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College of Social Sciences
Set in the richly diverse Central San Joaquin Valley, Fresno’s population of about
500,000 is 13% Asian American and Pacific Islander, with significant presence of people
with Asian Indian, Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Hmong, Laotian, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Korean, Native Hawaiian, Samoan and Guamanian heritage. The
Central Valley has played a crucial role in the history of immigration from Asia to
the United States, including the arrival of people from South Asia to work in agriculture
and, later, people displaced by the wars in Indochina.
The Asian American Studies Program has a four decade history in the Anthropology Department
and is a valued part of the Department and University. The Fresno State student body
is over 15% Asian American and Pacific Islander and our AAPI students lead many vibrant
and active student organizations, including the Hmong Student Association, Lao Student Association, Magkaisa Fresno State, and Amerasia (a pan-Asian American organization that hosts Amerasia Week, a festival highlighting
the history and culture of Asian peoples in the Valley and on campus). Other Asian
American student organizations have their own cultural heritage events throughout
the year. The campus newspaper, The Collegian, publishes the Asia Pacific Review,
a periodic showcase of Asian American student authors and news.
The campus also has an active Asian Faculty and Staff Association and a Cross Cultural and Gender Center. Our campus is actively engaged in efforts to ensure the success of students from
all backgrounds, and participates in the CSU system’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Initiative.
The Asian American Studies Program offers a minor with classes that focus on the history
and contemporary experience of Asians in the United States and the Central Valley.
These courses explore themes in local and ethnic history, trans-Pacific contact, the
experience of various Asian diasporas, cultural change, gender relations and interethnic
Courses in Asian American Studies familiarize students with the historical, socioeconomic,
and cultural conditions experienced by peoples from Asia in the United States. The
program seeks to provide a foundation for self-understanding among Asian and Pacific
Islander Americans, and an understanding of US society in light of the Asian American
experience. The Asian American Studies Minor complements any major dealing with human
society and culture.
For further information about the Asian American Studies Program, contact assistant
professors Dr. Jenny Banh (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dr. Davorn Sisavath (email@example.com).
Select from ASAM 15, ANTH 2, AFRS 1 (6 units)
Select from ASAM 110, ASAM 138, ASAM 140, ASAM 180T (6 units)
Select from ASAM 151W, ANTH 123, ANTH 14, ANTH 125, AFRS 10 (6 units)
Total (18 units)
Note: The minor also requires a 2.0 GPA and 6 upper-division units in residence.
The Certificate of Southeast Asian Studies requires a minimum of 12 units. Select
from the following upper-division courses:
ANTH 123, 190; ASAM 110, 138, 140, 190; GEOG 177T; HMONG 100, 101; LING 190; SWRK
The Minor and the Certificate in Southeast Asian Studies focus on the cultures and
peoples of Southeast Asia, and on their communities outside Southeast Asia, especially
those in the United States. For further information contact Dr. Henry Delcore, Department
of Anthropology, at 559.278.3002.
The Center for Southeast Asian Studies at California State University at Fresno, was
established in the Spring of 1995. The Center for Southeast Asian Studies is a multi-disciplinary
unit designed to help foster a greater awareness of Southeast Asia at the university.
The development of the Southeast Asian Center has been ranked a priority in the agenda
of the University future plan.
The Southeast Asian people in the Valley, in particular people from Laos, are one
of the fastest growing communities, and yet they are the least understood cultural
groups in the region. The Center will help to build a bridge of understanding between
these different groups and other communities. The Center's scholarly activities will
bring appreciation and respect for Southeast Asia to the campus community, as well
as contribute to the empowerment of the Southeast Asian students, the future leaders
of their communities.
ANTH 120. Ethnic Relations and Cultures (3)
Prerequisites: G.E. Foundation and Breadth Area D. The cultural and social origins
of ethnicity, and its opportunities and problems for contemporary mass societies.
Offers a critical review of major theories on ethnic politics, economics, and ideology
in the light of cross-cultural evidence. G.E. Multicultural/International MI.
ANTH 123. Peoples and Cultures of Southeast Asia (3)
Prerequisites: G.E. Foundation and Breadth Area D.An introductory survey of the cultural
and historical adaptations of societies in Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam;
and of Insular societies in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Examines the
major effects of culture contact between East and West. G.E. Multicultural/International
ANTH 124. Peoples and Cultures of East Asia (3)
Examines cultural pluralism. Considers cultural adaptations and change among minorities
such as Moslems, Tibetans, and Mongolians in China, and ethnic groups of Japan and
Korea. Outlines kinship, religion, organization, and technological factors in the
Asiatic culture complex.
125. Tradition and Change in China and Japan (3)
(Same as HUM 140.) Prerequisites: G.E. Foundation and Breadth Area D. Examines the
current aspirations and problems of the Chinese and Japanese in terms of their traditional
cultures, and explains how their histories, values, world views, and intellectual
traditions affect their lifestyles and their international relations today. G.E. Multicultural/International
ANTH 126. Cultures and Foods of East Asia (3)
(Same as ASAM 151.) Treats cuisine as a systematic product of the interaction between
culture and ecology. Focuses on sociocultural rather than bio-nutritional factors
in the preparation and ritual implications of food in Mainland and Insular Asia. Students
learn to prepare and serve a variety of Oriental dishes.
ASAM 15. Introduction to Asian Americans
Prerequisite: G.E. Foundation A2. Historical, social, and psychological factors in
the changing status and identity of Americans from Asia. Examines variables such as
cultural heritage, family organization, intergenerational conflict, and the experience
of racism in the changing world of Asian Americans. G.E. Breadth D3.
Units: 3, Repeatable up to: 3
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: D3
ASAM 30. Japanese Americans in the United States
A survey of social adaptations and cultural changes among Japanese Americans in different
communities such as California and Hawaii. Considers identity, marginality, acculturation,
and cultural traditions in Japan and in American communities.Units: 3, Repeatable up to: 3Typically Offered: Fall
ASAM 110. Asian American Communities
Prerequisites: G.E. Foundation and Breadth Area D. A multidisciplinary study of Asian
American communities and their relations with the larger society. Analyzes values,
lifestyles, processes of group identity and boundary maintenance, social organization,
and cultural change. Examination of Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, and other Asian American
subcultures. G.E. Multicultural/International MI.Units: 3, Repeatable up to: 3Typically Offered: Fall, SpringGE Area: M/I
ASAM 138. Asian American Women
Addresses the historic and contemporary experiences and cultural representations of
Asian American women. Examines race, ethnic, social, and class issues from the vantage
point of immigrant, refugee, and American-born women in the U.S. who trace their ancestry
to East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Analyzes topics such as immigration,
gender roles, identity, stereotypes, relationships, workforce participation, and community
activism. Helpful to students in sciences, social work, and applied fields.Units: 3, Repeatable up to: 3Typically Offered: Fall
ASAM 140. Southeast Asian Americans
Since the Immigration Act of 1965 the Asian American population has grown dramatically.
This course focuses on recent issues that are facing new arrivals and supplements
a history of Asian American communities (e.g., ASAM 110). Useful to students in education,
social work, health sciences, the social sciences, and many other fields. (Formerly
ASAM 180T)Units: 3, Repeatable up to: 3Typically Offered: Spring
ASAM 180T. Topics in Asian American Studies
Prerequisites: ASAM 15, permission of instructor. Detailed consideration of a single
topic concerning the past or present position of Asian Americans in U.S. society.Units: 3, Repeatable up to: 6
ASAM 190. Independent Study
See Academic Placement -- Independent Study. Approved for SP grading.Units: 1-3, Repeatable up to: 6Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
ASAM 195. Diversity in the United States: Race and Gender Issues