From Orientalism to Multiculturalism: Asian American Identities in American History

History 103D(R.005

Fall 2006
Instructor (text): 
204 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
Tu 2-4

Essentially, we will be exploring the construction of Asian American identities in American history in this course. Sometimes imposed; sometimes self projected, and sometimes developed in the interplay between these designations, these identities set the parameters and contours for Asians in America. We will begin by briefly covering theoretical frameworks pertinent to Asian Americans including works by Said, Lipsitz, Okihiro and others. From there, we will cover a number of thematic topics ranging from anti-Chinese sentiment in American politics to the citizenship of Japanese Americans during World War II. Some examples of topical themes include Immigration Wars: politics, race, and the Chinese; Southern Easterners: White or Black; Orientalizing the Oriental: Asians in the American imagination; and There and Back: Asian American Transnational Identities. These themes will touch upon some of the major issues in Asian American history; such as the relationship between imperialism and immigration, transnationalism, immigration, religion, the Cold War, denial of citizenship, and racism. The course will conclude with a discussion on more contemporary alternative identities which have begun to challenge rather entrenched self representations within Asian American communities. Since this course is designated as an ";R"; course, there is an emphasis on research techniques and methods and required readings will include both scholarly texts and primary source material.

Currently working on his dissertation, Sang Chi's research interests include Asian American history, immigration history, and Korea â€_Ä" U.S. relations. His dissertation deals with American Empire in the Cold War era, specifically looking at U.S. educational reconstruction efforts in South Korea after the Korean War.