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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Syracuse University announces new minor in Asian/Asian American studies

Minor grows out of awareness

April 26, 2010, by Sara Miller

Beginning in the Fall 2010 semester, undergraduate students at Syracuse University will be able to add a minor in Asian/Asian American studies to their course of studies to achieve a greater understanding of Asia and Asian American issues around international migration, immigrant settlement, transnationalism, and racial and ethnic formation in the United States. As an interdisciplinary program located in The College of Arts and Sciences, the minor will consist of 18 credits, 12 of which must be in advanced 300- to 500-level coursework.

Census data show that a majority of the Asian American population is composed of immigrants. These are individuals whose personal and migration histories, educational achievements and attitudes have been molded by their Asian heritages and who continue to maintain connections with their homelands.

According to Arts and Sciences associate professor Prema Kurien, program director of Asian/Asian American studies, this minor grows out of an awareness “that we cannot understand Asian Americans without understanding the histories and cultures of Asia and vice versa, that we cannot understand contemporary Asia without understanding how American politics, capital, religion, culture and Asian American diasporas have shaped countries in that continent.” The minor also embeds the study of Asian Americans within the literature on migration, race and ethnicity in the United States.

In The College of Arts and Sciences, the minor is sponsored by the departments of anthropology; economics; English; art and music histories; geography; history;  languages, literature and linguistics; political science; religion; South Asian studies; sociology; and women’s and gender studies. Several new courses have been introduced as part of the minor, focused on the historical and contemporary experiences of people of Asian ancestry in the United States and Asia.

Prospective or current SU undergraduate students who are interested in learning more about the minor in Asian/Asian American studies can contact Kurien for more information.