Asian American Studies (Tri-Co)

Department Website:
https://www.haverford.edu/asian-american-studies

Asian American Studies is a Tri-College program that offers a minor at all three colleges. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to help students develop an understanding of Asian American experiences, histories, cultures, and art. While the program centers Asian American experiences and perspectives, it also contextualizes Asian American Studies within the broader field of critical race and ethnic studies, with a focus on how race operates in the United States and intergroup relations between Asian Americans with other racial and ethnic minority groups. Asian American Studies provides rich interdisciplinary training in complex social and cultural issues pertaining to the study of race, ethnicity, and identity; migration and acculturation; intergroup relations; power and privilege; stereotyping and discrimination; and globalization. Studying the experiences of Asian Americans helps students to learn more about themselves and their relationships in an increasingly multiracial, multiethnic, and multicultural nation. Students are engaged in thinking deeply about concepts and theory, and relating those in applied ways to contemporary issues and problems in Asian American communities.

 

Learning Goals

  • Gain competence in the theories and methods of the interdisciplinary study of Asian Americans.
  • Contextualize how history has shaped the lives and experiences of Asian Americans, with relevance for contemporary issues and problems. 
  • Study and participate in creative expressions of Asian American experiences through literature, music, and dance.   
  • Examine the experiences of Asian Americans in the broader context of how race operates in the United States and understand intergroup relations with other racial and ethnic minority groups within the United States. 
  • Explore perspectives on Asian Americans from outside the United States taking a transnational or global view. 

Haverford’s Institutional Learning Goals are available on the President’s website, at http://hav.to/learninggoals.

Curriculum

The Asian American Studies minor is a 6-credit minor and is composed of the following requirements: 4 core courses in Asian American Studies, 1 course in Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies, and 1 course in Transnational and/or Global Connections with Asia. In lieu of specific required courses, the curriculum offers a balance of structure and rigor with reasonable flexibility in possible pathways for completing the minor. The Co-Directors of Asian American Studies will help students select courses that meet the requirements for the minor. Students’ minor experience will culminate with an annual Tri-College Asian American Studies symposium where seniors will present their work in various forms (e.g., music performance, poster presentation), reflecting the highly interdisciplinary nature of the program.
 
Students interested in the Asian American Studies Minor should plan their course schedule in consultation with one of the Co-Directors of Asian American Studies (one located at Haverford/Bryn Mawr, one located at Swarthmore)

Minor Requirements

The 6-credit minor is composed of the following requirements:

  • 4 “Core Courses” in Asian American Studies. These courses have a substantive focus on Asian American experiences, histories, and cultures. Please find a current list of approved courses on the Asian American Studies website.
  • 1 Course in Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies. This course provides exposure to the experiences, histories, and cultures of other racial and ethnic groups in and of themselves, or in relation to other groups. Many courses that could meet this requirement are drawn from African and Africana Studies/Black Studies; Latin American, Iberian, and Latinx Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies; and other departments. Students should discuss the course they wish to use for this requirement with one of the Co-Directors.
  • 1 Course in Transnational or Global Connections with Asia. This course offers perspectives on Asian Americans from outside the United States with regard to history, literature, culture, or politics in order to explore transnational or global connections in a broader context. There are many non-language courses offered by East Asian Languages and Cultures/Asian Studies and other departments on Asian history, literature, culture, and politics from regional or global perspectives that could meet this requirement. Students should discuss the course they wish to use for this requirement with one of the Co-Directors.

Please note: Currently no more than one of the six minor credits may count towards the student’s major. We wish to encourage thoughtful and intentional selection of courses for the Asian American Studies minor that help to expand a student’s academic exposure beyond what would have been gained through the major program of study as a matter of course.

Faculty

Below are the core Asian American Studies faculty. Many other faculty contribute courses to the program; see the Courses section for a full listing.

Core Faculty

Bakirathi Mani
Professor, Department of English Literature, Swarthmore College; *Co-Director of Tri-Co Asian American Studies Program (Swarthmore students can contact Prof. Mani about the program)

Lei Ouyang
Associate Professor, Department of Music, Swarthmore College

Heejung Park
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Bryn Mawr College

Gina Velasco
Associate Professor, Director of Gender and Sexuality Studies, Haverford College

Shu-wen Wang
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Haverford College; *Co-Director of Tri-Co Asian American Studies Program (Haverford and Bryn Mawr students can contact Prof. Wang about the program)

Courses here