Welcome to the Asian American Studies Program!
Inaugurated in academic year 2023-2024, AAS at Williams is the outcome of decades of student activism, alumni engagement, and faculty labor. We are a standalone program that offers a Concentration consisting of 5 courses, hosts guest speakers on campus and, in general, strives to support students in their various curiosities, explorations, and passions. Racial justice, mental wellness, intersectionality, anti-colonialism…you will find all of this and more “in conversation” with the AAS program.
The Asian American Studies Program at Williams is intellectually connected to the larger field of Asian American Studies (AAS), a vibrant interdisciplinary area of study fought for by student activists in the 1960s. AAS research and teaching are grounded in the histories, social relations, and cultural expressions related to Asian American, Asian immigrant, and/or Asian diasporic people. Yet Asian American Studies is not simply about people of Asian descent in America. Our field yields critical insights regarding race and racism, colonialism and empire, immigration and diaspora, war and militarism, labor and embodiment, citizenship and identity, and much more – all while understanding that the presumed Asian American subject at the imagined center of this field is a socially constructed term with ever-shifting meaning and boundaries.
We encourage all students, regardless of identity or life experience, to take AAS courses, attend AAS events, and get to know AAS students and professors. Asian American Studies is a crucial part of a strong ethnic studies curriculum, which is crucial to a meaningful and powerful liberal arts education.
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The Asian American Studies Program acknowledges that Williams College stands on the ancestral homelands of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohicans. We pay honor and respect to their ancestors past and present. We invite you to learn more about the Stockbridge-Munsee people.