RCL: Subjects
ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES To develop a resource collection about Asian / Pacific Americans and the field of Asian American Studies, one has to be cognizant of the historical events that have shaped the formation of the people as well as the discipline. The Civil Rights Movement and the Third World Liberation struggles of the 1960s created the environment that enabled the collective identity formation of Asian/Pacific Americans. The field of Asian American Studies likewise emerged out of the struggle for the establishment of an Ethnic Studies program at San Francisco State College. Since then, the number of departments and programs has grown, both in the United States and Canada. More importantly, the amount of scholarly and popular works by and about Asian/Pacific Americans has increased in quantity and quality within the last decade, covering a wide array of topical issues such as: mixed races, transnational and migration studies, gender / sexuality, and colonialism, to name a few. In addition, the notion of who is an Asian American has been debated both in the community and the academic discipline. For instance, while the term Asian American Studies is widely used in departments and programs, one is likely to encounter a more inclusive term like Asian/Pacific American Studies in some programs to reflect the complexity of this Asian American community. It is within this historical context that the current taxonomy has been developed for the discipline whose purpose is to provide a critical understanding of the Asian/Pacific American experience in the United States emphasizing the racial, class, and gender dynamics. In searching this section one will discover that the categories include more traditional categories like history, literature, sociology, politics, as well as terminologies germane to the Asian/Pacific American immigrant experience. Hence you will find in this section headings and subheadings like internment camps, cultural studies / popular culture, diaspora / migration / transnationalism, colonialism / imperialism, and ethnic groups to reflect the major areas of research that has become international in scope. The section contains a number of edited books organized under the heading general works because of the diversity of topics included. The ethnic groups section is further subdivided into specific heritage to reflect the numerous works published in each of these groups. Of importance is the section under Hawaiians and Pacific Islander which represents a growing study on indigenous studies and sovereignty rights that may be overlooked under the term Asian American Studies. In developing this section the emphasis has been on works published from the 1980s to the present to include a few out of print titles. A few older titles have been included because of their importance in the field. Notes:
Hirabayashi, Lane Ryo and Alquizola, Marilyn C. Asian American Studies: reevaluating for the 1990s. In The state of Asian America: activism and resistance in the 1990s. Edited by Aguilar-San Juan, Karin. Boston, MA: South End Press, 1994, pp 351 -361.
Spickard, Paul. Whither the Asian American coalition. Pacific Historical Review 76:4 (November 2007): 585-604. Return to Subject List