Courses - Fall 2019

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)
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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Derek Chang (dsc37)
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AAS 2623 Introduction to Asian American Performance

An introduction to Asian American performance, this course will consider both historical and contemporary examples and forms through the analytics of Asian American studies, theatre studies, and performance studies. Throughout the semester, we will pay equal attention to various forms of performance — plays and other staged performances, performance art, as well as everyday performances — as well as both primary sources and theoretical/critical readings. Students will be introduced to key concepts of Asian American performance studies, such as Orientalism, yellow face, radicalized accents, and the performing body, and will begin to not only map a history of Asian American performance but also situate contemporary examples within this tradition.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christine Balance (cbb84)
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AAS 2910 It's All Chinese to Me

In her memoir Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston identified a conundrum familiar to many US-born children of Chinese immigrants when she asked: "What is Chinese tradition and what is the movies?" What is "Chinese tradition"? Does it mean the same thing to people in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, or to Chinese diasporic communities in North America?  Does "Chineseness" change across time and space? While there will be occasion to discuss what "Chineseness" means in different Asian contexts, this course will focus primarily on how ideas of "China" and "Chineseness" have been historically constructed by, for, and in the West—particularly in the US. Course materials include readings on the concept of "Chineseness," Chinese American literature and film, and historical studies of East/West relations.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Sunn Wong (ssw6)
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AAS 3312 Afro-Asia: Futurism and Feminisms

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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Tao Goffe (tlg92)
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AAS 4050 Critical Filipino/Filipino American Studies

This course focuses on three major and interrelated themes within Filipino/Filipino American history: war/empire, labor/migration, and culture/imaginaries. How do we account for the overwhelming number of Filipinos in nursing, domestic work, and the U.S. military? How do filmmakers, visual/theatre artists, and writers continue to remember the oft-forgotten history of U.S.-Philippine relations? In what ways have diasporic and immigrant Filipinos as well as Filipino Americans created their own culture as well as engaged with their counterparts in the Philippines? By reading historical and sociological texts alongside popular cultural texts and artistic examples, this course considers the politics of history, memory, and cultural citizenship in Filipino America.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christine Balance (cbb84)
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AAS 4640 Racial Ecologies of Transpacific Nuclearism

This course examines contemporary literary and cultural memory work that mediates the emergence of nuclear energy in Asia and the Pacific after World War Two as a transpacific settler colonial and racial institution and discourse.  Building on current environmental humanities scholarship on the nuclear Pacific, this course foregrounds racial ecologies as well as women of color and queer of color critique as key methods to analyses of geo-cultural politics of transpacific nuclear modernity. For longer description and instructor bio, visit societyhumanities.as.cornell.edu/courses

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Yu-Fang Cho (yc2587)
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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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