Program in Asian American Studies



  • Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús

Associated Faculty

  • Anne Cheng, English
  • Erin Y. Huang, East Asian Studies
  • Christina H. Lee, Spanish & Portuguese
  • Beth Lew-Williams, History
  • Ryo Morimoto, Anthropology
  • Paul Nadal, English
  • Kinohi Nishikawa, English
For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.

Program Information

The Program in Asian American Studies, administered by the Effron Center for the Study of America, provides students with the opportunity to gain an interdisciplinary perspective on the diversity of Asian American and Pacific Islander histories, cultures, and contemporary experiences. The course of study focuses on the formative emergence of this pan-ethnic group in the United States. It also highlights Asian America’s transnational connections and contexts, including the dynamics of globalization, migration, imperialism, and postcoloniality. The structure of the Program in Asian American Studies facilitates productive engagement with the programs housed in the Effron Center and encourages comparative and intersectional work with the Department of African American Studies, Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, and other relevant fields of study that help to contextualize Asian American histories and cultures within the diversity of experiences in the United States.

For more information, please visit the Effron Center website.

Admission to the Program

The program is open to students from all departments. Students may enroll in the Asian American studies certificate program at any time, including the first year. There are no prerequisites, and courses taken prior to enrollment may count toward the certificate requirements. Students may take the gateway course AMS 101 at any time during their studies, including after enrollment in the certificate program. To enroll in the program, students should complete the online enrollment form. Students should plan to meet with the associate director or program coordinator of the Effron Center for the Study of America before the end of their first year of enrollment, to review their plans for fulfilling the certificate requirements.

Program of Study

Students may earn a certificate in Asian American studies by successfully completing the following requirements, consisting of five courses:

  1. AMS 101: America Then and Now
  2. Three courses in Asian American studies, either originating in the program or cross-listed, and preferably representing disciplinary breadth in the social sciences, arts, and humanities. No more than one course taken in fulfillment of the student’s concentration may be counted toward the certificate. With the approval of the associate director, a student may substitute a comparative race and ethnicity course that contains substantial Asian American studies content for one of these courses.
  3. An advanced seminar in American studies, preferably taken in the senior year.

Certificate of Proficiency

Students who fulfill all the requirements of the program will receive a certificate in Asian American studies upon graduation.


ASA 201 Introduction to Asian American Studies (also
ENG 209
) Fall CDSA

Surveying longstanding and emergent themes in the field of Asian American Studies, this course examines how "Asian American" is both a category constructed in service of power and a revolutionary identity formed in rebellion against it. How has US military intervention in Asia shaped shifting ideas about Asian America/the "Asian American"? How might these connections complicate dominant framings of when war begins and ends? In what ways is Asian American racial formation related to settler colonialism, anti-Blackness, and racial capitalism, and what might an Asian American movement that is accountable to these processes look like? Instructed by: E. Rubio

ASA 293 Chinatown USA (See ENG 293)

ASA 314 Dangerous Bodies: Cross-Dressing, Asia, Transgression (See EAS 314)

ASA 328 South Asian American Literature and Film (See SAS 328)

ASA 336 Critical Intersections in South Asian American Studies (also
GSS 353
SAS 338
AMS 301
) Spring CDSA

Since the recent election of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the question of who belongs has become central to South Asian politics. These questions of power and belonging reverberate in the diaspora. Because the US is a settler-colonial state, many South Asians find themselves at the interstices of American and South Asian systems of power and flows of capital. In order to examine these processes, this class will use interdisciplinary thematic units across South Asian and Asian American Studies to examine caste, race/racialization, gender/gendering processes and colonialism in the Indian American diaspora. Instructed by: Staff

ASA 361 Asian Americana: Theorizing Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality Across Difference (also
AMS 461
GSS 330
) Fall CDSA

From the height of the Asian American movement began at San Francisco State in 1968, the question of where Asian diasporic communities fit within the American racial matrix has been of pivotal interest for scholars, students, activists and artists across genres. This class seeks to explore Asian Americans' social location in the US. Using a relational intersectional feminist approach, this class will examine Asian Americans positionality in relation to Indigenous, Black and Latinx communities throughout the country. Students will engage and hone Asian American Studies interdisciplinary methods (historical, literary and filmic analysis). Instructed by: R. Guné

ASA 370 Asian American History (See HIS 270)

ASA 381 Literature and Religion: Christianity in Korean and Korean-American Novels and Films (See COM 381)

ASA 390 The Power of the Media in an Evolving Asian Pacific America (also
ENG 490
) Fall CDLA

In this seminar, students will have the opportunity to explore the diversity of Asian Pacific American cultures, their numerous representations and how APA cultural producers create multidimensional images and narratives. Throughout the semester, students will analyze social issues such as the culture wars, mainstreaming, branding, and centering the margins within mainstream, independent and alternative contexts through utilizing a wide range of film and television screenings; critical and fictional writing; blogs/vlogs; music; social media platforms; and interactions with professionals in film/television, literature, journalism and academia. Instructed by: A. Shaw

ASA 444 Global Novel (See ENG 444)

ASA 482 Arab America: Culture, Activism, and Resistance (See HIS 482)