Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: Demonstrated proficiency in English by placement via multiple measures OR through an equivalent placement process OR completion of ESLL 125 & ESLL 249; not open to students with credit in ENGL 40H.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area VI: United States Cultures & Communities, Area I: Humanities
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to (verbally and in writing) effectively analyze, or "close read" a literary text.
  • Students will understand Asian American literature's place within the American literary canon, will identify and assess social issues, including dynamics of family, gender, class,and ethnicity. Students will also identify and analyze historical and legal contexts (such as immigration) shaping literature by Asian Americans.
  • Students will demonstrate (in discussion and in writing) understanding of ethnic and other differences between the historical and cultural content of Chinese American, Japanese American, Filipino American, Korean American, Pacific Islander American, South Asian American, and Southeast Asian writings.


Introduction to Asian American literature. Readings in 20th century works, with an emphasis on three relevant themes: problems of identity as they relate to class, gender, mixed heritages, and sexuality; politics and the history of Asian American activism and resistance; and diversity of cultures within the Asian American community.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Identify significant literary, social, cultural, and political issues in 20th century Asian American writing.
B. Differentiate between the historical and cultural content of Chinese American, Japanese American, Filipino American, Korean American, Pacific Islander American, South Asian American, and Southeast Asian writings.
C. Recognize American governmental policies, such as Asian immigration and World War II internment, and their effects on 20th century writers.
D. Examine various writing styles with relation to audience and purpose.
E. Compare fundamental elements of Asian American writing to traditional American literary works.

Course Content

A. Identification of issues specific to twentieth-century Asian American literature
1. Literary issues, such as Asian American literature's place with the traditional American literature canon.
2. Social issues, such as family dynamics, gender roles, issues of labor and class, media representation.
3. Cultural issues, including multi-ethnic identities, acculturation, connections to the "homeland."
4. Political issues, such as immigration and naturalization policies, Affirmative Action, identity politics.
B. Exploration of and differentiation between Asian American historical and cultural contexts
1. Chinese American historical contexts, such as sugar making in Hawaii, Paper Sons and Daughters, and Angel Island.
2. Japanese American experiences, including World War II internment, agricultural labor.
3. Filipino American issues, such as Filipino Veterans' equity and U.S. colonialism.
4. Korean American historical contexts: Japanese colonialism, comfort women, Korean adoptees.
5. Historical and cultural circumstances of American Pacific Islander groups, including Hawaiian and Chamorro cultures.
6. Southeast Asian American contexts, such as the Vietnam Conflict, Hmong immigration, and connections among Southeast Asian American groups.
7. South Asian American histories, including British colonialism and post-9/11 profiling.
C. Identification and discussion of U.S. governmental policies and their impacts on Asian American writers
1. Asian immigration contexts, including chain migration, post-9/11 immigration policies, and citizenship rights.
2. Executive Order 9066 and Japanese American internment.
D. Examination of writing styles considering audience and purpose
1. Construction of the literary Self.
2. Revision of Asian American history.
3. Cultural resistance, including identity politics and community-based activism.
4. Literary or artistic resistance.
E. Exploration of the fundamental elements of Asian American writing in connection with the traditional American literary canon
1. Construction of an Asian American literary tradition.
2. Issues of language and rhetorical use of non-English languages.
3. Issues of voice and aesthetics within specific Asian American cultural contexts.

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. When taught on campus, no special facility or equipment needed.
B. When taught via Foothill Global Access, on-going access to computer with email software and capabilities; email address.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Critical papers
B. Class presentations
C. Reading journals
D. Midterm examination
E. Final examination

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Reading literary texts in the Asian American literary canon, lectures on the texts and their historical and social contexts, class discussion regarding those issues and texts, small group projects and presentations, analytical writing projects.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

When choosing texts for this course, the instructor may wish to choose from a range of genres: literary criticism, poetry, novels, autobiography, short story, drama. The following are examples of texts which may be appropriate to this course:
Adams, Bella. Asian American Literature. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2008.
Kingston, Maxine Hong. The Woman Warrior. New York: Vintage, 1989.
Okada, John. No-No Boy. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995.
Parikh, Crystal, Ed., and Daniel Y. Kim, Ed. The Cambridge Companion to Asian American Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2015.
Srikanth, Rajini, and Esther Yae Iwanaga, eds. Bold Words: A Century of Asian American Writing. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 2001.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Reading from representative literary texts as assigned by instructor.
B. Quizzes on reading comprehension of assigned literary texts.
C. Individual and small group presentations on the literature and its historical, cultural, and theoretical contexts.
D. Analytical and reader response journal assignments on readings.
E. At least one formal literary analysis writing project demonstrating comprehension and critical thinking.