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Asian American Studies

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Program Description and Goals

The Asian American Studies Program offers students interdisciplinary analytical tools to actively study and research the Asian American experience. The Asian American Activities Center provides assistance in programming and recruitment for Asian American Studies to increase visibility of the major and increase student interest in classes and the major.

Asian American Studies courses cover a broad selection of topics and are offered in departments ranging from History to English to Music, representing the breadth of interests among our diverse faculty members. Whether you are a declared Asian American Studies major, interested in learning more, or are curious about what you can do with a degree in Asian American Studies, please feel free to come by and talk with us or explore the program website.

Stanford Journal of Asian American Studies

See more information about the Journal.

Current Asian American Studies Courses

ASNAMST 105: Vietnamese American Cultural Studies

What is the role of Vietnamese American cultural production in Asian America? How do we reckon with dominant narratives of gratitude and freedom, or seek alternative histories by centering diasporic memory? And what does the "post"-war generation have to say? To explore these questions, our class will examine writing and visual art from Vietnamese American cultural producers, including Trinh Mai, Thi Bui, Ocean Vuong, Adele Pham, Tuan Andrew Nguyen, and Soleil Ho. We'll think about connections between Vietnamese American cultural studies and Asian America through issues of abolition, sexual violence, representation, model minority, and more. Assignments will include free writes, discussion posts, a midterm, and a collaborative final project. Students will be encouraged to exercise their creativity and make connections to their everyday lives and communities.

Instructor: Thaomi Michelle Dinh | SEM | Tues, Thurs 12p-1:20p | Units: 4 | WAY-EDP

ASNAMST 163: Movements and Migrations: Understanding the Movements of People (ANTHRO 134C, ARCHLGY 163)

Mass movements of people across the world is not a new phenomenon. And yet, in the contemporary moment, the pace of migration from global business networks to displacements from violence and climate change as well as the interconnectivity of social networks is unprecedented. In this discussion seminar class, we will focus on the movements and migrations of people in North America. Though we will focus on the contemporary era, we start with examining the multiple ways that anthropologists understand, document, and make sense of the ways in which people have moved throughout history from bioanthropological, linguistic, archaeological, and ethnographic methodologies. We will further unpack some of the key theoretical discourses around the movement of people, and the frames of analysis that are commonly applied. By considering this topic through multiple lenses we will begin to appreciate the complexities of studying the movement of people and the relevance that these questions have to the present day. In addition to understanding the myriad of debates and case studies around movement and migration, students will develop their own research projects, learning essential skills in executing ethnographic approaches and applying the knowledge we survey throughout the course.

Instructor: Koji Lau-Ozawa | SEM | Tues, Thurs 10:30a-11:50a | Units: 3-5 | WAY-EDP, SI

ASNAMST 186B: Asian American Art (AMSTUD 186D, ARTHIST 186B)

This lecture course explores the work of artists, craftspeople, and laborers of Asian descent from 1850-present. Rather than a discrete identity category, we approach "Asian American" as an expansive, relational term that encompasses heterogenous experiences of racialization and migration. Key themes include the history of immigration and displacement; diasporic geographies; art, activism, and community; feminist/queer perspectives; and interethnic conflict and solidarity. The course coincides with the public launch exhibitions of the Asian American Art Initiative (AAAI) at the Cantor Arts Center and includes regular visits to the museum and Stanford Special Collections.

Instructor: Marci Kwon | WKS | Mon, Wed 3p-4:20p | Units: 4 | WAY-EPD, AII

ASNAMST 224: Asian American Racialization in Education (CSRE 224, EDUC 224)

This course examines how race and other social processes in education have shaped understandings of the racial category of "Asian American." Students will investigate how education as a social institution makes, remakes, and challenges racial narratives about Asian Americans, as well as implications for the U.S. racial structure. Drawing upon research in Education, Sociology, and Asian American Studies, we interrogate assumptions about Asian Americans' educational success. Selected topics include parental engagement, race/ethnicity intersections, higher education, social class, and community organizing.

Instructor: Eujin Park | SEM | Wed 1:30p-4:20p | Units: 3-4

ASNAMST 16N: Behind Swingposium: Exploring Performing Arts at Stanford (MUSIC 16N)

Swingposium ( is an immersive theater production, being presented by San Jose Taiko at Stanford in November. It tells the hidden history of Japanese Americans boosting morale in WWII Incarceration Camps through swing dances with live big band music, and will include student performers from Stanford Jazz Orchestra, Stanford Taiko, Swingtime, and the Asian American Theater Project. This class - through readings and discussion, conversations with artists, and hands-on experience with taiko, theater and swing music/dance - explores foundations of this production: the Japanese American community, North American taiko, African American roots of big band and swing, and immersive and Asian American theater.

Instructor: Steven Sano, Linda Uyechi | ISF | Mon 3p-4:20p | Units: 3 | WAY-EDP, AII

For More Information

Learn more about the requirements for a major or minor in Asian American Studies and see the list of thematic courses in Explore Courses.