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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Fall 2009

AMS 321 • Orientalism in US Pop Culture

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
29939 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
wel 3.260

Course Description

In this course we will discuss the role of Orientalism in U.S. popular culture. One of the primary ideas we will focus on is how does Western understanding of Asia create an Orientalist perspective of Asian Americans in the U.S. Beginning with theories of Orientalism and popular culture we will develop a vocabulary with which to interrogate representations of Asians and Asian Americans in the U.S. Moving forward from a theoretical perspective, we will look at how recent scholars have written about these issues at different historical moments. These writings are interdisciplinary and will allow us to cover various cultural artifacts such as film, novels, tourism, music, art and theater, among other things. By the end of the course I hope we will all be better able to consider more deeply Orientalist ideas and objects in U.S. society and culture in a critical and reflective way.

Grading Policy

Attendance and Weekly Response Papers: 20% Short Writing Assignment One: 20% Short Writing Assignment Two: 20% Final Writing Assignment: 30%


Possible Texts Robert Lee, Orientals: Asian Americans in Popular Culture Christina Klein, Cold War Orientalism: Asia in the Middlebrow Imagination, 1945-1961 Vijay Prashad, Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity Mari Yoshihara, Embracing the East: White Women and American Orientalism


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