ANTHRO 1707 - Ethnic Studies, Anthropology, and the Transpacific Ethnography of Asian America





Prof. Joyhanna Garza
Mon. and Weds. 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM
Tozzer 102

Ethnic studies is the critical interdisciplinary study of race, ethnicity, and indigeneity as understood from the intellectual, political, and cultural histories and perspectives of minoritized groups in the United States. Ethnic studies scholars analyze the social dynamics of race, racism, and various forms of institutionalized violence including the historical and lasting legacies of colonialism, chattel slavery, US imperalism, white supremacy, and more. In particular, Asian American studies, like other ethnic studies traditions, was originally conceived as a unifying political project which problematizes dominant narratives about US exceptionalism. The historical emergence and sustained ties of the field to grassroots activism call for imaginative reconfigurations of solidarity within and beyond the borders of the academy. Given the urgency of the contemporary political moment and heightened conversations around race and especially gendered racial violence, what might anthropology stand to gain from an overt engagement with ethnic studies? Furthermore, how might anthropology’s longstanding interest in local meaning, knowledge, and practices disrupt hegemonic or US-centric notions of the ethnic Other? By foregrounding scholarship that traverses ethnic studies, Asian American studies, and anthropology, this course is designed to highlight the ways that histories of minoritized groups overlap and are connected. The selected texts are primarily ethnographic works which explore the following themes: intersectional and transnational approaches to race and gender; histories of empire and settler colonialism; gendered and classed labor; historical and ongoing political struggle and solidarity; citizenship, community, and belonging.