Section 1: (50%) This section will include three of the following short essay prompts. You will be required to answer one of them. These questions may be approached in very different ways and there is no single way to frame their answers. Support your responses in detail using information from both the lectures and readings.
Please be sure to write in full sentences and DoubleSpace your answers. 1. One of the major themes of the course is the influential role of larger world events in shaping Asian American communities before World War II. Choose two out of the five different national groups we have discussed (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Indians, Filipinos) and compare and contrast how the global status of each country affected sojourner and settler communities in the United States.
2. Choose two out of the five different national groups we have discussed (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Indians, Filipinos). What were the “push” and “pull” factors, historical speaking, that led these two groups to travel to the United States? What obstacles did they face as sojourner and settlers? How and why were these groups initially gendered when coming to the U.S.? What roles did these groups perform when they reached the U.S.?
3. What connections exist between U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War and the shape of new Asian American communities during the second half of the twentieth century? Explain using at least three major examples from the lectures, readings and discussions.
4. Evaluate the argument that World War II constituted a “watershed” for Asian Americans in which events began to flow in a very different direction. Using two out of the five different national groups we have discussed (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Indians, Filipinos) discuss how World War II changed the lives of each ethnic group. Be sure to address both perceptions of Asian Americans and material changes to the lives of Asian Americans. Based on your chosen examples, is it fair to describe World War II as a “watershed moment”?
5. How was “Asia” historically an invention of the Western imaginary? How and why have Asians been historically perceived by the western imagination? What is Edward Said’s critique of this perception? How did the United States become a 2 inheritor of this perception? Give historical examples of this using two out of the five different national groups we have discussed (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Indians, Filipinos).
6. What historical circumstances helped create the Asian American Movement and what character did the movement take (provide specific examples)? What types of activities did members of the movement engage in? Ultimately, do you believe that the Asian American Movement was a unique historical moment with a defined beginning and end, or something that continues to the present day?