Fall 2023

Racial Consciousness and the Asian American Perspective

Listed in: Anthropology and Sociology, as ANTH-296


Victoria Nguyen (Section 01)


What does it mean to be Asian American today? At once marginalized and woefully unspecific, Asian American identity seems to occupy a purgatorial status in the American racial imagination. How have Asian Americans been understood within, and how do they understand themselves within, white institutions, anti-black hierarchies, and capitalist orders? And what are the cumulative psychic effects of their quotidian, uneventful, and often unspoken racializations? The course begins by engaging a variety of historical events, social movements, racialized imaginaries to consider how Asian American history is vitally shaped by not only repression and assimilation, but also radicalism and innovation. From this foundation, we then examine how Asian American writers, artists, and thinkers reckon with in/visibility, ambiguity, and the “minor intensities” of Asian American life through stories, poetry, film, and visual art. We will engage in close reading and analysis of these materials, with an eye toward their specific social, historical, and political contexts as we read them alongside a range of critical theory on the politics of identity and subjectivity.

Limited to 25 students.  Fall semester.  Professor Nguyen.

How to handle overenrollment: Anthropology and Sociology majors given first priority, second priority given to balancing out different cohort years.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: emphasis on close reading, discussion, and written assignments.


Other years: Offered in Fall 2023