About The Program

Asian American Studies offers a critical perspective on the formation of a multiracial U.S. society by studying groups with roots in Asia and the Pacific. The minor program seeks to place the historical patterns and contemporary experiences of Asians and Pacific Islanders in America in a broader context by analyzing global economic, socio-cultural, and political factors that shape Asian America. The program defines Asian America broadly to include people who have lived here for generations as well as recent immigrants, as it tries to understand the particular ways in which identity formation and struggle take place within the U.S.

Courses within the program explore the changing ideas of race within the United States, while questioning the category of “race” itself. Classes focus on the experiences of Asian Americans in the context of struggles by other groups of color, including African Americans, American Indians, Latina/os, and Arab Americans. While understanding race as a primary unit of analysis, the program seeks to appreciate individual and group differences within Asian America along the fault lines of class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and religion.

Chicago is the perfect backdrop for such a concentration because it offers a rich historical tradition of many ethnic neighborhoods as well as a snapshot of changes being brought about by globalization, economic change and local struggles. Asian American studies is committed to studying these struggles and changes both academically and with reference to what is happening in the city around us.

For more information, please visit the Asian American Studies Website.

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