Courses - Fall 2020

AAS 2100 South Asian Diaspora

This interdisciplinary course (with an emphasis in anthropology) will introduce students to the multiple routes/roots, lived experiences, and imagined worlds of South Asians who have traveled to various lands at different historical moments spanning Fiji, South Africa, Mauritius, Britain, Malaysia, United States, Trinidad, and even within South Asia itself such as the Tamil-speaking population of Sri Lanka. The course will begin with the labor migrations of the 1830s and continue up to the present period. The primary exercise will be to compare and contrast the varied expressions of the South Asian Diaspora globally in order to critically evaluate this transnational identity. Thus, we will ask what, if any, are the ties that bind a fifth-generation Indo-Trinidadian whose ancestor came to the New World as an indentured laborer or "coolie" in the mid-19th century to labor in the cane fields, to a Pakistani medical doctor who migrated to the United States in the late 1980s. If Diaspora violates a sense of identity based on territorial integrity, then could "culture" serve as the basis for a shared identity?

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS, GLC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Viranjini Munasinghe (vpm1)
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AAS 2130 Introduction to Asian American History

An introductory history of Chinese, Japanese, Asian Indians, Filipinos, and Koreans in the United States from the mid-nineteenth century to the 1990s. Major themes include racism and resistance, labor migration, community formation, imperialism, and struggles for equality.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Derek Chang (dsc37)
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AAS 3312 Afro-Asia: Futurism and Feminism

This course explores cultural representations of Afro-Asian intimacies and coalition in novels, songs, films, paintings, and poems. What affinities, loves and thefts, and tensions are present in cultural forms such as anime, jazz, kung fu, and K-pop? Students will consider the intersections and overlap between African and Asian diasporic cultures in global cities such as New York, Chicago, Havana, Lahore, Kingston, and Hong Kong to ask the question: when did Africa and Asia first encounter each other? This will be contextualized through a political and historical lens of the formation of a proto-Global South in the early twentieth, Afro-futurism, women of color feminisms, and Third World solidarity and internationalism. Tackling issues of race, gender, sexuality, and resistance, this seminar also reckons with the intertwined legacies of the institutions of African enslavement and Asian indenture by reading the novels of Patricia Powell and the paintings of Kehinde Wiley, for instance. Students will work in groups to produce Afro-Asia DJ visual soundtracks as part of the final project.

Distribution: (LA-AS, GLC-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Tao Goffe (tlg92)
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AAS 4040 Fictions of Dictatorship

Fictions of dictatorship, as termed by scholar Lucy Burns, denote both the narratives and spectacles produced by authoritarian governments and the performances, events, and cultural objects that work against these states of exception. This course will critically examine histories of dictatorships, through both documentary & creative forms (i.e. novels, memoirs, and performance) and with a geographic focus on Asia and Latin America, in order to understand authoritarian returns in our present historical moment.

Distribution: (LA-AS, GLC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christine Balance (cbb84)
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AAS 4123 Archipelagoes: Cartographies of Race, Sound, and Sexuality

Considering the archipelagic turn, this course takes a transnational approach to geographies, ecologies, literatures, and cultures of island chains. How are archipelagoes understood in relations of power to the mainland? Taking up Michelle Stephens and Brian Roberts "Archipelagic American Studies" students will depart from the conventional and continental definition of the United States and center a hemispheric approach to the Americas. Students will also consider the soundscapes of island cartographies and how gender and sexuality is mapped onto the land. How do island formations provide a framework for understanding militarization, Indigenous sovereignty, creolization, extractive capitalism, and imperialism? Archival analysis as well as experimentation with digital cartography and DJ'ing tools to produce original research theorizing islands will be part of the final project.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Tao Goffe (tlg92)
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AAS 4555 Race and Time

Race, comparison, and time—what do these terms have to do with each other? What does it mean to be in time, or out of time? What are some other ways of inhabiting time, or of being inhabited by time? What is the time of the racialized subject? How is time and temporality figured in literature? Some of the writers we'll be reading in the course include Carolivia Herron, Carlos Bulosan, Jamaica Kincaid, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, and Joy Kogawa. Other readings will be drawn from a range of disciplines, including selections from the work of Johannes Fabian, Frantz Fanon, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch, Cathy Caruth, Thomas Bender and David Wellbery.

Distribution: (LA-AS, ALC-AS, SCD, AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Sunn Wong (ssw6)
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AAS 4950 Independent Study

Independent reading course in topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course work.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Derek Chang (dsc37)
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