Within the Disciplines
First Year Seminar
Dr. Gail Nomura
Rethinking American History:
The Asian American Experience
TEXT: Ronald Takaki,
Strangers from a Different Shore.
Additional readings can be found in
course pack sold at Accu-Copy.
Rethinking American History: The Asian
American Experience is a course designed
to rethink and re-envision the multicultural
nature of American history through the
study of one of the varied ethnic cultures
that form "American" culture,
the Asian American experience in U.S.
history. The groups covered in this
course include Chinese, Filipino, Japanese,
Korean, Pacific Islander, South Asian,
and Southeast Asian Americans. This
course seeks to provide a historical
framework of analysis for understanding
the social, political, economic, cultural,
and psychological forces which have
shaped and continue to shape the lives
and communities of Asian/Pacific Americans.
Topics covered include discussion of
(1) the historical forces in the Asian
countries and in the U.S. which cause
and shape Asian immigration; (2) the
development of ethnic communities, and:
(3) the history of discriminatory laws
and regulations that have impeded the
full growth of Asian American communities.
The disturbing issues of American institutional
racism and the failure of the American
democratic process fully to protect
the civil rights of a segment of its
population is explored. The course includes
study, too, of the implications for
and the impact on Asian Americans of
the concepts of assimilation and America
as a melting pot. Importantly, this
course covers not only what was done
to Asian Americans but also what Asian
Americans have done in building a place
for themselves in American society.
Five short (2-3 pages) papers with revisions,
2 exams, in-class writing, a research
paper (including proposal, bibliography,
outline, draft, and revised final draft
[the final research paper should be
7-10 typed double-spaced pages]), and
class presentations are required. All
assignments must be completed to pass
the course. No makeup exams or extensions
will be permitted except for documented
emergencies. Students are expected to
attend and participate in class discussions
on a regular basis.
DISCUSSION AND READING SCHEDULE:
Class 1 Introduction and Overview of
Class 2, 3 Discussion of the historical
and legal framework of Asian immigration
to the U.S.
Chapter 2. Sucheta Mazumdar, "General
Introduction: A Woman-Centered Perspective
on Asian American History." PAPER
Class 4, 5 Discussion of Chinese settlement
in the 19th Century
Chapter 3. Lai, Lim and Yung, Island
Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants
on Angel Island, 1910-1940
PAPER 2 DUE
Class 6, 7 Discussion of Hawaii Experience.
Chapter 4. Liliuokalani, Hawaii's
Story by Hawaii's Queen
RESEARCH PROPOSAL DUE
Class 8, 9 Discussion of Japanese Settlement.
RESEARCH BIBLIOGRAPHY DUE
Class 10, 11 Discussion of urban Chinese
Class 12, 13 Discussion of Korean Settlement
PAPER 3 DUE
Class 14, 15 Discussion of South Asian
OUTLINE OF RESEARCH PAPER DUE
Class 16, 17 Discussion of Filipino
PAPER 4 DUE
Class 18, 19 Discussion of World War
II experience of Asian Americans
Readings: Takaki, Chapter 10.
DRAFT OF RESEARCH PAPER DUE
Class 20, 21 Discussion of new immigration
Chapter 11. Bill Ong Hing, Making
and remaking Asian America Through
Immigration Policy, 1850-1990. Sucheng
Chan, "Hmong Life Stories."
Class 22, 23 Discussion of contemporary
issues of Asian Americans.
Chapter 12. Ling-chi Wang, "Lau
v. Nichols: History of a Struggle
for Equal and Quality Education."
Keith Osajima, "Asian Americans
as the Model Minority: An Analysis
of the Popular Press Image in the
1960s and 1980s." Yen Le Espiritu,
Asian American Panethnicity: Bridging
Institutions and Identities.
PAPER 5 DUE
Class 24, 25 Discussion: Rethinking
our writing of American history
Week 14, 15
RESEARCH PAPERS DUE