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Elizabeth Engelhardt, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Naomi Paik

Professor Ph.D., American Studies, 2009, Yale University

Assistant Professor
Naomi Paik

Contact

Biography

A. Naomi Paik is Assistant Professor of American studies and Asian American studies at the University of Texas at Austin.  She earned her Ph.D. in American studies from Yale University and held the Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship in Asian American studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  Her research and teaching interests include Asian American and comparative ethnic studies; U.S. imperialisms; social and cultural approaches to legal studies; transnational feminism; carceral spaces; and labor, race, and migration. Her manuscript, Rightlessness: Testimonies from the Camp in Narratives of U.S. Culture and Law, reads testimonial narratives of subjects rendered rightless by the U.S. state through their imprisonment in camps in a comparative study of Japanese American internees, HIV positive Haitian refugees detained at Guantánamo in the 1990s, and “enemy combatants” currently imprisoned at Guantánamo. 

Interests

Comparative ethnic studies; transnational U.S. cultural studies; Asian American studies; social and cultural approaches to legal studies; postcolonial studies and theories of race and imperialism; transnational feminist theory; carceral spaces; labor, race, and migration.

AMS 315 • Intro To Asian Amer Studies

31127 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PHR 2.114
(also listed as AAS 301 )
show description

This interdisciplinary course seeks to offer a critical introduction to the multiple, heterogeneous histories, cultural productions, and issues that shape the study of Asians in the U.S. By reading a range of historical, legal, theoretical, and cultural texts, we will explore issues and employ methodologies central to the field of Asian American Studies. What are the formative experiences and histories that define Asian America? What is the relationship of Asian Americans to the U.S. nation-state? Who is included in the category “Asian American”? Who/what decides? How have conceptions of Asian America shifted over time? In approaching these questions, the course will focus broadly on the topics of formations of identity and community, immigration, citizenship, gender, sexuality, labor, and (post)colonialisms in Asian America. As we move through the course, our perspective will becoming increasingly transnational in scope, from a focus on major concepts and issues of Asian America in a domestic context to a broader consideration to the ways in which migrations, war, imperialism, and global capitalism have affected the lives of Asians in the U.S. historically and in contemporary times.

Objectives of the course include:

  • Learning about the significance of the intersections of race, class, nation, gender, and sexuality in U.S. culture, history, and society.
  • Understanding historical and contemporary concepts and problems relating to Asian Americans and Asian im/migrants, such as immigration, citizenship, and identity, as well as the global, social, and political implications of relationship between Asia and the U.S.
  • Advancing critical reading and interpretation skills across a broad range and variety of texts and materials.

A strong work ethic is absolutely necessary for success in this class.  Do not enroll in this class unless you are ready to work.

 

Requirements

Attendance, participation, in-class quizzes 15%

Midterm                  20%

Midterm                  20%

Midterm                  20%

Final Exam              25%

 

 

Possible Texts

Lisa Lowe, Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics

Gary Y. Okihiro, Margins and Mainstreams

Moustafa Bayoumi, How Does It Feel To Be A Problem?

Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior

 

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity

 

AMS 370 • United States, Race, & Empire

31190 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm BUR 228
(also listed as AAS 320, WGS 340 )
show description

This interdisciplinary course invites students to thoughtfully examine histories and narratives of U.S. imperialism and racism. Its investigation begins from the following concepts: that the United States has long held and continues to maintain imperial powers across the globe and that U.S. imperial power is inextricably tied to the workings of racial difference and hierarchy. Further, it examines U.S. racism and imperialism not solely as political and military ventures, but also a cultural project.  Drawing on methods from cultural studies, comparative ethnic studies, and feminist studies, this course will focus on the movement of imperial and racial power not only in more obvious sites (like military bases or warfare), but also in an extensive range of everyday practices in which ordinary people participate. We will therefore examine histories and narratives of U.S. imperialism in historical texts and government documents and in works of cultural production, like literature, film, and visual culture.

Some of the questions that will guide us through the material include: How has U.S racial imperialism been historically produced? What has made it possible?  By what (multiple) means has it been accomplished economically, politically, and culturally?  How is it experienced “over there” and “at home”?  How has U.S. racial imperialism helped define U.S. national culture and subjectivity?

 Objectives of this course include:

•                 Advancing deeper, critical understandings of U.S. racism and imperialism in history and culture

•                 Fostering self-reflective critique of the U.S. nation-state and its global (imperial) power

•                 Advancing critical reading/interpretation skills across a range of texts

•                 Promoting and putting into practice all stages of the writing process, includingplanning and                 organization, writing drafts, and revision and editing

•                 Cultivating mutually respectful, collaborative work on group and individual assignments

U.S. Race and Empire is an advanced undergraduate, reading- and writing-intensive seminar.  A background in ethnic studies or women’s, gender, and sexuality studies is very strongly recommended.  A strong work ethic is absolutely necessary.  Do not enroll in this class unless you are ready to work.

                   

Requirements

5 page paper

5 page draft of selection of final paper, and peer-review

10-12 page final paper

Group presentation

Reading responses to Blackboard (every class)

Class participation

 

Possible Texts

Jana K. Lipman, Guantánamo: A Working-Class History between Empire and Revolution

Amy Kaplan and Donald E. Pease, eds., Cultures of United States Imperialism

Setsu Shigamatsu and Keith Camacho, Militarized Currents: Toward a Decolonized Future in Asia and the Pacific

Alex Gibney, Taxi to the Dark Side

Errol Morris, The Fog of War

R. Zamora Linmark, Rolling the R’s

 

Upper-division standing required. Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing

AMS 370 • Race, Immigration, And Culture

30855 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm CLA 0.108
(also listed as AAS 320, MAS 374 )
show description

This interdisciplinary course explores the histories, cultures, and experiences of im/migration to the U.S. by examining cultural productions (literary and visual narratives and texts) alongside legal discourses (legislation, federal court cases, legal scholarship) and historical analyses.  Informed by critical race theory, ethnic studies, and cultural studies scholarship, we will pay particular attention to the tensions between the legal discourses and practices that seek to regulate and manage im/migrants and the cultural productions that expose and articulate the limits and contradictions of the law.  Some questions we will consider through the semester include: What are defining encounters that have shaped im/migrant lives and cultures?  How do cultural studies inform our understanding of what it means to be an im/migrant under U.S. law?  How have im/migrants challenged notions of U.S. nationhood and legal regimes? 

We will begin by considering what is at stake in looking at cultural and legal texts together within a comparative ethnic studies frame.  The course then examines the closing and opening of U.S. borders to regulate the entry of im/migrants, giving particular attention to the case of Chinese Exclusion—the first racially/ethnically based prohibition on immigration.  We will also pay close attention to the relations between capitalism/labor and nation.  The course concludes by considering questions of naturalization and the limits of citizenship, particularly in light of recent “crises” over immigration.

                 

Requirements

Attendance and Participation in class and on Blackboard website: 10%

Collaborative Presentations: 10%

Accompanying paper on presentation material (4 pages): 10%

Paper 1 (5 pages):  25%

Peer Review and Major Revision of Paper 1: 10%

Paper 2 (7-8 pages): 35%

 

Possible Texts

Mae Ngai, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America

Maxine Hong Kingston, Chinamen

Fae Myenne Ng, Bone

Chang-Rae Lee, Native Speaker

Josefina Lopez, Real Women Have Curves

John Mraz and Jamie Vélez-Storey, Uprooted: Braceros in the Hermanos Mayo’s Lens

 

Films

Frieda Lee Mock, Maya Lin: A Strong, Clear Vision

Stephanie Black, H-2 Worker

Robert Kenner, Food, Inc.

Robert Rodriguez, Machete

 

Additional book chapters, articles, and legal primary source documents.

 

Upper-division standing required. Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing, Cultural Diversity

AMS 315 • Intro To Asian Amer Studies

30790 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm GAR 1.126
(also listed as AAS 301 )
show description

This interdisciplinary course seeks to offer a critical introduction to the multiple, heterogeneous histories, cultural productions, and issues that shape the study of Asians in the U.S. By reading a range of historical, legal, theoretical, and cultural texts, we will explore issues and employ methodologies central to the field of Asian American Studies. What are the formative experiences and histories that define Asian America? What is the relationship of Asian Americans to the U.S. nation-state? Who is included in the category “Asian American”? Who/what decides? How have conceptions of Asian America shifted over time? In approaching these questions, the course will focus broadly on the topics of formations of identity and community, immigration, citizenship, gender, sexuality, labor, and (post)colonialisms in Asian America. As we move through the course, our perspective will becoming increasingly transnational in scope, from a focus on major concepts and issues of Asian America in a domestic context to a broader consideration to the ways in which migrations, war, imperialism, and global capitalism have affected the lives of Asians in the U.S. historically and in contemporary times.

Requirements

Attendance, participation, in-class quizzes 15%

Short Paper 1          20%

Short Paper 2          20%

Midterm                  20%

Final Exam              25%

 

Possible Texts

Lisa Lowe, Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics 

Fae Myenne Ng, Bone

Kandice Chuh, Imagine Otherwise: On Asian Americanist Critique

Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

Fulfills Cultural Diversity Flag

AMS 370 • Race, Memory, And Violence

30860 • Spring 2012
Meets MW 330pm-500pm CBA 4.344
(also listed as AAS 320 )
show description

This interdisciplinary course examines how processes of racial formation and histories of racial violence shape knowledge production about the past in both historical narratives and in collective and individual memory.  We will consider how narratives of the past are produced—from the selection of facts, their assemblage into archives, and creation of historical stories from the archives, as well as in the living and recorded memories of witnesses to the past.  We will examine historical narratives about racial violence in the U.S.—including slavery, colonization, Japanese American internment, and imprisonment regimes—and consider how archives and historical narratives enact discursive violence by obscuring resistant, alternative, or subjugated knowledges about these violent pasts.  Further, we will examine contemporary engagements with such pasts that attempt to re-read these histories in the hopes of disrupting or intervening in dominant narratives about Western modernity and U.S. nationhood and imagine alternative futures.

 

Requirements

Attendance and Participation in class and on Blackboard website: 10%

Collaborative Presentations: 10%

Accompanying paper on presentation material (4 pages): 10%

Paper 1 (5 pages):  25%

Peer Review and Major Revision of Paper 1: 10%

Paper 2 (7-8 pages): 35%

 

Possible Texts

Michel Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History

Walter Benjamin, “Theses on the Philosophy of History”

Shoshana Felman and Dori Laub, Testimony: Crises of Witnessing in Literature, Psychoanalysis, and History (selections)

David L. Eng and David Kazanjian, Loss: The Politics of Mourning (selections)

Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother

Rea Tajiri, History and Memory: For Akiko and Takeshige

Primo Levi, The Drowned and the Saved

Testimonies from the Commission on the Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians

Leonard Peltier, Prison Writings: My Life is My Sundance

Edwidge Danticat, Brother, I’m Dying

Nicole Guidotti-Hernandez, Unspeakable Violence: Remapping U.S. and Mexican National Identities (selections)

 

Upper-division standing required. Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing, Cultural Diversity

AMS 370 • Race, Immigration, And Culture

30630 • Fall 2011
Meets MW 330pm-500pm MEZ 1.212
(also listed as AAS 320, MAS 374 )
show description

Description

This interdisciplinary course explores the histories, cultures, and experiences of im/migration to the U.S. by examining cultural productions (literary and visual narratives and texts) alongside legal discourses (legislation, federal court cases, legal scholarship) and historical analyses.  Informed by critical race theory, ethnic studies, and cultural studies scholarship, we will pay particular attention to the tensions between the legal discourses and practices that seek to regulate and manage im/migrants and the cultural productions that expose and articulate the limits and contradictions of the law.  Some questions we will consider through the semester include: What are defining encounters that have shaped im/migrant lives and cultures?  How do cultural studies inform our understanding of what it means to be an im/migrant under U.S. law?  How have im/migrants challenged notions of U.S. nationhood and legal regimes? 

We will begin by considering what is at stake in looking at cultural and legal texts together within a comparative ethnic studies frame.  The course then examines the closing and opening of U.S. borders to regulate the entry of im/migrants, giving particular attention to the case of Chinese Exclusion—the first racially/ethnically based prohibition on immigration.  We will also pay close attention to the relations between capitalism/labor and nation.  The course concludes by considering questions of naturalization and the limits of citizenship, particularly in light of recent “crises” over immigration.

 

Requirements

Attendance and Participation in class and on Blackboard website: 10%

Collaborative Presentations: 10%

Accompanying paper on presentation material (4 pages): 10%

Paper 1 (5 pages):  25%

Peer Review and Major Revision of Paper 1: 10%

Paper 2 (7-8 pages): 35%

 

Possible Texts

Mae Ngai, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America

Maxine Hong Kingston, Chinamen

Fae Myenne Ng, Bone

Chang-Rae Lee, Native Speaker

Josefina Lopez, Real Women Have Curves

John Mraz and Jamie Vélez-Storey, Uprooted: Braceros in the Hermanos Mayo’s Lens

Films

Frieda Lee Mock, Maya Lin: A Strong, Clear Vision

Stephanie Black, H-2 Worker

Robert Kenner, Food, Inc.

Robert Rodriguez, Machete

Additional book chapters, articles, and legal primary source documents.

 

Upper-division standing required. Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing, Cultural Diversity

 

 

AMS 393 • Intro Readings In Amer Studies

30700 • Fall 2011
Meets M 1100am-200pm BUR 436B
show description

This seminar introduces issues and concerns in the broad, decentered, interdisciplinary field of American Studies. We are not aiming to define American Studies but to look at a range of the questions, problems, theories, and methods that current practitioners engage with in their scholarship.

Using the presidential addresses to the American Studies Association as well as “keywords” of the field, we will examine a constellation of ideas and archives of the field. We will also analyze booklength texts as discrete entities, putting them in historical and cultural contexts, and evaluating their methods and theories. This course and many of its core texts situate the ostensibly “nationally” defined field of American Studies in an explicitly transnational framework. As we move through the semester, we will critically reflect on the methods of historical research; multi-site and transnational archival and ethnographic research; historically grounded cultural studies; and political economy (with a particular focus on the intersections of capitalism, nation, and labor). We will focus on race and racism, gender, cultural politics, capitalism, labor, diaspora, and trans/nationalism.

Towards the end of the semester, we will also read dissertations relevant to the field of American Studies. These dissertations either have been or soon will be published as exemplary books in the field and can serve as models for your own work as you move through the graduate program here.

 

Possible Texts

Glenn Hendler and Bruce Burgett, Keywords of American Cultural Studies

Junaid Rana, Terrifying Muslims: Race and Labor in the South Asian Diaspora

Marc Bousquet, How the University Works: Higher Education and the Low Wage Nation

Saidiya Hartman, Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in 19th Century America

Jodi Kim, Ends of Empire: Asian American Critique and the Cold War

Ruthie Gilmore, Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California

Bethany Moreton, To Serve God and Walmart: The Making Christian Free Enterprise

David L. Eng, The Feeling of Kinship: Queer Liberalism and the Racialization of Intimacy

Nicole M. Guidotti-Hernandez, Unspeakable Violence: Remapping U.S. and Mexican National Imaginaries

Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History

Susan Buck Morse, Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History

Joan Bolker, Writing Your Dissertation in 15 Minutes a Day

Requirements

Attendance 15%

Fellowship Proposal 20%

Conference Paper 25%

Comparative Book review 40%

AMS 315 • Intro To Asian Amer Studies

30810 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm GEA 114
(also listed as AAS 301 )
show description

This interdisciplinary course seeks to offer a critical introduction to the multiple, heterogeneous histories, cultural productions, and issues that shape the study of Asians in the U.S. By reading a range of historical, legal, theoretical, and cultural texts, we will explore issues and employ methodologies central to the field of Asian American Studies. What are the formative experiences and histories that define Asian America? What is the relationship of Asian Americans to the U.S. nation-state? Who is included in the category “Asian American”? Who/what decides? How have conceptions of Asian America shifted over time? In approaching these questions, the course will focus broadly on the topics of formations of identity and community, immigration, citizenship, gender, sexuality, labor, and (post)colonialisms in Asian America. As we move through the course, our perspective will becoming increasingly transnational in scope, from a focus on major concepts and issues of Asian America in a domestic context to a broader consideration to the ways in which migrations, war, imperialism, and global capitalism have affected the lives of Asians in the U.S. historically and in contemporary times.

Fulfills Cultural Diversity Flag


 

AMS 370 • Borders Of Asian America

29635 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm GEA 127
(also listed as AAS 320 )
show description

Description

                  This interdisciplinary course examines the borders or margins of “Asian America” and the field of Asian American studies in order to consider how their formation and institutionalization have (intentionally or unintentionally) reproduced the nationalist and exclusionary biases of the U.S. nation-state that they have sought to challenge and change.  Drawing on the methodologies and theoretical frames provided by postcolonial criticism, studies of globalization and transnationalism, and feminist and cultural studies, we will question who or what is the (proper) subject of Asian America and the (proper) object of our study.  In addition to critiquing their forms of marginalization and exclusion—based on gender, sexuality, relations to U.S. empire, and shifts in immigration regimes, for example—we will interrogate how Asian America and Asian American studies continue to aspire toward U.S. national values of identity, continuity, and cohesiveness at the expense of recognizing their heterogeneity, hybridity, and fluidity.  Rather than try to find ways of making them more inclusive based on their already existing organization, we will consider how Asian America and Asian American studies can be organized around the social and political transformations they seek in the present and future.

 

Requirements

Participation in class and on Blackboard website: 15%

Collaborative Presentations: 15%

Final Paper: 70% total

Annotated Bibliography: 10%

Final Paper Proposal and Presentation: 15%

Final Paper Draft: 20%

Revised Final Paper (15 pages):  25%

 

Possible Texts

Lisa Lowe, Immigrant Acts

David L. Eng, Racial Castration: Managing Masculinity in Asian America

Kandace Chuh, Imagine Otherwise: On Asian Americanist Critique

Vijay Prashad, The Karma of Brown Folk

Lavina Shankar and Rajini Srikanth, A Part, Yet Apart: South Asians in Asian America

May Joseph, Nomadic Identities: The Performance of Citizenship

Monique Truong, The Book of Salt

R. Zamora Linmark, Rolling the R’s

Dylan Rodriguez, Suspended Apocalypse: White Supremacy, Genocide, and the Filipino Condition

Curtis Choy, What’s Wrong with Frank Chin? (2005)

Mira Nair, Mississippi Masala (1992)

 

Upper-division standing required. Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing, Cultural Diversity

Publications

Current Book Project

Rightlessness: Testimonies from the Camp in the Era of Rights Ascension. Book manuscript under review. 

Peer Reviewed Articles 

“Education and Empire, Old and New: H.R. 3077 and the Resurgence of the U.S. Imperial University." Cultural Dynamics, 25:1 (March 2013): 3-28.

“Carceral Quarantine at Guantánamo: Legacies of U.S. Imprisonment of Haitian Refugees, 1991-1994.” Radical History Review, 115:1 (Winter 2013): 142-168.  Special Issue on “Haitian Lives/Global Perspectives,” edited by Amy Chazkel, Melina Pappademos, and Karen Sotiropoulos.

“Testifying to Rightlessness: Haitian Refugees Speaking from Guantánamo.” Social Text, 28:3 (Fall 2010): 39-65. Special issue on “Dislocations Across the Americas,” edited by Micol Siegel and David Sartorius.   

“Living in a Dying Situation’: Preserving Life at Guantánamo.” Article in Progress (2013).

 

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