The minor in Asian-American studies is designed to enrich critical understanding about both individual experiences and collective histories of Asian Americans in regional, national and transnational contexts. As an inter- and multidisciplinary program, it underlines transnational contexts and comparative perspectives for the study of Asian-American experiences. Through promoting knowledge and understanding of a wide range of Asian-American individuals and groups in teaching and research, the minor provides new classroom opportunities for undergraduate students to explore Asian-American experiences; enhances communication and collaboration among various cultural, ethnic and racial groups; and facilitates intellectual exchanges and broadens academic inquiries on the subjects of migration, ethnicity and race across different disciplines and programs at Washington University, including American Culture Studies; East Asian Studies and South Asian Studies; African and African-American Studies; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and American Indian Studies.

The minor in Asian-American studies can nicely complement a major in American culture studies; East Asian studies/East Asian languages and cultures; English; history; international and area studies; sociology and other fields. Because the questions that animate Asian-American studies span disciplinary boundaries, the minor will inspire students to draw on the methods and insights of multiple disciplines to engage complex, real-world problems that necessitate interdisciplinary thinking. Situated in the larger context of the university's commitment to diversity and inclusion, the minor in Asian-American studies is an integral part of diversity and inclusion initiatives at Washington University for nurturing a culturally inclusive and academically stimulating environment.

An independent minor, Asian-American studies is administered by International and Area Studies.

Contact:Linling Gao-Miles

There is no major in Asian-American studies.

The Minor in Asian-American Studies

Total units required: 18 (at least 12 units must be at the 300 level or above)


  • 3 credits of Introductory course work
  • 3 credits of Asian-American Focus course work
  • 6 credits of Multiethnic and Transnational Focus course work
  • 6 credits of Context course work


  • In general, students should complete one introductory course prior to pursuing Asian-American Focus courses and Multiethnic and Transnational courses.
  • All advanced units must be unique to the Asian-American studies minor (i.e., not counted toward any other major or minor).

Introductory courses

Choose one from this list; 3 credits, any level:

  • Freedom, Citizenship and the Making of American Life (History 163) (annually)
  • Freshman Seminar — Chinatown: Migration, Identity and Space (IAS 135) (annually)

Asian-American Focus courses

Choose one from this list; 3 credits, any level:

  • Asian and Pacific Island America: Identity, Diversity, and Social Change (AMCS 250) (annually)
  • Topics in American Literature: Imagining Multi-Racial Coalitions (E Lit 423) (every 1 or 2 years)
  • "Model Minority": The Asian-American Experience (IAS 3512) (annually)

Multiethnic and Transnational Focus courses

Choose any two from these two lists; 6 credits, any level:

(1) Asian Americans in a Multiethnic/Multiracial Perspective

  • Topics in English Literature: Growing Up “Different”: The Bildungsroman in a Diversifying America (E Lit 317) (annually)
  • Children of Immigrants: Identity and Acculturation (IAS 4036) (annually)

(2) Asian Diasporas in a Transnational Perspective

  • Writing from the Periphery: The Question of Chineseness (Comp Lit 449) (unpredictable)
  • Topics in Comparative Literature I: The Trope of "China" in the Imagination of the Chinese Diaspora (East Asia 3751) (unpredictable)
  • The Chinese Diaspora to 1949 (History 3165) (every 2 years)

Context courses

Choose one from each category; 6 credits total, any level:

(1) Immigration, Race and Ethnicity

  • Rainbow Radicalisms!: Ethnic Nationalism(s), the 1960s and the Politics of the New Left (AFAS 401) (unpredictable)
  • The Immigrant Experience (AMCS 202) (every 1 to 2 years)
  • Race & Ethnic Relations in the United States (AMCS 3296) (annually)
  • Visualizing Segregation: A History of St. Louis, Chicago and New Orleans (L22 History 306M, I50 InterD 306M) (unpredictable)
  • The Long Civil Rights Movement (History 3670) (annually)
  • Immigration Law (W74 Law 630) (every 1 to 2 years)
  • Race and Ethnicity in American Politics (Pol Sci 3031) (unpredictable)
  • The Roots of Ferguson: Understanding Racial Inequality in the Contemporary U.S. (SOC 2010) (every 1 to 2 years)
  • Social Inequality in America (SOC 2110) (unpredictable)
  • The Social Construction of Race (SOC 3212) (unpredictable)
  • Sociology of Immigration (SOC 3710) (unpredictable)

(2) East Asian Studies and South Asian Studies

  • Contemporary Chinese Culture and Society (Anthro 3055) (unpredictable)
  • Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature (Chinese 342) (annually)
  • Topics in East Asian Studies: Sino-American Relations since 1949 (East Asia 3263) (every 2 years)
  • Freshman Seminar: The Meaning of Pakistan: History, Culture, Art (History 2157) (every 1 or 2 years)
  • Early Modern China: 1350-1800 (History 3162) (every 1 or 2 years)
  • 19th-Century China: Violence and Transformation (History 331) (every 2 years)
  • Modern China: 1890s to the Present (L22 History 316C, U16 Hist 3100) (annually)
  • Modern South Asia (History 3192) (every 2 years)
  • Japan Since 1868 (History 320C) (every 1 or 2 years)
  • Globalization and its Discontents (History 270) (unpredictable)
  • From McDonald's to K-Pop: New Movements in East Asia (IAS 3822) (annually)
  • The Modern Voice in Japanese Literature (Japan 333C) (annually)
  • Topics in Politics: Modern South Asian Politics (Pol Sci 3292) (unpredictable)

*Discontinued courses

The following courses offered in 2015 were discontinued. Their credits are equivalent to Introductory courses.

  • Ocean, Island, Ghetto, Globe: The Routes and Horizons of Asian-American Literature (L14 E Lit 461)
  • Introduction to Asian-American History (L22 History 3059)

Please refer to the Minors section of this page.


Linling Gao-Miles
Lecturer, International and Area Studies
PhD, Nagoya University, Japan

Affiliated Faculty

Iver Bernstein
Professor, Department of History
PhD, Yale University

Shefali Chandra
Associate Professor, Department of History
PhD, University of Pennsylvania

Letty Chen
Associate Professor, Modern Chinese Language and Literature
PhD, Columbia University

Jordache Ellapen
Postdoctoral Fellow, African and African-American Studies
PhD, Indiana University

Long Le-Khac
Assistant Professor, Department of English
PhD, Stanford University

Linda Lindsey
Lecturer, American Culture Studies
PhD, Case Western Reserve University

Steven Miles
Associate Professor, Department of History
PhD, University of Washington


Tony Chang
East Asian Librarian