【亚太裔传统月】美国高校纷纷开设美国亚裔研究课程

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国国务院国际信息局(IIP)《美国参考》Louise Fenner从华盛顿报道,美国亚裔研究(AsianAmerican Studies)是研究在美国增长最快的种族群体的历程和贡献的学科,现在正走进越来越多的美国大学校园。这个研究领域也正随着美国亚裔和太平洋岛民人口变得越来越多样化而不断发展变化

 

加州大学洛杉矶分校(UCLA)国亚裔研究中心是全美最大的亚裔研究项目,中心主任戴维·柳(David Yoo说:要想真正了解美国的精髓,研究美国亚裔人口是非常重要的。

说:不同的群体来到这里,融入美国的社会和文化。如果不了解美国亚裔和太平洋岛民,就缺失了非常大的一部分。

 

国亚裔和太平洋岛民(单一种族或与其他种族混合)占美国人口的近6%,这一族群的人口增长速度比任何其他族群都快。他们占美国大学生总数的7%。

 

国亚裔研究的缘

 

国亚裔研究最初于1969年在加州旧金山和伯克利开设,以应学生要求开设更包容少数民族的课程的抗议活动。在随后的20年里,大部分项目都设置在西海岸

 

2080年代末和90年代为回应东部和中西部学生的要求,这种状况有所改变。1987年,美国康乃尔大学(Cornell University)为常春藤盟校里第一所设置美国亚裔研究项目的学校,两年后,密歇根大学成为中西部设置这类项目的第一所学校。西南地区的第一批有关项目之一是亚利桑那州立大学于1997设置的

 

根据《今日美国亚裔百科全书》(Encyclopedia of Asian American IssuesToday),哥伦比亚大学、(纽约城市大学)亨特学院(Hunter College)、纽约大学、伊利诺伊大学厄巴纳-槟分校、马萨诸塞大学波士顿分校、宾夕法尼亚大学和得克萨斯大学奥斯汀分校也都有相当规模的亚裔研究项目


国亚裔研究协会(The Association forAsian American Studies)列出了32个独立项目,20个包括在其他系内的项目(如族裔研究或美国研究),另有18个学校定期开设美国亚裔研究课程

 

·说:这些项目的范围和多样性非常显著地扩展,在某种程度上反映了一个事实,即自从1965年《移民法》(Immigration Act)以来,我们有了更加多样化的亚裔人口。


许多项目设置了侧重于当地移民人口的课程。例如,明尼苏达大学双城校园开设了关于苗族(Hmong)历史和文化的课程。在伊利诺伊大学厄巴纳-槟分校和马里兰大学有关于美国菲律宾裔的研究课程。加州大学洛杉矶分校设有一位冠名系主任,重点研究中美关系和美国华裔。此外,在宾夕法尼亚大学和纽约大学宾厄姆顿分校主修美国亚裔研究的学生可以上南亚研究方面的课程

 

国教育部在全国各地的高校为9个美国南亚资源中心提供资金;这些中心专门研究南亚语言和文化

 

西北大学美国亚裔研究主任卡罗琳·陈(Carolyn Chen)表示,该计划不只是为亚裔学生服务:们把它看做美国历程的一部分,成为谁是美国人这个更宽泛的故事的一部分。


应学生们的要求,卡罗琳·陈正在教授一门关于第二代亚裔美国人的课程。她说,明年会有关于韩裔美国人的历程和南亚人历程的课程,因为这些内容是学生们告诉我们他们想要知道的。她说:这些课程涉及移民和同化的问题,不仅仅是对亚裔美国人,而且对所有的美国人都很重要。

 

陈教授说,亚裔人口在芝加哥地区占总人口的5%左右,但在西北大学和许多名牌大学所占的比例高达20约有200学生本学季注册选修美国亚裔研究课程。其中近30学生正在攻读这方面的兼修学位,其他人则是出于好奇或为了满足其他的学位要求而来


陈教授说,获得美国亚裔研究学位的学生最后都有广泛的职业选择。她说:们或上医学院,或成为律师,或成为商人,或在电影界工作,或进入学术界,或为非营利组织工作。他们中从事什么职业的都有。


U.S. Colleges Embrace Asian American Studies

 

Washington— Asian American Studies, an academic curriculum that looks at the experiencesand contributions of the United States' fastest-growing racial group, isexpanding to more and more U.S. campuses. The field is also evolving as thenation’s Asian-American and Pacific Islander population becomes increasinglydiverse.

 

“It’s important to study theAsian-American population if you really want to understand what the UnitedStates is,” said David Yoo, director of the nation’s largest program, the AsianAmerican Studies Center at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

 

“Different groups have come hereand become part of American society and culture,” he said. “If you don’tunderstand Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, you are missing a very largepiece of that.”

 

Asian Americans and PacificIslanders (alone or in combination with other races) make up nearly 6 percentof the U.S. population, and their numbers are growing faster than those of anyother racial group. They constitute 7 percent of the U.S. college studentpopulation.

 

THE ROOTS OF ASIAN AMERICANSTUDIES

 

Asian American Studies (AAS) wasfirst instituted in San Francisco and Berkeley, California, in 1969 in responseto student protests demanding a curriculum that was more inclusive ofminorities. For the next two decades, the majority of programs were on the WestCoast.

 

This changed in the late 1980sand 1990s in response to student activism in the East and Midwest. In 1987,Cornell University was the first Ivy League school to institute an AsianAmerican Studies program, and two years later the University of Michigan becamethe first Midwestern school to do so. One of the first in the Southwest wasArizona State University in 1997.

 

There are also significantprograms at Columbia University, Hunter College (City University of New York),New York University, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, theUniversity of Massachusetts–Boston, the University of Pennsylvania and theUniversity of Texas–Austin, according to theEncyclopedia of Asian AmericanIssues Today.

 

The Association for AsianAmerican Studies lists 32 stand-alone programs, 20 programs within otherdepartments (such as ethnic studies or American studies), and 18 additionalcampuses that regularly offer Asian American Studies courses.

 

“Thescope and diversity of these programs have expanded dramatically, in partreflecting the fact that since the Immigration Act of 1965 we’ve had a muchmore diverse Asian population,” said Yoo.

 

Many programs offer coursesfocusing on local immigrant populations. The University of Minnesota TwinCities, for example, has courses in Hmong history and culture. There areFilipino American Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign andthe University of Maryland. UCLA has an endowed academic chair focusing onU.S.-China relations and Chinese American Studies. South Asian Studies isoffered to AAS majors at the University of Pennsylvania and BinghamtonUniversity in New York, among others.

 

The U.S. Department of Educationfunds nine South Asia national resource centers at universities across thecountry; these centers specialize in the study of South Asian languages andcultures.

 

Carolyn Chen, director of AsianAmerican Studies at Northwestern University, said the program isn’t just aservice for Asian-American students: “We see it as contributing to the Americannarrative, to a larger story about who Americans are.”

 

At the request of students, Chenis teaching a course on what it means to be a second-generation Asian American.Next year there will be courses on the Korean-American experience and theSouth-Asian experience, because “those are things students are telling us theywant,” she said. “These courses touch on larger issues of immigration andassimilation that are important for all Americans, not just Asian Americans.”

 

Asians make up about 5 percent ofthe population in the Chicago area, but at Northwestern and many eliteuniversities the percentage is far higher — 20 percent — said Chen. About 200students are enrolled in Asian American Studies at Northwestern thisquarter. Nearly 30 are working toward a minor, and others are taking classesout of curiosity or to meet other degree requirements.

Those who minor in Asian AmericanStudies end up in a wide range of careers, said Chen. “They go to med school,become lawyers, become businesspeople, work in film, go into academia, work fornonprofits,” said Chen. “They do everything and anything.”

 

See Asians Are Fastest-Growing Racial Group in U.S.

See also a U.S. Census Bureau report (PDF, 2.69MB)on the U.S. Asian population and the website of UCLA'sAsian American Center.

 

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