About Us

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Content Section 1

The Department of Asian American Studies (AAS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is committed to expanding the traditions of knowledge within academia to address Asian American epistemologies, activities, and experiences. The department also seeks to render scholarly intellectual efforts integral to those of local, regional, national, and international Asian American communities. Faculty, staff, and students associated with the department are expected to contribute to this mission not only through teaching, research, and service activities, locally and nationally, but also through active participation in social, intellectual, and political endeavors.

Our History: In Fall 1997, the Asian American Studies Committee was organized with the charge to build an academic program in Asian American studies. The AAS Program was established in the Fall 2000 with six faculty lines filled. The AAS undergraduate minor was first offered in Fall 2002 and the graduate minor in 2010. The Program became a Department in 2012.

As a department we have much to offer, from intellectually engaged and award winning faculty and graduate instructors to challenging courses to a supportive staff to a stimulating place for undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral research. Undergraduates value our Minor for its exciting course offerings as much as graduate students value the Grad Minor for its interdisciplinary and theoretical challenges. We are developing both an undergraduate major in Asian American Studies as well as working towards a doctoral program in ethnic and gender studies with our partners in the African American Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, and Latina/Latino Studies departments and the American Indian Studies Program.

Faculty, staff, and students are working collaboratively to:

  • Stimulate and promote research and curricular offerings in the area of AAS
  • Sponsor an interdisciplinary minor that integrates offerings in AAS from the social sciences, the humanities, and other related disciplines.
  • Add to the university's intellectual environment by sponsoring conferences, colloquia, seminars, brown bag lectures series, invited lectures, and/or other activities.
  • Support faculty, graduate, and undergraduate student research and publication.

Explore Asian American Studies here at Illinois through our website and learn of all the opportunities available for you in this department, on this vastly interconnected campus, and in the State of Illinois.