91. ⭐ public course offering: foundations of asian american studies ⭐
thinking about work beyond the academy
Hello, and happy Monday.
Today I have a really exciting announcement for you all, so I’m just going to get into it! 😍
✏️ Still processing.
I’m so excited to say that I joined forces with Yanyi (poet & writer behind The Reading) to provide a 5-week synchronous, online course on the Foundations of Asian American Studies! (This course is currently limited to folks who identify as Asian and Asian American.)
This course has been in the works for the past few months. I’ve been a big fan of Yanyi & his work for a few years, now, so it’s a bit surreal to be working in collaboration with him to bring you all a course that is so meaningful to me and the work that I do.
When Yanyi first approached me about the idea of offering a public course in Asian American Studies, I immediately said yes. As much as I enjoy the work that I do within the university, I am deeply invested in bringing those ideas out of the ivory tower. I want to help more folks cultivate a vocabulary that maps onto their lived experience. I want to bring the history of Asian Americans in the United States to more people—have them see how Asia and communities migrating from Asia were absolutely integral to the development of the United States since its founding. Public understandings of US history have not kept up with the ways we are thinking and writing about US history in the academy, particularly those of us in Ethnic Studies. I’m hoping that this class contributes to the wider movement of folks working to bring theory and history into the praxis of just living our everyday lives—more aware of the ways in which our communities matter to the story of the United States and how we move forward.
Here’s the course description:
This is for all the Asian & Asian American identifying folks who want to think more about the history of their communities in the United States. It’s about coming together as a collective, thinking about the flows and friction of people, labor, capital, and ideas that got us to where we are. It’s about recognizing the history of our communities and how we can integrate them into our visions of the future.
Perhaps you weren’t able to take an Asian American Studies course during college—maybe because you just weren’t interested at the time, or you had other things on your plate that you needed to prioritize. Perhaps you didn’t go to college at all, and a course like this was entirely inaccessible to you. This course is meant to introduce folks to the major themes of the field of Asian American Studies, while also providing a history of Asian America based on migration, labor, and race.
If you don’t know me, or are fairly new to reading tiny driver, you might be wondering, “Why is Ida teaching an Asian American Studies course?” The answer is, many reasons, some of which include:
Last year, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Northwestern’s Asian American Studies Program. Not only do I have experience teaching folks, but I have experience teaching courses specifically within the field of Asian American Studies.
I use the theoretical frameworks of Asian American Studies in my own research and writing on the Iranian diaspora. This means that in order to enter this conversation, I have had to understand the foundations of Asian American Studies on a deep level, and show how the themes of empire, war, and displacement also map onto the history of the Iranian diaspora.
I consider myself a part of the Asian diaspora. My work is part of the emerging field of West Asian American Studies, and I identify as part of the SWANA community. I see the earlier history of Asians in America as intricately tied to the story of Iranian migration—how my own family found itself here.
If you are interested in taking this course—or know any friends who may be interested—please do share this with them, along with the link:
🌀 Still consuming.
(Above) Inspiration for Taurus season from Yumi Sakugawa
Yanyi’s most recent newsletter for The Reading: ‘What are Friendships to a Writer’s Life?’
Phillip Picardi on his time at Harvard getting a MA at the Divinity School.
Would love to go to an Olivia Rodrigo concert just to see the fashun.
NYC is currently having a 1-bdrm rental shortage.
📖 Book club corner.
Friends! It is time for the next book club pick! This month’s voting theme is: opposites! Cast your vote below by Saturday, May 7 and I’ll announce the pick in next week’s newsletter.
Which book do you want to read for May book club?
Here’s the event info:
Date & Time: Tuesday, May 31 @ 5PM PST/8PM EST
Suggested Donation (for those able to donate): $3-10 through Paypal or Venmo (@idyalz)
You can learn more about the tiny driver book club here!
🐶 A pup-date.
Girlie now has her very own chair in the living room. No human butts—only Girlie butts.
As always, thanks so much for reading through, and I'll see you in the next one!