Asian American studies

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Asian American Studies is an academic discipline which studies the experience of people of Asian ancestry in America. Closely related to other Ethnic Studies disciplines such as African American Studies, Jewish studies, Latino/a Studies, and Native American Studies, Asian American Studies critically examines the history, culture, politics, issues, and experiences of Asian Americans. Drawing from numerous disciplines such as sociology, history, literature, political science, and gender studies, Asian American Studies scholars consider a variety of perspectives and employ diverse analytical tools in their work. Unlike "Asian" Studies which focuses on the history, culture, religion, etc. of Asian people living in Asia, Asian American Studies is interested in the history, culture, experiences, of Asians living in America.


Asian American Studies was born in the 1960s as a part of the third world movement on the West Coast that gave birth to African American Studies, Chicano/Latino Studies, and Native American Studies. While African American Studies, and to a lesser extent Chicano/Latino Studies, have spread quickly to hundreds of colleges and universities around the U.S., Asian American Studies (mostly due to smaller numbers of Asian Americans until the repeal of Asian exclusion acts) has not spread as quickly.

More recently, however, student protests as well as community pressures, have led to the development of several Asian American Studies programs throughout the U.S., particularly in states and at schools with a large Asian American student body.

List of Asian American studies scholars[edit]

Major Programs/Departments[edit]

The contribution of Asian American Studies at SFSU created the College of Ethnic Studies, the only such "college" in any U.S. university.

Major programs in California include UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, UC Davis, San Francisco State University (SFSU), California State University, Long Beach, California State University, Northridge, California State University, Fullerton, City College of San Francisco, University of Southern California, and The Claremont Colleges. The UCLA Asian American Studies Center was founded in 1969 and UCLA established a Department of Asian American Studies in 2004. Stanford University recently launched a program in Race and Culture that includes Asian American Studies.

Outside of California, major programs include University of Washington, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Colorado, Cornell University, State University of New York at Binghamton, and Columbia University. Other rising programs include Arizona State University, New York University, Northwestern University, University of Pennsylvania and University of Minnesota. Currently, several universities, including University of North Carolina, University of Virginia, Syracuse University, and many others are in the process of developing Asian American Studies.

Master of Arts in Asian American Studies programs are available at UCLA and SFSU.

At the time of its founding in 1987, the Asian American Studies Program at Cornell University was the first such program in the Ivy League and on the east coast. Today it has four core faculty members in the humanities and social sciences in a variety of departments and colleges. This cross-college, university-wide position accommodates the extensive teaching and research interests of the Program's faculty and reflects the breadth of the vibrant field of Asian American Studies in general. In the classroom, in scholarship, and through campus and community advocacy, the Program is committed to examining the histories and experiences; identities, social and community formations; politics; and contemporary concerns of people of Asian ancestry in the United States and other parts of the Americas.

On the East Coast, the State University of New York at Stony Brook created an Asian & Asian American Studies Department after a 52 million dollar donation by Charles B. Wang (the founder of Computer Associates). The Charles B. Wang Center is designed as a vital space for multi-disciplinary and multicultural dialogues. The 120,000-square-foot (11,000 m2) building was officially presented to Stony Brook University by Charles B. Wang on October 22, 2002. It was the largest single private gift ever received by the State University of New York 64-campus system. The Wang Center is used for conferences, art exhibits, film festivals, lectures, seminars, and performances. It is open to all Stony Brook students, faculty, and staff as well as the surrounding community.

Queens College, City University of New York, located in the heavily Asian neighborhood of Flushing in New York City, is home to both the Asian American/Asian Research Institute and the Asian/American Center. Both serve as hubs for research into Asian American issues, particularly focusing on the Asian diaspora in the New York area.

External links[edit]