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Sharmila Rudrappa, Director BUR 480, Mailcode A2200, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6427

Course Descriptions

AAS 301 • Intro To Asian Amer Studies

36240 • Cho, Alexander
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 201
(also listed as AMS 315)
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Flag: Cultural Diversity in the U.S.

This is an interdisciplinary course that introduces students to major issues in the historical and contemporary experiences of Asian Americans. Accordingly, it also trains students to critically unpack the idea of “Asian American” as containing an ever-shifting multiplicity of peoples and histories and places this category in conversation with issues of power, race, nation, and gender and sexuality. This course also spends substantial time on contemporary Asian American issues and recent histories of migration. Key topics to be explored are: (im)migration, citizenship, imperialism, panethnicity, racial formation, intersectionality, multiraciality, transnationalism, hybridity, mediated representation.

AAS 314 • Asian American Lit & Culture

36250 • Menon, Sheela Jane
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am MEZ 1.202
(also listed as E 314V)
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Fall 2014 – E 314V / AAS 314

Asian American Literature & Culture

Sheela Jane Menon •

Flags: Cultural Diversity in the U.S. and Writing



As the United States slowly emerges from the global recession of 2009, debates over immigration, the debt ceiling, education, and development loom large. In many, if not all, of these areas different minority populations bear the burden of changing policies and budgets, even as their labor and cultural production continue to sustain the nation. The 2012 US Census reported that Asians were the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States that year, rising from 530,000 in 2011 to almost 19 million in 2012. As a population that has made and continues to make significant contributions to the American economy and American culture more broadly, Asian Americans face an ongoing struggle to assert a sense of belonging in the United States. As a community and as individuals, they must continually negotiate the tensions between life in the United States and ties to their “cultural homelands.” The intersection of “American culture” and “Asian culture” is further complicated by assumptions about how Asian Americans are or are not “at home” in the United States.

This course will explore how Asian American literature attempts to negotiate these tensions. Through a close reading of selected 20th and 21st century Asian American literature, this course will analyze how Asian Americans have worked to resist their exclusion from American culture and politics. We will attempt to unpack the ways in which literary texts assert belonging, negotiate the immigrant experience, and balance the demands of different cultural traditions. In the process, this course will also explore the very definition of “Asian American,” considering the communities that are included and excluded from this collective. In doing so, we will pay close attention to the socio-political histories that inform this category, as well as how the experiences of Asian Americans are shaped by citizenship, class, gender, and sexuality. Various critical perspectives – such as post-colonialism, US legal history, feminism, and popular culture – will inform our readings and analyses.

Over the course of the semester, students will complete four short reading responses, two short essays, and a final essay, in addition to in-class assignments and quizzes. This course carries both a writing flag and a cultural diversity flag.


Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior (1976)

John Okada, No-no Boy (1979)

Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Saturday Night at the Pahala Theatre (1993)

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, selections from Arranged Marriage (1995)

Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Joss & Gold (2001)

Don Lee, selections from Yellow (2002)

Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake (2003)

Monique Truong, Bitter in the Mouth (2010)

R. Zamora Linmark, Leche (2011)

AAS 320 • Asian American Media Cultures

36260 • Mallapragada, Madhavi
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm CMA 3.114
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Flag: Cultural Diversity in the U.S.

This course will examine diverse representations of Asian Americans in the US media by focusing on popular film, television, videogames and the World Wide Web. It will critically interrogate stereotypical images of Asian American identities, culture, and politics as well as representations that challenge and contest such stereotypes. In doing so, the course will locate the politics of representing Asian Americans in the US media within a broader historical, political and cultural context that includes issues of immigration, nationalism and citizenship, race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality and transnationalism.

AAS 320 • Media Industrs/Entreprenrs

36265 • Chen, Wenhong
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm CMA 3.116
(also listed as SOC 352E)
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Flag: Cultural Diversity in the U.S.

Media industries have been challenged by large social forces such as globalization and technological advancements from analog to digital, wired to wireless, and desktop to cloud. Web 2.0 and social media facilitate former members of the audience to actively participate in media production. While legacy media learn to adapt to a new landscape, new media experiment with and search for viable business models and legitimacy. Great challenges bring unprecedented opportunities and risks for organizational innovations, entrepreneurship, and social change.Drawing on literatures from media studies, management, sociology, and communication, this course helps students to develop a critical understanding of the media industries. We start with a survey of the media landscape. In the second part, we examine the social, political, and economic contexts in which media and culture are produced, distributed, and monetized. Special attention is paid to new media and communication technologies such as Web 2.0, social media, gaming, and mobile phone and apps and the implications of these disruptive innovations for media production and consumption. Cases in old and new media industries from different countries will be analyzed. 

AAS 325 • Globlztn/Asian Profssnl Moblty

36271 • Mays, Susan
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm SAC 5.102
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AAS325: Globalization and Asian Professional Mobility

This course examines how economic trends in the world economy in the late 20th and early 21st centuries have contributed to the formation of a global professional class.  The course asks how upward mobility, both professional and economic, is affected by globalization and technological trends.  The emphasis is on the financial, managerial, and technical elite in the U.S., Greater China, India, and other South and East Asian nations.  The course begins by considering macro-economic trends and then it addresses the following topics: migration, social networks, and economic mobility; technology and global knowledge diffusion; international education and today’s “global” universities; programs in Asia to foster tech and economic development; labor markets and income distribution; and how "social capital" (i.e., institutions, norms, and relationships) supports a global professional class.  We will read scholarly works on the above topics, as well as works by journalists, economists, and business leaders.

2 Flags: Global Cultures; Cultural Diversity

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AAS 325 • South Asian Migration To US

36275 • Bhalodia, Aarti
Meets MWF 900am-1000am CMA 3.114
(also listed as ANS 372, HIS 365G)
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Flag: Cultural Diversity in the U.S.

This course examines the South Asian diaspora in United States. We will focus on Americans who trace their descent to India, Pakistan or Bangladesh. While studying the history and culture of South Asian America, we will discuss globalization, transnationalism, migration, assimilation, formation of a diaspora, discrimination, and gender and sexuality, all major themes in Asian American Studies. The course is arranged chronologically and thematically. We will start in the early twentieth century following the journey of the first South Asian migrants to arrive in California. The second part of the course will focus on the effects of the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act. Topics covered include economic and social reasons for immigration, adaptation to American life, cultural and religious assimilation, changing family structures, and discrimination and exclusion. We will end the semester by discussing South Asian American life in the twenty-first century.

This course may be used to fulfill three hours of the U.S. history component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, personal responsibility, and social responsibility.

AAS 330 • Urban Unrest

36285 • Tang, Eric
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm SZB 370
(also listed as AFR 372F, AMS 321, ANT 324L, URB 354)
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How and when do cities burn? The modern US city has seen its share of urban unrest, typified by street protests (both organized and spontaneous), the destruction of private property, looting, and fires. Interpretations of urban unrest are varied: some describe it as aimless rioting, others as political insurrection. Most agree that the matter has something to do with the deepening of racism, poverty and violence. This course takes a closer look at the roots of urban unrest, exploring a range of origins: joblessness, state violence, white flight, the backlash against civil rights gains, new immigration and interracial strife. Urban unrest is often cast as an intractable struggle between black and white, yet this course examines the ways in which multiple racial groups have entered the fray. Beyond race and class, the course will also explore unrest as a mode of pushing the normative boundaries of gender and sexuality in public space. Course material will draw from film, literature, history, geography and anthropology.


Required Texts:

The majority of readings will be available as pdf on Blackboard. Students must acquire the following texts:

Robert F. Williams, Negroes With Guns

Robin D.G. Kelley, Yo Mama’s Dysfunctional: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America

Dan Georgakis and Marvin Surkin, Detroit: I Do Mind Dying: A Study in Urban Revolution

Robert Gooding Williams eds. Reading Rodney King/Reading Urban Uprising



AAS 335 • Challenge Of Asian Am Leadrshp

36290 • Gururaj, Suchitra
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm RLM 5.126
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Course description

This course is designed to foster student leadership development by examining the phenomenon of Asian-American leadership in the ranks of politicians, administrators, and public service and public sector supervisors; using leadership and student development models to explore barriers to leadership; and, through case studies, uncovering the ways in which upcoming leaders (our students) may overcome those barriers and draw upon strengths to progress toward positions of leadership.

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