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AAS 3341 - Asian American Images

From 19th-century anti-Chinese political cartoons to Harold and Kumar, visual representations of Asians in the United States have long influenced how Asian Americans are seen and treated. What are some of the ways that photography, graphic arts, and digital culture have pictured Asian Americans as aliens, citizens, immigrants, workers, family and community members, entertainers, and artists? Course topics will relate visual images to particular historical moments, including the early exclusion period and the "yellow peril" stereotype; WWII Japanese American incarceration and the drawings of Miné Okubo, and photo-journalism documenting U.S. military involvement in Southeast Asia and its aftermath. How do photographic and other images work to counter historical amnesia, heal traumatic loss, and document social injustice? Other weeks of the class will explore the ways that individuals, families, and communities use photographs, video, and other visual media to preserve a sense of connection and belonging. We will also look at how contemporary Asian American photographers such as Tseng Kwong Chi, Nikki Lee, and Wing Young Huie experiment with visual images to raise questions of racial and national identity, social inequality, gender, sexuality, and political agency. The course also includes a digital storytelling project that encourages students to create video images and sound reflecting Asian American immigration stories from local communities. Credit will not be granted if credit has been received for: COMM 3341.
Arts/Humanities Diversity and Soc. Justice in the U.S.
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