Asian American studies

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Asian American Studies is an academic discipline which critically examines the history, issues, sociology, religion, experiences, culture, and policies relevant to Asian Americans. It is closely related to other Ethnic Studies disciplines, such as African American Studies, Latino Studies, and Native American Studies.


Asian American Studies appeared as a field of intellectual inquiry in the late 1960s[1] as a result of strikes by the Third World Liberation Front, a group of minority students at San Francisco State University and at the University of California, Berkeley. The students demanded that college classroom instruction include the histories of people of color in the United States, told from their perspectives. The demand for Ethnic Studies originated from the Eurocentric bias in university curricula.[2] As a result, a College of Ethnic Studies (the only U.S. university academic department of its kind at the time) became established at San Francisco State University with American Indian Studies, Asian American Studies, Africana Studies, and Latino/a Studies as its four units,[3] and four ethnic studies programs became established at the University of California, Berkeley. The Association for Asian American Studies, a professional organization designed to promote teaching and research in the field, was established in 1979.[4]

Topics in Asian American Studies[edit]

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 the United States.

Academic programs in Asian American Studies provide students with the opportunity to examine the history of Asian-Americans, which includes topics such as immigration and race-based exclusion policies.[5]

Asian American Studies provides an academic avenue for addressing issues of racial oppression, capitalism at home, and imperialism abroad.[5]

The discourse also includes studies on how first- and second-generation Asian Americans deal with adjustment and assimilation, especially on their Americanization and aggressive pursuit of higher education and prestigious occupations in a society that still discriminates against them.[5]

Asian American Studies focuses on the identities, historical and contemporary experiences of individuals and groups in the United States. Concepts and issues that are crucial to this interdisciplinary curriculum include: Orientalism, diaspora, Asian American masculinity, Asian American femininity, cultural politics, and media representation.[citation needed]

Universities and colleges with Asian American Studies departments and programs[edit]

Prominent academics in Asian American Studies[edit]

Celebrities who studied Asian American Studies[edit]


  1. ^ Shirley Hune. "Expanding the International Dimension of Asian American Studies". Amerasia Journal, Vol. 15 No. 2 (1989), pp.xix
  2. ^ Fiel, Crystal (March 8, 2009). "Celebration 40 Years: Third World Liberation Front". {m}aganda magazine. University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  3. ^ San Francisco State University: Asian American Studies. <>
  4. ^ "About". Association for Asian American Studies. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  5. ^ a b c Wang, L. Ling-Chi (1981). "Asian American Studies". American Quarterly. 33 (3): 339–354. doi:10.2307/2712470.

External links[edit]