Department of Ethnic Studies - College of Letters and Science - University of California, Berkeley

Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies

The Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies Program (AAADS) is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of historical and contemporary experiences of Americans of Asian ancestry, and the framing of this knowledge and critical understanding within local, national, and global contexts. Tracing its genealogy to the Third World Strike and the formation of the field of Ethnic Studies in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Asian American Studies program initially centered on domestic U.S. concerns regarding the political, economic, and cultural challenges confronting people of Asian descent and their struggles for inclusion and advancement in U.S. society. While retaining its original commitment to community empowerment through socially engaged research, teaching, and service, the program has broadened its scope to encompass issues of transnationality and diaspora in response to geopolitical and demographic shifts.

Reflecting the collective strengths of our faculty, our curriculum offers students a deeper understanding of the histories and contemporary realities of the different ethnic groups that comprise the "Asian American" category. Through classroom-based and experiential learning, our students engage with critical issues such as labor, migration, health, representation and cultural production, education, religion, class, gender, generation, law, public policy, and social activism.


*For more information about and to donate to the AAADS 50th Anniversary Fundraising Campaign click here


Faculty in Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies

  • Hatem Bazian, Lecturer
    Muslim American Studies; Colonialism and Post-Colonial Studies; Arab and Arab American Studies; Critical Race Theory; Palestine Studies; Comparative Liberation Theologies
  • Catherine Ceniza Choy, Professor and Department Chair
    Asian American History; Philippine and Filipino American Studies; Adoption; Nursing; Migration; Gender
  • Carolyn Chen, Associate Professor
    Religion, Race, Ethnicity, Immigration
  • Harvey Dong, Lecturer
    History (Asian American, Chinese American), Contemporary Community Issues
  • Japanese American History, API Educational Issues
  • Anna Leong, Lecturer
    Writing instruction, Asian American literature, Ethnic American literature
  • Michael Omi, Associate Professor
    Racial Theory and Politics, Racial/Ethnic Classification and Identity, Comparative Racialization
  • Lok Siu, Associate Professor
    Transnationalism; Migration; Cultural Citizenship; Un/Belonging; Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Formation; Asians in the Americas; Cultural Politics of Food; Ethnography
  • Khatharya Um, Associate Professor
    Southeast Asian and Southeast Asian American Studies, refugee migration, transnational and diaspora studies, post-colonial, conflict and post conflict studies and genocide studies, access and education of racialized minorities in American public schools
  • Keiko Yamanaka, Continuing Lecturer
    gender & generation, transnational migration in Asia