(College of Letters & Science)
Robyn Magalit Rodriguez, Ph.D., Chairperson of the Department
Department Office. 3102 Hart Hall; 530-752-2069
Department Website & Social Media. http://asa.ucdavis.edu; https://www.facebook.com/UCDavisAsianAmericanStudies/
Born out of social and global justice movements of the late 1960s, the Department of Asian American Studies at UC Davis is one of the very first programs in Asian American studies established nationally. The Department provides unique learning opportunities about the historical and contemporary experiences of Asian Americans in local and global contexts. We seek to develop and advance knowledge about the diversity of Asian American populations as immigrants and refugees, as ethnic minorities, and as a racial group in U.S. society. In examining the complexity of Asian American experiences, we foster critical thinking and comprehensive analyses of formations of race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, and sexuality that are manifested not only in the United States but also in other regions and nations across the globe.
A distinct feature of our department is our emphasis on applied knowledge. Our curriculum, for instance, encourages students to work in close collaboration with community groups to advance social justice and transformative social change. Moreover, the faculty and staff in our department are consistently recognized for their strong mentorship and close engagement with students’ academic and personal growth. Our faculty and courses also focus on diverse Asian American populations as we seek to be inclusive of underrepresented Asian American groups and highlight cutting-edge research.
The Department houses the George Kagiwada Library and Digital Media Lab. This unique library holds a vast collection of scholarly texts in Asian American studies as well as an archive of Asian American community newspapers and other primary source publications not found elsewhere. The Digital Media Lab helps to support course-based as well as individual students’ independent projects.
The Major Program
Offering both an undergraduate major and minor, our curriculum emphasizes multidisciplinary, comparative, transnational, and intersectional perspectives; original empirically-based scholarship; cultural production and analyses; and community engagement.
In consultation with our faculty and staff advisors, students in the major have the exciting opportunity to select an emphasis or specialty organized around our faculty’s three core areas of intellectual focus — Immigration, Labor, and Transnationalism; Visual, Literary, and Cultural Studies; and Public/Community-Engaged Scholarship. Each emphasis incorporates a diverse array of thematic, theoretical, disciplinary, and methodological approaches — as well as a focus on a broad range of Asian American communities — allowing students to choose a course of study that aligns with their particular academic and career interests.
In order to enhance students’ intellectual development and postgraduate preparation, our curriculum also requires that all majors complete an off-campus community internship. This requirement seeks to ensure students experience a deeper and more comprehensive liberal arts education that connects classroom education to real life contexts that foster the development of new forms of knowledge and practical skills. The Department also offers an optional two-quarter thesis writing seminar for students in the major and minor that progresses through each stage of designing and completing an individualized undergraduate thesis project based on original research, which helps prepare students interested in applying for graduate school.
Career Alternatives. With the multidisciplinary emphasis of our program, an Asian American studies major provides excellent preparation for a diverse range of careers. Our alumni have established successful careers in the arts, community-based and non-profit organizations, government and politics, human rights, journalism, international relations, law, K-12 education, public health, public policy, social work, and student affairs in higher education. Others have gone on to pursue postgraduate degrees in a wide variety of fields that include education, ethnic studies, fine arts, feminist & queer studies, history, law, literature, political science, public policy, sociology, and social work. Our department has fostered close relationships with our alumni who are committed to supporting our majors with their career plans.
General Education Requirements. A large number of the courses offered by the Department fulfill a wide range of general education topical breadth and core literacy requirements that include:
- Arts and Humanities
- Social Sciences
Literacy with Words & Images:
- Writing Experience
- Oral Skills
- Visual Literacy
Civic & Cultural Literacy:
- American Cultures, Governance, & History
- Domestic Diversity
- World Cultures
Major Advisor. Joe Nguyen, Student Affairs Officer (SAO); 530-752-8617 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Substitutions for disciplinary track courses will be considered by the Department Chair on a case by case basis. Likewise, any substitutions of Major/Minor criteria will be considered by the Department Chair.
Direct questions pertaining to the following courses to the instructor or to the Department of Asian American Studies in 3102 Hart Hall; 530-752-2069. Also find relevant contact information at http://asa.ucdavis.edu.