Lecture topic: Requirements and Introduction to Asian American Studies



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Week 1.

Lecture topic: Requirements and Introduction to Asian American Studies.

Readings : Takaki, Ch.1, Liu, Introduction

Online discussion topics: Discuss the significance of Asian American history; the rise of Asian American Studies. Explain and comment on the following terms: "sojourners, settlers, racial uniform, institutionalized racial discrimination." Compare Asian and European immigrants in terms of their return rate to the home countries, how they were treated in America, and how they were different in work experience. Discuss why Asians were called "strangers"? What was the vision of American society held by the founding fathers of this country? Based on Liu's book, discuss what are some of the major themes, theories and concepts such as the sojourner tradition in Chinese society, family as a social network, a transnational life and family, various push and pull factors, reverse migration, and migration, immigration pattern mentioned in the introduction chapter, and also the significance of the Chang family history.

Film: "Asian in the Americas: Coolies, Sailors and Pioneers" (1999)
Week 2.

Lecture topic: Historical Background of Asian Immigration

Readings : Takaki, Ch. 2. Liu, Chapter 1 Origin of the Chang Family

Online Discussion Topics: List 1-2 general similarities and differences between Asian immigrants and describe 2-3 pull or push factors for one Asian group's immigration to America. Explain terms like "an ethnically diverse work force, divide-and-control strategy, transnational industrial reserve army, modern world system." Discuss what caused Asian labor migration to Hawaii and California. Discuss why Takaki defines Asian immigrants as racial laborers. Find out why there was greater proportion of Chinese women in Hawaii than in the mainland U.S. and what "the Page Law in 1875 was." Find out how Takaki describes average age and literacy background of Japanese immigrants, how Koreans were similar and also different from the Chinese and Japanese and what were the cultural and religious backgrounds of Filipino immigrants? Based on Liu's book, (Ch.1) discuss what can you learn about the economic conditions, cultural traditions and family structure in the 19 century rural China, explain some of the most important family cultures and traditions such as inheritance system, the significance of ancestor halls, schools in the village, civil service examination system, a gentry family, and discuss your understanding of 19 century Chinese rural society and early Chinese immigrants.


Week 3.

Lecture topic: Chinese Americans

Readings : Takaki, Ch. 3 & 6. Liu, Ch. 2 Yitang as a Merchant Immigrant and Ch. 3 Herbal Medicine as a Transplanted Culture

Online Discussion Topics: What is the Opium War, what was the social background of Chinese immigrants, what was percentage of merchant class immigrants, and what does it tell you about early Chinese immigrant community? What is "credit-ticket system?" Explain various push and pull factors for immigration. Comment on the differences between Chinese in Hawaii and in California. List 3 occupations of the Chinese before 1882 Chinese Exclusion Law and 3 businesses after it. Find out how Takaki describes the occupational change in Chinese immigrants. Explain " Chinese Six Companies, Paper Son." Describe forms of Chinese community organizations. Explain "Gam Saan Haak." Find out differences between white and colored people in terms of their political and economic rights. Find out how Takaki compares the Chinese with the American Indians, Blacks, and European immigrants. Discuss the importance of the Chinese experience in the South and Northeast. Based on Liu's book,(Ch. 2 and 3) discuss the importance of family and kinship relationship as networks in migration, family culture, politics and competition through the Chang family history, the tough immigration procedure for the Chinese during that period. Also discuss the significance of Chinese herbal medicine, relationship between Chinese herbalist and American patients, and the challenges and frustrations the herbalists experienced. Discuss what you have learned about early Chinese immigrants and their descendants through those two chapters.


Week 4.

Lecture topic: Japanese Americans.

Readings : Takaki, Ch. 4 & 5. Liu, Ch. 4 Between Troubled Home and Racist America and Ch. 5 Asparagus Farming.  

Online Discussion Topics: Describe plantation life for Asians in Hawaii. Find out what prevented Japanese laborers from leaving Hawaii after 1907. Describe the social and cultural life for Asians on plantation farms. List important occupations of Japanese immigrants in the mainland America and explain why and how they entered those occupations. Find out what a "credit-rotating association" was among Japanese immigrants, what JMLA was, who Abiko Kyutaro was, and why farming was important for Japanese community. Explain Gentlemen's Agreement, Japanese picture-bride, the 1913 Alien Land Law and its impact on Japanese community. Find out who was Takao Ozawa. Explain the 1924 Immigration Act, the dual citizenship of the Nisei, and JACL.  Based on Liu's book, (Ch. 4 & 5), discuss Chinese "paper son" strategy and their dilemmas as illegal immigrants. What you have learned about the naming system in Chinese family culture, their immigration procedure and how did it reflect racial environment for the Chinese in America. Discuss what have you learned about Chinese women as you read how Sam's wife handled immigration interrogation. D iscuss the contributions made by the Chinese immigrants in California agriculture, the significance of Chinese asparagus farming, characteristics of Sam Chang's laborers, his identity and cultural orientation, and his perception of American society.

Film: Picture Bride
Week 5.

Lecture topic: Korean Americans.

Readings : Takaki, Ch.7. Liu, Ch. 6 Education as a Family Agenda.

Online Discussion Topics: Describe traditional Korean society. Find out which countries participated in political and economical colonialism in Korea. When and how did Korean immigration begin? Explain the role of American missionaries in Korean immigration. List occupations of Korean immigrants and explain what kind discriminations they went through. Discuss the importance of church in their American life, forms of the political organizations of Koreans, and Korean picture brides. Explain the assassination of Durham Stevens. Find out differences between immigrant Koreans and American-born Koreans and their attitude toward Japanese. Discuss similarities and differences between Koreans and the Chinese and Japanese in their American experience. Based on Liu's book (Ch. 6), discuss in what way, education was an important family agenda in the Chang family experience. What have you learned about education tradition and reforms in education in Chinese society through the Chang family story? Discuss how Chinese parents valued education, and got involved in their children's education. Discuss how foreign invasion and political instability in China impact the identity of Chinese youth during that period.

Midterm 1 : Covers course content from Week 1-5 including Liu's book.
Week 6.

Lecture topic: Asian Indians.

Readings : Ch.8. Liu, Ch.7 China as a Cultural Home.

Online Discussion Topics: Explain the history of British colonialism in India. Explain ethnic and religious background of Asian Indian immigrants. How did white working-class people view Asian Indians in Bellingham, Washington? Find out what is the Asiatic Exclusion League and its propaganda, and the Western Aryans vs the Eastern Aryans theory. Explain the 1917 "Barred Zone" law, the B. Singh Thind case in 1923, and the implications for Asian Indian immigrants.  What were their major occupations? Comment on their family and community life, and their farming life in San Joaquin, Sacramento, and Imperial Valleys. Describe Asian Indian men's marriage with Mexican women and cultural identity of their children. Based on Liu's book (Ch. 7), discuss: What is "reverse migration"? Push and pull factors for Chinese "reverse migration," In what way China gave a stronger sense of belonging to the second generation of the Chang family and made them view China as their cultural home? How did America make them feel insecure about their legal residency, citizenship rights, and acceptance of American society? Is any there any parallel example between the Chang family experience and contemporary Asian Americans?


Week 7.

Lecture topic: Filipino Americans.

Readings : Ch. 9.

Online Discussion Topics: Explain colonial history in the Philippines and its relationship with Filipino immigration experience. Discuss the religious and cultural background of Filipino immigrants. Describe major occupations of Filipino immigrants. Discuss some of the racist laws that they suffered from, give examples to illustrate the intensive racial conflicts between Filipinos and white Americans, and discuss Watsonville Riot. Find out how Salvador Roldan married his white fiancee. Explain the Tydings-Mcduffie Act. Find out Filipino social organizations and cultural life during this period.

Film: "A Dollar A Day; Ten Cents A Dance"
Week 8.

Lecture topic: World War II.

Reading : Ch.10.

Online Discussion Topics: Describe some of the major policy changes towards Asians during WWII. When and how the Filipinos served in the US army? Comment on its significance. What was Korean American response towards the Pearl Harbor bombing and was their racial or political status improved or not after the bombing? What was their attitude towards Japanese Americans? Describe their participation in the war. Find out policy changes made for Asian Indians. Discuss the relationship between China and U.S. during the war and its impact on Chinese AmericanDiscuss the percentage of Chinese American population being drafted and explain occupational changes among the Chinese and its significance. The repeal of Chinese exclusion. List 2-3 reasons of why Japanese Americans were placed into camps. Discuss why the interment camp is a racist policy with with 2 to 3 arguments supported by facts. Discuss why Japanese Americans in Hawaii were not removed or interned and their actions during the War. Discuss what can we learn about the internment policy and Japanese Americans through such different treatment.  Find out names of anti-Japanese organizations in California.  Explain the economical situation in California for Japanese Americans during 1940s. What is Executive Order 9066? Compare Roosevelt's attitude towards the Italians and Germans. Explain the term "no, no' boy" and discuss in what way they were different from other Nisei and in what way they were similar. What do you think of their decision? Find out the number of the Nisei who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and discuss the meaning and implications of their casualties and awards during WWII. 7. Discuss the impact of the war on the Nisei.


Week 9.

Lecture topic: Post-1965 & Southeast Asian Americans.

Reading : Ch.11.

Online Discussion Topics: What is War Bride Act?  What is the 1952 McCarran-Walter Act? When could Japanese immigrants apply for their American citizenship?  Why there was an anti-Communist movement in Chinese community? How did U.S. Navy's recruitment of sailors from the Philippines relate to immigration?  Explain the 1948 Displaced Persons Act and 1953 Refugee Act. Describe changes of American racial environment and international politics and its impact on Asian American communities during the 1950s-60s. Describe the Immigration Act of 1965 and population change in Asian American community after the law. Explain class and educational background of the Asian immigrants after 1965. Explain "chain migration" pattern after 1965. Explain the Vietnam War and its impact on refugee immigration from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Discuss how the Southeast Asians were different from other Asians in their immigration experience.  Explain their difficulties in adapting themselves to American society.


Week 10.

Lecture topic: Contemporary Asian American society and submission of final paper.



Readings : Ch.12 & 13.


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