Dr. Austin's Contact Information: Office Hours

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Asian American Politics (POS 4202)
Spring 2015
Dr. Sharon D. Austin
Director of the African American Studies Program and Associate Professor of Political Science
The University of Florida

Dr. Austin's Contact Information: Office Hours:

Office: 104 Walker Hall Tuesdays and Thursdays: 11:40am-1:40pm

Office number: 273-3060 E-mail: polssdw@ufl.edu

Purpose and Format of Course:

In the Asian American politics course, we will examine the political behavior, attitudes, and mobilization of Asian Americans in America by examining a variety of topics such as the racial stereotypes which plague them, their electoral behavior, the mobilizations tactics utilized in their communities, their responses to issues that affect their communities, Asian American conservatism, Asian American elected officials, their views on affirmative action, and the politics of Asian American women. The format will be a combination of lecture and discussion.

The Required Textbooks:

Asian American Political Action: Suburban Transformations. James S. Lai. Lynne Rienner Publishing. 2011.
Asian American Politics: Law, Participation, and Policy. James Lai and Don Nakanishi. Rowman and Littlefield. 2003.

The Reserve Articles and Recommended Readings:

These readings are on reserve on the www.uflib.ufl.edu web site. To read or print these articles, click on the course reserves link, type in my last name, and click on the article’s title. The recommended readings may be useful if you would like additional information on the topics we’re discussing or if you need sources for your research papers.

Attendance Policy and Missed Work:

After three unexcused classes are missed, you will not receive the percentage points for class participation (and will not have the option of submitting a paper).  It is your responsibility to sign the attendance roster that will be given out at the beginning of each class session.  If you forget to, sign it during the next class. Also, try to get to class on time.  The policy for missed work in this class is consistent with the university’s policy (https://catalog.ufl.edu/ugrad/current/regulations/info/attendance.aspx).

Classroom Behavior (Cell Phones and Laptops):
In the past, several of my students have forgotten to turn off their cell phones in class. I am asking you to please turn off your phones before our class begins. If your phone rings more than once during the semester, five points will be deducted from your highest test grade. Remember, a student who takes his/her work seriously will make sure that his/her phone is off during class meetings.
Also, if you engage in behavior such as texting, browsing the internet, napping, loud yawning, or any other behavior that I consider to be disrespectful to me or to your classmates, you may not receive all of the percentage points for class participation.
The Examinations:

You will be tested on all material covered in the films, readings, and class discussions. Each test will have three essay questions - two of which are worth 40 points and one worth 20 points.  In order to earn the highest grade possible, show me that you have read the assignments and taken detailed notes.  None of the tests, including the final, will be comprehensive. One week before each test, we will have a review. Also, I would like to request that you use the bathroom before you begin your examinations on exam days if possible.

Class Participation and the Optional Paper Assignment:
We will discuss a number of political and public policy issues during the course of the semester. I understand that some students are more comfortable participating in class discussions than others. Therefore, I am giving you the option of either participating in our class discussions on a regular basis (once or twice a week) or writing a paper.
If you participate verbally (or attempt to and I don't call on you for some reason), email me on the day that you've participated so that I can keep a record of it. Throughout the semester, I will email the class listserv to let give you the names of those who are participated regularly. If you participate in our discussions, you will not have to write a paper. If not, a 5-8 page typed, double-spaced paper is due on the last day of class. You can write an analysis which gives your opinion on any topic(s) we've discussed in class and upload it onto sakai.

Your Grade will be Based on:

Attendance 10%

Participation or Optional Paper 10%
First Test  20%
Second Test              20%
Third Test                            20%
Research Paper 20%

Grading Scale:

94-100 A 90-93 A- 87-89 B+ 84-86 B 80-83 B- 77-79 C+

74-76 C 70-73 C- 67-69 D+ 64-66 D 60-63 D- Below 60 E

A C- will not be a qualifying grade for major, minor, Gen Ed, Gordon Rule or College Basic Distribution credit.

Disabilities Statement:

Students requiring accommodations must first register with the Dean of Student’s office, Disability Resource Center. The Dean of Student’s office will provide documentation, which the student will then give to the instructor. For more information, see HTTP://www.dso.ufl.edu/drc  

Academic Dishonesty:

Academic dishonesty includes plagiarism and cheating on examinations.  The penalty for cheating is a grade of 0 on the exam or paper.  In addition, the Dean of Student's office may choose to administer a harsher punishment such as a temporary suspension from this class or a permanent expulsion from the university.

The Internship and Fellowship Information:

I receive a lot of information about internships, undergraduate scholarships, and law and graduate school fellowships.  At the beginning of most of our classes, I will share this information with you because I strongly encourage you to apply for these things.  In the past, several of my students have received a variety of internships and fellowships. You can also look at the careers or scholarships links on the afam.clas.ufl.edu site for internship and scholarship information.

Course Evaluation:
You will have the opportunity to evaluate the class on the last day. You can also fill out an evaluation on evaluations.ufl.edu during the last two weeks of class.

Class Schedule: Films will be shown at the end of class.
Stereotyping and De Jure Discrimination

    1. Introduction

1-8 Film: The Massie Affair (60 minutes. Available on youtube) In the early years of the 20th century, at a time when the U.S. Navy dominated Hawaii, Americans thought of the islands as a Pacific Paradise. But in 1931, a rape allegation made by a white woman resulted in murder and false allegations against Asian men and revealed the racially polarized political and social relations in Hawaii.

Textbook Readings:

Understanding Asian American Politics, pp. 1-18

Reserve Reading: (I will email this to you.)

Different and Common Asian American Roads, 1800s-1960s

Recommended Readings:

Strangers from a Different Shore.  Ronald Takaki.  New York: A Back Bay Book, 2002.
The Politics of Asian Americans in Hawaii
1-13 Suburban Transformations Book:

From Exclusion to Inclusion: The Four Stages of Asian American Politics

Political Mobilization and Incorporation

Reserve Readings:

Hawaii Sends First Asian American Woman to Senate

Participation in Electoral Politics: Evolving Patterns in Hawaii and Mainland States (I will email this to you.)

The Massie Case: Injustice and Courage

Recommended Readings:   

Hawaii: The Past Fifty Years, The Next 50 Years by George Ariyoshi

For more information on the Massie Affair and Hawaii Politics, see the following links: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/massie/sfeature/sf_sources.html

Japanese American Internment and the Issue of Reparations
1-15 Film: Unfinished Business: The Japanese American Internment Cases (55 minutes) examines the internment of 120,000 Japanese, German, and Italian citizens and legal residents in “relocation centers” for 3 ½ years during the 1940s.

Textbook Readings:

Takao Ozawa v. U.S, pp. 35-40

Yick Wo v. Hopkins, pp. 23-28

Suburban Transformations Book:

Locating Contemporary Political Incorporation: The Suburb vs. the Metropolis

Gardena, California: Two Generations of a Japanese American Majority City Council

Recommended Readings:

Only What We Could Carry. Lawson Inada.

Yellow: Race in American Beyond Black and White.  Frank H. Wu. New York: Basic Books, 2002.

Racial and Ethnic Relations.  Seventh Edition.  Joe Feagin.  New York: Praeger Publishers, 2003.

Recommended Films: (Available on youtube)

All We Could Carry

Going for Broke: Japanese Americans in World War II

Greatest Mysteries of World War II: The Japanese Internment Camps

Jim and Jap Crow: A History of 1940s Japanese American Internment and Interracial America
1-20 Reserve Readings (I will email these to you):

The Myth of the American Concentration Camp

Reparations, Revisionism, and the Race Card

Readings from the Asian American Politics Book:

Korematsu v. United States, 29-34

Japanese American Redress and Reparations, pp. 407-420

Recommended Reading:

Achieving the Impossible Dream: How Japanese Americans Obtained Redress by Mitchell T. Maki, Harry H.L. Kitano, and S. Megan Berthold. University of Illinois Press, 1999.

In Defense of Internment. Michelle Malkin

Judgment Without Trial. Tetsuden Kashima
The Asian American Movement: 1960s to Present
1-22 Film: Who Killed Vincent Chin? (60 min.) discusses the 1982 murder of Chinese American Vincent Chin at a Detroit bar by two unemployed auto workers and the political mobilization efforts of Detroit’s Asian communities after Chin’s murderers received light sentences. It also examines the prejudiced views of Americans toward Asian citizens during a time of high unemployment in the auto industry.

Textbook Readings:

The Four Prisons and the Movements of Liberation, pp. 135-162

Serve the People, pp. 163-180

Reserve Readings: (I will email this to you. Both were written by Yuri Kochiyama.)

Asian American Movement

Work And Friendship With Malcolm X & Harlem Freedom Schools
1-27 Reserve Reading:

Why Vincent Chin Matters

Recommended Readings:

Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People.  Helen Zia
1-29 First Exam
2-3 Guest Lecture: Asian American Activism at UF: Alexander Cena, UF Director of Asian Pacific American Affairs


2-5 Film: Sentenced Home (70 minutes. Available on youtube): profiles three Cambodian immigrants who lived in Seattle illegally as they are deported to Cambodia. The film discusses the unequal treatment immigrants of color receive from the American legal and immigration systems.

Suburban Transformations Book:

Bellevue, Washington: Asian American Politics in a Pacific Northwest Suburb

Textbook Readings:

Making and Remaking Asian Pacific America: Immigration Policy, 81-88

New Immigrants, New Forms of Transnational Community: Post 1965 Indian Migrations, pp. 181-192

The Immigration Act of 1924, pp. 47-80

Reserve Reading:

Governor Nikki Haley Joins Immigration Lawsuit

2-10 Textbook Readings:

Becoming Citizens, Becoming Voters: The Naturalization and Political Participation of Asian Pacific Immigrants, 113-133

Reserve Readings:

Caught in the Middle: Asian Immigrants Struggle to Stay in America

Immigrant Incorporation and Political Participation in the United States (I will email this to you.)

Why Immigration is an Asian American Issue

The Politics of Asian American Women

2-12 Film: Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority (55 minutes) examines the life and political career of the first woman of color elected to Congress - the late U.S. Representative Patsy Mink.

Textbook Readings:

Beyond Politics by Other Means, pp. 231-246

Transcending the Bamboo and Glass Ceilings, pp. 331-355

Reserve Readings:

Linking Race, Ethnicity, Class, and Gender: Asian American Women and Political Participation (I will email this to you.)

The City is the Black Man’s Land (From Living for Change by Grace Lee Boggs) (I will email this to you.)

Recommended Reading:

Living for Change, Grace Lee Boggs

Revolutions from the Heart: The Making of an Asian American Woman Activist, Yuri Kochiyama

The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century by Grace Lee Boggs, Scott Kurashige and Danny Glover, 2012.

2-17 Textbook Reading:

Remarks at the Tenth Annual Conference of the Committee of 100, 355-358

Reserve Readings:

Elaine Chao

In Kentucky, Elaine Chao Endures Racist Attacks from Liberals

Mitch McConnell's Secret Weapon: His Wife

Patsy Takemoto Mink
2-19 Film: L.A. is Burning (55 minutes) discusses the conflicts among African Americans, Korean Americans, Whites Americans, and Hispanic Americans which resulted in several days of riots in 1992 in the city of Los Angeles.

Suburban Transformations Book:

Daly City, California: The Barriers to Filipino American Political Incorporation

Textbook Reading:

America’s First Multiethnic Riots, pp. 431-440

Reserve Reading:

Post-Incorporation Politics in Los Angeles (I will email this to you.)

2-24 Textbook Readings:

Conflict Between Korean Merchants and Black Customers, pp. 113-130

The 1992 Los Angeles Riots and the Black Korean Conflict, pp. 75-90

Reserve Reading: (I will email these to you.)

Doing Politics Without the Politics

The Politics of Incorporation and Marginalization Today

Recommended Readings:

Bitter Fruit: The Politics of Black-Korean Conflict in New York City. Claire Jean Kim.

The Politics of Minority Coalitions. Wilbur C. Rich.

Legacies of Struggle: Conflict and Cooperation in Korean American Politics. Angie Chung.
The Impact of Affirmative Action on Asian Americans
2-26 Film: A Question of Fairness (45 minutes) examines the issues involved in the landmark, recent Supreme Court case, Gratz v. Bollinger, which upheld the use of race in university admissions decisions, but struck down a points system at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Textbook Reading:

The Affirmative Action Divide, pp. 377-406

Reserve Readings:

Asian Americans in the Argument

3-3 NO CLASS (Spring Break) (Je veux aller a Paris!)
3-5 NO CLASS (Spring Break) (I am going to Paris!)
3-10 Reserve Readings:

Asian Americans Are The Hidden Bystanders In Michigan Affirmative Action Case

Fisher v. University of Texas

Gratz v. Bollinger
3-12 Second Exam

The Electoral Politics of Asian Indian Americans

3-17 Textbook Reading:

U.S. v. Bhagat Singh Thind, pp. 41-46

Reserve Readings:

Ami Bera

Ami Bera, lone Indian-American Congressman, retains US House seat in come-from-behind win

Asian American Immigrants as the New Electorate: Exploring Turnout and Registration of a Growing Community

3-24 Reserve Readings:

76 Reasons Nikki Haley Is Unfit to Lead South Carolina

Black, White, Brown and Cajun: The Racial Dynamics of the 2003 Louisiana Gubernatorial Election

Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley: Rival's laughter after sexist slur was 'kick in the gut'

The Most Boring Governor in Louisiana History (I will email this to you.)

Recommended Readings:

The Making of Asian America through Political Participation. Pei-te Lien. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2001.

The Politics of Asian Americans: Diversity and Community.  Pei-te Lien and Margaret Conway. New York: Routledge Publishing, 2004.

The Political Participation of Asian Americans: Voting Behavior in Southern California. Pei-te Lien. New York: Garland Publishing, 1997
Congressional, Gubernatorial, and Presidential Politics
3-26 Paper Is Due Today.

Film: The Choice 2012 (55 minutes) discusses the political careers and personal lives of 2012 presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Textbook Reading:

The One-Hundred Year Journey, 359-364

Reserve Readings:

Asian Pacific Americans in the U.S. Congress (I will email this to you.)

The Gary Locke Effect: Does Race Matter for a US Ambassador?
3-31 Reserve Readings:

Asian Americans Turn Democratic

Race-based considerations and the Obama Vote (I will email this to you.)
Hurricane Katrina and Asian Americans in New Orleans
4-2 Film: A Village Called Versailles (50 minutes) discusses the way in which older Vietnamese immigrants and American-born youths worked together to rebuilt the Versailles community in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Suburban Transformations Book:

Garden Grove and Westminster, California: Vietnamese American Political Incorporation in Orange County’s Little Saigon

Eau Claire, Wisconsin: The Political Rise of the Hmong American Community

Textbook Reading:

Asian Pacific Americans and the Pan-Ethnic Question, 247-260

Reserve Readings:

In the Eye of the Storm by Bobby Jindal (I will email this to you.)

4-7 Reserve Reading:

Evacuation and Return of Vietnamese New Orleanians Affected by Hurricane Katrina

4-9 Evaluate Class

Textbook Reading:

Profiling Principle, pp. 297-302

Reserve Reading: Civil Liberties Today


Flying while Muslim: Racial Profiling Post 9/11 (11 minutes) discusses the experiences of several individuals who have been racially profiled while attempting to board flights in American airports.


Face the Truth Racial Profiling in America (11 minutes) discusses the experiences of Southeast Asian men after September 11, 2001.


4-14 Textbook Reading:

Wen Ho Lee and the Consequences of Enduring Asian American Stereotypes, pp. 303-316

Reserve Reading:

Police Practices in Immigrant-Destination Cities

Recommended Reading:

My Country Versus Me: The First-Hand Account by the Los Alamos Scientist who Was Falsely Accused of Being a Spy.  Wen Ho Lee.
4-16 Third Exam

4-22 NO CLASS (Extra Credit Paper on Grace Lee Boggs and Optional Papers are Due. Please upload them to sakai.)

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