Relevance of Asian American Studies in Iowa

The development of an Asian American Studies Program at ISU responds to the changing demographics of a state in which Asian and Pacific Islanders in Iowa are counted at about 52,000, or 1.8% of the total state population. Woods & Poole Economics, Inc., projects that by the year 2030, about 125,360 Iowa residents will identify themselves as Asian Pacific Americans. Nearly a third of Iowa’s foreign-born population traces its descent to Asia, and of that number, 30,162, or 21.3% identify themselves as Vietnamese, making them the second-largest immigrant group, after the foreign-born Mexican Americans (State Data Center of Iowa, “Asian Heritage Month”). At ISU, 3.3% of the undergraduates and 1.6% of the graduate students identified themselves as Asian/Pacific Islander in Fall 2005, accounting together for some 772 students out of a total of 25,741 (ISU Office of Institutional Research, “Student Profile 2005-2006″).

Topics and Themes of the Asian American Studies Program

Course topics and program themes supported by the Asian American Studies Program will address issues of Asian Americans, and these issues may focus on any or all of the following areas: social stratification and ethnic identity among Asian American groups; Asian Americans in agriculture; transpacific cultural relations; legislation and citizenship; immigration and settlement patterns; refugee experiences; prejudice and discrimination; the family and marriage; gender, Asian American femininities and masculinities; technology and globalization; educational attainments; international business; Asian Americans in arts and popular culture; interethnic relations in America.