Asian American Studies Minor

The interdisciplinary field of Asian American Studies examines the lives, cultures, and histories of people of Asian descent living in the Americas. Emerging from the ethnic identity movements of the late 1960s, it has become an established academic field that encompasses history, sociology, psychology, literary criticism, political science, and women's and gender studies. It intersects significantly with the study of other minority groups in the United States and with the study of the Asia-Pacific region.

Learning Objectives for the Asian American Studies Minor

Students minoring in Asian American Studies will:

Course Requirements for the Asian American Studies Minor

The Asian American Studies minor consists of five units:

  1. Either AMST 151, The Asian American Experience or AMST 121, Ethnic Studies: Key Concepts, Theories, and Methods

  2. One course that examines race, ethnicity, immigration, or minority politics in the North American or South American context. To fulfill this requirement, the following categories may be included: 

    • This requirement can be met by courses about the history, culture, religion, or politics of America: AMST 152 Race, Ethnicity and Politics in America; AMST 255 Life in the Big City: Urban Studies and Policies; AMST 246/SOC 246 Salsa and Ketchup: How Immigration is Changing the US and the World; HIST 244 The History of the American West: Manifest Destiny to Pacific Imperialism; REL 218 Religion in America; SPAN 335 Asians in Latin America: Literary and Cultural Connections

    • Courses about minority groups as defined by race, ethnicity, class, caste, or gender in this region: AFR 105 Introduction to the Black Experience; AFR 209 African American History: From the Slave Trade to the Civil War; AFR 242 New World Afro-Atlantic Religions; AFR 390 No Moral High Ground, A History of Slavery and Racism in the North; AFR 295 The Harlem Renaissance; AMST 235 From Zumba to Taco Trucks: Consuming Latina/o Cultures; AMST 274 Gender and Race in Westerns: Rainbow Cowboys (and Girls); CAMS 240 Gendering the Bronze Screen: Representations of Chicanas/Latinas in Film; EDUC 334 Ethnography in Education: Race, Migrations, and Borders; HIST 252 The Twentieth-Century Black Freedom Struggle; SOC 209 Social Inequality: Race, Class, and Gender; SOC 315 Intersectionality at Work; or SPAN 255 Chicano Literature: From the Chronicles to the Present.

    • Courses about comparative or theoretical frameworks for comprehending America and Asia, including empire, immigration, and globalization: AMST 161 Introduction to Latino/a Studies; AMST 251/SOC 251 Racial Regimes in the United States and Beyond; AMST 310 Asian/American Politics of Beauty; LING 312 Bilingualism: An Exploration of Language, Mind, and Culture; POL2 204 Political Economy of Development and Underdevelopment; SOC 221 Globalization; SOC 232/SAS 232 South Asian Diasporas; or WGST 206 Migration, Gender, and Globalization.

  3. One course that examines history, culture, or politics in the Asian region. To fulfil this requirement, the following categories may be included:

    • Courses about the history, culture, religion, or politics of East, South or Southeast Asia: ART 248 Chinese Painting; ARTH 255 Twentieth-Century Chinese Art; ARTH 312 Art and Empmire in the Nineteenth Century; CAMS 205/JPN 256 History of Japanese Cinema; CAMS 203 Chinese Cinema; HIST 270 Colonialism, Nationalism, and Decolonization in South Asia; HIST 373 Food, Sports, and Sex: Body Politics in South Asia; HIST 274 China, Japan, and Korea in Comparative and Global Perspectives; JPN 251 Japanese Literature from Myth to Manga (in English); JPN 314 Contemporary Japanese Narrative (in English); JPN 280 Japanese Pop Culture: From Kaiku to Hello Kitty; POL2 211 Politics of South Asia; POL3 227 The Vietnam War; REL 259 Christianity in Asia; SAS 302 Traditional Narratives of South Asia; or WGST 325 Asian Feminisms.

    • Courses about minority groups as defined by race, ethnicity, class, caste, or gender in this region: HIST 275 The Emergence of Ethnic Identities in Modern South Asia; MES 264 Religious and Ethnic Minorities in the Ottoman Empire; REL 303/SAS 303 Models of Religious Pluralism form South Asia; SOC 232/SAS 232 South Asian Diasporas; or EALC 236 The Girl in Modern Asian Culture.

    • Courses about comparative or theoretical frameworks for comprehending America and Asia, including empire, immigration, and globalization, as listed above under (2/C).

  4. Two courses on Asian American topics, such as  AMST 116 /ENG 116, AMST 212, AMST 222/PSYC 222, AMST 310, WGST 249, WGST 305.

To ensure that appropriate courses have been selected, students should consult with the program director or their minor advisor.

A maximum of two units, including AMST 151, may be taken at the 100 level. At least one unit must be at the 300 level. Four units must be taken at Wellesley. American Studies majors minoring in Asian American Studies must decide whether to count an eligible course toward the major or the minor.