Seulghee Lee
2 min readSep 25, 2022

SCHC 398: Asian American Culture in the Twenty-First Century

Professor Seulghee Lee

Fall 2024: Tuesday & Thursday, 2:50–4:05

Fall 2023: Tuesday & Thursday, 2:50–4:05

Spring 2023: Tuesday & Thursday, 11:40–12:55

Course description:

The pandemic era of 2020–2024 has brought into relief the paradoxical visibility of Asian Americans as victims of racist violence during a concurrent zeitgeist of unprecedented cultural representation. The latter boom indexes not only the slightly longer twenty-first century phenomenon of mainstream visibility, shaping the legibility of a distinctive Asian American culture, but also the intramural space for resource and resilience amidst the current era of anti-Asian hatred. This course will examine this century’s variety of representations made by Asian Americans, with a particular focus on the tensions between contemporary cultural production and anti-Asian racism. We will pose large, intractable questions in cultural theory regarding transnationalism, model-minoritization, cultural appropriation, people-of-color solidarity, and psychic and physical violence, in addition to our querying the intersection of gender, sexuality, class, and geography in Asian American consciousness and cultural formation. Ultimately, we will emphasize the triumph of Asian American social life in the contemporary era by asking ourselves how a coherent, prevailing “we” has come into view despite anti-Asian cultural and political conditions. Items covered may include Asian American presence on YouTube and TikTok, as well as in antiracist activism, hip-hop, fashion, food, film, and electoral politics. TV and film we may sample include Fresh Off the Boat (2015–2020), Crazy Rich Asians (2018), Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens (2020-), Minari (2021), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022), Beef (2023), Joy Ride (2023), Shortcomings (2023), and The Brothers Sun (2024); cultural phenomena we may discuss include 88 Rising, #StopAsianHate, #VeryAsian, Linsanity, Yang 2020, and Rise: A Pop History of Asian America from the Nineties to Now (2022). We may also periodically host Asian American speakers from music, film, food culture, advocacy, and politics.