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Sharmila Rudrappa, Director BUR 556, Mailcode A2200, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-9468

Course Descriptions

AAS 310 • Mixed Race Identities

35255 • Cho, Alexander
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am PAR 302
(also listed as AMS 315)
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Flags: Cultural Diversity in the U.S. and Writing

What is “race,” and what does it mean to be “mixed”? How is mass media responsible for channeling fears, desires, and anxieties about “mixed” bodies? Why are “mixed race” bodies suddenly desirable and chic? Can one exist in two or more categories at the same time? How do people think of “mixedness” in the U.S., and how is it different in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Brazil? Why do people care so much? Why do categories matter? Isn’t everyone “mixed” somehow? Where do you fit in?

This course will give students the tools to critically respond to these questions via a comparative, historically situated study of the representation of "mixed-race" people in the United States. Major attention will be paid to special concerns for Asian American populations; it includes substantial attention to African American and Latino populations. Chiefly U.S.-centered, but with a large transnational comparative component analyzing “mixed” racial formation in: North America, Latin America, Caribbean, Brazil.

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AAS 312 • Intro To Asian American Hist

35260 • Mays, Susan
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm BUR 220
(also listed as HIS 317L)
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Flag: Cultural Diversity in the U.S.

This course examines major themes in Asian American history circa 1800 to the present, focusing on Americans of East, South, and Southeast Asian heritage.  With a flag for Cultural Diversity, this class explores Asian American history as an integral part of US history while also considering the social, cultural, and economic experiences of an ethnic group as it sought equality in the United States.  The class covers the diverse histories of Asian Americans, while identifying struggles that were common to Asian Americans as they immigrated, established citizenship, and built lives, careers, and communities in the United States.  Given the rapid growth of the Asian American population in recent decades, the course explores drivers of emigration from Asia, including the rapid economic growth of Asian economies in recent decades, as well as the changing landscape for Asian Americans in the US and abroad.  The course is organized by topic, and it makes use of scholarly articles, journalistic accounts, biographies, and documents by community leaders and organizations.

AAS 320 • Gender And Asian American Lit

35270 • Ho, Christine
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm PAR 206
(also listed as WGS 340)
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Flag: Cultural Diversity in the U.S.

In this course, we will examine how representations of gender and sexuality are instrumental to our understanding of Asian American literature from nineteenth to the twenty-first century.  In our discussion of these readings, questions of identity and power will be central to understanding of the intertwined nature of race, gender, and the nation-state.  We will read Asian American literature by both male and female writers in order to understand how gender and sexuality are central to understanding Asian American experiences. We will focus on questions of identity formation in relation to legal histories, racial ideology, global migrations, generational divides, class status, sexuality, and military conflict.

We will also investigate the role of gender in literary debates surrounding representations of Asian Americans.  For example, we will consider Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, which is the most widely read Asian American literary text in relation to Frank Chin’s attack on Kingston that she misrepresents and reinforces stereotypes that threaten Asian American masculinity. In examining these tensions between these Asian American writers, we will uncover some of the complex intersections between race and gender, revealing how profoundly they have shaped Asian American writers and literature. In order to develop a firmer grasp of the debates and significance of gender dynamics, we will read both literature by both early immigrant writers and contemporary Asian American writers and secondary critical analysis.

AAS 320 • Global Indian Literature

35275 • Shingavi, Snehal
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 208
(also listed as ANS 361, E 360L)
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E 360L  l  Global Indian Literature

Instructor:  Shingavi, S

Unique #:  34835

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  AAS 320, ANS 361

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Flags:  Global Cultures

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: Two important historical trends have marked the development and recognition of “Indian literature” as a global (rather than a strictly national) phenomenon. First, the patterns of migration of South Asians since the beginning of the Raj moved Indians to various parts of the British Empire and created a network of ambassadors and webs of affiliation throughout the world for South Asian culture; the fact of colonial schools which produced English-speaking Indians is not incidental. Second, the celebrity of Rushdie as the premiere Indian writer helped to produce a niche market within the publishing world for books about and by South Asians (usually represented by the big, national novel). To this must also be added the contemporary rise of India as a leading world economy which has raised the demand for and curiosity about Indian culture within the global marketplace. This course will investigate the production of a “global Indian literature” – paradoxically cosmopolitan and national – as made up of the intersecting experiences of Indians outside of India and the demands of the literary market (international publishing houses and the big literary prizes). All of the writers that we will consider have won major national and international prizes (the Nobel, Man Booker, Commonwealth Writers, Pulitzer, etc.), and this will allow to think about what kinds of issues, what kinds of histories, and what kinds of forms tend to predominate in this body of writing.

Texts: Tagore, Home and the World; Rushdie, Satanic Verses; Roy, The God of Small Things; Mistry, A Fine Balance; Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies; Naipaul, A Bend in the River; Chatterjee, The Mammaries of the Welfare State; Ghosh, Sea of Poppies; Seth, Golden Gate; Desai, In Custody.

Requirements & Grading: Weekly blog posts, 250 words (20%); Midterm (20%); Final (30%); Paper, 6-7 pages (20%); Participation (10%).

AAS 320 • Contemp Asian Amer Novels

35280 • Menon, Sheela Jane
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am PAR 101
(also listed as E 376M)
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Flag: Cultural Diversity in the U.S.


Concerns over borders and border crossings continue to inform conversations about immigration, identity, nationhood, and sexuality. This course explores the various borders and border crossings that emerge across works of 20th and 21st century Asian American literature. What kinds of borders are present in these texts? How do Asian American characters negotiate these borders? How do ethnicity, gender, citizenship, and class influence both the construction and destruction of borders? In exploring these questions, this course will seek to discuss literary texts in relation to critical frameworks such as post-colonialism, US legal history, feminism, and cultural studies. This course also attempts to explore the kinds of boundaries that have been erected between different Asian American groups and between Asian Americans and other minority groups in the United States.



Carlos Bulosan, America is in the Heart (1973)

Hisaye Yamamoto, selections from Seventeen Syllables & Other Stories (1988)

Gish Jen, Typical American (1991)

Fae Myenne Ng, Bone (1993)

Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Among the White Moonfaces (1996)

R. Zamora Linmark, Rolling the R’s (1997)

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, selections from The Unknown Errors of our Lives (2001)

lê thi diem thúy, The Gangster We Are All Looking For (2004)

Jhumpa Lahiri, Unaccustomed Earth (2008)


Gloria Anzaldúa. Borderlands/La Frontera (1987)

Lisa Lowe, Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics (1996)

---. “Work, Immigration, Gender: New Subjects of Cultural Politics.” The Politics of Culture in the Shadow of Capital (1997)

Arif Dirlik, Selections from What’s In a Rim? Critical Perspectives on the Pacific Region Idea (1998)

David Palumbo-Liu. Asian/American: Historical Crossings of a Racial Frontier (1999)

Amitava Kumar, Passport Photos (2000)

Elena Tajima Creef, Imaging Japanese America: The Visual Construction of Citizenship, Nation, and the Body      (2004)

Linda Martín Alcoff. “Latinos, Asian Americans, and the Black-White Binary.” Visible Identities: Race, Gender, and the Self (2006)

AAS 325 • Global Hong Kong

35285 • Hamilton, Peter
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm GAR 0.128
(also listed as ANS 361, HIS 364G)
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Flags: Cultural Diversity in the U.S., Global Cultures, and Writing

This course examines the history of Hong Kong from a global perspective, stretching from the First Opium War (1839-42) to the present day. Through lectures, discussions, films, and readings, we will foreground Hong Kong’s place on the world stage—as a trading entrepôt, a migration hub, a political sanctuary, and an economic powerhouse. We will study the evolution of the British colonial regime, the lives of diverse Hong Kong residents, and the trades and industries that have sustained the territory. We will pay keen attention to the world migrations, economic developments, and catastrophes in which Hong Kong has played an important role, such as the opium trade, the Chinese diaspora, China’s political upheavals, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and mainland China’s post-1978 economic reform and takeoff. Finally, as the historic embarkation point and logistical nexus for Chinese migrants to the United States, Hong Kong holds a special significance for Asian American studies. Throughout the course, special attention will be paid to Hong Kong’s links with the United States.


AAS 325 • The Chinese In Diaspora

35290 • Hsu, Madeline Y.
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm GAR 1.134
(also listed as ANS 361, HIS 350L)
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Flags: Cultural Diversity in the U.S., Global Cultures, and Writing

In a self-proclaimed “nation of immigrants” such as the United States, our narratives of migration, race, and ethnicity emphasize themes of acculturation and assimilation symbolized by the metaphor of the “melting pot.”  In this class, we will explore experiences of migration, adaptation, and settlement from the perspective of a sending society--China--which possesses one of the longest and most diverse histories of sending merchants, workers, artisans, diplomats, missionaries, and so forth, overseas.  Over the last millennia, Chinese have migrated around the world and made homes under a great range of adversity and opportunity, producing many fascinating stories of encounters with difference and the building of common ground. Drawing upon this rich set of narratives, some questions that we will consider include the following.  As ethnic Chinese have moved and settled in so many places among such diverse societies, what is Chinese about the Chinese diaspora? What kinds of skills and attributes have helped Chinese to become arguably one of the most successful migrant groups? What do Chinese share in common with other migrant groups? How do Chinese adapt their identities and cultures to different circumstances?  What can Chinese experiences of migration contribute to contemporary debates and conceptions of migration?


Chirot, Daniel and Anthony Reid, ed. Essential Outsiders: Chinese and Jews in the Modern Transformation of Southeast Asia and Central Europe. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 1997.

Kuhn, Philip A. Chinese Among Others: Emigration in Modern Times. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008.

Louie, Vivian. Compelled to Excel: Immigration, Education, and Opportunity among Chinese Americans. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2004

Lui, Mary. The Chinatown Trunk Mystery: Murder, Miscegenation, and Other Dangerous Encounters in Turn-of-the-Century New York City. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2005.

Roberts, J.A.G., China to Chinatown: Chinese Food in the West. London: Reaktion, 2002.

Wang Gungwu. The Chinese Overseas: From Earthbound China to the Quest for Autonomy. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000.


25 % Class participation and attendance

24 % Two 2-3 page book reviews

36 % 9-10 page research paper

10 % In-class presentation of research

5% peer review

AAS 325 • Asian American Jurisprudence

35295 • Ko, Ramey
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 101
(also listed as AMS 321, GOV 357M)
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Flags: Cultural Diversity in the U.S., Ethics and Leadership

Throughout the history of the United States, the law and the legal system have shaped nearly every facet of Asian American life.  The law can be used to exclude, to empower, and sometimes even to define the very meaning and definition of one’s community and identity.  Apart from the law itself, the court system, as the main forum for the discussion and resolution of legal disputes, has also had tremendous power to influence the lives and experiences of Asian Americans.  Whether it is immigration, national security, or the pursuit of happiness, the law has had and will continue to have a profound impact on the lives of Asian Americans everywhere.

This course will provide a comprehensive introduction to the study of Asian Americans and the law.  Students will examine the historical development of US law and its relationship to Asian Americans, as well as the development of Asian American jurisprudence as an independent field of legal scholarship.  In addition, this course will provide students the tools to think critically about Asian Americans and the law by introducing students to principles of legal reasoning and analysis and the major schools of legal thought.  Topics will include immigration, civil rights, affirmative action, and access to justice.  Students will also learn about the common law system, legal positivism, legal realism, economic analysis of law, and critical race theory.

We will approach this course like a law school class.  The majority of the readings consist of primary source court opinions, and class time will focus on deepening student understanding of the course material through the Socratic method of question and answer.  Grading will be based on participation, five reading quizzes, a midterm, and a final.  Participation will be measured by quality, not quantity; what matters is not whether students can give a “right” or “wrong” answer, but whether student responses demonstrate a familiarity with the reading and a genuine effort to think critically about the subject matter.

AAS 330 • Asian Mobilities

35300 • Hindman, Heather
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 210
(also listed as ANS 361)
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Flags: Global Cultures and Writing

Selected topics in south and east Asian anthropology, economics, history, geography, government, art, music, and philosophy.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Asian Studies 320 and 361 may not both be counted unless the topics vary.  Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

AAS 335 • Intercul Communicatn & Collab

35304 • Cooc, North
Meets M 430pm-730pm SZB 286
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Flag: Cultural Diversity in the U.S.

Basic principles of interpersonal and intergroup communication in culturally and linguistically diverse educational settings. Designed to help students understand the relationship between culture, language, and disability using a variety of formats, including discussion, dialogue, journals, simulations, case studies, and field-based assignments.

Required Text: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman

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AAS 378 • Community Internship

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Supervised internship in community, civic, or government organization or program that facilitates the economic, political, and social development of the Asian American Community. Prerequisite Upper-division standing and consent of the director of the Center for Asian American Studies.

Restricted enrollment; contact the department for permission to register for this class.

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