Greetings from the Co-Directors

Welcome to the University of Pennsylvania’s Program in Asian American Studies (ASAM).

ASAM aims to prepare students intellectually as well as socially for the opportunities and challenges of their future careers whatever industry or area they choose. ASAM was established in Fall 1996 as a result of collective student, faculty, and alumni action. We are one of a handful of Ivy League institutions with a course of study in this dynamic and growing field, and we recently celebrated our 25th Anniversary!

An interdisciplinary program that offers a minor as well as a broad range of courses, program and events, and research opportunities, ASAM contextualizes the history, experiences, and contributions of Asian immigrants and persons of Asian ancestry in North America and the diaspora. Core faculty in English, History, and Sociology explore how race, ethnicity, caste, religion, sexuality, gender, and class have shaped the lives of Asian Americans in a national and global context. We also provide a wide range of upper-level and elective courses in related fields such as anthropology, creative writing, folklore, East Asian studies, law, psychology, and South Asian studies, with an emphasis on the critical analysis of history, society, and culture while addressing longstanding inequities in civic and social life. ASAM offers a number of community-based classes and internships that maintain a commitment to social justice and difference while addressing the disparate needs of our various constituencies. Bringing together critical and creative thinking skills from the humanities and the arts with the analytic methods of the social sciences, our ASAM minor may be completed alongside a wide range of majors. Many of our courses also fulfill the “Cultural Diversity in the US” requirement in the School of Arts and Sciences.

Recent years have witnessed an alarming backlash against Asian American communities and racialized communities more generally. In the face of renewed activism for Asian American and ethnic studies on university campuses and demands for Asian American political representation in the public sphere, we are proud to offer students, scholars, artists, and activists a space to come together, think together, and organize together. We invite you to explore our website to learn more about our Program and join us in our efforts at a moment of growth.


David L. Eng
Faculty Director of ASAM
Richard L. Fisher Professor of English
Email: deng@upenn.edu


Fariha I. Khan
Co-Director of ASAM
Email: fariha@upenn.edu