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ETHN 250: Introduction to Asian American Studies

Publication Date

Fall 2020


Asian American Studies | Ethnic Studies

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

In this zine, we educate ourselves on the history of Asian Americans and reflect on how the past has shaped our present and continues to construct the future. With the exception of Ocean Vuong’s novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, all the texts we studied are academic. Generally, the academic texts discuss how one anti-Asian policy leads to further exclusion and/or oppression. These chronological examinations of Asian immigrants in the United States helped us recognize and critically investigate current social and economic tensions experienced by Asian Americans. In order to clearly illustrate the ongoing cause and effects of past polices and actions we included a few timelines, and a lot of explanations. To supplement our analysis of the texts and their importance we incorporated our own illustrations along with some photos. Throughout the process of creating the zine, we gained insight to the political actions that have defined who are legal and illegal Asian Americans. Without a doubt, this process has opened our eyes to the histories that were left out of our past education. It has inspired us to continue learning about past frameworks that influence today’s social and economic issues, and we hope it inspires you to do the same. As you consume the contents of this zine, we ask one majorly important task of you: to keep an open mind. So often in today’s society it is easy for us to consume media that we want to hear rather than listening to the other side. More often than not when we listen to one another and help one another we find friendship. However, our capacity for friendship and relationships comes from our ability to accept people as they are with an open mind. We ask that you keep your minds open as we share the things we have learned about Asian American studies. We ask that you know that these perspectives deserve to be listened to, they deserve to be empathized with, and they deserve to be changed. Racism towards Asian Americans is a problem that has plagued our society in the past and the present, but hopefully not the future. This accumulation of analysis opens the door for a critical understanding of Asian Americans and their experiences in the U.S. and allows for a deeper, interdisciplinary discussion about what is means to be Asian in America through an ethical, sociological, economic, and literary lens.

Asian Americans: Life and History in the United States