asian American Studies: Literature, Culture, and Historical Experience

Fall 2005

Photographic detail of arch in Boston's Chinatown.
Detail of arch in Boston's Chinatown. (Image courtesy of Daniel Bersak.)

Course Highlights

This course features an extensive list of readings and detailed instructions for its writing assignments.

Course Description

An interdisciplinary subject that draws on literature, history, anthropology, film, and cultural studies to examine the experiences of Asian Americans in U.S. society. Covers the first wave of Asian immigration in the 19th century, the rise of anti-Asian movements, the experiences of Asian Americans during WWII, the emergence of the Asian American movement in the 1960s, and the new wave of "post-1965" Asian immigration. Examines the role these historical experiences played in the formation of Asian American ethnicity, and explores how these experiences informed Asian American literature and culture. Addresses key societal issues such as racial stereotyping, media racism, affirmative action issues, the glass ceiling, the "model minority" syndrome, and anti-Asian harassment or violence. Taught in English.
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Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session



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