Asian American Studies Minor

The minor in Asian American Studies is designed to enrich students' critical understanding of both individual experiences and collective histories of Asian Americans in regional, national, and transnational contexts. As an inter- and multi-disciplinary program, it underlines transnational contexts and comparative perspectives for the study of Asian American experiences. By promoting knowledge and understanding of a wide range of Asian American individuals and groups through teaching and research, the minor aims to provide new classroom opportunities for undergraduate students to explore Asian American experiences. It intends to enhance communication and collaboration among various cultural, ethnic, and racial groups; to facilitate intellectual exchanges; and to broaden academic inquiries on the subjects of migration, ethnicity and race across different disciplines and programs at Washington University. In addition to American Culture Studies, involved departments and programs include East Asian Studies and South Asian Studies; African and African American Studies; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and American Indian Studies.

The minor in Asian American Studies can nicely complement a major in American Culture Studies; East Asian Studies; East Asian Languages and Cultures; English; Global Studies; History; Sociology and other fields. Because the questions that animate Asian American Studies span disciplinary boundaries, the minor will inspire you to draw on the methods and insights of multiple disciplines to engage complex, real-world problems that necessitate interdisciplinary thinking. Situated in the larger context of the university's commitment to diversity and inclusion, the minor in Asian American Studies is an integral part of diversity and inclusion initiatives at Washington University that nurture a culturally and academically stimulating environment.


Total units required: 18 (at least 12 units must be at the 300 level or above)


  • 3 credits from Introductory Courses
  • 3 credits from Asian American Focus Courses
  • 6 credits from Multiethnic and Transnational Courses
  • 6 credits from Context Courses


  • In general, you should complete one introductory course prior to pursuing Asian American Focus Courses and Multiethnic and Transnational Courses.
  • All advanced units must be unique to the Asian American Studies minor (i.e., not counted toward any other major or minor).
  • All courses counting for the Asian American Studies minor must be taken for a letter grade, and you must receive a grade of C+ or higher.
  • You may use a study abroad course on any subject in Asian Studies to fulfill the "Asian Studies" category requirement. Such courses must be approved by the study abroad advisor for the Asian-American Studies minor.


For questions about the Asian American Studies minor, please contact

Dr. Karen Skinner


Introductory Courses

Choose one from this list; 3 credits, any level:

  • First Year Seminar: Easy Riders, Migrant Laborers: American Mobility in Literature and Film (E Lit 160) (unpredictable)
  • Ocean, Island, Ghetto, Globe: An Introduction to Asian American Literature and Its Spatial Politics (E Lit 313) (annually)
  • First Year Seminar: Chinatown: Migration, Identity and Space (GS 135) (annually)
  • Freedom, Citizenship and the Making of American Life (History 163) (annually)
  • First Year Seminar: The Meaning of Pakistan: History, Culture, Art (History 2157) (every 1 or 2 years)
  • First Year Seminar: Beyond the Melting Pot: Life in Immigrant America (SOC 2710) (unpredictable)

Asian American Focus Courses

Choose one from this list; 3 credits, any level:

  • Doctors and Terrorists: The Fictions of South Asian America (AAS 200) (every 2 years)
  • Techno-Orientalism: Race, Media & Society (AAS 450) (annually)
  • Topics in Asian American Studies: Intro to Asian American & Pacific Islander Studies (AMCS 250) (annually)
  • Topics in Asian American Studies: Asian American Racial Scripts: Relational Concepts and Theories (AMCS 3520) (unpredictable)
  • Topics in Literature: Asian American Fictions: Space, Place, and the Makings of Asian America (E Lit 313) (annually)
  • Topics in Literature: Asian American Writings: Contesting American Constructions of the Alien Other (E Lit 313) (annually)
  • Topics in Literature: Ocean, Island, Ghetto, Globe: An Introduction to Asian American Literature and Its Spatial Politics (E Lit 313) (annually)
  • Topics in American Literature: Imagining Multi-Racial Coalitions (E Lit 423) (every 1 or 2 years)
  • "Model Minority": The Asian American Experience (GS 3512) (annually)

Multiethnic and Transnational Courses

Choose any two from these two lists; 6 credits, any level:

(1) Asian Americans in a Multiethnic/Multiracial Perspective

  • Sophomore Seminar: American Dreams, American Nightmares: US Ethnic Literatures of Post-War Disillusionment (E Lit 250) (unpredictable)
  • Topics in English Literature: Growing Up “Different”: The Bildungsroman in a Diversifying America (E Lit 317) (annually)
  • The Multiethnic Graphic Novel in Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century American Popular Culture (E Lit 3524) (unpredictable)
  • Topics in Literature: Queer Youth: LGBTQ Narratives of Coming-of-Age and Coming Out in North America (E Lit 4621) (unpredictable)
  • Children of Immigrants: Identity and Acculturation (GS 4036) (annually)

(2) Global Asia and Asian Diasporas in a Transnational Perspective

  • Collecting Art/Excluding People: The Contradictions of Chinese Art in U.S. Museums" (ArtArch 144) (every 2 to 3 years)
  • Finding China: From Sojourners to Settlers in the Chinese Diaspora and Chinese American Literature (Comp Lit 375) (unpredictable)
  • Topics in Comparative Literature I: The Trope of "China" in the Imagination of the Chinese Diaspora (Comp Lit 375) (unpredictable)
  • Writing from the Periphery: The Question of Chineseness (Comp Lit 449) (unpredictable)
  • Chinese Diasporas: A Social History of Global Migration (History 3165) (every 2 years)
  • Imperialism and Sexuality: India, South Asia and the World (WI) (History 39SC) (every 1 or 2 years)
  • Caste: Globalization, Sexuality and Race (WGSS 366) (unpredictable)

Context Courses

Choose one from each category; 6 credits total, any level:

(1) Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity

  • Rainbow Radicalisms!: Ethnic Nationalism(s), the 1960s and the Politics of the New Left (AFAS 4121) (unpredictable)
  • The Immigrant Experience (AMCS 202) (every 1 to 2 years)
  • Global Circuits: Religion, Race, Empire (AMCS 314B) (unpredictable)
  • Race and Ethnic Relations in the United States (AMCS 3296) (annually)
  • Topics in American Culture Studies: Commissioned Memories: Racial Unrest and Commission Politics (AMCS 3520) (unpredictable)
  • Topics in American Culture Studies: Protest and Power in Modern America (AMCS 359) (unpredictable)
  • Neighborhoods, Schools and Social Inequality (Educ 4289) (unpredictable)
  • Histories of Intelligence: Topics in Science and Society (IPH 3451) (unpredictable)
  • Visualizing Segregation: A History of St. Louis, Chicago and New Orleans (InterD 306M) (unpredictable)
  • Immigration Law (W74 Law 630D) (every 1 to 2 years)
  • Race and Ethnicity in American Politics (PolSci 3031) (unpredictable)
  • The Roots of Ferguson: Understanding Racial Inequality in the Contemporary US (SOC 2010) (every 1 to 2 years)
  • Social Inequality in America (SOC 2110) (unpredictable)
  • The Social Construction of Race (SOC 3212) (unpredictable)
  • Sociology of Immigration (SOC 3710) (unpredictable)

(2) Asian Studies

  • Contemporary Chinese Culture and Society (Anthro 3055) (unpredictable)
  • Archaeology of China: Food and People (Anthro 3163) (unpredictable)
  • Culture, Illness and Healing in Asia (Anthro 4033) (annually)
  • Introduction to Asian Art (ArtArch 111) (unpredictable)
  • Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art (ArtArch 3426) (unpredictable)
  • The Three Emperors: Redefining Chinese Art in the Golden Age (ArtArch 4489) (unpredictable)
  • Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature (Chinese 342) (annually)
  • US-China Relations from 1949 to the Present (Chinese 350) (every 2 years)
  • Writing New Horizons: Explorers, Envoys, and Other Encounters in Korean Travel Narratives (EALC 340) (every 1 or 2 years)
  • First Year Seminar: The Vietnam Wars (GS 111) (unpredictable)
  • From McDonald's to K-Pop: New Movements in East Asia (GS 3822) (annually)
  • Chinese Politics (GS 4035) (every 1 or 2 years)
  • First Year Seminar: The Meaning of Pakistan: History, Culture, Art (History 2157) (every 1 or 2 years)
  • Early Modern China (History 3162) (every 1 or 2 years)
  • Modern China: 1890s to the Present (History 316CHist 3100) (annually)
  • Japan Since 1868 (History 320C) (every 1 or 2 years)
  • Nineteenth-Century China: Violence and Transformation (History 331) (every 2 years)
  • Advanced Seminar: Inventing India OR Incredible India! (History 49SC) (unpredictable)
  • The Modern Voice in Japanese Literature (Japan 333C) (annually)
  • Literature of Modern and Contemporary Korea (Korean 352) (every 1 or 2 years)
  • Topics in Politics: Modern South Asian Politics (Pol Sci 3292) (unpredictable)
  • Globalization and Its Discontents (WGSS 270A) (unpredictable)

Select Past Events

For questions about the Asian American Studies minor, please contact

Dr. Karen Skinner
Academic Coordinator