Fall 2023

Asian American History: 1800-Present

Listed in: History, as HIST-158  |  Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies, as SWAG-158


Christine N. Peralta (Section 01)


(Offered as HIST 158 [US/TE/TR/TS] and SWAG 158) This course introduces students to the history of Asian/American migration and settlement in the United States from the late eighteenth century to the present. We will learn about foundational and current themes in the field of Asian American history. Using an intersectional approach, the course traces how issues related to gender and sexuality impact Asian American racial formation in the U.S. For example, we look at how particular immigration pathways impact the lives of Asian immigrant communities differently depending on individuals’ gender and sexual identities. We also explore the ways the fetishization of Asian American women and men has influenced shifts in American foreign and domestic policy.  Major themes include labor migration, community formation, U.S. imperialism, legal exclusion, racial segregation, cultural representations, and social movements. Students will also examine digital oral history archives throughout the U.S., and work collectively on an oral history project on the history of Asian American student activism at Amherst College and beyond.  Two meetings per week.

Limited to 40 students. Fall semester. Professor Peralta.

How to handle overenrollment: Preference to majors in HIST or SWAGS, then seniors, juniors, etc.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Close analysis of historical evidence, which may include written documents, images, music, films, or statistics from the historical period under study. Exploration of scholarly, methodological, and theoretical debates about historical topics. Extensive reading, varying forms of written work, and intensive in-class discussions.

HIST 158 - LEC

Section 01
W 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM CHAP 201
F 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM CHAP 201


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023