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

Courses / Graduate

Spring 2017

ETHSTD 250.005 | CCN: 33818

Hemispheric Asian America

Lok Siu,

4 Units


The nation-state has long served as the conventional frame for studying ethnicity and race. This course asks what it means to think hemispherically and to use a hemispheric approach to the study of ethnicity and race, especially as it applies to Asians in the Americas. Rather than treating the Western hemisphere as a stable geographical space or merely an expanded area of study, the class carefully considers the hemispheric approach as a heuristic devise to examine the linkages, connections, and tensions across nations, regions, and populations that would not be visible otherwise. We will be reading across disciplines (mostly history and anthropology) and area studies (mostly US, Latin American, and the Caribbean), and use a hemispheric approach to uncover the complex constellation of forces that come to shape the shared experiences as well as divergences among “Asians” in the Americas. Ultimately, we will encounter the challenges and limitations posed by such an approach, and we will identify and chart new questions for future exploration.