HIST 384
Comparative History of Science and Medicine in Asian/Pacific America, 1800-Present Fall 2024 (also offered Spring 2025)
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed AAS 384 / AMST 383

Class Details

How have scientific knowledge and medicine been tools of exclusion, violence, and imperial control against Asian Americans, as well as indigenous peoples, Black, Latinx, and white migrants, and their descendants? How have these groups negotiated and resisted encounters with such knowledge from the 19th century to the present? This seminar explores these questions by examining a series of case studies–including American colonial medicine and science in the Philippines and Hawai’i, Cold War migration of Chinese scientists and South Asian doctors to the U.S., and the politics of HIV/AIDS, psychiatry, and culturally competent care in Black, Asian, and Cuban migrant communities. Together, we will survey the literature in history, English, Global Health, Sociology, and other fields and consider how the Asian/Pacific American experience in science and medicine has been integral to, as well as informed by, the experiences of other groups in the transpacific world. Students will leave this course with interdisciplinary tools for understanding present-day health inequities in underserved Asian/Pacific American communities and other marginalized groups.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 20-25
Class#: 1942
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Attendance and active participation in discussion, three response papers (3-4 pages), and final research paper (12-15 pages), as well as topic proposal, annotated bibliography, outline, and draft of the final paper
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: Preference to History majors, Asian American Studies concentrators, and Public Health concentrators
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
HIST 384 Division II AAS 384 Division II AMST 383 Division II
DPE Notes: This course explores how knowledge about science and medicine has been constituted and remade over time by various groups in the transpacific world to exert power over others on the structural, community and individual levels. We will also consider how individuals who experienced violence and inequities as a result of encounters with such knowledge challenged definitions and practices of science and medicine.
Attributes: AAS Core Electives
HIST Group F Electives - U.S. + Canada
PHLH Social Determinants of Health

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