AS310 Contemporary Issues in Asian American Communities P. 89 of the sdsu general Catalogue 2006-2007 classifies this class under

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AS310 - Contemporary Issues in Asian American Communities*
*P. 89 of the SDSU General Catalogue 2006-2007 classifies this class under...

area "B" Social and Behavioral Sciences

(and it is listed as a cultural diversity course)
(Aka AS310 Diasporan Communities of the Asia Pacific)

Upper Division GE

Fall 2006

Copyright © 2006 Miguel B. Llora. All Rights Reserved.

Lecturer: Miguel Llora, MA

Office Hours: TTH 11:00 to 12:00 noon

Course Objectives:
AS310 - Contemporary Issues in Asian American Communities is an interdisciplinary course related to the phenomenon of migration and settlement from countries within the Asia Pacific region. The course seeks to deepen our understanding of the ways in which migration; race, racial discrimination, and resistance to racial discrimination have shaped and continue to shape social thought as well as institutions in the United States. The course is focused on understanding Asian migration and settlement into the United States. It is organized around four inter-related themes: migration and labor, racism and resistance, identity and community, as well as migration and globalization.
The course draws upon literature, film, anthropology, history, and cultural studies to examine the experiences of Asian Americans living in the US. The course will cover the colonial background to Asian immigration in the 19th century, ‘racism’ and anti-Asian movements in the US, and policies towards Asian Americans during the Second World War, the emergence of the Asian American movement during the 1960s, and most importantly we will explore how all these issues transition into contemporary issues in Asian American communities. Through reading critical essays supplemented viewing documentaries and full length feature films and/or reading selected novels, short stories, oral histories, we will address issues such as racial stereotyping, media racism, and identity. The format for this course is that of a lecture/discussion. It is important that the student complete all readings prior to the sessions, and participate you should come to each session prepared with questions and ideas for discussion.
Exams and Assignments:
Your grade for the course will be determined as follows: Paper 1 (25%), Paper 2 (25%), Final Paper (40%), Seminar Presentation and/or Participation (10%)
Paper 1: A four page critical summary of Omi and Winant’s Racial Formations in the United States. Part 1 of the essay should be given over to an ‘objective’ summary of the major arguments and themes contained in the chapter. Part 2 should be devoted to a critical appraisal (e.g. your reaction to and interpretation of the arguments presented by the authors). At the end of Part 2 you are required to raise a minimum of 2 questions stimulated by your summary and critique of this reading. Feel free to draw or compare against other readings from Takaki, Arendt, Dickens, as well as Castles and Miller. 25%
Paper 2: A four page research project that focuses on a single incident or set of incidents related to a particular Asian American community. Explain and analyze both the historical importance and contemporary relevance. In other words, identify the ways in which an historical occurrence impacts upon the present. 25%
Final Paper: A seven-page comparative analysis of Takaki’s Strangers from a Different Shore. This essay should focus on at least two of the Asian American populations referred to in the text. Paper needs to include analysis of filmic representation of the groups under consideration. How are the groups identified and represented? How were their experiences similar and different? What were their defining racial and ethnic characteristics of each group as defined by the dominant ‘majority’? What factors account for their relative position and status contemporary American society? 40%*
*Breakdown: The 40% is divided into 10% for an outline and 30% for the finished product. To get the full 10%, the outline must include a cover sheet, the outline, and your list of references (in MLA format). The practice of formulating your ideas and argument flow through the outlining of your topics is a time tested technique that I fully endorse and for the final paper require.
Seminar Presentation: Since this a “Contemporary Issues in Asian American Communities” class, the presentation will have to be based on a topic. Time permitting; this presentation is a group presentations (using PowerPoint) on a topic mutually agreed upon with the professor. If time does not permit, I will use attendance and class participation instead. 10%
The papers need to be done strictly according to MLA format. It is strongly recommended that students attend individual tutorials with me to discuss and plan their research projects.
Required Readings:

Takaki, Ronald. Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1998

Note: All required readings on the syllabus (aside from Takaki) will be available ONLINE via Blackboard and ECR or HARDCOPY at the SDSU Reserve Book Room.
CLASS SCHEDULE & Lecture Outlines

Week 1 - Aug. 29 - 31: Introduction

  • The course syllabus: philosophy; approach; expectations and requirements

  • Course goals and objectives: comparative analyses of immigration; a re-visioning of history; understanding the contemporary world

What is Asian American history?

What do you expect from this course?

Reading: Takaki 3-21


Stuart Hall: Race - The Floating Signifier (22581) TV7471V

Stuart Hall: Representation And The Media (23670) TV8583V

Further Reading:

Chan, Sucheng. Asian Americans – An Interpretive History. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1991.


Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston

America Is in the Heart: A Personal History by Carlos Bulosan

The Gangster of Love by Jessica Hagedorn

Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn
Week 2 - Sept. 5 - 7: Geographies of Asian Immigration

European colonialism and Asia, western expansion and Asian migrations, Asia in the colonial imagination; race in 19th century European and American thought, “Manifest Destiny” and continental empire, and early Asian arrivals in north America.

Reading: Said xi-xxviii (provided)

Arendt 124-134 (provided)

Dickens Great Expectations – Afterword (provided)


Edward Said On Orientalism (22580) 1998 TV7470V

Great Expectations (1946) DVD-863

Great Expectations (1998) (Lecturer's Collection)

Further Reading:

Arendt, Hannah. The Origins of Totalitarianism. Cleveland: Meridian Books, 1969.

Said, Edward. Culture and Imperialism. New York: Vintage Books, 1994.
Week 3 - Sept 12 - 14: Early patterns of Asian Immigration

The United States as a colonial power: ‘Opening’ Asia; Asia as Far East or Far West? Understanding the ‘Push-Pull paradigm: conditions in countries of origin; conditions in the United States; ‘rational choice’ and immigration; limits of the push-pull paradigm, Gender and immigration (picture brides), destination countries other than the United States and Canada, The ‘coolie’ trade and human trafficking, sojourners and immigrants: why some stayed and others did not; laborers, political exiles, intellectuals, aliens and nationals, and commonalities and differences.

Reading: Takaki 132-147

Castles and Miller 18-42 (provided)

Wataridori: Birds Of Passage (22503) TV7545V

Further Reading:

Castles, Stephen and Miller, Mark. The Age of Migration: International Populations Movements in the Modern World 2nd Edition. London: The Guilford Press, 1998.

Week 4 - Sept. 19 - 21: Crossing Borders: The United States as a ‘Nation of Immigrants’

Immigration and assimilation; and the vocabulary of immigration, migration and settlement

Reading: Takaki 132-178

Omi and Winant 57-69 (provided)

Further Reading:

Omi, Michael and Winant, Howard. Racial Formation in the United States, 2nd edition. New York and London: Routledge, 1994.

Paper 1 – Due September 21, 2006
Week 5 - Sept. 26 - 28: Labor, Economic Competition and Cultural Attitudes

Perpetual Aliens, Samuel Gompers and organized labor, the business perspective, the radical labor perspective and class interests, missionaries and the paradox of America, and African Americans and Chinese and Japanese immigrants.

Reading: Takaki 147-162


Picture Bride (Lecturer's Collection)
Week 6 - Oct. 3 - 5: Seeing Brown and Yellow: “coloring” the landscape of America

Exploring race in filmic representations in U.S. popular culture.

Reading: Aguilar-San Juan 161-171 (provided)


In Class Film: Yellow Fever (Lecturer's Collection)

Cheat (1915) (Lecturer's Collection)

The Thief of Bagdad (1924) (Lecturer's Collection)

The Good Earth (1937) (Lecturer's Collection)

Bombs over Burma (1942) (Lecturer's Collection)

Lady from Chunking (1943) (Lecturer's Collection)

The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu, 4 Full-Length Episodes (1950s) (Lecturer's Collection)

The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969) (Lecturer's Collection)

Further Reading:

Aguilar-San Juan, Karin, Ed. The State of Asian America: Activism and Resistance in the 1990s. Boston: South End Press, 1994.

Media and Popular Culture

Curran, James, and Gurevitch, Michael. Mass Media and Society. New York: Arnold Publishing, 2000.

Kwok, Jenny Wah Lau. Multiple Modernities: Cinema and Popular Media in Transnational Asia. Temple: Temple University Press, 2003.

Lee, Josephine; Lim, Imogene; and Matsukawa, Yuko. Eds. Re/collecting Early Asian America: Essays in Cultural History. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2002.

Lim, Shirley Jennifer. A Feeling of Belonging: Asian American Women’s Public Culture, 1930-1960. New York: New York University Press, 2006.

Mank, Gregory William. Hollywood Cauldron: Thirteen Horror Films from the Genre’s Golden Age. London: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1995.

Martinez, Dolores. The World of Japanese Popular Culture: Gender, Shifting Boundaries and Global Cultures. Boston: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Napier, Susan J. Anime: From Akira to Princess Mononoke: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001.

Pomerance, Murray. Ed. Bad: Infamy, Darkness, Evil and Slime on Screen. New York: State University of New York Press, 2004.

Wollstein, Hans J., Vixens, Floozies, and Molls: 28 Actresses of Late 1920s and 1930s Hollywood. London: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1999.
Week 7 - Oct. 10 - 12: Legislating Race and Exclusion

  • Immigration Laws, origins and consequences: Nationality Act of 1790; Naturalization Act of 1870; Burlingame Treaty of 1868; Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882; Gentlemen’s Agreement of 1907; Immigration Act of 1917 (Asiatic Barred Zone); Immigration Act of 1924, War Brides Acts of 1948, Filipino and Indian Naturalization Act of 1946; Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952

  • Yellow Peril in the American imagination; imperialism, race and war; immigrants and the Yellow Peril; the United States as a ‘racial’ state

Reading: Ancheta 19-40.


Crash (2004) DVD 1909

Crash (2004) (Lecturer's Collection)

Option B: The “Crash” project…

Further Reading:

Ancheta, Angelo. Race, Rights, and the Asian American Experience. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2003.

Marchetti, Gina. Romance and the “Yellow Peril”: Race, Sex and Discursive strategies in Hollywood Fiction. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.
Week 8 - Oct. 17 - 19: Model Minorities: Race and Identity in Contemporary Asian America

War, Colonialism and post 1965 Migration to the United States, New Immigrants from Southeast Asia, Race in 21st century America, and Affirmative action

Session 1 – Post 1965 (part 1)

Reading: Takaki 406-432

Session 2 – Post 1965 (part 2)

Reading: Takaki 432-448


Afterbirth (11703) TV5000V

Race: The Power of Illusion Episode 1 (Race in America) VTC 2904

Race: The Power of Illusion Episode 2 (Filipinos) VTC 2905
Race: The Power of Illusion Episode 3 (Legislation and Disadvantage) VTC 2906

Paper 2 or option b: The Crash project – Due October 26, 2006

Week 9 - Oct. 24 - 26: Chinese-Americans

Session 1 – Gam Saan Haak: The Chinese in Nineteenth-Century America

Reading: Takaki 79-131

Session 2 – Ethnic Islands: The Emergence of Urban Chinese America

Reading: Takaki 230-269


The Joy Luck Club no #

Chinese-Americans: Living in Two Worlds DVD 1916

The Wedding Banquet DVD 919

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie DVD 993

Becoming American: The Chinese Experience (1) DVD 1759

Becoming American: The Chinese Experience (2) DVD 1758

Becoming American: The Chinese Experience (3) DVD 1757

The Year of the Dragon (Lecturer's Collection)

Further Reading:

Chang, Iris. The Chinese in America. New York: Penguin Books, 2003.

Week 10 - Oct. 31 - Nov. 2: Japanese-Americans

Session 1 – Ethnic Solidarity: The Settling of Japanese America (part 1)

Reading: Takaki 179-204

Session 2 – Ethnic Solidarity: The Settling of Japanese America (part 2)

Reading: Takaki 205-229


From a Different Shore: The Japanese American Experience no #

Snow Falling on Cedars VTC 1507

Rabbit in the Moon VTC 3163

Come See the Paradise VTC 3059

Sayonara (Lecturer's Collection)

Further Reading:

Hasegawa, Susan Shizuko. Rebuilding Lives, Rebuilding Communities: The Post-World War II Resettlement of Japanese Americans to San Diego. F869.S22 H297 1998 (see BIBLIOGRAPHY)
Week 11 - Nov. 7 - 9: Korean-Americans

Session 1 – Struggling against Colonialism: Koreans in America Reading: Takaki 270-293

Session 2 – Sai-I-Gu Reading: Takaki 493-497
Latasha Harlins, Soon Ja Du, and Joyce Karlin: A Case Study of Multicultural Female Violence and Justice on the Urban Frontier by Brenda Stevenson

Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing DVD 779
Sai-I-Gu VTC 2941

Further Reading:

Choy, Bong-youn. Koreans in America. Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1979.

Hurh, Won Moo and Kim, Kwang Chung. Korean Immigrants in America: A Structural Analysis of Ethnic Confinement and Adhesive Adaptation. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1984.

Kim, Elaine and Yu Eui-Young. East to America: Korean American Life Stories. New York: The New Press, 1996.

Kim, Hyung-chan, ed. The Korean Diaspora: Historical and Sociological Studies of Korean Immigration and Assimilation in North America. Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio, Inc., 1977.

Kim, Kwang Chung, ed. Koreans in the Hood: Conflict with African Americans. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1999.

Melendy, H. Brett. Asians in America: Filipinos, Koreans, and East Indians. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1977.

Week 12 - Nov. 14 - 16: Filipino-Americans

Session 1 – Dollar a Day, Dime a Dance: The Forgotten Filipinos (part 1)

Reading: Takaki 315-334

Session 2 – Dollar a Day, Dime a Dance: The Forgotten Filipinos (part 2)

Reading: Takaki 335-356


Broken Promises: Filipino American Veterans of WWII Provided

APL Video Provided

Dollar A Day, Ten Cents A Dance no #

Closer to Home DVD 1004

Silent Sacrifices DVD 1545

The Debut DVD 678

American Adobo DVD 2069

Coming To America: Filipino (#5) (14402) TV5292V

In No One's Shadow: Filipinos in America (12796) TV4963V

Filipino Americans VTC 2069

Further Reading:

Llora, Miguel. Fractured Communities: Filipino Americans in San Diego and the Imperial Valley. DS2.2 .L56 2005 (see REFERENCES)

Final Paper OUTLINE – Due NOVEMBER 21, 2006

Week 13 - Nov. 21 - 23: Asian Americans and World War II

Session 1 – The Watershed of World War II: Democracy and Race
Reading: Takaki 357-381

Session 2 – The Watershed of World War II: Democracy and Race

Reading: Takaki 382-405


Guilty By Reason of Race (16177) TV0208V

American Experience: The Massie Affair (Lecturer's Collection)
Week 14 - Nov. 28 - 30: Vietnamese American

Session 1 – Pushed by “Necessity”: The Refugees from Southeast Asia

Reading: Takaki 448-463

Session 2 – “Strangers” at the Gates Again: Mein and Hmong in America

Reading: Takaki 463-471


Vietnamese Americans: The New Generation DVD 1915

Heaven and Earth DVD 1049

Vietnam: A Television History

  1. Roots of A War (#1) (14053) VH TV3097AV

  2. The First Vietnam War, 1946-1954 (#2) (17625) VH TV3097BV

  3. America's Mandarin, 1954-1963 (#3) (14049) VH TV3098AV

  4. LBJ Goes To War, 1964-1965 (#4) (14050) VH TV3098BV

  5. America Takes Charge, 1965-1967 (#5) (17623) VH TV3099AV

  6. America's Enemy, 1954-1967 (#6) (14051) VH TV3099BV

  7. The Tet Offensive, 1968 (#7) (14047) VH TV3100AV

  8. Vietnamizing the War, 1968-1973 (#8) (17621) VH TV3100BV

  9. Cambodia and Laos (#9) (14048) VH TV3101AV

  10. Peace Is At Hand, 1968-1973 (#10) (17622) VH TV3101BV

  11. Homefront USA (#11) (14045) VH TV3102AV

  12. The End of the Tunnel, 1973-1975 (#12) (17620) VH TV3102BV

  13. Legacies (#13) (18343) VH TV3103V

Further Readings:

Karnow, Stanley. Vietnam, a History. New York: Penguin Books, 1997.

Bandon, Alexandra. Vietnamese Americans. New York: New Discovery Books, 1994.

Cargill, Mary Terrell and Huynh, Jade Quang. eds. Voices of the Vietnamese Boat People: Nineteen Narratives of Escape and Survival. London: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2000.

Kibria, Nazli. Family Tightrope: The Changing Lives of Vietnamese Americans. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993.

Rutledge, Paul James. The Vietnamese Experience in America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992.

Tran, De; Lam, Andrew; and Nguyen, Hai Dai. eds. Once Upon a Dream: The Vietnamese-American Experience. Kansas City: Andrews & McMeel, 1995.

Zhou, Min and Bankston, Carl L. Growing Up American: How Vietnamese Children Adapt to Life in the United States. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1998.

Week 15 - Dec. 5 - 7: Migration and the Contemporary Nation State

A new regional division of labor, Citizenship and immigration, Policymaking Contemporary Immigration in the Asia Pacific, and Transnationalization of immigration

Reading: Takaki 472-509

Huntington 22-49

Barber 3-20

Sassen xix-xxxvi


Better Luck Tomorrow DVD 551

Further Reading:

Huntington, Samuel. “The Clash of Civilizations?” Foreign Affairs 72.3 (1993): 22-49.

Barber, Benjamin. Jihad vs. McWorld - Terrorism's Challenge to Democracy. New York: Ballantine Books, 1995.

Sassen, Saskia. Globalization and its Discontents. New York: New York Press, 1998.

Final Paper – Due December 07, 2006

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