AAS 375
Asian American Sexualities Spring 2025
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed AMST 375 / WGSS 375

Class Details

Perceived as objects of sexual use and perversity, how might Asian/Asian American subjects contend with these projections and enact their own genders and sexualities? Anchored in this question, this theory-intensive seminar will provide a study of seminal and recent scholarship at the intersections of Asian American Studies, feminist criticism, and queer theory that focus on or are read in tandem with a collection of cultural expressions, including film, sculpture, poetry, drag performance, music, manifestos, and visual and performance art. To first root us, the seminar will introduce key uses and theorizations of sex/gender, sexuality, and queerness. Then, across the semester, we will focus on deployments of them through a range of topics, including sexual subjugation and activism of “comfort women,” orientalism/ornamentalism, the queering of Sikh, South Asian, and Muslim Americans post-9/11, western demands to “come out,” representations in pornography, lesbian invisibility, devaluation of trans* lives, etc., exploring questions of racialized, gendered, and sexual subordination alongside power, pleasure, play, and critique. To this end, we will approach gender and sexuality not as identity categories that one is or has but socially and biologically construed categories, loci for intervention and play, anti-normative positions, lived experiences, and ever-evolving processes of doing, becoming, and unbecoming.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 3358
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: in-class discussion, weekly posts, short presentation, one paper, and one longer paper or creative assignment that will be peer reviewed and revised
Prerequisites: AMST 125 or WGSS 101/202
Enrollment Preferences: AMST/WGSS majors and AAS concentrators will be given priority; prospective AA concentrators
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AMST 375 Division II WGSS 375 Division II AAS 375 Division II
DPE Notes: This course examines the terms Asian American, gender, sexuality, and ability as categories of social difference and oppression. Throughout the course, students will unpack how these categories have been made, unmade, and remade in relationship to ongoing issues of sexual violence, colonialism, racial capitalism, and empire.
Attributes: AAS Core Electives
AMST Arts in Context Electives
AMST Comp Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Diaspora
AMST Critical and Cultural Theory Electives

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