Courses for Fall 2022

Title Instructors Location Time Description Cross listings Fulfills Registration notes Syllabus Syllabus URL
ASAM 0100-001 Introduction to Asian American Studies Rupa Pillai MCNB 309 MW 1:45 PM-3:14 PM According to the U.S. Census, there are approximately 21 million Asian residents in the U.S. that comprise almost 6 percent of the total population. This relatively small number disguises the critical experiences Asian American communities face in both the local and transnational context. Yet, Asian Americans constitute one of the most heterogeneous racial groups within the U.S. Over the course of this semester we will read about and actively discuss the history of Asian immigration to the U.S., the social construction and experience of race in the U.S., and the political, economic, and cultural contributions of Asian Americans. We will also examine how Asian Americans negotiate/deploy their culture and ethnicity to achieve recognition in multicultural America and how the construction of Asian American identity intersects with class, gender, and sexuality. Cultural Diviserity in the U.S.
ASAM 0102-401 Introduction to Asian American History Eiichiro Azuma
Zhaoyuan Yu
COHN 402 MW 3:30 PM-4:59 PM This course will provide an introduction to the history of Asian Pacific Americans, focusing on the wide diversity of migrant experiences, as well as the continuing legacies of Orientalism on American-born APA's. Issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality will also be examined. HIST1155401, HIST1155401 Cultural Diviserity in the U.S.
History & Tradition Sector
ASAM 0103-401 Introduction to Asian American Literature and Culture David L Eng BENN 419 TR 1:45 PM-3:14 PM An overview of Asian American literature from its beginnings at the turn of the twentieth century to the present. This course covers a wide range of Asian American novels, plays, and poems, situating them in the contexts of American history and minority communities and considering the variety of formal strategies these different texts take. See the English Department's website at for a description of the current offerings. ENGL1270401, ENGL1270401 Cultural Diviserity in the U.S.
Arts & Letters Sector
ASAM 1000-401 South Asians in the United States Fariha Khan WILL 306 TR 12:00 PM-1:29 PM This course investigates the everyday practices and customs of South Asians in America. Every immigrant group has its own history, customs, beliefs and values, making each unique while simultaneously a part of the "melting pot" or salad bowl" of American society. Yet how do people define themselves and their ethnicities living in a diasporic context? By taking into account the burgeoning South Asian American population as our model, this course will explore the basic themes surrounding the lives that immigrants are living in America, and more specifically the identity which the second generation, born and/or raised in American, is developing. South Asians in the U.S. will be divided thematically covering the topics of ethnicity, marriage, gender, religion, and pop culture. Reading and assignments will discuss a variety of issues and viewpoints that are a part of the fabric of South Asia, but will focus on the interpretation of such expressive culture in the United States. SAST1000401, SAST1000401 Cultural Diviserity in the U.S.
ASAM 1020-001 The Asian American Entrepreneur Rupa Pillai BENN 16 MW 10:15 AM-11:44 AM From shopkeepers to motel owners, the Asian American entrepreneur is frequently celebrated and offered as proof that the American Dream is achievable and that the United States is a meritocracy. This seminar challenges this view. Through interdisciplinary texts, qualitative research assignments, and speakers, we will explore the transnational forces and structural limitations within the United States that produce Asian ethnic niches and the bamboo ceiling which limits the success of Asian Americans.
ASAM 1200-401 Introduction to Creative Writing: Writing Asian American Lives Piyali Bhattacharya BENN 224 TR 10:15 AM-11:44 AM “Kids know more about dinosaurs than they do about Asian Americans.” So says Dr. Karen Su, founding director of PAACH (Pan-Asian American Community House) at Penn, and though she’s talking about children’s literature, her sentiment might apply to adults, too. Who are the Asian Americans? What does it mean to be non-Black POC in this country? How do religion, ethnicity, gender, class, nationality, and immigration status define this group? How do we discuss all this while being inclusive of both “us” and “them”? This course will explore these questions through the lens of an introductory fiction, nonfiction, and poetry creative writing workshop. We’ll follow the traditional workshop format of critiquing each other’s short stories, essays, and poems in class, along with close reading works by authors as established as Jhumpa Lahiri, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Amy Tan, and as contemporary as Lisa Ko, Bushra Rehman, Ocean Vuong, and Mira Jacob. We’ll use these texts as springboards to examine representations of identity, inclusion, and exclusion, and we’ll be invited to consider these representations in the media around us as well as in our local communities. Finally, we’ll think through how we can contribute to discussions of these topics with our own artistic voices. This course is cross-listed with Asian American Studies. ENGL3025401, ENGL3025401
ASAM 1210-401 Topics in Asian American Literature and Culture CANCELED This seminar explores Asian American literature and culture intensively; specific course topics will vary from year to year. See the English Department's website at for a description of the current offerings. ENGL1272401, ENGL1272401 Cultural Diviserity in the U.S.
ASAM 1300-401 Asian American Cinema Movement: Fighting For Representation Robert V Buscher WILL 723 W 5:15 PM-8:14 PM Providing a broad introduction to the history of persons of Asian descent living in the United States, this course will specifically examine the Asian American & Pacific Islander American experience as told through the cinematic lens. Equal parts socio-political history and media studies, this course will comprehensively assess factors contributing to the historical under representation of AAPIs in mainstream American media. By contrast, the media texts that we study will reveal a cinematic history that runs parallel to the mainstream, consisting of independently produced films created by and/or starring AAPIs that feature authentic portrayals of the community they represent. Topics will include economics of film production, broadcast television ratings, film festivals as a mechanism of distribution, negative stereotyping, Hollywood whitewashing, cultural appropriation, and media activism. The course will take place once a week and will consist of a brief discussion of the previous week's readings, followed by a lecture, and ending with a full or partial film screening relating to the current week's topic. Additional out of class assignments will be given that involve attending the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, tentatively scheduled November 8-18, 2018. Students will have the opportunity to engage with and learn from AAPI filmmakers in attendance at the festival, with additional volunteer opportunities available for extra credit. CIMS1302401, CIMS1302401 Cultural Diviserity in the U.S.
ASAM 1510-401 Race and Ethnic Relations Abiodun O Azeez
Shaquilla Harrigan
Tukufu Zuberi
ANNS 110 TR 12:00 PM-1:29 PM The course will focus on race and ethnicity in the United States. We begin with a brief history of racial categorization and immigration to the U.S. The course continues by examining a number of topics including racial and ethnic identity, interracial and interethnic friendships and marriage, racial attitudes, mass media images, residential segregation, educational stratification, and labor market outcomes. The course will include discussions of African Americans, Whites, Hispanics, Asian Americans and multiracials. AFRC1060401, AFRC1060401, LALS1060401, LALS1060401, SOCI1060401, SOCI1060401, URBS1060401, URBS1060401 Cultural Diviserity in the U.S.
ASAM 2310-401 18th-Century Seminar: China in the English Imagination Chi-Ming Yang CANCELED This course explores the material culture of china-mania that spread across England and Europe in the eighteenth century, from chinoiserie vogues in fashion, tea, porcelain, and luxury goods, to the idealization of Confucius by Enlightenment philosophers. How was Asia was imagined and understood by Europeans during a period of increased trade between East and West? The course texts include travel writing, poetry, essays, and plays. Students will work closely with rare books and with art objects at the Penn Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The course is designed to provide historical background to contemporary problems of Orientalism, Sinophilia, and Sinophobia. COML2031401, COML2031401, EALC1321401, EALC1321401, ENGL2031401, ENGL2031401 Cross Cultural Analysis