Asian American Studies Initiative

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The Department offers the Asian/Asian American Studies Certificate with Asian Languages and Cultures, houses the Asian American Identities and Images Living-Learning Community, and develops programming for the interdisciplinary field. The field of Asian American Studies explores the politics and history of Asian-descent peoples, including East, South, Southeast, and Southwest Asians within the United States and in the Americas. These multiple diasporic groups share historical and legal connections with other racial and ethnic groups in the United States.



See what one junior in American Studies has to say in this video:



SAS Undergraduate Certificate in Asian/Asian American Studies

The Department of American Studies (AMS) and the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures (ALC) offers in cooperation a Certificate in Asian/Asian American Studies (13 credits or 4.5 courses) comprised of Asian American Studies-content courses offered in American Studies, English, History, Anthropology, among other units and courses in English on aspects of modern Asian cultures offered by ALC. The Certificate in Asian/Asian American Studies (A/AAS) is intended for students majoring in other SAS disciplines, planning or already pursuing careers in education, business, international relations, policy, law, medicine and allied health professions, medical research, public health, or global development. It is anticipated that students may earn the Certificate as part of their intercultural learning and training in the course of an undergraduate degree as a supplement or as continuing education for those pursuing careers in social work, health policy, education, among other career paths in which diverse cultural knowledge and learning is necessary. Some examples of potential alumni of the Certificate program might be:

  • educators, all levels
  • health professionals including general practitioners, specialists, and nurses;
  • immigration and law enforcement officials
  • legal professionals
  • social workers

The category “Asian American” covers a diverse array of ethnicities, races, religions, languages and migration histories in the United States and the Americas. “Asians” have been regarded as both inside and outside of US citizenship, as model minorities and perpetual foreigners. From the many Asian   Exclusion Acts (1882-­1965) limiting Asian migration into the US and Japanese American internment (1942) to the post-Vietnam refugees, serial migrations, and today’s Mindy Project, the drama of Asians in the US and the Americas has been a contentious one of belonging and non-­belonging. The goal of the Undergraduate Certificate in A/AAS is to provide the basis for understanding the issues explored in the field of Asian American Studies and the study of the Asian diasporic experience through history, social science, literature, and popular culture. Through concurrent studies about contemporary Asian cultures in the Departments of American Studies and Asian Languages and Cultures, students will grasp the ongoing global scale of Asian migrations and interchanges.


Requirements for Undergraduate Certificate Program:


  1. Complete two (2) contemporary Asian Culture courses in English with a grade of C or higher from among the list below and others.
  2. Complete two (2) Asian American Studies-content courses with a grade of C or higher from among the list below and others.
  3. Complete one (1) additional credit-bearing Asian American Studies-content course (1 or 1.5credit, Byrne, FIGS, Learning Community, or Independent study)
  4. Register with SAS American Studies for Certificate in Asian/Asian American Studies


Asian American/Asian Diaspora Studies Courses


013:301            Caribbean Pluralities and Indo-Caribbean Literature

014:215            Blacks and Asians

050:245            Asian American Experiences

050:377            Asian American Literature and Film

050:102            Race and Ethnicity in the US (Chan-Malik)

050:343            Islam in/and America (Chan-Malik)

070:320            Diaspora, Ethnicity and Race in the US: Asian American Studies (Schein)
070:324            Globalization, Sex and Family (Schein)

090:294:03       Immigrants in the Americas (Lopez)

506:402            History Seminar: Asians in the Americas (Lopez)

508:338            Asian Migrations (J Stephens)

512:315            Famous Trials in Modern America (Urban): Landmark Cases Around Asians In The US.
512:391,392      Historical Studies: Immigration History (Lopez or Urban)

595:393            Global Diasporas in Caribbean History (Lopez)

700:541            Cultural Fusion, Exoticism, Cosmopolitanism and Music Analyses

Other courses:

050:281            Asian American Images and Stereotypes (Fall Learning Community 1.5cr)

050:283            Asian American Leadership and Communities (Spring Learning Community 1.5cr)

Byrne:               100 Years of Butterfly (Byrne Seminar 1cr)

FIGS                  Asian American Studies (FIGS 1cr)


Asian Languages and Cultures Courses in English


Asian Studies

  • 01:098:262   Asian American Experiences (cross-listed with American Studies)
  • 01:098:250   Global East Asia


  • 01:165:211   Language and Identity in Modern Chinese Societies
  • 01:165:264   Chinese Drama and Performing Arts
  • 01:165:310   Modern Chinese Literature in Translation
  • 01:165:262   The Chinese Cinema
  • 01:165:310   Twentieth Century Chinese Literature                


  • 01:565:215   A-Bomb Literature and Film in Japan
  • 01:565:350   Japanese Film
  • 01:565:395   Modern Japanese Novel and the West
  • 01:565:320   Samurai Tradition
  • 01:565:333  Anime: Introduction to Japanese Animation
  • 01:565:360   Japanese Women Writers
  • 01:565:380   Contemporary Japanese Literature & Film


  • 01:574:210   Introduction to Korean Culture
  • 01:574:220   Introduction to Korean Literature in Translation
  • 01:574:221   Korean Literature in Translation II
  • 01:574:230   Korean Cinema
  • 01:574:250   Korean Language in Culture and Society
  • 01:574:350   North Korea in the Socialist and Post-Socialist World
  • 01:574:310   Gender and Social Change in Korea


Apply NOW for the new Asian American Identities and Images Living-Learning Community (AAII LLC)

The Application is now open for this unique residential community in the Bishop Quad Residence Halls on the College Avenue Campus.

This LLC seeks to enhance students' knowledge of the diverse lived experiences of Asian Americans and other peoples of Asian descent in the United States.  It will combine curricular and co-curricular activities designed to enhance each student's overall college experience. Activities include fields trips, cultural immersion and enrichment activities, holiday dinners and more! All Rutgers students interested in the diverse cultural and ethnic groups that comprise Asian America are encouraged to apply to join the community. You will live with peers, ranging from first-year students to seniors, who are interested in building a community based on mutual interests, developing their knowledge of Asians/Asian Americans in the United States and across the diaspora, creating connections with University faculty and staff, and exploring leadership opportunities through social and cultural organizations. Students do not need to identify as Asian/Asian American in order to participate in the community.  Singles are available for early applicants!

For more information and to apply, visit:

Deadline for priority consideration is January 4, 2016 at noon.


Residence Life is hiring peer mentors for the academic year.  We are looking for motivated and committed undergraduate students who wish to have a positive and significant impact on the lives of other students at Rutgers. Our current peer mentors say that being a peer mentor has allowed them to be a resource to other students. Whether it was assisting a student in identifying clubs that met their needs, giving personal advice, keeping them company while watching a movie, or outlining the do's and don'ts of Expos, our peer mentors have been able to positively contribute to the success of their peers. The Peer Mentor position is paid and in some cases, provides access to a single. We hope that you will consider making a difference at Rutgers. Apply to be a peer mentor


Application closes January.