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ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES. Fall 2003 #1044 (M-F, 11-11:50am), 23-310 Office hours: M-F 10-11am or by appt. Tarisa Matsumoto-Maxfield [email protected], [email protected] 5-103, ext. 6405. Course Description:

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Fall 2003

#1044 (M-F, 11-11:50am), 23-310

Office hours: M-F 10-11am or by appt.

Tarisa Matsumoto-Maxfield

[email protected], [email protected]

5-103, ext. 6405

Course Description:

This course will introduce you to the Asian American experience and past and current concerns of Asian American: immigration; internment; the development of pan-Asian American social, political and cultural movements; gender issues; the Model Minority Myth; and issues of race and representation.

Course Outcomes:

At the end of the quarter, you should be able to do the following:

• Demonstrate an understanding of Asian American experiences and issues within a historical, social, cultural, and artistic context.

• Demonstrate an understanding of the formation and emergence of the Asian American cultural and political identity.

• Participate in a larger conversation about Asian American issues knowledgeable, responsibly, and with respect for others.

• Identify and articulate how topics covered in Asian American Studies are relevant to our understanding of personal experience, observations, and the world around us.

Required Texts & Materials:

Takaki, Ronald. Strangers From a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans. Boston: Back Bay Books, 1998.

Another book chosen from a list I will provide at a later date. You will either have to purchase it or borrow it from a library.

Some internet work.

Materials for presentations and projects.

Copies of your work when required.

Various handouts.

Don’t forget to use a college-level dictionary and thesaurus when you need it.

Attendance Policy:

Attendance is expected. It is important that you attend class on a regular basis in order to build your writing skills. Attendance will be taken each class session. Tardiness and/or poor attendance will lower your grade.YOU ARE ALLOWED 4 ABSENCES.Any additional absences will lower your grade by 0.5. For example, if you have a final grade of 3.2 and four absences, your final grade will be reduced to 2.7. Missing class is not an excuse for failing to turn in work that is due or assigned.

Participation and Engagement:

The success of this class is dependent on your active participation. This means that you have carefully read the assigned readings, taken notes, and have something to say about these readings. Asian American studies should not be a lecture class, as the subject matter is dynamic, complex, ever-changing, and greatly relies on those responding to it. I do not intend for this course to be solely a lecture class, but an interactive one. This discipline is a challenging one in which ideas build on other ideas. It is also a process of discovery and exploration that is stimulated by group interaction. Think of our classroom as a learning community in which we can all benefit from each other’s experiences, knowledge, and insight. We cannot further cultural, gender, and global ideas and experiences if we are not willing to be mentally alert, responsive, and engaged in class activities. Your active interest and willingness to share your thoughts with others are indispensable to academic success, so come on time and be ready to speak. You are required to participate in the following ways:

• Respond thoroughly and thoughtfully to any assigned readings and/or discussion questions. Be prepared to voice your responses, ideas, and criticisms in class. Come to class with something to say or uncertainties you’d like to work out.

• Respond to each other’s comments during class discussion.

• Be an active listener. Demonstrate that you are engaged with the rest of us and with the discussion. Offer comments, questions, observations, and feedback.

• Be punctual and ready to work with your classmates to create a supportive atmosphere. NOTE: All cell phones, beepers, and other noise makers will be turned off before class begins. These types of interruptions will result in a loss of 15 points each time an interruption occurs.

•Poor participation will adversely affect your final grade.

Classroom Environment:

Our goal is to create a classroom environment in which we can ask tough questions, including the questions we’ve always had but were afraid to ask. We should feel comfortable with the assurance that no questions or responses are dumb ones. To this end, here are some ground rules for being a respectful participant in class:

• Show respect through your tone, words, and body language. What does respect look like?

• Use “I” statement to express your views: “I think…,” “I believe…,” “In my experience…”

• Don’t interrupt others.

• Encourage participation of others.

• Be open to challenging others’ opinions and having your opinions challenged. Respectful disagreement is often valuable to understand the complexities of issues.

• Be open to the possibility that your thinking might change as a result of our discussions!

All out-of-class assignments:Work must be typed in 10- or 12-point blocked letter font and double-spaced with one-inch margins. Staple or paper clip your work together before class.Out-of-class assignments that are not word processed will not be accepted and will be subject to the late policy. Spelling and grammar of your writing should also be attended to.

Your final grade will depend on the following:

Keep all handouts and work until the end of the quarter.  When you turn in an assignment, be sure you keep either a paper copy or a copy on disk.

Journals/Study Worksheets 150 ptsClass participation 50 ptsWeekly Tests 80 pts

Book presentation 50 pts

Midterm 70 pts

Final project 100 pts Final 100 pts

TOTAL 600 pts

Missing Assignments

At the end of the quarter, if you have any missing assignments, you will receive a final grade of 0.0 for the course.

Journals/Study Worksheets – You will have short writing assignments, worksheets, and in-class activities which will all be kept as journal entries. The journals will be collected and graded three times during the quarter based on the following criteria: (1) quality and completeness of entries, (2) if there are any missing entries, (3) if the entries were submitted on time.

Weekly Tests – At the end of each week unless otherwise scheduled, you will have the opportunity to respond to topics that have been discussed during the quarter. These will be graded based on the quality and completeness of your responses.

Book Presentations – These presentations will give you practice for the final project as well as let you explore the artistic literary expressions of Asian America. You will give an oral presentation of the book and provide the class with materials that will give them more information on the book.

Final Project – This research project will give you the opportunity to focus on a specific issue, event, controversy, or person that you’d like to learn more about. We will be working on this project in stages throughout the quarter; toward the end of it, you will be able to speak knowledgeably about your research topic and be able to share your findings with others. The project will culminate in a paper and a visual presentation of your research which will be on display in combination with other classes.

Exams – Exams will be essay exams.

Late Policy:First and foremost, due dates are established so that each member of the class is on a similar time frame that is most beneficial to succeeding in this class. It is your responsibility to turn in work on time regardless of whether or not you are absent. It is also your responsibility to keep track of your assignments and ensure that you turn them in on time. I do not have enough time to keep track of each student and whether each has turned in all assignments; I can only help students based on the work I do see. Therefore, if you are absent, it is up to you to do the work of catching up.

Journals/Study Worksheets– Journals may be made up, but you will lose 10 points for each day they are late.

Weekly Tests – Weekly tests cannot be made up.

Book Presentations – Book presentations may be made up, but you will lose 15 points for each day they are late.

Midterm– Midterms may be made up, but you will lose 25 points for each day they are late.

Final Projects – Final projects cannot be made up.

Final Exam – Final exams cannot be made up.


The worst academic offenses in the U.S. are cheating and plagiarism. For this class, that means 1) Don’t turn in an assignment someone else wrote; 2) Don’t let someone else (your best friend, your mom, etc.) do a lot of rewriting or proofreading for you, although it’s certainly acceptable to get general feedback; and 3) Don’t copy phrases or sentences from books, articles, or the Internet into your papers. If I discover you have copied phrases or sentences from another source, and I find the source, your paper will earn a 0.0, with no possibilities for revision. We’ll talk about how to use sources ethically; if you find yourself wanting to use a source before we cover it in class, come talk to me.

Plagiarism or any other forms of academic dishonesty are unacceptable and subject to disciplinary action.


If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability; if you have emergency medical information to share with me; or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please provide me with the Letter of Accommodations you have received from the Office of Access Services. Access Services is located in Building 6 in the Student Development Center

Extra Help/Writing Center

If you find yourself struggling with grammar or anything else in this course, PLEASE come talk with me. You might do some extra work or work with consultants in the Writing Center (Bldg. 26, Rm. 319). The Writing Center offers additional assistance with and classes in all phases of the writing process. Please be advised that instructors and tutors at the Writing Center help identify English-related problems, but expect that students will correct the rest of their own compositions. They do not compose or edit entire compositions.

Incompletes & Withdrawals

It is your responsibility to withdraw from the class if necessary prior to the withdrawal deadline. Students who have not officially withdrawn from the class by the deadline will receive a grade based on the work they have completed to that date, even if they have stopped attending class.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Acts of 1974 (FERPA) requires strict controls on the handling of student educational records. College policy 6.8.100 states, in part, “Except as otherwise indicated in the procedural guidelines, the college will not provide information contained in student educational records in response to inquiries within or without the College unless the expressed consent of the student has been given.” This means that the educational records of any student in the class can be shared only with that student.

Civility Statement

Highline is required to provide a civil, productive atmosphere that fosters learning and growth. Please join me in creating this kind of environment by treating each other with courtesy, listening respectfully to each other, reflecting thoughtfully on each other’s ideas (not just reacting to those ideas), expressing your views in a straightforward but diplomatic way (focusing on ideas, not personalities), and offering each other feedback. I recognize and respect diversity of ethnicity and race, gender, sexual identity, class, age, and disability. Differences provide us with opportunities to learn new things, compare experiences, test our assertions, understand ourselves better, and find common ground. Differences also sometimes engender conflict. In the midst of that conflict, I ask everyone to maintain a language and an attitude of respect.

Student rights and responsibilities are outlined in the "Student Rights and Responsibilities Code WAC 1321-120," a booklet available in Student Services and elsewhere on campus.  The document prohibits disorderly or bothersome conduct which interferes with the rights of others or which obstructs or disrupts teaching (p. 4).  Further, the instructor is responsible for classroom conduct and is authorized to take such steps as are necessary when a student's behavior interrupts normal classroom procedures (p.8).

Preserving a Learning Environment

Only enrolled students are permitted to attend classes.  Children may not attend classes, even in emergencies such as the unavailability of baby-sitters or day care.

Equal Application

The requirements listed on this syllabus apply equally to all students enrolled for the course. You should not ask for preferential treatment.

Use of Your Work

I may keep copies of your assignments to help students in future classes. I can only do this if you agree and sign a consent form which I will provide.

Personal Note from Tarisa:

Despite student feedback to the contrary, this is a college/university level course and I treat it as such. I have taught composition, literature, and poetry at Iowa State University and the University of Washington. What this means is that I did not sign up to teach high school, so do not make the mistake of considering this class to be at the high school level. Therefore, if there are readings or assignments to be done, they should be done. I will treat you and teach you at the same level and caliber that I did the students at the universities.