Jun 01, 2023  
Catalogue 2021-2022 
Catalogue 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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GEOG 376 - Asian Diasporas: from empires to pluralism

1 unit(s)

(Same as ANTH 376  and ASIA 376 ) Focusing on Asian Diasporas, this course engages discourses in diaspora studies and pluralism from the Vassar campus to the wider world. Our goal is both to introduce theories of migration, diaspora, cultural transformation, world system, transnationalism, and globalization, and examine some of the complex history of movements of people from Asia to other parts of the world and their integration in diverse communities. Organized chronologically, the course begins by considering the deep history of movement and interconnection in Asia and beyond with particular focus on the Asia-centered world system of the 13th and 14th centuries. We then study the movements and experiences of indentured laborers and of merchants during the era of European colonial domination. Here we engage a range of topics including the role of religion in plantation life, the role of diasporic communities and racial politics in creating post-colonial nations, the emergence, conflicts and coalitions of ethnic identities in the United States and elsewhere, and key political and cultural moments in the history of Asian-America. We then examine recent forms of nationalism and transnationalism of Asian diasporas in the context of post WWII decolonization, late capitalism, disjunctive modernity, and identity politics in the contemporary era. The principal cases are drawn from East Asian and South Asian communities in Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands and the United States.

As a seminar, the course material is multi-disciplinary, ranging from political-economic to cultural studies and engages material at a high level of sophistication. We have also tried to include diverse geographical regions. Asia and Diaspora are vast topics and not every topic can be covered in the course. You have further opportunity in your research paper to discuss topics and areas of your interest. 

Prerequisite(s): 200-level work in Asian Studies, Anthropology or Geography, or permission of the instructor.

One 3-hour period.

Not offered in 2021/22.

Course Format: CLS

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