Jen Giang Icasiano, Instructor of Asian American Studies at City College of San Francisco

ASAM 40, The Chinese American Community (Online Course)

This course will cover the context of immigration and resettlement of Chinese Americans from the first wave until present day.  From the lure of the gold mountain to the formation of ethnic enclaves, the Chinese American community has evolved with each immigration period and has faced various ranges of inclusion and exclusion.  This course will cover early immigration (1800’s-1924), community (re)formation, war relations, and the communities that formed post 1965. To understand Chinese in America we must also examine gender, class, and racial formation in the context of both the immediate and greater communities.

After examining early Chinese settlement we will work our way into today's Chinese American Communities.  As a class, we will attempt to answer the following questions: Who is Chinese America?  What are the issues/conflicts that this community faces?  How has the community evolved? 

*Please note, this course is being offered online only we will not meet face to face at any point in the semester.

Course Structure: 

The course material is released on a weekly basis.  

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Required textbook:
Kwong, Peter The New Chinatown. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1996. Print.

Takaki, Ronald. Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1998. Print

Recommended readings:
Chang, Gordon, Him Mark Lai, and Judy Yung eds. Chinese American Voices: From the gold rush to the present. California: University of California Press, 2006. Print

Hsu, Madeline Y.  Dreaming of Gold, Dreaming of Home: Transnationalism and migration between the United States and South China, 1882-1943.  Stanford University Press, 2000. Print

Lee, Erika. At America’s Gates: Chinese immigration during the exclusion era, 1882-1943.  University of North Carolina Press, 2003.  Print

Louie, Miriam C.Y.  Sweatshop Warriors.  South End Press, 2001. Print

Pfaelzer, Jean.  Driven Out. University of California Press, 2008. Print

Zia, Helen.  Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People,  New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2000. Print

Contact information:
Mailing: 50 Phelan Ave LB4, San Francisco, CA 94112    
Office: 50 Phelan Ave, Batmale Hall 378, San Francisco, CA 94112      

Office Hours:
By appointment only
Virtually: Through the "Office Hours" forum, by appointment set up through email communication.