Asian American Gender & Sexuality

English 290S.01

Asian Americans are often represented as either the model minority, the immigrant whose successful assimilation serves to discipline other minorities, or the yellow peril, the eternal foreigner threatening to invade from within. How are these figures not only racial but also gendered and sexual? And how do gender and sexuality transform the figures—e.g. into the highly desirable, and “domestic,” female body and the hardworking, but racially “castrated,” man—or undermine representation altogether? Exploring the intertwined constitution, and contradictions, of race, gender, and sexuality, this course focuses on Asian American gender and sexual representation and performance in the context of the social structures—white supremacy, patriarchy, heteronormativity—they both reinforce and resist. Texts include Bruce Lee film clips, The Chinaman Pacific, “Happiness: A Manifesto,” The Book of Salt, DogeatersM. ButterflyThe Assassination of Gianni VersaceCharlie Chan is Dead 2, and some historical, sociological, and critical texts. Assignments include weekly response papers, literary analysis, comparative analysis, and class participation.