Excitement abounds for the new Asian American Studies Program at Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr, and Haverford, which builds upon existing courses and programs and creates new opportunities across the Tri-College Consortium.
Asian American Studies is a Tri-College program that offers a minor at Haverford, Swarthmore, and Bryn Mawr colleges. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to help students develop an understanding of Asian American experiences, histories, cultures, and art.
While the program centers Asian American experiences and perspectives, it also contextualizes Asian American Studies within the broader field of critical race and ethnic studies, with a focus on how race operates in the United States and intergroup relations between Asian Americans with other racial and ethnic minority groups. Asian American Studies provides rich interdisciplinary training in complex social and cultural issues pertaining to the study of race, ethnicity, and identity; migration and acculturation; intergroup relations; power and privilege; stereotyping and discrimination; and globalization. Studying the experiences of Asian Americans helps students to learn more about themselves and their relationships in an increasingly multiracial, multiethnic, and multicultural nation. Students are engaged in thinking deeply about concepts and theory, and relating those in applied ways to contemporary issues and problems in Asian American communities.
March 19, 2021
Dear Members of the Tri-Co Community:
We, the Tri-College Asian American Studies Faculty Group, write to express our anger and anguish in response to anti-Asian hate and violence, long a part of American history and society but often under-reported, invisible, and pushed to the sidelines. Fueled by racist and xenophobic rhetoric from our highest elected offices, an alarming rise in Anti-Asian hate and violence has swept the country since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this week, this anti-Asian hate and violence peaked with the mass shootings in Atlanta that took the lives of 8 people, 6 of whom were Asian American women. Furthermore, harmful comments made by the Georgia sheriff’s office, by an officer with a history of expressed anti-Asian sentiments, and the general public discourse that has denied racial motives for the murders highlight the ignorance about the history and nature of anti-Asian prejudice and discrimination that permeate our country and impacts the safety, health, and well-being of our Asian and Asian American/Pacific Islander communities. That Asian women were the target of the shootings reveals the ugly intersection of a racialized misogyny that simultaneously fetishizes and dehumanizes Asian women as sex objects who exist solely in terms of the (White) male gaze.
We abhor and condemn the violence and racism directed at Asian and Asian American/Pacific Islander individuals. We recognize that anti-Asian violence emerges out of histories of U.S. nationalism and white supremacy, and has targeted different Asian immigrant groups over time. We affirm our commitment to continue anti-racist work through our Asian American Studies group, specifically in the following ways:
- We will continue to work towards establishing an Asian American Studies program across the Tri-Colleges. A thriving interdisciplinary AAS program is crucial for providing our students access to anti-racist education that comprehensively captures how race operates in the United States. Through scholarly engagement and community building, our program will examine histories, cultures, and experiences of Asian American/Pacific Islander and Asian diaspora individuals, dismantle systemic injustice, and stand in solidarity with Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities.
- We will continue to work in partnership within and across our campuses to support our Asian American/Pacific Islander and Asian diaspora students above and beyond scholarly engagement. We acknowledge the trauma and burden our students have experienced, and are experiencing, at times such as these. We will continue to provide space for them to process their experience and advocate for resources on campus.
- We will continue to build and archive institutional resources for all members of the Tri-Co, and especially for Asian and Asian American students, faculty, and staff. This website was born out of our desire to collect efforts across the Tri-Co, to uplift unseen labor, and to provide relevant resources for scholarly and personal support. We will continue to update our websites to reflect this work.
We see you. We grieve with you. We rage with you. We hold space for you. We hope and fight with you.
Lei X Ouyang
Statements issued by the Tri-Colleges
Statements issued by other groups
- Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
- Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD) Asian Caucus
- Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) Written testimony for the House Judiciary Hearing on “Discrimination and Violence Against Asian Americans”
- White House Proclamation on Honoring the Victims
- White House Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States
- Asian American Psychological Association Statement on the Atlanta-Area Mass Shooting
We, the Tri-College Asian American Studies Faculty Group, write to express our anger and anguish in response to anti-Asian hate and violence, long a part of American history and society but often under-reported, invisible, and pushed to the sidelines.