The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has established a program in Asian American studies that will offer an undergraduate minor beginning this fall.
Asian American studies examines the histories, experiences, and cultures of Asians in the Americas, including East Asians, South Asians, and Southeast Asians.
“The diverse histories and contributions of Asian Americans make this an important field with significant research linked to a variety of subject areas,” said Dwight A. McBride, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “The new program and minor are exciting additions to the college’s offerings in ethnic and gender studies.”
As part of the college’s interdisciplinary programs, the new unit will bring together faculty with appointments in English, sociology, gender and women’s studies, public policy, anthropology, and history.
The program’s director is Mark Chiang, associate professor of English and author of the 2009 book “The Cultural Capital of Asian American Studies: Autonomy and Representation in the University,” which examines four decades of growth and changes in this field of study.
“We are interested in making visible the history and the place of Asians and Asian immigrants in America, especially the contributions they made to American society,” said Chiang. “Having the program at UIC is important not just for Asian American students, but for all students in general.”
Courses are already being offered in Asian American studies and will count towards the program’s undergraduate minor.
Chiang says the program is an important part of UIC’s mission of engagement as an urban public research university.
“One of the program’s strengths will be UIC’s location in a city with a large Asian-American population,” he explained. “Several of the faculty already conduct research with people in the community, and we’d like to get students involved and active in the community.”
With more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is UIC’s largest college. It comprises more than 20 departments and programs offering over 40 undergraduate major fields of specialization, 40 minors, nearly 50 graduate degrees at the master’s and doctoral levels and almost 1,000 courses. The college features programs in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.
UIC ranks among the nation’s leading research universities and is Chicago’s largest university with 26,000 students, 12,000 faculty and staff, 15 colleges and the state’s major public medical center. A hallmark of the campus is the Great Cities Commitment, through which UIC faculty, students and staff engage with community, corporate, foundation and government partners in hundreds of programs to improve the quality of life in metropolitan areas around the world.
For more information about UIC, please visit www.uic.edu.