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AAS 100

Introduction to Asian American Studies


Spring 2014
(tentative syllabus: the professor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus) Instructor: Eunai Shrake, Ph.D. Time: T, R 12:30-1:45 pm, 2:00-3:15 pm. Classroom: SH 321 Office: JR 346A (677-2151) Office Hours: R 3:30-5:00 pm & by appointment E-mail: eshrake@csun.edu

COURSE DESCRIPTION This course provides an overview of Asian American experiences and perspectives. This course begins with a brief review of the history of Asian Americans, then proceeds to discuss social, cultural, economic, and political issues facing Asian Americans through critical analysis. Some of the substantive areas covered in this course include assimilation patterns, economic integration, family and community formation, education, anti-Asian violence, inter-group conflict, media stereotypes, and political participation. Most of the materials are presented from an interdisciplinary perspective. The course format will be both lecture and discussion. The first part of each class will be a lecture given by the instructor. The latter part of the class will be interactive, integrative discussion of the reading, film, and lecture. REQUIRED TEXTS 1. Shrake & Chen (2012), Asian Pacific American Experiences: Past, Present, and Future (This book is also available for purchase directly from the publisher at http://www.kendallhunt.com/shrake/) 2. http://www.asian-nation.org (To check articles from this website, go to the website and click ISSUES menu on the left corner, the title of each article will show up) In addition to the required texts, I may also assign extra short readings and youtube clips based on class interests and current events. You will find these extra resources on moodle course webpage. Students with disabilities must register with the Center on Disabilities and complete a services agreement each semester. Students who are approved for test taking accommodations must provide an Alternative Testing Form to their faculty member signed by a counselor in the Center on Disabilities prior to making testing arrangements. The Center on Disabilities is located in Bayramian Hall, room 110. Staff can be reached at 818-677-2684. CLASSROOM POLICY Be on time. No electronic equipments, such as MP3, I-Pods, cell phone, and laptops while class is in session. Show your respect to your class members.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS All writing assignments are to be typed with regular margins, double-spaced, and paginated. No late submission of assignments will be accepted. Class Participation (10%): This course requires active participation from all class members. Class participation is based on active participation in class and regular attendance. Active participation is characterized by evidence of preparation, appropriate discussion in class, and participation in group activities. Regular attendance is expected, and missing 3 class sessions without notification & justification will lower the point total by 10%, equivalent to one letter grade. Should you have to miss class, please let me know beforehand. Personal Journal (10%): This is a 2-3 page autobiographical writing that examines your own identity development regarding your race and other dimensions of identity. For example, what it means to be belonging to certain racial, ethnic, gender, religious, and cultural categories such as White, Latino, Asian, Jewish, Moslem, female, or other identity descriptors? What kind of privilege or challenge has your identity brought to you? Also reflect on your personal experiences with racism and other forms of prejudice and discrimination. How your identity and your life experiences impact your view of society and people around you? Guided Reflective Essays (20%): You are expected to write 2 short essays (3-4 pages each) in which you will be responding to guiding questions posed by the instructor (attached to this syllabus). These questions are drawn from readings, lectures, and questions raised in class discussion. You will be graded on whether or not you addressed the question(s); whether or not you cited your sources (include a bibliography); and the overall quality of your argument. You are encouraged to incorporate course readings and your own experiences in your essay. Any quotes or paraphrased materials should be cited to avoid plagiarism. You may use any system of citations (e.g., APA, MLA, or the Chicago Style). If you are not familiar with citation formats, please consult me or a librarian at Oviatt library. Community Participation Report (10%) : Attend an event of an Asian American group (cultural festival, rally, traditional wedding, religious celebration) OR visit an Asian American place (e.g., Chinatown, Koreatown, Little Tokyo, Little Saigon, Little India, Montrey Park, Manila Town). This does not mean just going to a movie or to a restaurant with ethnic food. Rather, you need to find an event or a place in which you will be in the center of a cultural life of other ethnic group than yours. After you have attended an event or visited the place, summarize your experience (what you observed, what you did, and whom you met), and make an analytic evaluation of that experience by applying what you learned in this course. In this ethnography, I look at 1. How well you described what you did and what you observed. Observation should include physical surroundings (buildings, colors, smells, streets) and happenings of the place or the event, cultural interactions between people (vendors, customers, visitors, attendees, audiences) including cultural mannerism and language use, etc. 2. How well you applied your cultural experiences to class topics and class readings. 3. How well you analyzed your experience through the lens of an Asian American Studies student.

Mid-term (20%) and Final Exam (30%): All students are required to take two exams. Mid-term will consist of objective questions (multiple choice, true-false, filling in the blank.) Final exam will consist of true-false, short answers and one essay question. These exams will be drawn from course reading materials, lectures, class discussions, and films. Study guides will be provided. Extra Credit: Skit: You may earn up to 3 points by performing a short skit. As a group of 3-4 people, write a short script and perform it in class (3-5 minutes). Themes of the skit should be related to the course topics (e.g., AA immigration experience, model minority, AA small business, educational pressure, AA stereotypes, inter-racial conflict, etc.) Pop-quizzes: Occasional in-class pop quizzes will be administered to test whether or not you read the weeks reading materials. They will be given at the beginning of the class and no make-ups will be allowed.
CSUN Policy on Plagiarism: . . .Cheating or plagiarism in connection with an academic program at a campus is listed in Section 41301, Title 5, California Code of Regulations, as an offense for which a student may be expelled, suspended, or given a less severe disciplinary sanction. . . .

GRADING Required Components Attendance/Participation Personal Journal Community Participation Report Guided Reflective Essays Midterm Quiz Final Exam Total Grading is based on the following scale: 93+ = A 80-82 = B90-92 = A77-79 = C+ 87-89 = B+ 73-76 = C 83-86 = B 70-72 = C-

Percent 10 10 10 20 20 30 100 67-69 = D+ 63-66 = D 60-62 = D0-59 = F

Class Schedule and Reading Assignments


Readings from required texts are assigned as preparation for each class. Readings should be completed prior to the week for which they are assigned.

Week 1 Who are Asian Americans? (1/21, 23) Readings: Shrake & Chen, Chapters 1 & 2 2013 Statistical Portrait of AAs, Native Hawaiians, and Other Pacific Islanders http://www.aasc.ucla.edu/cic/stats2013.aspx Demographic Overview of APA: 2012 Census (Moodle course webpage) Youtube clip: Margaret Cho Talks about Race http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kc6mLwOa2Ig&feature=related Activities: Asian American Mysteries, 4 corners game Week 2 Overview of the Asian American Experience (1/28, 30) Readings: Shrake & Chen, Chapter 3 Youtube clips: A Brief History of Asians in America, KenjiFort Minor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hVlSuuaQhs&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Mc0UWpRRF4 Activity: Understanding Privilege in American Society Week 3 Contemporary Asian Migration: Traversing Borders (2/4,6) Readings: Shrake & Chen, Chapter 4 Youtube clip: Louis CKBeing White http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TG4f9zR5yzY&feature=youtu.be Film: My America, or Honk if You Love Buddha personal journal due Week 4 Community Construction and Assimilation (2/11, 13) Readings: Shrake & Chen, Chapter 6 Chung, Asian Americans in Enclaves-They are not One Community: New Modes of Asian American Settlement (Moodle course webpage) Kim, James. First Language Attrition: Why My Parents and I dont Speak the Same Language http://www.scpr.org/programs/offramp/2012/04/05/25912/first-language-attrition-why-myparents-and-i-dont/

Asian Nation, Ethnic Communities & Enclaves Film: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown (Koreatown in Los Angeles) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4f6UcTXBZw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6gXTZNmm1w https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUFaI6QDDsI Activity: Making a living timeline of Key moments in Asian migration Asian American History Jeopardy game Week 5 Work and Economic Patterns I (2/18, 20) Readings: Shrake & Chen, Chapter 8 Yes! Organic Market http://www.npr.org/2012/07/04/156221004/the-korean-american-story-of-yes-organic-market Asian Nation, Asian Small Businesses Film: Another America Essay #1 Due Week 6 Work and Economic Patterns II (2/25, 27) Readings: Shrake & Chen, Chapter 9, 10 Thai Slave Laborers Freed in El Monte become U.S. Citizens http://alterx.blogspot.com/2008/08/thai-slave-laborers-freed-in-el-monte.html Youtube Clips: Roy Choi on Kogi, I am Korean American-Work 1 & 2 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/11/roy-choi-on-kogi-korean-a_n_1665229.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obhqbrGFztI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpuD2A2G7c0 Activity: Gallery Walk (Create your food truck) Week 7 Education and the Model Minority Myth (3/4, 6) Readings: Shrake & Chen, Chapters 12, 13, 14 Asian Nation, The Model Minority Image Youtube clip: Are Asian Students Smarter? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opBfHXePM2Y&feature=related Activity: Origami fish Midterm Study list distribution

Week 8 Media Presentation and Stereotypes of Asian Americans (3/11, 13) Readings: Shrake & Chen, Chapters 15, 16 Film: Slaying the Dragon Youtube clips: (William Hung) (Name as Many AA Actors) (Lucy Liu) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpiomymNivY (Lucy Liu) http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1112o_william-hung-she-bangs_fun http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bo-Y_Vb0wsw&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9FTCpeuJyA (Name as many AA actors) http://vejiicakes.livejournal.com/254810.html (History of Yellowfacing) Week 9 (3/ 18, 20) Mid-Term (Tuesday in class) no class on Thursday (3/20)

Week 10 Second Generation, Culture Conflict, and Ethnic Identity (3/25, 27) Readings: Shrake & Chen, Chapters 17, 18 Asian Nation, Asian American Gangs Youtube clip: I am Korean American: Identity 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePDwLiU8udE Youtube clip: Gene Yang, American Born Chinese http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYCZqt5WSOM Youtube clip: Caught between two cultures (Canadian Aborigines) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORog_-2ovz8 Film: Kelly Loves Tony http://www.pbs.org/pov/kellylovestony/full.php#.Ug4KeYVRFe4 Activity: Circle of Multicultural Self Essay #2 due Week 11 Intermarriage and Mutiracial Identity (4/1, 3) Readings: Shrake & Chen, Chapters 21, 22 Hidalgo & Bankston, Blurring Racial and Ethnic Boundaries in Asian American Families: Asian American Family Patterns, 1980-2005 (Moodle webpage) Asian-Nation, Interracial Dating & Marriage

Youtube clip: I am Korean American: Biracial Identity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-Dd3ZyJKM8 Film: All American Girl : Mom, Dad, This is Kyle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4Q8HhKT3MY) Week 12 (4/8, 10) Spring Recess

Week 13 & 14 Inter-group Relations and Inter-Racial Conflict: LA Riots (4/15, 22, 24) (No class on 4/17, Instructor will be in AAAS conference) Readings: Shrake & Chen, Chapter 24 Youtube clip: Dont be a Menace http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STTvxw1Ra0Q Youtube clip: LA Riots Documentary http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uI3QSxbl3R0 Film: Clash of Colors http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An8LJ_fv0mo Community Participation Report due Week 15 Racism and Anti-Asian Violence (4/29, 5/1) Readings: Shrake & Chen, Chapters 25, 26 Kang, Racial Violence against Asian Americans (Moodle course webpage) Asian Nation, Anti-Asian Racism & Violence Film: Who Killed Vincent Chin? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MiHqj5QBAU final study list distribution Week 16 Politics and Political Participation (5/6, 8) Readings: Shrake & Chen, Chapter 29 Why did AAs vote for Obama? http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/view_from_chicago/2012/11/why_did_asian_a mericans_vote_for_president_obama.html www.asian-nation.org, Participating in Politics MBCnews clip: Asian American votes could impact http://video.msnbc.msn.com/msnbc/49314009#49314009 Youtube clip: Koreatown 20 Years After (LA City Council Districting) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHApvRPZ2YI&feature=related

Final Exam

12:30-1:45 class : May 15, 12:45-2:45 pm 2:00-3:15 class: May 15, 3:00-5:00 pm

Essay Questions Essay #1 Asian Americans had been excluded from entering the U.S. for more than half a Century through the litany of anti-Asian immigration legislation passed in the years (1882, 1917, 1924, 1934) leading up to WWII. How did the 1965 Immigration Act (Hart-Cellar Act) change this situation? Why have so many well-educated Asians immigrated into the U.S. after the passage of this act? To what extent will Asian immigrants continue to enter the U.S. in the 21st century? Drawing upon evidence presented in the course reading (Fong's chapter), make a case that Asian immigrants will continue to come in a steady pace to the U.S., or slow down significantly, or halt altogether. Critical media scholars have argued that the mainstream media has symbolically annihilated the images of Asian Americans from their early presence in the U.S. Discuss the ways in which the images and stories of Asian Americans have been distorted or rendered invisible by the mainstream film, television, and the news. What are the main media stereotypes of Asian American males and females? Where did these stereotypes come from? Why do they continue? What can be done to lessen stereotypical portrayals of Asian Americans in the media?

Essay #2

Guidelines for Community Participation Report This assignment is community ethnography (participant observation). You are supposed to participate and observe either an Asian American place or an Asian American event. Describe and analyze your experience utilizing your knowledge of Asian Americans you learned in this class. This assignment counts toward 10% of your final grade. Please be prepared to discuss your experience during class. Place Pick a place where you see Asian America. This place may be somewhere close to you or somewhere far away. If you wish, use the following questions to structure your report. 1. Where is the place you have chosen? 2. What makes it "Asian"? 3. What makes it "American"? 4. Who belongs in this place? 5. Why do they belong here? 6. How do they interact with each other? 7. Do you feel like you belong in this place? Why or why not? Event Pick an Asian American event. The event you choose should have occurred recently. If you wish, use the following questions to structure your report. 1. What is the event you have chosen? 2. What makes it "Asian"? 3. What makes it "American"? 4. Who participates in this event? 5. Why do they participate? 6. How do they interact with each other? 7. Do you feel like you may join in this event? Why or why not?