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Dr. Susan Sage Heinzelman, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Spring 2007

WGS 340 • South Asia America Experience-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor


Course Description

This course concentrates on South Asian American activism. We will examine how politics in these immigrants' sending countries-Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka-and the way the racial hierarchies of the receiving nation, the United States, affects the ways in which they live their race/ ethnic realities. We will use a combination of book excerpts, articles, class discussions, music, and videos to understand South Asian American activism. Over the course of the semester we will ask how do South Asian Americans organize their politics in attempting to grapple with becoming people of color in the U.S.? What kinds of groups do they form? What are the goals of these Asian American organizations? How successful are South Asian American political organizations? What does this success mean? Are these groups political or merely "cultural"? How and when does culture become political? What kinds of coalitional politics do they engage in, or what barriers exist for them in formulating a coalitional stance? Transnational nationalism, activism around domestic violence, organizing around issues of sexuality, working class organizing and cross-racial coalitions, questions of culture and cultural appropriation these are all issues that we will scrutinize critically. We will use a combination of book excerpts, articles, guest lectures, class discussions, documentaries, and music to understand South Asian American activism.


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