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Viewing: ASAM 165 C2: The Asian Caribbean

Last approved: Wed, 25 Sep 2019 15:28:46 GMT

Last edit: Tue, 17 Sep 2019 00:22:41 GMT

First Name Last Name Userid Title Home School Org Short Name
Rupa Pillai rupillai Lecturer School of Arts and Sciences Asian American Studies Program
Spring 2020 (Deactivations ONLY)
Fall 2019
The Asian Caribbean
This course complicates prevailing understandings of the Caribbean and extends the boundaries of Asian America by exploring the histories, experiences, and contributions of Asians in the Caribbean. In particular, we will focus on the migrations of Chinese and Indian individuals to Cuba, Trinidad, and Guyana as well as how their descendants are immigrating to the United States. We will examine the legal and social debates surrounding their labor in the 19th century, how they participated in the decolonization of the region, and how their migration to the United States complicates our understandings of ethnicity and race. Ultimately, through our comparative race approach, we will appreciate that the Caribbean is more than the Black Caribbean, it is also the Asian Caribbean.
GSWS 165 - The Asian Caribbean
SAST 166 - The Asian Caribbean
Every Other Term

Foundational Approach

Course usually offered in spring term
Cultural Diversity in the US
Rupa Pillai
Full Time Lecturer
Full Time Lecturer
ASAM requirement
To identify the limitations of official history/the archive
To understand the concept of power and how it intersects with identity concepts (i.e. race, gender, class, & sexuality)
To analyze language in various contexts

Methods of Assessment

3 reflection papers (1-2 pages per paper; part of Engaging Archive Portfolio)
1 analytic paper (2-4 pages, part of Engaging Archive Portfolio)
1 Position Paper (2-4 pages)
1 Book Review (3-5 pages)
1 take-home exam (7-10 pages)
attendance and participation

Cross Cultural Analysis


Cultural Diversity in the US

Students will have the opportunity to study race/ethnicity in a comparative manner with the course's focus on the Caribbean and the Caribbean diaspora in the US (i.e. how are Afro-Asian relations structured over time, what Asian means in US v Caribbean). The course content also provides the opportunity for students to think about how gender and race/ethnicity intersect in relation to the nation.
Asian American and African Americans: Asian Caribbean and Afro-Caribbeans will be the primary comparative perspective. Students will explore these perspectives both in the Caribbean and the United States. Such a comparison complicates prevailing understandings of who is Asian American and who is African American in the United States.
Much of the course material examines how race, gender, and sexuality intersect, especially through the experiences of Asian women in the Caribbean. Students will learn what Indian and Chinese women faced in migrating to the Caribbean (i.e. what conditions did they escape, how did unequal gender ratios expose them to gender & sexual violence) and how they were policed during decolonization and migration to the United States.
The course is designed to study how the Caribbean region is a site of inequality, stratification, and power. The colonization of the region by European colonial power resulted in the genocide of indigenous Caribbean people and the importation of African and Asian bodies as labor to be exploited for European profit. By learning how the plantation economy transformed the region and created the Asian Caribbean, students will be able to consider how this past enables the underdevelopment of the region and the migration of people from this region to the United States.
analysis of social scientific data

Quantitative Data Analysis


Formal Reasoning


Administrative Fields

Key: 866