About Our Department

The Department of Asian American Studies offers an interdisciplinary major that examineharts the experiences of various Asian American groups in the United States. Pertinent to these experiences are the historical, cultural, legal, political, social-psychological, class, and gender contexts for Asian Americans.

Asian American Studies prepares students for a variety of careers. Given the multicultural nature of society and the increasing relations with different societies, many occupations seek individuals with background and expertise in ethnic relations and cultural issues. Those who major in Asian American Studies very likely do so because they see a need to gain an in-depth understanding of the politics and experiences of Asian Americans.

After graduating, the possibilities for Asian American Studies majors are endless. Graduates often enter the fields of teaching, research, government service, health careers, community advocacy, journalism, business, public policy, law, social services, etc. as well as graduate schools for advanced degrees in various disciplines. A degree in Asian American Studies offers students a rich education in the history, culture, and politics of Asian Americans provides many opportunities for majors from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.

The Asian American Studies Department at UC Davis was born out of struggle in 1969, emerging alongside with the Chicanx, Native American, and African American and African Studies programs. Forty years later in 2009, ASA became an official department.  In May 2020, we were going to celebrate our 50th anniversary,  but COVID-19 waylaid our plans.  We hope to host a major gathering soon and remember the lost years during COVID-19 and also celebrate the resilience of the department, alumni, students, faculty and staff who have been a part of the Asian American Studies Department for more than 50 years.

Recently, the Department has gone through a number of major upheavals, but we are still thriving, offering a diverse array of courses with a consistent transnational and diasporic focus and a priority on community and public engagement.  We are in a transitional phase, but are excited about having Rana Jaleel and Natalia Duong join our department this coming year. Their expertise in queer studies, legal studies, Science Technology Studies, disability studies will only enhance what we already offer.

The Kagiwada Library has been reorganized and has become an invaluable resources for scholars of Asian American studies. Please come and check out our archives and help us grow the library and nascent digital media and podcasting labs by donating to at Give UC Davis: Asian American Studies General Support or use the link here: https://give.ucdavis.edu/Donate/YourGift/ASADNRS