Resources for Teaching on APAs
Sample Syllabi & Suggested Readings
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Pei-te Lien - University of California, Santa Barbara
As.Am. Studies / Political Science 160
Asian American Politics (2018 Syllabus)
Note: This class is cross-listed under Pol S 160 and As Am 160. Registering in either class will
satisfy the major requirements in Political Science.
Fall 2018-- Time: M, W 9:30-10:45am; Location: PSYCH 1924
Instructor: Pei-te Lien, Professor of Political Science affiliated with Asian American Studies,
Feminist Studies, and Black Studies
Office/Contact: 3709 Ellison Hall, 893-4983, firstname.lastname@example.org
Instructor Hours: T 2-4, W 11-12, or by appointment
Teaching Assistant: Daniel Gomez, PhD student in Political Science (Sessions 11a, 12p, 4p)
TA Office/Contact: 2830 Ellison Hall, email@example.com; Hours: T 10-12, W 12-1
Teaching Assistant: Leihua Ye, PhD student in Political Science (Sessions 2p, 3p, 5p)
TA Office/Contact: 2832 Ellison Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org; Hours: M 11-1:30, 4:15-4:45
Course Description: Survey of the historical and contemporary political experiences of Asian
Americans and their pursuits for immigration, equality, citizenship, political identity, racial
justice, homeland independence, cross-racial/ethnic coalition-building, and incorporation into the
U.S. political system.
Required Reading: All the assigned journal articles and book chapters can be found in the
course website on Gauchospace, http://gauchospace.ucsb.edu/ (under Pol S/As Am 160).
Teaching/Learning Strategies: Teaching and learning in this course will consist of lectures,
discussions, and video presentations. My goal is to help each student develop a broad
knowledge base and an ability to think critically of issues on race, ethnicity, and politics largely
within the US political context and from the perspectives of Asian Americans themselves.
Although political science is the main approach used in this class, the readings are selected from
diverse origins to reflect the multidisciplinary nature of scholarship on Asian American Studies
and US racial and ethnic politics. As we will often be discussing unfamiliar, challenging, and
controversial topics, it is important that everyone comes to class having read and thought about
the readings and is prepared to contribute to class discussion in a mature and civilized manner.
Please be reminded that oftentimes we have to agree to disagree and be respectful of opinions
that are different from our own.
Grading: Exam (2) 55% (Midterm on 10/31; Final on 12/12)
Response Paper (2) 35% (1st paper due 10/15; 2nd paper due 11/21)
Participation 10% (5% in TA Session + 5% in Lecture Hall)
Attendance/Exam/Assignment Policy: You are expected to be in class on time and to remain in
class the entire time. Cell phone must remain off. Regular classroom attendance is required, as
the contents of the exams/assignments will come from both assigned readings and materials
presented in class. Absences make it more difficult and time-consuming for you to understand
the class topics. If you have to be late or absent, you are responsible for making arrangements to
obtain materials and information you missed.
Each Exam will consist of Brief Identification and Short Essay questions. Make-up exams are permitted only under extreme circumstances or for excused absences arranged prior to the
scheduled exam time.
The Response Paper invites you to critically assess the main arguments made in the assigned
readings associated with the preceding three weekly topics before the due date. Each paper must
begin by identifying the topic(s) or issue(s) for discussion. In addition to demonstrating your
familiarity with the readings and relevant materials made in class, you should use the occasion to
express your approval or disapproval (and like or dislike) with certain points made in the
assigned readings (and in class). This is an opinion paper, and should not be a mere summary of
readings. Each paper should be about 5 pages, typed, double-spaced, and spell-checked. Be
sure to refer to the sources of information in your paper in short citation format (e.g., Aoki and
Takeda 2009, p. 21; Lai 2011, p. 49). For general writing assistance, please consult the Campus
Learning Assistance Service (CLAS) http://www.clas.ucsb.edu/.
Writing assignments must be submitted through Gauchospace and saved in MS Word format
by the due date/hour. Unexcused late submission is subject to a 20% penalty and must be
completed soon as possible and within 7 days of the deadline.
Extra Credit Opportunities: Up to 3% of the total grade can be earned by attending campus
events related to the class. You should document participation in each event by submitting a onepage
write-up of your thoughts and observations on how it is related to topics covered in class.
The absolute last day of submission is Dec. 5 by 9:30am, in class, no late submissions.
Students with Special Needs: The University seeks to provide equal access to its programs,
services, and activities for people with disabilities. If you need accommodations in this class,
reasonable prior notice needs to be given to the instructor, TA, and to the Disabled Students
Program, 2120 Student Resource Building, 893-2668 to make arrangements for accommodation.
Campus Advocacy, Resources and Education (CARE): CARE provides confidential 24-hour
advocacy services and support for students impacted by sexual assault, dating/domestic violence
and stalking. To make an appointment, call the 24/7 confidential line at (805)-983-4613. For
more information, please see: http://wgse.sa.ucsb.edu/care/
Academic Misconduct: Each student is expected to act with honesty and integrity, and to
respect the rights of others in carrying out all academic assignments. Academic misconduct
includes cheating, fabrication of information, and plagiarism. Examples of cheating include
looking at another student’s exam, allowing another student to look at your exam, giving cues to
others on answers, referencing a “cheat sheet,” making arrangements to have another student
take your exam in your place, gaining unauthorized access to an exam, working with others on
assignments or exams without express permission from your instructor, and submitting the same
paper or substantial portions of the same paper for multiple classes without express permissions
of the instructor. Examples of fabrication include creating imaginary data and/or quotations and
inventing references. Examples of plagiarism include failing to cite any major idea created by
some other person or entity, failing to cite and/or enclose in quotation marks all words, phrases,
and sentences copied from another source, failing to cite paraphrased work of others, and
acquiring a paper or project from a research service or another source and submitting it as your work for academic evaluation. All instances of academic misconduct will not be tolerated.
Course Outline* and Reading Assignments
*The dates associated with the lectures are meant to be suggestive. Actual progress may depend
on class needs and may vary from the proposed schedule. Students who rely on this syllabus and
do not attend class regularly will be under-prepared for exams.
I. (10/1, 3) Introduction: Defining the Boundaries and Scope of Asian American Politics
What is Asia? Who are Asian Americans? Why is problematic to treat Asian Americans as “the
model minority”? What is Asian American Studies vis-à-vis Asian Studies? What is Asian
American politics vis-à-vis mainstream American politics and Asian politics? What are the main
forms and stages of Asian American politics?
Saleses, Matthew. 2012. “Different Racisms: On Jeremy Lin and How Rules of Racism Are
Different for Asian Americans.” The Rumpus (March issue).
Hune, Shirley. 2001. “Asian American Studies and Asian Studies: Boundaries and Borderlands
of Ethnic Studies.” In Johnnella Butler ed., Color-Line to Borderlands: The Matrix of
American Ethnic Studies, pp. 227-239.
Lai, James. 2011. “From Exclusion to Inclusion: The Four Stages of Asian American Politics.”
In Asian American Political Action: Suburban Transformations, pp. 41-51.
Takeda, Okiyoshi. 2018. “How Far Have We Come? Asian Pacific Americans in Introductorylevel
American Government Textbooks in Three Different Time Periods.” Politics, Groups,
and Identities 6(30: 494-505.
II. (10/8, 10) Ethnicity, Panethnicity, Racialization, and Early Struggles for Social Justice
What is unique about being “Asian” in U.S. racial politics? Why is the racial identity of Filipino
Americans puzzling? How have various groups of Asians been denied participation in the U.S.
political system? How have they reacted to the politics of exclusion? Why didn’t Asian
Americans identify with each other as belonging to the same race/community before the late
1960s? What is panethnicity? What is racial triangulation? What is imperial racialization?
Aoki, Andrew, and Oki Takeda. 2009. “Why Study Asian American Politics? Racialization and
Its Consequences” In Asian American Politics, pp. 1-22.
Ocampo, Anthony C. 2016. “The Puzzling Case of Filipino Americans.” In The Latinos of Asia:
How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race, pp. 1-14, 223-228.
Okamoto, Dina. 2014. “Beginnings: The Durability of Ethnic Boundaries in the Pre-1968 Era.”
In Redefining Race: Asian American Panethnicity and Shifting Ethnic Boundaries, pp. 26-41.
Kim, Nadia. 2008. “Introduction: Imperial Racialization.” In Imperial Citizens: Koreans and
Race from Seoul to LA, pp. 1-22.
****First Response Paper due on Monday 10/15 by 6pm, for topics I-III****
III. (10/15, 17) Post-1965 Immigration and the Birth of the Asian American Movement
What are the major impacts of the U.S. immigration policy on the formation of the Asian American community? What happened in and after 1965? What are the demographic
characteristics of the contemporary Asian American community? What is the Asian American
movement? What factors accounted for its rise in the late 1960s? What were the core values, key
organizations, and major events?
Lee, Erika. 2015. “Making a New Asian America Through Immigration and Activism.” In The
Making of Asian America: A History. Simon & Schuster, pp. 283-313.
Liu, Michael, Kim Geron, and Tracy A. M. Lai. 2008. “The Birth of the Movement: Stepping
Toward New Values and New Community.” The Snake Dance of Asian American Activism,
Okamoto, Dina. 2014. “Beginnings: The Durability of Ethnic Boundaries in the Pre-1968 Era.”
In Redefining Race: Asian American Panethnicity and Shifting Ethnic Boundaries, pp. 41-52.
IV. (10/22, 24) Asian American Activism for Equality and Justice after 1975
What happened to the Asian American movement after 1975? What explained its apparent
disintegration and revival? And why did Omatsu call the 1980s an ambiguous period for Asian
American empowerment? How did Japanese Americans win redress and reparations for WWII
internment? Why can’t Filipino veterans receive the same success? What are the challenges
imposed by the model-minority stereotype on building the Asian American movement in the 21st
century and how to overcome these challenges?
Omatsu, Glenn. 1994. “The ‘Four Prisons’ and the Movement of Liberation: Asian American
Activism from the 1960s to the 1990s.” In The State of Asian America: Activism and
Resistance in the 1990s, edited by Karin Aguilar-San Juan, pp. 19-67.
Kitano, Harry, and Mitchell Maki. 1997. “The Passage of Redress: The Proper Alignment
Model.” Asian American Policy Review: 55-72.
Aoki, Andrew, and Oki Takeda. 2009. “Righting a Wrong.” In Asian American Politics, pp. 174-
****Midterm Exam: Wed. October 31, in class, bring a blue book****
V. (10/29, 11/5, 7) Marching into Mainstream Electoral Politics: Opportunities, Successes,
What accounts for the emergence of Asian American electoral politics? When and where? Who
are the Asian American voters? What explains their voting behavior as a whole? How and why
do Asian-influence suburbs matter? Why Asian American candidates often struggle? What
explains the extraordinary voting rates Hmong Americans and their success of electing women to
public offices? What is the theory of social voting? What is toggling? How did Gary Locke win
in 1996? What does it take for APA women to get elected into offices? What limitations may
Asian Americans face in the American two-party system?
Lai, James. 2011. “Locating Contemporary Political Incorporation: Suburb v. the Metropolis.”
In Asian American Political Action: Suburban Transformations, Pp. 53-63.
Wong, Carolyn. 2017. Voting Together: Intergenerational Politics and Civic Engagement
Among Hmong Americans, pp. 1-15, 29-35, 248-254, (skim pp. 16-28).
Collet, Christian. 2008. “Minority Candidates, Alternative Media, and Multiethnic America:
Deracialization or Toggling?” Perspectives on Politics 6: 707-728.
Filler, Nicole, and Pei-te Lien. 2016. “Asian Pacific Americans in U.S. Politics: Gender and
Pathways to Elected Office.” In Nadia Brown and Sarah Allen Gershon eds., Distinct
Identities: Minority Women in U.S. Politics, pp. 218-233.
(Skim) Kim, Thomas. 2007. “Ideological Consensus and the American Two-Party System.” In
The Racial Logic of Politics: Asian Americans and Party Competition, pp. 25-50.
VI. (11/14, 19) Linkages to the Homeland in Asia
How has “Asia” shaped the political fate and behavior of Asian Americans? Are homeland
connections liabilities or assets for Asian Americans? What is the paradigm of dual domination
and how does it apply to Chinese Americans? How has the community resisted? In the case of
Asian Indian Americans, how and why has the ethnic community helped shape the US-India
relations? Does engagement with homeland politics undermine or strengthen the interests and
participation of immigrants in host-society politics? What is the current status of research on
transnational politics? In the Justice for Comfort Women campaign, how does diaspora politics
linked to domestic politics?
Wang, Ling-chi. 2007. “The Structure of Dual Domination: Toward a Paradigm for the Study of
the Chinese Diaspora in the United States.” Amerasia Journal 33(1): 145-165.
Mishra, Sangay. 2009. “The Limits of Transnational Mobilization: Indian American Lobby
Groups and the India-US Nuclear Deal.” In Chris Collet and Pei-te Lien eds., The
Transnational Asian American Politics, pp. 107-118.
Collet, Christian. 2018. “Are Ballot Box Issues Enough? Nakanishi’s Indication and the Case for
Asian Pacific American Transnational Politics in an Age of Domestic Disruption.”
Politics, Groups, and Identities 6(3): 476-493.
McCarthy, Mary, and Linda Hasunuma. 2018. “Coalition Building and Mobilization: Case
Studies of the Comfort Women Memorials in the United States.” Politics, Groups, and
Identities 6(3): 411-434.
****Second Response Paper due on Wednesday 11/21 by 6pm, for topics V-VII****
VII. (11/21, 26) Media Stereotyping by Race and Gender and Its Policy Consequences
In what sense are racial and gender stereotypes “controlling images”? How has the “model
minority” myth been created for Asian Americans? What is cultural activism and how have
Asian Americans resisted race, class, and gender exploitation? In what ways have Asian
Americans been caught in the crossfire of the affirmative action debate? What influence the
Asian American student attitude toward this controversial policy issue? What is negative action
vs. affirmation action in college admissions? How should Asian Americans situate themselves in
this controversial policy area?
Espiritu, Yen Le. 2008. “Ideological Racism and Cultural Resistance: Constructing Our Own Images.” In Asian American Women and Men 2nd Ed., pp. 97-122.
Omi, Michael, and Dana Takagi. 1996. “Situating Asian Americans in the Political Discourse on
Affirmative Action.” Representation 55: 155-162.
Kidder, William. 2006. “Negative Action vs. Affirmative Action: Asian Pacific Americans are
Still Caught in the Crossfire.” Michigan Journal of Race & Law 11: 605-624.
(Skim) Hartlep, Nicholas, Madonna Ecker, Donald Miller, and Kimberly Whitmore. 2013.
“Asian Pacific American College Freshman: Attitudes toward the Abolishment of
Affirmative Action in College Admissions.” Critical Questions in Education 4(1): 1-20.
VIII. (11/28, 12/3) Confronting a Multiracial Reality and Possibilities of Interracial Peace
How do you describe race relations between Asian Americans and African, Hispanic, and White
Americans? What is “linked fate” and how does it impact support for Black Lives Matter? What
factors influencing coalition-building between Korean/Asian and African Americans? What are
the sources of tension within and between immigration generations in post-1992 Korean America?
How have KYCC and KIWA been able to build intra- and inter-ethnic coalitions? What are the
prospects and limitations of Asian Americans being part of the “rainbow coalition”?
Julie Lee Merseth. 2018. “Race-ing Solidarity: Asian Americans and Support for Black Lives
Matter.” Politics, Groups, and Identities 6(3): 337-356.
Chung, Angie. 2007. “The Politic of Incorporation and Marginalization Today.” In Legacies of
Struggle: Conflict and Cooperation in Korean American Politics, pp. 105-138.
Ramakrishnan, S. Karthick. 2014. “Asian Americans and the Rainbow: The Prospects and Limits
of Coalitional Politics.” Politics, Groups and Identity 4(3): 522-529.
IX. (12/5) Conclusion and Review: How to move forward?
Ocampo, Anthony C. 2016. “Panethnic Possibilities.” In The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino
Americans Break the Rules of Race, pp. 201-213, 242-243.
Onishi, Yuichiro. 2017. “Afro-Asian Solidarity Through Time and Space.” In Cindy I-Fen
Cheng eds., The Routledge Handbook of Asian American Studies. New York: Routledge, pp.
****Final Exam on 12/12, 9-11am in class, bring a blue book****
Do you have a syllabus you'd be willing to share for a course in some aspect of Asian Pacific American politics? If so, send it along!
Selected List of Publications on Asian Pacific American Politics (by Pei-te Lien Oct. 2018)
*Modified by Loan Le Nov. 2018
Aoki, Andrew, and Pei-te Lien. Eds. 2018. Politics, Groups, and Identities 6(3): 331-527. (Special Issue on Asian Pacific American Politics). https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rpgi20/current?nav=tocList
Asian American Justice Center. 2012. A Community of Contrasts: Asian Americans in the United States 2011. Washington: Asian American Center for Advancing Justice.
Azuma, Eiichiro. 2005. Between Two Empires: Race, History, and Transnationalism in Japanese America. New York: Oxford University Press.
Chan, Sucheng. 1991. Asian Americans: An Interpretive History. Boston: Twayne Publishers.
-----. Ed. 2006. Chinese American Transnationalism: The Flow of People, Resources, and Ideas Between China and America During the Exclusion Era. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Chang, Edward. 1988. “Korean Community Politics in Los Angeles: The Impact of the Kwangju Uprising.” Amerasia Journal 14 (1): 51-67.
Chu, Judy. 1989. “Asian Pacific American Women in Mainstream Politics.” Pp. 405-421 in Asian Women United of California ed., Making Waves: An Anthology of Writings By and About Asian American Women. Boston: Beacon Press.
Collet, Christian, and Pei-te Lien. Eds. 2009. The Transnational Politics of Asian Americans. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Espiritu, Augusto. 2009. “Journeys of Discovery and Difference: Transnational Politics and the Union of Democratic Filipinos.” Pp. 64-93 in Christian Collet and Pei-te Lien eds., The Transnational Politics of Asian Americans. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Filler, Nicole, and Pei-te Lien. 2016. “Asian Pacific Americans in U.S. Politics: Gender and Pathways to Elected Office.” Pp. 218-233 in Nadia Brown and Sarah Allen Gershon eds., Distinct Identities: Minority Women in U.S. Politics. New York: Routledge.
Furuya, Hiroko, and Christian Collet. 2009. “Contested Nation: Vietnam and the Emergence of Saigon Nationalism in the United States.” Pp. 94-118 in Christian Collet and Pei-te Lien eds., The Transnational Politics of Asian Americans. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Grieco, Elizabeth, Yesenia Acosta, Patricia de la Cruz, Christine Gambino, Tom Gryn, Luke Larsen, Edward Trevelyan, and Nathan Walters. 2014. Foreign-Born Population of the United States: 2012. Washington: Bureau of the Census, CB14-TPS.44.
Haas, Michael. 1992. Institutional Racism: The Case of Hawaii. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Hajnal, Zoltan, and Taeku Lee. 2011. Why Americans Don't Join the Party: Race, Immigration, and the Failure (of Political Parties) to Engage the Electorate. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Hardy-Fanta, Pei-te Lien, Dianne Pinderhughes, and Christine Sierra. 2016. Contested Transformation: Race, Gender and Political Leadership in Twenty-First Century America. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Harvie, Jeanette Yih, and Pei-te Lien. 2016. “Minority Voting in the United States: East Asian Americans.” Pp. 283-303 in Kyle Kreider and Thomas Baldino eds. Minority Voting in the United States, Vol. 2. Praeger.
Hoeffel, Elizabeth, Sonya Rastogi, Myoung Ouk Kim, and Hasan Shahid. 2012. The Asian Population: 2010. Washington: Bureau of the Census, 2010 Census Briefs, C2010BR-11.
Hosakawa, Bill. 1969. Nisei: The Quiet Americans, the Story of a People. New York: Morrow.
Jones, Jeffrey M. 2010. “Asian Americans Lean Left Politically: Asian Americans More Liberal Than Other Racial/Ethnic Groups.” <http://www.gallup.com/poll/125579/asian-americans-lean-left-politically.aspx>
Le, Loan and Ong, Paul. 2018. "Trajectory of Asian American Nonpartisanship: Transitory, Transitional, or End State?" New Political Science 40(2): 368-383.
Le, Loan and Su, Phi. 2018. "Party Identification and the Immigrant Cohort Hypothesis: The Case of Vietnamese Americans." Politics, Groups and Identities 6(5): 743-763.
Lai, James. 2011. Asian American Political Actions: Suburban Transformations. Boulder, CO: Lynn Rienner Publishers.
Li, Wei. 2008. Ethnoburb: The New Ethnic Community in Urban America. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
Lien, Pei-te. 2001. The Making of Asian America Through Political Participation. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
-----. 2004. “Asian Americans and Voting Participation: Comparing Racial and Ethnic Differences in Recent U.S. Elections.” International Migration Review 38(2):493-517.
-----. 2006. “Transnational Homeland Concerns and Participation in U.S. Politics: A Comparison Among Immigrants from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.” Journal of Chinese Overseas 2 (1): 56–78.
-----. 2007. “Ethnic Homeland and Chinese Americans: Conceiving a Transnational Political Network.” Pp. 107-121 in Tan Chee Beng ed., Chinese Transnational Networks. New York and London: Rutledge.
-----. 2010. "Pre-emigration Socialization, Transnational Ties, and Political Participation Across the Pacific: A Comparison Among Immigrants from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong." Journal of East Asian Studies 10(3): 453-482.
-----. 2011. “Race, Nativity, and the Political Participation of Asian and Other Americans.” Pp. 24-45 in David Ericson ed., The Politics of Inclusion and Exclusion: Identity Politics in Twenty-first Century America. New York: Routledge.
---. 2017. “The Political Participation of Asian Americans.” Pp. 355-366 in Cindy I-Fen Cheng eds., The Routledge Handbook of Asian American Studies. New York: Routledge.
----, and Jeanette Y. Harvie. 2018. “Unpacking Chinese America: The Political Participation of Taiwanese Americans in Early 21st Century U.S.” Journal of Asian American Studies 21(1):31-63.
-----, and Janelle Wong. 2009. “Like Latinos? Transnational Political Practices and their Correlates among Asian Americans.” Pp. 137-152 in Christian Collet and Pei-te Lien eds., The Transnational Politics of Asian Americans. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
-----, M. Margaret Conway, and Janelle Wong. 2004. The Politics of Asian Americans. New York: Routledge.
-----, Christian Collet, Janelle Wong, and Karthick Ramakrishnan. 2001. “Asian Pacific American Politics Symposium: Public Opinion and Political Participation.” PS: Political Science & Politics XXXIV (3): 625-30.
Liu, Michael, Kim Geron, and Tracy Lai. 2008. The Snake Dance of Asian American Activism: Community, Vision, and Power. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
Misha, Sangay. 2009. “The Limits of Transnational Mobilization: Indian American Lobby Groups and the India-US Nuclear Deal.” Pp. 174-194 in Christian Collet and Pei-te Lien eds., The Transnational Politics of Asian Americans. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Maeda, Daryl. 2012. Rethinking the Asian American Movement. New York: Routledge.
McClain, Charles. 1994. In Search of Equality: The Chinese Struggles Against Discrimination in Nineteen Century America. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Nagasawa, Richard. 1986. Summer Wind: The Story of an Immigrant Chinese Politician. Tuscon, AZ: Westernlore Press.
Ramakrishnan, Karthick, and Taeku Lee. 2012. "Public Opinion of a Growing Electorate: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in 2012." http://www.naasurvey.com/resources/Home/NAAS12-sep25-election.pdf.
Verba, Sidney, Kay Schlozman, and Henry Brady. 1995. Voice and Equality: Civic Volunteerism in American Politics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Wei, William. 1993. The Asian American Movement. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Wong, Janelle, S. Karthick Ramakrishnan, Taeku Lee, and Jane Junn. 2011. Asian American Political Participation: Emerging Constituents and Their Political Identities. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.