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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

Over the course of this class, we have examined different perspectives on historical events and learned about how these events have impacted minority lives. This careful examination allows us to be self-critical of both our actions and the actions of our country. Each week, we were tasked with reading a piece of literature that critiques a historical event or provides a different interpretation. Our goal was to take the message of each reading and represent it through a creative magazine article, known as a zine. As we began this project, we had some trouble comprehending the deeper meaning behind the readings and applying them to our contemporary events. However, as our group started working together more and more, we started understanding each other more and started understanding what the zines were saying. In order to amplify the messages of the various readings, we chose to present the messages through different interpretations. The freedom in this project allowed us to write many different forms of zines that correlated with the readings they were based off. From immigration applications to travel brochures, many of our zines give the readers an opportunity to look beyond the surface of what Asian Americans experience today. The problems tackled in these zines still exist in major forms today, which has produced detrimental tensions and resistance to peaceful means. We used satire and emotional narratives to address those growing tensions, as the frustration caused by things like systemic racism can cause a cynical outlook on the future of race relations. This project allowed our group to understand the content in the course together. Through our collaboration and different backgrounds/perspectives, we were able to create new and different ways to present the material. As unorthodox as the semester was, the class helped us not only learn about the historical oppression of Asian Americans in the world, but about each other. This project provided a sense of consistency in a time of constant disarray and turmoil. It has allowed us to open to each other to create the best work that we could, but also a place for us to come together during these times of uncertainty. By reading our zines, we hope to provide you with a fresh understanding of the framework that has worked to impair Asian Americans’ ability to succeed in the world’s “melting pot.”

Introduction to Asian American Studies: Final Zine Project (2)