Asian American Studies

Asian American Studies

Welcome to the Asian American Studies Department

AAS students at the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center

The Asian American Studies department emerges out of social justice struggles in solidarity with multiple oppressed communities.  It is dedicated to academic and community-based goals, including promoting learning and intellectual growth; stimulating professional development; enhancing and empowering Asian/Pacific Islander communities across local and global scales; and highlighting social, economic, political, legal, and cultural issues within existing and emerging communities to envision and effect just alternatives and social transformation.

Founded in 1990, AAS is a vibrant interdisciplinary department that offers a major/double major and minor in Asian American Studies. Many AAS graduates work in a number of diverse fields, including education, entertainment, journalism, social work, community service, business and law.  Please check out our academic program page for more information on our courses and for advisement information.

AAS 361E: Japanese American Experience

AAS 361E Japanese American ExperienceFall 2017
TR 12:30-1:45
Class Number 19905

What was life like on a Hawaiian plantation? What was a Picture Bride and what did it feel like to be one? What was a No-No Boy? And what does the Japanese American experience teach us about today's national policies of immigration, incarceration and deportation? This course explores the history, experiences, and social issues of Americans of Japanese ancestry through literary works, a graphic novel, films, museum exhibits, and community engagement. We will read The Buddha in the Attic (Anchor, 2012) by Julie Otsuka, All I Asking for Is My Body (U of Hawai’i P, 1988) by Milton Murayama, No-No Boy (U of Washington P, 2014) by John Okada, and the graphic novel The Four Immigrants Manga: A Japanese Experience in San Francisco 1904-1924 (Stone Bridge Press, 1998) by Henry Yoshitaka Kiyama.  We will study these works within a multimodal approach to Japanese American experience that includes community engagement and a field trip to Los Angeles' Little Tokyo to visit the Japanese American National Museum and the Go For Broke National Education Center.

AAS graduation reception 2017 flyer

Asian American Studies Graduation Reception

The AAS department presents the Asian American Studies Graduation Reception for the class of 2017.

When: Saturday, May 20, 2017
Time: 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Where: Orange Grove Bistro, Northridge Room

Please RSVP by May 17, 2017 by 5pm to

See our event flyer (.pdf)

Open Performance & Open Mic Night

Open Performance & Open Mic Night flyerInterested in showcasing your own talent? Whether it be through poetry, singing, or dancing, the AAS department celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by hosting their final student hang-out event of the spring 2017 semester at the Glenn Omatsu House. Bring a friend and come prepared for a powerful and wonderful night of performances. Mic and speakers will be provided for performers. See our event flyer (.pdf)

Tuesday May 9, 2017
Location: The Glenn Omatsu House, 18356 Halstead Street

Reception - food provided by Urbane Cafe - 6:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Performances - 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

26th Anniversary and Distinguished Lecture and Student Awards Ceremony

Flyer for anniversary and award eventThe AAS department celebrates its 26th anniversary with the Annual "Distinguished Lecture and Student Awards Ceremony" on Thursday, April 27, 2017, 5:00-8:00 p.m., at the Grand Salon.  We cordially invite you and your families to join the ceremony as we celebrate and honor our students for their achievements and contributions. The invited lecturer this year is Ms. Lisa Hasegawa, the UCLA Asian American Studies activist-in-residence fellow and the Assistant Director of Federal Relations.  The reception will begin at 5:00 p.m. followed by Lisa Hasegawa’s Distinguished Lecture and Student Awards presentation.

View our event flyer (.pdf)

Maria Costa at the Campus Theater, May 2, 2017

Maria Costa event flyerThe California State University Northridge's Asian American Studies and Central American Studies Departments present a one-night only dynamic, powerful performance by critically-acclaimed writer-actor-comedian-artist, Maria Costa on May 2, 2017 at the Campus Theater (Nordhoff Hall, between Lindley & Etiwanda on Nordhoff Street), 6 p.m. Please come before 6 p.m. to be seated in time for the show. (There will be a small reception before the show and a Q&A with Maria Costa after the show.)

Please tell your students, your friends, your colleagues, your families, etc. (The content is for 18 and above.). If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact, Teresa Williams-Leon at:

This free event is open to the public. See our event flyer (.pdf)

We are grateful to all of our co-sponsors:

  • CSUN Women's Research and Resource Center
  • CSUN Chicana/o Studies Department
  • CSUN Department of Communications
  • CSUN Queer Studies Program
  • CSUN English Department
  • CSUN Liberal Studies Program
  • CSUN Carpi
  • CSUN Academic Resources
  • CSUN Educational Opportunity Program 
  • CSUN College of Humanities

We hope to see you there!

AAS "Walk It Out" Event

See pictures from our recent "Walk It Out" event.

CSUN/JACL Solidarity Bus to Manzanar

Manzanar flyer

The CSUN Asian American Studies Department, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Program, Muslim Students Association and The San Fernando Valley Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League invite you to join former concentration camp incarcerees and their families  on Saturday, April 29, 2017 for a one-day visit to the National Historic Site at Manzanar where approximately 10,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated during the Second World War.

View our flyer for more information (.pdf)

AAS Walking Tour

AAS 497 Invites you to join the CSUN AAS Walking Tour! In this fun 1 mile walk, we will be uncovering the hidden contributions of Asian Americans to the San Fernando Valley. We will be meeting in front of Bayramian Hall at 4pm, continue along Reseda Blvd and conclude at the Omatsu House, where students will have an opportunity learn more about the Asian American Studies Department and hangout out with AAS students and faculty. Please RSVP with if interested.

Food will be provided by Bun Me! Grab a Vietnamese Sandwich and come hang out with us!

This tour is sponsored by the Asian American Studies Department, College of Humanities Academic Programming Fund, and the National Institute of Health BUILD PODER program.

View our flyer for more information (.pdf)

New Lectures Section

We are proud to announce our new "Featured Lectures" section! The first faculty lecture that we are highlighting is from Dr. Phillip Hutchison's AAS 347 class, focusing on the People vs. Hall case. Look for more in the future!

Annual AAS student Awards! Apply!!

Every year, Asian American Studies faculty members honor students for their achievements and contributions. To be considered for one of the departmental awards, all application materials must bepleted and emailed as an attachment (Microsoft Word Doc or PDF) to Professor Tracy Buenavista at by Wednesday, March 15, 2017, at 9:00 p.m. Please include in the email subject line: “AAS Awards Application – [First & Last Name].”

If you are interested, please see the instructions to find out how to apply (.pdf)

Open Position For a Student Assistant

The Asian American Studies department is looking to hire a student assistant. Get the job description and application instructions

Apply for The Abarquez Prize in Asian American Studies

The AAS department is Calling for Students to submit their essays on "Asian Americans and Education" for The Abarquez Prize in Asian American Studies at CSUN. Get more information and submission instructions here.