Policy & Community

This course explores policy and community issues affecting Asian Americans by centering on the policies for K-12 and higher education. Adopting Critical Race Theory as a framework, this class analyzes: a) how racialization of Asian Americans has been constructed by education policy, institutions, and discourse; and b) how Asian American communities have navigated, been affected by, or resisted these forces. Unpacking the multi-layered tensions, misrepresentations, and paradoxes surrounding Asian American education at both the macro and micro levels, this course asks how we can intervene in and improve the current education system. In doing so, we will explore the liberatory and transformative potential of educational norms in our everyday lives. The topics we will address include, but are not limited to: Critical Race Theory, Brown v. Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act, Affirmative Action, No Child Left Behind, AB540 (California DREAM Act) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, LGBTQI youth in school, Decolonizing education for Pacific Islanders, Arab and Muslim youth in education, AAPIs and community colleges, Asian international students, the neoliberalization of higher education, and Ethnic Studies.

Contemporary Issues of Asian Americans

This course examines the experiences of a heterogeneous group of Asian Americans by taking an intellectual journey from the birth of ethnic studies to the recent issues experienced by diverse groups such as undocumented Asian and Pacific Islanders, Queer Asian Americans, Arab and Muslim Americans, Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees, Koreans adoptees, multiracial Asian Americans, etc. Students will read assigned articles and book chapters, watch documentaries, and explore the multimedia that locates the Asian American within the broader context of globalization and neoliberalism. The themes we will address are: U.S. imperialism, colonialism, war and militarism, terrorism, and transnational im/migration in the post-9/11 U.S. society.

Asian American Youth

This course explores Asian American youth as a historically and culturally specific social formation. We will unpack the multi-layered tensions and misrepresentations of the rights and agency role of Asian American youth at both the macro and micro levels in the U.S. context. In particular, this course examines how Asian American youth can navigate and intervene in the given discriminatory living conditions as social subjects in the United States. Emphasizing that “Asian American” references a heterogeneous set of populations, this class examines various challenges to Asian American youth and how they intersect with other aspects of identity, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, religion, (dis)ability, and legal status.

Asian American Cultural Studies

This course examines culture from the perspective of Asian Americans by analyzing various pop culture and media products. These products range from visual media—such as films, television shows, and YouTube video clips—to printed media, such as cartoons, advertising, newspapers, and magazines. Focusing on how Asian Americans have been represented and the ways Asian Americans have entered politics, this class explores how Asian Americanness is (re)constructed and challenged. We will investigate pop culture and media in the context of U.S. history, capitalism, and globalization, which will allow us to reflect on contemporary culture in relation to diasporas, immigration, terrorism, war, and refugees in the post-9/11 U.S. society.

Seed Saving and Cultural Memory Banking: Community-Engaged Participatory Plant Breeding with the API Farmers in CA

Interdisciplinary Seminar with the Department of Asian American Studies, Department of Plant Science, UC Davis Student Farm, and Second Generation Seeds

Many crops with cultural significance to the Asian American and pacific Islander community have not been improved for production in the US, resulting in a limited selection fo varieties available to farmers, especially those that are adapted to sustainable agricultural systems. In this seminar, we learn about Asian specialty crops, cultural memory banking, and the history and current context of the AAPI community in California food and agriculture. we will hear from farmers, chefs, researchers and farm advisors. At the end of the quarter, we will co-create a culturally responsive participatory breeding process for celtuce and cultural memory banking.

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